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There are a number of inefficiencies in the Hospitality API space, including finding potential technology partners whose products and/or services that could add value to a hospitality industries offerings. This group aims to create a registry of Hospitality API's to modernize this space.
Blockchain for Hospitality
Blockchain comes in many forms and the right ones could improve or solve many challenges in hospitality. No agreed upon standard or recommended approach exists to selecting and deploying blockchain. To enable and accelerate its adoption in the hospitality industry, this workgroup will publish a white-paper to accomplish the following:
1. Educate the hospitality industry on blockchain technology
2. Identify relevant frameworks
3. The use-case for which select frameworks could be deployed
Bulk Data Transfer
To define a standard way to represent aggregated collections of messages as files, transform and process those files for transfer and transfer them reliably between systems.
Business Analytics Transactional Extract
Over 400 PMS systems on the market store valuable transaction data ripe for analysis, but no standards exists to export all that data. The Business Analytics Transactional Extract Workgroup will develop a standard Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) target for consistency across the industry.
Develop a unified and automatic identification and authentication mechanism for guests across multiple properties (including brands, chains).
Hotel communications (messaging, voice, work orders) require separate systems that require (or do not support) significant integration requirements that result in staff needing many devices (phone, radio, tablet) which are difficult to support. This group will focus on the integration requirements, management, and deployment needs of a modern hotel. This will reduce costs, support requirements while increasing operational efficiency(s).
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
To create a richer hotel experience for the guest throughout their journey.
GDPR for Hospitality
The GDPR for Hospitality workgroup will produce an executive level white paper describing the key considerations, use cases, and impacts of these regulations, focusing on the top areas that the hospitality industry must address in order to prepare for GDPR compliance (and vendor support of those use cases). Additionally, the workgroup will produce a GDPR assessment tool that will help hospitality industry participants evaluate their company's ability to comply with GDPR's.
Hotel Systems Dashboard
The workgroup will define the requirements for a comprehensive dashboard system, including levels of information - ranging from high level system information, to detailed technical data that are required to troubleshoot issues with hotel systems. This system will allow hoteliers to quickly understand the significance an outage (for example, an AP outage that affects a single room, or a core switch outage that affects the entire infrastructure), and for the appropriate technical information to be available to IT personnel to troubleshoot or share with partners and vendors to quickly solve the issue. The dashboard will also collect and retain long term data to enable hotels to forecast and take appropriate action. The solution should be open so that any networked system could interface (integrate) with the hotel system dashboard.
Hotel Technology Renovations Project Management
Best practices for hotel technology project management.
Infrastructure Resource Team
This group develops best practices for the deployment of new and existing infrastructure technologies within hospitality as well as the ongoing evaluation of those technologies. Their ultimate goal is to reduce cost of infrastructure and interfaces, provide greater reliability for interfaces to in-room devices, enable guests to easily connect their own devices and provide infrastructure guidelines to support future hotel applications.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items -- embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. An IoT system starts from the level where a single "thing" is identified using a unique global identifier and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. The initial goal of this group is to educate hoteliers on the topic and offering insight to opportunities this may lend within the industry.
Next Generation Distribution Messaging
HTNG and The OpenTravel Alliance are mainstays of hotel and travel messaging and offer widely adopted message standards for operations and bookings across a diverse ecosystem of partners and internally within many companies. Currently, new standards are emerging. This workgroup will identify and examine both open source and proprietary standards, including OpenTravel's 2.0 Object Model and IATA's NDC, and offer a point of view with potential benefits, impacts and alignment opportunities.
NFC Mobile Payments Framework - Pre-Charter
Accepting Mobile NFC Payments like Apple Pay, Google Waller, or Samsung Pay for Hotel Room Reservations has not been possible due to complex scenarios with authorizations and post-stay settlements. The NFC Mobile Payments Workgroup will identify the critical components in payment solutions for the hospitality industry and how they might need to be updated to accommodate new payment frameworks designed to overcome previous challenges.
The Workgroup released a version 1.0 Framework in February 2013 and has published an updated Framework, version 2.0 in 2016. The group continues addressing the Secure Payments landscape. They will publish a white paper on cloud based PMS, update all HTNG Specifications and Frameworks that deal with payments, and offer strategies to avoid the use of PAN as a record identifier.
Regional Business Regulations - Pre-Charter
Global hospitality brands and solution providers operation in diverse regions throughout the globe are challenged with the unique regional/local business regulations they are responsible for following. This group aims to create a Wiki that will be a searchable and organized repository of these rules.
Software Resource Team
The Software Resource Team offers a space to share and learn about emerging issues from other top software practitioners. This group explores and discusses new technologies theoretically and practically. They also research open questions without the usual workgroup requirement or constraints of committing to an end result. Deliverables include educational webinars, white papers, industry frameworks, best practice documents and creating new software workgroups.
Voice Interaction Framework
While screenless voice-based devices are gaining adoption in the home, only ~1% of traveling consumers have personal experiences with these emerging devices and there is limited time for guests to learn this new technology. To solve the issues of inconsistency, this group will develop a framework of use cases and related voice commands for the guest room.
Enterprise Time Keeping
Develop a solution to standardize timkeeping records to be able to compare against sales and revenue data from the point-of-sale. This would also allow for player tracking systems to be able to view trends, labor costs and productivity.
Build support for contests related to productivity, sales, etc. to incentivize staff.
Group Billing Reconciliation
Design an interface to create an automated email from meeting planner to meeting host, with web page that details line items charged for a meeting; information would come from many hotel systems, such as point of sale, PMS, sales and catering, etc.
Develop a standards-based solution to support the communication of bids from suppliers/distributors of hotel inventory to metasearch providers, whereby suppliers could automatically deliver bids and receive information from the metasearch providers regarding other bids and current positioning
Mobile Device Location
Standardize data structure for describing the location of a device within a venue, including spatial coordinates and common-language descriptions (e.g. “Lobby”).
Mobile Device Pairing with Entertainment Systems
Identify existing or developing new standards to support simple pairing of arbitrary guest mobile devices with hotel entertainment systems.
Near Field Communications
Identify and develop solutions for the use of NFC technology in hotels, potentially including payments, door lock systems, location services, and other applications.
Facilitate the sharing of data between Online Reputation Management tools and hotel systems, potentially to be used for personalization, satisfaction measurement, service recovery, calculation of performance indicators, and other purposes.
Web Content Publishing Coordination
Establish standards to improve workflow approval processes for hotel-related content destined for hotel, brand and third-party sites.
Send closed work order tickets from the systems that manage them for individual hotels, up to the chain systems that collect data to correlate with customer satisfaction, etc.
Above Property Systems
This workgroup created a framework of differentiating factors that define an above property solution that the industry should care about. One goal was to identify best practices for implementing systems above property. Another goal was for any two applications to be able to use the framework and determine how to architect interoperability between systems, at both the technical and business levels.
Describes an architecture that supports the HTNG vision; provides guidance and direction to software vendors and hospitality companies in choosing and designing applications.
Back Office Integration
Standardized the handoff of financial data from PMSs and POSs to back-office systems and created a travel agent commissions specification
Addressed cellular phone coverage issues for hotels, by creating a requirements document for an existing architecture (Remote Radio Head) and adapting it for indoor use by multiple Mobile Network Operators for in building LTE coverage.
Standardized the definition of customer profile, making data exchange easier, less expensive, and less time-consuming. Standardized hand-off of information regarding loyalty programs and point/miles between among CRM systems, and loyalty management systems.
Device Control Integration
Simplified low-level communications among guest room devices (electrical controls, consumer electronics, HVAC< minibars, sages, door locks, etc.) by standardizing key aspects of inter-device messaging.
Standardized the interface between catering and event management systems and digital signage systems.
Distribution Content Management
Standardized the exchange of descriptive and illustrative content among hotels, content management systems, and distribution systems.
Door Lock Security
This workgroup mitigated door lock security issues by creating a set of testing procedures and valuation criteria, to be performed by a trusted third party capable of bench marking locking solutions against a well defined list of standards.
Entertainment Device Control
The team will reduce confusion and additional remote controls in the guest room by leveraging previous work - the outcome of this work group will extend the Hospitality Profile for HDMI CEC v1.3 for compatibility in Asia, parts of Europe, and South America.
Creating updated version of the HTNG Event Notification spec to be compatible with the W3C WS-Eventing standard.
Fiber to the Room
This group created a series of best practice documents and webinars on how to effectively deliver and deploy a fiber network in a hotel. Deliverables included and introduction to fiber and Passive Optical Network (PON) technology and design guides for new builds and retrofits. The group is now documenting case studies and power deployment scenarios.
Folio Detail Exchange
Standardized the extraction of folio line-item detail from PMSs, for use by VAT recovery, loyalty, expense reporting, and analytical programs.
Food & Beverage Ordering
Standardized the exchange of menu and order information between a Point-of-Sale System and a system managing a user interface (e.g. on a TV, tablet or website) through which a guest can order food and beverage.
Produced a white paper in 2005 regarding the future of guest room technology.
Guest & Room Status Messaging
Standardized interaction between PMSs and guest room devices, including provisioning and customization instructions, acknowledgment of correct provisioning, and de-provisioning.
Guest Self Service
Standardized interfaces between hotel-based systems, such as PMS and POS, and guest-facing devices and systems (such as kiosks, TVs, and the web), to enable guests to book activities within the hotel, such as spa, dining, or golf.
Hosted Entertainment Content Delivery Solutions
Identified the technical challenges for hotels to deploy entertainment systems in a hosted model, with little or no on-premises equipment.
Host Payment Capture Systems
Designed solutions and standards for hosted capturing and processing of credit-card information, with secure application of the payment information back to hotelier systems.
Identity Compliance Service
Attempted to addressed management of user rights across multiple systems. This workgroup did not produce meaningful deliverables and was subsequently disbanded.
Intelligent Guest Room
This workgroup created a common framework for communicating with systems that control guest room devices, enabling hotels to monitor device health and help ensure that hotels, rather than guests, can be the first to discover device malfunctions. The group is not working to extend the framework to simplify communications with and between individual guest room devices.
Standardized interfaces for self check-in and check-out functionality between kiosks (and other self-service devices) and property management systems.
This workgroup created a JSON framework that reflects existing HTNG & Open Travel Specifications that selectively allow the client to return a specified set of data elements, and provide implementation standards (such as URI standards, query parameter standards, HTNG SOAP header info via HTTP and REST/JSON RPC, etc.) for accessing the framework.
Mobile Device ID and Authentication
Building on recent enhancement to 802.11x standards, this group is working to devise a standard process for registering a device once within a hotel or brand so the device and its user can be recognized automatically when it is in range of any access point.
Develop comprehensive architectural and design guidelines as well as commissioning check lists that will ensure that proper technologies can be deployed when the building is commissioned. The workgroup would then socialize those guidelines with the architects, consultants and engineers that design hotels. Design guidelines were completed in Q2 2016.
Open Data Exchange
Developed a standardized approach for the exchange of unstructured data between systems and generic data "push" and "pull" models.
Payment Systems & Data Security
Standardized secure processing for credit=card transactions between hotel systems and payment processing gateways, using a secure data proxy (tokenization) approach.
Personal Area Networks
The team will document the network requirements and best practices need to replicate the home network environment in the hotel. This will enable common consumer devices (meant for the home network) to be used by guests on the hotel's network, enabling common use case scenarios such as displaying guest-based content on the hotel-owned television.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
The team will begin by defining what PII means within the hospitality industry. They will create principles and corresponding rationale for protecting guest data, a code of conduct in which an organization and it's vendors will abide by. Finally, the will produce a self assessment to test how well a given organization is protecting the personal information of their guest. This will lead to the eventual standard that all within the industry will perform to. A later output will focus on protecting personal information of staff and vendors.
Point of Sale
Enhance the HTNG basic point-of-sale interface to achieve tighter integration for such processes as check zoom and end-of-day processing, and to improve the guest lookup facility.
Standardized reservation delivery, rate control, availability control, group synchronization, statistics handoff, and other functions necessary for distribution processing.
Property Web Services
Developed a set of Web Services designed to promote inter-operability and information exchange among systems that service the needs of hotel properties.
Protocol & Message Transport
Provides the "plumbing" layer of connectivity for all HTNG messages, known as the HTNG Web Services Framework (WSF), which enables two systems to reliably exchange any XML messages (HTNG or proprietary), vastly simplifying the implementation of interfaces. Includes a publish-and-subscribe eventing model.
Created reference architectures for the hospitality industry including business, application, and data architectures.
Scalable Cellular Service
This group will develop technology overviews for new and emerging technologies such as enterprise scale small cells and Wi-Fi calling, evaluate deployment and use cases, and select business models that enable hotels of all sizes to ensure excellent cellular reception in their hotels.
Single Guest Itinerary
Standardized the synchronization of customer profiles, itineraries, and folio posting across PMS and activity systems, to provide a cooperative experience for hotel guests, as well as for staff working with disparate systems such as Property Management, Spa, Goldf, Concierge, Dining, Ski, and other activity systems.
Virtual Credit Cards
Standardize and systematize the identification and business rules for processing virtual credit cards and other non-traditional payments.
Voice Communications Solutions
Developed a specification for an IP PBX and hospitality SIP handset.