September 14, 2010

In this issue…

People on the Move

Hospitality Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

Spa/Golf/Leisure

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Key factors when picking an HMS (at least in Italy): on-line booking engine and outstanding support
  • HTNG and GSA launch expansion of HTNG standards into gaming arena

What do hoteliers look for in an HMS? If Italy is any guideline, the top two factors are on on-line booking engine for their Web site and a complete, qualified and professional support network. The survey of 200 Italian hoteliers and decision makers was conducted by the University of Venice’s Ca`Foscari Formazione e Ricerche SRL, and asked for input on the most sought after features in HMS software and which features the respondents were most willing to pay for.


The 7 most important HMS features were:

1. Online Booking Engine integration (58%)
2. Revenue Management integration in the PMS (51%)
3. Management Control and Sales (46%)
4. Detailed Reporting system (39.5%)
5. IDS Integration & Management (34.5%)
6. Integrated Mailing System (33%)
7. GDS Integration & Management (27.5%)

And the aspects hoteliers are willing to pay extra for were:

1. Qualified, Top-Notch Assistance (75%)
2. Reliability (70%)
3. Possibility of product customization (52%)
4. Completeness (37%)
5. Consultancy for optimal use (11%)
6. Brand (5%)

If nothing else, this implies that there are still opportunities for an unknown start-up developer to do well if it provides excellent service on top of good functionality. The two have to go together, and a well-known brand name is clearly not enough.
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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is expanding back into the gaming arena in a joint effort with the Gaming Standards Association (GSA); the two organizations are launching a coordinated standards development effort to integrate customer information across a variety of hotel and gaming systems. The objective is to provide an integrated view of each customer across the entire operation, expanding HTNG’s Single Guest Itinerary specification to include Player Tracking, Show Ticketing and other gaming activities systems and adding historical spending activity. HTNG will also coordinate with OpenTravel Alliance for consistency across data elements where OpenTravel Alliance standards exist, such as customer profile definition.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Steve Doherty honored with HFTP’s 2010 Paragon Award
  • Peter Engel promoted to CTO at Marcus Hotels and Resorts
  • Aitor Agueda joins OpenWays as VP Research and Development
  • Erynn Dalton-Torrenga joins Intelity Solutions as VP Field Sales
  • Sarah Strehle hired by Intelity as Hospitality Sales Manager
  • Brad Lattin joins Intelity as inside sales manager
  • Jaycel West hired as technology operations manager at Intelity
  • John Figueroa joins Libra OnDemand as Customer Success Manager
  • Darrin Whipple named an Account Executive at Libra OnDemand
  • Steve Cashman has been appointed as Vice President, Americas at iBAHN

Steve Doherty is being honored with HFTP’s 2010 Paragon Award, the first time this recognition has been granted posthumously. The Paragon Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to both HFTP and the hospitality industry. Mr. Doherty was cited for his 14-year dedication to HFTP and his focus on educating its members. He contributed to HFTP at every level, being a member of six chapters in his career and, on the Global level, was active on the Paragon Selection Committee and Leadership Academy (now the Leadership Summit). As Senior Client Relations Manager at POST Integrations, Inc., he constantly promoted finance education, speaking frequently on PCI compliance, the Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), fraud, cost saving and credit card processing.
**
Peter Engel has been promoted to chief technology officer for Marcus Hotels and Resorts. A 30-year IT veteran, Mr. Engel joined The Marcus Corporation in 2004 as director of technology. He had earlier served as president of Aperias Management Services, IT and strategic management consultancy, as chief operating officer for Trisept Solutions and as senior vice president at The Mark Travel Corporation.
**
Aitor Agueda has joined OpenWays as Vice President of Research and Development. Mr. Agueda brings 25 years of experience in hospitality and hotel security, having served as Director of Research and Development at TESA/Onity. Most recently, he was Founder and CEO of Azkartek, an RFID and Near Field Communications based security system company.
**
Erynn Dalton-Torrenga has joined Intelity Solutions as vice president of field sales. Ms. Dalton-Torrenga had previously served for thirteen years as vice president of sales and business development at call accounting/telemanagement vendor Metropolis.
Sarah Strehle has been hired by Intelity as hospitality sales manager for the southeast (excluding south Florida), the upper Midwest and central Canada. She was formerly an account manager for revenue performance providing Internet services to hotels.
Brad Lattin is Intelity’s new inside sales manager with a focus on the mobile market.
Jaycel West has joined Intelity as technology operations manager, to lead the client services and support team; he had previously worked at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Microsoft and Adobe.
**
John Figueroa has joined Libra OnDemand as its newest Customer Success Manager, responsible for helping clients get the most out of the system’s comprehensive suite of applications. Mr. Figueroa has extensive experience with Force.com, Libra OnDemand’s backbone platform, having from his most recent position as Technology Relationship Manager for Universal Orlando Resort.
Darrin Whipple has been named as an Account Executive at Libra OnDemand. Mr. Whipple was most recently Director of Rooms and Guest Services at Hilton’s Doubletree Guest Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and earlier served with the Walt Disney World Resort.
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Steve Cashman has been appointed as Vice President, Americas at iBAHN, after serving for several months as a sales consultant. Mr. Cashman was most recently chief strategy officer for nearly four years at Exceptional Innovation (EI), and had earlier served as vice president of sales at Colorado vNet.
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HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Skyware releases two-way interface with InnLink CRS
  • Agilysys releases version 8.2.6 of Visual One suite
  • Caliente Resorts contracts with SPI Software for vacation ownership software
  • Ariane announces its hotel self-service kiosk transactions exceed $5 billion worldwide

Skyware Hospitality Solutions has released a two-way interface with InnLink’s CRS, to automate reservation, rate and real time availability exchange between the two systems. (www.innlink.com , www.skywaresystems.com)
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Agilysys has released version 8.2.6 of its Visual One suite, the first generally-available release of the 8.2.x version. Among a long list of 8.2.x enhancements are on-line booking of spa, golf and other activities, Sales & Catering integration with Outlook, gift card support across InfoGenesis, HMS and Accounting, a spa booking wizard, enhanced commission logic, improved multi-building posting logic, comp accounting for casinos, club member verification display at POS, and tighter integration between the HMS, Eatec and Accounting. (www.agilysys.com)
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Caliente Resorts, which operates clothing-optional luxury resorts through a points-based club, along with hotel accommodations and whole-ownership models, has contracted with SPI Software for its vacation ownership software. (www.spiinc.com)
**
Ariane Systems announced that self-service guest transactions completed through its integrated check-in/out kiosk system for hotels have passed the $5 billion mark worldwide. Additional data gathered from the kiosks during the first half of 2010 indicates that 75% of hotel guests completed their kiosk check-in process in less than five minutes, of which 43% took less than 2 minutes; 73% finalized their check-out (including payment) in less than 50 seconds. (www.ariane-systems.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • NH Hotels first Spanish chain to release iPhone app
  • NORTHWIND releases smartphone microsite for Maestro PMS’s ResWave online booking engine
  • Starwood releases its first application for BlackBerry
  • Accor to list hotel inventory on HotelsCombined.com
  • Aqua adopts Sabre’s Guest Connect Website booking engine
  • Skyware releases two-way interface with InnLink CRS
  • Ireland’s Blue Book developing mobile application with O’Rourke’s SmartStay App
  • Trust’s yourVoyager CRS now available in Japanese; Solare is first client
  • Priceline’s Agoda.com offers online registration for hotels

NH Hotels has released an information and booking application for the iPhone, claiming to be the first Spanish hotel chain to do so. The application allows users to research and book any of NH’s 394 hotels in 25 countries, including via a map function or based on the iPhone’s GPS location, and can also register for the ‘NH World’ loyalty programme. (www.nh-hotels.com)
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NORTHWIND has released a microsite presence for users of its Maestro PMS’s ResWave online booking engine, aimed at increasing revenue from smartphone users and facilitating greater interaction and booking from Web 2.0 social media channels. Smartphone users can now reserve rooms via the ResWave booking engine, view a property’s Web site, provide directions to the hotel location (via a geolocating/GPS capability) and can link them to property review sites such as TripAdvisor as well as to their Web 2.0/social media sites. (www.maestropms.com)
**
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has released its first application for BlackBerry smartphones, allowing members of its SPG rewards program to book and manage reservations, check recent account activity, connect with customer service, get directions and maps to their hotel and access TheLobby.com, the SPG blog. (www.starwoodhotels.com)
**
Accor has agreed to list its hotel inventory on meta-search engine HotelsCombined.com. The distribution agreement covers all of its international brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons, Formule 1, HotelF1 and Etap. (www.hotelscombined.com)
**
Aqua Hotels & Resorts has adopted Sabre Hospitality Solution’s Guest Connect Website booking engine to let visitors check availability across multiple properties throughout five Hawaiian Islands. (www.aquaresorts.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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Skyware Hospitality Solutions has released a two-way interface with InnLink’s CRS, to automate reservation, rate and real time availability exchange between the two systems. (www.innlink.com , www.skywaresystems.com)
**
Ireland’s Blue Book of historic hotel properties and castles is developing a customized mobile application with O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing’s SmartStay App. The application is scheduled to launch early this fall and will feature geo location services, maps, Twitter feeds, image libraries and lodging and destination information. (www.irelands-blue-book.ie, www.smartstayapp.com, www.orourkehospitality.com)
**
Trust International’s yourVoyager hotel Central Reservation System is now available in Japanese, the first of several Asian language versions being developed by Trust. YourVoyager fully supports multibyte character sets that enable data entry and content display in Japanese for all aspects of the reservation process, including room and rate details, and translates all free flow text, text boxes, confirmations, statistics and reports in Japanese and Chinese characters, including Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana.

Solare Hotels & Resorts is the launch client for this version, using it as a centralized reservation system with centralized rates and inventory management for its five brands (Chisun Inns, Chisun Hotels, Chisun Resorts, Loisir Hotels and Solare Collection).
(www.solarehotels.com, www.trustinternational.com)
**
Priceline’s Agoda.com Asian division now offers online registration for hotels wishing to join its 130,000+ hotel inventory and reach its million-plus members. The new registration page is part of Agoda’s Yield Control System, which enables hotels to set room rates, manage inventory, upload content, create promotions and view performance reports.
(www.agoda.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Premier International expands Libra OnDemand-powered loyalty program
  • Benchmark Hospitality rolling out d2o’s PMI to all properties
  • Stonebridge hires VIZERGY to manage Internet marketing and redesign two Websites
  • Frommer’s embeds VFM Leonardo multimedia viewers into on-line hotel section

Ukraine’s Premier International has expanded its Libra OnDemand-powered loyalty program to include its midscale brand, Accord Hotels, and to let Premier Club members access their account information through Libra OnDemand’s Customer Portal. (www.premier-hotels.com.ua/en.html, www.libraondemand.com)
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Benchmark Hospitality is rolling out d2o’s PMI (Performance Management Intelligence) product to all 25+ properties by Thanksgiving 2010. The web-based PMI suite ties together each property’s occupancy and departmental revenue forecasting with daily resource management functions, including a rolling forecast of group demand and pick-up. Executive level views consolidate all properties data into one report, updated daily; property level department heads receive a graphic view of actual departmental sales, occupancy, and budget forecasting data for the next 500 days. (www.benchmarkhospitality.com, www.d2o.biz)
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Stonebridge Companies has hired VIZERGY to manage its hotel Internet marketing efforts and redesign two Websites, for the 300-room Doubletree Denver Tech hotel and the 221-room Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown. The new Websites will be managed on VIZERGY’s Web World Publishing content management system. (www.sbcos.com, www.vizergy.com)
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Frommer’s has embedded VFM Leonardo’s “VPowered” multimedia viewers into Frommers.com’s hotel section, to provide consumers with images, videos and virtual tours of hotels they are researching. Under this agreement, Frommer’s is now a direct channel partner in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork. (www.frommers.com, www.vfmleonardo.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • H10 Hotels implementing EZYield.com across all 36 hotels
  • Hotel Internet Help (HIH) integrates hotel booking engine with EZYield.com
  • Enjoy Casino & Resort chain implements Easy (Ez) RMS at all resorts
  • Rainmaker announces TribalRev revenue management service
  • Nobis Hotel contracts with TRAVELCLICK for complete suite
  • Château Cartier implements FastBooking’s online booking, distribution/channel management

Barcelona-based H10 Hotels is implementing EZYield.com’s channel management applications across all 36 hotels, after a two-year pilot at select properties including H10 Villa de la Reina, Madrid.

Hotel Internet Help (HIH) has integrated its hotel booking engine with EZYield.com, allowing hotel clients using both to transfer rates and availability to their own branded websites as well as to third-party online distribution channels.
(www.h10hotels.com, www.hotelinternethelp.com, www.ezyield.com)
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Chile’s Enjoy Casino & Resort chain has implemented Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions at all its resorts: Enjoy Antofagasta, Enjoy Coquimbo, Enjoy Viña del Mar, Enjoy Pucón, Enjoy Puerto Varas, Casino Enjoy Santiago, Casino de Colchagua and Enjoy Mendoza, in Argentina. The chain uses the complete EzRMS SaaS suite, including extraction and upload interfaces for Opera V5 PMS and an upload interface to NETRez. (www.enjoy.cl, www.EasyRMS.com)
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The Rainmaker Group announced that it will launch its TribalRev revenue management service by year-end, targeting its revenue optimization services at small and midsized casino hotel operators on Indian tribal lands. TribalRev will include Rainmaker’s hosted revolution profit optimization software and the services of a professional Rainmaker revenue management executive, covering:
* A weekly dashboard/executive summary with historical, short-term, and long-term outlooks
* Competitive updates
* Bi-weekly strategy calls with hotel GM/sales/casino staff
* Distribution strategy with third party providers and other deliverables.
(www.letitrain.com)
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Nobis Hotel, Stockholm, has contracted with TRAVELCLICK for its complete suite of products including distribution, business intelligence, and digital agency services. Originally a private residence for industrial magnate Walter Hirsch before housing many well-known restaurants, the building has been completely refurbished and is scheduled to open as a hotel on 1 December 2010. Nobis Hotel will use TRAVELCLICK’s:
– iHotelier Central Reservation System,
– iStay web booking engine
– MobiBook mobile booking engine and branded mobile website,
– StayHIP mobile application for boutique hotels, and
8- Hotelligence360 integrated business intelligence application.
(www.nobishotel.se, www.travelclick.net)
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Château Cartier, in Gatineau, Ottawa, is implementing FastBooking’s online booking, distribution and channel management system. (www.chateaucartier.com, www.fastbooking.net)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Newmarket acquires Hospitality Information Services
  • South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority contracts with Meetingmax Systems for online booking

Newmarket International has acquired Hospitality Information Services, a provider of market research information for the hospitality industry. HIS will continue to operate and service existing customers out of its headquarters in Walnut Creek, California. (www.hisnet.com, www.newmarketinc.com)
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The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority (CVA), which serves Indiana’s stretch of the south shore of Lake Michigan, has contracted with Meetingmax Systems for online booking of multi-property housing reservations for conference and event attendees, including teams traveling to the region’s numerous sports tournaments. (www.southshorecva.com, www.meetingmaxsystems.com)
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SPA/GOLF/LEISURE

  • Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba selects SpaSoft for its second Zara Spa

The 306-room Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, Jordan, has selected PAR Springer Miller Systems’ SpaSoft Spa and Activity management system for its second Zara Spa. Tala Bay Aqaba is a new residential community on the southern shores of the Red Sea. (www.moevenpick-hotels.com, www.springermiller.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • Redbury @ Hollywood and Vine opens with Runtriz
  • iBAHN formally launches iMEDIA IP-based information and entertainment platform

The 57-suite Redbury @ Hollywood and Vine has opened with Runtriz’ guest-request management system, running on a guest’s own smartphone, iPod Touch or iPad. The hotel staff use iPads to greet guests and explaining the “My Redbury by runtriz” application; select suites will be equipped with an iPad for guests to use during their stay. (www.theredbury.com, www.runtriz.com)
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iBAHN announced the formal launch of its iMEDIA IP-based information and entertainment platform for hotels, which has been in global trials since late last year. iMEDIA provides guests with access any content available on the Internet on the flat screen television, including such services as Hulu and YouTube, and can be customized to ensure consistent branding throughout the hotel and to promote guest services, menus and room-specific offers. (www.ibahn.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, picks Eatec

The Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory and procurement system. (www.edmonton.com/shaw-conference-centre/, www.agilysys.com/hospitality)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • citizenM Glasgow opens with single IP convergent network infrastructure from Swisscom

The new citizenM Glasgow has opened with a single IP convergent network infrastructure from Swisscom, which underpins:
– guestroom RFID cards
– mood pads that control the guestroom TV/entertainment system, window shades, room ambiance and temperature;
– CCTV
– any virtualized management system hosted remotely from the property, including its Hospitality Management System and wireless phone system (PBX).
Swisscom built the hotel’s IP infrastructure including all network interfaces between its own IPTV and HSIA services and the additional, 3rd party guest applications. (www.citizenmglasgow.com, www.swisscom.com/Hospitality/)
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SECURITY

  • CityCenter Las Vegas implements Saflok’s RFID lock system in 5,900 rooms

CityCenter in Las Vegas has implemented Saflok’s RFID lock system in 5,900 rooms, including the ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel and Spa and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. The locks are integrated with each room’s Control4 in-room controller via a Zigbee mesh wireless network to set the room a “welcome theme” ambience upon a guest’s first entry, activating the lights, opening the drapes and displaying personalization controls on the TV for guests to configure.
(www.citycenter.com, www.kaba.com/lodging-products)
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