October 22, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Engineering

OCTOBER 9 – 22, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Working together: HTNG’s on a roll

It’s always fascinating how much you can learn from listening to different points of view – and no, this isn’t a post about what we used to call our “government”. HTNG has been bringing multiple viewpoints together to benefit systems inter-operability for over a decade, and it’s been on something of a roll lately. Four examples:
– Its recent Software Forum meeting (held a couple of weeks ago at Guestware’s offices in Seattle) hosted some very informative discussions, mostly around the challenges and opportunities of remotely-hosted systems and on multi-party payment protocols. With some formal presentations from specialist third parties setting the background, the informal discussions between many different hotel and vendor representatives really helped clarify what works now, what doesn’t and what we need to define to understand the middle ground more clearly. Great sessions.
– HTNG announced its Strategic Leadership Engagement Series for vendors wanting to engage in dialogs with the hotelier CIOs on its Board. While similar in concept to the Benefactor series in that vendors who contribute significantly to the organization gain direct time with the CIOs, the new program brings up to three appropriate vendors into a three-hour summit session focused on a single area of technology. Single-vendor presentations will be followed by a 75-minute moderated discussion on the topic between the CIOs and all three vendors. Should be very educational.
– Its recent Middle East conference was a success, with almost double the attendance from the previous one two years ago, many more exhibitors and an excellent variety of speakers from outside IT and outside hospitality.  Different points of view come from all kinds of sources.
– HTNG’s 2013B Web Services specifications were just released, highlighting five updates:
– Kiosk Integration v2.1, covering interfaces between hotel kiosks and PMSs, now includes expanded roles and additional system types.
  – Product Distribution Availability v4.0, covering the exchange of availability information between systems, now also includes inventory information, which used to be contained in a separate spec.
– Product Distribution Groups v2.0, covering the exchange of group information, has been broken out into its own, standalone document and illustrates more comprehensive use cases.
  – Product Distribution Rates v2.0, covering the exchange of rate information, is also now its own, standalone document with more comprehensive use cases.
  – Product Distribution: this collection now excludes the Availability, Inventory, Groups and Rates specifications, as above, and the Reservations and Seamless Shop/Book specs have minor updates.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Christopher Kemp joins innRoad as Director of Sales, South Central US
  • Sandra Ries hired as Account Executive by Flyte Systems
  • Mark Fetcenko becomes VP Operations and Technical Services at Guest-tek
  • Klaus Kohlmayr joins TSA Solutions as Chief Commercial Officer
  • Steve Green joins TSA Solutions as Director of Business Development, Americas
  • Vizergy adds five staff members:
    – Paul Fraser, Director of Product Management
    -Sean Taylor, Senior Manager of Creative
    -Danielle Stumpff, Director of Accounting and Finance
    -Steve Buckler, Regional Director of Sales
    – Piper Perry Farr, Manager of Transactional Sales

Christopher Kemp has joined innRoad as Director of Sales, South Central US. Having worked in hospitality sales for the past 11+ years with companies such as Millennium Hotels, Hilton Hotels and US Property Management, Mr. Kemp was most recently Director of Hospitality for Cotton Logistics, overseeing four Lodges across Texas that provided housing for the oil field service industry, which he will now oversee nationally for innRoad.
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Sandra Ries has been hired as Account Executive by Flyte Systems, based in Chicago. Ms. Ries brings valuable experience from her previous roles with Midway Airlines, Galileo, and UBM Aviation.
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Mark Fetcenko is the new Vice President of Operations and Technical Services at Guest-tek. Bringing more than three decades of telecommunications business experience, for the past nine years Mr. Fetcenko has served Sonifi Solutions (formerly LodgeNet) as Senior VP of Technical Operations. He began his career in 1979 when he joined General Electric Mobile Radio Communications, and later served with organizations as Serena Software, WFI, Formus Communications and Nextel. He joined the media space in 2004 with OnCOMMAND.
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Klaus Kohlmayr and Steve Green have joined revenue performance vendor TSA Solutions and will head up the company’s new Americas headquarters.
Mr. Kohlmayr joins as Chief Commercial Officer, and brings over two decades of experience in revenue management, distribution and pricing for properties and groups in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Mr. Green is the new Director of Business Development, Americas, and brings over 15 years’ hospitality experience with IDeaS, Sofitel, Hyatt, Interstate Hotels and Wyndham.
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Vizergy has added several new members to its team.
– Paul Fraser joins as Director of Product Management, bringing more than 15 years of digital marketing and hotel management experience gained in senior roles with Accor, IHG and PHR Hotels and Resorts.
-Sean Taylor leads the design team as Senior Manager of Creative. He was previously a graphic designer for five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
-Danielle Stumpff is the new Director of Accounting and Finance. Prior to joining Vizergy she held senior positions for nearly 19 years, most recently at MECLABS and its suite of affiliated companies (Marketing Experiments, Marketing Sherpa, and InTouch).
-Steve Buckler joins as Regional Director of Sales, covering the New England area as well as Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Ontario. He has previously worked in senior executive level positions with companies such as Hyatt, Pan Pacific Hotels and Broughton Hospitality.
– Piper Perry Farr is the new Manager of Transactional Sales, and has a strong background as Director of Sales and Marketing at several properties.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Ruby Hotels picks hetras as brand standard

Munich-based Ruby Hotels has selected hetras as its brand standard for hotel management software. The first Ruby Hotel is scheduled to open in February 2014 in central Vienna, as part of the re-development of the Sofiensäle. (www.hetras.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Luxury Hotels Group signs with Pegasus for GDS distribution services
  • Compass Hospitality switches 28 hotels to Pegasus
  • Visit Knoxville to use Regatta booking engine 
  • Regatta Travel Solutions release booking engine aimed at groups, convention and sports housing
  • Magnuson Worldwide launches CRS1 global hotel reservation system

London-based Luxury Hotels Group has signed with Pegasus Solutions for GDS distribution services under the LU chain code, for its three hotels: London City Suites by Montcalm, The Marble Arch by Montcalm and The Park Grand London Hyde Park Hotel.
Bangkok-based Compass Hospitality has switched 28 hotels to Pegasus Solutions for global distribution services. Compass has a portfolio of 3- to 5-star hotels, resorts, serviced apartments and spas in Thailand and Malaysia.
(www.luxurygroup.com, www.compasshospitality.com, www.pegs.com)
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Visit Knoxville has signed an agreement with Regatta Travel Solutions to use the Regatta booking engine on its official website, which is scheduled to launch on November 1st. Visit Knoxville will also use Regatta’s new groups, convention and sports housing solutions.
Regatta Travel Solutions has released a new booking engine aimed at the groups, convention and sports housing segments.
(visitknoxville.com, www.regattatravelsolutions.com)
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Magnuson Worldwide has launched its CRS1 global hotel reservation system, initially as a limited launch in the UK and offering flat fees per transaction with volume based pricing. CRS1 lets hotels make instant rate and availability changes on all GDS channels as well as via direct connections to Google Hotel Finder, Expedia, Booking.com, GlobalHotelExchange.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. CRS1 is certified to interface with PMSs that include Micros, MSI, Infor by SoftBrands, Maestro, Agilysys, Inn Quest, RezStream, Rezovation, Lodgical Solutions, Innsoft, AutoClerk, Resort Data Processing, SoftHotel and RSI. (www.magnusonhotels.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TrustYou report compares Q3 user-generated hotel reviews to last year ‘s
  • Simpleview adds TrustYou reports to its DMO marketing software and services
  • Compass Hospitality signs with ReviewPro for 45 properties
  • TripAdvisor acquires Oyster.com
  • Protel A.S. releases Ustay+ guest-messaging app for MICROS Opera
  • HeBS Digital receives five Silver 2013 W³ Awards

TrustYou has published a report comparing user-generated hotel reviews in the last quarter with those from the same period last year. The report, prepared in conjunction with Donna Quadri-Felitti at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center, is based on more than 250,000 reviews of US-based hotels from 250-plus sources. Highlights include:
– Travelers are writing less: about 9% fewer reviews were written compared to last year.
– Travelers are (somewhat) kinder: there was a 2% increase in overall review scores.  The highest TrustScores were from New York (90.50), Orlando (88.98) and Chicago (88.12); the most improved were Tampa-St.Petersburg (+3.6%), New Orleans (+3.2%), and Philadelphia (+2.6%).
– Hoteliers are responding more often: management response rates have increased by double-digit percentages, sending travelers a clear sign that they are being heard.  In particular hoteliers in the Midwest, led by Chicago and Minneapolis, increased the volume of management responses by over 15 percentage points.
– Five-Star reviews are harder to come by: despite the small overall increase in scores, across all markets and regions consumers are less likely to rate their hotel experiences as five-stars, with some hotels seeing double-digit declines in five-star reviews.
– Pricing is not a pain point for most: for 14 of the 25 major markets, pricing is not a sore spot for consumers, indicating possible revenue opportunities.
Simpleview has added TrustYou’s reputation management reports to its marketing software and services offerings for destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
(www.simpleviewinc.com, www.trustyou.com)
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Compass Hospitality has signed with ReviewPro for the 45 properties it operates in Thailand and Malaysia.  (www.compasshospitality.com, www.reviewpro.com)
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TripAdvisor has acquired hotel review website Oyster.com, which specialized in providing reviews and “un-doctored” photos covering properties in about 150 cities. Oyster will continue to operate out of New York and will be incorporated into Smarter Travel Media. (www.oyster.com, www.tripadvisor.com)
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Micros’ Turkish distributor, Protel A.S., has released its Ustay+ app for MICROS Opera, allowing hotels to deliver offers and services to their guests before, during and after their stay. Ustay+ MICROS Opera was developed in partnership with Mobile Media Applications, runs on iOS and Android devices and allows guests to make real time bookings and get confirmation. Hotels can then offer room upgrades and local tourist information, and follow-up post-stay with a customer satisfaction survey, offers of reward points for future bookings and more. During their stay guests can receive personalized offers and event updates based on the demographics stored in the hotel’s Opera system.  The app also provides hotels with an extra channel to measure monthly revenue reports and an analytics dashboard to track and measure guests’ behavior. (www.mobilemediaapplications.com, www.protel.com.tr/en/)
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HeBS Digital has received five Silver 2013W³ Awards in the “Hotel and Lodging” category from the International Academy of Visual Arts for:
– Le Parc Suite Hotel
– Swissôtel Chicago
– Virginia Beach Vacation Rentals
– The Roger New York
– Indian Wells
(www.hebsdigital.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Indian OTA Cleartrip integrates with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect services
  • San Carlos hotel selects eRevMax’s RateTiger, RateTiger Review
  • Mandarin Orchard Singapore selects Infor’s EzRMS
  • Anantara picks SiteMinder’s Channel Manager
  • RateGain incorporates wholesaler GTA’s Supplier API into RezGain channel management

Indian OTA Cleartrip has integrated with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect connectivity services, allowing its hotel partners to make real-time ARI updates and receive bookings directly into its property management system.
New York’s 157-room San Carlos hotel has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger and RateTiger Review to manage its rate and room inventory updates across online sales channels, access market data for rate optimization and monitor its online reputation. Reservations generated from the OTA channels will be delivered directly into the hotel’s PMS.
(www.sancarloshotel.com, www.cleartrip.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Mandarin Orchard Singapore has selected Infor’s EzRMS, including its EzQUOTE, EzBUDGET, EzCONTRACT and EzCOMPETE modules. (www.meritushotels.com, www.infor.com)
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Anantara has picked SiteMinder’s Channel Manager to connect its Opera Central Reservation System (CRS) and IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) with online booking sites. Anantara currently operates 24 hotels and resorts across six countries. (www.anantara.com, www.siteminder.com)
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RateGain has incorporated global travel wholesaler GTA’s Supplier API into its RezGain channel management platform, letting RateGain’s hotel clients keep their availability and rates up to date and better manage reservations with tens of thousands of travel selling businesses using GTA’s booking systems. GTA is part of the Kuoni group. (www.gta-travel.com, www.rategain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • RoamingAround  releases Mobile Photo Share service
  • Groupize  unveils Groupize Live groups and meetings booking engine
  • SpeedRFP launches SpeedRFP Network portal

RoamingAround has released its Mobile Photo Share service, which lets event attendees instantly share photos on social media channels. Immediately a photo is taken, the image is sent via SMS/text messaging to the photo subject, who in turn can instantly upload the image (with a digitally-branded frame promoting the event) to his/her favorite social networking site. Mobile Photo Share software provides analytics to help measure the effectiveness and track added exposure of the campaign, and captures mobile phone numbers and other data for future marketing campaigns. The service can incorporate opt-in TCPA compliance for mobile SMS text campaigns, single and multi-redemption mobile offers, and the ability to digitally sign photo release waivers in real-time. (www.RoamingAround.com)
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Groupize has unveiled Groupize Live, a groups and meetings booking engine intended to allow end to end group management from online shopping and initial reservation, through communicating with the planner and contracting to check-in. Planners can access discounted group rates and check inventory in real time. Features include an automated quoting engine, a single dashboard for leads and confirmed groups, sales automation for sales and catering requests, customer communications including notes and attachments. (www.groupize.com)
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SpeedRFP has launched its SpeedRFP Network, a portal for hotels focused on group business. Features include a smart search and refine functionality, and shortcuts to help buyers locate and connect directly with group-focused venues. The site aims to minimize eRFP “lead spam” by incorporating filters and tool tips to educate buyers on the issue, and to minimize duplicate and nonqualified RFPs. (www.SpeedRFP.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • ReServe Interactive’s Table iQ a MobITs Awards finalist
  • Guestline announces next generation EPoS
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ReServe Interactive’s Table iQ table management software for the iPad, has been selected as a MobITs Awards finalist in the category of Best Customer Experience Management. Table iQ automatically maximizes seating capacity and table turns while minimizing table idle time. Table iQ allows host staff to check in guests and update table status as they walk the dining room floor, speeding up table turns and increasing wait staff productivity. Actions on one iPad instantly sync to any other iPad running Table iQ to improve communication. Table iQ integrates with ReServe Interactive’s online dining reservations software, and can also send text messages to guest mobile phones when tables are ready for seating. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
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Guestline has announced its next generation EPoS system. New features include complete integration with its Rezlynx PMS, optimization on all handheld and mobile devices, detailed reporting and analysis of stock and billing information and enhanced security and management operations. The new system has been installed in the 270-room Sydney Boulevard Hotel and the Arts Hotel in Sydney. (www.guestline.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • LOCATEL’s Eclipse Cloud TV now powered by Anevia CloudTV for Hospitality
  • Holiday Inn Express Amarillo, Holiday Inn Express Amarillo West Medical Center install ElevenGC
  • Ascension Software releases ORION Amenity InStay Services

LOCATEL’s Eclipse Cloud TV is now powered by Anevia CloudTV for Hospitality service, which allows hotels to add or change subscribed TV channels simply and as often as they like, whether adding new channels temporarily for a foreign group or to broadcast a major sporting event. Requested TV content is managed in a remote data center and sent to the hotel through a single fiber optic cable. (www.anevia.com, www.locatel.net)
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The Holiday Inn Express Amarillo and Holiday Inn Express Amarillo West Medical Center have installed ElevenGC’s iMac units in their business centers. (hiexpress.com, elevenwireless.com)
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Ascension Software has released its ORION Amenity InStay Services, an online amenity gift management platform. Guests can shop for gifts at will on a secure, PCI-compliant online platform and in multiple languages. (www.ascensionsoftware.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Gateway Hospitality Group implementing hotel ServicePro in 18 properties

Gateway Hospitality Group is implementing hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro in its 18 properties, which include Hilton, Hyatt and Choice brands.  Gateway implemented the company’s hotel SalesPro in 2001.  (www.ghghotels.net, www.hotelsystemspro.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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