September 24, 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

Back Office

Engineering

Communications / Infrastructure

SEPTEMBER1 – 24, 2013

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Staying happy when things go wrong

Most of us feel a constant drive to pursue happiness – such a fundamental need that it’s enshrined in the Declaration of Independence – yet much of the time it seems all we can do to stave off frustration and hassles. This has been an unusually busy year for me, which is a good thing when you’re self-employed. However, a crowded schedule does also raise the likelihood that not everything will go smoothly, with little opportunity to recover from a set-back before it impacts a lot of other things.
I’ve always tried to adopt a Zen approach to travel and to “be the journey”; after all there’s not much I can do when things don’t go well, and (so far) all has been fine in the end. But I don’t always manage it. Whether through flight delays, lost baggage, reservations errors or dealing with angry and frustrated people, the opportunities for disruptions to our plans and happiness are many, and it’s easy to let rip to vent our frustrations. But I recently came across a way of looking at this that helps me a lot, and maybe it will help you, too.
It’s based on the idea that the one thing we can’t ever change is the present, what’s happening to us right here, right now. We can change our past by re-evaluating old problems and looking at them in a different light, perhaps as growth or learning experiences. We can change the future and do so all the time, changing the way we arrange things to reduce the chances of repeat problems, choosing a different place to explore, a different career, a different hobby to pursue, and so on. But we can’t change what’s right in front of us; it is what it is.
Given that, there are two possibilities, neither of which is worth getting upset about. Either we can do something about the situation, in which case we can take action to change things and there’s no reason to be upset. Or there’s nothing we can do about it (e.g. stuck in grid-locked traffic), and so there’s no point in getting upset because it doesn’t make any difference; it just annoys other people around you. Better just to relax, look around and find something else of interest to focus on and enjoy.
Of course, the moment I read this and decided it made sense I proceeded to give myself all kinds of opportunities to test it. Multiple long-distance flights, jury duty last week, misunderstandings about a doctor’s appointment, you name it. And it did help; a flight delay let me discover a fascinating book in the airport bookstore, the slow grind of jury duty gave me renewed reassurance about the fairness of our legal system (it helped to have a judge with a sense of humor), the doctor’s appointment was rescheduled easily and gave me more time to finish up a client’s report, and so on. And I felt better because I hadn’t yelled at anyone.
Hope that helps. Peace out.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Chip Conley hired by Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality
  • Mike Kistner appointed CEO at RezNext
  • Bridget Ryder named VP Information Technology at  Fontainebleau Miami Beach
  • Tom Hart joins Quadriga Americas as Senior Director of Sales, Rocky Mountain Region

Chip Conley has been hired by Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality. Founder of the Joie de Vivre chain, Mr. Conley will help Airbnb hosts to improve experiences for travelers and be better hosts via an online training program and the introduction of nine standards for all Airbnb hosts, such as cleanliness, time responding to travelers on the site and accuracy of listings. Mr. Conley is also overseeing a new Airbnb Hospitality Innovation Lab based in Dublin, Ireland to test new services and features.
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Mike Kistner has been appointed Chief Executive Officer at RezNext. Most recently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus Solutions and already a Board member at RezNext, Mr. Kistner brings nearly 30 years of hospitality industry experience.
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Bridget Ryder has been named Vice President of Information Technology at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL. Ms. Ryder brings nearly 30 years of experience to the position, including 20 years working in both accounting and information technology at resort properties in the Bahamas, including Atlantis Paradise Island. Most recently, she worked at BTR Consulting Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL, as Program Manager for IT Transformation.
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Tom Hart has joined Quadriga Americas as Senior Director of Sales for the Rocky Mountain Region. In a 15-year career Mr. Hart has worked with both On Command and LodgeNet/Sonifi, and was formerly with Sharp Electronics’ Hospitality TV sales division.
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GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • New Victorian Hotel Group installs sixth MSI CloudPM
  • PAR Springer-Miller receives two Bronze Stevie Awards for Atrio GEMS
  • NORTHWIND completes 2-way interface between Maestro and Expedia’s reservation websites

The New Victorian Hotel Group has installed its sixth Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) CloudPM system with MSI CloudSync technology, at its Omaha property. The other implementations are at its properties in Lincoln, Norfolk, York and Kearney, Nebraska, and in Sioux City, Iowa. (www.newvictorianinn.com, www.msisolutions.com)
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PAR Springer-Miller has received two Bronze Stevie Awards for their its Atrio Guest Experience Management Software, in the categories of “Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year – Up to 2,500 Employees” and “Tech Innovation of the Year – At Organizations With Up to 1,000 Employees”. (www.atrio.com)
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NORTHWIND has completed a 2-way interface between its Maestro Enterprise Property Management software and Expedia’s reservation websites, allowing users to upload rates and availability in multiple formats. (www.maestropms.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Icelandair Hotels selects Sabre’s SynXis
  • KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort implements NAVIS
  • NAVIS named one of the Top Workplaces in Oregon
  • Fortune Hotels migrates all properties to Pegasus

Icelandair Hotels has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions for SynXis reservations and distribution services for its 20 properties. (www.icelandairhotels.com, www.sabrehospitality.com)
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KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort has implemented NAVIS’ system and services at its 404-room waterpark resort near Chicago.
NAVIS has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Oregon by The Oregonian newspaper for the second year in a row, and is the only small business to be ranked in the top 50 in the Central Oregon area.
(www.keylimecove.com, www.TheNAVISWay.com)
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India’s Fortune Hotels has renewed 11 hotels, added 19 and switched seven properties to Pegasus Solutions. (www.fortunehotels.in, www.pegs.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Nor1 acquires FlexTrip
  • InterContinental Hotels Group to roll out Nor1’s eStandby Upgrade globally to all brands
  • Milestone Internet Marketing releases MediaConnet360 social media marketing management tool
  • ZDirect announces Guest Dashboard guest sentiment analysis tool and display
  • HeBS Digital receives five 2013 Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly
  • HeBS Digital  receives six 2013 WebAwards from WMA

Nor1 has acquired FlexTrip, and will add its network of over 15,000 bookable tours & activities to the upsell offers it provides its hotel customers. FlexTrip’s co-founders, Chief Operating Officer Alex Kremer and CEO Leith Stevens, will join Nor1.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is extending its use of Nor1’s pre-arrival upsell service, eStandby Upgrade, in a global rollout for all nine brands and over 4,600 hotels.
(www.ihg.com, www.nor1.com)
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Milestone Internet Marketing has released MediaConnet360, a social media marketing management tool for the hospitality and travel market that helps hotels identify marketing opportunities, organize marketing calendars, execute social media marketing campaigns and track performance. MediaConnet360 helps hotel industry brands to interact with guests and consumers by transmitting hotels’ social messaging into Google+, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and hotel websites. (www.milestoneinternet.com)
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ZDirect has announced a new Guest Dashboard, a patent-pending guest sentiment analysis engine that pulls positive and negative keyword phrases from guest comments and survey responses. Positive and Negative keyword clouds highlight their relative importance visually. Queries can also be built into the Guest Dashboard to provide hoteliers with critical information on the fly. (www.zdirect.com)
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HeBS Digital has received two Gold and three Silver 2013 Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly, as follows:
Thompson, Chicago – Gold, for Website Design
Le Parc Suite Hotel – Gold, for Website Design
The Roger, New York – Silver, for Website Design
Shell Vacations Hospitality Facebook Contest: Silver, for Web Marketing/Advertising
Shell Vacations Hospitality Black Friday Travel Sale: Silver, for Web Marketing/Advertising
HeBS Digital also received six 2013 WebAwards from the Web Marketing Association, including Best Website. The awards were for:
Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan – Best Hotel and Lodging Website
Le Parc Suite Hotel – Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence
Hotel Belleclaire – Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence
Virginia Beach Vacation Rentals – Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence
The Roger New York – Outstanding Website
Indian Wells – Outstanding Website
(www.HeBSDigital.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Ostrovok  completes 2-way XML interface with eRevMax’s Rate Tiger & Connect
  • Brazil’s Harbor Hotels picks eRevMax’s RateTiger Chanel Management and Shopper for nine properties
  • Travelodge UK centralizes revenue management with IDeaS

Russian hotel search engine Ostrovok has completed a 2-way XML interface with eRevMax’s Rate Tiger & Connect online distribution platforms. The integration will help accommodation providers update inventory availability and room rates in real-time and benefit from eRevMax’s Reservation Delivery service for the automatic transfer of bookings through Ostrovok directly to the hotel management systems (CRS/PMS).
Brazil’s Harbor Hotels has selected eRevMax’s RateTiger Chanel Management and Shopper products for nine properties. (www.ostrovok.ru,
www.erevmax.com)
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Travelodge UK has implemented centralized revenue management using IDeaS Revenue Solutions’ analytics and pricing recommendations. Travelodge has been working with IDeaS on a decentralized basis for over 10 years. The chains 500+ hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain will now be supported by 20 centralized revenue managers. (www.travelodge.co.uk, www.ideas.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • PSAV adding second training center, in Washington, DC
  • PSAV included in 2013 InformationWeek 500 Top Technology Innovators
  • Amarillo Convention & Visitors Council to implement Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Passkey’s GroupMAX receives WMA 2013 WebAward for Outstanding Achievement
  • Newmarket now supporting N2GO on Android

PSAV is expanding its global hands-on learning facilities with the addition of a training center in Washington, D.C., designed after the original facility in St. Louis, MO.
PSAV has been included in the 2013 InformationWeek 500 Top Technology Innovators in the USA, recognized for its Bandwidth Calculator for the meeting planning industry. The company was also recognized last year for its SwankDraw proprietary app.
(www.psav.com)
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The Amarillo Convention & Visitors Council is implementing Passkey’s GroupMAX hotel booking system to serve its events portfolio.
Passkey’s GroupMAX has received the Web Marketing Association (WMA) 2013 WebAward for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development for the Hotel and Lodging Sector.
(www.visitamarillotx.com, www.passkey.com)
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Newmarket International is now supporting the use of its N2GO mobile Delphi application on Android devices running v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher. (www.newmarketinc.com)
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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Agilysys releases v2.0 of Android-based InfoGenesis Mobile
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Agilysys has released v2.0 of its InfoGenesis Mobile application, which integrates seamlessly with the InfoGenesis POS system.  Built on Android, InfoGenesis Mobile v2.0 includes:
– Support for table service and pay-at-service environments
– ‘On-the-fly’ menu item customization using typed special instructions
– Virtual check display that incorporates additions and modifications as they are entered
– Room charge authorization on open checks
– Wireless printing of itemized checks and drafts
– Payment collection via cash, room charge or credit card (via Shift 4)
– Offline functionality that ensures transactions are not lost in the event of network outages.
Screens, items, tables and check type configurations are handled centrally within the InfoGenesis POS system. (www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • UIEvolution named a finalist for MobITS award
  • NH Hoteles names TP Vision its exclusive supplier of Hospitality TVs
  • Austin Convention Center installs FlyteBoard
  • Westin Harbour Castle relocates ElevenGC iMac guest computers to Westin Haven lobby concept
  • TTI Technologies International adds PrinterOn cloud-based printing to business center offerings
  • LOCATEL introduces set-top box with multi-screen features such as Miracast

UIEvolution’s Guest Evolution platform has been named a finalist for a MobITS award. The CTIA MobITS Awards honor the most innovative new wireless products and services in mobile apps, consumer electronics, enterprise & vertical markets, and networks. Guest Evolution’s standards-based platform manages content and information between a consumer’s mobile device and digital signage and Smart TVs. (www.ctia.org, www.uievolution.com)
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NH Hoteles has named TP Vision (which manufactures Philips Hospitality TVs) its exclusive supplier of Hospitality TVs. The agreement, which covers nearly 400 hotels globally, includes the delivery of next-generation hospitality TV equipment in hotel rooms and conference rooms. The two companies also committed to undertake joint marketing initiatives during the next two years. (www.nh-hotels.com, www.tpvision.com)
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The Austin Convention Center has installed Flyte Systems’ FlyteBoard real-time airline schedule display, showing departure and gate information for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (www.austinconventioncenter.com, www.flytesystems.com)
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The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto has moved its ElevenGC iMac guest computers to the lobby in support of the Westin Haven public space concept. The Haven concept is to create a tech oasis where guests can access email while having coffee, food or a glass of wine brought to them by wait staff. (westinharbourcastletoronto.com, www.elevenwireless.com)
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TTI Technologies International has added PrinterOn cloud-based printing to its business center offerings. PrinterOn allows guests to print documents from smartphones, tablets and laptops on designated printers in the business center; a release code is sent back to the user to enter on the printer itself and unlock the documents. (www.printeron.com, www.ttitel.com)
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LOCATEL has introduced a new set-top box for the EMEA region using Intel’s latest Atom Dual Core processor and offering a range of multi-screen features such as the Locatel Miracast service. In addition to the standard interactive services on hotel room TV set, guests can now quickly share audio and video content from their Windows or Android mobile devices directly on the TV screen through integrated Wi-Fi pairing. Bluetooth integration also enables audio sharing from any mobile device to TV. (www.locatel.net)
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BACK OFFICE

  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa picks Infor’s Time and Attendance for Casinos and Workforce Performance
  • Hyatt Regency Houston installs InvoTech Systems’ Uniform System
  • UniFocus opens second colocation center, in Seattle
  • Sun International deploys BMC Remedy ITSM to track and manage guest requests
  • Quadriga announces mobile application for housekeeping services

The 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, NJ, has selected Infor Hospitality’s Time and Attendance for Casinos and Workforce Performance products. The Time & Attendance application will automate employee balance accruals and time-off requests, producing more accurate staffing schedules for managers to review in real-time. It also maintains detailed attendance histories for employees, recognizes individual or group patterns, and proactively notifies supervisors when necessary. The web-based Workforce Performance module will analyze actual against expected performance and spot performance problems early. (www.theborgata.com, www.infor.com)
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The 947-room Hyatt Regency Houston has installed InvoTech Systems’ Uniform System to manage the more than 2,000 uniforms used by its staff of 400. (www.hyatt.com, www.invotech.com)
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UniFocus has opened a second colocation center, in Seattle; its first is in Dallas. (www.UniFocus.com)
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Sun International has deployed BMC Remedy ITSM to track and manage guest requests across its Housekeeping, Maintenance, Food and Beverage and Security departments. BMC Remedy also identifies trends in guest requests, helping Sun anticipate guests’ needs and respond promptly. (www.suninternational.com, www.bmc.com)
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Quadriga has announced a new mobile application for housekeeping services via an exclusive global agreement with partner Hibox Systems Ltd, Finland. The Web-based Hibox Housekeeper app is offered as an alternative to the fixed TV-based housekeeping software integrated into Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications and entertainment platform. Services include the reporting of room status to the hotel PMS, minibar usage and rooms fault reporting and management, as well as a staff messaging tool. Housekeeper is already deployed in hotels across the Nordic region and is now available worldwide. (www.quadriga.com)
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ENGINEERING

  • Starwood Vacation Ownership to implement Systems Associates’ SynergyMMS at all villa resort properties

Starwood Vacation Ownership has selected Systems Associates’ SynergyMMS maintenance management system for implementation at all villa resort properties. The system was recently rolled out at The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui and The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Kaua‘i. Sixteen other resorts will receive SynergyMMS by November; the remaining six mixed-use resorts are company-owned and already use SynergyMMS as part of Starwood’s preventive maintenance program. (www.starwoodhotels.com, www.saicorporate.com)
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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Village at Squaw Valley installs Percipia’s Parallax telephony and Precision voice mail
  • Milwaukee Marriott Downtown implements RoamingAround’s Roam Boost cellular signal amplification
  • iBAHN files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization
  • Amedia picks Swisscom to implement and service complete guest technology services
  • VTech Telecommunications appoints Technology 4 Hotels its Australia-based channel partner for hotel phones

The Village at Squaw Valley has installed Percipia Networks’ Parallax telephony software with XML applications, providing IP phone applications for its 300 condominium suites. Squaw Valley also implemented Percipia’s Precision voice mail service. The installation is integrated with the property’s PAR Springer Miller guest management system and Cisco Unified Communication Manager PBX. (www.squaw.com, www.percipianetworks.com)
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The new Milwaukee Marriott Downtown has implemented RoamingAround’s Roam Boost cellular signal amplification to eliminate mobile dead spots and increase coverage for all major cellular providers.  (www.marriott.com, www.RoamingAround.com)
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iBAHN Corp and some of its U.S. subsidiaries have filed for bankruptcy reorganization under Chapter 11. None of the company’s international operations are included. As part of its restructuring iBAHN plans to consolidate some U.S. operations, such as merging the Denver office with its Salt Lake City headquarters and concentrating various management functions. The President of The Americas function has been assumed by iBAHN CEO Edward Helvey as part of this process. (www.ibahn.com)
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Amedia has selected Swisscom Hospitality to implement and service its complete guest technology services, including high-speed Internet access, Voice over IP, interactive TV, video-on-demand and digital signage, all delivered over a converged network built and managed by Swisscom.  The group currently operates 13 hotels in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and plans to add five more properties by 2015. The first property completely deployed and serviced by Swisscom is the new Amedia Hotel Berlin. (amediahotels.com, www.swisscom.ch/en/business/hospitality.html?)
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VTech Telecommunications has appointed Technology 4 Hotels as its new Australia-based channel partner for its hotel phones. (www.Technology4Hotels.com.au, www.vtechhotelphones.com)
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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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