Many Choices for Hospitality Specific Solutions
|NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2004 - Today at the International Hotel/Motel &
Restaurant Show, more than 25 leading companies announced support for Microsoft(R)
Smarter Hospitality, a comprehensive solutions framework designed to help
lodging and foodservice organizations dramatically improve the way they
operate and interact with guests, while meeting the expectations of digitally
enabled guests and employees. This strong showing of partner support will
enable lodging and foodservice organizations to choose from a variety of
leading companies to obtain the hospitality specific solutions that will
best meet their needs over time.
The solutions provided by this strong ecosystem of industry partners address Smarter Hospitality's three keys areas: Smarter Guest Experience, Smarter Service and Smarter Operations. Aligned with Microsoft Corp.'s vision for Smarter Hospitality and based on open standards, these solutions are built on proven Microsoft platforms, including the Microsoft .NET Framework, the programming model for building Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based Web services and applications.
"Our industry partners are a driving force to deliver our Smarter Hospitality
vision," said Brian Scott, general manager for the Retail & Hospitality
Industry Unit at Microsoft. "Their strong industry expertise and innovative
solutions, combined with Microsoft's technology leadership, will provide
a clear path for hospitality operators to simplify and integrate technology
within their properties."
Microsoft and a number of its Smarter Hospitality industry partners will be showcasing ways in which technology can create an integrated hotel environment that enhances hotel operations and provides a more personalized and engaging experience for hotel and resort guests.
Companies announcing support for Smarter Hospitality include the following:
-- Ameranth Inc. Demonstrated in the Microsoft hotel environment at the show, Ameranth's 21st Century Concierge system employs Microsoft .NET and a number of other Microsoft technologies -- including Windows(R) XP, Windows Embedded, Windows Server(TM) 2003, Windows Mobile(TM) software for Pocket PCs and SQL Server(TM) -- to deliver total mobility to hotel staff and guests by providing service-related information and food-ordering access to guests when they need it, wherever they are, at any time. Including E-Menu, E-Guestbook and E-Lobby for installation at hotels and motels within the United States, 21st Century Concierge will be found in hotel lobbies, guest rooms and restaurants. E-Menu is the first electronic menu to be available at the restaurant table, and it enables patrons to view culinary information such as nutrition and ingredients, and place food orders directly to the kitchen, resulting in faster service and decreased staffing needs.
-- BlueCube Software Inc. BlueCube provides foodservice operators with the competitive advantage of lowered cost of operations, optimized service and enhanced revenue through the company's affordable and quick implementing software. The BlueCube Enterprise(TM) Food Service Solution fully integrates back of house food service applications -- production planning, recipes, fresh items and suppliers -- with intuitive Workforce, Cash, Task and Learning Management systems, so operators can quickly leverage the software's highly scalable, Web-based architecture, built on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server 2000, and enterprisewide visibility to achieve operational excellence.
-- Eatec Corp. A leading provider of enterprise back-office solutions and services for the hospitality and foodservice industries introduced EatecNetX, which helps organizations reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies, resulting in a quick return on investment. Utilizing Microsoft technology, Eatec clients include restaurant chains, hotels, resorts, casinos, stadiums and arenas, convention centers, universities, theme parks, airline caterers, and supermarket foodservice providers.
-- Epicor Software Corp. A global leader in the hospitality and entertainment enterprise, Epicor manages and streamlines virtually every aspect of the hospitality organization -- from point-of-sale or property management system integration to cash and sales management, food-costing core financials, business intelligence and beyond -- all within a single solution. Epicor's inventory system is included in Microsoft's back-office demonstration room at the event, showcasing how Epicor products' flexibility and scalability provide business growth for hotels, resorts, restaurants and clubs around the world that use them at the core of their infrastructure.
-- Experticity. Experticity is the premier developer of labor distribution solutions for businesses and consumers. Experticity's Nextprise platform enables companies to load-balance live, on-screen employees from remote locations directly to guests throughout their property, covering areas that include reception, concierge, room service and business centers. By placing live, on-screen experts with real-time, two-way, video-chat and data-sharing capabilities in front-line service positions, hospitality companies can load-balance multilingual staff members from anywhere to anywhere.
-- HyperActive Technologies Inc. HyperActive is defining a new niche -- intelligent automation -- for the restaurant and hospitality markets. HyperActive's flagship product, HyperActive Bob, combines radar for the quick service restaurant with an automated kitchen manager to consistently deliver hotter and fresher products and to better manage inventory and reduce waste. Built on the .NET Framework, HyperActive Bob can easily integrate with existing legacy systems to deliver substantial value two weeks after installation.
-- InfoGenesis. A leading developer of enterprise information solutions for the hospitality and foodservice industries is built on state-of-the-art Microsoft technology and makes use of IBM SurePOS point-of-sale hardware. InfoGenesis designs and implements hospitality technology solutions that increase revenue and improve margins. InfoGenesis provides comprehensive solutions to some of the world's most successful hospitality organizations including Park Place Entertainment, Compass Group PLC, Vail Resorts Inc. and Hyatt International Corp.
-- Intel Corporation. Intel, the world's largest chip manufacturer, is committed to accelerating the convergence of innovative technology and traditional business process that helps lodging and foodservice companies maintain a strong competitive advantage through early and continuous technology improvements. Intel provides open-standards based desktop, mobile, PC tablet and server computing platforms that power the solutions offered by Microsoft Smarter Hospitality. Intel and Microsoft are collaborating in areas such as research and development to create a technology road map for lodging and foodservice organizations to build and deploy Intel-based solutions that help them grow their business, improve employee productivity and increase guest satisfaction.
-- Intervoice Inc. With more than 20 years of experience, Intervoice creates measurable business value by applying innovative speech technology to optimize voice automation solutions. Intervoice provides developers, enterprises and carriers with the platform, software and services necessary to enable an interactive dialogue with technology, resulting in improved operational efficiencies, revenue and customer satisfaction. Intervoice's solutions for travel and hospitality were developed on the premise of a process-based approach to the customer life cycle that addresses relevant business problems through the use of natural interfaces. Intervoice covers concierge services, operator services, customer satisfaction and loyalty program enhancements and authentication improvements.
-- KoolConnect Technologies Inc. A leading provider of compelling, multimedia solutions and system integrations to the hospitality industry, KoolConnect delivers cutting edge in-room entertainment for the world's leading hotels. KoolConnect's innovative platform provides interactive media services over digital IP networks and offers a host of scalable turnkey products including video on demand, Virtual Concierge, HDTV, state-of-the-art equipment and targeted marketing programs. An alliance with the service and maintenance leader Unisys Corporation further allows for a variety of business models and solutions.
-- MenuLink Computer Solutions Inc. MenuLink is the largest independent supplier of back-office software for the hospitality industry with more than 9,000 sites in over 280 chains using their products. The newest product line, BOA.Net, built with Microsoft .NET, provides a complete solution including cash management, inventory, purchasing, labor control and business intelligence. Using both Smart Client and Web Client, the solution set is ideal for the hospitality industry including restaurant chains, hotels, resorts, airports, country clubs and casinos. MenuLink's products have a unique, easy-to-use interface mandatory in the hospitality industry today, resulting in lower food and labor costs, cutting paperwork for management and providing additional benefits to the staff utilizing Web scheduling information.
-- MP2 Solutions. MP2 Solutions, a premier provider of enterprise mobility solutions, offers a product suite that leverages the latest advancements made in point-of-sale, field and sales-force automation as well as wireless transport. The MP2 mobility suite features wireless point-of-sale, inventory management and delivery confirmation applications all running on the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform and tailored for the needs of the retail and food service industry. By utilizing the latest in wireless and encrypted technologies over multiple wireless network standards (1XRTT CDMA, 802.11b/Wi-Fi), MP2 spans the full operations spectrum from front to back office with its robust data aggregation and reporting capabilities. MP2 answers the demand for ubiquitous connectivity by enabling its customers to communicate and perform daily business activities anytime, anywhere.
-- NCR Corporation. NCR is a leading global technology company that helps businesses build stronger relationships with their customers. NCR EasyPoint(TM) Xpress Check-In, demonstrated in the lobby within Microsoft's hotel environment at the show, revolutionizes traditional check-in transactions. Using an intuitive touch-screen interface, Xpress Check-In allows guests to check in and out without staff assistance. Not only does this new, efficient process delight travelers, the innovative technology can have a positive affect on the property's bottom line. One of the properties using NCR EasyPoint Xpress Check-In has reported guest usage exceeding 50 percent.
-- Newmarket International Inc. Newmarket International is the leader in delivering Internet solutions to the global hospitality marketplace, empowering its customers with the ability to increase efficiencies and maximize their profits from their group sales and catering efforts. Built with Microsoft .NET and utilizing the superior integration capabilities of BizTalk(R) Server, Newmarket's Sales & Catering application provides visibility and interconnection to point of sale, property management and revenue yield management systems. This integration is built on open industry standards such as Web services and XML and is in compliance with hospitality-specific standards from the OpenTravel Alliance.
-- ontap4u Inc. A supply-chain execution enabler for the beverage industry, ontap4u brings a smarter, more enriching guest experience at lower costs to the hotel industry. Its Digital Beverages dispenser, demonstrated in the Microsoft guest room at the show, is the next step forward in the evolutionary progression from the current mini-bar. By leveraging Windows XP Embedded technologies and a patented mini-draft body, the ontap4u in-room dispenser offers more and fresher beverage choices than the current mini-bar, with none of the minibar's maintenance disadvantages. It enables a more enriching and entertaining guest experience and drives higher profitability from in-room beverage dispensing than the conventional minibar.
-- QSR Automations Inc. A leading provider of innovative automation technology for the hospitality industry worldwide, QSR designs and markets advanced software and hardware products -- including the ConnectSmart Hospitality Automation Solution -- that enable companies to effectively enhance the productivity of their hospitality business. With ConnectSmart Kitchen and eXpert hospitality controller, operators have access to an open, standards-based software and hardware complete kitchen management solution offering rich feature sets and high reliability with the added benefits of graphical and multimedia capabilities.
-- Radiant Systems Inc. Founded in 1985, Radiant Systems provides innovative store technology for the hospitality, petroleum, and convenience store and entertainment industries. Radiant's point-of-sale, self-service and hosted management applications enable operators to drive top-line growth and improve bottom-line performance. Utilizing Microsoft's .NET technology combined with retail-hardened, reliable hardware, Radiant's clients experience one of the lowest total costs of ownership in the industry. Radiant has deployed its solutions in more than 50,000 sites worldwide.
-- Sysrepublic Ltd. Sysrepublic specializes in the development and implementation of real-time hospitality integration solutions, as well as data exploitation applications, built with Microsoft .NET and using Microsoft's Windows Server System(TM) integrated server infrastructure software. The company's Real-Time Integrator remote data-gathering application allows hospitality companies to operate on the full suite of Microsoft desktop and platform technologies. Powerful integration and distribution features such as highly scalable message transformation and multipoint data subscriptions are enabled using Microsoft BizTalk Server.
-- ThinkNet Inc. ThinkNet's Restaurant Metrics is one of the first SharePoint(R) Portal Server-centric business intelligence solution designed specifically for the foodservice and hospitality sector. The Restaurant Metrics solution comes with dozens of prebuilt business scorecards, executive dashboards and reporting views designed with the needs of foodservice executives and managers in mind.
-- Unisys. Unisys is a Fortune 300 technology services leader that has provided hospitality solutions and consulting services to more than 2,500 hotels worldwide including Starwood Hotels and Harrah's. In addition to its widely deployed InRoom Connect broadband product, Unisys is teaming with key providers such as KoolConnect Technologies to provide digital video on demand and interactive TV to multiple hotel properties.
Additional partners supporting Smarter Hospitality include Infosys Technologies Ltd., IntelliGauge Inc., Meridian Systems, ProClarity Corp., Timelox AB and Wincor Nixdorf Inc. More details about partners in the Microsoft Smarter Hospitality ecosystem can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smarthospitality/partner.
About Microsoft Smarter Hospitality
Microsoft Smarter Hospitality is a comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the next generation of hospitality innovation. Consisting of Smarter Guest Experience, Smarter Service and Smarter Operations, Smarter Hospitality leverages current IT investments and the familiar technologies in the guests' or employees' hands, to create more engaging and empowering guest experiences, while laying the groundwork for future innovations. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smarthospitality.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
NOTE: Microsoft, Windows, Windows Server, Windows Mobile, BizTalk, Windows Server System and SharePoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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