Hotel Online  Special Report

Hotel Technology - Next Generation Group (HTNG) 
Paying Dividends for Hoteliers;
Eliminates Many of the Barriers that Prevent Vendor Products from
Talking to Each Other


DALLAS, TX June 4, 2004---  The Hotel Technology - Next Generation group (HTNG) announces that coincident with the HITEC conference starting June 21st, vendors working under its auspices are demonstrating and releasing new interoperating solutions featuring the seamless movement and use of guest-related and operational data.   The solutions being announced communicate with each other using the draft specification approved by HTNG workgroup participants. This release, a first for the hotel industry, is tangible evidence of the HTNG and vendor commitment to facilitate a quantum increase in efficiency in the use of information technology, to the benefit of owners, operators and vendors alike.

The companies releasing or demonstrating interoperating solutions based on the HTNG specification include Clairvoyix, Daylight Software, Eatec Corporation, General Dynamics Interactive, IDeaS Revenue Optimization, IDT Group, InfoGenesis, Maxim Revenue Management, Micros Systems, Microsoft, Newmarket International, NFS Hospitality, Percipia Networks, Springer-Miller Systems, and Sprint.  Many others plan to release solutions in the months following the HITEC conference.  The participating companies offer products which impact virtually every dimension of hotel operations, from front office to sales and catering to telephony and in-room entertainment, to name just a few.   Glenn Bonner, CIO of MGM Mirage and member of the HTNG Board of Directors, said "These companies are the unquestioned leaders in their fields, and many of them are natural competitors.  The importance of their working together to benefit the industry cannot be overstated."

Nick Price, CIO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and member of the HTNG Board of Directors, added "The efforts sponsored by HTNG will pay enormous dividends for hoteliers.  By eliminating many of the barriers that prevent products from talking to each other, the participating vendors are able to bring increased focus to serving guests, which is what the hotel industry is all about.  Products which utilize the workgroup message specification will dramatically improve the customer's return on investment, making the sale much easier for compliant vendors." 

Matthew Dunn, executive director of HTNG, said that from the beginning HTNG's emphasis has been to foster the development of real platforms that the industry could actually purchase.  "We're not a standards body," Dunn indicated. "Instead, we provide a framework within which vendors who are committed to improving the industry's use of technology can cooperate to create market-available solutions."

How is HTNG different from OTA, HITIS, and earlier standardization efforts?

The Open Travel Alliance (OTA) and Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS) address the standardization of messaging between applications.  HTNG embraces and endorses the work of both organizations.

HTNG's mission is significantly broader.  The end goal of HTNG is to enable the formation of new technology vendors or vendor alliances (or entry of vendors from other industries) who can deliver comprehensive, turnkey technology solutions to hotels and hotel companies, and deliver them as a service - much as electricity or telephone service is delivered to hotels today.

While HTNG will not address the messaging standards that are covered by OTA and HITIS, it does cover interoperability at the operating system, database, security, and networking levels.  Through improved interoperability, HTNG seeks to facilitate vendor alliances and consolidation.  It also seeks to improve the processes through which hotel companies budget, fund, and purchase technology, to remove the high selling-cost barriers that have frustrated technology vendors.

Another key difference is that HTNG is the first standardization effort that will be controlled entirely by the hospitality industry.  Earlier efforts in the hotel industry (such as HITIS and WHIS) have not been broadly adopted (there are some exceptions).  Some hotels saw these as self-serving efforts on the part of specific vendors, and did not demand compliance from their own vendors.  As a result, compliance (especially among the more critical vendors) remains low.  The Open Travel Alliance does include hoteliers, but has a broader travel industry distribution focus does not address many hotel-specific issues. 

About Hotel Technology Next Generation

HTNG is a nonprofit organization with global scope, formed in 2002 to facilitate the development of next-generation, customer-centric technologies to better meet the needs of the global hotel community.

HTNG was formed by nine individuals from four continents, representing hotel companies, consultants, and academia.

Based on feedback from the global hotel community during 2002, the founders appointed an Executive Board consisting entirely of senior hotel company executives with technology responsibility. 

The HTNG Board includes:

  • Gebhard Rainer, Vice President Hotel Finance & Technology, Hyatt International
  • Mark Hedley, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Wyndham International
  • Nick Price, Director of Technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • Glenn Bonner, Chief Information Officer, MGM Mirage
  • Michael Hwu, Vice President, Information Systems, Four Seasons
  • Jane Durment, Chief Information Officer, The Marcus Corporation
  • Shannon Knox, Vice President Information Systems, Destination Resorts
HTNG also benefits from the advice and participation of a non-voting Executive Advisory Board.  Members of this group include: 
  • Douglas C. Rice, Principal, Stratus Management Group
  • Jon Inge, Principal, Jon Inge & Associates
  • Dr. Daniel Connolly, Assistant Professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, University of Denver
  • Mac R. Smith, Managing Consultant, Plexus Partnership
Former Board member Matthew Dunn (formerly CIO of Intrawest Corporation) is serving as Acting Executive Director to HTNG under special arrangement with Socratech, Inc.
The following companies will be demonstrating new product and service releases facilitated by the HTNG workgroup specification at HITEC. 

Clairvoyix, Booth 1050
Daylight Software, Inc., Booth 436
Eatec Corporation, Booth 815 
General Dynamics Interactive, Booth 1235
IDeaS Revenue Optimization, Booth 1113
The IDT Group
InfoGenesis, Booth 1216
Maxim Revenue Management, Booth 836
MICROS, Booth 1102
Microsoft Corporation, Booth 708
Newmarket International, Booth 1502
NFS Hospitality, Booth 1635
Percipia Networks, Booth 1036 (Sprint) 
Springer-Miller Systems, Booth 1401
Sprint, Booth 1036

The following HTNG members are working on products and services.

CBORD, Booth 1525
Cendant's Travel Distribution Services Division, Booth 850
Guest-Tek, Booth 744
IBM, Booth 1602
Open Course Solutions
Open Travel Alliance
Paradyne, Booth 1449
POST Integrations
Sky Tech Solutions, Booth 1724

Matthew Dunn
Executive Director
Hotel Technology Next Generation
Also See: A Path to Achieving Next-Generation Technology for the Hotel Industry / White Paper / July 2002
The Creation of Hotel Technology-Next Generation ( HTNG) Has the Industry Talking / Michael Squires / Sept 2002

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