News Briefs

  • 9/18/2023

    American Hotel & Lodging Association and Hotel Association of Canada Announce expansion of Green Key Global Sustainability Certification Program in Canada and the U.S. Through Joint venture Partnership

    Today, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) have signed a Letter of Intent to form a joint venture company that will own and operate the Green Key Global certification program in the United States and Canada. The announcement, made at the Lodging Conference in Phoenix, represents a pivotal moment for environmental action in the hotel industry.

    Green Key Global is a North American environmental certification body for the hotel and lodging industry. Green Key’s certification criteria are recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and aligned with all 17 of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Properties receive an eco-rating through a rigorous assessment and audit process that measures hotel performance in a number of key areas including energy and water conservation, land use, hazardous and solid waste management, air quality and more.

    The program and resources offered by Green Key Global leverage an organization’s sustainability initiatives across properties and brands to increase occupancy, provide cost savings, and reduce its carbon footprint – as well as align with corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

    Pending all necessary approvals, AHLA and HAC will form a joint-venture company in early 2024 that will operate under the name Green Key Global to expand the success of the program in Canada into the U.S. hotel market. This will build upon on AHLA’s Responsible Stay initiative, launched in December 2022, which aligned AHLA member companies’ commitment around four key pillars of sustainability: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing.

    HAC created the Green Key Global initiative in 1994 as a certifying body for hotels in Canada and abroad. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program has since achieved wide adoption across Canada, due to its ease of use and its tailored approach to improving the sustainability of hotel operations.

    “Increasingly, business, group and leisure travelers want to know they’re staying in a hotel that shares their commitment to protecting the environment, and AHLA is excited to enable and support its members’ ability to meet guest expectations by bringing Green Key Global certifications to branded and independent hotels across the U.S. and Cananda,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “The Hotel Association of Canada is a pioneer in this field, and we are excited to partner with them to empower hoteliers and guests while making hospitality more sustainable.”

    "Through this partnership, Green Key Global will unite the hotel industry behind a North American standard of sustainable certification," said Susie Grynol, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada. "Our best-in-class program will allow hotels to exceed the expectations of their eco-conscious travelers through a third-party validation of their sustainable practices. There is much to celebrate here.”

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

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    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 9/18/2023

    Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Establishes Foundations for Future Generational Success with Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications

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    Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, a Native American Tribe in Southern California, has standardized its growing business and government operations on Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite to support its mission of being a self-sustaining, independent Tribe. With a single integrated applications suite to manage its finance, HR, and supply chain processes, the Tribe has been able to redesign operations to support its rapid growth and multiple new ventures, increase visibility across the organization, and improve decision making for current and future generations.

    Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indian has established business and governmental operations on its sovereign lands in Southern California, including Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella California, Tortoise Rock Casino, adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park and its Tribal Government Offices. To support the growing and unique needs of its business and government operations, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians needed to replace numerous existing accounting, HR, inventory, and procurement systems which were creating time-consuming, manual processes and making it difficult to scale. After careful evaluation, the Tribe selected Oracle Fusion Applications to improve the efficiency of its operations and support the Tribe’s long-term vision. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is one of the first casino-based businesses outside of Las Vegas to engage with Oracle on this potent operating system.

    “Operating as a sovereign nation first and a business second, we always take a forward-thinking approach to every decision we make, planning for seven generations ahead,” said Darrell Mike, Tribal Chairman, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. “When thinking about the future success of our Tribe, we knew we needed to have a strong foundation, not just in our leadership and vision, but with our technology as well. Our decision to implement Oracle Fusion Applications was one that we believe will not only help us achieve short-term success but will also solidify our future success 150+ years down the road.”

    With Oracle Fusion Applications, the Tribe has leveraged the cloud to break down organizational silos, standardize and automate processes, and manage finance, HR, and supply chain data on a single integrated cloud platform. With quarterly update cycles, the Tribe has access to new features that are added every 90 days without business disruption.

    “We have a complex business model that involves administration and management of Tribal services and utilities, gaming and future hospitality ventures including hotels, and will eventually diversify further in support of our vision for growth,” said Anthony Kosturos, chief financial officer, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. “With Oracle Fusion Applications, we consolidated 12 different business systems on a single integrated cloud platform, which has significantly improved insights and how we run our organization. With Oracle’s strong track record in gaming and hospitality, we knew we were getting a system that would cover everything we needed now and will continue to evolve with our organization as we further diversify and grow in the future.”

    Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has enabled the Tribe to increase the speed and accuracy of financial processes, improve business visibility, and enhance controls. For example, intelligent document recognition capabilities have tripled the number of transactions it can process each day. Additionally, by consolidating more than six different HR systems with Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM), the Tribe has been able to centralize HR operations, simplify complex processes, and generate better workforce insights. Finally, Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM) has helped Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians manage the complete source-to-settle cycle to minimize costs and risk and simplify supplier management.

    The Tribe is also expanding into new modules and capabilities within Oracle Cloud ERP. The organization is currently implementing Project Management and Grant Management modules to help increase productivity, tighten financial controls, and improve compliance.

    “Government, gaming, and hospitality operating models are very different and have unique complexities. For Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, and other Native American Tribes that operate across all three areas, these challenges are compounded,” said Steve Miranda, executive vice president of applications development, Oracle. “By standardizing processes across its operations with Oracle Fusion Applications, the Tribe has been able to increase efficiencies, ensure access to the latest innovations, and establish a strong foundation for future generations to build from.”

  • 9/18/2023

    SageNet Launches New Alliance Partner Program

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    SageNet, a Tulsa-based managed network, digital experience and security services provider, has launched a new Alliance Partner Program.  The company created the strategic initiative to strengthen its commitment to providing multi-site retailers with comprehensive network connectivity and digital signage solutions and ensure that its customers continue to thrive in an ever-evolving retail environment.

    “The Alliance Partner Program signifies our dedication to building even stronger relationships with our strategic partners,” said SageNet CEO Brad Wise. “It’s a win-win-win situation. Our partners play an invaluable role in delivering superior solutions to our customers. The Alliance Partner Program provides a platform to amplify success for SageNet, our partners, and most importantly, our customers.”

    The program will use a structured framework to provide partners with the exclusive resources, tools and guidance they need to ensure seamless communication, improved service delivery, and a streamlined customer experience. Partners will have access to a dedicated partner manager, joint marketing initiatives, and comprehensive training to meet the changing needs of multi-site retailers.

    Patrick Winchester has been appointed as Director of Strategic Alliances to lead the new initiative. In the newly created position, Winchester will be responsible for building and growing strong, consistent relationships with partner companies that can help grow the businesses of SageNet’s customers. Winchester enters this position with more than 20 years of experience in maximizing both customer and partner engagement. He has led deployments for retail enterprise store solutions, hardware and software product launches, and implemented go-to-market strategies for both direct and indirect end-users.

    Winchester’s vision for the program includes outstanding field support and a desire to co-market and co-sell in accounts. He aims to build joint collaborative plans and share access to the latest innovations and technology. According to Winchester, the extensive partner platform will detail how the company engages with its partners and amplifies the value of being better together.

    “We want to continue building a platform to leverage all the things we do well, because we have a tremendous amount of market knowledge and expertise in different industries. We’re unique, and we want to show our partners the value of working with us.”

    Winchester said a key part of his work as Director of Strategic Alliances will be to show how easy it is to work with SageNet.

    “We’re transparent and measured, able to show them business objectives that align with measured results. Those things lead to successful partnerships. We’re thinking outside the box with our partners, and together we can amplify everything we do.”

    SageNet invites interested companies to explore the benefits of joining the Alliance Partner Program and collaborating with them in their mission to deliver the best possible service to their valued clients. For more information about the Alliance Partner Program, visit

  • 9/18/2023

    Zebra Technologies Introduces Enterprise-Grade Mobile Payment Solution

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    Zebra Technologies Corp. launched Zebra Pay, an integrated, enterprise-grade, SPoC-based mobile payment solution for the retail, hospitality, entertainment, field mobility, and logistics industries.

    This solution runs on standard Google Mobile Services (GMS) and the latest Android operating system (OS). As a software-based, pin entry, consumer off the shelf (SPoC/COTS) solution, Zebra Pay empowers businesses to accept payments on Zebra’s multifunctional mobile computers and tablets, transforming them into secure payment terminals.

    According to the latest Global Payments Report by FIS, mobile wallets and card-based payments are projected to account for nearly 88% of all in-person transactions by 2026.  

    Zebra Pay is available on Zebra’s TC5x and TC7x mobile computer series and ET4x tablets. The solution enables retail associates, hospitality workers and logistics employees to carry a complete mPOS in-hand to accept secure, contactless digital wallets, chip and PIN-based card payments almost anywhere.

    Zebra Pay expands the mobile payment capabilities on compatible mobile devices to include line busting, assisted selling, extended aisle, curbside and field-based sales and reduces the need for customers to support multiple devices. Moreover, the solution leverages Payment Card Industry (PCI) certified, cloud-based security and provides customers with the ability to install any application from their enterprise mobility management system or Google Play store without requiring special keys or permission.

    The solution is built in accordance with PCI standards and is EMV Level 3 certified to support the delivery of seamless, secure chip card payments globally. It also works with all major credit card networks and payment types including NFC-contactless tap, chip, and magnetic stripe.

    Zebra Pay is certified with Global Payments in EMEA and Worldpay from FIS in North America – with additional acquirers including Fiserv coming soon – allowing fast deployments with no development or gateway fees. It is also Visa Ready, meeting Visa's requirements for an optimal Tap to Pay POS acceptance experience.

    Zebra Pay enables business owners to rapidly deploy and activate the solution on existing devices, while the cloud-based Zebra Pay Merchant Portal gives them complete visibility into deployments, hardware status, transactions, and an audit trail for all its locations.

  • 9/18/2023

    Shipley Do-Nuts Rolls Out Loyalty Program

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    Shipley Do-Nuts, one of the nation’s largest do-nut brands, is offering guests its first loyalty program, Do-Happy Rewards, at all 340-plus locations. 

    Everyone who joins the program will instantly be awarded two free signature glazed do-nuts. Do-Happy Rewards members earn five points for every $1 they spend to unlock rewards that range from free do-nuts and kolaches to Shipley merchandise and 99-cent coffees. The more points reward members earn, the higher their membership level, leading to more exclusive offers and discounts. The app also allows for easy, streamlined online ordering for pickup or delivery.

    “We began testing Do-Happy Rewards in early 2023 in our company-owned shops, and it was well received, with strong initial sign-ups and positive consumer feedback that told us there’s a real appetite for the program,” said Shipley Do-Nuts CEO Flynn Dekker. “With this launch, we can thank our devoted guests the best way we know how – with free do-nuts, merch and other menu items – while offering simpler online ordering and driving business for our franchisees.”

    As of Sept. 1, Do-Happy Rewards had more than 40,000 members who are spending 60% more than non-loyalty members. Rewards members also visited about twice a month as the program rolled out. 

    The new loyalty program is the latest of many tech upgrades for the 87-year-old brand as it plans to nearly double in size over the next five years. It has also launched a new website, rolled out online ordering and third-party delivery, and implemented a digital training platform. The company recently opened new territories for development in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio and is actively recruiting franchisees in Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida and throughout the Southeast. 

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