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VSi Rolling Out iPOP™, Revolutionary Revenue-Generating
Guest-Service Amenity 
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Global leader in guest-services technology will launch the industry’s first Internet
kiosks and Self-Service Business Centers that offer a combination of fee-based
and free-to-guest services on the same system; 
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iPOP to debut at the AAHOA Convention
in Booth No. 1404
SUNNYVALE, CALIF.— MARCH 1, 2007 —  To charge or Not to charge? That’s the question many hoteliers are struggling with when it comes to providing guest services such as wired and wireless Internet access, email, airline boarding pass printing and a suite of Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Today Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) announces that the fee-based vs. free-to-guest headache is now over thanks to a new, all-inclusive guest-services solution called iPOP™ (Internet Point of Presence). 

“iPOP is a revolutionary revenue-generating guest-service tool that enables hoteliers to host both fee-based and free-to-guest services from one location, whether it’s via a free-standing Internet kiosk or a desktop lobby workstation,” said Saeed Kazmi, VSi President and CEO. “Previously, if a hotel wanted to offer airline boarding pass printing at no charge, it was done so at a separate terminal while fee-based business services, such as email access, document printing and copying was hosted at a different location that supported credit-card billing. iPOP provides the flexible technology to offer both in one scalable package.”

Because it is “scalable,” Kazmi said hotels can regulate the guest-service payment structure as often as they like, depending on the season or on the group business currently booked at the hotel. For example, during low season, a hotel may opt to charge for boarding pass printing and increase the fees for its business services; during peak season, boarding pass printing may be free to guests and discounts may be offered on select business services. 

Third-Party Advertising

“Additionally, iPOP supports transactional advertising, allowing the hotel to sell static and video advertising space on the left hand side of the system’s home page,” he said. “Interactive marketing opportunities that encourage guests to click on a coupon or view a video promoting either the hotel’s services or those offered in the local area, will instantly drive revenues and satisfaction scores. It’s a win-win-win solution for the hotel, advertisers and guests.”

The iPOP™ system hardware consists of a PC with 22-inch LCD display; a black-and-white printer; and VSi’s sleek, attractive Aspen stand-up lobby kiosk (available as an option). Its system software includes:

  • FreshStart™, VSi’s proprietary software package that ensures security of user data
  • Remote Management, whereby the system is monitored 24 hours a day and provides remote software updates
  • Billing interface, which bills guests for usage and reports user activity.
iPOP™ also features multiple windows that display:
  • Hotel name and logo
  • Third-party ads and/or ads for local amenities, events, restaurants and attractions
  • Video window in which the hotel can show video of ads, local amenities, events, restaurants and attractions
  • User window to access the Internet, email, printing and other functions.
“And here’s the best part: iPOP is risk-free,” Kazmi said. “There is no equipment cost charged to our customers. VSi shares with the hotel revenues that are generated by guest use and advertising that appears on iPOP—in other words, return-on-investment is instantaneous.”

Concept Receives Academic Accolades

Hotel-technology experts already are beginning to praise VSi’s pioneering effort in developing the iPOP™ concept.

“VSi’s iPOP product comes at a very appropriate time as the hospitality industry continues to look for ways to advance its technology capabilities in order to better serve guests,” said Daniel J. Connolly, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Information Technology & Electronic Commerce at the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. “High-speed Internet access and services (e.g., the ability to print airline boarding passes, concierge functionality, destination information, etc.) are quickly becoming competitive necessities for major hotels to meet the growing demands of today’s business and leisure guests.

“Given society's dependence upon the Internet for so many facets of business and everyday life,” he added, “guests are coming to expect convenient, affordable, high-speed Internet access wherever they stay to keep up with business and function in a digital society. Hotels that fail to recognize and meet these growing needs will be left behind.”

For a look at how iPOP™ can deliver a full range of PC-based functions and services, visit the VSi Booth No. 1404 at the upcoming Asian American Hotel Owners Association Annual Convention & Trade Show, March 7-10, at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center. 

VSi is well known throughout the hospitality industry for its business center and self-service solutions, such as:  Internet kiosks, lobby PCs, BoardEZ™ airline boarding pass printing kiosks, digital messaging display systems, and in-room PC solutions. All VSi computing solutions are specifically designed for multiple, non-repeat usage. 

Vertical Systems Inc. is an approved vendor for Hilton Hotels Corp. and for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Its Automated Business Centers also are found in Marriott properties, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (Starwood), Holiday Inns and Crowne Plaza Hotels (InterContinental Hotel Group), Best Western Hotels, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, Accor Hotels and many independent properties. VSi’s products have been installed in nearly 800 hotels in the United States, Canada, Mexico and nine European countries. 

For more information on other VSi products and solutions for the hospitality industry, call 866-874-9222 or visit the VSi Web site at www.ver-sys.com.

About Vertical Systems Inc.
Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) is the worldwide leader in providing guest services technology and solutions to the hospitality industry. Its products, which are aimed at serving the growing needs of business travelers and mobile users, include automated business centers, Wi-Fi hotspots, kiosks and in-room technology. VSi's products are sold through channel partners that include major hotel chains, broadband and wireless service providers, audio-visual service providers and large system integrators. For more information, please visit our website at www.ver-sys.com . VSi contact: marketing@ver-sys.com . VSi is a privately held corporation based in Sunnyvale, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. The company's revolutionary software and system architecture uses FreshStart™ (proprietary technology developed at VSi) to create computers ideal for multiple users and remote situations. VSi solutions are backed up by 24/7 tech support, Automated Business Centers operators can provide reliable, virus-free, state-of-the-art computer systems to customers with zero maintenance.

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Contact:

Barb Worcester
President/Principal
PRPRO
Tel: (440) 930-5770
barbw@prproconsulting.com

Shaukat  Anjarwala
Marketing Manager
Vertical Systems Inc.
Tel: (408) 752-8100 x106
shaukat@ver-sys.com

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Also See: Aspen Kiosks Offer Attractive Option to Harried Travelers Tired of Long Lines; VSi's stylish computer-access kiosks help improve guest service and increase guest satisfaction by offering quick access to boarding-pass printing, Internet use / February 2007
Vertical Systems’ FreshStart™ Technology Spells Peace of Mind for Hotel PC Users / February 2007
VSi Automated Business Centers: Giving Guests, Owners a Truly Happy New Year; Hoteliers say outsourcing Business Center operations to Vertical Systems Inc. increases guest satisfaction, reduces operational stress and boosts incremental revenues / January 2007
VSi Retrofits Payphones with Internet Kiosks to Ring in Revenues, Enhance Guest Service for Hotels / December 2006
VSi Adds Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to its Airline Boarding Pass Printing Service; BoardEZ™ solution also enables guests to make changes to their flight schedules, book new flights and make future hotel reservations / October 2006
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