October 30, 2012

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Guest Services

Back Office

Communications / Infrastructure

OCTOBER 17 – 30, 2012

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Keep a positive outlook; it’s good for your work and your health
  • HTNG releases four new specifications

Amidst all the current challenging news, both from natural causes (the devastation of Hurricane Sandy) and self-inflicted (the torrent of half-truths, innuendos and outright lies that passes for “information” in this never-ending election campaign), and not to dismiss the real suffering happening in every area of Sandy’s path, it was a relief to get some positive input from the conferences I attended over the last two weeks.
HFTP’s 60th anniversary conference was a multi-day celebration of outstanding keynote speakers, excellent and involving education sessions and very upbeat social events. I found it a little embarrassing to have my golf slice illustrated so beautifully (and publicly) by a glow-in-the-dark golf ball, but at how many receptions lately have you been entertained by a didgeridoo player and flamenco dancers? Not at the same time, of course, though that is an interesting thought…
Micros’ User Conference highlighted good progress with its Opera 9 development. There’s clearly a long way to go yet but the flexible, graphical user interface is a 180-degree change from prior versions, and Micros’ expressed intent to work more closely with other vendors’ systems is also very welcome. It takes a long time for an aircraft carrier to change direction and we’ll have to see how it works out over time, but the signs are encouraging. The first Travel ‘N’ Technology conference in Seattle was also a great success, judging by the spirited interaction among the panel members and the audience and the excellent buzz during the breaks.
One of the most memorable speakers I heard was Shawn Achor, at the HFTP Conference. His research has shown how much our work, health and social outlook can all be measurably improved by actively looking for positive news and experiences to balance out the prevailing gloom and doom on the news channels. The opportunity to put this into practice came up almost immediately when my plane left Orlando twenty minutes late (due, the pilot announced, to one family checking in with an extraordinary amount of baggage – and if you’ve flown out of Orlando Airport I know this will not surprise you in the least). This left me with a tight 20-minute connection in Charlotte, and despite my having to run through two terminals to get to my connecting flight, my checked bag made it too. This kind of service doesn’t happen by accident; it takes both good technology to track transfers and a willing, well-trained staff to complete them. In Shawn’s spirit of thanking people who’ve helped you, a very public Thank You to US Airways.
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HTNG has issued its 2012B Web Services specifications.  Two new specifications cover the Intelligent Guest Room and Point of Sale, and updates were released for the Customer Profile and Product Distribution areas.
New specifications:
– Intelligent Guest Room Version 1.0 allows hotel systems to query the operational status/health of guest room devices and be notified of changes in their health.
– Point of Sale Version 1.0 outlines a common data definition and protocol for the traditional PMS-POS interface, which includes verifying guest/membership account information, posting charges to guest or membership accounts, and retrieving charge-posting details in the same format as originally provided to a guest/member to help resolve billing questions.
Updated specifications:
– Customer Profile Specification Version 2.0 now supports vouchers associated with a profile, facilitates loyalty program enrollment, supports queries for limited components of a profile, supports social media and tracks marketing offers.
– Product Distribution Shop/Book Spec Version 2.0 now allows for real-time shopping and booking of preconfigured and dynamic packages, and includes many enhancements, corrections and documentation improvements to the Rates and Reservations specs.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Patrick Andres  appointed VP and Regional Managing Director Asia-Pacific at Travelport
  • Edwin Leenheer joins ITS RezExchange as managing director
  • IDeaS announces winners of 2012 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarships
  • Minott Osborn joins Infor’s North America sales team as Senior Account Executive/Northeast

Patrick Andres has been appointed Vice President and Regional Managing Director Asia-Pacific at Travelport, based in Singapore. Mr. Andres brings 25 years of experience in travel and hospitality technology, most recently from six years as the Singapore-based Vice President of Asia-Pacific for Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Previously based in Montreal, Canada, he served in various positions with multinational companies including IATA, Expedia and SAP AG.
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Edwin Leenheer has joined ITS RezExchange as managing director. With more than 20 years hotel industry experience, Mr. Leenheer has served in front office management and revenue management roles with the Sheraton, Kempinski, Forte and Hilton brands, in addition to work in the sales department at Hotel Theater Figi. Most recently, he managed a large hotel portfolio in the Netherlands and Scandinavia for HRS.com.
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IDeaS Revenue Solutions announced the six winners of its 2012 IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarships as:
– AP Sujitch, Assistant Revenue Manager, Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, Delhi, India
– Nameet Asher, Revenue Manager, Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel, London, England
– Sandra Barauskiene, Deputy Director, The Narutis Hotel, Vilnius, Lithuania
– Caroline Gropallo, Revenue Manager, GHL Hoteles, Bogota, Columbia
– Jeremy Longstaff, Rooms Division Manager, Mantra on the Park, Melbourne Australia
– Emili Ronconi de Oliveira, Corporate Revenue Manager, InterCity Hotels, San Paulo, Brazil
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Minott Osborn has joined Infor’s North America sales team as Senior Account Executive for the northeast territory. Mr. Osborn is a 30 year veteran in the hospitality industry; he started his career with Hyatt Hotels before moving to the vendor side, working with EECO Computers, Lodgistix, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, ClickSquared and most recently with Pegasus Solutions.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Prologic First releases latest generation Pegasus certified interface for WISH GMS
  • PAR Springer-Miller appoints NexHos as its distributor in Italy
  • NORTHWIND announces five new independent resort customers for Maestro
  • Chateau Impney Hotel selects Guestline
  • Infor relocates corporate headquarters to New York City, unveils revamped brand logo

Prologic First has released the latest generation Pegasus certified interface for its WISH GMS. The interface has already been implemented at the Orient Prince Hotel, Lebanon. (www.prologicfirst.com)
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PAR Springer-Miller Systems has appointed NexHos as its exclusive sales and support distributor in Italy. NexHos also represents ParTech’s SureCheck™ and PixelPoint® products. (www.nexhos.it, www.springermiller.com)
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NORTHWIND announced five new independent resort customers for its Maestro Guest Management Suite, including Benchmark’s Snow King Resort, the CrewsInn Hotel & Yachting Center in Trinidad, West Indies, and the Sunshine Mountain Lodge in the Canadian Rockies. (www.maestropms.com)
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The 122-room Chateau Impney Hotel has selected Guestline systems as part of its renovation project. Built in 1875 and situated in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, the property will implement Guestline’s Web-based GMS (including Conference and Banqueting, Business Analysis Reporting, Sales Ledger and Rate Management), Online Booking Module, EPOS and Distribution Channel Manager. (www.chateau-impney.com, www.guestline.com)
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Infor has relocated its corporate headquarters to New York City and unveiled a revamped brand logo and Website. Located at 641 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave.), the new offices will house 75 employees during the first year. Infor will also launch a new ION Experience Center at its operations center in Alpharetta, GA. (www.infor.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Leading Hotels of the World renews contract with Trust International
  • Vantage Hospitality Group adds 1,000-plus hotel inventory to RoomKey

The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has renewed its contract with Trust International for GDS functionality, call center services, central reservations office (CRO) and the Internet booking engines (IBE). (www.lhw.com, www.trustinternational.com)
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Vantage Hospitality Group has added its 1,000-plus inventory of properties to RoomKey. Vantage’s brands include Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, Chinas Best Value Inn, Value Inn Worldwide, Lexington Hotel and Lexington Inn. (www.AmericasBestValueInn.com, www.LexingtonCollection.com,www.VantageHospitality.com, www.roomkey.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Flip.to rolls out multi-language capability
  • Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas picks Nor1
  • Nor1 receives second US Patent for  PRiME upsell engine
  • Digital Alchemy introduces Mobile Life cloud-based mobile applications
  • InterContinental to launch Managed Service Centre for its properties in Russia, CIS
  • Vizergy releases Hotel Web Management Platform 
  • Fairmont launches multi-stage redesign for all online environments
  • Prince Hotels and Resorts contracts with FastBooking for new websites for 40 hotels

Flip.to announced its rollout of multi-language capability, allowing the user to choose in which language to forward custom messages recommending a property on his or her social networks. Hotel Le Seven Paris is already using Flip.to in both English and French. (www.flip.to)
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Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas is now offering Nor1 Standby Upgrades to guests who book directly with its properties in the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Oman and Jordan.
Nor1 announced that has received a second US Patent (No. 8,285,599) for its PRiME upsell engine, for a “method and system for simultaneous pricing and merchandising,” specifically addressing the challenge of choosing prices and a subset of products from a master set while simultaneously taking into account the effects of pricing within a particular product set.
(www.sixsenses.com, www.nor1.com)
**
Digital Alchemy has introduced its Mobile Life suite of four cloud-based mobile applications:
– iNeed allows guests to submit service requests for housekeeping, room service, valet, meeting room service requests, maintenance and other services. Each request is pushed to the central dashboard of hotel’s guest response system, allowing management to assign requests to proper staff members or set up automatic notifications and track the status of each request in real time. iNeed integrates with the hotel’s guest management system for guest identity and profile details, and can be customized to individual hotels and groups.
 – MXPRESS provides a mobile micro site for smartphones and tablets, offering consistent branding for use with spas, golf courses and event planners. MXPRESS includes interactive maps, photo galleries, clickable phone numbers and email addresses, and can be maintained by staff from desktop PCs or their phone’s browser.
– XPRESSGUIDE serves as an interactive mobile conference guide or a customized and dynamic group website, offering session schedules, exhibit floor maps, info on speakers and sponsors, transportation information, event details and more directly to attendees’ smartphones or tablets.
 – mSurvey allows guests to submit surveys from their mobile devices, providing real-time reports for hoteliers to respond to quickly.
The four modules are web browser based rather than downloadable apps for ease of use by the guests. (www.Data2Gold.com/MobileLife)
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InterContinental Hotels Group announced plans for a Managed Service Centre for all its properties in Russia and the CIS, providing accounting, reservations, sales and marketing, procurement, revenue management, human resources, recruitment and training, IT, quality and compliance engineering services. The center is scheduled to open in March 2013; IHG currently has 13 hotels in Russia and five in the CIS, with four more in Russia and two more in the CIS in the pipeline. (www.ihg.com)
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Vizergy has released its Hotel Web Management Platform to help hoteliers manage their online presence in one application, including Marketing Planning, Social Monitoring, Call Tracking (recording travel shoppers’ calls for management to listen to), Content Management System and Integrated Reporting, benchmarked against Vizergy’s portfolio. (www.vizergy.com)
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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has launched a multi-stage redesign for all of its online environments including Fairmont.com, EveryonesAnOriginal.com, a new tablet and mobile optimized platform, multi-lingual micro-sites and more. The revised Fairmont.com site offers larger visuals, user-submitted photography, high definition hotel videos, a greater selection of interactive maps and links to brand and hotel specific social feeds.  Guests booking online will be able to reserve a wide selection of add-ons and amenities from breakfast or valet parking to safari outings or hot air balloon rides. The site is now also compatible with iPads and other tablet devices. (www.fairmont.com)
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Japan’s Prince Hotels and Resorts has contracted with FastBooking to build new websites for its 40 hotels and to supply visibility-building and other e-marketing services. The properties’ English-language websites are already live; sites in Chinese and Korean will follow by year end. (www.princehotels.com, www.fastbooking.net)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • eRevMax launches version 3.0 of RateTiger RTSuite
  • Prologic First releases integrated channel management for WISH GMS
  • SiteMinder named one of Australia’s 100 fastest-growing companies
  • Hetras announces channel management module for its GMS

eRevMax has launched version 3.0 of its RateTiger RTSuite, with a new user interface and automated inventory distribution controls. RTSuite 3 now incorporates Online On-Demand Shopping for quick room rate data collection and consolidates multiple update features. It also features Allocation Management, an automated pooled inventory distribution system supported by alerts for inventory changes, simplifies the integration of RMS data feeds and supports reservation delivery from OTAs to GMSs. (www.erevmax.com)
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Prologic First has released integrated channel management functionality for its WISH GMS, allowing hotels to share a single image of available inventory between the GMS, CRS, Web Booking Engine, Internet based OTAs and GDSs. (www.prologicfirst.com
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SiteMinder has been named one of Australia’s 100 fastest-growing companies on the 2012 BRW Fast 100, which ranks Australia’s fastest growing small and medium-sized businesses in both the public and private sectors. (www.siteminder.com)
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Hetras has announced a channel management module for its GMS, allowing changes in room or rate availability to be propagated to multiple OTAs and bookings to be imported automatically into Hetras. (www.hetras.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • San Diego Convention Center implements iMap Multimedia’s Interactive Floor Plans
  • InterContinental launches Passkey’s GroupMAX in 23 Australian and New Zealand properties
  • PSA contracts with Meetingmax Systems
  • Hyatt launches new Group Bill interactive PDF billing and tracking system

The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) has implemented iMap Multimedia’s Interactive Floor Plans, allowing meeting & event planners to drill down interactively to areas of interest for information such as floor level descriptions, individual meeting room details and their setups. The SDCC’s iMaps also include an interactive map of hotels within key areas, each interactively providing information such as number of rooms, address and contact information. The Interactive Floor Plans also include collaboration tools that allow Event Planners, clients and SDCC staff to mark-up the floor plans with specific function details and print or email them to planners, colleagues and other stakeholders. (www.imapenterprises.com)
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InterContinental Hotels Group has launched Passkey’s GroupMAX meetings and events booking tool across 23 of its Australian and New Zealand properties. (www.ichotelsgroup.com, www.passkey.com)
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Event solutions provider PSA has contracted with Meetingmax Systems to use its hotel reservation system to manage the housing needs for clients including USA Triathlon, USA Fencing and the National Senior Games Association, and to link housing and registration for large-scale events. PSA expects to manage more than 300,000 rooms through the system in 2013. (www.ExplorePSA.com, www.meetingmaxsystems.com)
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Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has launched its new Group Bill interactive PDF billing and tracking system, which allows meeting planners to track and reconcile costs daily from their own computers. Group Bill offers planners general summaries with hyperlinks back to the original charge, multiple levels of billing detail and a reduction in paperwork. (www.hyattmeetings.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Prologic First launches @Your WISH guest response management system
  • The Hotel, Brussels implements Intelity’s ICE, OpenWays’ Mobile Key
  • Hotel Nikko San Francisco installs Bittel’s all-in-one UNO Media phone
  • Locatel acquires Docomo Intertouch Europe
  • ViewSonic announces 32” full HD hospitality digital display unit
  • Roomlinx to allow Starz Entertainment to promote its services on Roomlinx’s iTV system
  • Chaminade Resort & Spa deploys Mushroom Networks’ Broadband Bonding for Internet access

Prologic First has launched its @Your WISH guest response management system, a web based multi-property system to help hotels track guest requests, escalate response as needed and analyze the quality of services rendered.  All the Address Hotels and Resorts in Dubai have implemented a custom version of @YourWISH. (www.theaddress.com, www.prologicfirst.com)
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The Hotel, Brussels, Belgium has implemented Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) in three formats: ICE TV for in-room televisions, ICE Connect for guests’ laptops and ICE Mobile for guests’ smartphones and tablets. Guests can use all three to order in-room dining, review information about the hotel and local attractions, schedule wake-up calls and more.
The Hotel also installed Mobile Key by OpenWays to allow guests to use their phones as door keys, integrated with Intelity’s ICE so that a guest downloading the ICE app to his or her smartphone will also have Mobile Key accessible through the ICE menu.
(www.thehotel-brussels.be, www.OpenWays.com, www.intelitycorp.com)
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The 532-room Hotel Nikko San Francisco is upgrading its guestroom technology. It has added Bittel’s all-in-one UNO Media unit that integrates a mobile phone charging station, multi-input audio player, clock radio with alarm into the guestroom phone. The Hotel Nikko also installed UNO Voice speakerphone on all desks, providing the same functionality as UNO Media but without the alarm clock/radio component. The hotel recently upgraded its Internet service to 100MB, and plans to update all guestroom televisions in November. (www.hotelnikkosf.com, www.bittelamericas.com)
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France-based IPTV provider Locatel has acquired Docomo Intertouch Europe, along with its suite of internet access services, in-room entertainment technologies and managed web platforms for hotels. (www.locatel.net)
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ViewSonic has announced a 32” full HD digital display unit for hospitality, with automated controls and multiple input connectivity options. With a user programmable set up menu and RS232 automated control port, the unit can be remotely controlled in multiple display installations from a PC or media player. Inputs include HDMI, DVI, VGA, component video and a USB multimedia support input for JPEG images. (www.viewsonic.com)
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Roomlinx has expanded its agreement with Starz Entertainment to include a commitment to let it promote its services on Roomlinx’s iTV system, potentially generating incremental revenue for hotel owners.  (www.roomlinx.com)
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The Chaminade Resort & Spa near Santa Cruz, CA has deployed Mushroom Networks’ Broadband Bonding technology to boost Internet speed and reliability and solve connectivity issues arising from the resort’s remote location. With DSL unavailable and fiber optic service too expensive, Chaminade used Truffle to bond three business grade WAN circuits to maximize available bandwidth and deliver near 100 percent uptime for guests. (www.chaminade.com, www.mushroomnetworks.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Aptech Computer Systems announces eight new customers with over 120 properties
  • DKN Hotels selects UniFocus’ Time and Attendance (T&A) for nine properties

Aptech Computer Systems announced eight new customers with more than 120 properties. The new clients include:
– Renascent Hospitality will install Profitvue multi-property enterprise back office accounting for nine hotels.
– Courtesy Management will install Profitvue and Aptech’s Webvue centralized online accounting solution.
– Summit Hotel Properties will install Execuvue Business Intelligence for 80 hotels.
– Oliver Companies will install Execuvue at 14 hotels.
– Larco Hospitality will upgrade to the latest mobile-enabled version of Execuvue at its nine hotels.
(www.aptech-inc.com)
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DKN Hotels has selected UniFocus’ Time and Attendance (T&A) system for its nine properties. (www.dknhotels.com, www.unifocus.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach installs iBAHN’s Internet services

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has installed iBAHN’s Internet services, in what is claimed to be Florida’s largest 802.11N wireless Internet network. The new platform includes wired and wireless access and provides guests with roaming Internet connectivity from multiple devices. The resort includes more than 1,500 guest rooms and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space. iBAHN also provides the Fontainebleau with conference services, including a fully managed network with iBAHN hardware, end-to-end WiFi and wired security, an unlimited pool of IP addresses as well as VPN Certification. (www.fontainebleau.com, www.ibahn.com)
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