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  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

  • IT Spending in the Lodging Industry Three-year Analysis: 2015–2017

    By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Arlene Ramirez, CHE, CHAE; and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. PART II: An analysis of IT spending data in the lodging industry based on reporting in the new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: Budgeting and Planning are Integral to Success

    HITEC Houston, which attracted HFTP’s largest event attendance in history, may now be behind us but the year is far from over. At the end of this month on July 28 is the new Club Forum in Sarasota, Florida USA.

  • HITEC Special: Revenue Strategy: Not Just a Fancy New Name for Revenue Management

    By Cindy Estis Green. A strategic view of revenue calls for proactive business mix planning and decision-making around deployed resources, well beyond reacting to what comes over the transom. Excerpt from the 2018 HITEC Bytes Special Report.

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RateGain announces another blockbuster release for its Rate Shopping Solution, Optima

RateGain ·18 September 2018
New Delhi, Sep 18, 2018: RateGain Technologies, a leading hospitality and travel technology solutions company, today announced the launch of an all-new, smart User Interface and Experience for its premier rate shopping tool , Optima, with the introduction of Cluster Dashboard and Smart Shopping. The new, sleek Cluster Dashboard presents all the essential rate shopping data in a visually appealing and descriptive manner. With this set of releases, the users surely will have all the ammunition to power their pricing decision in a single dashboard.Following are the highlights of the release:Cluster Dashboard: View multiple properties in a single dashboard through a highly intuitive interface which enables eyeballing rates across check in dates easier than ever before. The dashboard is equipped with a "Market Positioning Widget" giving you a graphical view of your price positioning vis-a-vis your competitors. A "Market Compression" indicator highlighting dates where you can yield better due to supply in the market going down and much more. All these insights are made available in an excel format as well for a consolidated view across properties.Iterative LOS: Gone are the days when you had to analyse rates across multiple LOSs to check if any of your competitors are putting min. LOS restrictions. With our new smart shopping capabilities, now you can easily identify minimum LOS rate restrictions placed by your competitors for obtaining higher yields on all your channels.According to Bhanu Chopra, CEO, RateGain, "We are pleased to announce the introduction of the new Cluster Dashboard in our rate shopping tool, a unique feature that would help our clients analyse their competition in a quick, comprehensive way so that they respond quickly to the market changes. The launch of Cluster Dashboard is a response to the clients' growing need to have all the important competitive real-time information bundled together at one place, without having the need to switch to different sections. We hope that the new feature adds value and the users make the most of it."Optima is RateGain's advanced rate shopping tool, which offers comprehensive rate intelligence to a growing number of hotels across the globe by efficiently tracking all OTAs, meta-search sites and other leading platforms. The Product had recently introduced a 'Lightning Refresh' feature in Optima, which gave hotels access to real-time competitor rates across various distribution channels.About RateGainRateGain is a leading provider of cloud-based innovative solutions for the Travel and Hospitality Industry. RateGain provides the latest technology in rate intelligence, price optimization, seamless electronic distribution, and brand engagement. Founded in 2004, RateGain has 12,000 clients around the globe including hotels, online travel agents, airlines, car rental companies, cruise liners as well as tour operators and wholesalers like IHG, Melia Hotels International, Lufthansa, Expedia, Hertz Corporation, Priceline.com, Carnival Cruise, etc. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we help hospitality and travel companies make more revenue every dayForward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptance of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments.
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RLH Corporation Streamlines System Connectivity with Hapi Data Platform

HAPI ·18 September 2018
Orlando, FL - September 18, 2018 - Hapi, a transformative new data streaming, integration and enrichment platform designed to solve the hotel industry's rapidly expanding data management challenges, announces the successful deployment of PMS data connectors developed to support the needs of RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH). The connectors have been developed in order to link a portion of RLH Corporation's hotels to a new revenue management system, as well as to the company's enterprise data warehouse (EDW)."At RLH Corporation, we give our owners freedom in the way they run their hotels and that includes giving them a choice in the vendors and technology solutions that they choose to implement," said John Edwards, SVP and Chief Information Officer at RLH Corporation. "For our economy brands, we currently have seven approved PMS vendors and two options for central reservation systems. From a corporate perspective, however, this creates challenges in integrating the various systems' data streams which is why we were interested in Hapi."Hapi solved this challenge for RLH Corporation by developing real-time data connectors that normalize data from different PMSs, enrich it and expose it for the company to use in various ways. For example, RLH Corporation can leverage the streams to drive revenue through improved rate management and yielding strategies in real time.In addition to creating added revenue optimization opportunities at the individual hotel level, Hapi also saves a great deal of time and money for RLH Corporation, as the connectors eliminate the need for costly and time-intensive system integrations."A typical system integration in the hospitality technology sector takes approximately 12-18 months to work through, test and deploy," said Luis Segredo, president and CEO of Data Travel, LLC, the developer of the Hapi platform. "We are happy to say that we were able to create the connector for RLH Corporation in about 3 months, from start to finish. This shorter cycle has a domino effect on subsequent integration opportunities. For instance, we were able to layer in the EDW connector, and future connections will be an even smaller effort."RLH Corporation currently has about a dozen hotels on the system and expects to have over 500 hotels deployed by the end of 2018."We are very excited about Hapi's solution and the connectors they have built," continued Edwards. "The ability to normalize data and present it back to the hotels in a way that is actionable is a true game changer for us."For more information, please visit hapicloud.io.
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Nor1 to Offer Its Upgrade, Upsell, and Merchandising Platform to More Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Through Partnership with HRS

Nor1 ·18 September 2018
Silicon Valley, CA - Nor1, Inc. today announced a distribution partnership with Hospitality & Retail Systems (HRS) to expand its reach to more hotels around the world and enable them to increase RevPAR and ADR through the use of its industry-leading upgrade solutions eStandby Upgrade, eXpress UpgradeTM, and CheckIn MerchandisingTM.Nor1, Inc., the leader in hospitality merchandising technology, services more than one million rooms at more than 5,000 properties that currently benefit from its real-time, data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions powered by PRiME.HRS, a market leader in IT for the hospitality and retail industries and the largest Oracle Hospitality Platinum Partner worldwide, supplies innovative management solutions to more than 3,000 hotels, restaurants, and trading companies around the world."We are extremely pleased and excited to partner with HRS," said Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder and CEO. "HRS's reputation of providing innovative solutions to the hospitality industry and their extensive knowledge and experience with Oracle Opera, make them well-suited to present our suite of upsell products to their hotels and resorts clients.""We are delighted to represent Nor1's industry-leading merchandising platform," stated Joanne Vaughan, CEO at HRS. "Our commitment to providing hotels with the most innovative solutions to improve their performance and increase their bottom line is a perfect fit with Nor1's real-time, data-driven upsell solutions."About Nor1 Nor1 is the leader in hospitality upgrade, up-sell, and merchandising technology.Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices across the world, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising products that maximize incremental revenues for Hilton, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, Wyndham, and other global hotels and resorts.Nor1's real-time pricing and merchandising intelligence engine, PRiME, powers eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, eReach, and eDirect to recommend the most relevant upgrade to the right guest at the right time for the most optimal price.Our investors include, Concur Technologies, Goldman Sachs, and Accel Partners.For more information, please visit www.nor1.com. About HRSFounded in 1990, HRS was created with the aim of providing a superior customer experience, both for service industry companies and their clients. Now in its 29th year, HRS provides innovative management solutions for: hotels, restaurants, retail chains, stadiums, spas and fitness clubs. HRS has an impressive portfolio of products and services, these include: pre-project analysis, hardware and software supply, strategic IT consulting, solutions implementation and integration, staff training and consulting, 24/7 technical support, plus a wide range of professional customer services. The company has developed an excellent reputation for providing quality services together with a strong global presence. HRS has established itself not just as an IT solution provider but also as a proactive contributor to the hospitality industry.For more information, please contact Oleg Kudrin at okudrin@hrsinternational.com or visit www.hrsinternational.com.
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New Partnership Gives Cloudbeds' Properties A Secure Payment Option in Latin America

Cloudbeds ·13 September 2018
SAN DIEGO -- Cloudbeds and PayU recently partnered to offer a secure electronic payment processing solution to hospitality properties located in Latin America. Properties that activate this integration will be able to receive online payments from guests whether they pay with a local or international credit card.Thousands of properties will benefit from the highest security protocols and a competitive promotional rate from PayU for six months if they open an account with PayU before Dec. 12, 2018. This payment gateway is available now to properties located in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, with Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia, and more countries coming online soon."This partnership with PayU provides state of the art security and payment automation to our properties and their guests," said Sebastien Leitner, Director of Global Partnerships at Cloudbeds. "It aligns nicely with our product and partnership strategy."Properties that use Cloudbeds' property management system will be able to process payments online directly from the Cloudbeds' interface without a physical point of sale device.In addition to Latin America, this technology will soon be available to properties located in India.About PayUPayU uses its history and experience in payment means to provide financial services in emerging markets. With operations in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, PayU is the main online payment services provider in 17 high-growth markets, offering a fast, simple, and efficient process for merchants and buyers in different channels (desktop, mobile devices, e-wallet, and physical retail). It currently operates more than 250 payment methods in more than 25 currencies, reaching nearly 2.3 billion potential consumers. PayU has more than 1,800 payment specialists who support more than 300,000 merchants and millions of consumers who make payments through the tool. The company is part of the online payments division of Naspers Ltd., which in Latin America has incorporated Pagosonline and DineroMail, and the Brazilian companies Bcash and Fcontrol, and is now one of the five leading companies of the sector in the region.
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Oliver Companies Goes Mobile: Installs Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting for 18 Properties

Aptech ·13 September 2018
Aptech Computer Systems announced that Oliver Companies, Inc. upgraded its back office financial processes to PVNG Enterprise Accounting. Oliver Companies converted from Aptech's Profitvue hotel accounting software to web-based PVNG to enable mobile system access to company financials and property performance reports. Oliver Companies is based in Duluth, MN. It operates 18 properties across eight states that fly flags from Hilton, IHG, Choice and others. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."Oliver Companies upgraded its accounting platform to Aptech's PVNG because it is a flexible, online enterprise solution that lets our team oversee operations while traveling," said Nicole Murphy, Oliver Companies assistant controller. "Mobile access is important to us. We have two offices and our CFO can log onto PVNG and work wherever she is. Plus, if we have a heavy snow day we can work from our homes." Murphy noted that Oliver's conversion to PVNG went well. "Aptech's team helped us build processes for our 18 properties to share a standard format. Our full-service conference properties have slightly different requirements than our limited service hotels. PVNG hotel accounting software handles them all very well."PVNG provides an easy to navigate architecture. Its robust functionality emerged from Aptech's legacy application, Profitvue, used by thousands of hotel accounting professionals. PVNG supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio. It uses the most current technology platform and incorporates AP, GL, AR, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with familiar browser navigation. PVNG also makes it simple to become 11th Edition compliant by implementing its packaged chart of accounts and financial statements."PVNG is easy to use because each field is clearly marked so we get our work done faster," Murphy said. "The system's processes are self-explanatory and intuitive. We just started a new accountant; he learned the system quickly and got started right away." Oliver Companies also uses Aptech's Execuvue Business Intelligence System. "PVNG automatically uploads property data to our Execuvue system nightly so we have same-day information on property performance to help us manage better."System upgrades evolve effortlessly because PVNG is web-based and hosted at Aptech's secure data center. "I am pleased with how responsive Aptech has been with our conversion," Murphy said. "We had functionality requests to make the system fit Oliver's operations. Aptech made the changes quickly. Aptech values its customers, like Oliver Companies, and this shows by listening to our requests and implementing them to make our operation smoother."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.
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Hoteliers + Non-Desk Hotel Workers to Benefit from Beekeeper's $13 Million 'Series A' Extension

Beekeeper ·11 September 2018
Beekeeper, the leading communication and operations platform for connecting a hotel's non-desk workers across locations and departments, announced today that it has raised an additional $13 million as a part of its Series A extension round. Built from the ground up for secure, centralized operational communication on mobile and desktop devices, Beekeeper plans to deploy its latest round of capital by continuing to invest in hospitality market growth, innovation and its information security management system to maintain their ISO 27001:2013 certification. This will ensure the platform delivers a simple and elegant experience for hotel workers while maintaining the highest security levels.Atomico and Keen Venture Partners led the round with a diverse group of strategic investors including Samsung Next, Edenred Capital Partners (ECP), and Swiss Post who have joined Beekeeper's mission to connect the nearly 2 billion non-desk workers who have been forgotten when it comes to digitalization within companies. All existing key investors, including FYRFLY Venture Partners, ALPANA Ventures and investiere.ch, participated in the round as well.Aligning employees without email addresses or corporate devices with the entire organization in a centralized, secure environment is a major challenge. Seventy-five percent of the workforce currently use their personal mobile devices to communicate with co-workers, and the lack of proper operational communication tools has forced employees to use consumer-based workarounds like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Data privacy scandals by consumer giant Facebook and the launch of GDPR has emphasized the importance of data privacy and security."Atomico is proud to support Beekeeper as their innovative employee communication and operations platform, built specifically for the world's two billion non-desk workers, continues to succeed on a global scale," said Ben Blume, Principal at Atomico. "Over the last few years we've watched Cris, Flavio and the team build not only a world class product and culture, but consistently win some of the world's most well recognized corporations as clients across a range of industries from hospitality and manufacturing to retail and construction. It is a testament to our belief that big enterprise SaaS winners will continue to emerge from Europe.""Beekeeper plays right into the heart of the digital workplace trend," said Robert Verwaayen, general partner at Keen Ventures. "We believe that Beekeeper is on a path to become an indispensable collaboration tool for the 80% of the global workforce that has been largely forgotten by digital technology. The market opportunity, strength of the product and the talent of the team gives Beekeeper a real shot at becoming a meaningful giant in the mobile enterprise space."This round of capital will also be dedicated to the next evolution of Beekeeper's Marketplace and plug-in ecosystem. As the central employee touchpoint, Beekeeper has the unique ability to streamline internal communications and operational tools within one intuitive app that desk and non-desk workers can access in real time from their mobile phone. Through Beekeeper's integrations and out-of-the-box apps, corporations can consolidate operational tools and communications into a simplified employee experience - something that will be imperative as frontline workers are introduced to corporate technology, many for the first time.Christina Bechhold Russ, principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures said, "Non-desk-based workers are one of the most overlooked markets for digital services, yet they are estimated to have a mobile penetration rate of 84% and only continues to grow. Beekeeper enables employers with distributed workforces from manufacturing companies to retailers to seamlessly connect everyone in the organization and transform the way information is disseminated and shared. A strategic investment for NEXT, this is a great opportunity to support a fast-growing scale-up leveraging mobile devices to define the future of work."Beekeeper's new financing comes within a year of closing its Series A round and marks a time of rapid corporate growth. In the past year, Fortune 500 firms across the globe have adopted Beekeeper to improve internal communications and streamline operations. Beekeeper has also increased its user base by more than 500% and is currently being used in more than 137 countries worldwide.
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Spirides Arranges $2.33 Million Hotel Debt Refinancing for Hilton Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 4 September 2018
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $2.33 million debt refinancing with a permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered lender to refinance existing debt for the Hampton Inn by Hilton in Laurinburg, North Carolina.Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC features 50 guest rooms with an interior corridor in one 3-story building and is situated on 6 acres of land. The hotel is located just off of Interstate 74 at 115 Hampton Circle, Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina. It is located one mile from St. Andrews College and is near the Scottish Heritage Center. Scottish immigrants originally settled this area in the late 1700s. Laurinburg was named for a prominent family of Scottish settlers, the McLaurins. Laurinburg is located near the South Carolina border and is 80 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.The financing arranged by Spirides for Hampton Inn Laurinburg includes paying off a floating interest rate loan and replacing it with a fixed interest rate loan at a 52% loan to value ratio and a 25 year amortization. The interest rate is now fixed at a favorable interest rate for 5 years, and then it adjusts according to a set spread above the prevailing 5 year SWAP rate at the time and then is fixed for another 5 years upon franchise renewal.The Hampton by Hilton brand is the number one ranked lodging franchise for the past nine years according to Entrepreneur. Hampton has more than 2,380 hotels open in 22 countries and territories. It operates in the upper midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. The brand is about celebration and diversity - embracing local culture and giving guests a true experience during their stay, along with free, hot breakfast and free Wi-fi.
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Softscribe Inc. Identifies Top 12 Quotes from Industry Leaders at Hotel Data Conference 2018

Softscribe ·23 August 2018
BENTONVILLE, AR -- Softscribe Inc., a leading hotel tech PR firm, attended the 10th annual Hotel Data Conference (HDC) this month in Nashville, TN with top industry leaders and technology providers. Smith Travel Research (STR) hosted 675 attendees, with 71 on the waitlist, at the Omni Nashville for a 3-day deep dive into data, performance, and trends for the global hospitality industry.Softscribe Inc. CEO, Julie Keyser Squires, attended on behalf of the company's PR clients.Top Quotes from Hotel Industry LeadersA series of panels, breakout tracks and plenary sessions featured leaders from the global hotel industry. Speakers shared insights about trends, market changes, and actionable scenarios. Here are Softscribe Inc.'s top quotes from conference leaders.1. "We're in the best demand environment we've ever seen in the industry. It's not been this strong since 1994, when the industry was 40% smaller than today. Occupancy remains at record highs. It could go for another two years." - Isaac Collazo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG)2. "What could end the current cycle? a. The economy. b. Over building. c. Unpredictable demand. d. Oil/energy price increase. e. Asset price bubble." - Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research3. "It takes the industry 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years to recover from Black Swan events." (Editor's note: Like Superstorm Sandy) - Robin Rossman, STR4. "Growth rates on labor expenses are higher than revenue and profits." - Amanda Hite, President & CEO, STR5. "In non-union hotels, 32% goes to labor costs. In union hotels, 40% goes to labor." - Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STR6. Alternative Accommodations: Are They Really Alternative? "It is a growing, morphing space. There will be fallouts, consolidations and consistencies. Look for a partner." - Jon Wohlfert, Co-CEO and Founding Partner, RESIDE Worldwide"Embrace it." - Andrew Kitchell, CEO, Lyric"The customers have spoken. Figure out how to make it fit your business." - Steve Caron, VP, Head of Vacation Rentals, Choice Hotels International7. "Customer experience is integral. Use your data better. We created a program two years ago that lets guests choose a third party perk: Starbucks, Uber, Avis, etc." - Jamie Russo, VP Loyalty Programs & Customer Engagement, Choice Hotels Int'l8. "Your highest loyal guest still delivers your highest, most profitable revenue stream. We have to evolve those experiences." -Sloan Dean, COO, Remington Hotels9. "84% of U.S. travelers took part in an in-destination activity during their last leisure trip." - Lorraine Sileo, SVP Research and Business Operations, Phocuswright, Inc.10. "Guest satisfaction. We are focused on experiences. Engage the customer. Show them the value of creating memories that will last a lifetime." - Nicole Lundin, Head of Loyalty & Social Engagement. Viceroy Hotel Group11. Beers with the Bosses Panel. "Be aggressive. Continue to move forward. We've never had this demand from all directions." - Jim Chu, Global Head of Development & Owner Relations, Hyatt Hotels Corp."We should not refer to each other as competitors. Help each other. Take care of each other." - Rob Palleschi, CEO, G6 Hospitality"This is a sustainable industry, a growing industry. More and more people are traveling." - Mitch Patel, President & CEO, Founder of Vision Hospitality Group, Inc."The conference is terrific this year. My single biggest concern - and I'm surprised what it is - is the possibility of tariffs. A trade war could be a problem for our industry." - Randy Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder, Smith Travel Research12. "Room demand is coming mainly from upper and upper midscale in urban areas." - Jan Freitag, SVP Lodging Insights, STRThe 2019 Hotel Data Conference will be held August 14 to 16, 2019, at the new JW Marriott Nashville. Watch for details at www.hoteldataconference.com.Tech Companies, do you want to increase sales and influence? Call or email Michael Squires, President of Softscribe Inc., at 404-256-5512 or mbs(at)softscribeinc.com to set up a discovery meeting and brainstorm a few PR and marketing ideas.About Softscribe Inc. Achieves Significant Business Growth for Tech Clients in the Hospitality Industry. Softscribe Inc. is an award-winning Hotel Tech PR agency that specializes in B2B public relations, branding and market consulting. We are the best in the industry at achieving significant business growth for technology companies. Our clients deliver enterprise solutions to the global hotel market and related industries Generates the Right Client Messages 100% of the Time. Our focus is marketing content, search, and social media. We generate the right messages for client audiences 100% of the time. This is essential to close sales.Softscribe Inc.'s professional team surpasses expectations with an average 19 years' industry experience in branding, marketing communications and technology PR.We are proud of our best-in-class clients and are ready to help you, too. Please give us a shout now, or visit www.softscribeinc.com.
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Lightstone's Business Intelligence Platform Gives Execs Portfolio Performance in the Palm of their Hand

Aptech · 7 August 2018
Lightstone is a national real estate investor/developer with 28 hospitality properties nationwide. The company's current portfolio emphasizes select services hotels, branded by Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Starwood. How big do you think its asset management team is?"I am responsible for overseeing hotel performance across our 28-property REIT and I am always on a plane," said Marc Dober, vice president, asset management for Lightstone. "We buy and develop hotels to grow our business. Business is based on numbers; budget, revenue, expenses, EBIDTA. The only way we could efficiently manage our portfolio by the numbers as we grew was to automate data gathering, analysis and reporting. Last year we implemented a hospitality business intelligence system called Execuvue from Aptech Computer Systems. Today I have a staff of two and go over the numbers on my handheld while I'm traveling."BI system replaces one full-time analystDober has a handful of reports he evaluates first thing every morning, regardless of where he is. "Execuvue automatically gathers and analyzes data from our Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Starwood properties at night audit. I also review the latest STAR data on my mobile. The system gives me analysis and reporting within minutes to support our business decisions or answer questions on the fly with near real-time data," said Dober. "Execuvue replaces a full-time staff member and makes it possible to manage more efficiently with better information." Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence is an IBM Cognos-based ASP enterprise hospitality business intelligence application hosted at Aptech's secure data operations center.Lightstone evaluates property performance based on brands and management companies. "We compare GOPs and other metrics from our hotels and Execuvue factors in monthly STAR numbers to help benchmark our management companies," said Dober. "A cloud-based BI system is very cost effective. It eliminates the need for hardware and servers and the physical system is secure off-site so I can focus on operating properties. The big plus for me is that I can access our data remotely in a mobile format if needed. This lets me review the reporting I need for my next meeting while I am traveling."Lightstone is developing Moxy properties with Marriott in several markets. Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), named Lightstone's Moxy Times Square as Development of the Year Select/Limited Service hotel for 2017. "We are currently developing 6 Moxys. These properties have a unique F&B reporting format. We worked with Aptech to create custom reporting and a data interface with our Moxy property point of sale systems," said Dober. The Moxy concept replaces the traditional room service model with The Pickup, a twist on the traditional grab-and-go concept. Bar Moxy is the social center of the hotel that offers guests and locals a co-working space during the day while transforming into a buzzing lounge at night."Aptech is a great technology partner for Lightstone. They helped us customize a report for several processes that may be unique to Lightstone's operation," said Dober. "We recently developed an 'on the books' report that looks at reservations for a specific period and compares it against the same period last year. This lets us predict performance more accurately and adjust our strategy as needed."Aptech is the leading provider of hotel software for business intelligence, budgeting, and enterprise financial accounting. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services.About Lightstone Lightstone, founded by David Lichtenstein, is one of the largest and most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. Lightstone is active in 28 states across the country, developing, managing and investing in all sectors of the real estate market, including residential, hospitality, commercial, and retail. With over 176 existing properties, Lightstone's $3 billion portfolio currently includes over 6 million square feet of office, retail and industrial commercial properties, over 15,000 residential units, and 4,000 hotel keys. Lightstone also owns over 12,000 land lots across the country.Headquartered in New York City, Lightstone continues to grow its development portfolio with approximately $2.3 billion currently under development in the residential and hospitality sectors spread across New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami.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.
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GDPR Compliance Deadline Has Come and Gone; What Does it Mean for Hotels?

Beekeeper ·24 July 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline has passed, and it now requires every hotel in the world to have guidelines in place that protect European Union (EU) residents' personally identifiable information against security breaches. While a lot has been discussed to help hoteliers become compliant, many are wondering "what comes next?" Dr. Amir Ameri, Data Protection Officer for Beekeeper, a GDPR-compliant developer of a digital workplace app hailed as the "Most Innovative Technology" for 2018 and the "People's Choice" by actual users and buyers, is providing answers to some of hoteliers most frequently asked questions.Q: How quickly will regulators levy major fines if a hotel or hospitality-related business is not GDPR compliant?A: Before a fine is levied, an offence must be established. This may be due to an incident impacting personal data of an employee or a guest or a defined regulatory audit. Hence, establishing an offence in this matter would require evidencing several criteria, performing audits, assessing the knowledge of the offender to the offence, i.e. establishing intent and the level of due diligence the offender had met. Taking all factors into consideration, previous court rulings in the EU have taken time to give a ruling in data protection and privacy matters. Article 83 states: "In any event, the fines imposed shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive." This will be case dependent and influenced by the legal proceedings in the jurisdiction in question as defined by the regulatory body.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder future innovation?A: In my opinion, not only will GDPR regulation significantly help future innovation, but it will also establish an absolute maximum of the necessary level of "trust" required to have a flourishing use of any future innovation.Q: Will the GDPR regulation help or hinder my hotel's global marketing efforts?A: Understanding that establishing "trust" is the cornerstone of any successful marketing effort, there is nothing better than upholding a basic "undeclared human right" in any company's effort to commercialize their product. Adapting to new processes and marketing efforts will be necessary, but it's also addressing an important need in the minds of most consumers.Q: What do hotels need to do to maintain their opt-in-subscriptions? What will this mean to customer loyalty and bottom line revenues for the future?A: It is helpful if businesses/hotels recognize that personal data is not a free commodity and there is an ownership title associated with the personal data to the data subject. Safeguarding this is all GDPR requires. Incentives, or any form of compensatory measures of interest to the data subject, may result in maintaining a higher customer loyalty. It is important to note, however, that customer loyalty and bottom line revenues were only impacted for businesses/hotels with a model to use a "free commodity = personal data" to generate income. As we all know, in a free economy, this itself is considered an unfair distribution of resources and a disadvantage for a healthy economy and it is not tolerated in many countries.Q: What happens if there is a third-party breach? For example, a hotel uses WhatsApp to stay connected to their employees. What happens to that hotel if WhatsApp is not compliant? Is it liable for the breach or is WhatsApp solely responsible?A: One of the points that GDPR addresses clearly is the responsibility of each party in the processing life cycle. In this respect, although GDPR has a "pass through" approach, it is the responsibility of the controller to be transparent towards the data subject and manage such risks with the processors and the involved third parties. For example, having a data processing agreement in place between the involved entities, performing risk assessments and taking other risk mitigating measures are the norm in managing this type of risk. In the example stated, since the hotel is considered as the controller, certainly the hotel will be audited to establish whether it had performed its due diligence towards managing this risk or not. Basic assumption is that the data subject was informed and consented to in the first place to allow WhatsApp to have possession of their personal data. If not, clearly the hotel will be held liable in a first instance.Q: Understanding that GDPR is not a one-off compliance effort (like the rush to fix the Y2K Millennium Bug) and continuous changes will need to be made, is there a grace period on updates? Will there be a global schedule specifying when updates need to be made? How does a company know if it's up-to-date with all the recent regulations?A: GDPR is the law and became enforceable on May 25th, 2018. The grace period for meeting GDPR requirements started in April 2016, with a 2-year period allowed for compliance. Although, it has happened in the past that regulators have "extended" enforceability timelines, to date, I am not aware of any extension periods for the start of enforcement of GDPR.
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CHMWarnick Launches Proph+IT a Technology Platform Hotel Asset Management 2.0

CHMWarnick ·18 July 2018
CHMWarnick, the preeminent hotel asset management and owner advisory services company, announced today the launch of Proph+IT, a revolutionary technology platform that harnesses the power of big data from an ownership lens to optimize hospitality investments and has the potential to redefine asset management as the industry knows it today."For years now, the hospitality industry has been struggling with big data, from how to acquire it to who owns it and to how to truly use it to one's advantage," said Fern Kanter, managing director/EVP of CHMWarnick and strategic lead on the Proph+IT initiative. "Proph+IT was created specifically to take large amounts of property data and distill it through an ownership lens, to effectively and strategically utilize the information. With this platform, our asset management team can quickly and confidently analyze information, including automated alerts of trends and key variances, to better focus on a property's profitability and value enhancement."Proph+IT was custom developed to create the ultimate asset management tool. Data is provided directly from management companies, populated with millions of data points from each hotel's trial balance, across historical and current monthly financial data, as well as forecasted performance. This data is then automatically coded to CHMWarnick's chart of accounts, making it the most detailed benchmarking and analytics available within hotel asset management today. The platform was created to evaluate numerous industry issues, including gaining complete financial data access beyond the typical "owner's package P&L" and affording the most comprehensive and intuitive analysis and monitoring system of financial performance trends possible today."Automation and comparability of data represent a significant advancement, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of realizing our new data-driven capabilities. Proph+IT puts the data in the hands of the experts, and our ability to cross-tabulate data points and follow trends on a multi-dimensional basis gives us, and by extension our owners, insight into a whole new realm of thinking about the operating model," added Kanter."Proph+IT immediately raises the industry bar for asset management technology and the ability to achieve results," said Chad Crandell, managing director and CEO of CHMWarnick. "While benchmarking has always been a core practice of ours for identifying opportunities, the size and scale of our asset management portfolio today has given way to a whole new opportunity for benchmarking and evaluating profit contribution across all areas of the operation and influencing future performance. Having been the first company dedicated to third-party hotel asset management almost 20 years ago, this is a natural next step for CHMWarnick to set a higher standard within the industry and establish 'asset management 2.0.' With an ever more complex hotel operating environment and expense growth often outpacing revenue gains, we have created a platform that allows us to connect the dots faster to make strategic decisions that positively impact value and monitor initiatives in real time on behalf of our owners."The proprietary platform, available exclusively to CHMWarnick clients, draws from a database of more than 3.5 million data points, with approximately 150,000 to 300,000 data points added each month. The system ultimately will track all current and new hotels that come into CHMWarnick's asset management platform, as well as data provided by major brand operators and third-party managers, alike."Fully integrated, the system will comprise more than 70 hotels, including full-service, select-service, convention, luxury, union/non-union hotels and destination resorts, providing incredible benchmarking capabilities and efficiencies, saving the roughly 2,000-man-hours required annually just to produce models and reports for assets in their current form," said Dan Lomartra, CHMWarnick associate and lead programmer of Proph+IT. "Once you factor in time saved producing portfolio-wide analyses, benchmarking and expanding versions of current reports, we're talking vastly improved speed with respect to identifying opportunities across our asset management portfolio. This creates considerably more time to dedicate to examining trends and drawing correlations from data, rather than inputting. Furthermore, we've effectively reduced the average window by which asset managers can access property data each month by about ten days through this automation. Proph+IT saves time by accessing and synthesizing a trove of data in a fraction of the time. This platform will revolutionize hotel asset management as we know it."
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InsureSign ranks as the No. 1 e-signature software for usability on G2Crowd

InsureSign ·18 July 2018
CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 11, 2018) -- G2Crowd, the world's leading business solutions review website, has today released its Summer 2018 Report on e-signature software - and InsureSign ranks No. 1 for its usability and customer support.InsureSign is currently the highest rated e-signature tool for overall satisfaction on G2Crowd, with 4.9 out of 5 possible stars (a 97 percent satisfaction score). InsureSign's efficient, time-saving features make it a perfect tool for event sales."We've always focused on providing our users in the hospitality industry with the easiest way to get their documents signed and the best hands-on, personalized service," says Joe Floyd, founder and CEO of InsureSign. "We're grateful that our users have been so happy with our software that they've decided to tell others. Our customers tell us that their sales teams are getting almost all contracts signed and returned the same day, which never happened before using InsureSign."InsureSign has tens of thousands of users across several industries. All InsureSign users enjoy getting their documents signed the easiest way possible, along with unlimited signatures, documents and templates each month, and the benefits of audit trails, auto reminders, auto archival, company branding and more.InsureSign also offers a premium plan that includes a unique suite of innovative features, including text-message signing, in-person signing, reusable forms, a tool for securing company reviews and more.InsureSignInsureSign is the simplest, fastest and most secure way to get documents signed electronically. Trusted by thousands of businesses of all sizes across North America, InsureSign lets your customers easily sign your documents from their laptops, tablets and mobile devices - and even via text message. Curious future customers can try InsureSign free for 14 days at www.insuresign.com.
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Spirides Arranges $5 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Holiday Inn Express in Latta, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 6 July 2018
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $5 million construction and permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn Express in Latta, South Carolina.This soon to be built Holiday Inn Express will feature 68 guest rooms and suites in one 4-story building situated on 4 acres of land. It will be located at 1325 Cattle Farm Road at SC Highway 38 just off of Interstate 95 Exit 181 near the City of Latta in Dillon County, SC which is part of the Florence metropolitan area. Exit 181 is one of the primary exits off of Interstate 95 that leads to the very popular Myrtle Beach, SC resort area. Dillon County is the home of the Interstate 95 roadside attraction called South of the Border.The site of this new Holiday Inn Express development is located just a few minutes drive from the recently opened South Carolina Ports Authority's Inland Port Dillon, a $50.5 million intermodal cargo transfer hub located 130 miles from the Port of Charleston, SC. Inland ports are where trains and trucks exchange tens of thousands of overseas shipping containers packed with consumer goods. Also located nearby are Darlington Raceway & Museum, McLeod Regional Hospital, Florence Civic Center, regional offices of Mohawk Industries and Johnson Controls, and two South Carolina National Guard stations."Inland port intermodal complexes are a new type of demand generator that we are now seeing as the shipping container traffic at our nations' shipping seaports continues to grow. Inland Port Dillon is expected to convert an estimated 45,000 shipping container movements from truck to rail and vice versa within its first year of operation, and it has already created 1,000 new jobs," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "Inland Port Dillon is a state-of-the-art intermodal shipping facility which will turbo charge the economy in Dillon County. This inland port was brilliantly developed in a part of South Carolina which historically has had high unemployment and poverty rates, but that is now quickly changing thanks to the opening of this inland port," continues Spirides.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn Express development project include a 78% loan to cost ratio, an interest rate of U.S. Prime Rate + 1.75%, a 12 month interest only period through the construction phase, and a 25 year term with a 25 year amortization. There is no prepayment penalty after the first three years of the loan.Holiday Inn Express hotels is IHG's (InterContinental Hotel Group's) fastest growing franchised brand. It has operated for over 25 years in the midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. With more than 2,570 hotels open in 33 countries the Holiday Inn Express brand has the flexibility to perform well in any location, from an interstate to an airport to an urban center.
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Broadvine Introduces New Products for its Platform: Broadvine Insights and Broadvine Essentials

Broadvine ·19 June 2018
Raleigh, NC -- Broadvine, a leader in Financial Performance Management software for the hospitality industry, announced today it released two new products to increase the breadth and flexibility of its application. Broadvine Insights expands the data and analysis capabilities of the existing application while Broadvine Essentials provides an entry-level product to companies needing to automate data consolidation, reporting, and forecasting processes."With Broadvine Insights, our customers will be able to use additional data and analysis to better predict what is likely to happen instead of relying on historical data to guide their decisions," said Shawn Barber, CEO of Broadvine. "The initial release of Insights includes robust, visual dashboards for pace and forecast accuracy which drive more accountability to the property ensuring the business will produce the forecasted results. This is essential to delivering value to owners and Insights makes it easier achieve those commitments."In addition, Broadvine introduced Essentials, a combination of its reporting, budgeting, and forecasting modules with an expedited onboarding program and a collection of key reports. Essentials is a cost-effective package targeted to companies with less complex properties or a smaller portfolio of hotels that would benefit from automated reports and an easy to use process for budgeting and forecasting.Broadvine's application platform provides real-time data and analysis for use in making more strategic and profitable decisions. By consolidating data from various property management systems, third-party data sources, time and attendance systems, and the accounting platform, owners and operators have complete revenue and statistical analysis reports and insights to make better decisions - all in real-time and across their portfolio.With these new options, Broadvine provides flexibility to owners and operators of all complexities and portfolio sizes.For more information, please visit Broadvine at HITEC Booth #931 or visit www.broadvine.com.
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SGS Hosts Complimentary Hospitality Webinar Series

SGS ·19 June 2018
THE HX WEBINAR SERIES - REGISTER TODAY!Meeting the Challenge: Mitigating Risk in the Hospitality SectorJune 27, 2018 - 10:00am ESTSynopsis: Risk comes in many forms. The operational efficiency and reputation of a hotel can be threatened by something as headline-grabbing as a terrorist attack, or as seemingly mundane as a case of food poisoning. During this webinar, we will discuss the key drivers of risk and the main areas that are susceptible to threats. Additionally, we will present real-life case studies and discuss the financial and social impact of each. Register now!Moving Towards Sustainability:Future-proofing in the Hospitality SectorJuly 25, 2018 - 10:00am ESTSynopsis: Guests are increasingly looking for greener options when they travel. During this webinar, we explain how sustainability is no longer a luxury for high-end hotels, it is a necessity for business that are looking to future-proof. This session will not only highlight the financial impacts of energy efficiency, but the brand value and perception that is associated with the "green" movement. Register now!To register, click here!PRESENTERSPeter Hvidberg - Global Business Manager for Travel and Hospitality, SGS - has successfully set up the global service offering to the Travel & Hospitality Industry within SGS by consolidating and customizing international standards that cover areas such as safety, security, service, sustainability and training, with regards to inspection, verification, testing, certification and consultancy. His contributions to the robust performance of SGS's global strategic unit for travel and hospitality stems from his more than two decades of broad international experience within hotels, corporate travel industry, MICE and technology.Robert Hines - Business Development Manager, SGS (in North America) - works with clients to help hospitality companies to improve their performance and brand. He understands that every hotel company is exposed to many kinds of risk that careful planning and management can help mitigate. By helping companies to identify these causes and solutions their customer experience can be enhanced their brand and improve their performance. With experience in all facets of hotel management and contract management services, Robert has worked for both Hilton and Marriott branded hotels as a General Manager. He began his career in housekeeping with Wyndham International after receiving his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University's hotel program in the Broad College of Business.HX: HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE - PROPERTY ASSESSMENT AND CONSULTING SOLUTIONSHX has been designed specifically for the hospitality industry to meet a variety of needs and provide solutions to many of the issues travel professionals face today. This comprehensive online program consists of four separate modules, each focusing on a specific area of concern, including risk management, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and quality of service experience.Our HX webinar offers three levels of property assessment, dependent on your hotel's ability to meet the requirements of each module. These milestones will showcase your commitment to your guests and can be displayed on your property, website and social media:HX Platinum logo: requires a score of 95+HX Gold logo: requires a score of 85 to 94HX Silver: requires a score of 65 to 84
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Kennenbunkport Resort Collection Books Infor Hospitality

Infor ·18 June 2018
Infor, a leading provider of industry-specific cloud applications, today announced the success Kennenbunkport Resort Collection has had since their go-live of Infor Hospitality Management (HMS) in 2017. With nine diverse, yet luxurious, properties, Kennenbunkport Resort Collection selected Infor HMS because of the unified system that provides a single and holistic view of their organization.After deciding Infor HMS, the teams at Infor and the resort began to plan the implementation strategy and train for the go-live day - where eight properties successfully went live at the same time. In total, the teams have transitioned 239 rooms between the nine hotels, including integrations between other systems like Digital Alchemy, Windsurfer, Duetto, Merchant Link, and Micros."When we began looking for a new back office system to better support our needs at the resort, we instantly knew it was going to be a fit after meeting with the team at Infor. The team understood our extremely unique needs, and after time it felt like a friend was helping us implement this new software," said Heather Strout, Director of Revenue Management and Project Manager for the implementation, Kennenbunkport Resort Collection. "As a seasonal business, it is absolutely critical that we get everything right during our peak season. With one busy season under our belt using Infor, we could not be happier with the support and outcome of our selection."Infor HMS provides a centralized, unified look at guests and business performance and offers tools and features to help hotels reach high-value customers through the right channel-and with the right room at the right price, regardless of their size. Supported by powerful analytics, the solution also helps users quickly comprehend statistical information and gain real-world insights through data they are already collecting."In today's world, hotels need to have technology on the backend that is supporting a high-touch, guest-centric environment, whether it's a large global chain, or small independent hotel," said Stewart Applbaum, executive vice president, Infor. "Infor solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of the hospitality industry - from ever-changing room rates to managing guest preferences. For a seasonal operation such as Kennenbunkport, having organization-wide visibility and support is critical to provide the best guest experiences possible."About Infor
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Handeholder Products Names Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

Handeholder Products, Inc. ·15 June 2018
Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Handeholder Products, Inc., an industry leader in tablet and mPOS (mobile point-of-sale) device mobility solutions, has named Beau Keyes as their Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.This move signals the company's renewed focus on a long-term commitment to growth and advancement within the mobile device industry. In his new role, Keyes is responsible for growing the Handeholder Products brand through new and revitalized strategic partnerships and increased marketplace exposure, while at the same time developing new sales channels and fresh product positioning."New product introductions and focus on increased corporate exposure has grown the company over the last two years, and with Beau's attention there have been notable gains," said Mike Burns, President, Handeholder Products, Inc. "Beau's elevated leadership role reflects his proven ability to extend our growing brand and our commitment to further improved strategy as we transform the business for the future."Keyes joined the Handeholder team in 2015 and quickly advanced to a Director role in growing the company marketing and sales infrastructure. His over twenty years of experience in customer-focused solutions and consumer marketing made him a natural fit for the current promotion."I'm excited to continue and enhance my work at this innovative company during a time of strategic growth and change," said Keyes. "As a team and a company, we will continue to seek out new and versatile ways to present and provide the products and materials our clients require to move their businesses forward."
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Evention Debuts New and Expanded Solutions

Evention LLC ·14 June 2018
Group Billing by Evention has been specifically designed for and tested by hospitality brands. Evention has partnered with two world-wide hotel companies to develop this all-encompassing solution. The solution centralizes the data from sales, contracts and tax exemption forms, credit, e-payment, point of sale (POS), and property management system (PMS) to create accurate final group invoices.Without Group Billing by Evention, billing a group hotel stay is a highly involved process that relies on data spread across multiple platforms, often causing variances. Evention's solution eliminates the complexities associated with the manual process of billing a group for expenses related to its hotel stay.Credit Card Reconciliation by Evention applies to both the hospitality and retail industries.This solution transforms scattered credit card settlement data into one, easy-to-review format. It also provides complete reconciliation from POS to the processor, processor to the bank, and any variation in between.Providing efficient reporting and standardized reconciliation, Credit Card Reconciliation by Evention arranges data from settled credit card transactions. By referencing data sources like bank deposits and credit card processor batches, this solution also provides quick and accurate comparison, as well as more manageable variance research.As of January 2019, both new solutions, Group Billing and Credit Card Reconciliation, will be available for purchase and installation.In addition, Evention now provides automated reconciliation for small-volume cash recycling hardware. Designed as an "under-the-counter" device, the new recycler expands Evention's cash recycling suite with options to suit hotel operations of any size.This small-volume recycler debuted at the 2018 HITEC Houston Tradeshow.With this recent product expansion, Evention's full solution suite includes: SecureDrop Cash Reconciliation, Tip and Gratuity Management, Cash Recycling (with multiple volume options), Group Billing, and Credit Card Reconciliation.
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Pinnacle Hotel Management Integrates Accounting, Budgeting/Forecasting and Business Intelligence to Support Growth

Aptech ·13 June 2018
Monica Nichols, Director of Finance for Pinnacle Hotels says, "After 14 years in the hotel industry I have seen an incredible evolution in the hospitality business intelligence we utilize. Transitioning from basic financial statements to much more detailed variance and analytical reports has had a very positive influence on how Pinnacle manages and operates its properties. As a company, we now make much better decisions when it comes to budgeting and forecasting."When Nichols took the position as staff accountant/accounts payable associate for Pinnacle Hotel Management in 2003, she had to quickly acquaint herself with a new company and a new accounting system. "It was my first day on the job. It was also Pinnacle's first day of training on their new accounting software, Profitvue," Nichols said."Profitvue, from Aptech Computer Systems, was different from the mega-brand systems, but it was hospitality based and easy to learn. I picked up the ins and outs of Pinnacle's management company financial statement and reporting preferences, but at that time we had to create all of our custom reports manually. The company's property management and back office systems were not yet integrated. This manual process left room for error," Nichols said. "We created all of our budgets using spreadsheets. Looking back, it was very inefficient, but it worked at the time."Today Pinnacle operates 24 properties made up chiefly of Marriott and Hilton brands. "As we grew, and Aptech introduced new products to the industry, we added Aptech's Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence and Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting systems," Nichols said. "Today all of our systems are integrated and we capture property data multiple times a day without any rekeying and can create any ad-hoc report desired."Execuvue is Aptech's IBM Cognos-based ASP enterprise hospitality business intelligence (BI) application that automatically gathers property data from leading property management, time and attendance, and other third-party systems. Targetvue is Aptech's hospitality-driven budgeting and forecasting solution. Aptech joined forces with PROPHIX to develop a budgeting and forecasting application fully-integrated with its Execuvue hospitality business intelligence and accounting systems."Pinnacle is unique. Our owners and managers have a wealth of experience and want to see property performance from different angles," Nichols said. "We leverage our Execuvue BI analysis and 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 at our regional managers' request. The system lets me analyze data to spotlight specific information, like T/A fees as a percentage of revenue, in less than a minute. I can also create reports for specific time frames and prior years to provide as much or as little detail as needed, all on the fly." Nichols said she frequently pulls performance data for cost per occupied room with trailing 12 months vs. prior year's cost for each expense item. "This kind of precise breakdown makes analyzing our operation's performance much easier. These can give us an 'ah ha' moment that helps us be more profitable and creates a culture of hands-on numbers-based management."Pinnacle's property managers enter their budget numbers in their Targetvue budgeting and forecasting system. "Targetvue is set up like Excel, we can enter cost per occupied room and it will flow through to other budget areas to simplify the process," Nichols said. "Targetvue eliminates the need to correct and consolidate multiple spreadsheets for review and reporting. I can spread annual expenses over 12 months and do this with other metrics. I set up reports so at budget time I can see changes against prior years. This data goes to Execuvue for next year's forecast, which cuts hours of time off processing budget reports."Execuvue and Targetvue reports can combine actual results with budgeted or forecasted data. Pinnacle finds these tools to be valuable in evaluating financials. "Execuvue and Targetvue are essential tools for our budget season's processes," Nichols said. "Aptech developed several detailed reports for Pinnacle that provide vital statistics such as cost per occupied room, or percentage of room revenue for all expenses. Before, we would find ourselves sitting in budget review meetings with spreadsheets and Excel files feverishly calculating these amounts on our own. Now, everything is calculated for us with the click of a mouse. It has made our budgeting process flow much smoother."About PinnaclePinnacle Hotel Management was founded in 1997 by Ron Franklin and Dick Vilardo to develop and manage Marriott and Hilton branded hotels. Their first project, the 123-room Courtyard Orlando East/UCF opened in June of 1997. Since that time they have developed or purchased 37 additional hotels. Pinnacle's largest project to date is the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, a 304-room, full service hotel. The company manages its own hotels, as well as those owned by other companies. Pinnacle has completed 29 ground up hotel development projects in markets such as Washington, D.C., Florida, New England and California. Pinnacle has also successfully completed several brand conversion projects including the Courtyard Alexandria, Virginia, the Fairfield Inn and Suites Palm Beach, Florida Courtyard Key West, the Boston Courtyard Billerica/Bedford, Massachusetts, and the successful brand conversion of the Courtyard Marriott Philadelphia City Avenue.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.
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Nor1 and FirstView Announce Strategic Partnership Focused on Converting 3D, Virtual Reality and 360deg Hotel Content into Revenue

Nor1 ·13 June 2018
Silicon Valley, CA -- Nor1, the leader in hospitality merchandising technology and FirstView, a VR & 360deg content production studio are partnering to provide the hospitality industry with a perfect blend of room category and property-based rich content that highlights value and experience, with intelligent pricing and merchandising offers.Nor1 will embed FirstView's 3D Tours and Virtual Reality experiences with the goal of increasing the hotel guest's ability to quickly appreciate the value of every intelligently generated offer. All Nor1 products, including eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising and eReach now have the ability to leverage this high quality immersive content."The future of hotel merchandising, especially for room categories, will rely on generating intelligent offers that quickly drive guest engagement and interest," said Jason G. Bryant, Nor1's Founder and CEO. "We are excited to partner with FirstView and to jointly create offers that are personalized based on product, price and also the presentation layer. Different types of guests are driven by different types of media, some it's still photography others 3D walk-through tours and others animated views.""The type of content travelers expect is changing. Our partnership with Nor1 allows Hotel clients the ability to easily and efficiently create, manage and leverage 3D, 360deg, and VR content and immediately drive revenue and guest satisfaction," stated Antonio Batanero, FirstView's Co-Founder and CEO. "The early results on this approach are compelling, 4.5X more time spent on the hotel's website with a 128% Increase in web conversion on guest transactions."For more information about how your hotel can leverage 3D Tours and VR experiences to increase merchandising revenue and guest engagement, please visit www.nor1.com/VirtualReality.About Nor1, Inc. Nor1, Inc. is the leader in hospitality merchandising technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, with offices in Las Vegas, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Singapore and India, Nor1 provides data-driven pricing and merchandising solutions to maximize incremental revenues for hotels and resorts worldwide, such as Hilton, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor, and Wyndham.Nor1's patented, dynamic decisions intelligence engine PRiME powers Nor1's Pricing & Merchandising Intelligence Platform, which includes its signature eStandby Upgrade, eXpress Upgrade, CheckIn Merchandising, eReach, and eDirect products.Nor1 is creating the fusion between technology and guest experience. This combination of expertise and skill has set Nor1 apart as a leader in hospitality upgrade, upsell, and merchandising technology and continues to attract distinguished investors, such as Concur Technologies, Goldman Sachs, and Accel Partners.For more information, please contact sales@nor1.com or visit www.nor1.com.About FirstView FirstView is a diverse group of hoteliers, digital media specialists, producers, and media managers providing a completely new form of immersive 3D & VR media that invites hotel guests to explore a hotel as if they were really there. They create interactive experiences that not only engage hotel guests by bringing hotels to life but increase revenue and guest satisfaction as well. For more information, please visit www.firstview.us.
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La Corsha Hospitality Group Migrates to Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting

Aptech · 5 June 2018
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced La Corsha Hospitality Group implemented the PVNG Enterprise Accounting System across 10 properties. La Corsha converted from Aptech's Profitvue hotel accounting software to web-based PVNG to enable remote accounting operations and greater financial reporting flexibility. La Corsha (LCHG) operates a mix of managed and owned properties across Texas that includes hotels, restaurants and a multi-city parking company. Aptech is the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."We converted to PVNG Enterprise Accounting because LCHG wanted a web-based system that could handle its varied mix of hotels and restaurants with the flexibility of remote operations. PVNG does this for us very well," said Roberta McKenna, regional controller with La Corsha Hospitality Group. "Aptech converted our chart of accounts seamlessly from Profitvue to PVNG for all our companies. In our custom financial statements, the function I find particularly valuable is PVNG's ability to drill down into each number showing transactional level detail. The transparency this provides us gives confidence to owners and managers while making answering questions quick and easy."PVNG hotel accounting software also lets operators easily define user roles and system access to limit staff interaction with functions not necessary for their roles. "It is important to control what the staff sees and doesn't see within the system. We all play different roles within the organization. PVNG lets us grant individual staff access to certain modules they need for their level of work. We are able to segregate duties by role, so our Accounts Payable staff is limited to our Accounts Payable Module," McKenna said. "This is very important to auditors. By limiting staff access, we've created a control mechanism whereby we are not only reducing risk, but each person can work more efficiently with reduced errors. We have the ability to change access levels as a staff member's knowledge and responsibility increase and their role expands or changes."McKenna noted that PVNG's multi-company functionality is important to La Corsha. "Texas has unique reporting requirements that PVNG's flexible financials comply with easily. Also, since PVNG is web-based, many of our staff members can work remotely, me included. This increases productivity. We originally installed Aptech's Profitvue because it is hotel-specific. Aptech's excellent support and industry knowledge were part of the reason we upgraded to PVNG. Its team responds to our questions and system refinement suggestions quickly. Aptech's personalized professional service is exceptional and highly valuable to our operations."Jill Wilder, Aptech's vice president, said, "La Corsha is a long-term Aptech client. Its team's experience and operational suggestions contributed several valuable PVNG enhancements during their first months of use. We are grateful for their feedback. Aptech's staff works closely with users to continuously improve our enterprise accounting, business intelligence, and budgeting and forecasting systems."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 La Corsha Hospitality GroupLa Corsha Hospitality Group is an Austin, Texas-based management and consulting company founded in early 2006 by industry veteran Jeff Trigger. Trigger and his associates have an extensive background that specializes in operating luxury hotels, restoring and repositioning historic properties, and developing independent restaurants and bars. Examples of their work include downtown Austin's Driskill Hotel; Dallas' Mansion on Turtle Creek, Hotel Adolphus, and Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa; San Antonio's Saint Anthony Hotel; Big Spring's Hotel Settles; and Marfa's Hotel Saint George and La Venture Restaurant. La Corsha's restaurant development, Congress Austin, introduced the renowned 5-Star restaurant, Congress. For more information on La Corsha, click here.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.
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Benbria and Knowcross Announce Technology Partnership.

Benbria Corporation · 4 June 2018
Ottawa, Canada and Washington D.C., USA - June 4th, 2018 - Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel guest experience measurement and engagement solutions, announced today a strategic integration partnership with Knowcross, the global leader in providing software solutions for hospitality operations.This integration will allow a hotel's guests to send messages and requests, which hotel staff can receive and respond to via the Loop platform, from a wide range of preferred guest channels including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messages, and more. Hoteliers will also have the flexibility to embed guest communications and guest requests into their own app, through existing in-room tablets, or via a mobile browser; and directly interact with the hotel through KNOW Service."Guests are demanding the convenience of messaging on their preferred channel while hotels are demanding back-end technology which drives efficiency and cost-savings", commented Jordan Parsons, CEO at Benbria. "We pride ourselves on the growing number of guest-facing messaging channels that connect to our platform, which can be conveniently managed via our Loop Inbox by teams of any size. This integration with Knowcross means hoteliers can have the flexibility of using an omni-channel messaging solution while leveraging the efficiencies of world-class software which automates the handling of guest requests, complaints and maintenance jobs".Hoteliers using the combined Benbria and Knowcross platform will have access to a solution that simply outperforms others on the market today. By leveraging the omni-channel capabilities of the Loop platform, hoteliers can now make a one-time investment in a solution that is scalable to the ever-growing number of messaging channels that guests are demanding from the hotels to engage. With the ability to send requests directly into KNOW Service, they can drive efficiency and deliver faster service, which enhances the guest experience and has significant impact on the bottom line."KNOW Service is a very well-known solution and has consistently empowered hotels to reduce guest service time, increase staff productivity, minimize delays and wrong deliveries, identify trends, and analyze performances automatically" noted Nikhil Nath, CEO and Founder of Knowcross. "With the Benbria integration, we are pleased to provide hotels with an integrated guest-facing solution that is flexible and scalable, further enhancing the guest experience deliverance by hotels".Hoteliers interested in adding Loop's guest-facing messaging solution to their current KNOW Service system can speak directly with their Knowcross account executive, email sales@knowcross.com or call +1 866 601 5669.For Benbria clients interested in learning more about Knowcross and integration options for their existing Loop configuration may speak with their dedicated customer success manager, send a text message to +1-(613)-900-5856, or send a message via Facebook or Twitter.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in omni-channel customer experience measurement and engagement solutions, helping the world's most customer-centric brands deliver a superior experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, online, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, web, in-app and messaging channels, as well as kiosks - the company's Loop platform enables brands to capture real-time insights into the customer experience as well as message with them to engage or recover. The platform also directs this real-time customer feedback, requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to the right team members to deliver a timely and informed response.With over 1,400 client locations in 20 countries and a network of 10 global sales partners, Benbria offers both global reach and local expertise within multiple markets and verticals. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Nicole JardimBenbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.comBenbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop, Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse, and Loop OnDemand are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.About Knowcross Founded in 2002, Knowcross is a global leader in providing software products for hotel operations which help increase efficiency and enhance guest service, with a direct impact on the bottom-line.The Knowcross platform includes KNOW Service, KNOW Housekeeping, KNOW Glitch, KNOW Mobile, KNOW Inspection and KNOW Maintenance. The platform is cloud based (SaaS), supports multiple languages and allows extensive customization to suit the specific needs of each hotel. The platform is interfaced to a number of leading PMS systems, in-room control systems, messaging gateways and fire alarm systems.With a global customer base across 30 countries, the Knowcross client portfolio consists of some of the world's most well-known brands including Rosewood, Hyatt, IHG, Hilton, Kempinski, Carlson Rezidor, Shangri-La, Oberoi, Taj, Hoxton, and Aqua-Aston; as well as marquee independents such as Gansevoort Meatpacking, Sixty Soho, The Nomad New York, The Mark New York, Faena Miami, The Ned London, The Curtain London, The Halkin London, Le Bristol Paris, and Dolder Grand Zurich.For more information, call +1 866 601 5669, email sales@knowcross.com or visit www.knowcross.comMedia Contact:Mohit ChandKnowcrossmchand@knowcross.com
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Hotels Think They Are GDPR Compliant, But The Truth Is There Are No Universal Compliance Standards

TND NFC by Creating Revolutions ·23 May 2018
MIAMI, May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect globally on May 25, introducing dramatically stronger rules on data privacy. The EU hopes to achieve a fundamental change in the way companies think about data - its central idea is "privacy by default." But these new regulations are the broadest ever implemented by the EU, because they are not limited to just EU member nations. In fact, GDPR is worldwide, meaning every country must follow these new rules, or be fined up to 4% of a company's global annual revenue.Many industries will be looking for ways to become compliant with these new laws, but they will soon discover that there are no universal compliance standards, according to the EU's own website, under the section controversial topics. The hotel industry will be the most vulnerable.A Miami, Florida based company, Creating Revolutions, has built a groundbreaking solution to solve such a complex problem. Their multi-patented technology, uniquely solves the lack of universal compliance standards for GDPR by not attacking the liability problem, but instead removing the liability completely.Creating Revolution's communication technology allows smart guest to employee communication in a hotel. Unlike text messaging or SMS, private information is not used by design, while incredibly still maintaining full personalization for the guest. Rather than having to work within the scope of GDPR restrictions, Creating Revolutions does not use any private information, therefore offering zero liability to GDPR.The hotel industry is the most vulnerable because, compared to any other industry it's very focused, with only a few companies controlling the overwhelming majority of the market. This means the EU can go after fewer players, and get the biggest bang for their buck. These penalties are set to be the largest in history, at between 2% - 4% of a company's global annual revenue. Additionally, the hotel industry has more assets within the EU, compared to any other industry, making it much easier to collect those massive fines.Hotels are also specifically designed to attract foreigners, many of which are EU citizens. Unlike the retail or restaurant industry, when a guest checks in to a hotel, they are expected to give up personal information such as a driver's license, credit card, or even their passport. An EU citizen going into a restaurant in the US wouldn't give the hostess their passport, just the same as they wouldn't go to a retail store and hand over their credit card prior to shopping. Due to the majority of hotels requiring guests to give their credit card at check in, it is impossible to keep their personal information to themselves."Are You GDPR Ready have been some of the scariest words that have come across my computer screen. We are actively looking for innovative solution providers like Creating Revolutions, that can remove GDPR liabilities from our hotels," states Marc Lawrence, owner of The Anglers Hotel, a Kimpton Property.Hotel loyalty tools, websites, and guest communication services such as text messaging or SMS will be the most vulnerable to GDPR. Even if a third party is used, the hotel is still liable for any issues of compliance, as stated formally by the GDPR.Creating Revolution's technology, not only gives a hotel access to guest communication, but also offers the most advanced and immersive communication technology available to hotels today. While there is no universal standard for compliance of GDPR, using Creating Revolutions, hotels have a way of protecting themselves from what is considered the most broad and costly regulations in history.Hotels need to be proactive and think out of the box when implementing any technology that could open up highly expensive liabilities regarding privacy laws in the near future, and that's where pioneers like Creating Revolutions are the answer.

Opt in (to better marketing): the real intent of GDPR

Flip.to Blog·16 May 2018
There’s only days left until the May 25th deadline for GDPR compliance. Since our primer last month, we’ve continued to put a lot of thought into the regulation, its role in the marketing landscape, and traveler-focused approaches. That’s also meant making observations on how marketers the world around are handling it, too. Today, we got a fresh face on camera—Max, one of our front-end developers—to share some of our thoughts about one of the more rigorous aspects of GDPR compliance: opt-in and consents.
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Chartres Lodging Group and Kokua Hospitality Select Aptech for Business Intelligence, Budgeting/Forecasting, Enterprise Accounting

Aptech · 8 May 2018
Aptech Computer Systems announced Chartres Lodging Group, LLC and Kokua Hospitality, LLC have selected Aptech's suite of financial solutions; Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence, Targetvue, and PVNG to streamline the companies' data collection, analysis, forecasting, and reporting processes. Chartres Lodging Group, an investment and advisory company focused on the investment, asset management, and development of high-quality lodging assets, works in tandem with Kokua Hospitality, an independent hotel management company with a portfolio of independent and branded hotels throughout the mainland U.S. and Hawaii. The two San Francisco-based companies are pleased to join forces with Aptech, the leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."We wanted a proven hospitality budgeting and forecasting system that would provide our varied properties with accurate forecast reporting," said Andrea Mue, EVP and CFO for Chartres Lodging Group and Kokua Hospitality. "I have designed budget systems and understand what is important. We evaluated several systems and Aptech's Targetvue system's management of our specialized budgeting and forecasting needs out-performed the others." Chartres/Kokua also selected Aptech's cloud-based Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence, and PVNG Enterprise Accounting Systems. The systems are expected to be live in the Q2 of 2018."Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Accounting and Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence are integrated to seamlessly exchange data. This integration saves manual processing time and ensures accuracy," Mue said. "We know the importance and value of investing in business intelligence and look forward to having our monthly reporting packages deliver more performance information in flexible formats. Kokua's property teams will benefit from greater corporate visibility into operations, while our corporate team and our owners will benefit from the teams' ability to optimize profitability and manage by the numbers.""Kokua Hospitality is a flexible operator with a portfolio of multiple brands and independents that span the country. Aptech's integrated cloud-based systems are a good fit for their operation," said Jill Wilder, Aptech VP. "Our systems will gather data from each hotel for centralized analysis and performance reporting to support management decisions. Both of our companies understand the importance of providing value and service. The Aptech professional team is committed to Chartres' and Kokua's success."Aptech's professional team will be hosting meetings at BITAC May 15 -17 at the Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida. Please call Aptech at 800-245-0720 or 412-963-7440 to schedule a meeting.Aptech Computer Systems is both an IBM and Prophix Business Partner. It offers Execuvue web-enabled Hospitality 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 Chartres Lodging Group, LLCThe Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, is an investment and advisory company focused on the investment, asset management, and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. As investors, Chartres' team of experts brings operational knowledge, market intelligence, and an entrepreneurial mindset to each asset under management. Augmenting our investment professionals, Charters Lodging's in-house development management team has extensive development and renovation experience. Together with its subsidiary property management company, Kokua Hospitality, LLC, and a network of consultants and industry experts, Chartres Lodging is the one-stop company for hotel and hospitality asset investment and management. Chartres Lodging is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. For more information on The Chartres Lodging Group, please visit www.chartreslodging.com About Kokua Hospitality, LLCKokua Hospitality, LLC is an independent hotel management company founded with the drive to become the operator of choice for strategic institutional and select private lodging investors. Created by veteran lodging investment and management experts to appeal to an investor's sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends best-in-class operating practices with an owner's DNA, while serving as an extension of their ownership teams. The San Francisco-based company manages a diverse portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide, including a constantly growing collection on the West Coast and in Hawaii. Kokua Hospitality and their partners received such honors as Hyatt Hotels & Resorts' Full Service Adaptive Reuse Project of the Year 2017 and NAIOP Hawaii's Renovation Project Award of Excellence 2017 for the development of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach; both testaments to Kokua's expertise in successful asset repositionings and conversions. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit www.kokuahospitality.com and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.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.
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Benbria Announces Compliance with European Data Protection Regulations.

Benbria Corporation · 3 May 2018
Ottawa, Ontario -- Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel messaging and customer experience measurement solutions, announced to clients and partners today its compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation, or "GDPR" which will become enforceable on May 25, 2018.The GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. As a cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, Benbria sees this as an opportunity to improve data security for all customers on the Loop platform including customers using Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse and Loop OnDemand. As a global leader of omni-channel messaging and measurement software solutions, Benbria will raise the bar with this initiative.A key element of GDPR compliance is consumer transparency. Benbria will continue to be transparent in how it manages and uses consumer personal data to provide service. Benbria commits to cooperating with customers to help facilitate their respective data protection rights regarding personal data. In addition, European consumers may now request to be forgotten and will have a right to obtain from Benbria an erasure of personal data without undue delay, if they wish to withdraw consent.Lastly, GDPR calls for prompt action in the event of a breach of security or unintended leak of personal data. While Benbria maintains top-level security policies and processes customer data in facilities with world-class security infrastructure, the company is prepared for every scenario. Benbria, in cooperation with their partners and policies, commits to being forthright and transparent about any compromise to customer data. In the event that Benbria becomes aware of any unauthorized access or disclosure of personal data, Benbria will promptly take action to provide awareness and reestablish trust amongst our customers, to the extent such notification is permitted by applicable law."Our focus on information and data security have always been a major benefit of using Loop, as we already built our platform to comply with well-established regulations in several global markets. This includes our home country of Canada, where many countries and regulators have turned to as a reference point for best practices," said James Geneau, VP of Marketing at Benbria. "These further enhancements to comply with GDPR means we are even better positioned to offer a solution that can meet the needs of our existing and growing list of clients based in Europe, and around the globe."Businesses using the Loop platform can respond to messages through a wide selection of channels including SMS, E-mail, proprietary web chat, in-App chat, physical kiosks and messaging channels like Facebook and Twitter; while having the ability to seamlessly route them to key internal team members. In addition, businesses can measure customer satisfaction in real-time using short and timely feedback surveys which capture customer sentiment and satisfaction at any point of the customer journey.These additional GDPR related compliance steps come into effect today, ahead of when the regulation becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018.Companies in Europe can request to connect with their dedicated Benbria team member by visiting www.benbria.com/contact-us.About Benbria Benbria is a leader in omni-channel customer engagement solutions, helping the world's greatest brands deliver a superior guest experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, online, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, web, in-app and messaging channels, as well as kiosks - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and team members for action and closure.With over 1,400 client locations in 20 countries, a network of 10 global sales partners, and the ability integrate with over 60 PMS and SOS solutions, Benbria offers both global reach and expertise with the hospitality industry's largest network of integration partners. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Nicole Jardim Benbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.com

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