Dear Customers,

 

This is our summer recess issue and the next one will be in September.


The HITEC Advisory Council brainstormed and came up with 11 top trends for 2010. They are:

1. Moving from Green to Sustainable
2. Guest-centric Service Models
3. Increased Dependency for Wireless
4. Virtualization
5. Identity Theft
6. Future-proofing the Guest Room
7. CRM/Business Intelligence
8. Generational Issues
9. SAS/Above Property/Cloud Computing
10. Online Behavior
11. System Integration


In a complex world of burgeoning new channels and changing dynamics of travelers’ buying sentiments, life-style choices and guest preferences, the need for data acquisition and analytics across the entire enterprise becomes critical. Knowing about competitors rates, tracking feedback on websites to comments on social networking sites is probably the new paradigms for the General Manager’s daily routine. There is more. Taking the above trends into consideration, monitoring the Green Index metrics, such as water and energy consumption, waste recycling and material consumption would all have to adhere to regulatory requirements, which is likely in the near future. Much of this information would have to be translated into policy and perhaps in some respects may even conflict with guest-centric service models. Key statistics such as room temperature preferences, guest time spent in rooms, digital media usage are as important as beverage and food consumption analysis. General Managers would have to display finesse in both traditional hotel practices as well as acumen in number crunching and data analysis. But what does all this data mean? Every statistical nuance about guest behavior is important. Knowing their room temperature preferences can assist in regulating a fixed standard in rooms as well as common places. Currently, a one degree centigrade can make a 15-20% impact on energy costs.


There is a common complaint in the industry that there is too much data available but time consuming and costly to collate and analyze in a meaningful manner. Current data mining tools and business intelligence software provide solutions but the burning question is; are your systems integrated under a single database? With an integrated system there is one version of the truth. But that is not pervasive in the hospitality industry. It is a difficult to standardize information and reports, do forecasts and forward purchase planning, let alone provide real-time analytics. It is further compounded with high cost of back office staff and time needed to put these reports together in a timely manner. Speed, accuracy, relevance are critical in a digitally driven world.


Are General Managers adept at embracing the new paradigms of social engagements and how it impacts their business? Are Hospitality Schools teaching the fine art of Information Technology as much as culinary? Is there sufficient knowledge of building management systems & eco-friendly regulations? Understanding the Gen X, Y and the post retirement generation to customize marketing plans? How adept are they in tackling business information, financial analysis and innovative business intelligence? The future of hospitality is changing rapidly and one core competence that is important for General Manager’s is, ‘change before change changes you’, a 21st century paradigm.

Mehboob Hamza
(mehboob@sscomp.ae)

 

CRM - The momentohs® Way

By : Rinju Joseph Joy, Project Leader, Seven Seas Computers LLC

 

CRM for hospitality is of paramount importance in the new vision for the Global hospitality sector. The guest relationship management for hospitality is a significant rule changer and with social networking and other digital connectivity forums, guest experience is easily shared among guests in lightening speed. Hospitality has two distinct relationships, business to guest and business to business, at times overlapping. For example, a company having substantial business interest may also have its employees as guests. However, we believe there has to be separation as business to business is for functions, events, MICE etc and business to guest is more personal and confidential.


momentohs® GEM (Guest Experience Monitor) is a B2C (business to consumer) for better guest relationship management and fully integrated in momentohs® suite. The Loyalty management program and in-depth guest details with security restriction allow the guest to access the details through Internet anytime, anywhere. momentohs® GEM drives the guest to check the special promotion rates in each of the chain hotels and view many other details. The Guest has the privilege to login to momentohs® GEM and avail the facility of hotel packages, day to day updates on new programs and promotions available. The loyalty program gives special offers to the members based on their hotel stay or spend and incentives to capture more points to redeem for upgrades. momentohs® GEM gives the facility to create many number of schemes based on the strategy on the hotels strategy and contribute to higher revenues, profit and enhanced Guest Experience.


Microsoft CRM is a B2B Customer Relationship Management which is tightly coupled with momentohs® suite and interacts with the Campaigning of Events, Sales Funnel and Forecasts, Opportunity mapping and In-depth Win/loss Analysis among customer segments. Microsoft CRM interacts with momentohs® suite to provide Revenue, Event Planning with extensive Forecasts, Analyze market trends based on the data mining, understand the business source and target branded customers. The Analysis of Source, Market, and Sales segment provide clear and precise vision to drive your business. Unlike other industry standard software based on interfaces, with Microsoft CRM, there is total online, real-time integration with Event, Front Office and Financial integration. Voila!

 

 

Ice Hotel - A 5 Star Freezing Feeling!

 

Who would have thought you could stay in a hotel that is made of ice, including a bed of ice to sleep on. This new bespoke trend is becoming a global interest by all high end travelers.

 


They’ve Got It Down Cold


The first ice hotel was built in 1989 in a village called Jukkasjärvi in northern Lapland, Sweden. That first year it was a modest, 60-square-meter igloo; this year, the structure measures over 4,000 square meters and has 85 rooms. Construction begins each year in October, and the hotel is open for guests from December through April (weather permitting). By summer the hotel has melted, but plans are already underway for next year’s bigger, better ice structure.

Ice hotels are built, naturally, entirely out of frozen water in the form of ice blocks and hard-packed snow. In some cases, blocks of ice are sawed from a river; for other parts of the building snow is compressed into wooden forms to create building blocks. The guest rooms contain beds made of a block of ice and topped with a foam mattress. You sleep in high-tech mummy-style sleeping bags covered with animal pelts; although the air temperature in the room is below freezing, your body remains toasty warm. If nature calls in the middle of the night, you can head to an adjoining heated building with conventional facilities. Outhouses would not be much fun, as the exterior temperature frequently reaches –40°.

Put It on Ice


But a classy hotel is much more than a place to sleep, and at the prices of these rooms, you’d better get much more than a sleeping bag. Although the design changes from year to year, Sweden’s Icehotel invariably includes an ice bar for vodka-based drinks (beer would freeze); even the glasses and plates are made of ice. There’s also an ice chapel for “white” weddings, an ice cinema, an ice sauna (I have yet to figure that one out), ice art galleries, and even—I am not making this up—a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre built of ice. Most guests stay only one night in an ice room; ordinary heated hotel rooms are available nearby for longer stays. Even so, the hotel has a waiting list several years long.

Sweden’s Icehotel was the first, but imitators are appearing all across the Arctic Circle. In Kangerlussuaq, Greenland you can find the more modest Hotel Igloo Village, with six adjoining igloos (four of which serve as guest rooms). If you want the igloo experience in Greenland during the summer, you can also stay at the Hotel Arctic in the town of Ilulissat, where guests enjoy all the comforts of home in melt-proof aluminum igloos. For the past five years, Québec has had its own Ice Hotel, modeled on the original Swedish Icehotel and rivaling it in size and luxury.

In 2004, the United States saw its first ice hotel—the Aurora Ice Hotel at the Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks, Alaska. During its construction, state officials cited the hotel’s owner for fire code violations and did not permit the building to open until smoke detectors and fire extinguishers had been installed in each room. (I’m not kidding. Only in America.) Although the initial structure melted in the spring of 2004, it was rebuilt for the 2005 season, this time inside a larger, refrigerated structure—with the goal of keeping it frozen and habitable year-round.

 

 

Event Management is an integral part of the hospitality business, where meetings, seminars and dinner functions require close attention to diverse customer demands. Planning and co-ordination of the property services and resources are crucial for staging such events and necessitates access to detailed information including dissemination to the respective departments.


momentohs® Event Management (EM) is an automated module that manages all aspects of events, from planning and resource management to venue scheduling, staff allotment, invoicing and reservation of guest rooms. The module is designed specifically to suit the needs of a banquet and catering department, either as a stand-alone business or as part of a larger property. Integration with momentohs® Front Office, Food and Beverage and Financial modules makes the entire process smooth and hassle-free.


Event Proposal, Event Reservation, and Event Order can be made within a few minutes. The integration with Front Office, Food and Beverage and Financial module, room booking can be made from event reservation screen, item master can be linked from Item master in food and beverage module, and event invoice can be settled within the event management module or transferred to city ledger of financial module.

 

 


momentohs® Event Management’s powerful integration with other modules differentiates it from other stand alone systems with interfaces. No more double entry or off line and with the recent integration with Microsoft CRM, business to business engagement, planning, scheduling, proposals, invoicing and management makes it a unique proposition for hospitality unlike any other software on the market today.

 

 

 

 

Syed Irfanuddin Quadri
Business Solution Services
E mail : siquadri@sscomp.ae
Direct : +971 4 308 3645
Mobile : +971 50 7187292