Aptech - 16 November 2017
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced Milestone Hospitality Management and Bellstar Hotels & Resorts implemented the PVNG enterprise accounting system. PVNG is Aptech's next generation enterprise accounting hotel software solution that is deployed in the cloud. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and business intelligence hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Milestone selected PVNG because Aptech is a hospitality-focused company," said Brendon Ratley, corporate controller for Milestone Hospitality Management. "Aptech understands hospitality accounting and designed PVNG's financials to conform to the hotel industry uniform system of accounts. Every other system we reviewed required a report generator to convert their system's reports. Aptech hosts our system and PVNG interfaces with our payroll and property management systems." Milestone will finalize its four-property implementation in 4Q 2017.PVNG is a totally new financial system with an easy to navigate architecture. Drawing on Aptech's vast experience and thousands of existing hospitality users, Aptech had the perfect blueprint for the next generation application."Bellstar Hotels & Resorts operates six resorts and a home office in Alberta, Canada. The home office will use PVNG for enterprise general ledger, accounts payables and financials. Our property GMs and department heads will use PVNG to review expenses and financial statements," said Leslie Ducommun, Bellstar's corporate controller. "We went live November 1st, 2017. PVNG allows us to enter our budgets and forecasts in the system and compare those numbers with the current period. PVNG also lets us download results from the Resort PMS." Ducommun noted that Stagewest Hospitality is a shareholder of Bellstar. "Stagewest installed PVNG over a year ago and it has worked well for them."Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "We built PVNG from the ground up for the web based on Aptech's 45+ years of hotel accounting knowledge. We used the most current technology platform incorporating AP, GL, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with easy to use, familiar browser navigation." The PVNG system easily handles single or multi-property accounting, and is deployed as a hosted service, streamlining common daily accounting procedures and offering highly flexible reporting.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner offering Execuvue web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue, and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
Treasure Island Las Vegas Deploys B4checkin's Cutting Edge Technology To Further Protect Consumer Credit Card Data
B4checkin - 9 November 2017
b4easypost, developed by b4checkin, works by first providing an online platform for guests and meeting planners to make deposits and payments to a hotel, then automatically and securely posting those payments to the property's management system. This eliminates the need for paper credit card authorization forms, which, aside from their inconvenience, are prone to human error and contrary to PCI compliance standards. Additionally, this end-to-end electronic solution significantly reduces credit card chargebacks to the hotel. Overall, by facilitating protected e-commerce transactions, there is a significant cost reduction for hotels as well.Treasure Island Las Vegas is a 2,884 room casino hotel located on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip that uses Agilysys' industry-leading Lodging Management System (LMS) as its property management system (PMS). Following the launch of b4easypost at Treasure Island Las Vegas in late September 2017, the software has already processed and successfully posted an incredible volume of over 800 transactions totaling over 400K in the first 30 days of operation."The deployment of b4easypost is a tremendous enhancement for our hotel. It not only provides a seamless online payment portal for our customers with a great user experience but it also drastically reduces the number of hours required to process those transactions," said Careme Casanova-Dapra, Executive Director, Resort Services at Treasure Island Las Vegas. "We're excited to gain the benefits of b4easypost and integration into LMS, which allows our guests to feel more protected knowing their highly sensitive personal data, most important of which is their credit card information, is being transferred via the b4easypost advanced and secure automated payment portal.""b4easypost's implementation at Treasure Island Las Vegas is a continuation of the success we've had with this product" said Saar Fabrikant, President and CEO of b4checkin. "In an age where hotels - or any company for that matter - is still dealing with paper-based credit card forms, or having to manually post transactions into their systems, our software as the only integrated solution, has emerged as a powerful tool for any property to deploy to protect their customers' personal data and themselves. As guests now expect every form of payment to be available to them online, there is no reason why all properties shouldn't do their best to uphold strict data security standards without manual work."About b4checkinb4checkin develops and provides an innovative suite of cloud-based software solutions for the hospitality industry. Designed to help hotels better manage online reservations and measure guest satisfaction, core products include: chameleon, the industry's first online booking engine with multiple design options;b4feedback, a state-of-the-art guest satisfaction tracking and management tool; b4arrival, an online check-in system that maximizes convenience for mobile-friendly guests; b4easypost, a fully automated payment and posting solution; b4GDS, a GDS interface for properties offering a 'one-stop-shop' for hoteliers; b4golf, a golf tee time reservation solution; b4spa, a spa appointment booking solution; and b4ubet, an application that allows hotel casino players to book their hotel offers online. b4checkin is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with installations serving customers in North America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. For more information, visit www.b4checkin.com.About AgilysysAgilysys is a leading technology company that provides innovative software and services for point-of-sale (POS), reservation and table management, property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management, and mobile and wireless solutions exclusively to the hospitality industry. Our products and services allow operators to streamline operations, improve efficiency and understand customer needs across their properties to deliver a superior overall guest experience. The result is improved guest loyalty, growth in wallet share and increased revenue as they connect and transact with their guests based upon a single integrated view of individual preferences and interactions. We serve four major market sectors: Gaming, both corporate and tribal; Hotels, Resorts and Cruise; Corporate Foodservice Management; and Restaurants, Universities, Stadia and Healthcare.Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and India with corporate services located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, visit www.agilysys.com
InvoTech - 24 October 2017
LOS ANGELES, CA -- InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its Uniform System at the new Viceroy Chicago that opened September 1, 2017, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood. InvoTech Systems is the leading provider of advanced Linen Management, Laundry and Uniform Systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Viceroy Chicago joins InvoTech System's extensive client portfolio of Hotels & Resorts worldwide. Click here for more information on InvoTech's Linen, Laundry and Uniform Systems.InvoTech's Uniform System establishes a perpetual uniform inventory and has extensive reporting capabilities to monitor inventory levels and forecast uniform purchases. The system provides significant cost saving benefits by cutting labor costs, eliminating losses, reducing purchases, and lowering laundry expenses. The uniform cleaning costs are entered into the InvoTech System and reports are provided to audit laundry expenses."Our team witnessed the Uniform System first-hand at our New York property. We wanted to start our uniform operations on the right track and provide cost savings benefits at our own property. We're looking forward to increasing efficiencies and operating costs in our uniform room," said Nienke Oosting, Hotel Manager at Viceroy Chicago.The RFID technology allows for multiple uniforms to be processed simultaneously and automatically, and the recordkeeping is also automated. The system integrates with automated uniform conveyors to distribute the uniforms to employees, and the system records which uniforms are taken by employees.The system includes an electronic signature capture terminal that records each employee's signature when uniforms are assigned. This increases accountability for the uniform department and facilitates a paperless "green" system.Oswald Lares, Director of Sales at InvoTech Systems, said, "InvoTech customers see an ROI in the first year by eliminating losses, monitoring laundry bills and reducing purchases. The InvoTech Uniform System instantly provides additional savings through increased efficiency. More than 500 properties worldwide rely on InvoTech's Uniform System to increase profitability through more efficient operations and processes."InvoTech has over 500 of satisfied clients worldwide in more than 30 countries, including hotels, resorts, casinos, theme parks, stadiums, arenas, convention centers, medical centers, cleanrooms, and laundries. Why InvoTech? Because major brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, MGM International, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, Intel, Pfizer, Madison Square Garden, and Staples Center rely on InvoTech Systems to provide operational efficiency, full-accountability, and turn-key solutions for laundry, linen and uniform management. See what our clients are saying about us.About Viceroy ChicagoLocated in the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, it houses a restaurant, rooftop bar, pool and lounge with beautiful views of the Great Lakes and Chicago's skyline. The hotel also includes meeting and event space. Seated in the region of historic buildings, the original Cedar Hotel's facade is intact for guests to experience Chicago's architectural past accompanied by its bold interior. Find out more here.
Avendra - 18 October 2017
Avendra, the leading North American hospitality procurement services provider, today announced that its Board of Managers reached a binding agreement with Aramark Corporation (NYSE: ARMK) to acquire the company for $1.35 billion. Avendra is owned by founding shareholders Marriott International, Hyatt, Accor, ClubCorp and IHG.Avendra was launched 16 years ago by merging the procurement divisions of its founding shareholders. Today, Avendra is a leader in hospitality procurement services, serving 8,500 hotels and other hospitality businesses in the Americas providing a range of procurement and supply chain services to its customers, including hotels, golf clubs, universities, multi-family housing buildings, as well as other segments.Wolfram Schaefer, Avendra's President and CEO, said: "We are very enthusiastic about this evolution for Avendra. We think the combination of Avendra and Aramark, a company admired and respected around the world, will bring additional value to both our customers and supplier partners. Our process for creating valuable contracts and providing hospitality expertise will only get stronger and our commitment to world-class customer service will continue to be the foundation for all we do.""Most importantly, I want to thank the Avendra team for competing day after day at the highest level, with the utmost integrity," Schaefer continued. "Their unwavering efforts and continual focus on delivering value to our customers and suppliers propelled us to this day."As part of the agreement, Marriott, Hyatt, Accor and ClubCorp have agreed to commit to a 5-year procurement agreement with Aramark and Avendra.Leeny Oberg, Chairman of the Avendra Board and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Marriott International, said, "Avendra has become very successful. From its beginnings serving founding shareholders, Avendra has added non-founder customers who now make up the majority of company revenue. Avendra's Board believed this was an appropriate time to take Avendra to the next level by considering opportunities, including sale of the company, to further increase the company's purchasing power. As part of Aramark, we believe Avendra will continue its growth, driving greater scale and value for the benefit of its customers."Eric Foss, Aramark's Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "We're excited to welcome Wolfram and the Avendra team to the Aramark family. Combining Avendra's powerful procurement capability with Aramark's leading supply chain management expertise will bring increased growth, buying scale, and improved service levels to both Avendra's and Aramark's customers, while strengthening our industry reach and competitive positioning."The transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the transaction to close before year-end. Once the transaction closes, Avendra will become an Aramark business unit headed up by Wolfram Schaefer.Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP provided legal counsel to Avendra. J.P. Morgan acted as lead financial adviser to Aramark, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel.About AramarkAramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world's leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and DiversityInc. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
CHMWarnick - 17 October 2017
Contrary to what some may believe, the role of the asset manager during the annual budgeting process is not to be argumentative and combative with the operator, but rather:Share best practices;Thoughtfully and constructively, challenge thinkingInterject strategic direction; and,Align management and ownership objectives.CHMWarnick will actively participate in the budgeting process on behalf of ownership groups of more than 65 hotels with 28,000+ guestroomsthis year. We are pleased to share some key issues and resulting strategies that we plan to employ, as we embark on our 2018 budgeting efforts.What we know about 2018:Slow and steady on most counts...forecasting growth, for most KPIs, albeit at a decelerated pace. Challenge will continue to be keeping expense increases at a rate lower than projected income increases.Prognosticators are in alignment, with projections for occupancy, ADR and RevPAR growth, more or less in lockstep, as compared to wider spreads in the outlook for years past. But, every market is unique and we can't paint the whole Country with the same paintbrushOccupancy is generally at peak and has leveled off in most markets; Although, market-tomarket the story differs, each with its own supply story requiring individualized knowledge and attention, and may differ vastly from Nationally-based forecasts (Nation projections = flat to 0.2% decrease).ADR is still projected to grow on a National basis, but at a decelerated rate, averaging 2% annually; Industry still wrestling with inability to achieve more meaningful ADR growth at peak occupancy levels (National ADR projections = 2.2% to 2.5% increase).RevPAR is projected to continue to grow (fueled by ADR). National average increase is forecasted in the 2.0% to 2.4% range. Key in 2018 will be increasing "Net" RevPAR, after commissions, yielding higher profit from revenue growth. Caution, National averages are just that...RevPAR has already or will soon be turning negative in some markets!Expense growth has, and continues, to outpace revenue growth and may even exceed it in 2018; Leading drivers are labor (living wage initiatives, basic wage/benefits) and cost of customer acquisition. Management teams will have to work much harder to achieve profit growth, even in light of increased revenues.GOP on a per available room basis is reported by CBRE to have increased on average 7.9% between 2009 and 2016; Forecast for year-end 2017 and 2018 is 3.4% and 2.5%, respectively.Revenue management continues to grow in importance. After the GM, the Revenue Manager is arguably the single most important position in a hotel today; yet, skill and experience at the property level varies wildly. While a case can be made for sharing a Revenue Manager among two or more hotels (e.g., can afford a higher skill level, owners need to look skeptically at how such position "complexing" will affect their own hotel.Leisure has, and continues to be, a major force in the lodging industry's growth and success. This has manifested in stronger than historical weekend demand in many markets. Continue to look for opportunities here.Group rate growth still healthy, albeit there are some signs of slowing demand; Shortened booking window and increased intermediary costs are a continuing reality.Corporate demand remains stable, with U.S. consumer and corporate market on solid footing; Hotels pursuing volume account rate increases of 3% to 6% for 2018, as evidenced by RFP season results within our own asset managed portfolio.Government per diem rates are a mixed bag, with markets such as Washington, DC, scheduled to experience the highest per diem rates historically, while GSA has decreased rates for other markets.Supply growth is forecasted to be equal to, or slightly exceed, demand growth in 2018, a notable shift not seen since the last recession; 2018 will see the addition of eight new hotels with over 50,000 SF of meeting space, which has not happened in over a decade.Brand initiatives continue to focus on enhancing guest loyalty, lowering guest acquisition costs and generally improved control over booking. In 2017, many brands introduced loyalty rates on brand sites that were lower than those available through OTAs; many re-negotiated and were successful in lowering OTA commissions, while others forged new, and significant international business partnerships (Marriott/Alibaba Group). Most brands also adopted a 48-hour (or higher) cancellation policy, to reduce last minute cancellations/rate trade downs. Some brands are testing "urban" resort fees. We remain optimistic about many of these brand initiatives, but encourage owners to track and measure results in 2018, and watch out for increases in brand charges that may off-set positive impact.Brand breeding has not slowed. The world's 10 largest hotel companies combined have more than 115 brands, roughly one-third of which didn't exist a decade ago. New brand creation in recent years has been mostly be centered on lifestyle hotels (many millennial-focused) and "soft-brand" extensions of the major players (Tapestry by Hilton, Autograph by Marriott, Hilton's Curio Collection, Hyatt's Unbound Collection, Choice Hotels' Ascend Collection, Wyndham's Trademark Collection, among others). There are no signs of brand proliferation slowing down.Capital requirements will intensify as hotels generally age, and brands implement new standards to maintain competitiveness, while establishing new swim lanes for their multiple brands. Increased requirements on ownership to reinvest, even in newer properties to meet brand, market and guest requirements. In addition to keeping up with continually evolving brand standards, owners are also challenged from a capital standpoint, to keep pace with the cost of new technology.Invest markets have slowed considerably in 2017, and we expect continued slowing in 2018, given the slowing of foreign investment and where we are in the economic cycle. That said, pay attention to adaptive reuse, rebranding and focused-service developments.Industry under currents: Wages, health care, immigration, tourism, Airbnb, Google, North Korea, Trump effect (and we're not just talking hair trends)! Lots bubbling below the surface, but nothing indicating a downturn is imminent.Still in unchartered territory...industry still growing in an unprecedented streak of growth. In short, it's been a LONG cycle of extraordinary growth. But, as Alan S. Blinder (former Federal Reserve vice chairman) says, "economic expansions don't die of old age, they go on until something kills them."Active ownership is a must in this operating environment; whether direct or through an asset manager, expertise and active engagement are required to optimized profitability and investment returns. Just because we did something one way last year does not mean we must continue in the future. Every dollar of income and expense need to be scrutinized to maximize revenue and flow-throughIn light of the above, our focus remains on opportunities for enhancing revenue, and specifically implementing strategies for optimizing profits in 2018. In this regard, we offer the following as key topics of discussion as owners look to engage their operating teams and align performance objectives:Have an open discussion about National industry statistics and Brand guidance, and how each compares and contrasts to what is actually occurring at the local market level.This type of critical evaluation will enable owners and operators to get on the same page about the degree to which broad based guidance, whether originating from industry prognosticators, brands or otherwise, bears relevance on a given property. Take the time to gain consensus on local market realities, as well as National trends, that should be driving strategies at property-level.Revisit original underwriting proforma.All too often, owners assume that the management team is aware of the original underwriting proforma and the underlying investment goals upon which the deal was based. Budget season represents the opportune time to dust of the proforma as another tool for reacquainting the management team with the economics of the deal, above and beyond the "in-the-year-for-the-year" mentality. The 2018 budget is merely a stepping stone in a longerterm trajectory of performance expectations, and decisions made today can materially impact future results - this is a theme that bears repeating to elevate the team and foster strategic, long-term thinking.Shift conversations from "RevPAR" growth, to "Net RevPAR" growth (a.k.a. how can we grow RevPAR more profitably?)RevPAR growth is widely discussed as a leading barometer of health for the lodging industry. From brands to prognosticators, everyone has an opinion on year-over-year RevPAR growth, and management relies heavily on this guidance when developing the budget. This issue is exacerbated by management bonuses and HMA performance clauses that have a RevPAR Index component. At the property level, the discussion of growth should not be limited to top line, but also include strategies for growing RevPAR more profitably. Challenge operators to focus on opportunities for yielding a higher "net" RevPAR, through pricing, booking, business segmentation and channel management strategies. To quote a phrase we regularly use in our shop, "not all RevPARs are created equal", and there are real opportunities for profit enhancement for those to collectively work with their operators to uncover them.Focus on opportunities, always.Regardless of which way the tea leaves fall for this year's outlook, every year brings opportunity. Don't let your operating team adopt the "mood du jour" of the industry ("modest growth", "flat occupancy", "increased supply", "RevPAR decreasing in certain markets", etc.) but rather, center conversations around opportunities...they are always there if you look for them. Status quo is not an option.Back to basics (zero-base budgeting, that is).While we would argue that the entire budget should be developed from scratch each year, this is not the going practice; If, however, significant changes have occurred or are planned (additional meeting space, F&B re-concepting, etc.), or an operating department is particularly challenged, ownership should make a case for a zero-base budgeting approach in these specific areas. Challenging the team to think about changes that have occurred or may be necessary to positively impact performance, can spark a more strategic thought process, as well as result in improved future forecasting.What were the top lessons learned in 2017?This question is not intended to lay blame or rehash the past - good, bad or indifferent. This is intended to spark a strategic discussion about potentially emerging trends, risks taken during the past year and resulting outcomes, and really taking a critical look at how these learnings can be applied to the year ahead. Were there major surprises or unbudgeted events that are likely to impact the future (new tax assessments, increase in real estate taxes, increased wage rates)? Often when such events hit the P&L their overall impact may not be fully recognized if they occurred part way through the year. Request a list of significant events or impacts. The goal is to make sure all are accounted for the full year in 2018, which will not be the case if percent growth or POR/PARs are used as the basis for budgeted increases or decreases.Occupancy is flat...so where can we grow?Again, this speaks to breaking through the tunnel vision often caused by "statistics". Yes, National average occupancy is forecasted to be flat (or decrease slightly), but, there likely are opportunities to still grow, whether by stealing share or inducing new demand (e.g., creative packaging, improved group sales, etc.). Look to debunk averages, norms and preconceived notions during budget season. Perhaps further digging will reveal that occupancy can be improved though smoothing out transient and group booking patterns; or maybe your property is under performing on weekends relatively to the competitive set. In short, don't settle for "flat" anything, but rather, always probe for more.Brand InitiativesMake sure you understand all of the Brand initiatives recently implemented, underway or planned for the near future. Engage in dialogue with property management teams and ask them to translate what these initiatives mean, and how they will impact your specific hotel(s). Brand mergers, new comp sets, changing OTA commissions, loyalty rates and program costs, revised cancellation policies...there are so many moving parts that are important to understand and constantly monitor to be sure the impact can be measured and accounted for during the budgeting process.Brand Centralized ServicesThe list and description of assessed brand fees is overwhelming (think 100+ pages of disclosures!) and can be easily overlooked. It is important to work with the property team to understand changes to these fees, any caps on fees that may exist, and determine where these fees hit the P&L. Brands are constantly shifting costs to the hotels that once were part of the "base management fee" or marketing contribution; you need a detailed accounting for 2017 and a detailed projection for 2018. This is tedious work, but centralized fees should be audited closely (don't assume the calculations are correct) and push back where no value is added.Instill a sense of urgencyYour market may be healthy, your hotel may be doing well (or seemingly so). When setting the tone for budget discussions, remember these words from Grof Andras Istvan - "Success breeds complacency...Complacency breeds failure...Only the paranoid survive."Aspirational, yet achievable.As a final tip, perhaps for owners (and their asset managers), more so than their operating teams, make sure the resulting budget for 2018 is achievable. This is not to say that the budget shouldn't include stretch goals, some new strategies and a healthy dose of questioning the status quo, but ultimately, the operating team needs to be on board directionally and believe that results can be achieved. If not, the budget can become demotivating for the operating team. Instead of a challenge, it will become an excuse because it wasn't achievable from day one.Don't forget, CHMWarnick is here to help! Please call us at 978-522-7002 to speak with a client specialist to learn more about our services and how we have assisted clients from around the globe in achieving their hospitality investment objectives.
M3 - 12 October 2017
The M3 mobile app enables hoteliers to securely access their data like never before, viewing real-time, mission-critical information like:Key Performance Indexes: Occupancy and ADRRooms RentedTotal Room RevenueFood and Bar RevenueRooms Out of OrderRedemptionsGuaranteed No ShowsComplimentary Rooms"I'm always on the road, and this app has given me access to the information that I need to make great business decisions about the hotels my company owns and manages," explained M3 CEO and hotelier John McKibbon. "We've provided analytics tools to hoteliers for many years now, but having access to this information in the palm of my hand, wherever I'm at really brings the Operations Management platform data to a whole new level. My Regional Managers have embraced the mobile app and have already made it part of their daily routine."With the M3 app, busy hoteliers can quickly toggle between prior year or budget comparisons to view variances based on daily, month-to-date or year-to-date current year performance.Current M3 users can download the M3 app in the Apple Store or Google Play store and login with their credentials.To become a part of the M3 family and gain mobile access to your data, contact Kristy Ingram at 770-297-1925 x230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phocuswright - 11 October 2017
Countdown until $200 savings expires on October 20th. Register now to save!Here are 10 reasons you shouldn't attend The Phocuswright Conference.1. You have no reason to hear from - and meet - top travel executivesHate growing your professional network? Then this isn't the conference for you. And if you prefer to log thousands of miles in business travel visiting your top clients - instead of meeting them back-to-back in one convenient location - you should probably sit this one out. Nearly 2,000 decision makers and C-level executives representing dozens of countries come ready to do business.2. You don't see value in words of wisdom from founders and investors"What do founders know that I can't get from client feedback? I don't need investors telling me which segments and technologies they're betting on ..."Avoid mistakes and missed opportunities. Hear emerging leaders and investorsfrom Silicon Valley to London to China weigh in on the global state of startups, innovation and investment trends in travel.3. You don't need to discover new technologies and innovative ideasAI, machine learning, NLP, blockchain? Buzzwords. Your product and service are built with lasting power. No virtual reality this and chatbot that is going to disrupt you.No company is disruption-proof. Our demo lineup of the most innovative startups and established companies helps you keep tabs on what's next for the industry.4. You don't like beach weather and cool nights in the mid-70sYou love London in November. After all, near-freezing temperatures give you energy to close the next deal! Ah, sunny Florida. There's no better atmosphere to make new connections, foster old relationships and be among the travel industry's savviest leaders (all while taking advantage of the warm weather and newly renovated venue).5. You hate it when conferences make it easy to meet new partners and vendorsInspired by the chase, you'd rather wander a trade show hall in search of your next customer. A VERY short coffee break between conference segments adds a welcome challenge. No other conference provides access to such an elite and motivated group ofattendees - with ample time to discover new partners and opportunities. If you're ready to meet prospective clients, The Phocuswright Conference is the perfect place to prove your worth.6. You're not interested in fast-growing markets like China, India and MexicoWho needs emerging markets? Who needs over $350B dollars of market size and nearly 20% growth rates? Who needs to know about the world's top mobile booking market? We've got the leaders of some of travel's hottest global players. $160B in online travel market cap will be represented on Center Stage, featuring companies like Ctrip, MakeMyTrip, Expedia, The Priceline Group, TripAdvisor and more. And we've even assembled the Wall Street analysts who cover them.7. You don't want to hear from industry-agnostic UX expertsHey, you just updated your mobile app last year. Right? So you should be all set.Welcome to the new UI. Whatever we want, whatever we share, however we go ... every touchpoint is up in the air. From sharing to speaking to driving, the UI is upending, and the UX is everything. Don't miss a special session, The New UX, featuring executives from Fin, Snap Inc. and Waymo, three key voices determined to reimagine how we share, re-envision how we get around, and reinvent the standard for the digital assist.8. You don't like to speak out and ask Center Stage speakers the tough questionsPR spin is your favorite.We give you a direct line to the people leading travel's biggest and most successful companies. Raise your hand and inspire the debate at the travel industry event of the year.9. You don't care about how the digital travel industry affects your businessYou're tired of hearing digital this, digital that. You've got it covered.The Phocuswright Conference program consistently features a mix of promising innovative startups, companies at the forefront of technology development, Wall Street's leading travel analysts and high-profile travel brands. It's the perfect combination of what's new, what works and where we're all headed as an industry.10. You like hearing unlabeled sponsor messages intermingled with featured programmingIf you like getting blindsided by paid content, this isn't the event for you. We never let sponsors on Center Stage. Year after year, we assemble the largest gathering of travel executives and create a program driven by Phocuswright Research. This year, the biggest names in travel return to Center Stage to share their take on market dominance, growing already-behemoth brands and working with partners big and small to make their travel product better for every consumer.It all starts here.If you're ready to attend The Phocuswright Conference, register here.(Click here to view attendee feedback.)
RobertDouglas - 9 October 2017
New York, NY -- RobertDouglas announced today that it advised a private owner in the sale of the Sheraton Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Hotel to the Buccini/Pollin Group.The Sheraton is a recently-renovated, full-service property with 302 spacious rooms, 30,000 square feet of meetings and event space, and a thoughtful mix of premium guest amenities. The property is located in the heart of the multi-faceted Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport submarket and benefits from a robust corporate, event and travel infrastructure, including over 30 million square feet of office space, the nation's third-busiest airport, and the 275,000 square foot Irving Convention Center."Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the most dynamic submarkets in the Dallas Metroplex and one of the most heavily trafficked business-travel corridors in the entire country," commented David Smith, a Director with RobertDouglas. "The region's business-friendly environment and excellent infrastructure has compelled a number of companies to relocate to Dallas from other parts of the country, fueling substantial demand growth."Evan Hurd, a Managing Director with RobertDouglas noted, "The Sheraton features many of the characteristics investors are seeking - a strong in-place yield, a location in a market with multiple demand generators, and relatively little capital required post acquisition. As a result, this was a highly-competitive process that generated multiple offers from investors including private equity funds, 1031 investors, owner-operators, and high-net-worth investors.". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .RobertDouglas is a real estate investment banking firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco that specializes in the sale, financing and equity capitalization of hotel, resort and gaming properties throughout North America. Founded by two of the hotel industry's pre-eminent finance professionals, Rob Stiles and Doug Hercher, RobertDouglas offers exceptional domestic and international institutional investor and lender relationships. RobertDouglas combines the capital markets sophistication of top-tier investment banks with detailed hotel underwriting and asset management experience, providing the firm with unique capabilities in an underserved market. For more information, contact email@example.com or go to www.robert-douglas.com.
New Version of Agilysys InfoGenesis POS Offers More Payment Gateways and Enhanced Casino Management System Integration
Agilysys - 3 October 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA. -- Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced InfoGenesis POS v4.4.10, the latest version of its award-winning POS system. The new release includes new and improved P2PE and EMV gateway options, improved casino management system (CMS) integration and enhancements to the user experience making it easier than ever to boost efficiency and increase revenue. InfoGenesis POS is the comprehensive point-of-sale system from Agilysys that combines strong reporting and analysis features with easy-to-use terminal and tablet touchscreen applications and industry-leading offline capabilities. Designed to serve guests more effectively while being easy to set up and maintain makes InfoGenesis POS the ideal system for companies looking to enhance operational efficiency and increase profitability. The system easily manages any combination of food, beverage and retail services, and integrates with other Agilysys applications and a wide variety of third-party offerings. InfoGenesis Flex, which offers full point-of-sale functionality on a convenient tablet device, provides a feature-rich mobile experience for poolside, casino floors, outdoor patios, convention floors, and other foodservice operations. InfoGenesis POS and InfoGenesis Flex are available as on-premises or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.Originally designed and built for the mission-critical, 24x7 POS operations of the gaming market, InfoGenesis POS v4.4.10 offers enhanced casino management system integration to improve player transaction management and tracking across systems. New updates include PIN authorization, use of vouchers to be redeemed for amounts less than full value of the voucher and for tip payment, filtering comps and vouchers by eligibility for the profit center, and refund of comps and vouchers at the point of sale. Agilysys also completed a new integration framework enabling accelerated development of innovative CMS/POS interactions.Other InfoGenesis POS v4.4.10 enhancements include:Full P2PE /EMV device support for wide variety of gateways and processorsMixed EMV / non-EMV environment support to enable properties to determine optimum revenue and liability levels for each venueNew fiscal reporting and integration framework enabling InfoGenesis to more easily meet the constantly changing and growing number of international fiscal requirementsLooking forward, InfoGenesis 4.5 will deliver many additional new capabilities including industry-leading enterprise management features enabling global hospitality chains and multi-brand organizations to more easily manage their complex POS configuration and deployment needs, resulting in reduced cost and improved flexibility across business units."Delighting guests often begins with the Point-of-Sale experience. As a result, it's critical that casinos, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality venues implement technology that helps drive increased loyalty, while working smarter and more efficiently," said Mike Hinojosa, Senior Director of Product Management at Agilysys. "The latest version of InfoGenesis provides new capabilities that enhance the guest experience in a way that recognizes the special requirements of the hospitality industry. Agilysys continues to expand its family of enterprise POS solutions to more fully address customer needs, and we are excited to continue to innovate and invest in our industry-leading enterprise Point-of-Sales solution for the hospitality market.For more information about InfoGenesis POS, visit Agilysys at Global Gaming Expo 2017 at Booth #3800.About AgilysysAgilysys is a leading technology company that provides innovative software and services for point-of-sale (POS), reservation and table management, property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management, and mobile and wireless solutions exclusively to the hospitality industry. Our products and services allow operators to streamline operations, improve efficiency and understand customer needs across their properties to deliver a superior overall guest experience. The result is improved guest loyalty, growth in wallet share and increased revenue as they connect and transact with their guests based upon a single integrated view of individual preferences and interactions. We serve four major market sectors: Gaming, both corporate and tribal; Hotels, Resorts and Cruise; Corporate Foodservice Management; and Restaurants, Universities, Stadia and Healthcare.Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and India with corporate services located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, visit www.agilysys.com.# # #PR Contacts: MediaRobert Shecterle, Agilysys, Inc., 770-810-6046, Robert.Shecterle@agilysys.comInvestorsRichard Land, Norberto Aja or Jim Leahy, JCIR, 212-835-8500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Onyx CenterSource - 2 October 2017
DALLAS - Onyx CenterSource, the world's leading provider of hotel commission payment and recovery services, today announced the appointment of Steve Reynolds as chief information officer.CEO Mark Dubrow said the position will be crucial for the company as it continues its global growth and develops new travel technology products."Steve brings over 20 years of senior executive experience as both a chief technology officer and chief information officer and has helped numerous companies build high-performing IT organizations and implement industry-first technology solutions," Dubrow said. "He clearly understands the power of innovation in positioning companies to deliver customer value and capture new operating efficiencies."As CIO, Reynolds will have complete oversight of the company's global technology organization. He also is charged with facilitating strategic business decisions that support the company's growth and provide scalability and agility for it to operate more efficiently and deliver new products.Reynolds previously was president and CTO of BT Advisors, Dallas, which provides business technology leadership expertise and services to companies of all sizes. From 2004 to 2012 he was executive vice president and CIO of Harland Clarke, San Antonio, a company that provides integrated payment, marketing and security solutions to financial services and enterprise clients. He was executive vice president and CIO of Pegasus Solutions Inc., the former parent company of Onyx CenterSource, from 1992 to 2003.Reynolds earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas, and a master of business administration degree at the Jack Welch Management Institute of Chancellor University, Cleveland.About OnyxCenter Source OnyxCenter Source is the world's leading provider of commission payment processing, and recovery solutions for hotels and travel distributors. The company strives to build long-lasting relationships with its partners and is passionate about providing quality customer service, consultative insight and cost-effective solutions. Founded in 1992, the company facilitates in excess of $1.2 billion in payments annually, partnering with more than 60,000 hotel properties and 200,000 travel booking providers in more than 160 countries. In addition to its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Onyx CenterSource has regional hubs in Tonsberg, Norway, Seville, Spain, and Manila, Philippines.
Intelity - 28 September 2017
Orlando, Fla. -- With the hotel technology trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) among hotel guests and staff on the rise, the hospitality industry is finding that mobile device management (the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and desktop computers) for hotels is a necessary investment. More than half of all hotel guests will carry three or more devices with them while traveling, and you can bet that employees are also equipped with a variety of devices, from smartphones to laptops."We've entered the age of mobile hospitality, and all hoteliers must now be nimble enough to meet guests where they're at, meaning, on devices that are capable of keeping them connected and informed anywhere in the world," said Christopher Grey, Intelity CTO. "These mobile devices enable guests to manage the full, end-to-end travel experience, from the research phase to booking to the actual hotel stay. Features such as mobile key, mobile hotel check-in, digital maps, virtual concierge, and social media access have all made smartphones and hotel tablets invaluable to guests, while enterprise features such as digital guest request management and data views from integrated hotel systems have created demand for new hospitality technology among hotel staff as well."All these devices have created new demands for connected smart hotels that provide sufficient hotel networks, WiFi and security for all on premises," he said. "It's one of the leading hotel technology trends, and it promises to assist hoteliers in staying on top of hotel guest and staff BYOD."Here are 5 key reasons why hoteliers should add MDM to their 2018 budgets:1. Remote Management of DevicesWith more connected devices on your property than staff, MDM solutions assist in monitoring and managing these in a more efficient way. For instance, many hotels are now installing in-room tablets in guestrooms to improve guest service and engagement. Hotel MDM is the best way to easily get these up and running, as well as perform ongoing maintenance. Using MDM in hotels, devices on the network can be remote wiped or have diagnostics run for troubleshooting.2. Regulation of ApplicationsHotel apps are more popular than ever. Providing complimentary access to these apps on hotel tablets has become extremely popular in the hospitality industry. Using a hotel MDM solution, hotel management can select which apps they want to load or disable on devices across the network to create a superior digital staff and guest experience.3. Data Protection and BackupData management using a hotel MDM solution can reduce the risk of costly incidents relating to exposure and breach. Hoteliers can use mobile device management to protect data and prevent leaks or wipe data completely from unauthorized user devices.4. Expanded Security FeaturesSecurity of hotel digital networks and guest data is a top priority for many hoteliers, and there's been discussions about how to enhance hotel security when it comes to network use, especially from mobile devices. Hotel MDM use can allow for expansion of security measures, such as requiring authentication of all devices and active monitoring of registered devices. It can also allow for tracking the physical location of devices on the network to reduce hardware theft or loss.5. Establishing Network Use PoliciesEvery hotel should have a policy in place regarding the use of any networks, and this policy should apply to staff and guests alike. A mobile device management solution can assist in enforcing and solidifying this policy by consolidating regulation in the hands of those overseeing the network. Useful features include defining WiFi settings, setting compliance guidelines, and optimizing the function of the network overall.Introducing the Wrangler MDMIntelity has recently designed an MDM to notify personnel when a mobile device - such as an in-room guest tablet or other handheld device used by staff - is online/offline, the battery is low, or the device has left the room or designated area. With the addition of the Wrangler MDM, Intelity customers now have a single platform for controlling the physical devices used to deliver two-way mobile communications to hotel staff and guests."Intelity continues to be a leader in this vertical by developing innovative solutions that complement our existing platform," Grey said. "Wrangler is robust and contains the features hoteliers need for their environments, and it's available to our customers as part of their SAAS (Software as a Service) fees. Not only will this MDM keep hotel staff and mobile devices working at peak performance, but by remotely viewing and controlling these technologies in real time, hoteliers are dramatically raising the bar on guest service and mobile engagement."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.
Aptech - 27 September 2017
PITTSBURGH -- Accurate, next day financial reporting is essential for proactive profitability-focused operators. Comprehensive operations reports with dynamic drill down capability are like headlights that examine the factors that impact performance. They show managers and owners where their business is, how it got there, and illuminate what they need to change to make it better."TPG Hotels & Resorts operates a portfolio of more than 50 hotels nationwide. Understanding what drives our profitability is essential," said Michael Brown, VP - business intelligence for TPG. "We use an Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence (BI) system to generate a variety of reports that detail expenses and revenue sources by property and brand." TPG's evaluation compares every aspect of hotel performance. "Execuvue reports let us benchmark each property against others within its brand for comparisons that spotlight specific expenses that are outside nominal performance. Once we identify these exceptions we can reduce the specific costs before they impact property performance."Execuvue hospitality business intelligence also features an ad hoc report tool that lets TPG create custom company reports with percentage and dollar measurements that show 10 key metrics over the past five years compared to revenue. The ad hoc tool lets users manipulate items in their database to identify and understand potential problems and changes within the business."By looking at our historic expense trends on one page we can forecast where they will be in the coming year," Brown said. "We use many standard Execuvue reports. I also create our own custom reports and dashboards on the fly. Our EOM numbers are essential and I generate them as needed at the touch of a button to evaluate performance of properties and our entire portfolio." TPG Hotels & Resorts is a top-ranked hospitality management company and fully accredited operator of the industry's most respected brands including Marriott (Starwood), Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and others. Aptech Computer Systems is a leading provider of hotel accounting software, hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and business intelligence systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Our company is unique. Our owners and managers have a wealth of experience and want to see property performance from different angles," said Monica Nichols, controller for Pinnacle Hotel Management which operates 26 major brand and independent properties. "We leverage all our Execuvue BI system's reporting capability. Along with standard financial reporting, we use the system's ad hoc report building tool to drag and drop raw data elements to create custom reports that our regional directors request. This takes about a minute."Nichols said Pinnacle also turns to Aptech's professional team to create custom reporting. "We let Aptech build several individual reports for us with unusual metrics like T/A fees as a percentage of revenue for hotels and across our portfolio. Once Aptech creates them, the reports reside on our system with easy pull-down functionality. In budget season we will send our properties custom reports with profitability based on specific expenses. This will save lots of time over previous years when I prepared property data manually." Execuvue provides information from prior years to simplify budgeting. The system lets us provide reports in PDF for fast viewing, or in an Excel format for managers that want to do their own 'what-if' calculations."
The EU's New Personal Data Regulation Could Put Your Hotel at Risk - Quickly Assess Your GDPR Liability With These 31 Questions.
Beekeeper - 25 September 2017
Because of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield approved by the EU Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce in 2016, U.S. companies will be held accountable to GDPR compliance standards and can be prosecuted in European courts, leaving U.S. companies exposed. Despite GDPR's quickly approaching enforcement date, it is reported that a surprisingly large portion of executive officers in the U.S. remain in the dark about the level of exposure and dire fiscal impact GDPR could have on their businesses.Amir Ameri, VP of Global Risk & Compliance at digital workplace technology company, Beekeeper, has compiled a list of 31 essential questions every global business leader must ask themselves to assess their company's readiness to meet GPDR compliance before May 2018.https://beekeeper.io/gdpr-compliance"Executives now face a sprint of thorough internal evaluations to revamp policies around the collection, storage, or usage of EU resident personal data. The financial implications of breaching GDPR are astronomical," says Ameri. "We recommend mapping all data assets and appointing dedicated Data Protection personnel on a full-time or contract basis to properly oversee the adoption of high-caliber data protection processes and technologies."On the heels of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield designed to protect the transfer of personal data from Europe to the U.S., GDPR will have serious impacts that will cause a ripple effect worldwide - especially the travel and tourism industry. Hospitality companies not only need to be aware but also take the proper steps to meet GDPR compliance standards. Gabrielle Griffith, Director at compliance consultancy BPE Global, stresses the importance of internal due diligence across your organization ahead of GDPR's enactment."Any company doing business with EU entities is affected," Griffith states. "For example, global companies that maintain a website to solicit sales from potential EU customers will be subject to GDPR requirements."Furthermore, Griffith urges global organizations to see these regulations as an opportunity to elevate and align Corporate Compliance."We challenge global companies to look at the new GDPR regulations as an opportunity to align Corporate Compliance at a high level. There are several sectors of international compliance for global companies: trade, antitrust, anti-corruption...GDPR compliance is the newest learning curve," Griffith says. "Global companies need to scale and train immediately to ensure seamless GDPR compliance come May 2018. Companies must develop an offensive strategy that streamlines all areas of your company's compliance."With GDPR's compliance deadline just around the corner, it is crucial that all global companies demonstrate rigorous investment in the personnel and policy changes required to securely store and manage personal data. A cross-organizational security assessment will not only keep your business GDPR compliant, but also work to reduce the risk of a future breach.
Newest Must-Read hebs Whitepaper: The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning
HEBS Digital - 20 September 2017
Budgeting season: the time to analyze what initiatives are driving performance, review trends in the industry that should be taken into account when constructing your budget, and start thinking about any major upgrades your property needs to take in its digital technology and marketing strategy.The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning whitepaper is created every year to guide hoteliers on the budgeting process by outlining the tools needed to engage, acquire, and covert travel consumers, as well as enhance the on-property guest experience, and inspire guests to book a future stay.Here is a sneak peek of what's included in the whitepaper:Key Industry Factors & Trends to Consider in 2018: an overview of factors that should be considered when finalizing your budget such as the state of the industry, the need to resolve the fragmentation of data and digital marketing strategies, the complexity of the travel planning journey, changes in the Google advertising ecosystem, Airbnb, and more.Action Plan for Creating Your 2018 Budget: HEBS Digital recommends that 3-6% of total room revenue go to the Sales & Marketing line item of the hotel budget. The actual percentage depends on the location of the property, complexity of the business, and ADR. This section also includes recommendations on how to organize the digital technology and marketing part of the overall budget.Breaking Down the Budget: this section takes a deep dive into each digital technology and marketing budget initiative, with updates on the latest developments in each as well as recommendations on what to focus on for 2018.Your 2018 Budget Snapshot: see a breakdown of each line item in the budget and recommendations on what percentage of the budget to allocate for each.The 2018 digital marketing & technology budget should not be looked at as just another expense for the property. This is a direct distribution cost vs. hotel expense, as well as an OTA commission-reducing investment. In this sense, the digital marketing budget provides a dual benefit: it increases direct bookings at the lowest possible distribution cost and it reduces expensive bookings made through the OTAs.With industry forecasts flattening and even decreasing occupancy, and supply outweighing demand in many major markets, the only cost driver hoteliers have any control over is distribution costs. Therefore, increasing direct bookings and lowering acquisition costs is vital to the health of any hotel. A very achievable goal for 2018 should be increasing direct bookings by 15%-25%.Success for hoteliers in 2018 will be based on how much acquisition costs can be lowered and how well they know their guests, along with what actions are taken with that knowledge. Download The Smart Hotelier's Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing B& Technology Budget Planning for your roadmap on how to achieve your property's revenue goals starting now and into 2018.
B4checkin - 14 September 2017
To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. Credit card authorization forms have long been a point of aggravation for hotels because they are inconvenient, prone to human error and, importantly, not PCI compliant. By eliminating this labor-intensive process, b4easypost provides an automatic, real-time system for hotels to connect deposits with guest accounts."We're excited about this new integration with Oracle Hospitality OPERA because our payment and posting solution can seamlessly post, so it can now help thousands of hotels alleviate an antiquated business practice that is not in line with current technology or security standards," said Saar Fabrikant, president and CEO of b4checkin. "b4easypost increases customer convenience and satisfaction by streamlining the payment process as well as reducing costs for hotels by eliminating credit card authorization forms and the labor necessary to handle this manual process.""Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between b4easypost and Oracle Hospitality OPERA is functionally sound and performs as tested," said David Hicks, vice president, Worldwide ISV, OEM and Java Business Development, Oracle. "For solutions deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner's integrated offering."In addition to reservations and group payments, b4easypost can also facilitate miscellaneous payments such as gift cards, lost and found payments and offer other key benefits, including:Reduces PCI scope at the hotel with PCI complianceValidates reservations and groups in real-timePosts automatically to Oracle Hospitality OPERALowers labor costs with hands-free processEliminates printing costsLowers transaction feesIntegrates with major payment gatewaysEliminates chargebacks via AVS VerificationAbout b4checkinb4checkintm develops and provides an innovative suite of cloud-based software solutions for the hospitality industry. Designed to help hotels better manage online reservations and measure guest satisfaction, core products include: chameleon, the industry's first online booking engine with multiple design options; b4feedback, a state-of-the-art guest satisfaction tracking and management tool; b4arrival, an online check-in system that maximizes convenience for mobile-friendly guests; b4easypost, a fully automated payment and posting solution; b4GDS, a GDS interface for properties offering a 'one-stop-shop' for hoteliers; and b4ubet, an application that allows hotel casino players to book their hotel offers online. b4checkin is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with installations serving customers in North America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. For more information, visit www.b4checkin.com.About Oracle Validated IntegrationOracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of a complementary partner software product with an Oracle "on-premises" Application has been validated and the products work together as designed. This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations and partners who successfully complete the program are authorized to use the "Oracle Validated Integration" logo. For more information, please visit Oracle.com at https://solutions.oracle.com/scwar/scr/AboutPartners/validated-integration/index.htmlAbout Oracle PartnerNetworkOracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle's products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program - an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
INTEREL secures EUR10m growth capital to fuel expansion of its Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for the hospitality industry
INTEREL - 7 September 2017
Paris, 7th September 2017 - Jolt Capital SAS, an independent and growing private equity firm, regulated by the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), has announced the investment of EUR10 million in INTEREL, a leading provider of IoT solutions for the hospitality industry.Modern hotels deploy interconnected devices and rely on data analytics to optimize performance. INTEREL's Hotel of Thingstm ecosystem enables this by connecting people, devices and data; and with the world's first online Water Management System and its award-winning Guest Room Management System, INTEREL revolutionizes guest experience, improves operational performance and drives sustainability for hotels.With customers that include the top-tier hotel chains, INTEREL's solutions are deployed in more than 30 countries across four continents, and have been used by over 20 million guests. Already the standard for many hotels in the Middle East and Asia's demanding markets, INTEREL will enhance its geographic coverage and continue investing heavily in its technology and intellectual property through Jolt Capital's support.This investment reinforces Jolt Capital's growth-specific and technology-centric positioning, which is based on solid experience in identifying and investing in leading-edge companies that are already profitable, and on the verge of accelerated growth.Jean Schmitt, Managing Partner of Jolt Capital commented, "INTEREL is exactly the type of business we like at Jolt: entrepreneurial, innovative, visionary, responsive to clients and with solid finances. Our investment is to boost the expansion strategy of the business. We believe that their IoT, room and water management systems offer an unrivalled value proposition to hotels, giving INTEREL a genuine pioneering advantage." INTEREL's core technology used in its water and energy management solutions, combined with its IoT platform, is a prime example of the type of ecosystem that can fundamentally change how environments like hospitality are working today. Florian Gallini, CEO of INTEREL, said: "Jolt Capital has successfully invested in high-growth companies and their niche domain knowledge makes them an exciting strategic partner for us. Jean's track record as great entrepreneur and technologist was an important differentiator during the fundraising. This investment will fuel our global growth and allow us to continue developing the Hotel of Thingstm along with our connectBsmarttm technology, enabling us to connect the physical world of hospitality."
ALICE - 30 August 2017
New York, NY, August 30, 2017 - ALICE, an operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, announced today it has secured $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest online travel company. The completed investment makes Expedia(r) a majority shareholder in ALICE and deepens the commercial cooperation between the two companies that was originally established with an equity investment in 2015. ALICE intends to use the funds further the mission of delivering the very best technology and customer service in the industry. This round brings ALICE's total funding to $39 million.As engaging digital consumer experiences continue to drive success in travel, ALICE takes the guest experience head-on, by studying not only how the internal business of a hotel runs, but also how services are delivered today in other analogous industries. This funding allows ALICE to build out its development, product, sales, and customer success teams to help the company to reach its goal of being one of the hotel industry's leading operating platforms."It is time for the internet to expand beyond revolutionizing how our hotel partners market and distribute their products into how they service and interact with their guests," says Cyril Ranque, President, Lodging Partner Services, Expedia, Inc. "ALICE is developing smart mobile and cloud technology to fundamentally improve the hotelier and guest experience at scale. That's a revolution worth investing in."Justin Effron, Chief Executive Officer, ALICE says, "Our mission is to give hoteliers the ability to provide the best guest service and experience they can around the clock, and this latest round is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. With this additional capital, we'll be better equipped to help hoteliers reach their goals of improved guest service."A deeper relationship with Expedia continues ALICE's momentum in the hospitality industry since its inception in 2013. Earlier this year, ALICE launched products including the Guest Profile, which gives hoteliers a view into the guest experience across every aspect of their hotel stay, including check-in, requests for amenities and services, and any interaction with the concierge, Guest Text Messaging, which facilitates text messaging between hotels and guests without requiring an app download, as well as Logbooks, which can be used by hoteliers to track any physical item belonging to or loaned to a guest, including packages and lost & found. Additionally, the company launched a Preventative Maintenance tool and an open-API, and is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management, SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more.In the last six months, ALICE grew its customer base nearly 200%. Recently clients signed to the platform include Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World.For more information on the ALICE team http://info.aliceapp.com.About ALICEALICE has created the first complete communication, cost savings and revenue generation operations platform for hotels, which enhances the guest experience and connects all points within the hotel to simplify guest service - and make it more cost-effective.Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained serious traction in the industry working many of the world's leading hotel brands, including Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Grupo Posadas, SIXTY Hotels, NYLO Hotels, and Leading Hotels of the World. For more information, visit http://info.aliceapp.com.About Expedia, Inc.Expedia, Inc. is the world's largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:Expedia.com(r), a leading full-service online travel brand with localized sites in 33 countriesHotels.com(r), a leading global lodging expert operating 89 localized websites in 41 languages with its award winning Hotels.com(r) Rewards loyalty programExpedia(r) Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B brand that powers the hotel business of hundreds of leading airlines, travel agencies, loyalty and corporate travel companies plus several top consumer brands through its API and template solutionstrivago(r), a leading online hotel search platform with sites in 55 countries worldwideHomeAway(r), a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the VRBO, VacationRentals.com and BedandBreakfast.com brands, among othersEgencia(r), a leading corporate travel management companyOrbitz.com(r) and CheapTickets.com(r), leading U.S. travel websites, as well as ebookers(r), a full-service travel brand with websites in seven European countriesTravelocity(r), a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer First GuaranteeHotwire(r), inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate(r) dealsWotif Group, a leading portfolio of travel brands including Wotif.com(r), Wotif.co.nz, lastminute.com.au(r), lastminute.co.nz and travel.com.au(r)Expedia(r) Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. that builds creative media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumersCarRentals.comtm, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countriesClassic Vacations(r), a top luxury travel specialistExpedia Local Expert(r), a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in over a thousand destinations worldwideExpedia(r) CruiseShipCenters(r), a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 235 retail travel agency franchises across North AmericaSilverRail Technologies, Inc., a global rail retail and distribution platform connecting rail carriers and suppliers to both online and offline travel distributorsFor corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2017 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50
ICE Portal - 23 August 2017
According to Accenture Interactive, 50% of companies have more digital content that they can effectively manage. Hotel groups are not immune, and if they don't get control of their assets, it's going to cost a lot of time and money. Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology offers solutions for industries across the board, the travel and hospitality industry is no different. In fact, in an industry where digital assets are so necessary, it is important that hotel groups understand what value a DAM solution can offer. Utilizing this technology will help you to effectively organize, access, share and store your digital assets.A common issue with digital assets in the hospitality industry (photos, videos, virtual tours, marketing material etc.) is that they are difficult to keep up-to-date for each person that is granted access to them. For example, a hotelier may have their property's images stored on their computer and, at the same time, someone else at a corporate level may have access to different, smaller or outdated images on their computer. A DAM solution enables hotel groups to control all of their digital assets from one central location that is accessible from anywhere 24/7. This allows for collaboration while ensuring consistency for each user as the most up-to-date assets will always be what they are accessing.Another benefit of DAM technology is that it allows approved users like tour operators, PR partners, marketing companies and other internal/external stakeholders to view, select and get the asset(s). This integration ensures that the content you have displayed across the web (even on brand.com site) is consistent, accurate and fresh.DAM systems save time and money. Fifty three percent of companies spend more time on operational details of managing content (Accenture Interactive.) Rather than multiple departments and locations uploading the same content into their own computer systems (as many call silos,) the content should be uploaded one time into a central Digital Asset Management repository. Stakeholders who need and want the content will access the system and find streamlined file search and retrieval. This allows users to more efficiently find what they are looking for and eliminates the cost of recreating lost or misplaced assets.Visual content is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to travel planning. As this content continues to become essential to travelers' booking decisions, it is now imperative that hotels find ways to effectively manage their assets. DAM technology gives hotel groups an avenue to organize all of their conten t and simplifies the process of accessing, sharing and distributing it.
Educational Institute - 17 August 2017
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has published a new edition of Hotel and Restaurant Accounting, by Raymond Cote, CPA, CCP. This introductory hospitality accounting textbook accentuates the relationship between business principles and accounting in hotel and restaurant operations. Students will learn accounting information that can be applied in hotel and restaurant environments.The eighth edition of Hotel and Restaurant Accounting has been significantly revised, incorporating several chapters and two case studies previously included in the author's Accounting for Hospitality Managers textbook and eliminating or combining several other chapters. Every chapter has been enhanced with key terms, definitions, review questions, and practice problems.Hotel and Restaurant Accounting is also a required textbook in several of AHLEI's multiple-course curricula for schools and Distance Learning students, including the 12-course Hospitality Management Diploma, eight-course Hospitality Operations Certificate, six-course Hospitality Fundamentals Program, and five-course Accounting and Financial Area of Specialization.For schools using the textbook, AHLEI also offers a Hotel and Restaurant Accounting Student Workbook. Chapter-by-chapter activities give students additional practice with a variety of hotel and restaurant accounting procedures and transactions. Problems include multiple-choice, true/false, definitions, and computations. Answers are provided in the instructor solutions manual, which is available free with purchase of 10 or more workbooks, by contacting Academic Sales at 1.800.344.4381 or +1.407.999.8100 or email@example.com.
Local Measure - 8 August 2017
NEW YORK -- Splitit, a New York - based fintech start up, announced an agreement to bring no interest payments to travelers who book at more than 115 Leonardo Hotels across Europe and the Middle East.Splitit allows consumers to use their existing credit cards to divide the cost of a high-ticket travel purchase into as many as 12 payments, making travel more accessible for consumers - and helping travel providers increase conversion, generate revenue and reduce cart abandonment. Beginning in October, travelers will be able to book no interest split-payment stays exclusively at https://www.leonardo-hotels.com/leonardo-hotels-destinations and www.fattal-hotels.com"We are delighted to announce this partnership with Leonardo Hotels, a pioneer in online travel and an unmatched guest service provider," said Gil Don, Splitit's CEO & Co - Founder"Now for the first time, guests around the world can enjoy the benefits of travel, with payments spread across a number of months - without onerous interest charges. By using the Splitit solution, online merchants can increase online order values and decrease cart abandonment dramatically. We are already serving dozens of fine retailers around the world, and are excited to launch our service in the travel space, where it is badly needed."At a time when hotels, wholesalers and others are seeking ways to optimize revenue and provide frictionless, personalized purchase options for consumers, Splitit offers a simple, easy to integrate solution. Via a Splitit button placed on the merchant's final purchase page, travelers can easily charge any purchase on their existing credit card and pay it back in monthly interest free installments.Splitit operates in the credit card path: unlike consumer financing solutions, the core of Splitit is the ability to optimize a card holder's unused credit line as security for an installment plan. The company has helped many online retailers increase conversion by more than 20%, bump up online revenues by more than 15%, and decrease cart abandonment by more than 10%.Splitit anticipates announcing partnerships with additional global travel providers in the weeks ahead.For more information, visit www.splitit.com.About SplititSplitit is revolutionizing the credit card industry by extending to all sizes of merchants/retailers the ability to offer interest-free monthly payments on their customer's existing credit cards. The Splitit product has been patent protected in the United States since 2012. To learn more, please visit www.splitit.com.About Leonardo HotelsLeonardo Hotels operates more than 120 hotels in Europe, UK & Israel and is currently continuing its expansion. As the European Division of Fattal Hotels, founded by David Fattal, Leonardo Hotels focuses on hotels of the 3 and 4-star plus categories as well as on hotels with comparable standard, each of them individually designed and offering excellent services.
Aptech - 8 August 2017
Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hotel accounting software, hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and business intelligence systems, announced three hotel companies selected Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Back Office System. PVNG is a browser-based next generation enterprise hospitality accounting solution with a simple menu structure and easy to navigate platform. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.Companies installing PVNG Enterprise Accounting include Stagewest Hospitality and The Colony Palm Beach. The companies operate a total of 10 properties.Stagewest Hospitality is implementing PVNG hotel accounting software at four hotels and its winery in British Columbia, Canada. "PVNG helped us reduce labor costs because it is easy to use and simple to learn. We realized a significant cost savings by creating a more efficient operation with a reduced accounting staff. Our guests are the most important part of our company. If I can move two people to our front desk from accounting it benefits our guests and our company," said Azaz Ahmed, MBA, controller of Stagewest Hospitality. "Aptech hosts our PVNG installations. We are hospitality professionals. With Aptech hosting our system we don't worry about our system operation, data security, and backups." Stagewest Hospitality properties include Stage West Calgary, Medicine Hat Lodge, and the Camrose Resort Casino.The Colony Palm Beach in Florida is live with PVNG this month. "We installed PVNG because it is easy to learn and use and developed specifically for hotel companies. This is a big advantage over generic financial systems. I have experience with Aptech's systems at other properties and trust its solutions," said Tammy Shoffstall, finance director of The Colony Palm Beach.Cam Troutman, Aptech vice president, said, "We leveraged 45 years of hotel accounting experience to build PVNG specifically for hotel companies. It supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio. PVNG uses the most current technology platform incorporating AP, GL, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with easy to use, familiar browser navigation. We can also make it simple to become 11th Edition compliant by implementing our packaged chart of accounts and financial statements."Aptech Computer Systems is an IBM Premier Business Partner that offers Execuvue(r) web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and PVNG Enterprise Back Office systems that are 100% hospitality specific. Aptech is the only company that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. Aptech systems can be deployed in the cloud, or on-premise at the client location to support an entire hotel company's portfolio via the Internet for individual and consolidated back office operations and financial reporting. About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider and a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue(r) and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue and Profitvue are registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com.
RobertDouglas - 8 August 2017
New York, NY -- RobertDouglas announced today that it has advised Hospitality Resorts Inc. on a CAD$213 million refinancing of the 1,006-key Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel and Suites, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Hospitality Resorts Inc. is a privately-owned hotel investment, development and management company that has been active in the Niagara hotel and restaurant businesses for more than 40 years. The fixed-rate, fifteen-year financing, one of the largest single hotel financings ever in Canada, was provided by Pacific Life.The Hilton Fallsview is comprised of three towers, including a 53--story tower completed in 2009, and has 417 luxurious suites, making it one of the largest hotels in Canada, and also among the largest independently-managed Hilton hotels in the world. Connected to the Fallsview Resort, the hotel's over- sized rooms offer spectacular views of the American and Canadian falls, as well as access to a wide array of resort amenities.The proceeds of the financing will be used to fund significant new improvements to the hotel, including adding 81 new guestrooms, expanding and renovating the lobby, creating an enclosed, roof-top pool with views of the Falls, expanding the restaurant space of the Hotel, adding high-end retail, and helping to underwrite the development of a 5,000 seat theater connected to the Hotel and to the Fallsview Resort."The Niagara Falls market has been one of the strongest-performing markets in North America during the past three years," observed David Smith, Director at RobertDouglas, "and the ownership continues to re- invest in the Hilton Fallsview to solidify its position as the market's dominant corporate and leisure property.""The management team at Hospitality Resorts is committed to making the Hilton Fallsview the heart of a larger entertainment/resort complex. The investments they are making in the Hotel's restaurants, guestrooms, public spaces and, most importantly, the addition of a new theater complex will pay dividends for years to come," remarked Douglas Hercher, Managing Director at RobertDouglas." Ultimately, it was the strength of their ownership and management that made this financing possible."About RobertDouglasRobertDouglas is a real estate investment banking firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco that specializes in the sale, financing and equity capitalization of hotel, resort and gaming properties throughout North America. Founded by two of the hotel industry's pre-eminent finance professionals, Rob Stiles and Doug Hercher, RobertDouglas offers exceptional domestic and international institutional investor and lender relationships. RobertDouglas combines the capital markets sophistication of top-tier investment banks with detailed hotel underwriting and asset management experience, providing the firm with unique capabilities in an underserved market. For more information, contact info@robert- douglas.com or go to www.robert-douglas.com.
Onyx CenterSource - 1 August 2017
DALLAS -- Onyx CenterSource, the global leader in hotel commission payment and recovery services, today announced the appointment of Don Kelly, a 25-year hospitality industry veteran, as chief commercial officer.Kelly will be responsible for overseeing the company's go-to-market strategy, identifying growth opportunities and ensuring the integrated commercial success of the organization, according to Mark Dubrow, Onyx chief executive officer."Don is a top-performing and results-driven executive who is adept at understanding an operating environment and aligning teams around a clearly defined vision, set of values and strategies," Dubrow said. "He is passionate about data and uses it to unlock value for customers and find hidden pockets of opportunity. Don also has consulted for hotel brands and companies to create new revenue sources, drive sales and introduce analytics as a differentiator. He is a forward-thinking leader who combines vision, creativity and business acumen to optimize profits while maintaining a competitive edge."Kelly formerly was senior vice president, hospitality cloud, for Cvent in McLean, Virginia. From 2010 to 2015, he was senior vice president, global commercial operations and performance management, for Hilton Worldwide in McLean. He was senior vice president, chief marketing and sales officer for Sofitel Hotels & Resorts in Paris from 2005 to 2010, and senior vice president of sales and revenue management for AccorHotels in Paris from 2001 to 2004.
TrustYou - 26 July 2017
Additionally, in order to strengthen and expand market presence in the EMEA region as well as increase support of regional key accounts such as Motel One, Lindner Hotels and B&B Hotels, TrustYou hired Manuela Erlemann as Director Key Account Management EMEA. Manuela has an extensive experience in hospitality and knows the different requirements and needs of hotel chains in every detail. Previously she was in charge of hotel chain key accounts at online travel agency HRS. Both Larisa Huremovic and Manuela Erlemann will report to Philipp Hahn, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales EMEA."It is our first priority to ensure that our clients are satisfied with our platform and service at all times. Since the demands vary within each chain, both global and regional, we have made the necessary changes and additions to our team to better respond to their needs. Only then they can make the best possible use of their guest feedback by marketing, managing, replying and analyzing all feedback from surveys to reviews across the web with our platform", says Philipp Hahn, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales EMEA at TrustYou.More information about TrustYou can be found at www.trustyou.com.Associated Pictures:Manuela Erlemann, Director Key Account Management EMEALarisa Huremovic, Director of Global Account Management
Inn-Flow Hotel Software - 16 July 2017
Hotel operations move fast and at times it can feel like there are a dozen fires to put out. As a hotelier, you want to spend your time growing your business and maintaining your vision. But you also want to remain ever-vigilant about threats to the bottom line.Inn-Flow's auto email reports deliver vital labor and accounting analytics in order to free up your time and energy. By automatically emailing out key reports, your managers, co-owners, executives, and departmental heads will be better able to independently keep things on track. Now you can focus on the bigger picture.View the 6 Reports Every Hotelier Needs
Broadvine - 12 July 2017
Raleigh, NC -- Broadvine, a leader in Business Intelligence and Analytics software for the hospitality industry, announced today that it is implementing its cloud-based Reporting modules, including Labor Management, for Heart of America Group, one of the premier design, construction, and management companies in the Midwest."As both owners and operators of over 16 properties in the Midwest, Heart of America knows their General Managers' time is best spent with their guests instead of creating spreadsheets," said Shawn Barber, CEO of Broadvine. "With Broadvine, Heart of America Group will have real-time information at their fingertips and enable data driven decisions that drive profitability and increase guest satisfaction.""Broadvine's Reporting software will enable us to analyze our properties' performance and metrics from a single place ," said Chuck Ullrich, CFO of Heart of America Group. "Our brand leaders, corporate team, and properties will have the information and analytics needed to ensure we are meeting our financial and service level goals."Broadvine's application delivers robust Business Intelligence via Reporting, Forecasting, Expense Management and Labor insights to hotel management companies worldwide.About Heart of America GroupStarting with a 100-seat restaurant back in 1978, The Iowa Machine Shed, Heart of America Group has evolved into one of the Midwest's premier design, construction, and management companies with a 39-year history of developing award-winning properties. Currently Heart of America Group is located in ten metropolitan areas across six Midwestern states. For more information, visit www.heartofamericagroup.com.