October 14, 2014

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office


Communications / Infrastructure

OCTOBER 2 – 14, 2014


  • Pragmatism required: the Excellent is the enemy of the Good

Technology is amazing stuff, and proliferates at an extraordinary rate. Every day we seem to gain more options, and deciding which ones will generate the most benefit for any specific operation requires a very high degree of awareness both of what’s necessary right now, and of what directions might lead to more effectiveness in the longer term.
But this challenge is not limited to new developments. Even when choosing between alternative, well-established existing applications we’re faced with the same fundamental problem of knowing when we have enough data to make a decision. I’ve written before on choosing between two equally capable systems; if neither is perfect (and nothing ever is) and either one will work well, you’ll be far better off making a choice – flipping a coin if you have to, seriously – and getting on with the implementation, dealing with whatever unforeseen issues come up as quickly as possible.
Unforeseen issues will always come up whichever choice you make, so don’t try to second-guess the decision; just get on with the project and start realizing the benefit of the new application. If you’ve covered the fundamental requirements at the start of the exercise, constantly checking alternatives as you learn something new that might lead to a slight preference just adds noise, not useful data, and extends the project timeline unnecessarily and wastefully. As Frederick Brooks wrote in “The Mythical Man-Month”, his 1975 analysis of IBM’s development of its System/360 computer family, how does a project become a year late and millions of dollars over budget? One day at a time, one dollar at a time.
A focus on the critical goals, acceptance of the probable need for multiple phases in any project so something can get into productive use, and a strong sense of pragmatism to know when something is good enough, are all essential. Constantly postponing a decision while you collect more data on what might be the perfect solution can lead to no solution at all.

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  • Matthew J. Hart joins Advisory Board of KEYPR
  • Matt Willacy, Jo Gardner, Nick Dodd, Jake Lucas join Guestline Corporate Sales team
  • Maria Olson, Kristen Cavanagh, Devon Ussher, Kelly Whaley expand ZDirect’s Client Services department

Matthew J. Hart has joined the Advisory Board of KEYPR, a provider of mobile check-in/check-out, guest service and room lock services. Mr. Hart was formerly President and Chief Operating Officer of Hilton Hotels Corp, where he served for nine years. He was earlier Senior Vice President and Treasurer for the Walt Disney Company, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Host Marriott Corp, and held various financial positions at Marriott Corp prior to the formation of Host Marriott, starting in 1981 as Manager, Project Finance. Mr. Hart was a lending officer with Bankers Trust Company in New York from 1976 until 1981.
Guestline has formed a new Corporate Sales Team to focus on Hotel Groups, Management companies, Consortia and Serviced Apartments.
– Matt Willacy is the new Corporate Sales Manager: he brings 20 years’ experience in the hotel technology software industry, having previously held product and sales management roles at Micros and Infor.
– Jo Gardner joins as a Corporate Sales Consultant, with 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry through Verteda (formerly Agilysys) and Micros.
– Nick Dodd also joins as a Corporate Sales Consultant, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry and in hospitality, having previously worked in business management software and for an international corporate travel group.
– Jake Lucas, the third Corporate Sales Support Consultant, brings over 5 years sales and marketing experience in the financial sector.
ZDirect has expanded its Client Services department, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
– Maria Olson will now serve as West Coast Account Manager
– Kristen Cavanagh will manage accounts on the East Coast.
– Devon Ussher was promoted to Strategic Account Manager.
– Former East Coast Account Manager Kelly Whaley will replace Mr. Ussher as Account Manager for the Caribbean and South Florida region, and will continue to manage all Social Media activity for the company.

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  • Ve-Go Technologies adds OpenWays to RoomKey mobile guest tool
  • NORTHWIND releases new eLearning tool for Maestro
  • Travel24 selects hetras to support new hotel brand
  • Conferma introduces TripPay mobile payment app for hospitality

Ve-Go Technologies has added OpenWays integration to its RoomKey mobile guest engagement tool (no connection with RSI’s RoomKey GMS). Ve-Go’s RoomKey allows travelers to use their mobile devices to make hotel reservations, select rooms (with certain GMSs), check-in/out and receive their bill; the OpenWays’ Mobile Key integration also lets them unlock their room doors. (www.OpenWays.com, www.ve-go.com)
NORTHWIND-Maestro has released a new eLearning tool with online tutorials, documentation, and streaming videos for all Maestro Property Management modules, as well as a management dashboard that allows supervisors to design eLearning agendas for any module and track staff progress.  (www.maestropms.com)
German online travel agency Travel24, has selected hetras to support its new hotel brand. The first property, a 170-room hotel in a reconstructed historic Leipzig building, is set to open in 2015; 24 additional hotels are planned over the next five to seven years. Travel24 guests receive a hetras-developed 2D bar code with their reservation to serve as identification upon check-in and check-out and for use at hotel kiosks. (www.travel24.com, www.hetras.com)
Conferma has introduced TripPay, a mobile payment app for hospitality use. During check-in or checkout travelers can use the app to display to front-desk clerks the front and back digital images of a virtual card, with a 16-digit number and three-digit security code created by the client’s travel management company. Travelers can also use it to resend booking confirmations to a hotel’s fax machine and receive a reservation notification once a trip is booked. The virtual card number disappears from the app after the checkout date. TripPay can also be used to photograph hotel invoices and receipts and submit them to Smart New Accounts Payable, Conferma’s reporting and reconciliation tool, which matches that information with booking data. The app is available for all Android and iOS devices. (www.conferma.com)

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  • Best Western India contracts with Busy Rooms for reservation services

Best Western India Hotel Group has contracted with Busy Rooms for central reservation services including technology, distribution, optimization and support services. The full membership package includes Busy Rooms’ own Central Reservation System with modules including Rate Shopping, Reputation Management, Content Management, Internet Booking Engine and Channel Management, and available services for contracting, potential analysis and revenue management. Going forward Busy Rooms will handle all 3rd party contracting to online sales channels that the group has not had access to so far. (www.bestwesternindia.com, www.busy-rooms.com)

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  • Milestone receives Silver Best New Product Stevie Award for Galexi CMS 6.0
  • GCommerce adds nSight to digital marketing offerings
  • NYLO Hotels implements Flip.to across all hotels
  • Brittain Resorts installs Datavision’s Business Intelligence System Suite
  • Lodging Interactive receives two W3 Silver Awards
  • RoamingAround launches Mobile Photo Share service
  • Centara Hotels & Resorts signs with ReviewPro for portfolio of 47 properties

Milestone Internet Marketing has received a Silver Best New Product Award in the 2014 Stevie IBA Awards, for its Galexi CMS 6.0 Internet marketing software for hotels. (www.StevieAwards.com, www.milestoneinternet.com)
GCommerce has added nSight to its digital marketing offerings for its portfolio of nearly 1,400 hotels. nSight captures more than 80 million searches and bookings for hotels daily across third-party websites worldwide; GCommerce will leverage this marketing-rich data to increase its cross-functional digital marketing capabilities in the areas of media targeting, web and social content development, and campaign promotion creative and tracking. (www.gcommercesolutions.com, www.nsightfortravel.com)
NYLO Hotels has implemented Flip.to across all its hotels. (www.nylohotels.com)
Brittain Resorts has installed Datavision Technologies’ Business Intelligence System Suite. Through partnerships, joint ventures and family ties, Myrtle Beach-based Brittain owns, manages, or has an association with Breakers Resort, Caribbean Resort, Ocean Reef Resort, North Beach Plantation and Cottages, Breakers Resort North, Pawleys Plantation, Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort, Compass Cove Resort, Long Bay Resort, Dunes Village Resort, Myrtlewood Villas, Paradise Resort, Atlantica Resort, Palmetto Shores and Beach-Vacations, and MyrtleBeachGolf.com. (www.brittainresorts.com, www.datavisiontech.com)
Lodging Interactive has received two W3 Silver Awards for its websites for The Manhattan Club and the Residence Inn Marriott Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf. (www.lodginginteractive.com)
RoamingAround has launched its Mobile Photo Share service, which delivers event pictures in a custom-designed picture frame to attendees’ cellphones via SMS to showcase branding and encourage customer sharing via social media. (www.MobilePhotoShare.com)
Bangkok-based Centara Hotels & Resorts has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with ReviewPro for reputation management services across its portfolio. Centara has 47 properties throughout Thailand, Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, and further properties under development in Thailand, China, Ethiopia, Qatar, Laos and Oman. (www.centarahotelsresorts.com, www.reviewpro.com)

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  • Cleartrip adds RezNext real-time booking/distribution to its online travel portal
  • Seneca Travel Affair now offering eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite
  • IDeaS announces Function Space Revenue Management

Cleartrip has added RezNext real-time booking and distribution to its online travel portal. (www.cleartrip.com , www.reznext.com)
Italy-based Seneca Travel Affair is now offering eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite for channel management services to its hotel customers.  (www.senecabtc.com, www.erevmax.com/)
IDeaS Revenue Solutions has announced its IDeaS Function Space Revenue Management (FSRM), powered by SAS technology. FSRM forecasts and validates expected demand, by day and day parts, optimizing the total profit contribution from various revenue streams including rooms, food and beverage, function space and more. Features include a forecast validation dashboard, demand calendar and price evaluation tools. (www.ideas.com)

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  • Newmarket releases new version of  iPlan
  • Shanghai Second Polytechnic University Queensland College to use Newmarket software

Newmarket International has released a new version of its iPlan service which provides venues with an online showcase for their meeting space. Enhancements include a redesigned user interface, enhanced marketing capabilities, more detailed information about the meeting space such as room details, supported setup styles, and maximum capacity by setup style, a new search functionality, a streamlined ability to “Create a Room” online to evaluate the feasibility of a meeting room for an event, and collaboration capabilities to share, discuss, and adjust room setups with other parties.
Shanghai Second Polytechnic University Queensland College will feature Newmarket software in its group sales and catering courses for students in the hospitality industry. Queensland College was established under a co-education agreement signed in 1999 between the Shanghai and Queensland governments.
(en.sspu.cn/structure/schoolsxx_28047_1.htm, www.newmarketinc.com)

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  • Sleep Inn DFW Airport North installs FlyteBoard
  • London Marriott Hotel Park Lane picks Guest-tek’s OneView Internet, IPTV and myAway
  • Marriott Hotels installing Kube Systems wireless charging stations in 29 hotel lobbies this month
  • Hub by Premier Inn, Covent Garden, London, offers app for reservations, guestroom control, including augmented-reality local area guide on the walls of every room

The Sleep Inn DFW Airport North has installed a Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard to display real-time DFW airline flight schedules. (www.sleepinndfwairport.com, www.flytesystems.com)
The London Marriott Hotel Park Lane has chosen Guest-tek’s OneView Internet and IPTV with Samsung H Browser and Guest-tek’s myAway, which allows guests to broadcast their own content to the in-room TVs. (www.marriott.com, www.guest-tek.com)
Marriott Hotels has begun rolling out Kube Systems wireless charging stations in its hotel lobbies; 29 properties are scheduled to be complete this month. The chargers use standard Qi technology, can charge up to six devices at once and are compatible with all Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices. (www.marriott.com, kubesystems.com)
The first Hub by Premier Inn, at Covent Garden, London, has released its dedicated app for reservations and guestroom control, including changing TV channels and adjusting room temperatures and lights. The hotel provides a local area guide with augmented-reality technology on the walls of every room, where guests can point their phones to see it come to life. Whitbread Hotels is planning 11 new Hub by Premier hotels over the next three years throughout London and Edinburgh. (www.hubhotels.co.uk)

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  • TPG Hospitality selects UniFocus’ STAFFScope
  • pasUNITY receives Gaming & Leisure’s Industry Excellence Award for Interoperability

TPG Hospitality has selected UniFocus’ STAFFScope survey for its portfolio of 59 hotels. (www.tpghospitality.com, www.UniFocus.com )
pasUNITY has received Gaming & Leisure’s Industry Excellence Award for Interoperability. The annual awards recognize specific stellar performance demonstrated by companies in multiple verticals. (www.pasunity.com)

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  • Extended Stay America picks Stem advanced energy storage systems and energy intelligence software for 68 sites

Extended Stay America has contracted with Stem for advanced energy storage systems and real-time energy intelligence software across 68 of its California locations. By drawing on previously stored power during peak times of the day, Stem reduces Extended Stay America’s energy costs without impacting the hotels’ daily operations. A pilot test has been running at an Extended Stay hotel in San Jose since 2013. (www.extendedstayamerica.com, www.stem.com)

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  • Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre, Rosen Plaza deploy Eleven’s tiered Internet services, via Millennium Technology Group
  • Cetis announces global telephony partnership with Percipia
  • PhoneSuite appoints Total Hospitality Solutions as Canadian distributor

The Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre and Rosen Plaza have deployed Eleven’s tiered Internet services, through Rosen’s network service provider Millennium Technology Group. The hotels each have three distinct areas with differing Internet login processes:
– Guest Rooms: free basic plan and two paid plans with credit card and bill-to-room options
– Convention Space: username and password required to gain access
– Public Areas: free Internet that simply requires the guest to agree to the terms of use
(www.elevenwireless.com, www.mtg-fl.com)
Cetis has announced a global telephony partnership with Percipia for resale of its Teledex, TeleMatrix and Scitec analog and VoIP hotel telephones. (www.CetisGroup.com, www.percipia.com)
PhoneSuite has appointed Calgary-based Total Hospitality Solutions as the Canadian distributor for its full line of Voiceware IP-PBX products. (www.phonesuite.com)

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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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