October 11, 2011

In this issue…


People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

SEPTEMBER 28 – OCTOBER 11, 2011

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Check whether your message still fits your current audience
  • Feedback on by-passing the front desk

Sometimes it’s easy to slip into a rut without knowing it. This is a small industry – hotels, vendors, consultants, many of us have been in it for a long time. We know each other well, who we are, what we do, how we do it, and as the years slip by it’s easy to forget how many new faces have come into this space.
The recent economic turmoil has brought in new players, many from other industries. We may not know them, they may not know us, and it’s easy for us to forget that and keep churning out the same message that’s worked for years. While we may take advantage of new tools and technology to reach them, we may not have updated our message to catch their attention and let them know, succinctly, what we do, how we can help and why we’re worth contacting.
Old messages may still be true and accurate, but sometimes they need to be re-worked to address a new team of players who don’t have the industry background to fill in the sub-text about us themselves.
**
For those of you wondering what feedback I received to my comments about by-passing the front desk at check-in, almost everyone who responded said they enjoyed the human connection at the end of a long day. The two people who said they prefer to go straight to their rooms reported that they do so only occasionally when they were tired and the line at check-in was frustratingly long, or because they’ve become so used to self-service at every other stage of the travel experience that it’s just become the standard approach.
That wasn’t what I was asking, though. I was curious about whether it was still important for the by-passers to feel they had some connection with the hotel, a reassurance that someone on property knew they were there and would look out for them if there was an emergency. Only one person mentioned that, and then only in the context that they use their phones and frequent-traveler status to maintain a connection with the hotel at all times, not just at check-in. Well, OK, that personalization of contact and special offers is definitely a strong movement, but for the life/safety issues in case of emergency it implies a degree of faith in technology that I find hard to accept.
So let’s turn the question around; do hotels keep track of their frequent-traveler guests to that extent after check-in? Including tracking them through the GPS location or WiFi triangulation of their phones so they know whether or not they’re actually on property – and whereabouts – in case of a fire or other emergency?
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Wolfgang Emperger joins Infor Hospitality as Sales Regional VP, Europe and Africa
  • Ryan Andrew re-joins Infor SoftBrands as Marketing Manager
  • James Edwards joins Infor SoftBrands as Senior Account Manager
  • Leslie William Rose named Regional Director for TTI Technologies in Las Vegas
  • Laura Kirby-Meck joins Merchant Link as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Wolfgang Emperger has joined Infor Hospitality as Sales Regional Vice-President , Europe and Africa. Mr. Emperger brings 20 years of experience in hospitality and technology, most recently as Director International Sales for Amadeus Hospitality, which he joined in 2006. A native Austrian, he has worked in hotels across the globe, mainly for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Reservations and Revenue Management roles in the US.
Ryan Andrew has re-joined Infor SoftBrands as Marketing Manager. Mr. Andrew was most recently in Senior Sales Proposals at Sabre Hospitality Solutions; he had earlier served ten years with SoftBrands as Manager, Commercial Services, and for four years with HIS in Sales and Marketing Support.
James Edwards has joined Infor SoftBrands as Senior Account Manager. James was the past President of TimeTECH Canada, a WFM company and before that he was the VP of Sales at Sweda Canada representing Micros POS and PMS.
**
Leslie William Rose has been named as Regional Director for TTI Technologies, based in its Las Vegas, Nevada office. Mr. Rose has over 25 years experience in IT, including positions as VP of software developers Westech Network. In 1991 he started CTS Inc. a VAR of data collection solutions for multiple industries, and later went into POS consulting as VP for Streamline Business Systems. Mr. Rose has also acted as IT Director to a mid-sized Retail Store chain, and has managed Payment Card processing, PCI compliance and Customer Loyalty Programs for casinos and multiple vendors.
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Laura Kirby-Meck has been named Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Merchant Link. Ms. Meck brings more than twenty years experience in hospitality sales and marketing; most recently she was CEO of PR firm Sonata Venture Solutions. She has previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for Multi-Systems, Inc., as a Director at SoftBrands and a Vice President at MICROS Systems.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Hotel Concepts – Brilliant integrates with 3CX’s VoIP-based phone system
  • MGM Resorts International installs MICROS’ OPERA at Luxor, Excalibur and Mandalay Bay
  • ALPENIGLU village implements protel Air

Hotel Concepts – Brilliant has integrated 3CX’s VoIP-based Phone System Hotel Module into Hotel Concepts’ IDPMS and Brilliant’s PMPRO guest management systems. Multi-property hotel groups can be linked together via wide area network to further decrease telephony expenses. (www.3cx.com, www.itesso.com)
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MGM Resorts International has completed implementation of MICROS Systems’ OPERA Enterprise Solutions at its Luxor, Excalibur and Mandalay Bay properties. The three sites collectively have more than 12,000 rooms and suites; they will use the OPERA GMS, OPERA Reservation System, OPERA Gaming and OPERA Web Suite modules. MGM now uses Opera at 14 of its properties.  (www.mgmresorts.com, www.micros.com)
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The ice-carved ALPENIGLU village in Brixen, Austria, has implemented protel hotelsoftware’s protel Air SaaS GMS.
The 18-igloo village has an open season of 90 days at the most and minimal infrastructure on site. (www.alpeniglu.com/en, www.protel-hotel-software.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Choice’s iPhone app passes one-million consumer download mark
  • Bookt announces InstaManager FLEX rental manager software with distribution through TripAdvisor’s FlipKey

Choice Hotels International announced that its iPhone app has reached its one-millionth consumer download. An Android version was released on Aug. 31. These apps and the Choice mobile website include GPS technology and mapping functionality to help travelers find their nearest Choice properties, as well as access to Choice Privileges rewards accounts, hotel property details and hotel searching by city, airport, popular attraction and more. (www.choicehotels.com)
**
Bookt announced its InstaManager FLEX application, combining its vacation rental manager software with marketing distribution through TripAdvisor and TripAdvisor’s FlipKey subsidiary, a vacation rental service listing over 100,000 vacation homes. (www.flipkey.com, www.bookt.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Buuteeq launches Facebook app
  • Lodging Interactive announces Guest Review System
  • Sheraton Suites Key West  contracts with The Knowland Group for Target Net sales automation system
  • Governor’s House Hotel and Convention Center implements The Knowland Group’s Target Net
  • Dolce Hotels and Resorts implements Libra OnDemand across all 27 properties
  • JackRabbit Systems integrates BookDirect search engine into DMOs’ Facebook pages
  • TravelClick adds over 200 Hotelligence360 clients in Europe in July and August
  • Regatta Travel Solutions joins Destination Marketing Association International as Alliance Partner
  • TripAdvisor launches Widget Center

Digital marketing provider Buuteeq has launched a Facebook app that allows hotels to upgrade the appearance and functionality of their Facebook fan pages and let users book directly from them. (www.buuteeq.com)
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Lodging Interactive announced its Guest Review System, a web based review management system that helps hotels, restaurants and spas collect their own guest reviews and post management responses on their own websites. Consumers can also share their reviews on Facebook; hotels are notified in real-time of new guest reviews and can validate guest stay information before reviews are posted on their website. (www.LodgingInteractive.com)
**
The Sheraton Suites Key West has contracted with The Knowland Group for its Target Net sales automation system.
The Governor’s House Hotel and Convention Center has implemented The Knowland Group’s Target Net meetings management platform. Located near the airport in Montgomery, AL the hotel has over 28,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
(www.sheraton.com/KeyWest, www.KnowlandGroup.com)
**
Dolce Hotels and Resorts has implemented Libra OnDemand to manage its customer base of comprehensive guest profiles (including customer preferences), shareable across its portfolio of 27 properties. Dolce has interfaced Libra with its corporate marketing platform and uses it to generate pre- and post-stay confirmation e-mails and other guest correspondence, as well as to identify high-value guests and to help ensure that the proper level of service is provided to them. Libra OnDemand’s dashboard tool interfaces with an array of different guest management systems, including all three used at various Dolce properties. (www.dolce.com, www.libraondemand.com)
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JackRabbit Systems has announced its ability to integrate its BookDirect search engine into Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) partners’ Facebook profile pages, making real-time rates and availability accessible to their “friend” base and potential customers. Clicking “BookDirect” takes the user directly to the selected lodging property or event website to complete the booking process without paying a handoff fee. (www.JackRabbitSystems.com)
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TravelClick has added more than 200 new hotelier signings across Europe for its Hotelligence360 business intelligence suite over the months of July and August.  (www.Travelclick.com)
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Regatta Travel Solutions has joined the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) as an elite Alliance Partner. Regatta provides destination marketing organizations (DMOs) with online marketing and booking tools. (www.regattatravelsolutions.com, www.destinationmarketing.org)
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TripAdvisor has launched its Widget Center to help hospitality industry businesses find and display TripAdvisor content such as ratings and reviews on their own sites, share their TripAdvisor accolades, promote their areas and increase engagement with travelers online. Widgets are thematically organized and include features such as a “see it in use” option that shows how other sites are successfully displaying TripAdvisor content. The center also allows business owners and managers to email widget code to their site administrators for easy installation. (www.tripadvisor.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • IDeaS appoints WiTak its partner in Taiwan
  • China’s New Century Hotels & Resorts picks RateGain’s ChannelGain for 14 properties
  • Foss Hotels signs with SiteMinder for nine hotels in Iceland
  • Melco Crown Entertainment implementing Rainmaker’s revolution at two properties in Macau
  • Global Gaming Business magazine names Rainmaker a 10th Annual Gaming & Technology (G&T) Award winner
  • Gaming & Leisure magazine names Rainmaker winner of 2011 Partner Award in Gaming and Hospitality
  • RateTiger nominated as finalist in UK’s Travolution Awards for Best Technology Provider

IDeaS has appointed WiTak its partner to the Taiwan-based hotel industry. (www.witak.com , www.ideas.com)
**
New Century Hotels & Resorts has become RateGain’s first Chinese client, contracting for its ChannelGain online distribution tool at 14 of the group’s 90+ properties. ChannelGain is being integrated with New Century’s existing Kunlun CRS. New Century has already subscribed to PriceGain-Hotels for 37 properties. (www.kaiyuanhotels.com, www.rategain.com)
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Foss Hotels has signed with online distributor SiteMinder for its nine hotels across Iceland.  (www.fosshotel.is, www.siteminder.com)
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Melco Crown Entertainment is implementing The Rainmaker Group’s revolution profit optimization system at its two properties in Macau, the City of Dreams and Altira Macau. The Rainmaker system implementation is underway.
Global Gaming Business magazine named The Rainmaker Group a 10th Annual Gaming & Technology (G&T) Award winner in the Best Productivity-Enhancement Technology category.
Gaming & Leisure magazine named The Rainmaker Group a winner of the 2011 Partner Award in the Gaming and Hospitality category for its revolution profit optimization system and TribalREV revenue management offering.
(www.cityofdreamsmacau.com, www.altiramacau.com, www.melco-crown.com, www.letitrain.com)
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RateTiger has been nominated as a finalist for the UK’s Travolution Awards in the Best Technology Provider category. (www.ratetiger.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • PSAV releases MapIt! Web, Mobile Web and iPad application for conference attendees
  • Maritz chooses Cvent’s registration and sourcing platform
  • Nexus launches TargetworX for hotel chains to manage RFPs among their properties

PSAV Presentation Services has released their MapIt! Web, Mobile Web and iPad application for conference attendees, allowing them to view educational sessions, special event listings, exhibitor details, sponsor profiles, city guide, and their personal/customized agendas using iPad-based wayfinding kiosks, the event Web site, or a link downloaded to their smartphone, tablet or laptop. MapIt! was developed with QuickMobile and was piloted at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Annual Convention in St. Louis, with approximately 8,600 attendees.  PSAV placed 32 iPad MapIt! kiosks throughout the conference center and provided 400 iPads to event sponsors for distribution to customers of their choice for the conference.  (www.psav.com)
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Maritz Travel Company has chosen Cvent’s registration and sourcing platform for use with its meeting, event and incentive (ME&I) travel management services clients. Maritz is also leveraging the Cvent Supplier Network, which connects meeting and event planners with more than 150,000 venues worldwide.  (www.maritztravel.com, www.cvent.com)
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Nexus has launched TargetworX, which allows hotel chains to pass qualified business opportunities to their properties based on client relationships drawn from across the group. Hotels can respond to specific RFPs by submitting a simple business case to the hotel group’s program manager for review and presentation to the client. Pre-defined flags ensure that all parties know the current status of each opportunity. TargetworX is fully integrated with Nexus RFPworX and ShareworX so that a hotel submitting a successful business case in TargetworX will automatically be presented for inclusion in the client hotel program. Pilot client for TargetworX is Choice Hotels International. (www.choicehotels.com, www.nexusworldservices.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • LodgeNet joins Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem group developing UltraViolet platform
  • KoolConnect installs through 2011 third quarter significantly exceed those of any previous full year
  • Philips launches new 2012 TV product range
  • Quadriga announces MyChoice pre-pay program to extend guest channel choices on Philips EasySuite and PrimeSuite ranges
  • FCS designates PWV Group its business partner in Russia, CIS

LodgeNet has joined the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a group of more than 75 companies co-operating to develop and operate the UltraViolet platform for video distribution. Centered around a shared, cloud-based account and an interoperable digital rights “library” system, UltraViolet allows consumers to create personal digital video libraries, with the freedom to access movies and TV shows both at home and on-the-go, across multiple devices. (www.lodgenet.com)
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KoolConnect announced that its implementations in the first nine months of 2011 significantly exceeded those of any previous full year. New installations include the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, Four Seasons Atlanta, Hyatt 48 Lex New York City, Sandia Casino Resort, New Mexico, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel – Alabama and the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Oregon. (www.koolconnect.com)
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Philips has launched its complete new 2012 TV product range, featuring its MediaSuite with NetTV. The new range includes the entry level EasySuite, the interactive PrimeSuite that will connect with any set-top box, the top-of-range Signature series with Philips’ Ambilight and a full HD 3D cinema experience, and the new MediaSuite, with NetTV for connectivity through online apps. The MediaSuite TVs are full HD LED units from 32″ to 55″. The new models will be available in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand starting in December.
Quadriga has announced MyChoice, a new distribution agreement with Philips that allows guests at hotels using
Philips EasySuite and PrimeSuite ranges to unlock an extended range of channels by purchasing a scratch card from reception and inputting access codes.
(www.quadriga.com, www.philips.com)
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FCS has designated Product World Vision (PWV) Group, a supplier of in-room movies, guestroom phones and TVs, its business partner in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). (www.pwvgroup.com, www.fcscs.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Cendyn formally releases eFolio service

Cendyn announced the formal release of its eFolio service, which provides automated daily folio transmissions directly from a hotel’s guest management system to the data platforms of Visa, MasterCard, American Express and corporate travel and entertainment expense systems such as Concur. This allows corporations to improve their business travel expense reporting and improve efficiencies in corporate financial management and expense forecasting. eFolio has been piloted in several hundred hotels around the world. (www.cendyn.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • SAVOR selects Agilysys’ Eatec

SAVOR, a food concessions and catering management company, has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory and procurement system. Initial implementations will include the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK, the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, CA and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, GA. (www.smgworld.com, www.agilysys.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • 3CX VoIP-based phone system integrates with Hotel Concepts’ IDPMS and Brilliant’s PMPRO

Hotel Concepts – Brilliant has integrated 3CX’s VoIP-based Phone System Hotel Module into Hotel Concepts’ IDPMS and Brilliant’s PMPRO guest management systems. Multi-property hotel groups can be linked together via wide area network to further decrease telephony expenses. (www.3cx.com, www.itesso.com)
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