September 10, 2013

In this issue…

People on the Move

Guest Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Communications / Infrastructure

AUGUST 21 – SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Thoughts on leadership from the CIO Summit
  • Hospitality technology vendors listed in the Inc. 5000

Random thoughts about leadership, prompted by last week’s outstanding CIO Summit in Washington DC, surely the best so far.
– In the opening social event (a scavenger hunt throughout downtown DC) we were asked to pick team leaders by the time-honored(?) method of all of us simultaneously pointing to the person we wanted as leader. While this instantly elected the immediately-apparent leaders, once the exercise started the true leaders very quickly emerged – those who could size up the situation, devise a good strategy, direct the team enthusiastically towards a productive route and encourage them constantly to look for – and produce – ways to win more points. Talent will out.
– The opening session was Bryan Williams’ excellent overview of what it takes to be an outstanding CIO, with examples starting with his first job as a 17-year-old towel boy at a Caribbean resort who was noticed – and mentored every two weeks – by the resort GM.
– The outstanding session on the second day from Bill Oates – yes, _that_ Bill Oates, former CIO of Sheraton and Starwood, currently CIO of the City of Boston – was the epitome of everything Bryan Williams had been speaking about. Starting from an annual IT budget of $200,000 for the whole city and the deafening sound of typewriters throughout his office – in 2006 – to a fully-networked city where residents reporting potholes on a mobile app are contacted by the crew that fixed them, and with an infrastructure that materially helped the police track down the Marathon bombers, Bill has led an amazing surge in data-driven empowerment for the citizens and for the city government.
– And finally, the Fairmont Hotel itself, where the conference was held, quite clearly has excellent leadership. The property was immaculate, the food excellent, the rooms comfortable and the staff uniformly friendly and helpful. You may not always be able to see good leadership, but you can surely see its results.
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Several hospitality vendors are listed in the Inc. 5000 ranking of the fastest-growing privately-held companies this year, some for consecutive years, which is clear evidence of continued strong interest in hotel technology. It’s interesting that the three mentioned below are all in data-related areas: reservations, revenue management and guest feedback/labor management. I take this as an encouraging sign that hotel management continues to see the power and value of having quantified information about what’s going on at their properties.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Mark Sohl hired by Rainmaker as VP Technology Operations
  • Greg Woodliff joins hotel SystemsPro as Director of Technical Support
  • Anuj (AJ) Jenveja, Orie Berezan, Gayle Ehrean join Duetto’s Customer Success team
  • Cynthia Roberts joins innRoad as Director of Sales, Western US
  • Karim Meghji appointed Chief Product Officer and VP Engineering at buuteeq
  • Jeff Haslow recognized as CFO by the Year (Private Company) in Proformative’s CFO Dimensions Awards for Excellence

Mark Sohl has been hired by The Rainmaker Group as Vice President of Technology Operations. Prior to joining Rainmaker, Mr. Sohl held CIO, COO and SVP positions with a number of technology-driven organizations, such as AutoTrader.com and CheckFree Corporation. He also held key leadership roles in revenue management with Delta Technologies and Delta Air Lines.
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Greg Woodliff has joined hotel SystemsPro as Director of Technical Support. Mr. Woodliff brings more than 20 years of hospitality technology support experience.
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Duetto has expanded its Customer Success Team to include:
– Anuj (AJ) Jenveja, Vice President of Customer Success, most recently served as Managing Partner of Duetto Consulting with a focus in revenue management consulting and outsourcing for casino resorts. Prior to that, Mr. Jenveja worked at Caesars Entertainment Corporation as a President’s Associate in Corporate Finance, and later, in revenue management for the Las Vegas region.
– Orie Berezan, Director of Customer Success, brings two decades of hospitality management experience, for brands including Intrawest, Four Seasons and Playground Corporation, which marketed such brands as Westin and Rosewood in Mexico.
– Gayle Ehrean, Senior Manager Customer Success, brings nearly twenty years of hotel experience including 14 years of revenue management experience across multiple brands. She joins Duetto from Marriott International, where she was most recently the brand’s Revenue Management Operations Leader for multiple properties in the San Francisco market. Prior to that, she was City Director of Revenue Analysis for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, and earlier Director of Revenue Management at the Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel. Ms. Ehrean has also held Revenue Management positions with Joie de Vivre Hotels and Tarsadia Hotels.
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Cynthia Roberts has joined innRoad as Director of Sales, Western US. She has worked in hospitality sales for the past 18 years with companies such as Hotwire.com and Travelclick.
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Karim Meghji has been appointed Chief Product Officer and Vice President of Engineering at buuteeq. Mr. Meghji previously served as Vice President of Products and Engineering at Yapta, and founded and bootstrapped home services site HelpHive. He earlier spent 10 years at RealNetworks on the executive team.
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Jeff Haslow, Chief Financial Officer at The Knowland Group, has been recognized as CFO by the Year (Private Company) in Proformative’s CFO Dimensions Awards for Excellence. He was cited for his efforts in implementing a cloud-based financial management system which significantly improved the company’s accounting and finance processes. Mr. Haslow joined in The Knowland Group in 2008; he previously held senior finance positions with The Ocean Atlantic Companies, Monogram Building and Design, and was VP of Finance when four companies merged to form eMotion.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Opera House Hotel selects Skyware Systems Enterprise GMS
  • SkyTouch announces HTNG-based interface with Pegasus’ RVNG

The 60-room Opera House Hotel in New York has selected Skyware Systems Enterprise GMS as its online booking engine. The former Bronx Opera House opened last week, and is the 5th Empire Hotel Group property to use Skyware Systems cloud service. (www.operahousehotel.com, www.skywaresystems.com)
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SkyTouch Technology announced an HTNG-based interface with Pegasus Solutions’ RVNG central reservation system. (www.pegs.com, www.skytouchtechnology.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Sceptre Hospitality Resources listed in Inc. 5000
  • Nara adds hotels to its restaurant web search engine

Sceptre Hospitality Resources has been listed in Inc. magazine’s annual 5000 fastest-growing privately-held companies. (www.sceptrehospitality.com.)
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Nara has added hotel search capabilities to its restaurant web search engine, partnered with the Expedia Affiliate Network to book hotels directly online and with Trip Advisor for ratings and reviews of 13,000 hotels. Nara’s engine analyzes user behavior and uses artificial intelligence to make personalized recommendations. Users can discover hotels in new cities that are similar to those they already like and learn why Nara made that recommendation. Initially Nara will be limited to 50 cities across the US and Canada and to the Nara.me Web platform, but plans to expand to offer nationwide coverage and a mobile app are well advanced. (www.nara.me)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Aptech announces orders from nine hotel companies
  • HeBS Digital awarded Outstanding Achievement in Website Development at IMA for MetaSearch Gateway
  • M3 offers STR data directly within its hosted business intelligence and analytics platform
  • UniFocus participates in TRUSTe® U.S.-EU Safe Harbor program
  • UniFocus ranked in Inc. Top 5000
  • Digital Alchemy interfaces Customer Service Portal with Genares Worldwide’s gBooker
  • NORTHWIND announces RevGen Suite of Business Intelligence, Yield Management and e-Marketing tools

Aptech Computer Systems announced that 9 hotel companies with a total of more than 120 properties have recently selected Aptech’s business intelligence, budgeting and accounting systems.  These include:
– ZMC Hotels (30 properties) upgraded to the newest version of the Execuvue BI tool.
– American Liberty Hospitality (20 properties)
– International Hospitality Enterprises (9 properties) will implement Execuvue, Targetvue budgeting and Profitvue accounting.
– Baltes Commercial Reality
– National Hotel Miami Beach.
(www.aptech-inc.com)
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HeBS Digital has received an Outstanding Achievement in Website Development award at the Interactive Media Awards for its proprietary MetaSearch Gateway marketing technology platform. The MetaSearch Gateway allows hotels, resorts and casinos to participate in new meta search and cost-per-click (CPC) programs such as Google Hotel Finder, Bing Hotel Price Ads, TripAdvisor Meta Search, Kayak.com, Trivago Meta Search, WeGo.com, etc. The technology enables, runs, manages, tracks and reports on any property’s meta search marketing campaigns on all of the meta search sites. (www.HeBSDigital.com)
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M3 Accounting + Analytics is now offering STR data directly within M3’s hosted business intelligence and analytics platform, available to any M3 Link client who subscribes to STR. A dashboard shows fully-configurable STR data alongside financial and operational business intelligence, guest satisfaction ratings and verbatim comments. Adjustments and changes made to the data are reflected immediately in the dashboard; users can change the competitive set for reports and view historical performance data, while archiving prior STR reports in the cloud. (www.str.com, www.M3AS.com)
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UniFocus announced its participation in the TRUSTe® U.S.-EU Safe Harbor program. Participation in the Safe Harbor program eases the process European organizations undergo when partnering with U.S. businesses and streamlines compliance requirements.
UniFocus has been ranked in the Inc. magazine Top 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.
(www.UniFocus.com)
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Digital Alchemy has released a real-time web services interface between its Customer Service Portal and Genares Worldwide’s gBooker hotel booking engine, giving Genares customers access to Digital Alchemy’s CRM tools and revenue generating services. The integration allows Genares customers to promote their brands through unique, customized guest communications, including Reservation Confirmation, Cancellation, Pre-Stay Marketing and Thank-You Notes. (www.genares.com , www.Digital-Alchemy.com)
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NORTHWIND has announced its RevGen Suite, a unified set of Business Intelligence (BI), Yield Management and e-Marketing tools.  It combines BI data from Maestro’s Big Picture Data Management Dashboards with its Smart e-Messaging, Dynamic Yield Management, ResWave2 Booking Engine and new WebPRO Pre-Registration Online.  With over 17 pre-configured views, the aggregated data from all sources gives hoteliers graphic, mobile-optimized data views including real-time revenue performance by market segment, geographic region, rate packages, RevPAR by day of the week, season, reservation source and many other data combinations. A Corporate Export Module aggregates data from multiple Maestro modules and third party systems into one data mart. Smart eMessaging communicates with guests before they arrive, while on-property, and after departure to offer add-on amenities and upgrades, customized by rate-code, guest-type, season, and room. The newly enhanced Dynamic Yield Management optimizes revenue with precise rate setting criteria for guests and groups, offering dynamic yield strategies specific to each channel. (www.maestropms.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Kimpton names IDeaS its exclusive RMS provider
  • Principal-Hayley (PH) Hotels signs with SiteMinder for distribution services
  • Citybase Apartments selects eRevMax’s RateTiger Corp
  • H10 Hotels picks eRevMax’s RateTiger
  • Revenue Science Corporation to use RateGain’s PriceGain rate intelligence data in its PRIMES RMS 
  • Rainmaker listed in Inc. 5000 for third consecutive year.

Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group has named IDeaS Revenue Solutions as its exclusive revenue management systems provider, extending the companies’ seven-year partnership. IDeaS’ RMS will be implemented at all Kimpton’s existing and future hotel properties. (www.KimptonHotels.com, www.ideas.com)
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British hotel group Principal-Hayley (PH) Hotels has signed with SiteMinder for distribution services. Owned by Starwood Capital Group, PH Hotels runs 23 hotels, country estates and conference venues across England, Wales and Scotland together with a château in France. (www.principal-hayley.com, www.siteminder.co.uk)
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UK-based agency Citybase Apartments has selected eRevMax to enforce rate parity and best rate guarantee for all its 200 connected properties. Citybase will use RateTiger Corp to monitor suppliers’ rates across competitor sales channels to analyze its market position and identify any discrepancies.
Spain’s H10 Hotels has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger.  Two H10 properties (Urquinaona Plaza and Port Vell) have been using RateTiger Channel Manager to manage rates and availability centrally in real-time across a variety of channels, along with RateTiger Shopper to monitor competitor rates. H10 Hotels has over 40 hotels in 16 destinations.
(www.Citybaseapartments.com, www.h10hotels.com, www.erevmax.com)
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Revenue Science Corporation (RSC) will use RateGain’s PriceGain rate intelligence tool to provide its PRIMES RMS with data for its hotels and resorts in the Asia Pacific region. (www.revenuescienceasia.com, www.rategain.com)
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The Rainmaker Group has earned a spot on Inc. magazine’s 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, for the third year in a row. Last year Rainmaker achieved 130 percent revenue growth, up 15 percent over its triple-digit percentage from a year earlier. (www.LetItRain.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Crestron combines DMPS and ArMedia into single presentation product
  • SpeedRFP adds 38,000+ clients in past 12 months, exceeds 65,000-member mark, used in in bookings exceeding $100,000,000

Crestron has combined its DMPS and ArMedia tools into a single presentation product. The DMPS Series delivers bit-for-bit, no latency HD video switching and display, including HDCP-protected content, providing seamlessly connections for MacBook or PC laptops, and integrates an amplifier, audio DSP, mic mixer, multimedia matrix switcher and control system in a single 3-space rackmount system. AirMedia provides wireless HD presentation and collaboration from iOS or Android mobile devices; up to 32 users can connect at the same time in the same room, and using Quad View up to four presenters’ content can be displayed simultaneously. (www.crestron.com/dmps-airmedia)
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SpeedRFP announced that it added more than 38,000 meeting planners and other buyers in the past 12 months, surpassing the 65,000-member mark and being involved in bookings exceeding $100,000,000 in meeting revenues in the same period. (www.SpeedRFP.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • MICROS to integrate PayPal into POS platforms
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MICROS Systems has announced its intention to integrate PayPal into its POS platforms. (www.micros.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Indel B announces KD50 drawer minibar
  • Quadriga establishes subsidiary in Dubai
  • Action Hotels picks Quadriga’s Sensiq and IPTV for new 242-room Holiday Inn Muscat
  • Bin Shamikh selects Quadriga for 392-room project in Doha
  • Embassy Suites Baltimore Downtown installs Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard
  • iRiS’ Guest Valet application now supports integration with PABX systems via SIP servers

Indel B has announced its KD50 drawer minibar with a “Smart” energy management that complies with European Energy Efficiency Regulation 643/2009. The Smart System manages cooling according to whether a guestroom is designated as vacant or occupied and a guest is inside or outside the guestroom. (www.indelb.com)
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Quadriga has established a new subsidiary based in Dubai.
Action Hotels has selected Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communication and entertainment platform and its IPTV system for the new 242-room Holiday Inn Muscat, due to open later in 2013.
Bin Shamikh has selected Quadriga’s communications and entertainment platform for a 392-room project in Doha; the hotel operator is so far unannounced.
(www.quadriga.com)
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The Embassy Suites Baltimore Downtown has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard airline schedule display. (www.embassysuitesbaltimore.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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iRiS Software Systems announced that its iRiS Guest Valet application now supports integration with PABX systems via SIP servers, allowing guests to make internal and external phone calls from within the app. The integration will be piloted at the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna. (www.irisapps.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Accor picks Swisscom Hospitality for High-speed Internet Access at 194 UK hotels

Accor has selected Swisscom Hospitality to provide High-speed Internet Access (HSIA) to power its free Wi-Fi at 194 hotels in the UK, which include the ibis, Novotel, Mercure and Pullman brands. Swisscom’s network management tools provide hotel IT Managers with an active view of their hotel networks in real-time, as well as monthly and quarterly reviews of key performance indicators such as service availability, bandwidth consumption, data up- and downloads, both on a time-line and per hotel area. (www.accorhotels.com, www.swisscom.ch/en/business/hospitality.html)
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