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Agilysys Announces Next Release of Hospitality Analytics

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Agilysys, Inc., a leading provider of innovative IT solutions, including specifically-designed hospitality software solutions, has announced the release of Hospitality Analytics 2.0, a made-for-hospitality business intelligence solution that consolidates data across disparate systems and multiple locations into a single integrated source for comprehensive reporting, auditing, and predictive analysis.

Hospitality Analytics addresses the growing requirement for hospitality providers to leverage data as one of their most important business assets and enables hotel managers and business analysts to make up-to-the-minute fact-based decisions and capitalize on revenue opportunities.

The solution identifies industry trends, improves business processes, and uncovers risk areas that might otherwise go unchecked, the company says. Hospitality Analytics also removes the multitude of manual reports and spreadsheets-many of which contain errors, omissions, or duplicate information-from the organization. Reports are up to date and can be saved as private or public or published as a dashboard for review by others.

Hospitality Analytics works with the InfoGenesis POS by Agilysys solution and the Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution by Agilysys and will soon integrate with the company's property management solutions.

The recent addition of an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube for the SWS solution enables customers to analyze and track trends and costs in the inventory and procurement area of operations.

Other features of Hospitality Analytics 2.0 include:

·        Custom report creation with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface

·        Visual representations of data with easy-to-read charts, graphs and customizable dashboards

·        Direct query of data by third-party applications such as IBM Cognos and Microsoft Excel

·        SQL server reporting services integration

·        Performance improvements when loading new data into the application

·        Integration with National Weather Service data to standardize analysis for seasonal variations

Hospitality Analytics is now available in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, allowing customers to pay for an ongoing subscription rather than having to purchase the software. Benefits include a lower entry price point and elimination of software maintenance and support.

"The latest version of Hospitality Analytics enables hospitality providers to turn predictive analysis into data-based business decisions," says Tina Stehle, senior vice president and general manager of Agilysys Hospitality Solutions Group. "Reporting is meaningless unless it helps an organization achieve insight into its business and, as a result, maximize revenue. Hospitality Analytics gives management unprecedented support for their business and operations decisions, enabling them to see the 'big picture' and use that information to increase profitability and enhance guest service.

New Version Lodging Management System (LMS)

Agilysys also announced the latest version of the Lodging Management System (LMS) property management solution.

LMS V8.0 includes the following new key enhancements:

·        Dynamic packages, which enable users to create packages "on the fly" by selecting various components. It also allows users to select an existing pre-defined package and either add or remove components, thereby tailoring that package to the guest's specifications.

·        A new graphical user interface (GUI), which allows users to toggle between green screen and GUI, and includes command line access, buffering capabilities and the ability to type ahead and view reports on screen. These screen design improvements also extend to LMS ARTS, an activities reservations tracking module that manages a hotel's various venues and places canceled activities back into inventory for resale.

·        An enhanced casino interface with new functionality that includes player card swipe for guest reservation search, comp posting reject log, expanded comp authorizer, player ranking for yield interface and the ability to link player offers to comp/rate plans directly on the rate availability screen.

In addition, Agilysys will be introducing the new LMS Guest Hub in conjunction with LMS v8.0, a centralized repository for guest profiles, including history, itineraries, interests and preferences. Users have the ability to set up and maintain a single guest master across multiple systems. This functionality is based on Guest 360° technology framework, the future strategy of Agilysys (see below).

"We continue to invest in our industry-leading LMS property management solution with the latest version of the software," says Stehle. "This is a very flexible and scaleable system. LMS has historically set the reliability bar high. Now, with the addition of new guest-oriented features and functionality, LMS pairs that reliability with an enhanced guest experience."

Guest 360° Next-Generation Property Management Solution

Agilysys announced the beta site for Guest 360°, the company's next-generation property management solution. Guest 360°, which was recognized as "Best New Technology" at the HITEC 2007 conference, is on schedule for beta testing in November 2008 with Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., a 250-room upscale property that is developed and managed by Amerimar Enterprises, Inc.

"We are excited about this new technology from Agilysys and look forward to implementing it," says Steven P. André, general manager at Hutton Hotel, which is scheduled to open in early 2009.

"Guest 360° is not just another property management system. It will enable us to actually anticipate guest needs. We want to stand out from the crowd by providing a flawless guest experience, and we are confident this solution will help us achieve that goal," says André.

Guest 360° is an open database and cross-platform property management system that utilizes services-oriented architecture (SOA) to provide a highly scaleable and flexible solution for hotels and resorts of all sizes as well as multi-property operations. SOA enables Guest 360° to be tailored to a hotel's business processes and allows for flexible integration with other software solutions. Features of Guest 360° include: an attributes-based, flexible inventory engine; an innovative offer and rating system; and Guest Hub, a centralized repository for guest profiles, including history, itineraries, interests and preferences. The result is a solution that provides a true 360 degree view of the guest.

Guest 360° was based on key functionality found in current Agilysys property management solutions, user recommendations, and industry trends, such as guest-oriented reservation management. The system's intuitive features move beyond traditional property management to assist in predicting guest preferences and make suggestions based on guest recognition designed to increase revenue and profitability.

"Guest 360° goes beyond just tracking reservations and performing check-in and check-out," says Stehle. "By capturing guest events, information and preferences, the system enables hotels to truly know their guests and realize a competitive advantage. Guest 360° takes property management to a new level of effectiveness with innovative technology that addresses the areas that matter most to our customers and their guests."

Hard Rock Park Selects Agilysys Inventory, POS Solutions

Agilysys took the opportunity to  announce that Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C. has selected the Eatec inventory and procurement solution and the InfoGenesis POS solution to enhance efficiency and streamline operations at the 55-acre theme park, which opened in May.

"The Eatec and InfoGenesis solutions had all the functionality we needed, and they integrate well together," said Dave Montoya, senior director of information services for Hard Rock Park. "We are a Microsoft SQL Server shop, so it was critical that the solutions we selected play well with that. Also, the fact that the InfoGenesis solution handles both retail and food and beverage functions enabled us to save money and eliminate an entire system. These are robust solutions with a long lifespan, and Hard Rock Park will be able to use them well into the future."

The Eatec solution by Agilysys is a Microsoft Windows software-based, full-featured inventory and procurement solution designed especially for the foodservice and hospitality industries. Along with its core purchasing, inventory, recipe, forecasting, production and sales analysis functions, the system also offers modules for catering, concessions, restaurant and retail. The modular software structure enables customers to construct the exact set of features it needs-whether an enterprise-wide solution for multiple sites, or a single-site system for multiple functions. Hard Rock Park is using the Eatec inventory and procurement solution in 50 outlets, including retail shops and kiosks, table service and fast-food restaurants, and warehouses.

The InfoGenesis POS system combines the performance, familiarity and ease-of-use of Windows software with a relational database to deliver a powerful point-of-sale solution scalable enough for hospitality operations of all sizes. Designed for multi-unit operations commonly found in hospitality environments, the InfoGenesis POS can manage any combination of dining, bar service and gift shop operations. Features of the system include sorting, grouping and filtering options; real-time reporting capabilities; organizational controls; and advanced encryption tools. Approximately 150 food & beverage and retail terminals throughout Hard Rock Park use the InfoGenesis POS solution.

"Our leading edge inventory and POS solutions will enable Hard Rock Park to manage its many venues more effectively," says Stehle. "These solutions are the most reliable, flexible and scaleable on the market and will enable the park to maximize profitability and reduce potential losses. Most importantly, this technology will streamline efficiency and enable Hard Rock Park to deliver an outstanding guest experience."

"To help drive differentiation in the guest experience, Agilysys and Microsoft are working together to provide hospitality customers like Hard Rock Park with the technology they need to perform at their highest level," said Sandra Andrews, U.S. hospitality industry solutions director, Microsoft Corp. "Agilysys offers software systems that have been proven in a variety of venues, from casinos and resorts to theme parks and stadiums. We are pleased to work together to deliver innovative solutions that empower employees to create more efficient business processes and superior guest experiences for hospitality organizations worldwide."

Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the world's first rock 'n roll theme park and the first major attraction to be built in the United States in nearly a decade. The park celebrates the culture, lifestyle and legends of rock 'n roll through more than 50 world-class rides, attractions and live shows. Its amphitheater provides a venue for touring acts as well as daily performances, the house band and tribute acts. Located on 55 acres and costing approximately $400 million to build, Hard Rock Park is the single largest tourism investment in South Carolina's history.

Celebrity Cruises Selects Agilysys InfoGenesis POS

Agilysys announced an agreement with Celebrity Cruises in Miami, Fla., that is choosing  the InfoGenesis POS dining room inventory solution and the DataMagine Sign and Secure signature capture solution to streamline operations on four of its new premium Solstice-class ships. Celebrity Cruises is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

InfoGenesis POS is a flexible, robust and enterprise-ready point-of-sale solution that combines powerful reporting and configuration capabilities with an easy-to-use touch-screen terminal application. The system's centralized database pulls together food and beverage functions, enabling total management of dining, bar and room service operations. The dining room inventory solution, specifically designed to address the needs of cruise lines, enables the galley to maintain an accurate track of menu items and meals and reduce food waste. Features of the dining room inventory solution include real-time updates on quantities ordered and quantities in stock; visual alerts when items drop below a specified level; and menu item routing to the galley based on prep station.

"We have used the InfoGenesis POS solution on our other ships for several years and appreciate its features and functionality as well as the fact that it is extremely user-friendly," said Jacques Van Staden, vice president of food and beverage for Celebrity Cruises. "Now, we're adding the dining room inventory solution for galley management to further enhance guest service on our new Solstice-class ships."

The DataMagine Sign and Secure solution enables hospitality venues to collect electronic images of signed transactions and store them in an archiving system for instant viewing or retrieval. The solution digitally captures signatures both at fixed and handheld terminals. Transactions are stored as single TIFF images with embedded signatures for proper compliance. The technology virtually eliminates charge-backs by providing instant proof of signatures and transaction information.

"In the highly competitive cruise segment of the hospitality market, it is more important than ever to select technology that enables you to work smarter and more efficiently," says Stehle. "The InfoGenesis POS solutions and the DataMagine signature capture solution will enable Celebrity to streamline operations, cut costs and deliver the five-star guest experience for which they are known."

About Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruise-tour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for ‘The Top Cruise Ships in the World,' as recently voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010 and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, visit www.celebritycruises.com.

About Agilysys, Inc.

Agilysys is a leading provider of innovative IT solutions to corporate and public-sector customers, with special expertise in select markets, including retail and hospitality. The company uses technology - including hardware, software and services - to help customers resolve their most complicated IT needs. The company possesses expertise in enterprise architecture and high availability, infrastructure optimization, storage and resource management, identity management and business continuity; and provides industry-specific software, services and expertise to the retail and hospitality markets. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., Agilysys operates extensively throughout North America, with additional sales offices in the United Kingdom and China. For more information, visit http://www.agilysys.com.

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