October 3, 2006

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing


  • Fourteen hospitality companies named in InformationWeek’s Top 500 IT Innovators

InformationWeek magazine has published its annual Top 500 IT Innovators list, drawn from US companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue. Perhaps giving the lie to the old story that hospitality is slow to adopt new technology, a remarkable fourteen hospitality companies were cited. Those ranked in the Top 250 were:
Aramark (#117)
Harrah’s Entertainment (#10)
Hilton Hotels (#100)
Marriott International (#7)
Sabre Holdings (#181)
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (#164)
Worldspan Technologies (#128)
Two specific projects cited were Marriott’s in-house development of its Asset Auditing Report and Knowledgebase version 1 (MAAK1) system to assess the payment card security compliance profile of nearly 100,000 remote devices daily, and Harrah’s enhancement of its well-known CRM approach to provide recognition of guest status changes in real time instead of via after-the-fact reporting.
Other hospitality companies listed were ClubCorp, Darden Restaurants, Intercontinental Hotels, MGM Mirage, Mohegan Sun Resort, NPC International (the largest Pizza Hut franchisee) and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

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  • Gordon Wilson, Ken Esterow, Steve Barnhart named to lead Travelport’s new divisions
  • Paul Brown promoted to President of Expedia North America
  • David Warren hired as Northwind’s Director of Services and Sales for UK/Ireland
  • Mark Tapling promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer at InfoGenesis
  • Diane Estner promoted to Vice President of Global Sales at SDD
  • Dave Lutz appointed to Passkey’s Board of Directors
  • Michelle Yablin Silverman joins HBSI as Director of Account Management

Travelport announced that it will organize under three global businesses – Galileo, Orbitz Worldwide and Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) – on January 1st, 2007.
– Gordon Wilson, 40, previously president and CEO of the Business Group for EMEA, Asia and Pacific, has been named president and CEO of Galileo.
– Ken Esterow, 42, who served as president and CEO of the Travelport Business Group, Americas, has been appointed as the president and CEO of GTA.
– Steve Barnhart, 44, was recently appointed as president and CFO of Orbitz Worldwide and will continue to serve in that capacity.
All three executives will report directly to Travelport’s CEO and President, Jeff Clarke.
Paul Brown has been promoted to President of Expedia North America, from head of its Partner Services Group (PSG). He had earlier served as senior vice president of strategy and development for Hotels.com and Expedia North America. Mr. Brown has more than 10 years of travel-industry experience; prior to joining Expedia he was a partner with McKinsey & Company’s London office, where he was a leader of the global travel and hospitality practice group, and had previously been senior vice president of Strategic Services for Intercontinental Hotel Group.
David Warren has been hired as Northwind’s Director of Services and Sales for the United Kingdom and Ireland, based in its new UK office. Mr. Warren has 25 years of hospitality experience, having held senior positions with De Vere Hotels and Hilton and represented Hotel Information Systems and Ramesys.
Mark Tapling has been promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer at InfoGenesis, replacing Terry Cunningham, who moves to the position of Vice Chairman of the Board. Mr. Tapling joined InfoGenesis earlier this year as Chief Operating Officer. He was previously CEO of Everypath, a mobile applications company, and earlier had managed international operations for analytics company Comshare, held executive management positions at Soft-Switch, Inc., and Lotus Development (IBM), and was CEO of ServiceWare Technologies.
Mr. Cunningham joined InfoGenesis in January 2005, after serving as a board member and angel investor for several companies, including Guest Technologies, ProClarity, NGRAIN Technology and Coral8. He founded Crystal Decision in 1984, became President of Seagate Software after it acquired Crystal, and was then President and COO of VERITAS following its acquisition of Seagate’s Network and Storage Management Group.
Diane Estner has been promoted to Vice President of Global Sales at SDD; she was previously Director of National Account Sales. Ms. Estner has been with SDD for ten years.
Dave Lutz has been appointed to Passkey’s Board of Directors. Mr. Lutz is managing director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting; he previously served more than 20 years for Conferon Global Services, most recently as President of its two largest operating divisions – Conferon and ExpoExchange.
Michelle Yablin Silverman has joined Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated (HBSI) as Director of Account Management. With more than 25 years hospitality experience, Ms. Silverman previously managed hospitality client relationships for Verso in Atlanta. She had earlier held leadership positions with Eltrax Systems and Encore Systems in Atlanta, and Bally’s Park Place Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.

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  • Warwick International orders OPERA for its 10 corporate-owned properties
  • Visual One adds Internet check-in to V1Net browser-based PMS
  • Visual One updates yield management, Web interface for its main V1 PMS
  • City Lodge completes implementation of Amadeus Hotel Multiproperty (Hogatex) PMS at all 40 properties

Warwick International Hotels has ordered MICROS’ OPERA Enterprise Solution for the 10 corporate-owned properties in its 35-property portfolio in the United States and Europe. Full deployment will be complete by year-end; Phase 1 covers OPERA Property Management System and Sales and Catering System, after which all properties will connect to the OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS). (www.warwickhotels.com, www.micros.com)
Visual One has added Internet check-in to its V1Net browser-based PMS. Guests can confirm their room reservation and payment method, select a room and print a check-in voucher. Visual One is working with lock vendors to allow guests to use the credit card used in the check-in process as their guestroom key, to bypass the front desk entirely.
Visual One has released updates to the yield management functionality in its main V1 PMS, including length-of-stay rules, days-in-advance rules, and also yield by room type.
V1 also introduced a new interface that permits webmasters to add .Net controls to a hotel’s website to create a custom user interface while keeping the reservation process “inside” the hotel’s web page.
South Africa’s City Lodge chain has completed its implementation of the Amadeus Hotel Multiproperty (Hogatex) PMS at all 40 properties on a single central platform. (www.citylodge.co.za, www.amadeus-hospitality.de)

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  • On-line bookings still rising, GDSs still provide significantly higher ADR
  • SideStep launched in UK market
  • STA Travel implementing new reservation system from Dolphin Dynamics and Datalex
  • Silken Hotels extends contract for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier for its 30 properties

The on-line beat goes on… TravelCLICK’s eMonitor reports that worldwide electronic bookings through the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and key Internet sites showed revenue increased 13.7 percent over the second quarter of 2005, room nights 5.7 percent and Average Daily Rate (ADR) by 7.6 percent, with the average length of stay unchanged at 2.12 nights.
Other observations in the report are that:
* Travel Agency room nights booked through the GDS will continue to grow.
* Overall bookings through GDS-powered Internet sites will continue to decline as Merchant programs expand their reach globally and technology advancements make it easier for hotels to do business direct with online wholesalers.
* The GDSs will continue to provide ADR 30+ percent higher than Internet sites.
Meanwhile PhoCusWright estimated that Europeans will buy almost 40 percent of all types of travel online by the end of 2008, with transaction volume more than double the proportion in 2005. Online corporate bookings will grow at twice the rate of online leisure/unmanaged business travel, rising to 20% of bookings by value from 5% in 2005, though the percentage of leisure/unmanaged business travel booked online will continue to be significantly greater.
Meta-search engine SideStep has been launched in the UK market. SideStep currently has alliances with 600 airlines, 125,000 hotels and 30,000 car rental locations worldwide. (www.sidestep.com)
Student travel organization STA Travel has implemented a new reservation system from Dolphin Dynamics, powered by the Datalex Travel Distribution Platform. The Dolphin Travel Manager replaces a variety of disparate systems and will be used in over 400 branches of STA Travel across 18 countries. (www.statravel.com, www.datalex.com)
Spain’s Silken Hotels has extended its contract to use TravelCLICK’s iHotelier booking engine for Web connectivity and electronic distribution channels for its 30 properties. (www.travelclick.net)

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  • Preferred Hotels expanding relationship with Leonardo
  • Kayak.com contracts with Leonardo for rich media content

The Preferred Hotel Group is expanding its relationship with Leonardo Media to add a centralized rich media content repository and distribution system to the GDSs, switches and travel channels used by its 340+ hotels.
Meta-search engine Kayak.com has contracted with Leonardo for rich media content for the 135,000+ properties worldwide for which it carries inventory.
(www.kayak.com, www.leonardo.com)

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  • Harrah’s subsidiary awarded a US Patent for revenue management that considers guests indirect spending.
  • Softwear Group releases CHAMP CHAnnel Management Producer module

Harrah’s Entertainment subsidiary Harrah’s Operating Company has been awarded a United States Patent titled “Resource Price Management Incorporating Indirect Value”, which describes the setting of customized prices for hotel rooms and other resources taking into account the value of the customer’s purchases in any of a property’s other operations, including gaming, retail purchases and dining. (www.harrahs.com)
The Softwear Group has added the CHAMP (CHAnnel Management Producer) component to its INNovation Suite of add-on hospitality software modules. CHAMP allows room and rate inventories to react to anticipated demand patterns across various channels. (www.softweargroup.com)

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  • LOG ON’s Mobile Event Assistant wins EIBTM WorldWide Technology Watch (WWTW)
  • The Breakers on Palm Beach signs with Passkey

Global meetings and incentives exhibition EIBTM has selected Dutch-based LOG ON’s Mobile Event Assistant service as the winner of this year’s WorldWide Technology Watch (WWTW) competition.
Runners up this year were:
– Teleportec’s Lectern, which enables a speaker from anywhere in the world to appear before an audience in an apparent 3-D image.
– Conference Archives’ software for capturing event content and distributing it on its ConferenceOnDemand (CoD) platform.
– Newmarket International’s MeetingBroker service for receiving and responding to electronic Requests For Proposals (eRFPs).
– Validar Corp and the Full Measure for their AppExchange integrated PC and Pocket PC lead retrieval application that lets exhibitors categorize tradeshow leads.
The Breakers on the island of Palm Beach has contracted with Passkey for group registration and meting planning services. (www.thebreakers.com, www.passkey.com)

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  • InfoGenesis announces four new products
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick Place completes pilot test of Capton’s Beverage Tracker

InfoGenesis has announced four new products:
– Version 4.0 of its InfoGenesis POS system, with new reporting options, system monitoring and distribution functions and increased guest data security.
– ResPAK Restaurant Management, a table management and reservations system licensed from Analytical Systems Pty. Ltd. and integrated with the POS.
– InfoGenesis Analytics, to be released Q1 of 2007 and providing top-level, customizable dashboards with drill-down and trending capabilities.
– InfoGenesis Self-Service, with eMenu web and kiosk ordering capabilities and eCash for simpler customer account management and lower credit card transaction fees.
The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago has completed its pilot test of Capton’s Beverage Tracker RFID liquor control system, and reports significant improvement in pour control. Beverage Tracker wirelessly monitors every drink served in the bar’s normal operations, tracking the exact amount of liquor poured, the brand, time and date, reporting which drinks were under poured, over poured, or not recorded in the POS. (www.captoninc.com)

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  • iBAHN announces Platinum Service Team model for regional customer support
  • Hyatt implementing BoardEZ airline boarding pass kiosks in USA, Canada and Caribbean
  • Embassy Suites completes roll-out of Registration Kiosks in all 182 hotels, adds boarding pass printing
  • The Queen Mary implements power-line high-speed Internet access from Telkonet

Broadband service provider iBAHN announced its Platinum Service Team model for customer support, using regional teams to respond to requests quickly. Intended to especially benefit high-end hotel properties with large conference spaces, the new model has been piloted in two regions over the summer and will be in effect across North America in October 2006. (www.ibahn.com)
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is implementing Vertical Systems’ BoardEZ airline boarding pass printing kiosks in the lobbies of its properties in the USA, Canada and Caribbean. The kiosks include FreshStart software that permanently erases all user information and usage history. (www.hyatt.com, www.ver-sys.com)
Embassy Suites Hotels has completed its roll-out of EmbassyDirect Registration Kiosks in all of its 182 hotels, and has added airline boarding pass printing to all kiosks, claiming to be the first brand to achieve this at 100% of its hotels. (http://embassysuites.hilton.com)
The Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, CA has implemented power-line high-speed Internet access from Telkonet in all 365 guestrooms and all public areas. The implementation uses a combination of wired access through the electrical outlets, and wireless coverage from access points plugged into outlets in the public areas. (www.queenmary.com, www.telkonet.com)

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  • Avendra celebrates fifth anniversary, grows annual customer spend by $1 billion

Procurement services company Avendra is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and announced that its annual customer spend has increased from $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion in that period. (www.avendra.com)

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