News Briefs

  • 11/19/2023

    Cendyn, SiteMinder Form Strategic Partnership

    merger handshake deal

    Cendyn  and SiteMinder announce a strategic partnership to mutually grow each other’s revenue management capabilities for the benefit of more than 70,000 hotels.

    Through the partnership, Cendyn customers can now gain full access to SiteMinder’s revenue platform to complement the capabilities they receive through Cendyn’s central reservations system (CRS), which for the sixth consecutive year was voted the ‘Best Central Reservations System’ by the 2023 Hotel Tech Awards. SiteMinder’s revenue platform will provide Cendyn’s customers with the ability to manage their rate plans and inventory through SiteMinder. Additionally, they will be able to access SiteMinder’s complete ecosystem of distribution channels—the largest ecosystem for the hotel industry—to gain a more dynamic mix of revenue streams and increase their speed-to-market.

    For SiteMinder’s hotel customers, the benefit will come through enhancements and optimized features in SiteMinder’s platform, informed by insights from Cendyn’s own hotel performance data.

    Michael Bennett, President at Cendyn, says, “We are delighted to deepen our long-standing relationship with SiteMinder to provide our hotel customers the opportunity to tap into new streams of revenue, quickly and easily.  It’s exciting to extend this strength in revenue generation to our customers around the globe as SiteMinder stands out as a strong technology partner for hotels.”

    Adds Jonathan Bedford, Chief Sales Officer at SiteMinder, “Cendyn is a true market le

    Cendyn and SiteMinder first partnered in 2018, upon the launch of SiteMinder Exchange, which enabled hotel data to be transferred between property management systems and hotel applications, such as Cendyn’s customer relationship management (CRM), for the first time. SiteMinder Exchange culminated in the launch of SiteMinder’s Hotel App Store, which in 2019 formed the first marketplace to allow hotels of all sizes to connect applications to their business systems for greater guest experiences and revenue.

  • 11/19/2023

    Omni Hotels and Resorts Updates Select Guest Loyalty Program

    Omni Hotels updated logo

    Omni Hotels & Resorts has announced new details about its enhanced Select Guest Loyalty Program making it easier and faster to achieve and retain Select Guest Status. Representing the first major program transformation in a decade, members will now be recognized and rewarded based on all the experiences they enjoy during their stay.

    The Select Guest Loyalty Program reflects Omni Hotels & Resorts’ philosophy that experiences matter and incentivizes guests to explore more destinations, more on-property experiences, more frequently. Loyalty members will continue to earn rewards at the same rate as today for each night of their stay. In addition, they will now also earn rewards each time they dine at any on-property restaurant, play a round of golf, spend a relaxing day at the spa, or charge just about anything to their room. Furthermore, members will be able to quickly accelerate their status tier in the program based on their total spend.

    “Amidst a landscape where many loyalty programs are reducing benefits, we’re genuinely adding value to our member experience and making it easier to enjoy unique perks and achieve free nights" says Josh Belkin, Vice President of Loyalty & Customer Engagement at Omni Hotels & Resorts. "Our decision to enhance the Select Guest Loyalty program aligns with our dedication to inspire both our existing members and new guests, encouraging deeper engagement with the diverse and rich offerings across our 50+ properties."

    Revamped Loyalty Tiers

    Beginning in 2024, Omni will introduce revamped tier names and structure. The new tiers progress from Member to Insider to Champion to Icon Status, each delivering increasing levels of recognition, benefits, and free nights. Select Guest Status will now be determined by members’ on-property spend accumulated within each calendar year.

    The new program will enable Members to achieve higher levels of status after even a single stay. For example, Insider Status requires only $1,000 of spend during their stay. “We wanted to make this level achievable to encourage guests to return and enjoy a higher level of benefits on their next stay,” adds Belkin.

    Select Guests earn rewards – to be called Omni Credits – for every night stayed and for purchases beyond the room. Omni prides itself in providing guests with authentic local experiences, and the updated program is designed to make sure members make the most of everything the property has to offer. From beachside resorts to city-center hotels, Members can redeem a free night reward for the same 100 Omni Credits at all 50+ properties.

    Based on member feedback, Omni will continue to offer popular and distinct benefits from the current program, including:

    ·        Free night rewards redeemable at any Omni hotel or resort (no complicated redemption categories or award charts)

    ·        Exclusive access to on-property Loyalty Ambassadors delivering personalized service

    ·        A selection of complimentary amenities such as Wi-Fi and beverages.

    ·        Unique in-stay benefits such as complimentary clothes pressing, shoeshine service, and morning beverage delivery to the guest room

    ·        Confirmed suite upgrade at time of booking when redeeming a free night (with Icon Status)

    The Status tier achieved by members by the end of 2023 will be honored at an equivalent level throughout calendar year 2024. The spending power of existing award credits remains unchanged.

    To learn more about the new Select Guest Loyalty program, visit omnihotels.com/loyalty/new-select-guest-2024.  

  • 11/19/2023

    Tillman Digital Cities Debuts Self-Funded Connectivity Suite to Help Commercial Real Estate Properties Catch Up

    man conjuring data integration

    Tillman Digital Cities (TDC), a leading provider of technology and connectivity infrastructure for commercial real estate properties, is announcing a new suite of services designed to eliminate the financial and operational stress from setting up, upgrading, or maintaining in-building connectivity for building owners, managers, and landlords.

    The commercial real estate market faces impending crisis. A monumental $1.5 trillion in bank notes are due despite a near 40% drop in occupancy compared to pre-COVID-pandemic occupancy rates and landlords are feeling the heat. With many properties in desperate need of connectivity upgrades and no capex to make it happen, TDC removes that burden by self-funding all required physical equipment costs.

    The TDC services suite solution is customized based on every building’s unique setup and usually includes a combination of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Distributed Radio Access Networks (DRAN), and Private 5G and LTE networks. TDC owns and operates all the equipment and this unique approach removes unnecessary steps from the traditional model, such as dealing with several different carriers at once, and enables building owner to move more quickly in enacting upgrades.

    “The vast majority of commercial properties is not up to date from a connectivity stand-point and building owners generally don’t have the funds to upgrade their technology stacks,” said TDC COO Joel McIntyre. “Tillman Digital Cities is funding this critical infrastructure update, bringing connectivity up to today’s standard and helping compel workers to return to the office.”

     TDC has previously been selected as the connectivity provider for Penn Entertainment and is part of the Tillman Global Holding family of companies, formed by telecom magnate Sanjiv Ahuja. The parent company has developed more than 6,000 mobile towers across 20 different countries by partnering with many of the world’s leading operators.

  • 11/19/2023

    ConverseNow, ItsaCheckmate Partner to Streamline AI-Powered Ordering for Restaurants

    colored cogs hands on a table

    ConverseNow, a provider of AI-powered conversational ordering solutions for restaurants,  announced a partnership with Its Checkmate, a  first and third-party online ordering technology. The partnership will enable ConverseNow to integrate its AI-powered ordering platform quickly and easily with dozens of POS systems, significantly reducing onboarding time for new customers.

    Addressing a key challenge for restaurants: the need to integrate new technologies with POS systems and integrate menu management, this partnership is a win-win for the industry. Prior to this partnership, new ConverseNow customers had to create a menu integration for every POS they used, adding significant time to the onboarding process. By combining its AI expertise with ItsaCheckmate's POS integration capabilities, restaurants can now adopt AI-powered ordering solutions without the need for custom development work, reducing overall integration times.

    This partnership further enables ConverseNow to focus on the application of generative AI, which, with the recent integration of Google Bard and Open AI, is pushing for AI ordering conversations to become increasingly more fluid and complex. It is night and day compared to solutions deployed just one year ago that were based on scripted or predictive behavior, leading to restaurants being able to quickly adapt to the needs of more customers. AI is also helping improve restaurant efficiency by using customer data and business metrics, monitoring ingredient use, adjusting menus around consumer trends, and even managing reservations based on the number of people in a party.

    ConverseNow's Voice AI technology is used by restaurants in 46 states across the U.S. to enhance the customer experience. Additionally, over 2,500 restaurant brands use ItsaCheckmate to seamlessly integrate their POS systems with third-party ordering platforms and grow their business.

    "We are excited to partner with ItsaCheckmate to bring our AI-powered ordering solution to more restaurants," said Vinay Shukla, CEO of ConverseNow. "ItsaCheckmate's deep expertise in POS integrations will allow us to focus on what we do best – developing innovative AI solutions that help restaurants improve their customer experience and increase sales."

    "This partnership is one more step in the direction of the future of restaurants," continued Shukla, "By streamlining the integration process of menus into the POS systems, our customers will benefit from a go-to-market product with less onboarding time. At ConverseNow, we're constantly looking at ways we can enhance our generative AI platform; this integration is one of many recent developments, and we've got so much more to announce before the end of 2023."

    "I truly believe voice AI is the next big digital channel, but its adoption has been slower than expected because of the high cost of onboarding and the need to prove out the ROI to restaurant operators," said Vishal Agarwal, Founder and CEO of ItsaCheckmate. "With this partnership, ItsaCheckmate aims to bring voice AI to restaurants of all sizes, providing them with technology that's fully integrated with their POS, requires zero cost to onboard, and our free pilot will help prove out the ROI with no risk to restaurants."

  • 11/19/2023

    Docyt Partners with Scarlet Connect to Help Hotels Manage Reputation Effectively

    integration two blue puzzle pieces integrating
    Docytan AI-powered accounting automation platform delivering real-time accounting and financial reporting, announces a strategic partnership with hotel management solution Scarlet Connect.
     
    This partnership aims to bring a seamless and comprehensive approach to hotel reputation management. Scarlet Connect’s modern approach focuses on generating positive guest reviews on public sites while catching negative guest sentiment through internal guest surveys and proactive communication before they happen.
     
    Scarlet Connect was developed by a team of experienced hoteliers who bring a wealth of industry expertise and knowledge to the table. With the rapid evolution of the digital landscape, online feedback can quickly shape or shatter a hotel's brand and reputation; the Scarlet Connect platform emphasizes the crucial role reputation plays in driving business success. Scarlet Connect provides easy-to-use solutions to empower hotel owners to safeguard their reputation, ensuring improved sales and continued customer loyalty.
     
    With the addition of Scarlet Connect, Docyt now has the capability to retrieve and monitor guest sentiment data automatically. This capability empowers Docyt's customers to make informed data-driven decisions with access to real-time insights conveniently displayed on a centralized dashboard. The ease of tracking financial and non-financial metrics in a single view streamlines data gathering, making it easy for hoteliers and their staff to understand a hotel’s business performance.
     
    "We are thrilled to collaborate with Scarlet Connect on this innovative endeavor," said Sugam Pandey, CTO and Co-Founder of Docyt. "This partnership further enhances our accounting automation platform by providing a proactive solution for hotels to protect their brand by managing public scores and reviews, which is critical in today's digital landscape."
     
    Pandey further commented, “Our open platform approach and ongoing partnerships with innovative companies with deep expertise in hospitality like Scarlet Connect will pave the way for specialized value for specific verticals, setting new benchmarks for customer satisfaction and experience." 
     
    "We believe that partnering with Docyt is a significant step in the right direction for our vision of revolutionizing the hospitality industry," stated Seth Kines, CEO of Scarlet Connect. "Docyt's accounting automation expertise complements our Guest Messaging and Reputation Management solutions, and together, we can offer a powerful solution that addresses the needs of hoteliers effectively."
     
    To learn more visit www.docyt.com.
     
  • 11/19/2023

    SoundHound AI Debuts Employee Assist Voice AI Product for Restaurants

    SoundHound voice AI assist

    SoundHound AI Inc. is now offering Employee Assist, a new state-of-the-art conversational AI product that supports restaurant employees by allowing them to instantly learn critical information about food, tasks, and other operations without having to reach for a manual or distract another busy member of staff.

    Employee Assist is a voice AI technology that enables restaurant employees from both the front and back-of-house to ask a custom-trained voice assistant critical questions – and get immediate responses – completely hands-free.

    Easily accessible via a headset or tablet, this groundbreaking product uses SoundHound’s voice AI with generative AI capabilities to learn and understand instruction manuals, ingredient and allergen information and more. It then relays this knowledge directly to employees via their headsets as part of a fluid two-way conversation, with the system able to answer any question (and follow-up questions).

    This new automation tool helps restaurant workers access the information they need instantly – even if they’re new on the job.

    Employee Assist requests may include:

    • Information about food and drink items – including ingredients, allergens, and coaching on preparation
    • Business FAQs – like opening hours, holiday closures, baby changing or disabled facilities
    • Updates on the managers log and important daily tasks to be completed

    Employee Assist helps restaurant operators reduce the natural friction that comes with inexperienced and multitasking employees trying to complete orders. Now they can be coached step-by-step by Employee Assist – avoiding the need to remove their gloves, consult a manual, or distract another employee.

    The technology also understands natural human speech without employees having to modify the way they talk.

     A recent SoundHound consumer study found that technology is now one of the top three most critical factors driving restaurant customer satisfaction.

    You can watch a demo of Employee Assist here. To learn more about restaurant solutions from SoundHound AI, visit www.soundhound.com.

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