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Saturday, August 21, 2010

21 Steps to Stop Procrastinating

ECGMA says: I am aghast to still find 'failed' empire builders, up & coming upstarts, the wannabes, the know-it-all-but-can't-handle-pressures, the unadaptable & inflexible egoistical clowns, the cloud nine desperados & the list goes on, exist. Sigh!
Those who need master/grand plans should have a frog for breakfast everyday. Eat a frog a day will help to focus on activities rather than accomplishments.

------
From Mac Anderson, Founder of Simple Truths

Dear EC,

There's an old saying that says...

"If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!"

Brian Tracy says that your "frog" should be the most difficult item on your things to do list, the one you're most likely to procrastinate on; because, if you eat that first, it'll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day. But, if you don't...and let him sit there on the plate and stare at you while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won't even know it.

In Eat That Frog!, Brian cuts to the core of what is vital to effective time management: decision, discipline and determination. In 21 practical steps, he will help you stop procrastinating and get more of the important tasks done...today!

Brian is one of America's leading authorities on development of human potential. He speaks to over 250,000 people a year and has written over 25 books.

Eat That Frog! is an international best seller, with over 500,000 copies sold.

We're pleased to say, however, that Simple Truths has taken a great book, and well...made it better! How? We've made it a little shorter; a little more engaging with great graphics; a little more "giftable" with an embossed hard cover, and of course, packaging that can create a "wow" effect! In short, we've turned a great book into a great gift for employees, customers, friends and family.

Here's a small sampling in Brian's chapter titled: Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything. Enjoy!

An excerpt from
Eat That Frog!by Brian Tracy

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the "Pareto Principle" after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the "vital few", the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the "trivial many", the bottom 80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well. For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on. This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the other eight items put together.

Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks
Here is an interesting discovery. Each of the ten tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value of any of the others.

Often, one item on a list of ten tasks that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is invariably the frog that you should eat first.

Focus on Activities, Not Accomplishments
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous. For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80 percent while you still have tasks in the top 20 percent left to be done.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, "Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?"

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you will be naturally motivated to continue. A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference. Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually.

Motivate Yourself
Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination. Time management is really life management, personal management. It is really taking control of the sequence of events. Time management is having control over what you do next. And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.

Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result. This should be your way of working as well.


Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

7 Ways Discipline can Change your Life

Dear EC,

"No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined."
~Harry E. Fosdick

Self-discipline and self-motivation are joined at the hip. Why is that? When you practice self-discipline you feel like you are in control of your life. You feel content and motivated because you're moving toward your goals.

Brian Tracy is one of America's leading authors on the development of human potential. He said this..."If I had to pick the #1 key to success, it would be...self-discipline. It is the difference in winning or losing; between greatness and mediocrity."

Today, I'd like to share Brian's introduction in "The Power of Discipline...7 Ways It Can Change Your Life". Enjoy!
From Mac Anderson, founder of Simple Truths
--------------------------
Introduction from The Power of Discipline By Brian Tracy

Why are some people more successful than others? Why do some people make more money, live happier lives and accomplish much more in the same number of years than the great majority?

I started out in life with few advantages. I did not graduate from high school. I worked at menial jobs. I had limited education, limited skills and a limited future.

And then I began asking, "Why are some people more successful than others?" This question changed my life.

Over the years, I have read thousands of books and articles on the subjects of success and achievement. It seems that the reasons for these accomplishments have been discussed and written about for more than two thousand years, in every conceivable way. One quality that most philosophers, teachers and experts agree on is the importance of self-discipline. As Al Tomsik summarized it years ago, "Success is tons of discipline."

Some years ago, I attended a conference in Washington. It was the lunch break and I was eating at a nearby food fair. The area was crowded and I sat down at the last open table by myself, even though it was a table for four.

A few minutes later, an older gentleman and a younger woman who was his assistant came along carrying trays of food, obviously looking for a place to sit.

With plenty of room at my table, I immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join me. He was hesitant, but I insisted. Finally, thanking me as he sat down, we began to chat over lunch.

It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, I immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. I had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.

After we had chatted for awhile, I asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, "Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?"

He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, "The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, "Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work."

Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.
********

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The SEED

A successful business man was growing old & knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.
Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO.
I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however.
He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the
seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.
Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot.
But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor & many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.
Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!
His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.
"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.
Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants & flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"
* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
So, be careful what you plant now;
it will determine what you will reap later.
"Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back"

********

What we can learn from Wolves...

Dear EC,

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, & the strength of the wolf is the pack."
~Rudyard Kipling

What exactly did Kipling mean when he said this? And, what can we...humans, learn from these beautiful creatures of the wild?

Twyman Towery spent many years in research, seeking the answers to this question. And the result is an amazing book that will make you think...what could human organizations accomplish if they lived by these principles?
This book, in my opinion, is a classic and will be around for many years teaching us...leadership lessons from nature. Enjoy this chapter on Loyalty.

Excerpt from: Wisdom of Wolves,
by Twyman Towery

No other mammal shows more spirited devotion to its family, organization or social group than the wolf. The members of the wolf pack hunt together to insure survival of the group, but they also play, sing, sleep, scuffle and protect each other. A wolf's purpose for existing is to insure the survival of the pack.

A wolf pack is made up of parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, half brothers and half sisters - it is truly an extended family organization. And though generally only the Alpha male and Alpha female produce pups, every member of the pack participates in the nurturing and education of the young. Each pack member assumes responsibility for the food, shelter, training, protection and play where the pups are concerned, for the pack realizes that the young are their future.

The loyalty exhibited between wolves is well known and documented. But a Montana man who has used his summers for years to study wolves in Alaska gave me a different view of wolf loyalty. He told about a couple he knew who lived in an extremely remote area with their two sons in a log cabin they had made by hand. This family also included two wolves they had raised from earliest puppyhood, rescuing them from their den after their mother had been indiscriminately shot and the pups left to die. This was the only family the wolves had ever known, having only lived with humans as their pack mates.

One day the parents were cutting wood about a mile from home when one of the boys accidentally turned over a kerosene lamp (there was no electricity), and a raging fire began to consume the wooden structure. The two wolves immediately dashed toward the flaming cabin where the two boys were trapped inside, immobilized by smoke and fear. The parents were far behind, so the wolves gnawed and fought their way into the cabin and pulled the boys outside to safety. Though both wolves were badly burned, their loyalty to their "pack" meant the difference between life and death for these two members of their "pack."

The Wolf Credo written by Del Goetz truly captures what the wolf is all about:

Respect the elders
Teach the young
Cooperate with the pack.

Play when you can
Hunt when you must
Rest in between.

Share your affections
Voice your feelings
Leave your mark.

Del Goetz
--------------------------------------
To life and the joy it brings,
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths
********

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Folding Plug H 264

*If you received this via email, click on the link at "Posted by ECGMA to ECBeez Blog" to view the blogpost"*

The New British Standard
Slimmed Down Three-Pin Plug

The Royal College of Art's graduate show has opened, and this year, the show-stopper
was actually -- a plug. Min-Kyu Choi impressed every passerby with his neat, apparently
market-ready plug that folds down to the width of a thin mobile computer.
"Many of today's mobile computers have become wafer thin but here in the UK, we still
use the world's biggest three-pin plug," says Choi.

Enter Choi's slimmed down British three-pin plug wonder.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Follow your conscience, not the crowd

Dear EC,


"I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us...if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do."

Christopher Reeve said these words, and his quote captures the essence of what our beautiful gift book, Walk the Talk is all about. It reminds us that having values is important, but living them is much more important...that words without deeds are nothing!

Best-selling authors, Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura, have written a wonderful, thought-provoking book, and I'd like to share their chapter on courage.

Enjoy!

Excerpt from Walk the Talk
By Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura

Courage

QUESTION: What does "courage" have to do with being a person of good character...with someone who stays true to their principles and their values?

ANSWER: EVERYTHING!

You see, being values-driven means two things:

Doing what's right - following our conscience; refusing to compromise our principles, despite pressures and temptations to the contrary, and

Taking a stand against what's wrong - speaking out, whenever we see others do things that are incorrect or inappropriate.

Unquestionably, both of those require guts and fortitude...they require courage.


Courage is...

Following your conscience instead of "following the crowd".
Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
Speaking your mind even though others don't agree.
Taking complete responsibility for your actions...and your mistakes.
Following the rules - and insisting that others do the same.
Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
Doing what you know is right- regardless of the risks and potential consequences.


I'd like to share the "Cadet Prayer" that is repeated during chapel services at the U.S. Military Academy:


"Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole truth can be won. Endow us with the courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy."


That is truly the essence of courage.

All the Best,

Mac Anderson
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

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Friday, August 6, 2010

SynXis and MICROS expand partnership for single-image inventory

SynXis and MICROS expand partnership for single-image inventory

April 23, 2008 | Internet Marketing


The new collaboration adds reservation synchronization capabilities providing hotel revenue managers with a true single-image of inventory in both the SynXis and MICROS systems, the two companies claim.

SynXis, the Sabre Holdings business that provides hotel distribution and Internet marketing services globally, and MICROS Systems, Inc., a leading provider of information technology solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, announced today the signing of a partnership between SynXis and MICROS that will enhance their already integrated solution to drive even more value for their joint customers.

SynXis and MICROS will work together to continuously improve value and efficiencies of the integration between the SynXis Central Reservation System (CRS) and the MICROS Property Management System (PMS). One example of the collaboration is the addition of reservation synchronization capabilities providing hotel revenue managers with a true single-image of inventory in both the SynXis and MICROS systems.

�This agreement is a significant step in addressing the very real need for the hotel industry to leverage the advantages of integrating its disparate operations,� said Scott Alvis, President and General Manager of SynXis. �MICROS and SynXis are committed to working together to provide the leadership to move the industry forward in areas that can have a significant impact to customer service.�

�We understand the varying needs of our customers and are committed to delivering on both fully integrated and best-of-breed solutions to the industry,� stated Dr. Peter Agel, Vice President, Distribution Logistics, MICROS EAME. �Our strategic partnership with SynXis will provide the industry with more options for implementing an advanced inventory solution.�



SynXis launches Asia Pacific Call Center

SynXis launches Asia Pacific Call Center

June 04, 2008 | Hospitality Industry


SynXis recently launched its Asia Pacific Call Center located in Singapore. The company offers call center services in several locations and at varying price points including the United States and Canada.

SynXis Call Center customers work closely with distribution experts at SynXis to optimize hotel content (including room descriptions, property information and rates) to ensure each property is receiving maximum exposure through the call center channel. As a result of this proactive consultation, many SynXis call center customers see a significant increase in their call conversion rates.

SynXis customers experience the �SynXis Difference� when using its call centers because agents sell the hotel�s story, not just a bed type, essentially becoming an extension of the property�s sales force. This is accomplished with comprehensive training sessions and a rigorous screening and hiring process that guarantees an experienced workforce. The different locations offer such languages as: Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and English.

Janelle Cornett, Corporate Director of Revenue Management for Coastal Hotel Group, a longtime SynXis customer, commented: �We have been impressed by the way SynXis continues to innovate based on marketplace needs. Having an integrated call center solution with SynXis is extremely valuable. We have seen our conversion rates improve over 10 percentage points since moving to the call center. They truly partner with us to improve our revenue per booking and increase sales overall.�

SynXis call center customers gain immediate benefits because hotel managers can make updates directly in the RedX Voice Agent product, used in all SynXis call centers, and the reservations agents will see real-time rates, availability, images and property descriptions ensuring a seamless experience for the guests.

SynXis President and General Manager, Scott Alvis added, �We have invested a lot of resources into providing a world-class call center solution that would dovetail with our distribution offering. The combination of SynXis and our strategic partners ensures the success of our customers not only today but well into the future.�

SynXis is a key part of Sabre Holdings� portfolio of services in the hotel space. Together, SynXis and Sabre enable hoteliers to provide better customer service, increase revenues, and sell more rooms than any other electronic distribution provider.



Hoteliers most concerned with marketing ROI

Hoteliers most concerned with marketing ROI

May 26, 2009 |


Measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities was the number one concern expressed by hoteliers at a series of summits hosted recently by SynXis.

More than 250 of SynXis' customers attended five global revenue and distribution summits around the world to share ideas and best practices for staying competitive in a difficult economic environment. Summits were held in Washington DC, Denver, London and Hong Kong, with a special session for gaming properties in Las Vegas, with each discussing regional trends.

SynXis customers including chains, independent hotels, casinos and value-added resellers gathered to listen to SynXis experts speak on the topics of: revenue management, pricing strategy, GDS marketing and Internet marketing, including strategies for leveraging social media as a distribution channel. Throughout the summits customers were polled on a variety of topics and the presentations were adjusted to address the specific outcomes. Several notable trends emerged:

- Where there once was a clear delineation between revenue management and marketing responsibilities, it appears a convergence is taking place with two-thirds of the attendees responding that they oversee and/or influence both revenue management and marketing activities.

- In every region, one of the top three biggest areas of concern was measuring the effectiveness of online marketing activities; yet less than a quarter of the attendees use web analytics or reporting as an integral part of their daily business.

- Other top areas of concern for the attendees included: competitive actions, business mix and shorter booking windows. These concerns were consistent throughout all regions.

- More than half of the attendees have experimented with social media for their hotels as they search in this environment for a form of differentiation, increased customer loyalty, and incremental bookings.

Based on these survey results, each regional event was customized for that audience's need, with the end goal being a focus on what each participant can do to immediately generate incremental revenue for their property.

"We found the day enormously beneficial - a day very well executed. The talks were relevant, topical and informative," commented Duncan Bramwell, managing director for Distribution and Revenue Management Specialists. "Certainly with this sort of initiative SynXis is demonstrating how it can sell more than just a technology solution; a powerful point of differentiation and advantage."

"The traditional marketing role has evolved and is today, more fiscally accountable than ever before," said Bruce Hyatt, vice president, marketing and strategy for SynXis. "Marketing initiatives need to return a good level of investment and there is a lot of pressure to find new ways and new technology to make and save money for the company. An integrated marketing and distribution strategy is paramount in achieving this success; and SynXis has invested significantly in capabilities that enable us to be not just a technology provider but a true marketing partner to our hotel customers."


4G Wireless Evolution - SynXis Intros Mobile Website Platform

May 29, 2009

4G Wireless Evolution - SynXis Intros Mobile Website Platform

SynXis has introduced the 'SynXis Mobile Website Platform,' which allows hospitality industry Websites to be easily accessed on most of the popular smart phones and cell phones.

The solution will help the hospitality industry take advantage of consumers' increasing tendency to carry out transactions on their mobile devices.


As
TMCnet reported earlier, in 2008, approximately $72 billion mobile initiated business accrued via an estimated 25 billion transactions made by nearly 40 million consumers, which included roughly $24 billion for purchasing games, music and ringtones.

However, by 2013, the figures could well shoot up exponentially to $860 billion generated via 300 billion transactions made by close to 450 million consumers with 285 billion transactions dedicated towards the purchase of physical goods and services other than mobile content on-demand, continued the report.

Officials at the company said that the solution developed together with its Internet marketing wing, E-site Marketing, which like SynXis is also a Sabre Holdings company and a part of the Sabre Travel Network business unit. The parent company, Sabre Holdings, claims that its non-negotiable mission and commitment is to connect people with the world's greatest travel possibilities.

The SynXis Mobile Website Platform intelligently senses that a hotel's Internet space is being accessed by a mobile hand held device and then automatically reroutes the original query to the hotelier's customized mobile Website, claim official sources. A hotel has been used as a convenient example, it may represent a spa, resort, or even a residential health clinic.

An illustration could be that a mobile user finds and enters http://www.rosewoodsandhill.com/index.cfm and the software automatically redirects to http://mobile.rosewoodsandhill.com/.

The solution is proprietary and in one way is different from other similar freely available applications – that is, it works together with the hospitality industrialist's Uniform Resource Locator and thereby leverages existing search engine rankings and linkage partnerships from the mobile device, claim company officials.

The solution's Content Management Tool, which is also proprietary, permits the hospitality industrialist's IT staff to directly access and easily upgrade media content on the host mobile Website in the same way one would update a conventional Website.

Officials claim that a recent PhocusWright study titled, "PhocusWright's 2009 Mobile the Next Platform for Travel," unearthed that when frequent business travelers mobile surf the Web, 77 percent use it to find local attractions and services and 69 percent use it for maps and navigation services.

"Our customers have been asking us what direction they should take when it comes to a mobile solution for their property," said Robert Dawson, Chief Technology Officer for E-site Marketing.  "With the vast majority of mobile users still just interacting with maps and phone numbers that functionality seemed like the most logical place to start.  Our turnkey solution features one-click on address and phone number that invokes directions map and automatic dialing.  We will soon be rolling out our mobile booking engine to help properties take their mobile solutions to the transactional level."

SynXis staff say that it is poised to release a mobile phone activated booking engine that helps prospective customers to surf availability and reserve accommodation of their choice, claims the company.

The solution can be customized to provide services that generate revenue through pay per click advertising, local search and opt-in SMS marketing.

"We recognized that our target audience is the exact demographic that is using smart phones to do everything from 'Facebooking' to researching travel, both business and leisure," said Christine Jackson, Corporate Director of Marketing, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.  "The new mobile Website solution ensures we don't miss out on these very valuable travelers and provides us an invaluable guest services contact point for guests en-route to our properties." 

Most of the Rosewood chain of hospitality properties use the SynXis Mobile Website Platform and successfully leverage the growing consumer trend, TMCnet reported, which indicates that a high percentage of people turn to social networks to communicate, recommend and seek advice for all sorts of stuff.

Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.


Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts renews with Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Renews Distribution Agreement with Sabre Hospitality Solutions Following Significant Revenue and Booking Growth

Business Wire, July 13, 2010

SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- Since choosing Sabre Hospitality Solutions as its distribution partner, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the luxury chain with 66 distinctive properties in Asia Pacific, North America, and the Middle East, has enjoyed significant growth in revenue and bookings coming through Sabre Hospitality Solutions' SynXis Central Reservation System (CRS). The leading hotel group, whose revenue from the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) has increased by more than 35 percent year-on-year for the first half of 2010, has signed an early multi-year renewal agreement with Sabre Hospitality Solutions as their distribution provider.

The Shangri-La hotel group has leveraged the full spectrum of robust technology features in the SynXis CRS, as well as the expertise of Sabre Hospitality's team, to manage and promote its private label chain code, SG, on all four GDSs. Sabre Hospitality Solutions leads the industry in managing private label GDS chain codes, with a total of 53, and its customers have often experienced double-digit growth as a result of their experience.

"We looked to Sabre Hospitality Solutions because we wanted to increase our exposure on the various distribution channels and in particular on the GDS. The expertise of the Sabre team in this area is unsurpassed in the industry," said Kent Zhu, group director of sales and marketing at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. "Further, their seamless integration to our PMS has increased efficiency of business operations all around and helped us concentrate on higher returns. The results we've seen so far have been fantastic. To have such increases during troubling economic times left no doubt that we would continue our partnership."


Shangri-La Hotels has taken advantage of Sabre Hospitality Solutions' technology integration to streamline their business operations and improve efficiency. The SynXis CRS communicates directly with Shangri-La's property management and revenue management systems to facilitate a single entry point to manage inventory and revenue for the entire chain.

"When Shangri-La initially came to us, they had a very specific set of requirements and goals which required the strength and breadth of our global team," said Patrick Andres, vice president, Asia Pacific, of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. "This renewal signifies not only the success of those efforts, but also the ability for the Sabre Hospitality Solutions team to put together complex and customized solutions to meet the needs of large, global hoteliers. I'm very proud of this collaboration, and thrilled to continue working with Shangri-La."

About Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Sabre Hospitality Solutions leverages the strength and breadth of Sabre Holding's technology, internet marketing and distribution tools to bring hotel suppliers a global end-to-end solution. Sabre's hospitality expertise and portfolio of solutions has grown significantly over the last several years and now includes SynXis, which provides distribution technology and marketing services; E-site Marketing, the leading hospitality Internet marketing solutions provider; Sabre Hotels GDS; Sabre Hotel RFP, which develops, delivers and manages hotel requests for proposals into a single organization; and Sabre Media Solutions for GDS and other creative services in hospitality. For more information visit http://www.sabrehospitality.com.

Sabre Holdings connects people with the world's greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com.



Heritage Hotel gets ahead in systems game - Micros Fidelio

Thursday, October 16, 2008

 

BIZZ FIZZ
By Rene Martel
Heritage Hotel gets ahead in systems game

 
WITH almost 20 new hotels expected to come on line over the next few years it's getting to be very competitive in the hospitality business, with staying ahead of the game (and the competition) being the key mode of operation.

Doing just that is the Heritage Hotel Manila (managed by Millennium Hotels and Resorts) which has become the first hotel in the Philippines to use cutting edge software to upgrade its property management system (PMS) in view of its re-engineering program to enhance operations of the hotel's 450 newly refurbished rooms and suites.

"Tried and tested in the European and Northern American hospitality industry, MICROS-Fidelio OPERA PMS's latest edition has only been recently introduced in the Asian market. We are delighted to be one of the 1st in the Philippines to roll out the system," states Heritage Hotel General Manager Eddie Yeo.

"The key factor in our decision to upgrade our system to the newest version of MICROS-Fidelio OPERA PMS is anchored on its ability to provide us with a totally integrated solution for fast, seamless and superb service to our hotel guests in a stable, reliable and flexible Oracle-based platform," he noted.

Heritage Hotel's PMS project management team spearheaded by GM Yeo, Resident Manager Stanley Kon, Director of Finance Marilyn Sy and MIS Manager Marvin Rancap worked closely with the MICROS-Fidelio team headed by Country Manager Robert Gabitan and Operations Manager Alvin Ballesteros to implement the new system.

Added Yeo: "The cutting-edge technology of OPERA PMS together with our brand new product—the 450 newly refurbished rooms and suites—and the hotel's renown for impeccable hospitality are the pivotal elements that will further help enable it to carve its niche as the premier business hotel in the dynamic Manila Bay area."

The OPERA Property Management System provides Heritage Hotel staff with the necessary tools for conducting day-to-day transactions with ease—from handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms and managing room inventory to handling accounting and billing.

Key department personnel have been undergoing a series of stringent training on the application of the OPERA PMS for enhanced administration of property, inventory and distribution, conference and events, accounts receivable, point of sale and sales and catering systems flow.

Hotel guests will directly benefit from the installation of this new system and can look forward to an easier, more convenient and detailed anticipation of their preferences at every encounter from handling reservations, checking in and out, special and detailed guest needs as well as accurate and timely statement of account notice.

The OPERA PMS's functionality is robust and provides Heritage Hotel management with unparalleled tools for customer relationship management, revenue management, forecasting and preparation of reports.

Through the new property management system, Heritage Hotel also has the added advantage of streamlining management, lowering costs, and allowing easier access to information with a higher level of reliability. OPERA Customer Information System gathers and manages guest, travel agent, source, group, and company profile data in a central database.

Other benefits from installing the OPERA Reservation System include offering central reservations agents and global sales staff the tools to maximize bookings and increase revenue in any size chain or multi-property environment. Additionally, OPERA Sales and Catering module will assist in streamlining the sales process, multi-choice menus, diary activities and quick booking for catering events.

The Heritage Hotel upgraded its property management system fresh from the heels of a US$ 4.5-million refurbishment of its 450 rooms and suites that breathed life to a contemporary ambiance, bringing a bright look and feel of light earthen hues to the rooms.

Aside from the systems enhancement to OPERA'S latest edition, the hotel has also upgraded its PABX system. Another phase of refurbishment, this time around focusing on the public areas such as the reception and lobby area and swimming pool is taking shape.

All these projects are integrated and designed to heighten and enrich guests' experience at the Heritage Hotel.

bizzfizz_98@yahoo.com



MICROS Systems

MICROS Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCRS), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, is the world's leading developer of enterprise applications serving the hospitality and specialty retail industries. MICROS serves table service and quick service restaurants, hotels, the leisure and entertainment industry, and specialty retail stores, with complete information management solutions including software, hardware, enterprise systems integration, consulting and support. MICROS's distributes its products through subsidiaries, independent dealers/distributors, and company-owned sales and service offices around the world. This global network consists of over 4,300 employees, 45 subsidiaries in major markets and 111 distributors in 45 countries.

Product

Micros Product

Property Systems

OPERA Property Management Software

At the core of the OPERA enterprise solution is our premier property management software, the OPERA Property Management System (PMS). Designed to meet the varied requirements of any size hotel or hotel chain, OPERA PMS provides all the tools a hotel staff needs for doing their day-to-day jobs — handling reservations, checking guests in and out, assigning rooms and managing room inventory, accommodating in-house guest needs, and handling accounting and billing. The property management software is configurable to each property's specific requirements and operates in either single-property or multi-property mode, with all properties in a complex sharing a single database. OPERA Property Management Systems is fully integrated with OPERA Sales and Catering, OPERA Gaming and Comp Accounting, OPERA Vacation Ownership System, OPERA Quality Management System, and the OPERA central systems — ORS, the OPERA Reservation System; and OCIS, the OPERA Customer Information System.

OPERA Sales and Catering

OPERA Sales and Catering is full-featured catering sales management software that is seamlessly integrated with the OPERA Property Management System (PMS) and the OPERA Reservation System (ORS). A single database is shared by both OPERA Sales and Catering software and OPERA PMS. OPERA Sales and Catering removes the artificial barriers that exist with interfaced Sales management software and PMS systems, including the problems and complexity that derive from the need to create, link, and update records in multiple systems. The integration of catering software with the PMS system also enables a unified selling and inventory strategy for the hotel or chain. With a single inventory to monitor and control, the organization can more effectively include the goals of the Sales and Catering department in the overall sales and inventory strategy.

MICROS-Fidelio Financials / OPERA Vision

MICROS Financials is an international solution that empowers organizations with a fully integrated, flexible e-business solution. It includes integrated ledger and full multi-currency support. Its full multi-dimensional analysis, extending across all modules, delivers powerful management information to the whole organization. OPERA Vision provides fast, adaptable ways to extract data from MICROS-Fidelio Hotel Systems. Vision greatly enhances the already extensive functionality of Excel, enabling powerful reporting and presentation. Vision provides a dynamic link, by extracting real-time information from multiple tables in the MICROS-Fidelio Hotel Systems into a single Excel report, Word document, or Vision Executive report.

OPERA Materials Control (OPERA MC)

The key to effective cost savings and efficiency is having real-time F&B management information. OPERA Materials Control (OPERA MC) offers a comprehensive solution to effectively manage all property inventory bringing efficiencies to daily workflow and managing food costs and is specially tailored to the hospitality environment.

OPERA Activity Scheduler

Manage all facilities and activities at your hotel, health spa, golf courses & other leisure venues. Appointments can be booked quickly and efficiently as the system automatically finds available times and controls multiple services or qualified staff members where required. OPERA Activity Scheduler tracks all client information including service and retail history, staff notes and medical details, and enables a resort to provide every guest with an itinerary upon arrival. And as an integrated feature in OPERA, if a guests calls to cancel a reservation, all activities are cancelled as well.

Front Office Version 7

A full-feature Microsoft Window-based PMS, Front Office Version 7 provides the same robust functionality as Suite 6 Front Office with an easy-to-use graphical user interface along with the advantages of Windows® operation. Version 7 offers an open systems migration for hotel operators. Features include reservations, front desk, cashier, housekeeping, night audit, system set up and over 100 standard reports.

Point of Sale Systems

MICROS provides comprehensive restaurant point of sale systems that can be scaled to meet the needs of every type and size of restaurant, whether you operate a single restaurant or hundreds. With our modular restaurant POS systems that let you buy what you need, our restaurant point of sale software solutions are perfect for table service, fast casual, and even quick service restaurants.

Central Systems

OPERA Reservation System (ORS)

The OPERA Reservation System (ORS) centrally managed computer reservation system is at the heart of the hotel industry's first enterprise-wide inventory and reservation management system. The ORS hotel reservation system is designed for seamless integration with the entire OPERA product family —the OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS), the OPERA Property Management System, OPERA Sales and Catering, and OPERA Sales Force Automation. This centrally managed computer reservation system offers central reservations agents and global sales staffs the tools to maximize bookings and increase revenue in any size chain or multi-property environment. ORS easily handles all types of reservations — individual, group and party, company, travel agent, multi-legged, multi-rate, and waitlisted.

OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS)

OCIS, the OPERA Customer Information System, gathers and manages guest, travel agent, source, group, and company profile data in a central database that can be shared by multiple properties. OCIS collects demographic information (mail and email addresses, phone numbers, etc.), complete stay details, production data, and revenue statistics. In addition, the OCIS Memberships module supports virtually any type of "frequent flyer" or loyalty program. OCIS can be used strategically by the hotel or chain to support Sales efforts and to enhance customer relationship management.

OPERA Web Suite

OPERA Web Suite is an integrated family of web applications designed to extend access to the OPERA database using Web technology. Together with the OPERA Enterprise Solution products — including OPERA Property Management System, OPERA Sales and Catering, and the central reservation systems — the OPERA Web Suite delivers a fully integrated, single-image, enterprise inventory system. OPERA Web Suite connectivity offers hospitality businesses the tools to maximize bookings and increase revenues by bypassing GDS and switch fees and linking guests, corporate accounts, and travel agents directly into your PMS, S&C or ORS system. OPERA Web Suite applications can be integrated seamlessly with your hotel or chain website.

OPERA GDS Interface

The OPERA GDS Interface links the hotel's OPERA database and the global distribution systems (GDSs) and Web booking engines (WBEs) through a third-party switching company. The GDS Interface provides seamless connectivity so that real-time general and detailed availability can be provided by OPERA to the GDSs and the WBEs. The GDSs, which are used primarily by travel agents and tour operators, can then make, change, and cancel bookings with OPERA properties, while the WBEs can allow Internet users to make, change, and cancel their own reservations. Rate updates and restrictions may also be passed from the hotel's OPERA database to the GDS hosts via the OPERA GDS Interface. The OPERA GDS Interface has been designed to adhere to the very strict time constraints that govern GDS messaging.

OPERA Sales Force Automation System (SFA)

OPERA Sales Force Automation is a central Sales support tool for the hotel chain's regional or national Sales team. SFA features are designed to maximize sales for the chain at large, regardless of where the business may materialize. SFA's lead handling module communicates prospective business to selected hotels. When running as part of an OPERA PMS multi-property complex, SFA staff may view inventory and book directly into participating properties. SFA is fully integrated with OPERA's central reservation system, ORS.

myfidelio.net

The myfidelio.net application is linked via a switch company to all four major GDS. Through this dedicated interface, hotels are distributed to more than 500,000 travel agency terminals worldwide.

By using the internet booking facilities of myfidelio.net, hotels make their own website a real sales portal. In addition, myfidelio.net offers advanced distribution via online travel agencies and portals, also known as ADS (Alternative Distribution Systems).

A key feature of the myfidelio.net application is its ability to create a single image inventory environment for each property that can be easily presented to all relevant sales channels. All Micros-Fidelio hotel solutions can be integrated with the myfidelio.net application, specially all Micros-Fidelio PMS (Property Management Systems) and ORS (Opera Reservation System).


The Tech Turning Point - Hospitality Trends

The tech turning point

on Jun 2, 2010

An appropriate reservation software system works wonders yet, because of the high costs or other operational challenges, some hotels only partially op
An appropriate reservation software system works wonders yet, because of the high costs or other operational challenges, some hotels only partially op

An appropriate reservation software system works wonders yet, because of the high costs or other operational challenges, some hotels only partially opt for it, says Sapna Kulshrestha

Hotel reservation software has become quite popular in a comparatively short span of time, for it has eased the day-to-day operations of a hotel. Says Magesh Ramamurthy, director of IT- Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai: "A reservation system is the backbone of the hospitality industry; it helps manage the inventory of available rooms on any given day and from the guest point of view, gives a confirmation and comfort against their booking."

Though the features are approximately the same, the factors considered while choosing new software is its compatibility with a hotel's existing hardware and software platforms, as also convenience and ease of handling.


The interface should be such that it is easy to operate and requires minimum human intervention. Says Sagun Sawhney, country manager, Fidelio India Pvt Ltd, on some of the salient features of Micros Opera Reservation Software (ORS): "The software offers global deployment as it gives multi currency and multi language option to hoteliers for wider reach, rates and revenues in the local language, for better continuity. Moreover, through inherent exchange gateway, OPERA can be extended to any third party PMS that ensures a hotel's previous investments are secure."

The choice of software is integral to customer satisfaction in the long run, thus, the selection of software varies from hotel to hotel depending upon specific requirements and target market, which will lead to increased occupancy and business.

Says Ravish Jhala, systems manager, Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai: "Hotel reservation/hotel property management software is something every hotelier should take very seriously. In the last few years, many hotels around the world have successfully implemented the use of hotel reservation software in order to automate their reservations and maximise profits. Every hotelier who desires to keep business profitable and above the competition must, as a matter of necessity, begin using hotel reservation software."

Agrees Sivaprasad G, national sales manager, IDS Software Pvt Ltd: "In future, we see an increasing prevalence of newer models like a hosted booking system based along the lines of the SAAS model, built-in interfaces to Global Distribution Systems, and to portals that make the hotel's real-time inventory available to customers. A significant share of revenue will come from these non-traditional channels."

In fact, some software companies have developed reservation systems as a module integrated within their hotel property management system software, that further allows improved capture of guest preferences and easier management of the rate code, depending on the room type and rate type.

Also, for large hotel chains with the feature of property management systems communicating with central reservations, data such as guest preferences can be passed from hotel to hotel regardless of the property management system.

Adds Ramamurthy: "To effectively control room inventories we use central reservations, so that any sales or reservations made across the world on our behalf, through internet or through travel agents, gets updated automatically to our hotel PMS software through an interfacing software. While the reservation software helps to track or register the reservation, in order to confirm and convey guests about their booking, we use another software interfaced with hotel PMS software, through which the confirmation can either be mailed or faxed with a confirmation number, indicating hotel information and other facilities."

Due to increased service offerings and rising complexities in hotel functioning, the task of data regulation and maintenance becomes even more challenging as it needs to be maintained in a very organised and effective manner. Says Franklyn Edwin, general manager, product development, Shawman Software: "One of the reasons that, in the past few years, most hotels have been integrating reservation software with property management systems, is to enhance distribution and guest data capabilities.


Integration is also important to ensure a hotel is able to deliver accurate information out to the distribution world. For instance, ShawMan PMS which is an integrated front office management software, can host multiple properties and handle guest reservations simultaneously across many units, including an integrated web based reservation agent and auto confirmation manager with payment gateway linked."

Similarly, Micros Opera now has a powerful XML-based interface with the RateTiger channel management system - RTConnect - that enables the hotel to manage its rates, inventory and availability from Micros Opera applications into RateTiger's channel management, and receive reservations directly into its hotel system utiliding MICROS's proprietary interfacing technology.

Says Udai Singh Solanki, chief technology officer and managing director - India, eRevMax: "This interface allows hotels to generate additional revenue from online travel portals and to automate the process flow between points-of-sale and the hotel systems. Rate shopping connectivity contributes to traditional integrated revenue management functions and thus allows hoteliers to make better decisions."


Agrees Harminder Singh Dhindsa, manager - IT, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts:"Reservation software allows easy generation of reports and MIS for every individual property, allowing time-to-time performance reviews that further helps in revenue management.

At Sarovar Hotels we have sourced a central reservations software from IDS that allow one-point reservation for all 43-group hotels and online 24x7 connectivity between individual hotels and regional reservations offices. Further, there is real-time room-inventory status of individual hotels at all regional reservations offices. It can easily maintain guest history through the group of hotels and, as it has two-way interface, can be easily integrated with hotel PMS system."

Another distinctive product in terms of providing a single consistent image of inventory, rates, profiles and bookings to all reservation channels, is the Wish.Net that leverages Microsoft.NET technology.

As all front office functions are consolidated into a single workspace with additional tools and data available on sliding panels, the user has to navigate fewer forms and thus needs less training to be highly productive. Explains Amlan Ghose, managing director, Prologic First India Pvt Ltd: "In addition to unparallel usability, through the Wish.Net system guests can visit the hotel or chain's web site to make a reservation and receive instant confirmation if rooms are available. The consistent database architecture guards the hotel against inadvertent over-bookings and can confidently make the last room available for sale."

Replacing the outdated methods of e-mailing, calling or faxing the guest to cross-check the booking, there is now available fully automated software which directly connects the hotel to the global distribution system (GDS) when a room is booked. Says SM Edward, managing director, Winsar Infosoft Pvt Ltd: "Using Winsar's software WINHMS is similar to talking online, where the hotel responds as soon as the guest books.

Guests even have the option of choosing the mode of intimation. They can be informed through SMS in case they are travelling, where all they have to do is key in their phone number at the time of making a reservation. As soon as the booking is confirmed, the system sends an SMS to the guest's hand phone."

Adds Sanzeev Bhatia, executive assistant manager, The Metropolitan Hotel New Delhi: "Recently, we have started using WINHMS within the hotel and Fastbooking.com reservation software on our website. Being user friendly, WINHMS has increased the efficiency of reservation staff and, on the other side, the booking engine of Fastbooking.com is faster and easier for our guests booking us through our website. Moreover, the WINHMS added feature of guest history helps in understanding guest needs/preferences prior to their arrival."

As the hospitality industry is governed by two important factors - time and cost - with hotel reservation solutions, hoteliers experience overall reduction in the same spent on the working of the business, resulting in increased efficiency and profit margins by adopting these solutions.


In fact, the latest central reservation systems are designed as call centre based for a chain of hotels/properties. Moreover, reservations made through web CRS are transferred to a hotel's PMS, instantly making reservations online and real time.

For example, new features such as those offered by Winsar Infosfsoft 'E-Concierge' and Prologic First India 'Wish.Net' among others, facilitates the guest to pick and choose various services of their choice and budget and plan their stay/holidays as per their preferences well in advance.

The automated process results in timely and quality services and leads to better guest satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in more revenue growth for hotels. Another feature is the ability to up-sell; additional products and services can be booked by guests while making a room reservation.


Another advantage of web based solutions is the minimisation of no-shows, enhanced customer service and efficient operations, thus optimising revenues. For example, Oberoi Call Centre and Trident Call Centre have implemented Opera reservation system (ORS), to take central reservations for the unit hotels.

Says Jhala: "The reservations module is central to Opera PMS from which the user can create new reservations and search, view and modify existing reservations. As a key source of information, the reservation specifies the guest's arrival and departure date, room type, rate and packages, amongst other important details.

It is also a gateway to dozens of other Opera functions that contribute to the guest's experience. Right from the reservation screen we can handle advance deposits; access guest, company, agent, and source profiles; perform guest billing functions; assign rooms as per the guests preference; communicate with housekeeping; review and set up traces; schedule wake up calls; perform room moves; and more. The system is also configured for the waitlist function; whereby one can actively track bookings which are on a waitlist due to non availability of rooms."

Besides effectively handling individual guest reservations, the advanced reservation software offers the capability of handling group reservations too, wherein the group reservations module is used to handle groups/bulk requirement of rooms that enables the user to create a rooming list, assign rooms to group members and perform group check-in.

These days, consumers mostly check for the best offer online and apart from a hotel's own web site, many third-party web sites allow users to search through thousands of different hotels, spas and resorts to book a reservation, requiring hotels to continuously manage and update prices and availabilities.

Therefore, hoteliers are turning to the internet hotel reservation software that has made both the process and the management of reservations comfortable. Says Pratik Vakil, sales head India & Asia Pacific, Anand Systems Inc, providers of online hotel reservation software: "ASI Hotel Enterprise Information System is also tightly integrated with Pegasus GDS as well as provides interfaces for Expedia, Hotel.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Booking.com, Hotwire and many more leading IDS industry networks, which ensures hoteliers don't have to worry about online bookings coming in from various sources."

However, with stable internet infrastructure still lacking in some parts of the country, there remains skepticism among hoteliers about complete dependence on web-based reservation systems, more so for hotels in smaller cities.

Dhindsa agrees with that but points out that: "The connectivity at times does poses a problem but many web-based central reservation software like that from IDS come with the feature of working offline, which makes it convenient to use in times of disturbed online connections."

Says Vakil: "Many hotels, especially the smaller ones, are reluctant to integrating hotel reservation software in their websites for various reasons such as high initial purchase price, the time to train the staff and lack of skilled manpower in some places.

However, there is now also available software in smaller modules that are easy to install and operate. A word of caution though, is that the software installed must have all the security features in place so that no confidential information moves out of the hotel premises."

As accommodation providers are looking for ways to effectively integrate internet strategies into their businesses, some of the additional features they would like to see added in reservation software are better report generation formats and single voucher confirmation for multiple bookings at different group hotels.

Also, hoteliers and software vendors both agree that connectivity of the software to mobile phones to enable enquiries, reservations and confirmations, is definitely the future trend in hotel reservation software. This is due to technological advancements as well as travellers getting increasingly tech savvy.



The Most Advanced Central Reservation System - OPERA Reservation System (ORS)

The OPERA Reservation System (ORS), a true centrally managed central reservation system, is at the heart of the hotel industry's first enterprise-wide room inventory management system. The ORS hotel reservation system is designed for seamless integration with the entire OPERA product family — the OPERA Customer Information System (OCIS), the OPERA Property Management System, OPERA Sales and Catering, and OPERA Sales Force Automation. This comprehensively managed central reservation system offers reservations agents and global sales staffs the tools to maximize bookings and increase revenue in any size chain or multi-property environment. ORS easily handles all types of reservations — individual, group and party, company, travel agent, multi-legged, multi-rate, and waitlisted.


Key Features of MICROS's Hotel Reservation System:


Global Perspective: ORS supports multi-currency and multi-language features to meet the hotel reservation system requirements of global operations. Rates and revenues can be dynamically converted from the local currency to any other currency. The appropriate language for guest correspondence can be automatically determined by the guest's profile language; during the reservation process, key information such as the property, room, and rate descriptions can be displayed in multiple languages. Country-specific address formats are supported.


Automatic Rate and Inventory Controls: The ORS central reservation system lets you set up rate structures for individual properties, groups of properties, or for chains. Multi-level rate and inventory controls make inventory management easier and increase profitability. Rates and room types can be automatically restricted based on percentage occupancy, minimum stay through, arrival date, and more. Agents can use the hotel reservation system to easily determine best available rates for any length of stay. To maximize property revenues, these hotel reservation computer systems also support interfacing to major yield management systems.


Full Reservation Functionality: Agents making reservations with the ORS central reservation system can easily handle complex operations such as routing instructions and split charges, shared reservations, frequent flyer and loyalty program memberships, negotiated rates, and rate discounts (percentage or fixed amount). Multiple advance deposit requirements and cancellation penalties may be applied to reservations with ORS; deposit transactions automatically transfer to the property.


Group and Block Features: Creating and managing group and block reservations is as easy in the ORS central reservation system environment as it is using a stand-alone hotel PMS. Room blocking, rooming lists, room sharing, deposits, tour series, and other group booking features are handled by ORS.


Sales Flow Control: This hotel reservation system lets you customize the flow of the sales process by the chain or property. ORS operations can be optimized for any operational environment. Dynamic global messaging, selling scripts, and closing scripts guide the agent through the selling process. Agents can easily change or cancel existing bookings and move bookings to different properties or dates any time prior to check-in.


Multi-Property Rate Display: The ORS central reservation system availability display can show rates, room types, and packages for one property or for multiple properties. Agents can easily re-query for alternate dates when the requested dates are not available. Color-coding throughout the sales screen lets the agent see at a glance why a property, room, or rate might be unavailable.


Efficient Searching: Use the ORS hotel reservation system to conveniently search for room availability across properties and chains. By entering just a few criteria, agents can narrow a property search. Searching can be controlled by one or more criteria, including property name, city, region, property features, property type (e.g., 3-star, 4-star) package elements, attractions, rate range, and so on. The ORS central reservation system's property information displays are comprehensive, with details on transportation services, restaurants, and amenities, etc. Area maps and images of the property can also be provided. ORS automatically logs the original search criteria and whether the call resulted in a booked reservation or a turnaway.


Reports and Logs: The ORS hotel reservations computer systems offer dozens of standard reports that provide extensive data for analysis and management of CRO and property performance. Activity logs maintain an audit trail of reservation and profile related activity for each agent.


Channel Management: Hotels and chains can also use the central reservation system to review business volume by channel and open or close channels based on channel, property, rate, or room type. Much of the channel management setup information is pre-configured to make it easy to get started.


OPERA Enterprise Solution


OPERA Enterprise Solution (OES), the revolutionary product suite of MICROS-FIDELIO software, is a concept built of similarly powerful elements. In contrast to traditional, departmentally organized information systems for hotels, the OPERA Enterprise Solution introduces an enterprise-wide technical and operational solution for independent hotels and hotel chains. OES can be deployed in a seamless local, regional and global environment, thus providing an unparalleled free TM flow of information. Powered by Oracle, the world's most scalable and robust database engine, OES introduces new concepts of guest service and service delivery by utilizing the free flow of information and new technology on a local or intra- chain level, thus providing accurate and timely information to empower management and staff.


The OPERA Enterprise Solution is not a single product offering, but a fully integrated suite of products consisting of modules that can be easily added or expanded allowing effective and easy deployment from smaller operations to global, multi-branded hotel chain environments. OES can be deployed in any size environment, from a single property with just Front Office to a large, full service hotel with Sales & Marketing, Catering, Revenue Management, Quality Management, Back Office, and Materials Management. In addition, the OPERA Enterprise Solution offers products for a hotel chain's corporate office, including our Central Reservations Systems for both centralized guestroom and function space sales and the Enterprise Information System, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) package specifically designed for the hotel industry.

In technical terms, OES can be deployed on a single server or multiple servers on any combination of thick and thin clients, with clients running any Internet browser. Hotel chains can opt for distributed, complexed or single image inventory management. As you can see, the OPERA Enterprise Solution is perfectly designed to meet the rapidly developing commercial and technical changes and requirements of the global hotel industry.

Property Management System (PMS)
At the core of the OPERA integrated solution is the OPERA Property Management System. Designed to meet the varied requirements of any size hotel or hotel chain, OPERA PMS will provide the tools to help you run your operation at a greater level of productivity, profitability, and reliability than ever before. The application is configurable to your specific requirements making it easy to use and to obtain fast, accurate, up-to-the-minute information for your individual hotel or in a complexed hotel environment running multiple properties off of a single Oracle database.


OPERA Activity Scheduler

Manage all facilities and activities at your hotel, health spa, golf courses & other leisure venues. Appointments can be booked quickly and efficiently as the system automatically finds available times and controls multiple services or qualified staff members where required. OPERA Activity Scheduler tracks all client information including service and retail history, staff notes and medical details, and enables a resort to provide every guest with an itinerary upon arrival. And as an integrated feature in OPERA, if a guests calls to cancel a reservation, all activities are cancelled as well.


OPERA Sales and Catering (S&C)
OPERA Sales and Catering is a full featured Sales and Catering System that is integrated with OPERA PMS and ORS. With an integrated data-base, hotels will no longer have to make use of interfaces to share data between these systems. Instead, users will share the identical inventory, customer and account information, rate availability and controls throughout the enterprise.
OPERA S&C is the first system to incorporate non-traditional tools into the hotel sales and catering environment. With robust functionality inherited from the OPERA Property Management System, Sales and Catering staff are finally able to perform all of the tasks expected of them: sell extensive package rates, post charges, create billing instructions and bills, and much more. Whether the system is running integrated with the OPERA PMS, any other third party PMS or stand alone, this powerful functionality is made available to all users based on a complex rights and security structure. No longer will the Sales and Catering staff be dependent on other departments to complete key tasks or determine critical information. Newly unencumbered by conventional processes, the sales and catering manager will be freed up to find new sales and to service the guest.
OPERA Sales and Catering (S&C) will improve your staff's effectiveness and make their transactions more accurate with tools including:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Guestroom and Function Space Management
  • Event Management
  • Sales and Lead Tracking
  • Catering Event Scheduling and Resource Sharing
  • Banquet Billing and Posting
  • Guest Room Inventory Control
  • Food and Beverage Menu Selection
  • Forecasting Tools
  • Analysis of Cost, Profit and Margin of all Business Opportunities
  • Enhanced Reporting Features
  • With OPERA S&C, your employees will spend less time at a computer and more time with customers. With the flexible system flow and screen painting tools, the system can be designed to meet your specific operational needs and will reflect a clearer picture of the way your hotel operates.


    Web Self Service (WSS)
    Flexible web booking tools provide a protected consumer front end to the OPERA Reservation System or the OPERA PMS. This tool allows customers to book reservations via your web page and through other third party booking sources. WSS also provides guests with the ability to update their profiles and check their point membership status.

    Revenue Management
    This revenue management tool is integrated with OPERA ORS and PMS. It provides both property based and centralized yield management. Functionality includes sophisticated group analysis, managing transients at the stay pattern level and "Hotel within a Hotel" revenue management. Additionally, the OPERA Revenue Management System is interfaced with the OPERA S&C to analyze the value of particular group business and maximize revenue.


    Quality Management System (QMS)
    QMS is a task management and communication system designed to provide hotels with an integrated tool to schedule and track tasks, and to track preventive maintenance projects. QMS will be accessible via the OPERAPalm as well as via pager and voice recognition systems to remotely enter and receive updates. The OPERA Quality Management System (QMS) is designed to help hotels enhance the quality of service at every point of customer interaction. OPERA's Quality Management System provides hotel managers and every hotel employee with the tools that will keep service standards high, improve guest satisfaction, and ultimately increase revenues.

    With OPERA Quality Management System, your hotel can manage tasks, on-going maintenance issues, guest complaints, as well as the quality of your hotel's appearance, easily and efficiently. With OPERA QMS, you can be sure that guests will enter a room that is clean and has everything in working order. OPERA QMS gives you the tools you need to improve communication between departments, which results in a higher level of quality and a better hotel experience for your guests. With the system's quick guest request response system, management can check employee response times against standard response times for guest services. Management is also automatically alerted to delays or gaps in services before they become customer complaints. Bottom line, you and your staff anticipate guest needs instead of reacting to your guests' complaints.


    OPERA Multi-Property

    Opera Multi-Property's flexible implementation suits your needs whether it is to combine the data center or to perform activities across properties. Multiple properties are defined in one database to centralize hardware, manage maintenance and implementation but still maintain each property as an individual operation. In addition, centralizing the database properties can be defined to perform multiple functions across different properties.
    Groups and Allotments Multi-Property functionality enables hotels to operate multiple properties by centralizing information and thus increasing the efficiency of operations. Make reservations for multiple properties with different locations. Transfer or copy a reservation from one property to another on the same screen. Access the activities of all properties thus permitting guests to stay in one property, utilize the services of another and charge the cost to their folio at the original property. Management has enhanced cross-selling potential when a particular hotel or resort is booked or when a special request is made.
    Multi Property gives reservation agents through the flow of reservation screens set by the hotel. Using Multi-Property, reservation agents point and click to move through the booking process at a pace that accommodates the desired flow of interaction with the guest. In addition, this configurable flow ensures that agents have efficiently provided guests with the most accurate and current information available consistently over time.

     

    Multi-Property has been developed to help hotels run their operation at a greater level of productivity and profitability than ever before. This application is configurable to specific multi-property requirements, making it easy to use and obtaining fast, accurate, up-to-the-minute information for all properties involved. Multi-Property's innovative combination of functions provides staff with the tools to accurately and quickly responds to customer requirements, thereby saving time and increasing revenues for all properties involved. Multiple functions can be performed across different properties, and cross-booking opportunities like never before are finally available through the Multi-Property application.


    OPERA Reservation System (ORS)
    The OPERA Reservation System (ORS) is the industry's first truly integrated, single image enterprise inventory system. This user-friendly system can be configured to suit any size hotel or central reservation office (CRO) environment. The main reservation screen features a familiar Windows R interface accessible through a web browser that allows you to simply point and click to move through the booking process at a pace that accommodates the flow of interaction with the customer. The most used ORS features are instantly accessible from anywhere in the system using keyboard "hot keys." Underlying ORS capabilities is the powerful Oracle R Relational Data-base Management System that easily supports large databases and high transaction volumes. In addition to guestrooms, your central reservations agents or global sales staff will also be able to centrally book function space providing your staff with the tools to accurately and quickly respond to customer requirements thereby saving time and increasing revenues.


    Customer Information System (CIS)
    Integrated with the OPERA Reservation System, the Customer Information System collects and manages guest, travel agent, group, and company profile information for designated hotel properties in a centralized database. CIS automatically transfers profile information between properties and a central operations location to enable profile sharing between these two environments. Flexible, user definable, multi-tiered membership tools are also offered within CIS and are calculated using stay information received from the PMS. In addition, rates can be created centrally and distributed to designated properties. This customer relationship management system is accessible by guests via the consumer front-end on the Internet and via a web browser for your employees to access the extensive data.

    OPERA Xpress
    OPERA Xpress is a slimmed-down version of the web-enabled OPERA Property Management System (PMS), Hotel Edition. It stands out because it allows you to design a property management solution suitable to your distinctive needs and budget. You select the features you want from the OPERA PMS menu. You configure the screens according to your business processes, reducing costs by streamlining workflow. You enjoy the savings from using one system across multiple properties. And because it's foundation is the feature-rich OPERA PMS, OPERA Xpress can grow with you.

    OPERAPalm
    OPERAPalm lets you take the powerful applications of the OPERA Enterprise Solution with you in a mobile, hand-held device with real-time database access. OPERAPalm uses palm computers on a wireless network to seamlessly extend your OPERA solution thus giving your staff the freedom to address customers' needs without being tied to their desks for: Remote Check-In and Check-Out (with PMS);Task Management (with QMS); Room Inspection (with QMS); Contact Management (with S&C); Daily Event Order (with S&C).

    Hot Keys, Shortcuts and Graphical Aids
    No complicated keystrokes or formulas to remember. No multi-screen puzzles to navigate. At every stage, the OPERA PMS graphical presentations, hot keys, and shortcuts are easy-to-use features built into the system to dramatically simplify operation and improve productivity. Graphics help to summarize vast amounts of data in easily comprehended formats.

    Night Audits
    Now you can perform the Night Audit function with no interruption to your operation. In fact, the complete night audit, including an on-line backup, can be totally transparent to your staff. In addition, you do not have to schedule your "Income Audit" to coincide with your end of day you can perform your income audit at any time, and adjust the revenues for a given day even after the "night audit" is performed. Of course, once you have performed your income audit for a given day the revenues are "locked in," ensuring that your reporting remains accurate.


    Your Reward Unparalleled Performance

    By every measure, the OPERA Enterprise Solution is unique in its design and concept. Operating seamlessly through a world of varying languages, currencies and tax structures, OES is the great equalizer, bringing all that information together in the language and currency of your headquarters. It translates data instantaneously in meaningful reports that lets you assess revenues, profitability, labor costs, occupancy rates and dozens of other factors that contribute to the health and success of your business.

    And on the smallest level, the OPERA Enterprise Solution is a very personal system that is rewarding and satisfying to use, making your employees' jobs easier and more productive. Looking to the future, our open architecture and substantial product development resources mean you'll continue to be on the cutting edge of information technology for your industry.

    The OPERA Enterprise Solution is truly the one software package that can make your entire organization resonate with success.