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Press Releases: Press Releases

Bryan Steele Elected to HTNG Board of Directors

Friday, June 25, 2004  

--Thistle Hotel CIO Expands Board Representation to Three Continents-

DALLAS, June 25, 2004 - The Board of Directors of Hotel Technology-Next Generation (HTNG) announced today that it had elected Bryan Steele, CIO at Thistle Hotels, as the first Europe-based member of its eight-person board of directors.

"HTNG is very pleased to welcome Bryan and his extensive technology leadership experience to the board." said Matthew Dunn, Executive Director of HTNG. "Bryan's enthusiasm for joining our effort also represents yet another milestone in HTNG's development. The board representation from North America, Asia, and now Europe, underlines our commitment and progress toward becoming a global force for change within the hospitality industry."

Bryan Steele joined the senior management team at Thistle Hotels, a 4* UK-based hotel company that operates 54 properties and 10,500 rooms, in May 2002. He heads up the Information and Communication Technology function and is a member of the company's senior management team. Mr. Steele led one of the first industry projects that resulted in the complete removal from hotel premises of property management systems, sales and catering systems, and all other desktop applications. Those applications are now hosted and delivered to hotels from a corporate data center.

In partnership with Wyndham Hotels, Mr. Steele was also instrumental in establishing and developing a User Group for the MICROS Opera suite of products, which has grown to include senior IT and business representatives from 16 hotel groups from North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Prior to joining Thistle Hotels, Bryan Steele worked for two years in the Internet sector as European IT Director for CMGI. Before that he held a variety of IT roles within Unilever, including senior international IT assignments based in the USA and The Netherlands.

Bryan Steele's appointment expands HTNG's board of directors to a total of eight members. The HTNG board consists entirely of senior hotel-company officers in the position of (or equivalent to) Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer.

"We are extremely pleased that our Board is now truly representative of the target market that HTNG was created to address, which is the global set of hotel companies that operate up to several hundred hotels," said Gebhard Rainer of Hyatt International, President of HTNG. "Individually, our member hotel companies cannot hope to address the myriad of technology challenges that we face today, or the new ones we will face tomorrow. By working together with our vendor community within the HTNG framework, however, we have created -- and we will continue to create -- technology solution sets that can help to level the playing field with the megachains. More important, they will help us achieve competitive advantage through new, innovative solutions."

HTNG's first solution set, conceived just six months ago, was demonstrated live by nearly a dozen leading vendors at HITEC 2004 in June. "I was convinced to join the HTNG effort because of its aspirations to see up-to-date technology more effectively adopted within the hospitality sector" said Bryan Steele. "For the first time, we see true progress in achieving inter-vendor cooperation, as demonstrated at HITEC 2004 . We saw that vendors were able to quickly define, create, and deliver innovative, cooperative guest services and manageable, scalable, multi-system platform architecture across a myriad of systems, including PMS, point of sale, sales and catering, in-room entertainment, and telephony. HTNG has created a vehicle that engages both fiercely competitive and complementary vendors to work together productively to meet customer needs for agreement on messaging approaches, architecture support, and interoperability."

"Whilst I am relatively new to the hotel industry, I am told that hotel companies have complained for decades about lack of cooperation among competing technology vendors," continued Mr. Steele. "Clearly, this has been a huge impediment to progress. HTNG has proved that cooperation can be achieved - it simply requires the right framework and rules of engagement."

About Hotel Technology - Next Generation

HTNG is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide leadership that will facilitate the creation of industry solution sets for the lodging industry that:

  • Are modeled around the customer and allow for a rich definition and distribution of hotel products, beyond simply sleeping rooms
  • Comprise best-of-breed software components from existing vendors, and enable vendors to collaboratively produce world-class software products encompassing all major areas of technology spending: hotel operations, telecommunications (PABX), in-room entertainment, customer information systems, and electronic distribution
  • Properly exploit and leverage a base system architecture that provides integration and interoperability through messaging; and that provides security, redundancy, and high availability
  • Target the needs of hotel companies up to several hundred properties, that are too small to solve the issues themselves
  • Will reduce technology management cost and complexity while improving reliability and scalability
  • Can be deployed globally, managed remotely, and outsourced to service providers where needed.

Active HTNG participants include major hotel companies and vendors. including such industry leaders as IBM, InfoGenesis, MICROS Systems, Microsoft, Newmarket International, and Springer-Miller Systems. Conceived just two years ago, HTNG membership has grown to include over 40 hotel companies, 50 technology vendors, and 25 others (including consultants, academics, and media).