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News Briefs

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: Duetto Launches Full-Service Hotel Revenue Solution

    duetto logo

     Duetto, a provider of revenue management solutions, announced a significant product development designed to empower hoteliers to optimize revenue across all segments, including transient, group, and function space. With the return of group business across the global hotel ecosystem, Duetto unveils its BlockBuster group revenue optimization solution's next evolution and the integration of its new function space optimization tool, OpenSpace (formerly MiceRate).

    BlockBuster enables hoteliers to streamline workflows between revenue, sales, and catering teams to deliver a seamless quote for group business at the right rate at the right time.

    The evolved product allows hoteliers to:

    • Balance group and transient bookings using a coherent pricing strategy across segments. BlockBuster provides crucial information, like incremental profit and alternative stay dates, to make transient displacement decisions based on profitability when evaluating group requests.
    • Adjust pricing dynamically based on demand, capacity, and ancillary spending.
    • Automate group wash projections and adjust demand forecast, occupancy forecast, and yielding capacity based on user input and situational knowledge.
    • Empower revenue teams through automation and collaboration tools. Quickly respond to group rate requests while creating a centralized source of truth for real-time quote record-keeping.

    Further investment in delivering a full-service revenue solution saw Duetto acquire MiceRate, a function space optimization solution, in February 2024. Today, Duetto rebrands the product as OpenSpace, making Duetto the only solution to offer automated, dynamic revenue management for rooms, event space, and ancillaries. 

    OpenSpace provides algorithm-based pricing for meetings and events, including weddings, incentives, and conferences, enabling hotels to dynamically yield all function spaces, including external spaces such as gardens. The solution also includes a booking engine and quotation tool, to help event planners quickly find the space they need for their budget and requirements.

    Together with GameChanger for room rate optimization, ScoreBoard for forecasting and reporting, and Advance for 24/7 dynamic optimization, the enhanced functionality in BlockBuster and the addition of OpenSpace enable Duetto to deliver a best-in-class unified revenue solution for all segments.

    “The addition of OpenSpace, combined with our investment in group management, positions us as a one-stop-shop for hoteliers looking to maximize revenue across their entire property. Now, our customers can leverage Duetto to optimize pricing, manage inventory, and streamline bookings for individual guests, groups, and function spaces – all in a single, unified solution,” said David Woolenberg, CEO of Duetto. “These enhancements will streamline the group booking process, improve internal communication, and ensure a more seamless experience for both hoteliers and their customers.”

    Interested in finding out more about Duetto’s suite of revenue management solutions, including BlockBuster and OpenSpace? Visit booth #1751 at HITEC.

  • 6/23/2024

    DerbySoft Launches Strategic Partnership with IDeaS

    ideas logo and derbysoft logo

    DerbySoft, a provider of high-performance distribution services, announced a new partnership with IDeaS, a SAS company, the world's leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, that strategically provides operational and revenue-enhancing benefits for hotels of all types.

    This partnership integrates IDeaS' G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) with Property Connector, DerbySoft's Digital Distribution System, providing connectivity services to individual properties and small chains. G3 RMS provides DerbySoft with scientific pricing, forecasting, and rate availability decisions at the room type and rate code level to drive optimal revenue performance across guest categories. These optimal prices and controls are instantly updated across all distribution channels managed by Property Connector, ensuring operators save time, execute revenue strategy, and maximize every revenue opportunity.

    Properties can benefit from this integration in many ways, including:

    • Real-Time Inventory Distribution: Respond to booking trends as they happen, G3 RMS continually tunes and tweaks impactful controls like rate availability and overbooking recommendations to protect revenue and enhance shoulder night performance while being guided by the property's strategic guidelines. 
    • Increased Efficiencies: Manual calculation and updating rates and availability across various channels is time-consuming and opens the opportunity for human errors. This integration pushes all changes automatically, reducing errors and saving time for strategy.
    • Improved Response to Market Dynamics: The combination of G3 RMS and Property Connector allows properties to proactively spot trends and respond swiftly to changes in the market. For example, if there is a sudden spike in demand or a large group block changes status, G3 RMS learns from and adjusts the property's pricing strategy across all channels.
    • Enhanced Analytical Insights: IDeaS offers powerful forecasting that uses advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning to predict future demand. By integrating with a Property Connector, these projections can be directly translated into actionable operational and revenue strategies across all sales channels.
    • Competitive Advantage: The ability to quickly adapt to market conditions, stop unnecessary discounting, and consistently offer optimized pricing by guest category gives hotels a competitive edge, potentially capturing a larger market share.

    The integration between DerbySoft and IDeaS is a strategic partnership that enables properties to maximize their revenue potential, streamline operations, and make smarter, data-backed decisions that keep properties competitive in their dynamic market.

    "DerbySoft has long been a leader in distribution services, and IDeaS is proud to partner with them to deliver a comprehensive solution for hoteliers. This collaboration strengthens our commitment to providing the industry with the tools and resources they need to achieve success in the ever-evolving hospitality landscape. By seamlessly integrating IDeaS G3 RMS with Property Connector, hoteliers can streamline operations, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately maximize their revenue potential," said Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist and Development Officer at IDeaS.

    "We are thrilled about the advanced integration between DerbySoft's Property Connector and IDeaS G3. This collaboration is poised to revolutionize the way our hotel partners manage their operations, pricing, and distribution strategies. By simplifying complexities and enhancing efficiency, our joint solution empowers hoteliers to optimize revenues and deliver exceptional guest experiences. We are deeply committed to continuous innovation and are confident that this integration will set a new standard in hospitality technology," stated Duane Overgaard, President of Connectivity and Senior Vice-President at DerbySoft.

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: Agilysys to Highlight AI Advantages Along with PMS and POS Innovations

    logo agilysys dec 2022

    Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of hospitality software solutions and services, announced the Company has released multiple new hospitality software and technology innovations, some powered by AI, to help properties lift revenue and lower costs. All will be shown in HITEC Booth #1239 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 25th through 27th.

    Agilysys Senior Vice President and CMO Terrie O’Hanlon commented, “The innovations we will demonstrate at HITEC 2024 reflect the meaningful investment we have made over the past several years to develop the most modern, flexible, secure and impactful hospitality solutions available. Our focus always is creating exceptional technology that empowers staff members to deliver personal and memorable guest service and experiences while also expanding opportunities to capture more revenue and enhance operating efficiency.”

    GUESTSENSE.AI TECHNOLOGY NOW POWERS REVENUE MANAGEMENT AND OPERATING EFFICIENCY IN PMS, POS, GOLF AND SPA SOLUTIONS

    Agilysys has embedded in its POS, PMS, Golf and Spa solutions Guestsense.ai, AI-powered analysis and decisioning capabilities hospitality businesses can use to optimize cross-property revenue and to improve how they offer pricing and amenity availability. 

    Guestsense.ai uses contextual variables; real-time data on capacity, demand, guest profiles and more; and user-controlled rules to optimize upgrade and pricing offers, amenity availability, demand forecasting and other elements. Application examples include:

    ·   A Dynamic Upgrade Engine presents room upgrade availability and pricing and amenity add-ons for guests to select as they check-in. Offers are dynamically presented based on check-in time; real-time availability and capacity; staffing status; guest-supplied preferences; guest preferences inferred from past stay behavior; guest status, such as loyalty program membership; and other property-defined rules. 

    ·      Dynamic Availability and Dynamic Pricing intelligently manage amenity reservations presented for guests to book, as well as associated pricing, based on contextual variables the property defines. For example, when golf demand is forecast to be high, popular tee times and preferred golf courses can be presented only to course members and loyalty program on-property guests. Amenity prices offered can reflect real-time demand and capacity calculations, such as adapting poolside cabana pricing based on utilization. Likewise, the system can prevent low-revenue and low-margin spa services from being presented in high-demand time periods. The same real-time intelligence guides Minimum Gap Restrictions, which dynamically avoids unbookable gaps in therapists’ schedules by matching service time requirements with booked schedules to present only therapists and services that minimize unsold time.

    ·      Conversational Reservation Booking offers a Generative AI-assisted concierge to  guide guests through availability inquiries and booking experiences. Available now in Agilysys Spa and soon in other solutions, this technology enables around-the-clock end-to-end live booking experiences without additional staff, elevating revenue by making it easy for guests to book whenever they are ready to buy.

    INFOGENESIS (v24) OMNICHANNEL ENTERPRISE POS PLATFORM COMBINES GLOBAL ENTERPRISE-PROVEN SCALE WITH “ANY OUTLET, ANY TIME” SALES REACH AND FLEXIBILITY

    The fully modernized, mobility-equipped, scale-ready, omnichannel enterprise POS platform InfoGenesis (v24) is now available to equip customers to sell anything, anywhere, to anybody. InfoGenesis combines global enterprise-proven scale with omnichannel reach and flexibility, and protects data through decades-proven, PCI-validated secure transactions. 

    Employees enjoy using an easy-to-learn, fast, feature-rich system with the flexibility to support any operating system, along with enterprise scale terminals with robust offline capabilities across all form factors, including countertop, wall mounted terminals, tablets, smart phones and all-in-one devices. Guests enjoy convenient self-service retail and food and beverage (F&B) ordering and payments using mobile devices, online apps and kiosks. Kitchen staff appreciate the efficiency of an integrated Kitchen Display System (KDS) that brings orders from all channels and F&B outlets into a seamless integrated workflow.

    InfoGenesis (v24) platform options include: The newly available IG Fly, a mobile-first, all-in-one ordering, payment and receipt printing solution that is easy for staff to use and carry and equips them to serve customers, enter orders, accept payment and deliver receipts tableside when dining or by-their-side when shopping; IG Flex to extend full POS functionality to mobile tablets for staff members; IG OnDemand to equip customers to place and pay for orders on their own mobile devices anywhere on property; IG Kiosk for self-service ordering and payment enhanced by easy-to-navigate visual digital menus; IG PanOptic Kiosk, an AI-powered self-checkout kiosk that enables guests to avoid scanning items, instead placing them on a tray for computer vision recognition; IG QuickPay for contactless, cashless payments; and IG Digital Menu Board for graphical menu and offer displays updated in real-time to ensure menus and prices are accurate across dining outlets.

    AGILYSYS GUEST APP UNIFIED MOBILE HUB NOW AVAILABLE TO MAKE EXPERIENCES EASY TO BOOK WHEN GUESTS ARE READY TO BUY

    As consumers increasingly expect anytime, anywhere, contactless and mobile service not only to see information but also to transact, the Agilysys Guest App equips properties with a brandable hub customers use to research and do everything property-wide on their mobile devices, including: book rooms; reserve times for golf, spa and other amenities; view and accept special offers in real-time; view experience reservations in a unified itinerary; check-in and receive digital keys; review consolidated folios; check-out and receive receipts.

    The Agilysys Guest App is available in the Android and iOS app stores, where it will reflect the property’s brand. Anadministrator portal provides a content management system so properties can control branding, experiences presented, images and other elements.  

    Properties can increase revenue by making it easy for guests to understand everything available, to accept special offers and to book experiences property-wide when they are ready to buy. Guests can explore and book options without requiring staff assistance and can see consolidated schedules and folios without having to request that information. 

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: NEW Group Itinerary Builder Developed by UrVenue + Club Med to Debut at HITEC

    urvenue club med itinerary tool

    A new tool developed by  UrVenue and Club Med will be unveiled this week at HITEC, held now through June 27 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center. The innovative Group Itinerary Builder provides a centralized way for hoteliers to build itineraries for groups while providing travelers with a clear view of their itinerary the entire time.

    Demand for group events is on the rise, and along with that comes a desire among travelers for unique experiences, such as tennis, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, snorkeling, and even flying trapeze,” said Tracee Nalewak, UrVenue Chief Growth Officer. “Based on our long-standing relationship with Club Med — pioneer of the all-inclusive concept — we collaborated on a tool that will empower group attendees to explore property activities and review their event schedules in one interactive guest portal complete with itinerary management capabilities. We cannot wait to showcase this joint technology at HITEC.”

    UrVenue pioneered the hospitality industry’s first Property Experience Management System (PXMS) in 2022 to enable commerce, operations, data insights and knowledge management for resort and entertainment experiences and bridges the fractured booking journey with its unified booking capabilities. Called UV Enterprise, the PXMS was built for nightclubs, dayclubs, restaurants, lounges, pools, resort beaches, sportsbooks, special events/shows, recreation, and more. Club Med was one of the first UV Enterprise users, and together they have a successful track record of advancing the all-inclusive market. In fact, Club Med and UrVenue were a Skift Idea Awards Finalist in 2022 for their joint technology submission.

    The Group Itinerary Builder launched in April 2024 at Club Med Cancún. More than 800 group attendees engaged with the solution, and feedback from users showed the tool exceeded expectations with comments such as “very user-friendly,” “it works perfectly,” “loved having all this information in the palm of my hand,” and “I’ve saved so much time with this new automation” confirming implementation success.

    Joint Technology Objectives

    The Group Itinerary Builder was designed as an efficient, centralized system for tracking guest itineraries. It gives group travelers more control over their experiences while empowering hotels with the tools they need to fulfill rising group expectations. The tool can be adjusted by hoteliers on the fly while allowing group members to track all of their planned group activities through a Guest Portal. This centralized system gives hoteliers an easy way to provide the best possible guest experience while giving travelers the widest possible control over their stay experience.

    Additionally, the Group Itinerary Builder . . .

    1.        Enhances the Guest Experience: Develop a digital itinerary builder/manager for group attendees to explore and manage resort experiences alongside pre-scheduled events combining work and leisure activities in one unified itinerary.  Provide groups with self-serve information, and operators with the ability to service itineraries on behalf-of-the-guest.

    2.        Provides Scalability: Create a new, globally scalable module within UrVenue’s PXMS (property experience management system) that displays group event schedules and activities in one unified itinerary. (PXMS introduced in Skift IDEA Award Submission 2021 - Resort World/UrVenue - Finalist)

    3.        Advances Group Communication:  Pre-Arrival: Generate an email invite for group attendees to access their personalized guest portal, showcasing their group itinerary and information regarding hotel activities during their leisure time. In-Stay: Enable real-time messaging by integrating live updates into the itinerary for group attendees.

    4.        Optimizes Operational Efficiency: Automate manual processes within Club Med’s Meetings & Event sales team and other interfacing resort departments. Additionally, provide coordination tools through the itinerary builder and manager for staff to assist group attendees.

    5.        Drives Incremental Revenue: Increase revenue through activities and extended stays (bleisure) by showcasing all hotel activities and excursions to group attendees.

    “Club Med has a long history of hospitality innovation, as the successful co-development and launch of this technology attests,” said Vikki Knudsen, Senior Director Sales Strategy - Meetings & Events, Club Med. “Group attendees are not as proactively managed by hotels as leisure/transient guests, despite being a significant part of the hotel's customer base. They often have to research the hotel themselves because someone else booked it on their behalf. They also are typically not included in pre-arrival communications that share property information, booking links, or a hotel app link. Until now, itinerary-building opportunities, especially those considering event schedules and other activities, simply did not exist.

    “Now that the Group Itinerary Builder has been successfully implemented and tested at Club Med Cancún, we can begin rolling it out to additional properties in our portfolio,” she said. “We are incredibly excited to start focusing on revenue generation by incorporating third-party excursion bookings and exploring ways to drive incremental room nights with group guests. What we’ve accomplished here at Club Med with our entire meeting and events industry is very exciting.  We are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in group attendee management, which will lead to more satisfied customers and significant financial gains for the hotel group segment.”

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: Silverware Pay to Debut at HITEC; Handheld Device Keeps POS Functionality at Servers’ Fingertips

    mobile pos

    This week at HITEC, Silverware will showcase its commitment to innovation with the debut of Silverware Pay, an embedded payment-processing solution that’s deeply integrated into the company’s point-of-sale ecosystem. Silverware Pay enables food-and-beverage staff to manage the entire guest experience from a single handheld device regardless of on-property location or chip-reader type.

    Silverware Pay will be on display June 25 to 27 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in Booth 626.

    “Hoteliers have been asking us for an embedded payment solution for some time, and we cannot wait to reveal what we have developed,” said Michael Thalassinos, Silverware Senior Vice President of Enterprise Sales. “With Silverware Pay, operators can choose from multiple Android devices and support functionality – such as mobile ordering, pay-at-table, incremental authorization, and more – all with industry-leading store-and-forward technology for off-line safekeeping.”

    Silverware Pay provides an ideal solution for hospitality businesses ranging from stand-alone restaurants (whether full-service or counter service) to properties featuring multiple dining and retail concepts all with unique chip readers within a larger environment. Scalability allows the application to grow with client enterprises.

    “From poolside to terraces, golf courses, and other environments where mobility is a priority, F&B staff can leverage our handheld devices to place orders, print checks, accept payment, post to rooms, and manage the entire guest experience from that single handheld device,” Thalassinos said. “Similarly, accepting credit-card payments directly within our POS expedites check-in and checkout, boosting guest satisfaction and loyalty.”

    Unlike systems with separate ordering tablets and credit-card readers, Silverware Pay fuels productivity, efficiency, and cost savings. Consolidating payment processing within the POS reduces the need for manual reconciliation and administration. Real-time transaction data and reports support informed decision-making with insights into revenue streams and financial performance as they’re happening.

    “From a security perspective,” Thalassinos said, “you’re not managing two devices. Instead, you’re able to handle everything from one device rather than having to go back and forth between devices.” Moreover, Silverware Pay uses state-of-the-art encryption and tokenization technologies to protect payment data and guard against fraud.

    Silverware’s end-to-end solution replaces older POS equipment seamlessly. “And there’s not much change or training needed for an operator to deploy the technology,” he said. “Once live, onboarding new seasonal staff, for example, will take half the time that it has traditionally taken with other point-of-sale solutions.”

    Enterprise-wide, Silverware continues to prioritize its connection with clients. “We truly share the same common goal, which is to elevate the guest experience,” said Thalassinos. “Together we are invested in the success of the operation, and our primary focus is the guest. That means we are very hands-on with how we implement, deploy, train, and support.”

    Silverware offers 24-7 support worldwide. “We do not close,” he said. “Clients call us directly, and we answer the phone live, even after hours. Clients are not asked to open a ticket, fill out a form, or chat with a bot first. They’re getting directly to our support team.” In fact, the company answers more than 92% of inbound calls immediately. In the rare instances where clients must wait, it’s only for two minutes on average.

    Just as Silverware Pay resides within the Silverware ecosystem, the company considers itself an integral element of clients’ operations. “We are actually in the hospitality industry,” Thalassinos said. “So, we’re much more than a tech company – we’re a partner in providing a guest experience using the Silverware ecosystem.”

    Additional innovations on display at the Silverware booth include:

    • Admin Center – This revamped restaurant management tool enables users to manage menu offerings, dynamic pricing, and more. Cloud-based and mobile-friendly, Admin Center supports full system audits and robust permission sets.

    • Order Notification – SMS integration with Twilio allows guests to place orders with a staff member or through their own mobile devices and receive text messages when orders are ready.

    • Announcer Kitchen Management System – Full-service restaurant-focused kitchen display technology helps operators manage individual seat preferences, dietary restrictions, and allergies, with visibility of all courses ordered by each guest.

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024 NEWS: HCN to Debut its ‘AI Concierge’ on In-Room Tablets at HITEC Charlotte

    AIme from HCN

    At HITEC, Hotel Communication Network (HCN) will reveal a new AI-powered in-room tablet that will radically change the way hotel guests request services, communicate their needs, place F&B orders from local restaurants and more via voice commands in multiple languages. AiMe, an AI Concierge, will be on display June 25 to 27 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Booth #3836.

    AiMe uses natural language processing to respond to guests’ unstructured requests and creates actionable tasks that can be relayed from the tablet to the hotel’s service system and then to staff.

                AiMe:                “Hello Mr. Stevens. I’m AiMe. How can I be of service?”

                Mr. Stevens:     “I’d like to order lunch.”

    An ordering screen appears.

               AiMe:                “May I verbally take your order or would you like to see the menu?”

               Mr. Stevens:     “Yes, please take my order. I’ll have . . .”'

    The meal is delivered to the room or a location specified by the guest.

     

    “Leveraging technology to order room service and fulfill service requests is nothing new; hoteliers have been partnering with suppliers for decades to streamline two-way guest communications,” said Neil Schubert, HCN Product Officer and former Advisory Board member of Hotel Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). “But most of the existing communication solutions on the market have their shortcomings. That’s why we developed AiMe.

    “Rather than sending a text message blindly through the hotel app, a guest needing clean washcloths can now walk over to the in-room tablet and simply ask AiMe for whatever he or she wants in whatever language they prefer,” Schubert said. “No more going through the front desk or hotel operator and waiting for the request to be re-entered into the correct system to get to the right department. The data is sent from the tablet to the hotel’s service system and then to the housekeeper or floor supervisor – depending on who is equipped with a mobile device. AiMe can create and close work orders, summon the bell captain, remind guests of important meeting or event times, activate room controls and much more.”

    At HITEC, HCN will discuss how AiMe can or will:

    • Interpret the tone of a guest message and identify key words spoken so if a hotel guest is frustrated, for example, the request can be escalated to a hotel manager.
    • Provide granular information to pinpoint the exact location of a housekeeper in distress when integrated with panic button platforms.
    • Update room status. By accessing a tablet’s back-office mode (which is integrated with the hotel’s PMS), housekeepers or room supervisors can speak or type updates rather than using room phones with dial codes.
    • Replace in-room electronics, including inconvenient and time-consuming TV applications, costly voice solutions, outdated alarm clocks, and rarely used bedside phones.
    • Personalize experiences and drive loyalty by providing added conveniences, like speaking natural language commands to the AI Concierge or touching icons on the tablet to control room temperature, lights, do not disturb status, make up room and more.
    • Broaden adoption of brand apps. With only 20% of travelers having downloaded the brand app, brands can promote use of their brand app using a device that reaches 100% of hotel guests.  Operators can replace loss-leaders like room services with a digital ordering platform that brings food and beverage to guests from local restaurants. Better yet, it’s all managed by the AI-powered tablet provider.
    • Eliminate room clutter from printed compendiums and QR code table tents and inconveniently placed and easily damaged stickers promoting marketing messages and digital tipping.

    Tablets are Trending!

    The communication platform making the most traction today is the interactive guestroom tablet. HCN’s Navigator 2.0 is a rich, modern approach to guest engagement and revenue enhancement. The cloud-based platform is built on the latest technology stack leapfrogging traditional guest-facing solutions.

    Features of the AI-Powered Navigator 2.0 tablet platform include:

    • An elegant look and feel with a Netflix-inspired user interface that appeals to the masses.

    • Compelling content in any language the hotel chooses to draw people in to click around, discover on-premises services and amenities, and spend more money on site.

    • Hotel staff can now easily and immediately update content to the guest room devices. No need to rely on a service provider to deliver costly content management resources.

    • A Bluetooth pairable speaker base with high-quality sound, USB A&C charging points, and stunning HD graphics. The speaker base also serves as a voice assistant, enabling guests to request services and amenities, report problems, plus control the room environment by voice command.

    “We hope everyone stops by HCN Booth 3836 at HITEC to see AiMe in action,” Schubert said. “This AI-powered tablet is making it possible to achieve a 100% reach to hotel guests and drive better customer engagement.”

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