17 Leading Companies to Participate in HTNG Property/Distribution Solution Workgroup
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Leading Hotels, Vendors, Consultants, and OpenTravel™ Alliance Join Forces to Address Distribution Interoperability
CHICAGO (September 15, 2004) -- Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) today announced the formation of the HTNG Property/Distribution Solution Workgroup. Sixteen leading hotel companies, vendors, and consultants, together with the OpenTravel™ Alliance (OTA), will work together to define and deliver technology solutions that will improve the interoperability of the key systems that manage distribution for hotels, including property management, central reservations, revenue management, customer relationship management, content management, external distribution channels, and intermediaries such as switches and representation companies.
The seventeen organizations represented on the workgroup are:
- Cendant Travel Distribution Services
- IBM Travel & Transportation
- Hilton International
- Hospitality Technology Consulting
- Hotel Information Systems
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- Mainzer Consulting Group
- Maxim Revenue Management Solutions
- MICROS Systems
- Millennium Hotels and Resorts
- Multi-Systems, Inc.
- OpenTravel™ Alliance
- Outrigger and OHANA Hotels & Resorts
- Pegasus Solutions
- Wyndham International
HTNG will hold a pre-planning conference call for the workgroup participants on September 23 to brief them on the workgroup process, and to select a date and venue for an initial face-to-face meeting in October or early November.
The HTNG workgroup format is a unique forum in which hotel companies can work together with vendors to design "solution sets" consisting of systems provided by the vendors, using mutually agreed methods of interoperability. Hotels define the requirements and priorities for what they need and are willing to buy, and vendors agree to deliver them. While workgroups can have lifetimes of 18 months or longer, the short-term goal is always practical, demonstrable deliverables, ready for hotels to buy, within about six months. Workgroup members meet every few months and typically hold weekly conference calls.
"This workgroup will enhance the OTA's efforts by speeding up the adoption of OTA specifications within the hotel industry, and achieving a level of 'plug-and-play' that meets at least the basic requirements of all hotel companies" said Douglas Rice, Executive Director of HTNG. He continued, "OTA defines a very rich specification, but it's been a real challenge trying to apply it in an industry like hotels, where many of the buyers and most of the vendors are small and fragmented. Vendors have often resisted writing to OTA specifications because the systems to which they need to connect have not implemented them, or have done so in inconsistent ways."
For business processes where OTA specifications exist, the workgroup will identify what is needed to implement them in common, agreed ways. Where real-world requirements suggest the need for the specifications to be extended or modified, the workgroup will co-ordinate with OTA to determine whether and how those changes should be incorporated into the OTA specifications.
"A key benefit of HTNG's approach is that we can get the leading vendors into a room and give them both an economic incentive and a methodology to address complex customer requirements," said Rice. "The market leaders for the systems that control hotel inventory and rates are extremely well represented in this group, and if the industry leaders can agree on common approaches, then the smaller vendors will typically follow. The ultimate success of a workgroup can be the emergence of a de facto standard. The workgroup's business requirements will be articulated by a diverse group of participating hotel companies from around the world, ensuring that all of the major business requirements of distribution can be adequately represented."
Workgroup meetings and working documents will be posted on the private HTNG collaboration website, and will be viewable by all HTNG members. There will be periodic opportunities for HTNG members who are interest in, but not participating in, the workgroup to provide comments and feedback. When the workgroup disbands in approximately 18 months, final specifications will be released to the public domain.
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 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. For more information, visit www.htng.org.