HTNG Workgroup to Develop Open Standards Architecture for the Hospitality Industry
Monday, October 17, 2005
CHICAGO (October 17, 2005) -- Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) today announced the charter members of a new workgroup that will put forward the first open standards based architecture guidelines for the hospitality industry. This workgroup – the initial sponsors of which are Agilysys, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, IBM, SAS, Sea Island Company, SSA Global/Infinium, and Station Casinos – will work together to develop and define a hospitality-specific systems architecture that can support customer-centric, product-rich solutions from multiple technology providers.
"Hotels face the challenge of delivering consistent customer service while using disparate systems from multiple technology providers. Interoperability is the key to unlocking this obstacle. Our goal is to address this challenge by introducing new design guidelines that can substantially reduce the barriers to integration,” said Bradford S. Iverson, Segment Executive of IBM Travel Related Services.
"HTNG's vision for the future is one where hotel systems can seamlessly work together to serve the customer," said Douglas C. Rice, Executive Director of HTNG. "We believe that this vision can be achieved by taking concrete steps to move the hotel community and its technology partners toward a common vision. It is no longer necessary to sacrifice these objectives in order to buy the best available technology for each business need. We simply need some 'rules of engagement' for all platforms to enable consistency across architecture for applications, data services, integration, and solutions."
In addition to the seven sponsors, applications from other hotel companies and technology providers will be accepted through November 9, with a maximum of 20 companies. These organizations will provide a balance of insights from a variety of organizations serving the hospitality ecosystem.
The goal of the workgroup is to define the architecture and for members of the workgroup to successfully incorporate the recommendations into existing product(s) over the next 18 months. Workgroups typically set interim deliverables goals every six months to ensure concrete and continual progress. Specifications are released to HTNG members as they are created and placed in the public domain once the workgroup has completed its work.
The functional scope could include the following areas, with the actual scope to be determined based on the final selection and interests of participating companies:
- Reservations (rooms/condos/cabins, tickets, activities, etc.)
- Distribution (GDS, intermediaries, internet, etc.)
- Property Management (front desk, maintenance, housekeeping, etc.)
- Activities Management (golf, dining, excursions, etc.)
- Group Sales, Catering, Event Management
- Inventory Management (single image of inventory)
- Guest Recognition (single image of the guest)
- Reporting, Planning and Analytics
Since the focus of this group will be on the architectural design rather than functional specifications, it will where appropriate work with other HTNG workgroups that are implementing interoperability in these functional areas.
About HTNG Workgroups
HTNG workgroups provide a forum for a small but representative group of customers to work with a cross-disciplinary set of vendors to solve problems. Highly focused and structured, the workgroups are charged with identifying and building specific solutions that will deliver value to hotels, that no one vendor can deliver on their own, and that can be accomplished in about six months. Because customers drive the requirements, vendors have a ready market for the things they build, and customers no longer have to buy multiple systems piecemeal and integrate them themselves.
HTNG specifications are released to the public domain when the workgroup that produces them disbands, usually after no more than eighteen months. HTNG members, both hotels and technology vendors, can propose and sponsor new workgroups, and can apply to participate in workgroups sponsored by other members.
Applications to participate in this workgroup will be accepted through November 9, 2006 from current or newly joining HTNG members. Information on the application process can be found on the workgroup's wiki site. HTNG's selection criteria, as well as the application process, are described at the Workgroup & Forum Policies page. Applicants not selected to participate initially can apply to the workgroup after it is formed, and in any case will still have full opportunity to view proceedings and intermediate work product from the workgroup, as well as final specifications. Member technology vendors can develop product to those specifications and participate in HTNG-supported demonstrations. Applications for HTNG membership can be processed online at the Join page.
About Hotel Technology Next Generation
The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring open solution-sets addressing specific business problems to the hospitality market.
Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others. Currently more than 250 companies and individuals from across this spectrum are active HTNG members. Workgroup proceedings, drafts, and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are released to the public domain when the workgroup has completed its work, typically after no more than 18 months. For more information, visit www.htng.org.