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1 Month Remains to Nominate a Hotel for the 2017 Visionary Awards

Hospitality Technology is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Visionary Awards. The Visionary Awards, being underwritten by Datatrend as part of the HT-NEXT Awards program also including the TechOvation awards, seeks to honor hotel companies for outstanding achievement, vision and leadership in technological innovation. 
The Hotel Visionary Awards, now celebrating 13 years, are presented in two categories: enterprise innovation and customer-facing innovation. In order to ensure that companies from across the industry are recognized for their efforts, consideration is given to size, resources and individual market segment benchmarks. Winners are chosen for their thought leadership, execution and forward-thinking vision.
Last year, Grand View Lodge won the Customer-Facing Technology Innovator award. With more than 3,000 activities booked online in 2015 alone, the scope of the property's events and excursions is vital to living up to the promise of its tagline "Creating Memories." However, the property was having a hard time scheduling and managing the events.
The resort used a paper sign-up process, which meant that guests couldn’t manage and monitor their agendas. Activities often filled to capacity because the resort lacked a method to track real-time registrations, leaving some guests disappointed that they couldn’t participate. Lacking a clear way to communicate with guests about activity locations, agenda updates, or restrictions on activities (such as requirements), staff members regularly fielded questions, or guests neglected to show up or even register in the first place. This all led to internal issues for the Grand View Lodge staff. Signing up guests for dining, spa appointments, golf and other activities created extensive time spent on the phone. Meanwhile guest no-shows led to overstaffing and paper sign-ups often resulted in miscommunications.
With Agilysys, the hotel was able to create Grand View Lodge Digital Concierge . The web-based application integrates with all of the property’s reservation products for everything from the PMS to dining reservations, scheduling tee times and even spa appointments. The system is able to draw from other software automatically without having duplicate information. The Digital Concierge is cross-platform and accessible by any device with access to the Internet, allowing guests to easily sign up for activities on their own and see available slots and how many people are left to fill a certain activity. This allows management to prepare the proper amount of staff and add additional activities if needed. When guests are done arranging their activities, they can see their itinerary anytime. The night before their activities, they are sent a text reminding them of what they have planned the next day to help reduce no-shows.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide won the 2016 Enterprise Innovator winner in 2016 for leveraging the collective strength of the Starwood system — linking finance, procurement, operations, and business intelligence — to create a global standardized Procure 2 Pay solution. The undertaking was no small feat with a lofty set of goals including: consistent and efficient spend visibility, strengthened financial controls, accounts payable automation, information technology support, supplier tracking, and overall improved hotel operations. This entailed consolidating information from more than 12 different systems globally into one cloud-based system.

With help from BirchStreet Systems and Lexmark, the hotel chain was able to achieve its goal. For instance, the partnership with BirchStreet streamlines processes by enabling modules to interact, syncing items such as inventory and costing into the POS. Meahwhile, a supplier can email an invoice through Lexmark’s RSOL technology and it will go through the e-procurement system, automatically create an invoice, auto-match to the PO and Receiving documents and post into the accounting system without a single touch.
Just one year into the anticipated three years it will take for full deployment, and the company realized a 25 percentage point improvement in financial control processes and 67 percentage point improvement in process automation.  Other results included a 100% electronic capture of all invoices and a reduction of IT costs by $1.5 million/year.
To read more about either of our winners from last year, visit:
To nominate a company for the 2017 awards, please fill out the nomination form no later than February 3, 2017. Winners shall be notified on or about February 24, 2017 and awards will be presented live at HT-NEXT at The Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Technology vendors are encouraged to nominate hotel companies, but are not themselves eligible to receive an award.
HT-NEXT will take place April 10–13, 2017 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla. HT-NEXT is the first industry-leading event uniting HT’s Hotel Technology Forum and HTNG’s North American into one immersive networking and educational event for hotel executives and solution providers. Honorees will also be profiled in the cover story of the June 2017 issue of Hospitality Technology magazine.
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