HM on Location: 6,100 attendees, host of new products at HITEC

ORLANDO—The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference celebrated its 50th anniversary at the end of June, hosting more than 6,100 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. 

“HITEC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and its enduring presence in the hospitality technology community is confirmation that knowledge-sharing events like this are essential,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe in a statement. “Throughout these four days of HITEC you could feel a positive buzz throughout the event space and exhibit hall, everyone thrilled to see each other and gather for ideas and solutions.”

One of the highlights of the conference is the Entrepreneur 20X start-up pitch competition, which this year featured eight start-ups pitching hospitality technology solutions to a panel of six judges. The 2022 E20X Orlando participating startups were Avastar, Beachy, Cogwheel Analytics, hconnect, OTA Savings, RobosizeME, TipQwik and UpStay. The Judge’s Choice Award, selected by the judges panel, went to RobosizeME and the People’s Choice Award, which was the popular vote, went to Beachy.

Robosize ME is a robotic process automation specialist for the global hospitality industry. Its virtual robot “Rube” takes care of the routine, repetitive day-to-day tasks in a hotel, allowing teams to concentrate on the guest experience. Beachy is “technology built for the outdoors,” providing cloud-based mobile point-of-sale solutions to hotel resorts, beaches, golf clubs and open-air venues for amenity reservations, activity booking, food-and-beverage ordering and more.

In addition, a number of companies debuted new technological advances during HITEC: 


Agilysys is now a Visa ready certified partner, which means Agilysys technology solutions meet Visa’s  standards for security. Visa offers contactless "tap to pay" payments for cardholders with a contactless chip card or mobile payment-enabled device for secure, convenient and touch-free transactions. Visa Tap to Pay technology observes stringent EMV requirements, which Agilysys will follow for all of its property-management system and point-of-sale applications that accept payments. The partnership will include traditional POS devices as well as mobile POS and PMS terminals to process payments. 


Amadeus launched a new market forecast capability to help hoteliers accurately track revenue and manage costs. The enhancement to Amadeus’ RevenueStrategy360 business intelligence solution uses historical seasonality and trends alongside the broad coverage of forward looking, on-the-books market insights to enable more accurate forecasting. Refreshed daily, the forecasting capability allows hoteliers to gain an accurate picture of market conditions to power more effective revenue management strategies and differentiate their offer.

Assa Abloy Global Solutions

Assa Abloy Global Solutions launched the VingCard Novel door lock. Manufactured using sustainable practices, VingCard Novel uses next-generation scalable components that are built into the door handle itself. VingCard Novel’s design provides the ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party platforms as well as include full mobile access compatibility. By encasing hardware components into its door handle, the lock offers a sleek and minimalistic appearance.


Beekeeper showcased its Employee Referral Solution, which enables human resources teams to notify employees about job openings in real-time. Frontline workers can view open positions and submit referrals with a click while HR tracks referral program performance with analytics. 


Cendyn has partnered with OpenTable to integrate hotel reservation and dining data into a unified guest profile. The new integration between the restaurant platform and Cendyn’s eInsight CRM gives hotel restaurants the ability to recognize, reward and incentivize loyal guests through their dining experiences. It also provides visibility for hotel-based restaurants to holistic guest insights, bringing a single view of profiles onto the OpenTable restaurant platform. This allows for personalized dining experiences and enables loyalty recognition across the entire guest journey at the restaurant and across the hotel property.

Cloud5 Communications

Cloud5 Communications launched a new service offering, Virtual Guest Services. VGS is designed to offload in-bound and/or in-house guest calls from the hotel front desk and private branch exchange staff so they can focus more attention on high-value, in-person guest interactions. VGS leverages a two-pronged approach to answer, filter and redirect guest calls and requests.                      . 


Netflix has been added to DirecTV Business Solutions' Advanced Entertainment Platform. Earlier this year, DirecTV Business Solutions said it would provide AEP hardware to hotels free of charge and reduce the per room price of the digital platform itself by more than 10 percent. DirecTV also has renewed its agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corp. Under the terms of the new agreement, DirecTV remains Hyatt’s preferred free-to-guest entertainment provider in the U.S. The company also signed an agreement with Marriott International as an approved vendor.


Software-as-a-service provider Duetto has seen year-on-year record growth in hotels adopting its cloud-based technology solutions. The company had a record-breaking 83.8 percent increase in rooms signed during calendar year 2021 versus 2020. The uptick in new hotels joining the  platform correlates with the findings of Duetto’s market sentiment survey from earlier in the year. The "Revenue Management Outlook & Trends Survey 2022" revealed that 78 percent of hoteliers planned to increase their investment in hotel tech in the next three years. This increase in tech adoption includes hoteliers' heightened focus on revenue, their need for controlled automation, their desire to deliver more personalized offers and to better track and understand shifting demand patterns.


Enseo and Volara have integrated to add voice controls to Enseo’s in-room TV and room-management solutions. The integration allows guests to use voice commands to manage the TV in-room entertainment suite and smart guestroom controls powered by Core by Enseo. Volara will provide voice-based conversation-management software and a secure integration hub to Enseo’s technology, while also protecting hotels’ proprietary data from disclosure to the major natural language processing platforms. The integration allows guests to control the TV, including searching available channels and selecting streaming apps, as well as control the room environment like temperature, lights and window shades. 


GCommerce launched a new metasearch platform, Metadesk. Metadesk is a software-driven experience designed to address known pain points and frustrations experienced by hoteliers regarding the management of their metasearch channels. With Metadesk, hoteliers can participate in a pay-per-stay model that is based on a sliding scale so the commission aligns with the property’s metasearch performance; manage and optimize metasearch advertising campaigns for performance; communicate directly with campaign specialists via the Metadesk portal; leverage first-party data to deploy custom audiences on Google hotel ads; access real-time reporting data including metasearch channel performance; and monitor metasearch channel disparities.


Intelity released Platform Release 5. The cloud-based platform manages guest and resident services and back-of-house operations in a number of hospitality verticals, all on one platform. Platform R5 is reimagined with a range of new features and simplifies and modernizes the back-end and tooling used by engineers, IT professionals and third-party integrations to manage the platform. Platform R5 also sets the stage for the upcoming launch of Intelity’s new mobile and tablet guest experience apps and already is underpinning the company's one-click mobile technology across multiple guest-facing areas such as mobile check-in, digital dining and retail purchase offerings.


Knowland and Uniguest have formed a technology partnership resulting in the Knowland Connector, an interface that makes data integration with the Knowland platform seamless across property-level systems. The partnership addresses the ongoing challenges of complex and fragmented data across the hospitality technology stack. The connector enables Knowland to electronically ingest data from different sources, including brand-specific and industry-standard sales and catering, digital signage, CRM and PMS platforms. It seamlessly integrates data from various sources to reduce friction for customers that previously had chosen to self-report meeting and event data and eliminates the need for hotels to pull and submit data manually, saving time while reducing human error and improving data accuracy through automation.


Nomadix introduced an internet hardware and software starter bundle for 500 users and 500 megabits at a suggested price of $999 for the hotel. The device can be further expanded to 1,000 devices and 1 gig if desired. The starter package was created in response to demand from small and midsized properties looking for affordable, high-performance onboarding and bandwidth management for guests. Independent of this special bundle, the EG 1000 supports 100 devices with 100 Mbits of bandwidth and can be upgraded to 1 gig. 

RealTime Reservation and SAS 

RealTime Reservation is collaborating with SAS to apply advanced analytics to the ancillary revenue data it collects from its prearrival hub. The resulting intelligence will help hoteliers develop informed ancillary revenue plans by answering such questions as: What is the optimal price for a cabana on different days and times? What add-on experiences resonate best in the market? Should a hotel focus on high occupancy or ancillary services when staffing is an issue? When planning a new hotel, should space be devoted to spa services and poolside amenities or developing co-working offices? 

Revenue Analytics 

Revenue Analytics launches seven feature improvements to its N2Pricing RMS for hoteliers. Combined with an intuitive interface that enables hoteliers to access and act on fluctuations in demand and competition in a timelier manner, N2Pricing provides revenue teams with the precise forecasting technology. The new feature updates include: multiproperty workflow, inventory controls and overbooking, group, intraday updates, profit optimization, dynamic differential and a performance dashboard. 

RMS North America/Solonis

RMS North America introduced Solonis, a cloud-based property-management system built for the hotel industry. The first brand expansion of RMS, Solonis is designed to help property owners increase occupancy, enhance the guest experience and optimize revenue. Powered by business intelligence, Solonis addresses every aspect of property management within one solution. The system's core functionality includes: guest empowerment tools to manage payment, communication, and check-in/checkout; a customizable BI-propelled dashboard with real-time operations data; a dynamic pricing functionality to maximize profit and occupancy; revenue and expense flow systems for complex property management; and guest marketing and communication features like text and chat.


UniFocus debuted Gratitude, an employee tipping platform that provides hotel guests with the ability to tip staff throughout a property without requiring the use of an app or physical cash. Gratitude, together with UniFocus’ Instant Pay and Tip Pooling capabilities, will provide today’s hoteliers with the means to maintain competitive wages to attract and retain a loyal and productive workforce. Hoteliers can provide guests with the option to leave a tip using either credit/debit cards, Apple Pay or Google Pay. Via a secure mobile-compatible portal that can be tailored to a hotel’s branding, guests can  submit the tip amount they wish to provide and can leave feedback on the quality of service received.


UpStay has expanded its global operations to serve hoteliers in the North American market. With its ancillary revenue suite, UpStay will now provide North American hoteliers with the power to tap into new sources of revenue, using its proven ability to convert approximately 20 percent of prearrivals into either room upgrade or booking add-on purchases. Unique to the UpStay platform is its ability to function as a fully automated technology that leverages data-rich analytics to personalize upsell recommendations and increase conversion rates.