PARSIPPANY, NJ - April 29, 1998 -Declaring that "The future is today," John Russell, chairman and CEO of the Cendant Hotel Division unveiled state-of-the-art hotel technology for communications and training, which gives Cendant franchisees a new way to do business.
Russell previewed the Hospitality Network, which gives franchisees new communications and information channels, and introduced a new era of hospitality training via the Internet through the Educational Institute Hospitality Network (EIHN). The networks are principal components of Project Power Up. The $75 million program will provide at no cost to Cendant Hotel Division franchisees all hardware, software and training. The initiative gives franchisees the opportunity to improve management of their property, communications, training and the marketing of their business.
The Internet-based Hospitality Network was developed for the Hotel Division
by sister company Cendant Software. The network is composed of five channels:
|Training and development|
|Brand specific news and information|
|Lodging industry news and information|
|Cendant Corporation news and information|
|Preferred Vendor information|
Each brand will have its own dedicated network with information focused on the Brand News and Training and Development pages. Industry News, Corporate News and Preferred Alliance member information will be shared by all eight brands. Editorial content providers include major hospitality industry magazines including, Hotel Motel Management, Lodging and Hotel Business. Information updates will be posted via the Internet on a daily/weekly basis, depending on the content provider, and made available to Cendant properties.
Developed for Cendant by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel Motel Association (EI), EIHN now allows the eight Cendant hotel brands, with nearly 6,000 hotels around the globe, to develop and deliver customized, property-specific hospitality training to personnel via the Internet.
Cendant is the world's largest franchiser of hotels with more than 500,000 rooms under the Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Villager Lodge and Wingate Inn brands.
Both networks were demonstrated today before lodging industry executives attending the American Hotel Motel Association's Annual Convention Leadership Forum, in Reno, NV.
"Five years ago we were talking about what we will be doing in the future," said Russell. "We no longer have to talk about the future because the future is today."
Russell said most of the industry talks about what can be achieved, but Cendant is delivering the real thing to its franchisees and positively impacting the way they do business. All Cendant franchised properties will receive computers loaded with the software for property management, yield management, Hospitality Network and EI's distance learning.
"I challenge other hotel companies to seize the moment. They should embrace the work of the AHMA and take advantage of EI and the outstanding cutting-edge technology they have produced to vastly improve the delivery and effectiveness of distance training," said Russell.
"That the Cendant Hospitality Network has been created, designed and implemented by a Cendant company for a Cendant company proves not only that the 'future is now,'" said George Lichter, Senior Vice President of New Business Development for Cendant Software, "but the promise and vision of an integrated organization is up and running and works to everyone's advantage."
"We believe the launch of this network will be felt around the globe," said Robert T. Foley, President and CEO of EI. "As we enter new frontiers of training and communication, the future is here, now. If you want to see more of it, just follow us into the 21st century."
The EI Hospitality Network (www.eihn.org) is an Internet-based training and development system available to hotel companies and properties on a subscription basis, beginning in June 1998. A menu of services will be offered on EIHN, including access to hundreds of EI hospitality training videos, and textbooks used in hospitality courses in colleges and universities worldwide.
Through a development engine provided on the network, trainers can select video, text, and CD-ROM elements to create courses for application within a chain or at a specific property.
According to Scott Anderson, Cendant EVP Sales and Marketing, Internet web browsers are taking franchisees to places they never thought of before for industry news and information and marketing data and programs.
To date, Project Power Up has been installed, and training on has been completed in more than 200 hotels. While this is slightly less than Cendant's ambitious installation goal Anderson said, he expects to have 1,000 properties installed by mid-year and 3,900 properties installed by year-end. All properties are expected to have the system installed by July 1999.
"Project Power Up is the largest project ever undertaken by the Cendant Hotel Division, and we made a pledge to our franchisees that it would be top quality," Anderson said. "When testing of a new software interface showed it was not 100 percent reliable, we experienced a minimum installation delay until we were assured it would not impact our franchisees' business operations."
Appearing on Video, Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer Corporation, said that Project Power Up was an example of how the Internet works. Dell is acknowledged as an innovator in the utilization of the Internet. His company receives more than 20 million visits to their web site quarterly.
"This is a very powerful change agent that can improve the efficiency, productivity, capacity utilization and the ability to share information and best practices across an organization," Dell said. "It represents the way industry is moving, and Cendant is a leader in this area."
Cendant Corporation is a global provider of consumer and business services. The Company operates in three principal segments: Membership, Travel and Real Estate. In Membership Services, Cendant provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining and other services through more than 73 million memberships worldwide. In Travel Services, the Company is the leading franchisor of hotels and rental car agencies worldwide, the premier provider of vacation exchange services and the second largest fleet management company. In Real Estate Services, Cendant is the world's premier franchisor of residential real estate brokerage offices, a major provider of mortgage services to consumers and a global leader in corporate employee relocation. A pioneer in interactive shopping, Cendant is a major online commerce facilitator, with more than $1 billion in yearly sales through its netMarket(R) and other interactive services.