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  • 4/17/2024

    PPDS Delivers Seamless Guest Room Casting for Hotels with New All-in-One Philips Cast Server

    person casting onto guestroom tv

    PPDS, the exclusive global provider of Philips Professional Displays, is delighted to announce the launch of Philips Cast Server, a brand new, dedicated, and highly innovative hotel TV solution designed to deliver seamless and secure casting and app streaming experiences for hoteliers and their guests alike.

    Marking the latest evolution in PPDS’ strategy to deliver a full suite of ‘total solutions’ covering needs across the hospitality industry – including an advanced portfolio of Philips hotel TVsaudio solutionsdigital signagedvLEDePaper and complementary solutions – the new all-in-one Philips Cast Server works together with PPDS’ CMND, and hotel PMSs, to bring a wealth of new capabilities for hotels of all sizes. This includes delivering opportunities to create unique and fully tailored entertainment experiences built around the needs and requirements of individual guests.

    Teased at ISE 2024, and compatible with PPDS’s unique Chromecast-built-in™ Philips MediaSuite and recently launched Philips Hospitality TV 4500 Series, the Philips Cast Server has been developed using invaluable feedback from customers, hotel managers and guests. Small and lightweight, the single unit rack mounted device brings a new option for installations, seamlessly integrating into a hotel’s existing IP network to deliver a secure and private connection, with full remote management access, allowing guests to simply access and cast their own content directly to their in room TVs.

    Simple and secure casting / analytics 

    Built and designed with simplicity in mind, guests can pair their phone or other mobile device with the TV by scanning the QR code displayed on the TV screen, with no need to connect to an alternative WiFi network. Once the pairing process is successful, guests can instantly and securely cast content from their preferred accounts (including DAZN, Disney+, Prime, YouTube™, and more) directly onto the TV.

    Mirroring the experience of other Chromecast built-in™ Philips Professional TVs, using Philips Cast Server content can be cast and viewed within seconds of a guest entering the room, with TVs – even those in standby mode – responding and becoming active upon the universally recognized Chromecast symbol being tapped on their cast-enabled app. 

    Furthermore, Philips Cast Server offers hoteliers access to a fully GDPR compliant system, delivering relevant management statistics on the usage of cast applications (such as the popularity of YouTube, Prime, etc.) – with all personal data removed – helping to gain greater insight into user habits for any future decision making. And that is not all. 

    The personal touch

    Adding a personal touch to TVs, the Philips Cast Server has been built around the benefits of PPDS’ exclusive professional grade CMND platform, offering hoteliers a range of on-screen customization opportunities, including tailored backgrounds (colors and images) to suit their company branding on a highly intuitive TV user interface. 

    Upon check in, the user interface for each TV can be set to the preferred language of guests, for more tailored, user friendly experiences. 

    According to a recent survey, 67 per cent of hotels continue to experience staff shortages in 2023, with 12 per cent describing themselves as “severely understaffed”, meaning the shortage is affecting their ability to operate. With Philips Cast Server, combined with the benefits of Philips MediaSuite – which surpassed 500,000 sales in February – and the newly announced Philips Hospitality TV 4500 Series, the ability for hoteliers to control and manage TVs and guest experiences, without even setting foot in the room (post-installation), has never been easier, nor more cost efficient. 

    Unique business model 

    Available globally – including in EMEA, North America, and Asia – the Philips Cast Server from PPDS can be purchased on an initial five year, up-front license, extendable annually thereafter. Licence plans include Small (up to 80 rooms), Medium (up to 150 rooms), Large (up to 250 rooms), Extra Large (up to 350 rooms), and Double Extra Large (up to 500 rooms), with opportunities to extend further on a project-by-project basis.

    Jeroen Verhaeghe, Global Business Development Director for Hospitality at PPDS, commented: “Expectations from hotel guests continue to evolve and, in an online world, satisfaction scores and reviews can play a vital role in the success of any hotel and whether rooms are full or remain vacant. The in room TV is playing an increasingly important role in achieving those all important positive guest experiences and reviews. Every hotel set up is different, and having the options for networking integrations enables more hotels and their guests to enjoy the benefits of our hospitality TVs. That is why we created the Philips Cast Server.”

    Jan Van Hecke, Global Product Manager for Professional TV at PPDS, concluded: “As people continue to switch to sourcing their TV content from popular streaming platforms like Netflix* and Prime, it is vital hotels embrace that challenge and match those needs. But in doing so, the experience has to be seamless. 

    “Philips Cast Server is so simple, anyone can use it. Open the camera, scan the QR code on your phone or tablet, and the pairing between TV and smart device is complete. Backed by the other features, including customisation of screens, and advanced casting analytics, Philips Cast Server is another game changer for the hotel industry.”

     

    At a glance: 

     

    Highlights of Philips Cast Server for hoteliers

     

    • All-in-one cast solution: Easily integrate the Philips Cast Server in the same IP network as the TV and onboard via the available CMND interface. A Hotel PMS interface is required.
    • Seamless integration with Chromecast built-in on Philips Hotel TVs: The Philips Cast Server operates seamlessly with Chromecast built-in on your Philips Hotel TVs. It can also support mixed installations with external Chromecast v3 dongles, for example in hotels that are carrying out floor-by-floor TV fleet upgrades.
    • Customizable with hotel branding: Extending the hotel brand for a seamless experience, replace the background image on the Philips Cast Server user interface with a new branded image.
    • An easy alternative to WiFi hotspots: With no dedicated WiFi network or hotspot required for each guest room or TV, the Philips Cast Server simplifies the infrastructure, as well as the process for the guest.
    • Unique business model: Delivering a reliable all-in-one Philips solution, the Cast Server is available on an initial five year license, extendable annually thereafter. Combined with PPDS’ free-of-charge CMND software and a simple PMS interface, this server solution does not require any other services, reducing investment requirements to make it an industry leader for cost efficiency.
    • Includes access to Cast statistics: A fully GDPR compliant system delivering relevant management statistics on the usage of cast applications.

     

    Highlights of Philips Cast Server for guests

     

    • No need for guests to connect to a different Wi-Fi network: Casting from a mobile device is straightforward and secure for guests. While remaining on the hotel guest WiFi network, simply scan the QR code on the in-room TV from a mobile device to pair.
    • Start to cast no matter what is on. Wherever. Whenever: Once paired, guests can begin casting by tapping the cast icon on any cast enabled app. Even when the TV is off.
    • Pairing screen displayed in guest’s preferred language
      When a preferred language is set during check-in, the user interface will adapt to display for that guest on the TV in their room.

     

  • 9/14/2023

    Domino's Updates Rewards Program

    Dominos Rewards Updated

    Domino's Pizza Inc. introduces its new and improved loyalty program. 

    Domino's Rewards offers loyalty members even more opportunities to earn and redeem points across its corporate and franchise store locations. Domino's enhanced rewards program allows customers to:

    • Earn points for less
      • Loyalty members will now earn 10 points on every order of $5 or more
    • Redeem points for even more menu items – and earn free Domino's after just two orders
      • Members can redeem a variety of points for more menu items:
        • 20 points: A free dipping cup, a 16-piece order of Parmesan Bread Bites or a 20 oz. drink
        • 40 points: An order of Bread Twists or Stuffed Cheesy Bread
        • 60 points: A medium, two-topping pizza; pasta; Oven-Baked Sandwich; or a 3-piece order of Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes
    • Earn more rewards
      • Loyalty perks are now even better, as members will have exclusive access to member-only deals, special discounts and opportunities to earn bonus points!

    "We are thrilled to give the brand's loyal customers additional ways to earn free Domino's items more often," said Mark Messing, Domino's vice president of digital experience and loyalty. "At a time when most brands are scaling back their loyalty programs and making it more difficult to earn and redeem points, Domino's is doing the opposite. We want to make it easier to reward our customers and give them more options so they can get rewarded faster."

    Marketing a LTO 

    From now until Oct. 22, 2023, rewards members can take advantage of a limited time offer to redeem 20 points for a free order of Domino's new Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread, which is normally a 40-point redemption, in celebration of the product's recent launch. 

  • 4/17/2024

    Pudu Robotics Releases Catering and Retail Service Robot: BellaBot Pro

    pudu robotics

    Since its launch in 2019, BellaBot has been successfully deployed in high-traffic environments by global brands such as PizzaHut, Jollibee, Carrefour, KFC and Walmart, among others. These companies use the robot to deliver orders, promote menu items and products, and welcome guests.

    "We are at an automation and robotics tipping point across the economy. Pudu Robotics aims to develop robots which improve the efficiency of human production and living, and our service robots are used throughout the world," said Felix Zhang, founder and CEO of Pudu Robotics." BellaBot Pro's AI and marketing capabilities represent a major step forward for PUDU and the robotics industry at large. We developed this latest version based on extensive customer feedback from our thousands of customers all over the world.

    BellaBot Pro, the latest addition to PUDU's fleet of smart service robots, features several enhancements that push the robotics industry forward, including:

    • Enhanced Marketing Capabilities: The inclusion of a new 18.5-inch advertising screen on the robot's body, transforming it into a mobile promotion platform that captures customer attention and increases ad conversion efficiency. Its marketing prowess is further amplified by customizable options such as dynamic facial expressions, multimedia advertising, a variety of voice selections, and an adaptable skin appearance, among others. These features empower businesses to create personalized marketing promotions and campaigns, and offer an engaging and interactive experience for consumers.
    • Advanced PUDU VSLAM+ Technology: BellaBot Pro features laser and vision fusion for simplified, sticker-free deployment, adaptable to a variety of environments, including those with high ceilings (up to 30 meters) and large areas (up to 200,000 square meters), reducing setup time by 75%.
    • Greeting Recognition Interaction: BellaBot Pro's front camera will soon be able to detect specific customer gestures, such as waving, and be able to determine the appropriate response to interact with customers.
    • Improved Tray Detection: Utilizes visual inspection (fisheye camera) to monitor BellaBot Pro's tray status, allowing the robot to autonomously proceed to the next task once it detects that a customer has completed their self-service meal collection. It streamlines the BellaBot Pro's delivery-pickup-redelivery process, enhancing the overall dining experience for customers.
    • Dish Recognition: BellaBot Pro can recognize dishes on the tray and provide dish introductions through voice broadcast, creating a new level of customer interaction, elevating the dining experience and ensuring order accuracy. It's a primary application of AI technology in BellaBot Pro, using the latest metric learning technique to accurately capture visual characteristics of dishes such as shape, color, and contour.
    • Tray Atmosphere Light: Introduces a new light above the tray for clear meal pickup signals, minimizing errors, and improving the dining experience and operational efficiency for stores.
    • Omnidirectional Obstacle Avoidance: Offers omnidirectional perception utilizing 2 front view cameras, 3 RGBD cameras and one Lidar to provide full front chassis coverage, reducing blind spots, and enabling the robot to recognize and respond to customer greetings for a more natural and engaging interaction.
    • Ground Projector Lights: Provides ground projection lighting for scenarios with BellaBot Pro approaching intersections, alerting pedestrians to the robot's approach, thereby enhancing blind spot safety and reducing accident risks.Pudu Robotics, a global leader in the service robotics sector, launched BellaBot Pro, the next generation of its flagship smart service robot, using AI to deliver personalized interactions to customers throughout their dining and retail experience. This new robot includes new voice and greeting interaction, improved dish identification, an updated curve screen for advertising and enhanced safety, and efficiency features.
  • 4/17/2024

    Cheval Collection Selects IDeaS G3 RMS at Eight Additional Luxury Serviced Apartment Properties

    Cheval Maison guest room

    IDeaS, a SAS company and the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today it has expanded its relationship with the Cheval Collection to a total of ten properties. Building on a strong, established relationship from successful implementations of G3 RMS at its Edinburgh properties, IDeaS’ capabilities helped clear the way for wider adoption within the Cheval portfolio.

    As Cheval expanded its portfolio, the management team was keen on maximizing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its revenue strategies. Implementing G3 RMS helps eliminate manual processes and focus their efforts on addressing impactful outlier scenarios. When they needed an RMS that could optimize revenue for guests with varied lengths of stay and help evaluate the impact of potential group business, a small but growing part of their business mix, they turned to their RMS partner, IDeaS. 

    • Trust built on a foundation of automated, effective RMS—Cheval appreciates G3 RMS’ core functionality at its existing properties. With implementation, it was able to deploy automated revenue management strategies efficiently and effectively and improve revenue performance.
    • Revenue optimization for varied length of stay offerings – Cheval Collection’s luxury serviced apartments have the flexibility to operate on a hybrid model, where units can be booked for varying lengths of stay—from standard overnights to week- or months-long bookings. G3 RMS’ ability to take a holistic view of demand for all product types and automatically drive revenue maximization decisions was a key factor as it helps to simplify complex revenue management decisions.
    • Streamlined group business evaluation – Group business represents a small but significant and growing portion of Cheval Collection’s business. Cheval valued G3 RMS’ Group Pricing Evaluation feature as it provides an easy-to-use displacement analysis that helps their commercial teams understand the potential revenue impact of accepting or rejecting group business opportunities.

    Liz Callaghan, director of revenue, Cheval Collection, said: “I really can’t say enough about the fantastic support we have received across all touchpoints from the IDeaS team. Their expert knowledge, insight, and experience working with our other properties made the integration process seamless. We are excited to see the results as these additional properties come online.” 

    Michael McCartan, area vice president, EMEA, IDeaS, said: “When the Cheval Collection team wanted to expand their RMS capabilities to eight additional properties, our teams went to work to ensure we deliver innovative, customer-focused experiences across its portfolio. We’re delighted to work with them to elevate their revenue management, help them achieve their strategic objectives, and improve their commercial results.”

  • 4/16/2024

    IRIS Launches Full Integration to Shiji’s Infrasys Cloud POS to Elevate the Mobile Ordering Experience

    iris mobile app

    IRIS, a global leader in digital ordering for the hospitality industry, today announces the integration of its F&B mobile ordering solution with Infrasys Cloud POS by Shiji. This strategic partnership will enrich the guest experience, save labour and increase ancillary revenue. 

    The IRIS mobile ordering platform empowers guests to self-serve from their own devices at their convenience. It firmly puts guests in control of their ordering experience, freeing up staff time and resources to enable them to focus on delivering an exceptional service.

    The integration of the two solutions comes with full security approval for Marriott mobile dining and IRIS’ greater F&B ordering estate, and enables operators to optimise the management of mobile orders: These orders will now flow directly to the kitchen via Infrasys Cloud POS saving time, improving order accuracy, and reducing wait times. The process delivers convenience and comfort to both guests and staff, enhancing the overall ordering experience and mitigating any language barriers. Furthermore, hoteliers can promote items and services 24/7 maximising revenue opportunities across their properties.

    The seamless partnership has been welcomed by the industry, with Eicha Medina, F&B Assistant Manager at The Westin Manila commenting, "The IRIS mobile dining and Shiji Infrasys POS integration significantly reduces the number of calls and inquiries, thereby lessening the workload on staff, improving accuracy and communication.

    Guests that face language difficulties can conveniently access the mobile dining platform, easily review order details and write comments to the Chef.

    We're enjoying the seamless guest payment options, the recommended items, and updating guests in real time on expected delivery times. Guests can also request a tray collection to further elevate their mobile dining experience."

    Graham Rushin, IRIS VP Sales & Marketing, adds, “We’re delighted to announce this hotly anticipated partnership. It further solidifies our dedication and commitment to delivering a tailored and efficient mobile ordering service to hoteliers who are striving to provide guests with meaningful, seamless digital experiences.
    We aim to empower hoteliers with the tools to drive additional revenue and free up resources, and this true integration delivers all this and more!”

    Brian Garvan, Director, Global Partnerships and Product Integration at Shiji comments, "It’s great to launch this integration of IRIS Mobile Ordering and Infrasys Cloud POS to provide unparalleled convenience, efficiency, and guest satisfaction. It's the result of many months' work by both teams and is sure to support the demanding requirements of some of our key hotel clients' in delivering a first-class service in the F&B space. Thanks to the whole team at IRIS.”

  • 4/17/2024

    Gale Miami Hotel and Residences Chooses Stayntouch to Power 688-Room Luxury Hybrid Aparthotel

    Gale Miami Beach and Stayntouch logo

    –  Stayntouch, a global leader in cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and guest-centric technology, announced a new partnership with Gale Miami Hotel and Residences, a unique 51-story, 688-room luxury hybrid aparthotel in the heart of downtown Miami, set to open its doors on May 1, 2024. 

    Gale Miami offers a blend of boutique hotel luxury and upscale apartment living, featuring modern chic hotel rooms, apartments, condos, dining venues, and a top-tier spa. To provide guests with an elevated experience and optimize operational efficiency, Gale Miami selected Stayntouch to deploy its flexible cloud PMS, customizable booking engine, guest-friendly smart kiosk and secure ID-scanning technology.

    With Stayntouch, Gale Miami will benefit from:

    • A reliable cloud PMS with 100-percent system uptime and a comprehensive feature set, including extensive automation and reporting capabilities that can support complex back-of-house operations and multiple dining, wellness and spa outlets.
    • A streamlined booking and guest welcome experience with minimal staff presence by leveraging Stayntouch Booking, Stayntouch Kiosk, ID-scanning and Mobile Pre-Check-In.
    • Faster training and reduced onboarding costs with an intuitive and easy-to-learn PMS. Staff can be trained in as little as two days, freeing them to interact with guests rather than being tied to a screen.
    • Simplified Open-APIs and unlimited integrations, which facilitates Gale Miami’s custom tech stack of 22 third-party platforms, including leading accounting, spa and housekeeping management solutions.

    Kevin Waldstein, general manager of Gale Miami, said, "We chose Stayntouch for its feature-rich cloud PMS to make property management effortless for our size and complexity and seamlessly accommodate our unique hybrid service model when we officially open in May. Additionally, Stayntouch's innovative features, such as mobile and kiosk check-in, will streamline guest arrivals, and the front desk staff is excited by its ease of operation and new level of efficiency. We are thrilled and eagerly anticipate a growing partnership with Stayntouch.”

    Priya Rajamani, VP of implementation and support for Stayntouch, said, "We're excited to announce our partnership with Gale Miami Hotel and Residences and extend a warm welcome to them into the Stayntouch family. Our cloud PMS and comprehensive technology suite are designed with flexibility and richness in mind, making them particularly well-suited for properties with diverse offerings and robust operations, aiming for a seamless guest experience. We're confident that our technology will not only enhance Gale Miami's guest experience and streamline their operations but also align with their goal of providing a dynamic hospitality experience for visitors to downtown Miami."

    To celebrate their grand opening, Gale Miami is offering a special room rate of up to 25 percent off and up to $200 in savings, including waived destination fees, a welcome gift, and complimentary early check-in and late checkout options. Guests can take advantage of this special offer by entering promo code GRANDPRO during booking. 

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