October 2, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

SEPTEMBER 12 – OCTOBER 2, 2012

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Eleven hospitality companies in top 250 of InformationWeek500 ranking of innovators

Once again hospitality companies have shown that they can innovate with the best of them, showing exceptionally well in this year’s InformationWeek 500. This annual listing recognizes business technology teams that have made a notable improvement to how their companies operate. This year 11 hospitality companies were listed in the top 250, up from 7 last year.
In general, the survey showed that mobile devices, cloud computing and big data analytics are rapidly changing companies’ priorities towards an increasingly customer-facing role for IT. The top area for innovation is still “improving business process efficiency”, but at 49% of the respondents this is down five points from last year and down from 60% back in 2009. By comparison, introducing new IT-led products/services for customers rose to 46% from 37% last year.
Mobile apps are a major driver of this, with companies getting them to customers even faster than to employees. Whether its Vail Resorts giving a smartphone app to skiers or Royal Caribbean putting an iPad in every room of some cruise ships, CIOs are accepting that customers don’t want to unplug; they want relevant apps that add to their experience. Employee-facing apps are up, too, with 38% saying that deploying iPads or other tablets is among their biggest productivity boosters – but only if they’re finely tuned to employee needs.
Cloud computing is firmly established; 85% of respondents use cloud software, and 27% use a cloud platform-as-a-service, such as Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine, up eight points from a year ago. Big data analytics are just beginning to show; 75% of IW 500 companies use social networks to collaborate with customers and suppliers, but so far only 29% use sentiment analytics to track what people are saying about them on social and other sites.
Most telling of all is that one-third of IW 500 CIOs now have formal responsibility for innovation in their companies, more than double the 16% who did in 2009.
Top showing among hospitality companies was once again Vail Resorts, rose to a stunning #4 ranking from #10 last year. Other hospitality companies in the top 250 were:
# 18 Royal Caribbean
# 25 Hyatt
# 26 Sabre
# 41 Priceline
# 97 Marriott
# 149 Kimpton
# 171 Las Vegas Sands
# 215 Gaylord
# 225 Travelport
# 230 Caesars
Many congratulations to all!
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Julie Parodi promoted to VP of sales operations at Pegasus Solutions
  • Ed St. Onge joins Flip.to as President, Global Sales & Marketing
  • Kristi White joins Flip.to as Vice President, Global Sales Strategy

Julie Parodi has been promoted to vice president of sales operations at Pegasus Solutions, a newly created role; she was previously senior director, strategic planning and analysis.  Ms. Parodi brings more than 14 years in hospitality analysis and a background in finance to her role; prior to joining Pegasus, she served as manager, performance measurement of strategic services at Best Western International.
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Ed St. Onge has joined Flip.to as President, Global Sales & Marketing, and recently led a significant round of financing for the company. Mr. St. Onge was the founder and former CEO of EZYield.com, and had earlier spent several years at an online travel marketing firm.
Kristi White has joined Flip.to as Vice President, Global Sales Strategy. Ms. White recently served for eight years as Director of Revenue Optimization at TravelCLICK, and was earlier Area Director of Sales at Dimension Development, Project Manager at Shaner Hotel Group, Director of Sales at MMI Hotel group and held management positions in both hotel and F&B.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • The River House, Andermatt, Switzerland, implements Hetras
  • Agilysys releases version 7.2 of LMS
  • Hotels’ failure to invest in GMS training directly impacts bottom line, per EHL study
  • Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY implements Northwind’s Maestro suite
  • IDS NEXT launches FortuneNEXT6i
  • IJWS releases Passbook Reservation, stores check-in QR code in Apple’s new iOS6 Passbook
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Duncan, OK opens with OpenWays phone-based room keys
  • Springer-Miller names FAMA Technologies as distributor in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The River House, a small boutique hotel in Andermatt, Switzerland, has implemented hetras’ GMS, replacing another cloud-based system installed last year.  The hotel staff continues to use their existing Apple hardware. The implementation includes interfaces to a GKS Orderman POS system and to Reconline, the Swiss Travel Centre which operates booking sites for Swissair, Swiss Rail and myswitzerland.com, the official Switzerland tourism website.  (www.theriverhouse.ch, www.hetras.com)
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Agilysys has released version 7.2 of its Lodging Management System (LMS). Enhancements have been made in accounting, housekeeping, online booking, operations, reporting and security, and include iPad check-in/check-out and an interface alert monitor. Other enhancements include:
– New folio transfer options;
– Ability to attach bill codes to LMS meal plans;
– Additional guest search options;
– Enhanced room attendant interface;
– Improved inventory display screens;
– Passport scanning capability;
– Enhanced accounts receivable functionality;
– New reporting features;
– Support of secondary casino ID within the Rainmaker yield management interface; and
– Compliance with the MasterCard/Discover partial authorization mandate.
In addition, LMS 7.2 has an improved LMS ResNet online booking module, which now includes suggestive selling functionality, multiple room booking capabilities, Web check-in improvements, a Web check-out component and additional special request functionality.
(www.agilysys.com)
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Hotels’ failure to invest in GMS training has a direct impact on their bottom line, according to new research from Hilary Murphy and Karolin Pucciani at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. The report emphasizes that Guest Management Systems are “the key technology for hotels and a significant source of not only customer data but also operational data that can help the strategic and operational decision making of hotels.” Unfortunately, most are not exploited to their full potential.
The survey of about 150 mid-scale and up-scale hotels around the world reported that most hotels (65%) had no budget for GMS training in 2011, and 32% of them offered no GMS training at all to their employees. 40% provided up to 3 training days per year. Most training is conducted internally rather than using the GMS providers.
Analysis of the results shows that hotels show higher occupancy levels when they allocate more budget to training for PMS, and are higher still when a combination of both in- house training and GMS vendor training is employed. Statistically significant relationship also indicated that as the GMS training budget is increased, hotel revenues increase as well and in a much higher ratio than the input budget. Revenues of hotels are much higher as the GMS training budget rises above 5,000 Euros per year. (www.ehl.edu)
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The 359-unit Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, WY is implementing Northwind’s Maestro suite following its takeover by Benchmark Hospitality. The operation includes a 204-room hotel, 3 condominium properties, 30,000 sq ft of conference space and extensive guest activity facilities. (www.snowking.com, www.maestropms.com)
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IDS NEXT has launched a new version of its Hotel ERP, FortuneNEXT6i. The new application is built for virtualization, can be run on any tablet and has a built-in report writer that enables the extraction and presentation of data in a visually appealing manner. FortuneNEXT6i also includes IDS NEXT’s mobile-focused Envy Dine e-menu application for restaurants, and is PA DSS Compliant, though this is not currently required by Indian regulation. (www.idsnext.com)
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IJWS (It Just Works Software) has released its Passbook Reservation functionality to take advantage of the Passbook ticket/confirmation functionality of Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system for iPhones and iPads, a holding area for boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, loyalty cards and more. IJWS’s Passbook Reservation software adds a link to IJWS’s landing page to existing confirmation emails, allowing guests to download their reservation pass. On arrival at the hotel, iOS will automatically remind the guest of the reservation pass, even if the device is locked. Swiping the notification brings up the reservation pass; scanning it at an IJWS kiosk will enter the guest’s information, allowing for a faster check-in. The back of the pass card shows further details about the reservation and the hotel, with hyperlinks for addresses, phone numbers, dates and email addresses. When the guest checks in, the pass is updated with his or her room number, with directions to the room added to the back of the pass. When the guest cancels or checks out, the pass is also updated to indicate these changes. (www.ijws.com)
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The 80-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Duncan, OK has opened with OpenWays mobile phone-based room keys. The property is owned and operated by Apollo Hospitality Firm of Ardmore, Okla. (www.apollohospitalityi.net, www.OpenWays.com)
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PAR Springer-Miller Systems has appointed FAMA Technologies as its exclusive distributor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. FAMA Technologies provides software, infrastructure and consulting services to the hospitality, leisure, retail and public sectors. In addition to its headquarters in Riyadh, FAMA Technologies has branch offices in Al Khobar and Jeddah. (www.famatechnologies.com, www.springermiller.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • BackBid named one of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s top travel websites
  • MSI announces over $10 million in revenues recorded this year through its WebRES online booking engine
  • Global Hotel Exchange releases interfaces with Trust International, Sceptre Hospitality
  • RoomKey adds La Quinta Inns & Suites, Millennium Hotels & Resorts and The Leading Hotels of the World
  • TravelClick interfaces iHotelier web booking engine with Room Key
  • FastBooking enhances FastBooking Engine Lux online booking engine
  • Genares chooses SiteMinder’s Room Distribution Exchange (RDX)
  • Steigenberger moving back to Trust International’s CRS
  • Asiana Place, Chennai signs with Pegasus for distribution, online booking, and commission processing services

BackBid has been named one of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s top travel websites, one of seven hotel-specific companies included.  BackBid allows travelers to post an existing reservation and travel preferences online; hotels can review them and submit alternative offers directly to the traveler. (www.backbid.com)
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MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) announced that over $10 million in revenues has been recorded year-to-date from reservations booked through its WebRES online booking engine. (www.msisolutions.com)
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Global Hotel Exchange has released interfaces with Trust International and with Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ Windsurfer CRS, adding several thousand hotels to its distribution network. (www.trustinternational.com, www.sceptrehospitality.com, www.globalhotelexchange.com)
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RoomKey has added La Quinta Inns & Suites, Millennium Hotels & Resorts and The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) as partners, effectively doubling the number of properties available.
TravelClick announced that it has interfaced its web booking engine with Room Key, allowing users to display real-time, best available rates and inventory on the Room Key website. This partnership will enable participating properties to be featured with a “Book at this Hotel’s Official Website” button directing customers to book reservations directly through the property’s iHotelier web booking engine, with rates and inventory managed via TravelClick’s iHotelier platform.
(www.TravelClick.com, www.roomkey.com)
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FastBooking has announced enhancements to its FastBooking Engine Lux online booking engine. Improvements include:
– Flexible offer displays that let users sort by price or room type.
– A redesigned Hotel Details section including hotel amenities, an interactive location map and photos.
– An improved Room Display with clearer information breakdown and room feature view including images.
– a re-positioned Total Price Breakdown  to improve page logic and optimize user flow.
(www.fastbooking.net)
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Genares has chosen SiteMinder’s Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) for direct, two-way connectivity with leading booking sites. (www.rdxglobal.com, www.genares.com)
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Steigenberger Hotel Group is moving back to Trust International’s CRS after a five-year hiatus; it was a founding hotel member of Trust. The company operates 80 hotels in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Egypt under the flags of Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts (46 First Class and Deluxe Hotels) and InterCityHotel (33 upper mid-range hotels close to transport hubs such as railway stations and airports). (www.steigenbergerhotelgroup.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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The 54-room Asiana Place in Chennai has signed with Pegasus Solutions for global distribution, online booking, and commission processing services. (www.asianaplace.com, www.pegs.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Passkey’s GroupMAX and GroupMAX ME receive 2012 WMA Standard of Excellence Awards
  • Market Metrix partners with ReviewPro
  • WIHP Hotels adds Trivago to channels monitored for advertising effectiveness
  • Digital Alchemy partners with Stash Hotel Rewards
  • Glacier Park implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope at nine sites in Glacier National Park, MT
  • Traxo acquires GoMiles
  • Meliá Hotels International signs technology partnership agreement with Microsoft Ibérica
  • Lodging Interactive receives awards from Travel Weekly, MA and International Academy of the Visual Arts
  • Seven hotels sign with Appnostic for SocialBooker marketing and in-Facebook booking

Passkey’s GroupMAX and GroupMAX ME have received 2012 Web Marketing Association (WMA) Standard of Excellence Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development in the Hotel and Lodging sector. (www.passkey.com)
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Market Metrix has partnered with ReviewPro to let its clients track online reputation with ReviewPro’s Global Review Index. ReviewPro clients in turn can use MarketMetrix’s survey tool to solicit and process direct customer feedback. (www.marketmetrix.com, www.reviewpro.com)
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WIHP Hotels has added Trivago’s booking site to the channels it monitors for advertising effectiveness. WIHP’s DirectPack services help hotels optimize their ad campaign spend to those channels with the best ROI, capturing qualified traffic directly for hotel websites to increase direct bookings across a range of channels from Google and Yahoo to TripAdvisor and Trivago. (www.trivago.com, www.wihphotel.com)
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Digital Alchemy is partnering with Stash Hotel Rewards to streamline loyalty account management. The integration allows hotels using Digital Alchemy to display Stash Hotel Rewards Points earned for each stay on a guest’s reservation confirmation messaging. Guests who aren’t Stash members are notified how many points they could be earning. The Lenox, Boston has already implemented the Smart-Messaging Integration. (www.stashrewards.com, www.Data2Gold.com)
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Glacier Park, Inc. has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope guest feedback survey system for the nine lodges, inns and hotels it operates in Glacier National Park, Montana.  (www.glacierparkinc.com, www.unifocus.com )
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Traxo has acquired GoMiles, which helps travelers manage their frequent flyer miles in one place, protect them from expiring, earn more miles faster, and redeem smarter. Traxo detects and aggregates personal travel information including itineraries, miles, points and elite status automatically from over 160 different travel websites, and accepts travel confirmation emails from over 1,300 travel providers, organizing it into a single travel dashboard. (www.traxo.com, www.gomiles.com)
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Meliá Hotels International has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft Ibérica for its 350 hotels. The agreement includes the creation of an Office 365-based technological infrastructure and the evaluation of a digital marketing platform to offer a 360º view of customers with integrated marketing activity management. Other projects will focus on enriching the guest experience, such as the creation of virtual hotel receptions offering information on attractions, events, restaurants, flights, etc. and evaluating technologies such as augmented reality and geolocation. Both companies will also work on the development of technologies for the so-called “hotel room of the future”. Meliá hotels may also add new entertainment and communication areas using the Xbox, Kinect, PixelSense, MSN, Skype and other applications for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The hotel company will also have preferential access to the services of the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Tourism Technologies in Palma de Mallorca, and will work with Microsoft to develop advanced technology applications. (www.melia.com, www.microsoft.com)
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Lodging Interactive has received awards for its website design and development work from Travel Weekly, the Web Marketing Association and the International Academy of the Visual Arts, as follows:
– Courtyard by Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach in Florida:
Silver Magellan Award / Travel Weekly
 2012 Web Award / Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence/Web Marketing Assn.
2012 Silver Award / Creative Excellence in Hotel and Lodging/International Academy of the Visual Arts
– Marriott Burlington in Massachusetts:
2012 Web Award / Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence/Web Marketing Assn.
Lodging Interactive also received a Silver Award from the International Academy of the Visual Arts for its Guest Review System, which alerts hotel management in real time when reviews are posted to their web sites.
(www.lodginginteractive.com)
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Seven hotels have signed with Appnostic for its SocialBooker marketing and in-Facebook booking platform: the six hotels of San Francisco-based Personality Hotels, and The Kitano, New York City’s only Japanese-owned hotel. SocialBooker provides social media marketing and distribution services, including community management, social booking engine integration, tracking and analytics. (www.personalityhotels.com, www.kitano.com, www.appnostic.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Duetto Research launches cloud-based Duetto Edge revenue management/optimization application
  • Fujita Kanko contracts with FastBooking
  • Travel Tripper to add channel management functionality to RezTrip
  • iRates wins Innovator Award at EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit
  • Best Western picks RateGain to expand online channel exposure in Asia & Middle East
  • Loews Hollywood Hotel to implement IDeaS
  • Hay-Adams hotel, Washington, DC to implement IDeaS
  • Jin Jiang partners with IDeaS for revenue management systems and consulting services
  • Inntopia launches YieldView yield management for activities, lift tickets, etc.

Duetto Research has launched its cloud-based Duetto Edge revenue management/optimization application. Features include:
– Algorithms that recommend actions to increase rates, expand occupancy and optimize channel mix.
– On-demand visualizations of future demand patterns.
– Automated Edge Alerts to inform users of channel outages or rate parity discrepancies to take corrective actions.
Sonesta has been testing Duetto at its new Sonesta ES Suites extended stay brand since August. (www.sonesta.com, www.duettoresearch.com)
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Fujita Kanko has contracted with FastBooking for new websites, GDS connectivity and channel management services for its hotels in Japan. The website for the Shinjuku Washington Hotel went live during the summer; all remaining hotel sites will be completed in the winter. The FastBooking-proprietary platform enables hoteliers to manage their Internet and GDS inventories from a central management interface, rather than from a separate GDS access. FastBooking’s Updater channel management tool is being implemented at selected hotels. (www.fastbooking.net)
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Travel Tripper announced plans to launch full channel management functionality within its RezTrip central reservation system in November, including two-way real-time distribution to hundreds of online travel agents and third party travel sites as well as a direct interfaces into the RezTrip CRS and property GMS.  (www.traveltripper.com)
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iRates has won this year’s Innovator Award at the EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit. The revenue management company targets its system at small to mid-tier hospitality firms, introduced its product lat year in the USA and now plans to grow its market around the world. (www.eyefortravel.com, www.i-rates.com)
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Best Western International has chosen RateGain to expand its online channel exposure in Asia & Middle East. (www.bestwestern.com , www.rategain.com)
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The 632-room Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles will implement IDeaS Revenue Solutions Revenue Management System (RMS). The property was acquired by Loews this spring.
The 145-room Hay-Adams hotel across from the White House in Washington, DC is implementing IDeaS’ Revenue Management System (RMS). The installation is expected to be complete later this year.
Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company, China’s largest domestic hotel group and the 9th largest hotel company in the world, has partnered with IDeaS for revenue management systems and consulting services. Jin Jiang operates over 110 hotels and more than 700 limited service properties in over 200 cities across China, including the Fairmont Peace Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Shanghai. IDeaS has delivered a report and 18-month road map for increasing Jin Jiang’s revenue management expertise, including workshops for top executives, senior sales and marketing staff and general managers. Initially five Jin Jiang hotels are deploying IDeaS’ Virtual Revenue Management services to help build a revenue management base and develop appropriate pricing strategies.
(www.loewshotels.com, www.hayadams.com, www.jinjianghotels.com, www.ideas.com)
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Inntopia has launched YieldView, a new feature of its Inntopia.IBE e-commerce platform that offers yield management for activities, lift tickets, etc. Website visitors can view pricing, discounts, and availability on a calendar screen, and commit to their dates in advance. The system supports an unlimited number of pricing tiers for each date offered, and pricing and availability is managed through the Inntopia.RMS system. Functionality includes:
• Dozens of activity and service categories – lift passes, lessons, events, spa services, activities, ground transportation, and more.
• Integration with RTP|One,  Siriusware or SKIDATA for automated fulfillment.
• Integration into Inntopia.IBE for upsell into lodging packages and other resort offerings.
• Integration into Inntopia.CRS for reservation agents to handle cancellations and modifications, and take phone reservations.
• Cancellation and payment policies can differ by pricing tier, date, and other criteria.
• Unlimited number of pricing tiers.
• Optional payment gateway integration for automated payment processing.
• Optional distribution to Tour Operators, Travel Agents, and online retailers.
• Multi-lingual capabilities include: English, Canadian French, European French, German, and Italian.
• Support for any currency.
The Inntopia system is the leading advanced reservation platform in the destination industry, powering ski resorts, destination management organizations, tour operators, and travel suppliers. The Inntopia platform enables access to all of the travel related supply in a destination, and then offers a suite of sales and back office tools to efficiently manage a business. (corp.inntopia.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Marriott launches Workspring at Marriott small meeting workspace concept with Steelcase
  • Highpointe Hotel Corp implements hotel SalesPro  across 15 properties
  • Info Salons and Passkey release joint Group/MICE hotel booking service for Greater China

Marriott Hotels & Resorts has launched Workspring at Marriott, a “re-imagining” of small meeting workspaces in partnership with Steelcase. The concept integrates service, technology and contemporary design, and covers all aspects of the space from technology and wireless access to sustainably-produced office supplies and locally-sourced, healthy food and beverages. The Redmond Marriott Town Center, near Seattle, is the first hotel to offer the small meetings suite. (www.workspringatmarriott.com)
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Highpointe Hotel Corporation has implemented hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro to centralize sales operations across its 15 properties, which operate under four flags in three states. (www.highpointe.com, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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Exhibition IT service provider Info Salons and Passkey have released their joint Group/MICE hotel booking service for Greater China. Info Salons entered this market in 2006; in 2012 it provided IT services to over 130 large-scale exhibitions and conferences, including database management and visitors’ registration.  Adding Passkey’s reservation functionality will allow Info Salons to offer one-stop business travel registration for event visitors and delegates. (www.infosalonsgroup.com , www.passkey.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • MICROS integrates Isis’ SmartTap NFC mobile commerce readers into Simphony POS
  • NCR selects Socket Mobile barcode scanner for NCR Silver cloud-based POS
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MICROS Systems has integrated Isis’ SmartTap mobile commerce application into its Simphony POS platform, allowing consumers to make purchases, redeem offers and present loyalty cards with the single tap of their smartphone. ARAMARK’s Basking Ridge location was the first F&B site to implement the integration, using a MICROS Workstation 5A with an NFC enabled reader at each of its 10 lanes. (www.aramark.com, www.paywithisis.com, www.micros.com)
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NCR Corp has selected Socket Mobile’s Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7Ci barcode scanner for use with its NCR Silver cloud-based POS platform. The CHS 7Ci is part of a complete NCR Silver hardware offering that includes a wireless receipt printer, iPad stand, cash drawer and encrypted credit card reader. (www.socketmobile.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Sofitel Sydney Wentworth installs MTech’s HotSOS
  • FAVI Entertainment announces SmartStick plug-in device to convert HDTVs to SmartTVs
  • Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park implements Flyte Systems’ EventBoard
  • Bally Technologies makes mobile apps created for Mount Airy Casino Resort available for download
  • Aloft Hotels installs Intelity’s ICE on lobby kiosks in 26 hotels, plans to install in all sites

The 436-room Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel has installed MTech’s Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS) from McLaren Technologies. (www.sofitelsydney.com.au, www.mclarenint.com, www.m-tech.com )
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FAVI Entertainment has announced its SmartStick device which plugs into an HDTV’s HDMI port to convert it to a SmartTV with access to movies, music, apps and games via the Android OS.  SmartStick offers thousands of apps including movie streaming via Netflix, HULU or EPIX, music streaming via Pandora or Spotify, video streaming via You Tube, and social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. SmartStick also includes a full Internet browser and 4GB of built-in memory, plus the MediaSHARE app that lets users wirelessly deliver movies, music and photos directly to the TV. Available accessories include a wireless keyboard complete with touch pad for easier web browsing. (www.favientertainment.com)
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The Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park (RTP) has implemented Flyte Systems’ EventBoard display, which combines property events and way-finding with FlyteBoard real-time airline flight information, plus weather, news, and notices or promotions. (www.hilton.com/RDU_Airport, www.flytesystems.com)
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Bally Technologies has announced that the Apple and Android mobile apps it created for Mount Airy Casino Resort are now available for download, along with a new mobile website. The Mount Airy Casino Resort apps enable users to view benefits, rewards and sign up instantly for the Player’s Club, view and book a room on-the-go, view dining menus before leaving for the restaurant, review Mount Airy’s nightlife events, view promotions, get directions with GPS mapping and catch up on social media. The apps also include a mobile play-for-fun version of Bally’s Cash Spin video slot, as well as casino gaming information, feedback surveys and more. (www.mountairycasino.com, www.ballytech.com)
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Aloft Hotels has now installed Intelity’s Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) on lobby kiosks in 26 Aloft hotels internationally, and plans to eventually install in all sites. (aloft.starwoodhotels.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • UniFocus now has clients in more than 100 countries
  • InvoTech adds portable UHF-RFID handheld reader to linen/uniform tracking system

UniFocus announced that it now has active Time and Attendance, Labor Management and Survey Solutions clients in more than 100 countries on six continents across the globe. ( www.unifocus.com)
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InvoTech has added a portable UHF-RFID handheld reader to its linen/uniform tracking system. The wireless reader can inventory a large linen storeroom in minutes, communicating with InvoTech’s database via Wi-Fi. (www.invotech.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Fourth acquires Adaco
  • Bel-Air Country Club of Los Angeles implements Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory system

Fourth has acquired Adaco. With more than 400 customers in 54 countries, Adaco will continue to operate from its Connecticut base and will become the operating base for Fourth USA. With nearly 250 employees, the combined businesses will have access to more resources in development and customer support, across Europe and the US, as well as the financial support of ECI Partners, a leading private equity firm. Fourth is a global SaaS provider of labor, payroll, inventory and procurement systems for the restaurant/bar, hotel, contract catering and leisure markets. (www.adaco.com, www.fourthhospitality.com)
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The Bel-Air Country Club of Los Angeles has implemented Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE perpetual inventory system, integrated with its Clubsystems Group (CSG) club management software.  The integration exports Clear Sky product receiving information to the CSG accounts payable and returns CSG revenue data to Clear Sky for beverage cost reporting. (www.bel-aircc.org, www.clearskysoftware.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • SynergyMMS links with Control Green to monitor guestroom equipment, create pre-emptive work orders

System Associates has linked its SynergyMMS with Control Green to monitor guestroom equipment and dispatch staff before issues become a guest complaint. Control Green’s cloud-based software provides web-based monitoring and reporting on energy consumption and equipment status in guestrooms, communicating potential equipment failure data to SynergyMMS to schedule the appropriate preventive maintenance tasks. The multilingual software interfaces to common property-management systems on the market. (www.controlgreen.com, www.synergymms.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • HTNG launches new work group for design/deployment of fiber-optic networks within hotels
  • Clearview Networks standardizes on ElevenOS for guest Internet access at hotels in North America
  • TigerTMS acquires Innovation Technologies Worldwide

Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has launched a new work group focused on the design and deployment of fiber-optic networks within hotels.  The group will generate educational resources and tools for hoteliers, network consultants and integrators to help them evaluate fiber options versus traditional copper cabling in both new-build and retrofit projects.  Planned resources will include best practice documents, design guides, a bandwidth calculator tool and webinars.  Many of these items will be available for general use, while some will require HTNG membership.
Hotel companies supporting this effort include Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Firmdale Hotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Maybourne Hotel Group, Omni Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and White Lodging. Vendor participants include AT&T, Cisco Systems, Corning MobileAccess, DCI Design Communications Inc., Engineering Plus, Enseo, Guest-Tek, Life|ware, Lufthansa Systems, Media Communications, Network Technologies, Inc., Quadriga, Ruckus Wireless, SOLiD Technologies, Swisscom, The Conceptual Group, Windstream Hospitality and Zhone Technologies. For more information about this effort, visit the workgroup’s wiki page: http://wiki.htng.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Fiber_to_the_Room. Anyone wishing to participate in this effort should visit the association’s website at http://htng.org/join-a-forumworkgroup
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Clearview Networks has standardized on ElevenOS, Eleven Wireless’ above-property software platform, for managing guest High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) across its guest networks at hotels in North America. Eleven collaborated closely with Clearview on their first joint guest Internet implementation under Marriott’s new brand standards. Clearview plans to convert all of their existing properties to ElevenOS over a 90-day timeframe. (www.elevenwireless.com, www.clearviewnetworks.com)
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TigerTMS has acquired Innovation Technologies Worldwide, creating what it claims is the world’s largest single supplier of hospitality communication systems with over 15,000 property clients including 9 of the 10 largest hotel chains. Founded in 1991, Innovation Technologies Worldwide (ITW) launched the InnLine voicemail system for hotels and motels. All existing ITW products and supporting modules will continue to be supported and developed. TigerTMS has retained all staff at Innovation offices in Cross Plains and will make no changes to the agreements in place with the 150 system integrators and distributors of ITW solutions across the US. (www.innovationtw.com, www.tigertms.com)
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SECURITY

  • OpenWays announces LOCKFIX upgrade to remedy security flaws in Onity guestroom door locks
  • Lodging Access Systems acquires RFID Hotel
  • Swann unveils SwannSmart and SwannEye wireless network cameras
  • VingCard Elsafe provides Signature RFID locks and VISIONLINE software to Give Kids The World Village

OpenWays has announced its LOCKFIX upgrade kit to remedy recently-exposed security flaws in Onity’s guestroom door locks. The kit is offered as a no-cost add-on to Openways-equipped Onity locks (which allow a guest’s phone to be used as the room key) and isolates the lock’s vulnerable data port until an authorized phone is used to re-activate it. OpenWays has had LOCKFIX verified by independent security audit firms. (www.openways.com)
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Lodging Access Systems has acquired RFID Hotel, a supplier of RFID keycards and credentials to the hospitality industry. RFID Hotel has an exclusive joint venture agreement with a premier manufacturer of RFID cards and credentials to represent their products in North America. (www.RFIDhotel.com)
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Swann has unveiled two new wireless network cameras, the SwannSmart Wi-Fi network camera with secure cloud storage and the SwannEye smartphone-controllable wireless IP network camera. Both come with smartphone/tablet apps to allow remote monitoring of businesses. (www.swann.com)
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VingCard Elsafe has provided 140 Signature RFID locks and VISIONLINE software to outfit villas at the Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) in Kissimmee, Florida. The Village opened in 1989 and is now a 70-acre resort with 140 villas, entertainment attractions and activities designed for children with special needs. (www.gktw.org, www.vingcardelsafe.com)
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