October 30, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office


OCTOBER 17 – 30, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • The value of getting involved with colleges and universities
  • Fifth edition of Kasavana/Cahill’s “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry” released

The last couple of weeks have reminded me of the value of touching base with the academic world, something I should do more often. I’ve had the opportunity to review several thoughtful research papers, some discussing topics I hadn’t really thought about but am now intrigued by and others providing different insights into systems selection and implementation, which I think about a lot! It’s been a good reminder to stop and look around from time to time; you can gain much insight through looking at familiar situations through someone else’s eyes.
I’ve also had some stimulating e-mail exchanges with students, and was once again struck by the energy, focus and original thinking of younger generations. It’s very rewarding to make presentations to student classes; in addition to providing a good stimulus to organize your own thoughts, it’s great to debate pros and cons with energetic, opinionated idealists! Not to mention that it’s good to be able to give something back to the industry.
Think about getting more involved with those teaching the next generation of hoteliers. It truly is a win-win for everyone.
**
Speaking of education, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute has just published the fifth edition of Michael Kasavana and John Cahill’s textbook “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry”. Revisions to this classic include new information on e-commerce, Wi-Fi, electronic payment systems, Web site design, data security and identity theft. **

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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Daniel Foxworth promoted to Director of Sales, Hospitality Division at Onity
  • Hooman Honary joins NxTV as Chief Technical Officer
  • Eric Litwin joins NxTV as Senior Vice President of Applications Development

Daniel Foxworth has been promoted to Director of Sales, Hospitality Division at Onity, based at Onity’s headquarters in Duluth, GA. Most recently, Mr. Foxworth was Inside Sales Manager for Onity’s North America division.
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NxTV has appointed Hooman Honary as Chief Technical Officer and Eric Litwin as Senior Vice President of Applications Development.
Mr. Honary was most recently CTO for Oxford Media; he had earlier served as Senior Strategic Technologist/Wireless-Multimedia Architect with Broadcom, and in development positions at Intel Architecture Labs and VxTel.
Mr. Litwin joins NxTV from Countrywide Capital Markets, where he was Senior VP, Information Technology. He had earlier been a senior consultant with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Nine independent resorts install Maestro PMS and S&C
  • INNfinity Systems to use Comtrol Lodging Link for interface management
  • Choice completes deployment of choiceADVANTAGE PMS to all Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels

Northwind announced that nine independent full-service resorts with over 1,400 rooms had recently completed installations of Maestro PMS, Sales and Catering and other system modules. These include the Napili Kai on Maui, The Grand Hotel Cape May of New Jersey, The Hotel St. Regis in Detroit Michigan, the Prince Resort at Cherry Grove Pier in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Benchmark Hospitality’s Bedford Springs Resort. (www.maestropms.com)
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INNfinity Systems has contracted with Comtrol to use its Lodging Link product to manage interfaces with guest service systems including PBX, voice mail, call accounting, in-room Internet access, point-of-sale, in-room movie, keyless entry, mini bar, and energy management systems. (www.comtrol.com, www.innfinity.com)
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Choice Hotels International announced that it has now deployed its proprietary Web-based choiceADVANTAGE PMS to all Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brand hotels, bringing the total deployed to over 1,400 across Choice’s brands. (www.choicehotels.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Travel Spike releases Dynamic Packaging Booking Engine for one-stop booking
  • Travelocity launches beta version of RoadTrip Wizard booking tool
  • Crown Towers picks TravelCLICK for CRS, market intelligence and marketing services
  • American Express rolling out new Hotel Hub booking interface in Europe

Travel Spike has released its Dynamic Packaging Booking Engine, which integrates seamlessly with hotel chain, tourism board and tour operator websites to help consumers build and book their own packages, including flights, car rentals, attractions, tours, event tickets, dinner reservations with local restaurants and hotel accommodations. The program can also accept electronic feeds from designated air partners, car rentals, GDS or IDS, and be deployed at call centers and visitor centers to maintain rate integrity and central reporting. (www.travelspike.com)
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Travelocity has launched a beta version of its RoadTrip Wizard, a booking tool developed through an alliance with LeisureLogix. Rather than start with a single destination, RoadTrip Wizard’s search process is based on user personas that vary by trip (romantic trip, trip with kids, girls’ getaway trip, etc.) and preferences such as preferred vehicle type (car, RV, motorcycle), hotel ratings and desired drive time. Online booking of air, car, hotels and attractions is provided through Travelocity Partner Network; content is provided and edited by LeisureLogix as well as sources including WCities, deCarta and TeleAtlas. (www.travelocity.com)
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The 216-room Crown Towers has selected TravelCLICK’s iHotelier central reservation system, Hotelligence and RateVIEW market intelligence and Travel Agent marketing services. (www.crowntowers.com.au, www.travelclick.net)
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American Express is rolling out its new Hotel Hub booking interface in Europe, designed to provide access to hotel content consistently for all sources including Internet rates, preferred hotel rates on GDSs, direct connections, room allocations or a central hub such as Pegasus or Octopus. About 150 clients in France plan to use it to access 2008 hotel rates; it will be implemented by year-end in the UK, followed by the Nordic countries and Germany next year and the rest of Europe in 2009. American Express also intends to bring it to the Asia/Pacific region. (www.americanexpress.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Amadeus implements Leonardo’s automated online gateway
  • Diamond Resorts picks ICE Portal for rich media management for its North American resorts
  • Crowne Plaza, Preferred Hotels sign for Knowland Group’s INSIGHT service
  • Lodging Interactive launches Search Engine and Social Media integrated marketing services

Amadeus has expanded its relationship with Leonardo Media to include an automated online gateway for its partner hotels to aggregate and manage their multimedia content in one centralized repository. (www.amadeus.com, www.leonardo.com)
**
Diamond Resorts International has chosen ICE Portal to create and distribute rich media for its North American resorts through its Content Management System (CMS). Hotels will be able to update photos, have their property indexed by Google, turn seasonal images on and off, and rearrange the order that their content appears on the digital brochure. (www.sunterra.com, www.iceportal.com)
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Crowne Plaza is offering The Knowland Group’s INSIGHT group business lead generation service to all hotels through its North American co-op. INSIGHT combines a database of group events with a Google-powered search engine, satellite mapping technology and a commission based telesales team.
The Preferred Hotel Group is also offering INSIGHT to its properties worldwide.
(www.crowneplaza.com, www.preferredhotelgroup.com, www.knowlandgroup.com)
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Lodging Interactive has launched its Search Engine and Social Media integrated marketing services to help hotels manage their online reputation. Features include optimized Website content, proactive search optimization, search engine/directory listings, Chatter Guard social media web site monitoring & alert service, distribution of HotelWebshow video to YouTube and over 40 video sharing web sites, a Web site RFPLink group lead generation service and a customized Interactive Google Mashup map to feature hotel proximity to local attractions. (www.LodgingInteractive.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Hotelbeds signs with Rate Tiger for real-time inventory and room rate update services
  • Karyon contracts with AnyRate Software for competitive rate intelligence services

Hotelbeds Online Destination Services, part of the recently formed TUI Travel, has signed with Rate Tiger to let its customers update their inventory and room rates in real-time through a new XML interface to Rate Tiger’s RT Allocator and RT Channel Manager services. Hotelbeds offers over 25,000 hotels and apartments in 900 destinations worldwide. (www.ratetiger.com, www.hotelbeds.com
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SoftBrands’ Karyon reservations and distribution service has contracted with AnyRate Software to provide competitive rate intelligence to independent hoteliers, groups and management companies. (www.any-rate.com, www.karyonres.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Harley Davidson Museum to use ReServe Interactive

The Harley Davidson Museum has ordered ReServe Interactive to help manage its indoor and outdoor events, including weddings, conventions, trade shows, corporate functions and motorcycle rallies. The 130,000 square foot museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2008. (www.harley-davidson.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Sofitel Chicago O’Hare installs FlytePass boarding pass kiosk
  • INNCOM renames Green Button option from ENVIRO-MODE to ecoMODE
  • Denny’s implementing free WiFi through agreement with Joe Media and iPass
  • FoneKey demonstrates mobile phone-based check-in at the Hotel Regal Enclave, Mumbai

The 300-room Sofitel Chicago O’Hare installed Flyte Systems’ FlytePass kiosk to print boarding passes for its guests. (www.sofitel.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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INNCOM international has renamed the Green Button option on its e4 Smart Digital Thermostat from ENVIRO-MODE to ecoMODE. By pushing the button guests activate energy-saving settings predetermined by the hotel. (www.inncom.com)
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Denny’s restaurants is implementing advertising-supported free WiFi to its customers through an agreement with Joe Media Inc. and iPass. Joe Media has included a time-out capability in its software to encourage customers to limit their access time. (www.dennys.com, www.joemediainc.com)
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FoneKey demonstrated its mobile phone-based check-in at the Hotel Regal Enclave, Khar, Mumbai. FoneKey allows guests to use their phones to check-in remotely, receive assigned room numbers and open their guestroom doors. On arrival at the hotel, a lock code valid for the length of stay is uploaded to the phone when the guest passes it over a FoneKey unit, using SMS messaging protocols. (www.fonekey.net)
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BACK OFFICE

  • PAS achieves Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status

Back office services provider PAS has achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status with competencies in Networking Infrastructure Solutions, Advanced Infrastructure Solutions for Hosting, and ISV/Software Solutions certifications. (https://eservice.pasportal.com)
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