Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), Founded
Five Years Ago,
to Showcase at HITEC Its Progress Across the Entire
Spectrum of Technologies Used by Hotels
(June 6, 2007) – Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), which was founded
at the HITEC conference five years ago this month, today announced its
plans to showcase, at this year’s HITEC conference in Orlando June 25-28,
its progress across the entire spectrum of technologies used by hotels.
HTNG was founded in 2002 to bring hoteliers and technology vendors
together to challenges that were too great for any one company to effectively
address. Today, HTNG boasts nearly 400 member companies and 1,400
engaged hotel technologists. Of these 400 companies, more than 120,
of every size and from every segment of the industry, are active participants
in HTNG’s focused workgroups.
At HITEC this year, the HTNG exhibit will provide opportunities for
hoteliers and technology vendors alike to meet with the key buyers who
oversee HTNG’s mission, including CIOs and CTOs of major hotel companies.
HTNG will also host informal sessions with active participants from each
of its five workgroups, where hoteliers and technology providers alike
can stop by to learn more from the volunteers who are driving HTNG’s efforts.
A complete schedule of events will be distributed prior to HITEC, and will
also be displayed prominently in HTNG’s booth #373.
“The activity levels in our workgroups over the past year has been
enormous,” says Douglas Rice, Executive Vice President and CEO of HTNG.
“With nearly twenty different workgroups and focused subteams meeting regularly,
many industry participants – even a lot of our active members – are not
aware of the full breadth of HTNG’s activities or accomplishments.
At HITEC this year, our presence will enable attendees to gain a high-level
overview, and will also provide opportunities for detailed discussions
with many of the key individuals from the hotel and vendor community who
have volunteered their time and skills to help move our industry forward
New at HITEC 2007 - Certification
HTNG’s certification program is now fully operational, with seven products
already having been certified, and dozens of other companies planning to
complete the process in coming months. This is the industry’s first
program that certifies compliance of technology products against industry
standards of interoperability and design. The information available
to buyers and to other vendors provides assurance that products can interface
easily, and delineates the key functions that each certified product can
Newly certified to HTNG’s Property/Distribution Solution 2007a specification
in time for HITEC are IDeaS, Inc.’s IDeaS V5i Version 3.1, and TRUST International’s
TRUST Voyager and TRUST Connect v1.0. IDeaS and TRUST International
join Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions and PAR Springer-Miller Systems,
which certified key products against this specification earlier this year.
In addition, three companies (OpenCourse Solutions, PAR Springer-Miller
Systems, and TAC GmbH) are certified to HTNG’s Property Web Services 2007a
New at HITEC 2007 - Guest Room Technology
HTNG’s In-Room Technology workgroup, with more than 60 active member
companies, will report progress on several fronts.
It will release a buyers’ guide to next generation entertainment systems,
designed to help hotel decision makers unravel the many technical issues
involved in upgrading from analog to digital and high-definition television.
Also newly released will be a hotelier’s guide to converged wireless systems
using DAS (Distributed Antenna System) technologies. Still largely
unfamiliar to the hotel industry but available from several vendors, DAS
systems may offer many hotels a cost-effective opportunity to deploy a
single wireless infrastructure that not only supports guest wireless Internet
access, but also boosts mobile phone signals, and supports back-of-house
devices, guestroom devices, and other radio frequency applications.
The workgroup is making progress on the design of a single guest-room cordless
IP telephone. Designed to reduce the number of handsets and phone
lines required in a hotel room, the specifications target affordability
in different market segments ranging from midpriced to luxury hotels.
Several members will be demonstrating transparency of call billing on IP
telephone handsets. This capability is designed to restore trust
with guests with respect to the cost of telephone calls, by displaying
the true cost of a call on the IP phone display – prospectively before
the call is made, during the call, or after it is complete.
New at HITEC 2007 - Hotel Systems Integration
Continued progress will be evident on the HTNG all-in-one set-top box design.
Among other benefits, this effort will enable hotels to deploy a consistent
user interface in all hotels globally, while working with regional VoD
providers. VoD vendors who adopt the specification will simplify
connectivity to other guest-room devices, allowing the vendor to realize
infrastructure and interface cost savings to benefit their hotel customers.
The HTNG Property Web Services workgroup has completed and is now certifying
its single-guest itinerary specification, which enables interconnectivity
and exchange between the specialized systems that book guest appointments,
such as spa, golf, concierge, dining, ski, and other activities.
Appointments can flow seamlessly among systems to provide a consolidated
view and management by hotel staff and guests.
The same workgroup has completed the HTNG Web Services Framework 2.0 specification,
which provides a standardized means of communicating via web services between
any two compliant systems. The Web Services Framework is a foundation-level
specification, usable with all HTNG web services, and is based on widely
accepted technology industry standards supported by major platform vendors
and development toolkits. The synchronous version is available for
certification now; the asynchronous version will be finalized before HITEC
and is expected to be incorporated in the Property Web Services 2007b certification
specification later this year.
The same workgroup is completing its first specification for back office
integration. With active participation from several leading back-office
system providers, this effort will vastly simplify connectivity between
property systems (PMS, POS) and back-office accounting and ERP systems.
The back office team expects to have specifications ready for the HTNG
certification program by the end of the third quarter.
New at HITEC 2007 – Distribution Technology
This workgroup has also nearly completed a digital signage integration
specification, which will enable any supporting sales/catering system to
work seamlessly with any compliant digital signage system. Certification
is also expected in the third quarter. Several major digital signage
providers are actively supporting this effort.
HTNG’s Property/Distribution Solution workgroup has completed its interoperability
specification for reservations processing and rate/availability updates.
Many vendor products are now HTNG-certified or in the process of becoming
Come Visit HTNG’s “Open Tent” at HITEC 2007
HTNG’s Distribution Content Management workgroup has completed an initial
draft of a specification to support the distribution of content (text,
photos, maps, videos, etc.) from hotels to distribution channels.
The specification is expected to be ready for certification later this
year, and is expected to greatly simplify the task of ensuring that distribution
channels have up-to-date content for the hotels they are selling.
HTNG is designed to benefit every buyer and every seller of hospitality
technology. The organization’s “rules of fair play” ensure that large
and small companies alike can participate and benefit on an equal footing
based only on effort, commitment, and results. Hoteliers and vendors
alike are invited to visit HTNG at HITEC booth
#373 to meet key hotel technology executives or to find out
more about HTNG’s workgroup activities. Refreshments will be available
each morning, and an end-of-show cocktail reception will start at noon
About Hotel Technology Next Generation
The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry,
HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with global scope.
HTNG members include leading hotel and hospitality companies, technology
vendors serving the hospitality market, and other industry members including
consultants, media, and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate
in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing
specific business problems and needs. The HTNG certification program
provides a “seal of assurance” for products that conform to HTNG specifications.
Currently nearly 400 corporate and individual members from across this
spectrum are active HTNG participants. Workgroup proceedings, drafts,
and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are
created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are
released to the public domain when they are approved for certification
or when the workgroup has completed its work, typically after no more than
18 months. For more information, visit www.htng.org.
HITEC is a registered trademark of Hotel Financial and Technology Professionals