Siegel Sez -
|Atlanta, GA - August 27, 1999 - When Hotel-Online and UPDATE
Magazines & UPDATEPlus.com
discussed doing an email every two weeks on what is going on in the technology
area of the hospitality industry, we figured that some would say "what
is going on?" We also thought the majority of the Hotel-Online.com
readers would appreciate this bi-weekly feature since technology is such
a big part of business today. For once I can say we were right. The only
constant we received in our feedback was that it was too long. As you can
see by this edition, we have "fine-tuned" the email for those of you want
to skip through the technology news and go right down to the hotel-online
news section, it is easier to do. Hey, if anything, we are accommodating.
Okay, I have one more thing to say before we get to this week's news. One reader thought that what we were doing with this email was advertising. It is not. The Hotel & Restaurant Technology UPDATE magazine and UPDATEPLUS.com are dedicated 98.6 per cent to technology. The remaining 1.4 per cent is dedicated to me embarrassing myself with bad jokes, dumb stories and my screwed up personal life (big Amy problems this week).
When people want to know what is going on in technology, they contact me and if I can't help them then I point them to people like Jon Inge, John Burns or Mark Haley, among others, who might be able to help. I say this proudly: We are knowledgeable, connected and enjoy sharing what we know with the masses. I think what we are doing is helpful, and according to the majority of the feedback we were right. Enjoy this edition and I will see you again at the bottom with this week's bad joke.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Online leisure hotel distribution network specialist WorldRes, Inc., reflecting its pure Internet focus, changed its name to WorldRes.com and adopted a new corporate logo. It also moved its U.S. corporate headquarters to larger offices in San Mateo, CA, and opened a new European headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany, and redesigned its web site for easier site navigation.
WorldRes also entered into exclusive agreements with 26 destination marketing organizations (DMOs), representing six regional CVBs and 20 statewide associations, including the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau and the Hawaii Hotel Association. WorldRes works with municipal, regional and statewide associations to provide real-time hotel booking capability to association websites and call centers. With the six previous American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA) member state associations already signed on -- California, Illinois, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin - WorldRes now serves DMOs in 23 states.
destinations. Customers can expect hotel discounts of between 10 and 30%; special deals will be offered on a weekly basis.
connectivity) software. Many airlines currently use Attachmate's products for host access to the IBM MVS and Unisys 2200 mainframes used for reservations, cargo management and ticket printing. Lanyon also split its applications development, with airline systems business becoming Lanyon Application Systems Ltd., based in London, England, and putting the hotel systems business into Lanyon Inc., based in Arlington, Texas.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Opus 2 have announced the development of a thin-client, Internet-accessible revenue management system, fully integrated into Starwood's central reservation system and giving all Starwood properties inexpensive access to this rate and booking optimization tool.
SALES & CATERING, Meeting Planning
Newmarket International announced the installation of its Delphi Multi-Property Edition (Delphi MPE) thin client sales automation program at Starwood's three Washington, DC hotels, The Westin Fairfax, The Westin Grand, and the St. Regis Washington. This is one of five regional sites in the United States that Starwood will automate this year with Delphi MPE, which uses Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Terminal Server to centralize guest and function room inventories for a region or cluster for real-time cross-selling.
Tech Electro Industries, Inc. has acquired Alphanet Hospitality Systems, provider of InnFax in-room facsimile/photocopier/printer and The Office unattended business center services, installed in over 50,000 hotel rooms worldwide.
Convention Center, attendees at high-tech conventions like COMDEX or Networld+Interop can set up and test equipment in their room before the show, then network their booth at the Convention Center to their room at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Spokane, WA-based Hospitality Associates has signed a 3-year contract
with Avista Services to provide energy conservation services to its 80
properties in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii.
Avista will provide energy management, resource optimization, and energy
analysis services as well as maintenance and equipment purchasing assistance
and resource management training and workshops.
Hotel Wind-down at TSR
As the final curtain falls on the operations of TeleService Resources' Hospitality division, TSR clients are securing services with other reservation representation companies.
Drury Inns and Camino Real Hotels and Resorts will become clients of Phoenix-based REZsolutions, while TRUST International is gaining Small Luxury Hotels of the World as a new client.
Lexington Services Corporation, the TSR-recommended successor, has gained the largest number of new clients – Aston Hotels and Resorts, Baymont Inns and Suites, Chalet Susse International, Grand De Vere Hotels and Signature Inns. Additionally, Lexington will provide GDS reservation processing for Fiesta America, while Oasis Hotels will fill their voice service needs. Most of TeleService Resources' hotel industry clients are nearing completion of their migration from TSR to their new service organizations, with all scheduled to be relocated by October 29. By all accounts, the change-over process has been conducted by TSR with consistent professionalism.
Not surprisingly, significant personnel changes have taken place in the TSR organization since its acquisition by Platinum Equity Holdings. Two promotions of individuals well known to the hotel industry are Steve Zollo (previously with Travelocity and SABRE), to TSR president and CEO, and Paul Skingle, previously VP of TSR's Hospitality division to VP Customer Services, with responsibility for TSR's call centers in Austin, Columbus, Dallas and San Antonio.
New Heights for New Frontiers
Speaking of Conferences.…
Xeta Corporation announced a new CEO and new growth strategy. Xeta historically sells call accounting, PBX equipment and service, call aggregation and payphone services to the lodging industry. The new CEO, Jon Wiese (former VP Sales & Service at Lucent Technologies), intends to expand Xeta into a one-stop shopping service for the entire commercial telephony sector by developing expertise at provisioning both voice and data services with packet-switched technologies. The investment community responded with some healthy bidding for Xeta's stock, resulting in a 2-for-1 split on August 13.
Will new CEO Wiese make them build a web site?
Consolidation continues in the hotel Internet segment. Darwin Networks has merged three smaller competitors into itself to create a stronger entity to penetrate the hotel and apartment building markets with high speed Internet services. While larger than before, they now have headquarters in three cities, and vastly different product and customers.
Nortel Networks has issued flexible DID (Direct Inward Dial) services in general release. Operating in conjunction with a hotel's PBX, this new feature assigns a new DID number from a pool to each guest as they check-in. Guests may give out a direct-dial number to their guestroom without compromising their security. Hotels can deliver DID service, reducing the burden on their operators, without compromising the comfort of the next guest to check into that room, because the number will not be re-used for some time. This feature is made available in release 24 of the Meridian 1 X.11 software platform.
Another Nortel enhancement for hospitality is the PC Console. The baseline PC Console integrates with the PMS and allows operators to answer calls, look up guest's room numbers and complete the call, all from the PC keyboard. Additional call management services are also enabled by this integration. The next release is currently in a customer-confidential beta test supporting two hotels with two different PMS products and two different PBXs supporting a single operator call center.
Look for more Nortel to announce more new hospitality product trials in September.
Atcom /Info , recently acquired by CAIS Internet, announced a partnership with NCR to develop and market public Internet kiosks. Combining Atcom's proven kiosk application software with NCR's ATM-like kiosk hardware and infrastructure, they intend to market the kiosk solution to NCR's customer base and others for placement in public locations
Jeff Bzdawka (pronounced biz-dafka) joined Pegasus Systems as SVP of the commission processing unit. In his new role, Jeff will oversee both the hotel side and the agency side of Pegasus' unit that consolidates and manages payments from hotels to travel agencies for commissions. Responsibilities include sales and operations. Jeff's prior role at Security Capital Group was VP strategic information systems and CIO of Security's Homestead Village unit. There Jeff oversaw the definition, standardization and rapid deployment of technology throughout Homestead Village's footprint.
Colby Springer takes the CIO role at Bristol Hotels & Resorts. His immediate priority will be the implementation of a high-speed WAN connecting all the Bristol properties and offices, while managing Y2K compliance activities. His prior experience is primarily in retail.
Jeffrey Collins is the SVP, Client Solutions & Services at Talus Solutions. In this new role at the Revenue Management leader, he will manage the consultants that work with clients to identify opportunities and capitalize on them. This appointment follows a series of personnel changes in the last several months as Talus adopts strategic extensions of Revenue Management techniques into new markets.
Okay. What did you think? Pretty informative I hope. Last time I told
you that I was going to see the Thomas Crown Affair. Well, since I am having
Amy problems, I decided to play a round of golf instead. An interesting
thing happened while we were playing…. Here is the story.
See you in two weeks.