21 Leading Companies Will Participate in Guest Room Technology Workgroup
Monday, October 25, 2004
CHICAGO (25 October 2004) -- Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) today announced that 21 companies have been selected to participate in designing the future of hotel guest room technology.
The 21 companies were selected following a month-long process in which 35 different companies sought to participate, with 28 completing full applications. "Interest in this workgroup has been enormous, and we are pleased to see major hotel companies committing to this effort along with leading vendors in each category," said Douglas Rice, Executive Director of HTNG. "We believe this workgroup has a great balance of large and small hotel companies as well as all of the technical disciplines needed to solve the challenge of delivering all guest-room technology across a single wire.
A key issue for the workgroup will be to identify one or more network architectures that can support hotels in a future "converged network" environment. Historically, each in-room technology vendor typically provided its own dedicated infrastructure of cabling and networking components – coaxial cable for the television, standard twisted-pair wiring for telephones, special "CAT 5" wiring for high-speed Internet, and sometimes even more systems for thermostats, door locks, and other in-room services.
Modern technology allows these different applications to share a single infrastructure and network, potentially resulting in much lower costs, simpler maintenance, and easier exchange of information among systems. As yet, however, there has been no agreement as to what the infrastructure design should be. Even major hotel companies have been unable to build hotels that are wired for the future, for lack of agreement among the many vendors on the network design.
The In-Room Technology Workgroup will include representatives from the following companies, who will work together over the next 12-18 months to develop and deliver major advances in guest room technology. Some vendors participate in multiple
categories but are listed only once.
- The Ginn Companies
- The Kor Group
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
- Marriott International
- Peninsula Hotel Group
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts
- Cisco Systems
- Percipia Networks
- Telephone Management Systems Ltd. (Comtelco)
Entertainment and/or high-speed Internet:
- General Dynamics Interactive
- LodgeNet Entertainment Corp.
- Quadriga Worldwide
Energy management and occupancy detection:
Infrastructure and other vendors:
- Datanamics Inc.
- IP3 Networks
- Microsoft Corporation
- Paradyne Corporation
"We had several other companies who applied but could not be accommodated because of size limitations, and still others who wanted to apply but were unable to meet the application deadline," said Rice. "There is a lot of energy behind this effort, both among the selected participants and throughout the industry, and HTNG will be working very hard to keep all interested parties involved and committed."
A special role was also formalized for Center of Marketing Effectiveness, Inc. (CeME), which has been undertaking an ongoing market research effort on guestroom technology. CeME will share its existing knowledge and experience base on the competitive landscape, business models, pricing, and guest preferences; will facilitate a shared understanding of guest needs within the workgroup; and will shape a research agenda to assist the workgroup into the future.
"Our ongoing research efforts with leading industry media has sharpened our collective understanding of the technology that improves the guest experience and actually drive profits," said Karen Webster, CEO and President of CeME. "Recent results from both our guest and hotelier surveys demonstrate the need for a cohesive platform of services that provide a secure, reliable and quality experience. We look forward to working with Hotel Technology Next Generation, whose facilitation-based strategies for addressing customer-centric technology needs are very much aligned with ours.
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.
The workgroup size is limited to keep it manageable, focused, and productive. However, HTNG provides the opportunity for all dues-paying members to view the work product of each workgroup as it is developed, to provide structured feedback, and to implement solutions in parallel with workgroup participants. HTNG also supports solution-set demonstrations, such as at HITEC 2004, that can include products from any HTNG member that adopts its specifications – whether a workgroup participant or not.
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.
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 nearly 140 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.