October 8, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems


Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


Guest Services

Back Office



  • Forgetting what you stand for

Many new companies and products start with a real flash of insight, a brilliant new approach to an old problem or a new idea so compelling it begins a whole new market segment. Maintaining that edge and leadership is another story, and gets harder and harder over time. Competitors spring up providing imitations or even improvements on the original idea, and the pioneers are under constant pressure to prove that they’re still the innovative leaders they once were. It’s almost impossible to maintain that; sooner or later the cracks begin to show.
Two examples spring to mind at the moment. Apple is one. Steve Jobs was an exceptional visionary who saw new ways of doing things and insisted on sheer elegance in execution, both visually and functionally. The iPod, iPhone and iPad were all revolutionary and rightly admired – but now they’re no longer unique; Android devices have equaled or in some cases surpassed them. I’m not a big Apple user, but I don’t think there’s an equivalent in the Apple world to Google Now and its scarily intuitive advice on what you need to know right now about your surroundings and on the traffic between you and your next appointment. In the post-Jobs era there haven’t been any significant new products or ideas, and the company seems to have lost its way a little; the latest iOS 7 upgrade is flat, plain and boring, a clear step backwards visually and no advance functionally.
Another example is LinkedIn. Originally a great way to extend one’s network by finding out who you knew who could introduce you to someone you wanted to meet, it has steadily slid into a semi-professional version of Facebook. There were always people who treated it that way and tried to collect the maximum number of direct connections to prove how valuable and well-connected they were, regardless of whether they actually knew the names they added to their networks. LinkedIn originally offered three response choices: Accept, Deny or Send a Message. I often used the latter to find out if and how I knew the other person; sometimes we did in fact have a connection, but at least it let me politely decline if I didn’t.
However, LinkedIn has gradually reduced the response options, first to a flat Accept/Ignore choice and now to just Accept/Review Profile, presumably on the assumption that I will want to add people to my network regardless of whether I actually know them, just because they asked. Endorsements are a similar sad story; originally a worthwhile way to expand on a person’s talents, LinkedIn has reduced them to a mindless “click to endorse” button that means nothing, judging by the number of people who endorse me for skills they can’t know I possess. As a result, LinkedIn has devalued the whole reason it was started, namely the creation of a reliable way to be introduced to a potential client or employer.
It’s incredibly hard to maintain one’s original point of distinction and creative lead, but companies should at least try to avoid deliberately undermining it. Making changes just because the market expects something new and there aren’t any new ideas to launch is the start of a slide into irrelevance.

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  • Scott Edgington hired by Duetto as Chief Revenue Officer
  • Christian Palomino, Stan Repetta join HTNG’s Board of Governors
  • Six new representatives join HTNG’s Vendor Advisory Council
  • Bill Rose promoted to CIO at Pegasus Solutions
  • Christina Hooker joins innRoad as Director of Sales, Florida

Scott Edgington has been hired by Duetto as Chief Revenue Officer. He was most recently SVP Worldwide Field Operations for SnapLogic, and earlier held senior sales and operations posts with Troux Technologies, TeaLeaf Technology, Voltage Security and BEA Systems.
Christian Palomino and Stan Repetta have joined HTNG’s Board of Governors.
– Mr. Palomino, CIO for Meliá Hotels International, first became involved with HTNG in 2011 as a co-chair of the Secure Payments Framework workgroup.  Based in Mallorca, Spain, he has been with Meliá for the last 14 years.
– Mr. Repetta, Vice President of Enterprise Applications & Innovation, Hilton Worldwide, has been involved in HTNG since 2010.  His past experience includes six years with Perot Systems, three with US Diagnostics and eleven with Securities Industries Automation Corp.

HTNG’s vendor membership has also elected six new representatives to HTNG’s Vendor Advisory Council (VAC):
– Gordon Brown, CEO, TeleAdapt
– Thomas DiGiacomo, Chief Technology Officer, Swisscom
– Tom Moore, Director, Customer Solutions, Hospitality Industry, Motorola Solutions
– Luis Segredo, President, MTech Division, Newmarket International
– Bruce Speechley, Strategy & Transformation Leader for Travel & Transportation, IBM
– Tom Storey, President of Hospitality, Sonifi (formerly LodgeNet)
Bill Rose has been promoted to Chief Information Officer at Pegasus Solutions; he joined Pegasus in 2010 and was most recently Senior Vice President of IT Global Services. Mr. Rose previously served as vice president at Avnet, and earlier worked for 20 years at Coca-Cola, ultimately managing all global custom development for Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Christina Hooker has joined innRoad as Director of Sales, Florida. Ms. Hooker previously worked for over 10 years at Expedia and its Hotels.com subsidiary in the Florida market.

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  • Charlestowne Hotels implements WebRezPro at two properties
  • Infor wins Partner category in 2013 Gaming & Hospitality Awards

Charlestowne Hotels has implemented WebRezPro’s cloud guest management system at the 52-room HarbourView Inn and 50-room French Quarter Inn in Charleston, S.C. The systems include interfaces to the hotels’ credit card gateways and GDS providers. (www.charlestownehotels.com, www.webrezpro.com)
Infor was named the winner of the Partner category in Gaming & Leisure magazine’s 2013 Gaming & Hospitality Awards. The Partner award recognizes the company that winner best illustrated a granular understanding of the real problems faced by its customers, and took steps within its offerings to address those challenges. (www.gamingandleisuremagazine.com, www.infor.com)

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  • Hospitality Integrated Technology signs with Trust International for five properties
  • TAUZIA Hotel Management contracts with Trust International for 13 HARRIS Hotels
  • Greater Madison CVB chooses Regatta booking engine
  • Visit Tucson chooses Regatta booking engine
  • TourSales.com launches 2,500 popular and special interest tours into hospitality market

Hospitality Integrated Technology Sdn Bhd (H.I.T.), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has signed with Trust International for GDS and Internet distribution services and Internet booking for five properties, including the Empire Hotel Subang, the new WOLO Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur and another property in Penang at Bukit Mertajam. H.I.T. is Trust’s first client in Malaysia.
Indonesia’s TAUZIA Hotel Management has contracted with Trust International for centralized reservations and distribution services for its 13 HARRIS Hotels. TAUZIA has four proprietary brands (six budget POP! Hotels, 13 midscale HARRIS Hotels, the economy YELLO Hotels and boutique Preference Hotels (both under development) and is the master franchisee in Southeast Asia for the Worldhotels network of 500 independent properties. TAUZIA plans to add 80 hotels by the end of 2015.
(www.hit-ds.com, www.tauzia.com, www.trustinternational.com)
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau has chosen Regatta Travel Solutions to power the booking engine on their official destination website, visitmadison.com.
Visit Tucson has chosen Regatta Travel Solutions’ booking engine for its destination website for the Mexico market, VamosaTucson.com.
(www.visitmadison.com , www.VamosaTucson.com, www.regattatravelsolutions.com)
TourSales.com has launched its range of 2,500 popular and special interest tours into the hospitality market, helping hotels gain ancillary revenue through commissionable, online bookings of day tours and activities sold through their
hotel-branded websites. Tours can be marketed to guests before and during their hotel stays through reservations agents, concierges or any other designated hotel department. (www.toursales.com)
UniTravel has launched a new version of its booking platform for travel agents. Enhancements include new search parameters including the age of customers’ children. (www.unitravel.com)

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  • AZIMUT Hotels signs with ReviewPro for 21 properties
  • IBEROSTAR renews partnership with ReviewPro
  • Genares integrates Flip.to into its CRS
  • Vantage implements new interface between ZDirect and SynXis
  • Lodging Interactive receives three 2013 W3 Silver Awards
  • Lodging Interactive receives Gold Magellan Award
  • MICROS Systems receives five 2013 WebAwards
  • Equus Hotel, Marina Tower Waikiki, sign with GCommerce Solutions
  • Agilysys releases Insight Mobile Manager dashboard

Russia’s AZIMUT Hotels has signed with ReviewPro to provide online guest feedback to its 21 properties in 12 Russian cities and in seven destinations across Germany and Austria.
IBEROSTAR Hotels& Resorts has renewed its partnership with ReviewPro.
(en.azimuthotels.com, www.iberostar.com, www.reviewpro.com)
Genares has integrated Flip.to’s brand advocate platform into its Central Reservation System, allowing Generas CRS customers to tell their social networks about their bookings and encourage new business. (www.genares.com, www.flip.to)
Vantage Hospitality Group has implemented a new interface between ZDirect and SynXis. Vantage has used ZDirect’s ZMail since 2007 to deliver real-time profiles of hotel guests and centralize each property’s eMarketing by tracking guest behaviors and preferences. Vantage migrated to Sabre’s SynXis CRS earlier this year; the new interface between SynXis and ZMail lets travelers receive personalized email confirmations, post-stay thank-you notes and more. (www.sabrehospitality.com, www.zdirect.com)
Lodging Interactive has received three 2013 W3 Silver Awards from the International Academy of the Visual Arts in both the Hotel & Lodging and Travel categories, one for Green Mountain Inn and two for Lakeway Resort and Spa.
Lodging Interactive has received a Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly in the Hospitality Website Category for outstanding design and development work for Green Mountain Inn.
MICROS Systems has received five 2013 WebAwards from the Web Marketing Association:
– Hotel and Regional Website categories:
– Best in Industry –Regional, for the Visit Roseville website
– Outstanding Website for Parc 55 Wyndham.
– Hotel & Lodging Standard of Excellence awards:
– Las Terrazas Resort website,
– Woodstock Inn & Resort website
– Joie de Vivre Hotels website
The Equus Hotel and the Marina Tower Waikiki, Honolulu, have signed with GCommerce Solutions for updated Websites and targeted search marketing services. (www.equushotel.com, www.marinatowerwaikiki.com, www.GCommerceSolutions.com)
Agilysys has released its Insight Mobile Manager application, a mobile dashboard offering hotel managers key property information including remaining arrivals and departures, VIPs, total guests, rooms, house status, housekeeping, revenue, groups, group rooms remaining and reservation summary. Users can tap on each panel to drill down for more detailed information. The data can be filtered by several criteria including property, building or wing and can be programmed to refresh automatically or on demand. Insight Mobile Manager currently runs on Apple mobile devices running iOS6 or iOS7 and integrates fully with Agilysys’ LMS guest management system, accessing the user credentials and security protocols established there. It will be released later this year for Agilysys’ Visual One guest management system and, in 2014, for its next-generation application. (www.agilysys.com)

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  • EzRMS listed as a Champion in Info-Tech’s Revenue Management Systems Vendor Landscape
  • JustBook.com implements RezGain
  • protel integrates with eRevMax’s Connect
  • Beach Vacations implements eRevMax’s RateTiger for seven properties

Infor’s EzRMS has been listed as a Champion in this year’s Info-Tech Research Group Revenue Management Systems Vendor Landscape. (www.infotech.com, www.infor.com)
European online travel agent JustBook.com has implemented RezGain, RateGain’s  channel management application to help its clients manage their online distribution. (www.justbook.com, www.rategain.com)
protel hotelsoftware has integrated eRevMax’s Connect two-way XML gateway with its guest management system to help its users update rates and inventory on multiple online distribution channels in real-time.
Beach Vacations has implemented eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager for seven of its properties in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
(www.protel.net, www.erevmax.com)

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  • Accor implements Salesforce.com-based ANAIS sales force automation app
  • PSAV reselling Cvent’s CrowdCompass mobile app development platform
  • Caesars Entertainment deploys Passkey’s GroupMAX at all eight Las Vegas hotels
  • Meritus Hotels & Resorts adopts Passkey’s GroupMAX

Accor has implemented a Salesforce.com-based application called ANAIS (Accor New Application for Integrated Sales) for its 700 salespersons across the world. ANAIS brings several applications (contracting, database, reporting, etc.) into a single tool, centralizing all the Group’s data on its 320,000 B-to-B customer accounts (including past and current contracts) and monitors business practices before, during and after their stay. It also encourages sales force collaboration by offering chat features, the ability to discuss customer opportunities and document sharing. (www.accor.com)
PSAV is now reselling and supporting Cvent’s CrowdCompass mobile app development platform to corporate meeting and event planners and hoteliers. CrowdCompass gives event planners a simple way to build and publish branded event apps. (www.psav.com, www.cvent.com)
Caesars Entertainment has deployed Passkey’s GroupMAX hotel booking technology at all eight of its Las Vegas hotels, two years after a pilot implementation at its Caesars Palace property,
Singapore-based Meritus Hotels & Resorts has adopted Passkey’s GroupMAX. Meritus’ flagship hotel, the Mandarin Orchard Singapore, and its Marina Mandarin Singapore property will both deploy GroupMAX this Fall.
(www.cetmeetings.com, www.meritushotels.com, www.passkey.com)

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  • Puma Hotels completes group-wide upgrade of Xn Hotel Systems’ EPoS
  • Lemon Tree Bangalore opens using Prologic First’s Touché POS
  • Prologic First releases Android-based version of Touché Mobile POS

Puma Hotels has completed its group-wide upgrade of Xn Hotel Systems’ EPoS system across its 21 properties in the UK. The group (then the Paramount Group of Hotels) first installed the dotPOS Enterprise Point of Sale System in 2002. The project included a significant hardware refresh, a comprehensive rebuild of POS data, a software update and group-wide training of new features and processes, plus a new interface to the group’s stock and procurement system. (www.pumahotels.co.uk, www.xnhotels.com)
The Lemon Tree Bangalore has opened using Prologic First’s Touché POS and WebPROl’IFIC for back office operations.
Prologic First has released an Android-based version of its Touché Mobile POS, fully integrated into the Touché POS itself.
(www.lemontreehotels.com, www.prologicfirst.com)

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  • Starwood linking SynergyMMS maintenance software with its StarGuest Response+
  • Guest-tek research reports 82% of UK’s leading hotels receive guest complaints on technology
  • Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel installing Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications platform
  • LOCATEL launches Mobility range of mobile applications
  • INTEREL and LOCATEL partner to offer guestroom services app using augmented reality interface
  • Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa adds Eleven’s iMac guest computing service

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is linking Systems Associates Inc.’s SynergyMMS maintenance management software with Starwood’s StarGuest Response+ application, which tracks on-premise guest requests and complaints. SynergyMMS pulls all maintenance requests and identifies who should do what work, where and when; once completed, the information is passed to StarGuest Response+ to record the guest request and how the hotel responded. All 160 owned and managed Starwood properties will receive the integration; 15 properties are already live with it. (www.saicorporate.com, www.starwoodhotels.com)
According to research carried out by Guest-tek, more than four fifths of the UK’s leading hotels (82%) have received guest complaints due to the lack of innovative technology on their premises. Almost nine in ten IT professionals in luxury hotels across the country (86%) believe guests would be more satisfied with their stays if the hotel offered the optimal High Speed Internet (HSIA) solutions on the market today, and 82% of respondents feel that providing the most up-to-date HSIA is either important or vital. Guest-tek is using these figures to support the launch of its in-room technology and internet services to the UK market. (www.guest-tek.com)
The Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel is installing Quadriga’s Sensiq TV-based guest communications platform in all 438 guest rooms, replacing the existing IPTV solution.  Sensiq will provide a range of HD entertainment content and TV channels, information about Dubai and hotel services, and a range of guest applications such as wake-up, view bill, express check-out and news and weather. A customized interface supports 26 guest languages. (www.sofitel-dubai-jumeirahbeach.com, www.quadriga.com)
LOCATEL has launched its Mobility range of mobile applications, including the Lobby and In Room Companion modules. – Lobby Companion, intended for the public areas – lobby, bar, business center – provides customers and visitors using tablets with information on the hotel and its services, local tourist attractions and access to internet.
– In Room Companion,  designed for tablets and installed on hotel devices provides access to a range of in-room services, including room service ordering, spa reservations, automation control, TV remote control and express check-out.
– Mobility Companion is intended for guests’ smartphones and tablets, and allows guests to stay in contact with the hotel before, during and after their stay.
INTEREL has partnered with LOCATEL to offer high-end hotels a single tablet app combining room control and in-room mobile content and services using INTEREL’s augmented reality interface. INTEREL’s UI allows guests to control room lights, air conditioning, curtains and set predefined scenes and moods as well as use room service features such as do not disturb/ make-up the room /laundry calls and a complete housekeeping workflow.
(www.interelme.com, www.locatel.net)
Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa has added Eleven’s iMac guest computing service, with limited complimentary computer access and a guest-pay model for additional usage and printing. (keywest.hyatt.com, elevenwireless.com)

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  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess deploys Newmarket’s REX 
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea installs InvoTech Systems’ UHF-RFID Uniform System
  • Malsi Resort Dehradun, India, implements Prologic First’s WebPROL’IFIC

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has deployed Newmarket’s REX Room Expediter. (www.scottsdaleprincess.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
Hyatt’s 297-room Andaz Maui at Wailea has installed InvoTech Systems’ UHF-RFID Uniform System to automate management of 3,000 uniforms for its staff of 300. The uniform management system is integrated with White Conveyors’ U-Pick-It automated uniform delivery system. The hotel will also use InvoTech’s electronic signature capture to ensure employee accountability. (maui.andaz.hyatt.com, www.invotech.com)
The Malsi Resort Dehradun, India, is implementing Prologic First’s WebPROL’IFIC for financial consolidation. (www.vanaretreats.com, www.prologicfirst.com)

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