September 10, 2007

In this issue…

People on the Move

Property Management Systems

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Back Office

Engineering


AUGUST 29 – SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • A tech service I’d pay for

Another week, another road trip, another hassle with hotel guestroom Internet access. Last week, a three-star property’s wired connection was flawless, just plug and play – er, work. This week, at a five star resort with wireless service: well, last night it worked fine. Tonight, I can receive e-mail but not send it, though I can access the Internet without a problem.
I have no idea what changed overnight, and neither do the helpful, friendly and patient support staff at the HSIA provider’s support number. We’ve re-configured Outlook to yet another set of “standard” parameters – why does every vendor’s version seem to be different? – but to no avail. There’s often an assumption that I should have my PC checked out by my IT department when I get home, but I AM my IT department. Based on past experience, I’ll probably change the parameters back to what worked last time – I’ve long ago learned to take notes when remote help desks ask me to change settings – re-boot a few times and it’ll probably work fine again, though it’s all time I’d really rather spend on something more productive.
I’ve expressed my feelings before on the subject of hotels that charge you for Internet access but when it doesn’t work expect you to spend your own time and effort working with their vendor’s Help Desk to try to fix it, and it still feels wrong. But given the complex state of most modern laptops and the range of software we have to load on them to protect ourselves – anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam, anti-spyware, not to mention security updates from Microsoft that sometimes just refuse to load – maybe the task is just too difficult for easy resolution.
Some high-end properties differentiate themselves by offering the services of a “Technology Butler” who can help guests with connectivity problems during their stay. I don’t know if they would have had any greater luck than I did tonight. But a service I’d willingly pay for at any hotel would be the chance to sit down for an hour with an expert PC technician to go through my PC and clean it up – resolve known conflicts between mainstream programs, work around known security patch issues to make sure it’s up to date, tell me why Outlook always tells me it was closed improperly last time so must spend ten minutes inspecting its own navel before it’ll deign to let me see my e-mail – just anything that reduces the number of unnecessary hassles that cause so much aggravation and wasted time.
Anyone know of a service like this, that hotels could offer either internally or on contract, that I could book in advance for my next trip?
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Tom Giannopoulos named Hospitality Executive of the Year by Penn State H&RS
  • Trevor Stuart–Hill joins SynXis as Vice President of Accounts and Revenue Management

Tom Giannopoulos, the Chairman, President & CEO of MICROS Systems, Inc., has been named the 2007 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society. As part of the honor, Mr. Giannopoulos will also be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame.
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Trevor Stuart–Hill has joined SynXis as Vice President of Accounts and Revenue Management. Mr. Stuart-Hill has spent almost 20 years in the industry, most recently as Vice President of Revenue Services with Destination Hotels & Resorts. He previously held executive positions at Sage Hospitality Resources and Sheraton, and is an active participator in many industry associations including HSMAI and TIA.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Gleneagles Hotel orders PAR Springer-Miller suite

The Gleneagles Hotel has ordered PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SMS|Host PMS. The 285-room resort includes 3 golf courses, riding, fishing, off road driving, falconry, shooting, archery, a spa and several bars and restaurants. Modules to be implemented include the Front Office System, SMS|Owner Fulfillment for the seasonal ownership homes at Glenmor, SMS|Spa/Resort Scheduling, SMS|Activities, SMS|Golf Tee Times and both SMS|Retail and SMS|Touch POS systems. (www.gleneagles.com, www.springermiller.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • UniFocus launching SERVICEScope mystery shopping system
  • ICE Portal launches ‘supersize’ feature for its digital brochures

UniFocus is launching its SERVICEScope mystery shopping system that will link service standard attainment to guest and employee perceptions. The service works on the assumption that standards impact guest perceptions, that employee attitudes affect the delivery of those standards, and that the correlation between these data points needs to be measured in order to identify appropriate actions to improve performance. (www.unifocus.com)
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ICE Portal has launched a ‘supersize’ feature for its digital brochures, which allows Web-browsers and prospective travelers click an option to enlarge the media file over 100% to show greater detail. The enlarged image retains options to play, stop, reset, and zoom in or out of the 360 degree virtual tours. (www.iceportal.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Rate Tiger releases Lite and Pro versions of RT Shopper and RT Allocator
  • Oberoi picks IDeaS for all its hotels in India
  • Millennium and Copthorne implementing IDeaS V5i in Asia Pacific, EAME and the Americas

Rate Tiger has released Lite and Pro versions of its RT Shopper and RT Allocator products. The Pro versions now provide additional distribution channels for customers to benchmark their property against, a more flexible single-user interface, new handling mechanisms for merchant rates, and more flexibility in retrieving market status reports. The Lite versions are targeted at small and boutique hotels unable to assign time and resources into administering multiple distribution channels. (www.ratetiger.com)
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Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has selected IDeaS Revenue Optimization for deployment at all Oberoi hotels in India, with two-way integration to Oberoi’s MICROS systems and one-way uploads to TRUST CRS and RTAllocator.
Millennium and Copthorne is implementing IDeaS V5i on-demand Revenue Optimization system across its hotels in Asia Pacific, EAME and the Americas.
(www.oberoihotels.com, www.millenniumhotels.com, www.ideas.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • IHG rolling out Passkey to all InterContinentals, Crowne Plazas and some Holiday Inns
  • Real Hotels & Resorts picks Newmarket’s Delphi MPE for 16 hotels

IHG is rolling out Passkey services in 2008 to all InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Plaza sites, plus some Holiday Inn properties. IHG will offer meeting planners full integration to all Passkey tools including customized event-specific hotel reservation websites for event attendees to manage their hotel reservations online. Passkey will also allow meeting planners to upload rooming lists, link reservation information to IHG hotels and track hotel block pick-up and reservation status. (www.ichotelsgroup.com, www.passkey.com)
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El Salvador-based Real Hotels & Resorts has selected Newmarket International’s Delphi Multi Property Edition (MPE) for the 16 hotels it operates in Central and North America under the flags of InterContinental Hotels Group, Choice Hotels International and Marriott Hotels and Resorts. Another 11 hotels are under development in the United States, Central and South America and the Caribbean. (www.realhotelsandresorts.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • B.B. King’s Blues Club picks ReServe Catering and Event Management software for four sites

B.B. King’s Blues Club has contracted for ReServe Interactive’s Web-based Catering and Event Management software for its four properties in Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla. (www.reserveinteractive.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Robert Treat Hotel installing FlyteBoard to show real-time Newark arrival and departure information
  • Userful Corp offers up to 10 Internet Kiosks and Web Cafes run by a single computer

The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey is installing Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard display screens to show real-time airline arrival and departure information for Newark International Airport. Flyte Systems uses the hotel’s high-speed Internet connection to provide accurate, airport-centric updates of the flight information, including gate locations. Both the Robert Treat Hotel and its sister property the Ramada Inn Jersey City currently use Flyte Systems FlyteChannel in-room TV-based flight information service and FlyteTouch kiosks, which allow guests to search flight data on lobby touch screens. (www.rthotel.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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Userful Corporation is positioning its pay-per-use Internet Kiosks and Web Cafes as an environmentally responsible approach to HSIA, in that it can run up to 10 monitors, mice and keyboards on a single computer, reducing the power and cooling needs of multiple processors. The units include over 40 software applications in over 50 languages at no charge. (www.userful.com)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Westin Lombard Yorktown Center using Hostar International’s ProHost system

The new 500-room Westin Lombard Yorktown Center is using Hostar International’s ProHost system for housekeeping operations and minibar restocking. (www.hostar.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Hilton Garden Inn El Paso is 1,100th property to install MTech’s PMWorks

The 153-room Hilton Garden Inn El Paso (Texas) has become the 1,100th property to install MTech’s PMWorks preventive-maintenance software. It is also the most recent of Interstate’s Crossroads Division 100+ properties to be installed with PMWorks. (www.hiltongardeninn.com, www.m-tech.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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