Agilysys Introduces New Software for Hotels
June 24, 2008 Alex Woodie
In addition to putting itself up for sale last week, Agilysys introduced three new software applications aimed at driving more efficiency into hospitality operations. A new release of its i OS-based Lodging Management System (LMS) introduces a GUI, among other features, while the first beta site for Guest 360, a new product designed to augment LMS, was also announced. Lastly, Agilysys unveiled Hospitality Analytics, which introduces online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities for use with procurement and POS offerings.
i OS-based business applications from Agilysys have been used to manage some of the largest resorts on the planet, including the new $800 million Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland that was due to open earlier this year, as well as most of the big casinos on the Las Vegas strip. Much of this software, including the Lodging Management System (LMS) and Stratton Warren System (formerly MMS400) procurement and inventory software was obtained with Agilysys’ acquisition of Inter-American Data (IAD) in 2003.
The combination of LMS and SWS and IBM‘s bullet-proof AS/400 hardware has served thousands of customers well for decades. Agilysys isn’t moving away from these products, but it recognized that its customers needed a more modern solution that provided more visibility into their guests. That is the impetus behind Guest 360, a new product that Agilysys unveiled at a show last August.
Agilysys says Guest 360 is based on key functionality found in its current Agilysys property management solutions, including LMS, SWS, and Visual One, a SQL Server-based property management system for smaller venues. The new product is designed to “move beyond traditional property management to assist in predicting guest preferences,” according to the company.
“Guest 360 goes beyond just tracking reservations and performing check-in and check-out,” says Tina Stehle, senior vice president and general manager of Agilysys Hospitality Solutions Group. “By capturing guest events, information and preferences, the system enables hotels to truly know their guests and realize a competitive advantage.”
Guest 360 is being developed in LANSA‘s VISUAL LANSA development environment, which will allow it to run on platforms besides the i5. Last week at the HITEC convention in Austin, Texas, Agilysys announced the first beta site for Guest 360. Hutton Hotel, a 250-room upscale property that’s scheduled to open in Nashville, Tennessee, early next year, will install Guest 360 and try to find the last of the bugs. The software is due to be available by the end of the year.
Agilysys also announced a new release of LMS at the HITEC convention last week. LMS version 8 will give users the option of using a green-screen interface or a new GUI. In fact, they can use both at the same time by “toggling” between the two interfaces, according to Agilysys. This will blend the obvious ease-of-use benefits that a GUI brings, while maintaining the aspects of a green screen–such as type-ahead capabilities and sheer heads-down speed–that allow experienced operators to get considerably more work done in a green-screen environment than point-and-clickers can do in a GUI.
LMS 8 also brings a new casino interface that will make it easier for casino personnel to pull up guest information by swiping guests’ cards. With a simple card swipe, employees can pull up a guest reservation search screen, view the comp posting reject log, work with the expanded comp authorizer, view the player ranking for yield interface, as well as the capability to link player offers to comp/rate plans directly from the rate availability screen.
Agilysys also says it’s introducing a new LMS Guest Hub that will provide a centralized repository for guest profiles, including history, itineraries, interests, and preferences. The LMS Guest Hub is based on Guest 360, so customers adopting this technology will be taking their first steps in adopting Guest 360.
Last but not least, Agilysys announced Hospitality Analytics 2.0, a new release of its Microsoft SQL Server-based business intelligence solution for casinos, hotels, and resorts. Hospitality Analytics is designed to pore through customers’ LMS, SWS, and POS data to pull up pertinent information on trends, risks, and revenue opportunities, and display them in easy-to-read dashboard interfaces for consumption by decision makers.
With version 2.0, the company is introducing support for multidimensional OLAP cubes for the SWS (formerly MMS/400) inventory and procurement solution. OLAP support will allow SWS customers to create much more accurate models of their inventory costs, to help them optimize their procurement operations. OLAP support in Hospitality Analytics will be added for LMS in the near future, the company said.