October 27, 2009

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Partnerships work; how closely are you working with your customers?

Ever since the Choice/Expedia blow-up I’ve been thinking more about how essential a partnership approach is today. Whatever the facts of that dispute, it’s pretty clear that an important missing ingredient to the discussions was a sense of partnership. Choice has room-nights and wants to sell them; Expedia wants to help, for a commission. What part of this are they missing? Expedia may have more to lose than Choice, but face-offs don’t help either side. Neither is making money while this drags on.
Partnerships work. The results achieved by HTNG’s workgroups are one example, though by no means the only one, of what can be achieved when competitors see a way for everyone to benefit, trust each other and work together to achieve that. Certainly my clients appreciate multi-vendor teams that cooperate well to implement an effective system, and are much more likely to buy from them in the future.
Lisa Barone emphasizes a different aspect of this, namely the value of developing a partnership relationship with your customers – see her blog at http://bit.ly/2xhMGd. Regular, meaningful interaction with customers to the extent that you can watch what they do may tell you that they actually don’t want all the bells and whistles you feel compelled to add to your product; often they just want to make existing functions work more simply. If something doesn’t work well for them they’ll quickly develop workarounds in Excel, Outlook or Google Documents that are easy to understand and get the job done.
This offers a whole different benefit to the refresher training I’m constantly urging clients to schedule with their vendors. The hotel staff will always benefit by learning how to operate their systems more effectively, but the vendor has a golden opportunity to find out what’s truly important to them on a day-to-day basis. You can’t always discover this by talking with them, but if you’re on site you can watch them and take a look at the work-arounds they find useful. Trust and a willingness to listen to each other are the keys.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Bob Bansfield joins MSI as Vice President of Corporate Sales & Marketing,/span>
  • Noreen Henry, Lesley Harris, Yannis Karmis promoted at Travelocity
  • Shirley Holman promoted to Director of Sales for Uniguest’s technology division
  • Jeff Soares hired by TeleAdapt as US business development manager

Bob Bansfield has joined MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) as Vice President of Corporate Sales & Marketing. Mr. Bansfield has over 25 years of hospitality industry experience, the majority of it with Hyatt Hotels, where he was most recently Vice President, Solutions Delivery.
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Noreen Henry has been promoted to senior vice president of Global Partner Marketing at Travelocity Global, replacing Paul Nelson who plans to leave the company at the end of the year. Ms. Henry was previously responsible for Travelocity’s North America Hotels and Packaging businesses; she joined Travelocity in 2001 and played an integral role in the launch of Travelocity’s merchant hotel program.
Lesley Harris, who currently leads Travelocity Business, will take over Ms. Henry’s former role as vice president of North America Hotels and Packaging. Ms. Harris most recently led Travelocity’s Sales and Customer Care; she joined Sabre in 1995 and has held various positions in finance, operations and sales at Sabre Travel Network.
Yannis Karmis has been promoted from heading Sabre Travel Network’s global customer care into Ms. Harris’ former position at the helm of Travelocity Business. Mr. Karmis has spent 12 years in various positions at Sabre Holdings and Sabre Travel Network, most recently as vice president of global customer support for Sabre Travel Network in Montevideo, Uruguay.
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Shirley Holman has been promoted to Director of Sales for Uniguest’s technology division. With 20 years experience in the hotel industry, Ms. Holman joined Uniguest in 2006 and most recently served as a Senior National Account Executive.
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Jeff Soares has been hired by TeleAdapt as its US business development manager, based in Sacramento, California. Mr. Soares most recently worked as a technical sales consultant for AT&T, and has also held account management positions with Corsa Network Technologies/SBS Networking and MCI, Inc.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • InnQuest releases Expedia QuickConnect interface for roomMaster 2000
  • South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa picks Agilysys’ LMS, DataMagine and Guest eMarketing
  • Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort selects SPI’s Orange Systems
  • Image Technology Systems implements two-way Visual Matrix interface with EzRMS
  • ResortSuite launches Dashboards
  • Wytestone Properties installs MSI’s WinPM at three sites
  • Water’s Edge Resort and Spa picks Northwind’s Maestro Enterprise Suite
  • Grand Pacific Resorts upgrades to SPI’s Orange Systems full enterprise suite

InnQuest Software has released an interface between its roomMaster 2000 property management system and Expedia QuickConnect, providing a seamless way for clients to keep their reservations, rates, and inventory in sync with Expedia’s extranet. Reservations coming from Expedia automatically appear in roomMaster 2000, and rates and inventory are uploaded to Expedia. (www.innquest.com)
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South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas has selected Agilysys’ Lodging Management System, DataMagine document management and Guest eMarketing direct guest marketing. The 2,163-room property, which already uses Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS, includes an 80,000-square-foot casino, six restaurants, lounge, video arcade, gift shop, spa, pool, a 64-lane bowling center, 16-screen movie theater, 400-seat showroom, 80,000 square feet of exhibit space, 20,000 square feet of meeting space and an indoor horse facility with 1,200 climate-controlled horse stalls and a 4,400-seat arena. (www.southpointcasino.com, www.agilysys.com)
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Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia has selected Systems Products International (SPI) Orange Systems for its Timeshare and Private Residence Club (PRC). (www.windjammer-landing.com, www.spiinc.com)
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Image Technology Systems has implemented a two-way interface for its Visual Matrix PMS with Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Systems, at the Best Western Richmond Suites in Baton Rouge, LA. This allows the hotel to review EzRMS’ daily recommendations and upload them into Visual Matrix directly, all from one screen. (www.visualmatrixpms.com, www.easyrms.com)
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ResortSuite has launched Dashboard functionality for its integrated hospitality application. Managers can select from a wide array of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), data and metrics to create individually customized graphic displays of real-time data. (www.resortsuite.com)
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Wytestone Properties has installed MSI (Multi-Systems, Inc.) WinPM at its three Wytestone Virginia properties, the English Inn in Charlottesville and the Wytestone Suites in Woodbridge and Fredericksburg. (www.msisolutions.com)
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The Water’s Edge Resort and Spa has selected Northwind’s Maestro Enterprise Suite. Opening in November, the property will install Front Office, Sales and Catering, Condo and Timeshare Owner Management, Yield Management, Spa and Gift Shop Management, Analytics Business Intelligence, and Point of Sale modules. The Resort includes 170 rooms, 68 condominium units, three restaurants, a ten-room spa, two pools and a 12 meeting room conference center. (www.watersedgeresortandspa.com/, www.maestropms.com)
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Grand Pacific Resorts is expanding to SPI’s Orange Systems full enterprise suite for its 12 properties in California, having installed SPI’s sales module last year. (www.spiinc.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Warwick International upgrades to Pegasus’ NetBooker NG booking engine for 27 sites
  • hotelicopter.com launches interactive map functionality

Warwick International Hotels has upgraded to Pegasus Solutions’ NetBooker NG Internet booking engine for 27 of its 40+ hotels and resorts. (www.warwickhotels.com, www.pegs.com)
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Hotel search engine hotelicopter has launched interactive map functionality on its Web site, allowing visitors to find hotels in specific locations, near an exact address or in an area or neighborhood. Travelers can highlight hotels they are considering and have only those properties appear on the map. Hovering a mouse cursor over a map pin displays the hotel name, star and user rating, and average rates. (www.hotelicopter.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • TIG Global receives ten WebAwards from the international Web Marketing Association
  • TRAVELCLICK receives 18 website design awards in IAVA’s 2009 W3 competition
  • Carlson adopts VFM Leonardo’s VScape for 1,050+ locations
  • FAREPORTAL contracts with VFM Leonardo for CheapOair.com and CheapOstay.com sites
  • Amadeus picks VFM Leonardo’s VScape
  • Blizzard Internet Marketing ranked in Website Magazine’s top 50 SEO/Search Marketing providers
  • Libra OnDemand integrates Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into its CRM tools
  • Starwood Preferred Guest announces suite of Twitter, Facebook and iPhone applications
  • Domina picks Utell’s MarketVision – Agency Position reporting
  • Milestone Internet Marketing expands Social Media/Web 2.0 services for mobile phones
  • Good Hospitality implements Alloso Technologies’ Portfolio One reporting/BI tool

TIG Global has received ten WebAwards from the international Web Marketing Association, including honors for outstanding website design in all of the travel-related categories – Hotel and Lodging, Travel and Restaurant. (www.tigglobal.com)
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TRAVELCLICK has received 18 awards for website design excellence in the 2009 W3 Awards competition sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA). TRAVELCLICK received 17 Silver awards in the Hotel and Lodging category and the Gold award in the Restaurant category. (www.travelclick.net)
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Carlson Hotels Worldwide has adopted VFM Leonardo’s VScape Digital Asset Management System for its 1,050+ locations. Carlson will use VScape Enterprise edition to distribute still images to the VNetwork and has designated VFM Leonardo as its distributor of rich media.
FAREPORTAL has contracted with VFM Leonardo to be the exclusive distributor of all rich media content and still images for its mutual hotel partners for display on CheapOair.com and CheapOstay.com Web sites. All visual content displayed within the hotel pages of these sites will be presented in an embedded, customized version of VFM Leonardo’s multimedia viewer.
Amadeus has extended its relationship with VFM Leonardo by selecting its VScape Digital Asset Management System to source and manage hotel images and rich media for the Amadeus GDS. Amadeus will also use VScape to distribute visual content on behalf of Amadeus Multi-Channel Distribution (AMCD) hotel clients to the Amadeus GDS and thousands of additional channels in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork.
(www.carlsonhotels.com, www.cheapoair.com, www.cheapostay.com, www.amadeus.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
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Blizzard Internet Marketing has been ranked #7 in Website Magazine’s top 50 Search Engine Optimization/Search Marketing providers, the only agency on the list to focus on hospitality and travel internet marketing. (www.BlizzardInternet.com)
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Libra OnDemand announced that it is using three social networks – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – to share company news and information on its Web-based Customer Relationship Management applications, to track and respond to mentions of a property and store social profiles from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs or even emails into the hotel’s CRM. Libra OnDemand’s Twitter tab allows hoteliers to monitor all mentions of their property or brand, to respond to those mentions as well as any direct messages or @ replies, and to send out special offers or promotions. “Contact” profiles have been enhanced to show a real-time feed of Twitter messages for each contact, with an ability to send messages back to the customer directly from the Libra OnDemand application. (www.libraondemand.com)
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Starwood Preferred Guest announced a suite of Twitter, Facebook and iPhone applications, taking advantage of research that indicates that the 50% of its members who are frequent participants in social networks are 20% more likely to book a Starwood hotel than other SPG members, a figure that rises to 80% for those who create blogs. The SPG Insider Twitter account (@spginsider) collects members’ Twitter postings on restaurants, bars and entertainment they’ve experienced and displays them on a Google Maps-based Web page. The SPG TripShare Facebook page now includes a photo application from Buddy Media for members to post photos of their recent trips and view other members’ contributions. SPG’s new iPhone application allows members to view their Starpoints balance, find details about their upcoming hotel stays and get door-to-door directions to their hotel. (www.starwoodhotels.com)
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Italian hotel group Domina has selected Utell’s MarketVision – Agency Position reporting to measure its properties’ market performance against their key competitors, following a trial at the Domina Hotel Rotterdam. Domina operates ten properties in six European countries. Utell’s MarketVision – Agency Position reporting was launched in partnership with Rubicon last January, using data from reservations handled through Pegasus Solutions’ UltraSwitch combined with data sourced from Rubicon. (www.dominahotels.com, www.utell.com)
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Milestone Internet Marketing has expanded its Social Media and Web 2.0 strategy services. Enhancements include:
– Web sites optimized for mobile phones with fast download time, easier navigation and content suited for easy browsing on a phone screen.
– Graviti Lite, a simpler version of its social media optimization services targeted to hotels taking their first steps into social media.
– enhancements to its eBuzz Connect – Reputation Management and Social Media Tracking service that include the ability to track specific keywords, most-mentioned positive and negative keywords in the reviews, hotel’s top reviewers, hotel’s most popular blog channels, and comments and reviews prioritized according to the significance of the channel.
(www.milestoneinternet.com )
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Good Hospitality Services is implementing Alloso Technologies’ MicroStrategy-based Portfolio One system Web-based financial reporting and business intelligence application for the 20 hotels it manages. Portfolio One consolidates information from the hotels’ various hospitality and hotel brand systems to give Good Hospitality real-time visibility into revenue and expense information from systems including general ledger, budgets and forecasts, market research, payroll and labor and energy. (www.goodhsi.com, www.alloso.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Landmark London deploying IDeaS V5i
  • IDeaS launches Rate Optimization Service
  • Metro Hospitality Group expands use of EZYield to all 14 properties
  • Preferred picks SynXis
  • EzRMS implements two-way interface with Image Technology Systems’ Visual Matrix PMS
  • Evolution launches Demand Manager, other hospitality e-commerce products
  • IDeaS named latest winner of the Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS) Award

The Landmark London is deploying IDeaS Revenue Optimization’s IDeaS V5i system. The Landmark is a sister property of the newly renamed London Lancaster (formerly The Royal Lancaster), which is already using IDeaS V5i.
IDeaS has launched its IDeaS Rate Optimization Service to provide hotels with optimized room rates and rate spectrums for business segments that are not contracted or negotiated at the room type level. ROS also estimates the overall revenue impact of implementing the optimized rates, and is based on a minimum of 12 months of historical data from the hotel to evaluate the price sensitivity of demand.
(www.landmarklondon.co.uk, www.ideas.com)
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Metro Hospitality Group has expanded its use of EZYield.com’s channel management software to include distribution functionality for the entire 14-property chain, after having used it at six hotels since 2007. Metro will also EZYield.com’s RoomRez Web site booking engine and GDSConnect application. (www.metrohotels.com.au, www.ezyield.com)
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Preferred Hotel Group has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ SynXis Central Reservation System (CRS) for distribution marketing and technology for its members from 2010. (www.preferredhotelgroup.com, www.sabre-holdings.com)
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Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Systems implemented a new two-way EzRMS interface with Image Technology Systems’ Visual Matrix PMS, at the Best Western Richmond Suites in Baton Rouge, LA. This allows the hotel to review EzRMS’ daily recommendations and upload them into Visual Matrix directly, all from one screen. (www.visualmatrixpms.com, www.easyrms.com)
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Evolution has launched a range of e-commerce products and services focused on multi-channel e-distribution and revenue optimization. Evolution’s core product is the Demand Manager developed by UK-based Great Hotels Organisation’ technology division; other modules offered include Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Internet Distribution Systems (IDS), several hotel booking engines and e-marketing services that include web design and traffic generation. (www.evolutiondistribution.com, www.ghorg.com)
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IDeaS Revenue Optimization has been named the latest winner of the Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS) Award by THINKstrategies, which launched the award program last January to recognize SaaS and cloud computing companies producing tangible business benefits for specific user organizations. (www.ideas.com, www.thinkstrategies.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Red Lion implements Newmarket’s MeetingBroker and standardizes on Delphi
  • Hyatt launches range of on-line meeting management tools

Red Lion Hotels has implemented Newmarket International’s MeetingBroker as its lead distribution platform and standardized on Delphi for sales and catering management. Newmarket will host Delphi in a multi-property environment built for Red Lion. (www.redlion.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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Hyatt has launched a range on-line meeting management tools, including a new online RFP tool, dedicated meeting advisors, customizable catering menus and a focus on the Hyatt Gold Passport Planner Rewards program. (www.hyattmeetings.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort selects SCI’s FOOD-TRAK

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Michigan has selected System Concepts, Inc. (SCI) FOOD-TRAK for food and beverage management. Soaring Eagle is operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and features 70 tables, 4,400 slots, a 514-room resort, 3,000 seat theater, conference center and spa. (www.soaringeaglecasino.com, www.foodtrak.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Bittel’s UNO combines phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/iPhone/MP3 player interface
  • INNCOM partners with EI for flexible integration with other hotel systems
  • Tangerine Global unveils “Citrus Solution” IPTV service with 120 digital TV channels
  • Quadriga developing next generation technology platform, portal
  • Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis Downtown installs Flyte Systems’ FlytePass
  • Swire Hotels’ The Upper House installs iPod-touch in each guestroom
  • Radisson designates EthoStream as a Preferred Vendor for wireless HSIA
  • Firmdale Hotels installs KoolConnect in new Crosby Street Hotel

Bittel Electronics has announced its UNO product line, which combines a hotel room phone, an alarm clock/radio and an iPod/iPhone/MP3 player interface in various combinations and at various price points. Touch-screen models can display HTML and XML content and room control functionality on a color display that integrates with various property and hotel corporate information systems. All UNO models will be available in both analog (TDM) and VoIP (SIP) configurations. (www.bittelcom.com)
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INNCOM International has partnered with Exceptional Innovation (EI) for more flexible integration with other hotel systems. The joint solution connects all guest-facing control systems with integrated on- and off-site amenities and the hotel’s front- and back-of-house systems, using multiple graphical user interfaces and dashboards to support energy-management and profit maximization without impacting guest comfort. Guests and staff will be able to access the systems or amenities through in-room televisions, PCs, phones, or personal mobile devices such as an iPhone or Windows Mobile phone. EI has certified links with more than 300 devices from over 60 manufacturers in many automation and service categories, including lighting, security systems, A/V systems, HVAC, audio and video conferencing and more. (www.exceptionalinnovation.com, www.inncom.com)
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Tangerine Global has unveiled its “Citrus Solution,” a new IPTV service that provides 120 digital TV channels and HD choices to worldwide travelers. Pilot property is the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California. Tangerine Global’s HD offering includes 41 HD channels, over 100 HD On-Demand titles, six HD luxury thematic channels and 50 channels of digital music. Tangerine Global also integrated with Rosewood’s in-room control system to provide guests with a single interface with the TV, in-room controls, individual wake-up calls and lighting controls. (www.rosewoodhotels.com, www.tangerineglobal.com)
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Quadriga announced development of its next generation technology platform, a portal concept integrating a new content and design management system with a high resolution HD-capable Internet browser. Guests will use their in-room TV portal to view hotel and local information including travel, financial and weather reports, browse hotel facilities, visit the hotel e-shop or choose from a wide range of high definition entertainment. The portal will also allow online booking for the spa, restaurant and golf course, future room reservations and hotel special offers, and will be available in 25 languages including Japanese, Arabic and Chinese. Availability is scheduled for next year. (www.quadriga.com)
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Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis Downtown has installed Flyte Systems’ FlytePass real-time airline flight information and boarding pass printing system in a built-in lobby kiosk. The property is the third owned by First Hospitality Group (FHG) to incorporate Flyte Systems’ technology. (www.fhginc.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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The Upper House, Swire Hotels’ new 117-room Hong Kong property, has installed an iPod-touch in each guestrooms as the source for hotel information, room service, local area information, weather, news and feedback forms, replacing printed hotel directories. The property-wide free wireless HSIA network is also leveraged to provide check-in at any location using tablet PCs. (www.upperhouse.com)
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Radisson Hotels & Resorts has designated EthoStream as a Preferred Vendor for wireless HSIA access; the service is already operational in over 40 Radisson properties. (www.radisson.com , www.telkonet.com)
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Firmdale Hotels has installed KoolConnect’s HD Video on Demand and Interactive Television in its new 86-room Crosby Street Hotel in New York City’s SoHo district. (www.firmdale.com, www.koolconnect.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • PAS releases pasUnit, next generation integration suite

PAS has released pasUnity, its next generation integration suite, and has received HTNG certification for it. pasUnity uses an HTNG-certified SOAP-based XML Web Services interface to enable customers to build customized self-running interfaces for the integration of financial transactions across virtually any application. (www.profact.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Aruba Marriott upgrades to DataWorks’ NeXT retail inventory system
  • Pala Casino in California implements DataWorks’ NeXT system for retail and spa
  • Sea Island Resort implements MTech’s Hotel Inventory & Purchasing (HIP) module

The Aruba Marriott has upgraded to DataWorks’ NeXT retail inventory management system after being a DataWorks customer since 2003. The upgrade provides the property with multi-currency and multi-language features, and is interfaced with its Micros 9700 POS to update retail inventory items and retrieve sales data.
Pala Casino in California has implemented DataWorks’ NeXT system for retail and spa operations, also interfaced to a Micros 9700 POS. Pala Casino has been a DataWorks retail software customer for the past nine years.
(www.palacasino.com, www.marriott.com, www.dataworksinc.com)
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Sea Island Resort has implemented MTech’s Hotel Inventory & Purchasing (HIP) module, integrated with its existing HotSOS guest-request response system. The combined systems allow HIP to generate cost reports for service orders that include labor and parts costs automatically. (www.seaisland.com, www.m-tech.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS

  • Trump Miami installs 150 Polycom SpectraLink 8000 Series wireless phones

The Trump International Beach Resort in Miami has equipped its staff with 150 Polycom SpectraLink 8000 Series wireless telephones to improve communications property-wide, deployed by Hotel Internet Services (HIS) and operating on the property’s Ruckus Wireless Wi-Fi infrastructure. The handsets provide voice-over-wireless-LAN calls and push-to-talk voice communications across 24 separate workgroups, and are integrated with M-Tech’s HotSOS guest-response application. (www.trumpmiami.com, www.polycom.com)
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SECURITY

  • Kingkey Palace Hotel, Shenzhen, China implements VingCard’s Classic
  • Doubletree Dallas/Richardson reopens with VingCard’s VISIONLINE and Signature RFID
  • Kaba Ilco receives Florida Building Code approval for complete range of electronic hotel locks

The Kingkey Palace Hotel in Shenzhen, China has implemented VingCard’s standalone Classic electronic locking system.
The recently renovated 300-room Doubletree Dallas/Richardson hotel has reopened with VingCard’s VISIONLINE ZigBee-based wireless RF online system and Signature RFID electronic door locks.
(www.kingkey.com.cn, www.doubletree.com, www.vingcard.com)
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Kaba Ilco has received Florida Building Code approval in the exterior doors category for its complete range of electronic hotel locks. (www.floridabuilding.org, www.ilcolodging.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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