Siegel Sez - 


August 27, 1999 -
Issue #2

Technology  N E W S T A N D  
By Jon Inge 
GDS / Central Reservations  News  
by John Burns 
Technology Tips  News You Can Use 
By Mark Haley 
Hospitalitys Location for Automation
Atlanta, GA - August 27, 1999 - When Hotel-Online and UPDATE Magazines & 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 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 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.

Technology N E W S T A N D
By Jon Inge [email protected] 

Dave Berkus to lead UK-based AremisSoft into the US UK-based PMS vendor AremisSoft Corp., one of four international PMS vendors at HITEC who were looking for partners to help them break into the US market, has signed industry veteran Dave Berkus as a strategic consultant.  Founder of CLS and most recently head of Eltrax' Hospitality division, Mr. Berkus will lead the development of new sales channels and the expansion of the Company's AREMIS software products into the North American market. 


Online leisure hotel distribution network specialist WorldRes, Inc., reflecting its pure Internet focus, changed its name to 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. 

* * *
Extended Stay America  added online reservations functionality to its web site, for any of the 350 extended-stay properties it owns and operates. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, with immediate e-mail confirmations. 
* * * launched its Travelscape Europe international travel service, offering hotel and air/hotel packages to approximately 20 cities and 150 hotels at top European 
destinations. Customers can expect hotel discounts of between 10 and 30%; special deals will be offered on a weekly basis. 
* * *, which provides the vacation lodging directory for Microsoft's Expedia site, is adding's 16,000 rentals to its inventory over the next several months. ResortQuest specializes in "up-to-the-minute" Internet bookings for privately owned homes and condominiums; This deal increases VacationSpot's total vacation lodging inventory by more than 25%, to approximately 75,000 total units worldwide. 
* * *
Online business travel vendor  (formerly Internet Travel Network has partnered with for on-line information on business services (such as air charter, limousines, florists, caterers and salon services), restaurants, museum and gallery exhibits, sports and business events in 10 major North American markets and London. The "Snapshots" and "Business Events" information can be downloaded to desktop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs). 
* * *
Sabre has upgraded its licensing agreement with, to integrate's latest version into its Travelocity Website. The improvements include faster access to mapping and driving directions, and the ability to perform searches based on specific as well as approximate location information. 
* * *
Attachmate Corp. has acquired the core connectivity technology and related development personnel from Lanyon Ltd., leaving Lanyon free to focus on its applications (rather than 
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. 
* * *  is adding inventory from Performance Hospitality Management's 60 plus hotels to the ResHERO inventory freesale program on its Website. TravelHero claims the most comprehensive hotel database available on the Internet, with more than 100,000 property listings in 19,000 cities worldwide. 
* * *
Sabre's  has signed an agreement to become the preferred online travel provider of hotel, air and car hotel booking capabilities for Infoseek Corp's GO Network. Media Metrix, an Internet and digital media measurement group, recently ranked the GO Network number five among the Top 50 Digital Media Web Properties, based on "unique visitors". 

Starwood goes "thin-client" with Opus 2 

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. 

* * *
U.S. Franchise Systems has adopted IXATA.COM's Internet-based RFP Express service for its 1,101 properties open or under development worldwide, including Microtel Inn and Suites, Hawthorn Suites and Best Inn and Suites. 
* * *
The Housing Division of USA Hosts of Las Vegas has contracted with  for its ResDesk Internet-based convention/group reservation technology. USA Hosts plans to make ResDesk available later to its offices throughout the country on a pay-per-reservation fee basis. It's first use will be for the Let's Play Hockey International Expo' in January 2000 in Las Vegas, when event organizer and meeting planner customers will be given direct, password - protected access to the ResDesk system for checking on their room block reservations in real time. 


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. 

* * *
The Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas has networked every guestroom with a standard cat 5, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port, installed by US Telcom. Each room is assigned its own IP address, allowing it to be networked with any other hotel room, meeting room or home office, as well as providing high-speed Internet access. The hotel is also configured for Internet Broadcasting, so that any event can be broadcast to the Internet from the Hotel, or can be captured and placed on a web site for future viewing by a global audience. With links to the Las Vegas 
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. 
* * *
The Country Inn & Suites by Ayres property in Costa Mesa is installing high-speed Internet access from StarView Communications  in all 300 guestrooms and meeting rooms, via the hotel's existing cable TV infrastructure. 
* * *
Doubletree Hotels is renaming all 25 Club Hotel by Doubletree properties as Doubletree Clubs in order to unify the hotels under the Doubletree brand umbrella, which now includes Doubletree Hotels, Suites, Resorts and Clubs. The Club properties' signature Club Room combines a business hub (with a 24-hour, self-service business-technology center and small meeting rooms), lounge area, restaurant and bar, all in one setting. 
* * *
The Holiday Inn in Runnemede, NJ, has installed Solar Communications Group's PCRoomLink PC  and travel solutions product with Tut Systems' Expresso MDU system to deliver high speed Internet access to its hotel and conference rooms over existing telephone wires. Solar is planning a national roll out for PCRoomLink, which is installed in qualified hotels free of charge with in-room PCs, web-based e-mail, high-speed Internet access with secure, direct links to corporate servers, and popular software applications. 

Hospitality Associates signs with Avista 

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. 

G D S / C e n t r a l R e s e r v a t i o n s News 
by John Burns [email protected]

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 
Tom Woodall, head scribe at Garrett Communications, reports that advance registration for their upcoming New Frontiers in Travel Distribution conference (Washington, Sept 29-Oct 1) is setting new records.  Again the year, Amadeus is sponsoring the key social evening - this year at B. Smith's in Union Station. 

Speaking of Conferences.… 
WizCom International president Flo Lugli also reports strong advance registration for the first WizCom Customer Conference to be held since she took the reins of that organization.  It takes place at the Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York on September 12-14.

Technology Tips - News You Can Use
By Mark Haley [email protected]

Telecom Tracking 

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 

People Watch 

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. 

Siegel Sez- AGAIN

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. 

It was a sunny Saturday morning and Murray was beginning his pre-shot routine, visualizing his upcoming shot when a voice came over the clubhouse speaker.

"Would the gentleman on the ladies' tee back up to the men's tee please!"

Murray was still deep in his routine seemingly impervious to the interruption.

Again the announcement over the clubhouse speaker - "Would the MAN on the WOMEN's tee kindly back up to the men's tee!"

Murray had had enough. He breaks his stance, lowers his driver back to the ground and shouts,

"Would the announcer in the clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second shot!"

See you in two weeks.

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