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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) Names EMEA Technology Innovators’
Award Winners

Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Hotel St. Gotthard Basel, and Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Recognized for Creative and Innovative Applications of Existing Technology

CHICAGO (January 16, 2013) – Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, today announced that it has recently recognized three EMEA-region hotel companies with its EMEA Technology Innovators Award for the creative and innovative application of existing technology within their hotels.  The winners were Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Hotel St. Gotthard Basel, and Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.  Professor Ian Millar, of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, announced the winners of the 2012 EMEA Technology Innovators Award in a ceremony during HTNG’s recent European conference in Vienna.

“HTNG created this award to recognize hoteliers who most effectively use existing technologies to add significant value to their business,” commented Douglas Rice, Executive Vice President & CEO of HTNG.  “Even though we’ve been impressed by the vendors’ innovations we see each year, which we recognize with our Most Innovative Hospitality Technology award, we know that innovation isn’t defined only by vendor products.  Sometimes it is in how hoteliers use existing technologies.”

Ian Millar, Professor of IT in Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, commented: “It was an excellent idea from HTNG to create the EMEA Technology Innovators Award and it was an honor to be part of the voting jury.  We received many outstanding applications which made our job of deciding the eventual winners very difficult.  The three winners were all well-deserved and I am looking forward to being part of this program again next year.”

The three winners of the award for 2012 each made brief presentations about their projects during the general session of the conference.
  • Rotana Hotels & Resorts was selected for deploying a strong IT services foundation that delivers private services via a SaaS model in a private cloud, and in countries with challenging telecommunications reliability.  Rotana justified the investment by focusing on applications where underlying telecommunications reliability was less critical, initially deploying High Speed Internet, mobile profile authentication for guests, video calls from guests to the company’s contact centre, and several other support services.  Samir Abi Frem, Group Director of IT, accepted Rotana’s award.
  • Hotel St. Gotthard Basel was selected for its identification of a Channel Blanket Technology to centrally manage the pairing of WiFi devices with access points.  The technology was not new, but was not known to have been deployed elsewhere in the hotel industry.  Some new WiFi standards, such as 802.11ac scheduled for completion in 2013, will provide similar capabilities, but this 95-room independent hotel didn’t wait.  The solution delivered seamless roaming with planned handoff across access points and without the need for re-authentication.  Co-Director Selinda Geyer accepted Hotel St. Gotthard Basel’s award.
  • Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dubai was selected for its innovative approach to providing on-demand bandwidth to guests, particularly for meetings.  The hotel forged a partnership with one of the two ISPs in Dubai’s heavily controlled (and very expensive) telecommunications market, and drove the ISP to design and implement managed, end-to-end burstable bandwidth.  The result allowed the hotel to provide high bandwidth on demand, without the time delay or cost of paying for it when it was not needed.  They leveraged this capability by upgrading their WiFi network, more than tripling access points, and implementing a completely mobile solution for reception and front desk staff.  Jeremy Ward, SVP of IT for Kempinski Hotels, accepted the award on behalf of the Dubai-based hotel team.
In addition to this award for hotelier innovation, HTNG also manages an annual innovation competition for technology providers, called the Most Innovative Hospitality Technology Award.  The award just opened up entries for its fourth year of competition, for technologies released during 2012.  HTNG hotelier and consultant members will vote on the winners of this competition, which HTNG will announce at its 9th annual North American Conference in Atlanta on February 28, 2013.  Companies interested in entering that award program should visit www.htng.org/innovation-award for information and an entry form.

About Hotel Technology Next Generation
The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, nonprofit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, 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.  HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards.  Where necessary, it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry.

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others.  Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including most of the world’s leading hotel companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants.  HTNG’s Board of Governors, consisting of 19 top IT leaders from hotel companies around the world, itself has responsibility for about 3.5 million guest rooms.  HTNG publishes workgroup proceedings, drafts and specifications for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption.  Specifications are released to the public domain as they are ratified by the workgroups.  For more information, visit www.htng.org

About the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne
The Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) offers university-level studies to talented and ambitious students who are aiming for top careers in the international hospitality industry. In addition to its international recognition, EHL constantly integrates market trends and new technologies into its three academic programmes:
  • Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management
  • Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration
EHL is part of Switzerland’s University of Applied Sciences and is accredited both by the Swiss federal government and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Higher Education Commission).

Since it was founded in 1893, EHL has educated more than 25,000 hospitality industry executives. The worldwide network of alumni represents an invaluable asset for every member of the EHL community.  Today, over 1,800 students from almost 90 different countries enjoy the unique and enriching environment of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

For more information about the EHL, please visit www.ehl.edu
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Contact:

EHL Contacts:
Anouck Weiss
Director of Communication
+41 21 785 13
http://www.ehl.edu

Pascale Stehlin
Press Officer
+41 21 785 13 49

HTNG Contact:
Brian Larson
Director of Marketing
+1 847 303 5560
brian.larson@htng.org
www.htng.org


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