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November 28, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The Bass Plc hotel and motel chain Holiday Inn Worldwide has begun implementing its new, client server-based integrated hotel management system, code-named Galaxy, and has licensed the marketing and development rights to IBM Corp for an undisclosed sum. The system, which integrates the hotel chain’s central reservation system with the front desk systems, was developed by Herndon, Virginia-based Intelligent Networks Inc, a start-up company that had barely finished writing the basic system when Holiday Inn bought it last February. The Holiday Inn chain currently runs its reservation system, Holidex, on IBM mainframes, and uses different front desk systems, Encore Systems Inc’s Encore in the US and Sulcus Hospitality Inc’s Landmark system in Europe. IBM is helping develop and customise the new system for Holiday Inn, and will develop interfaces to the reservation system from the existing front desk systems, to enable Holiday Inn initially to implement only the new reservation system. The company expects this initial implementation to take between 18 months and two years. It will then phase in the new front desk systems over a further year.

Optimise room occupancy

Dick Smith, senior vice-president of Holiday Inn Worldwide said the advantages of the new system are that it links the availability of rooms worldwide with a database of customer profile information, enabling the company to optimise room occupancy. He said the system architecture meant that it was highly scalable, and equally suited to small hotel operations as it was to Holiday Inn’s 2,000 properties worldwide. It is written under Unix, using an Oracle Corp database, and therefore is portable to a wide range of hardware. Smith said the company had not finalised its hardware strategy: although IBM was involved in the development of the system, this did not automatically mean that it would be supplying the hardware. Under the licence agreement, IBM will start marketing the system to the lodging industry worldwide in the second half of 1996. It will be offering the core system only, not the Holiday Inn-specific enhancements. It intends to offer the system either on a bureau-style basis, as a network-based system through its IBM Global Network, or as a stand-alone system. It will also offer systems integration to hotels that want to integrate the central reservation and front desk function. Holiday Inn will receive a royalty on all systems sold by IBM. Dick Smith said Holiday Inn had already had considerable interest in the system from other hotels and believed that it should recoup its investment in the system, and see significant revenues from system sale during the next 10 years.

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