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HTNG Hitting its Stride in its Sixth Year

  • HTNG
  • 03.09.09
HTNG, Hotel Technology Next Generation, is an industry trade association born six years ago by a small group of hoteliers who were frustrated on how difficult is was to share data consistently between various applications commonly used in the hospitality industry.

At the time of the organization’s inception, most if not all interfaces were written as a one-off custom development exercise.  Repeatability and reusability were only dreamed about.

The HTNG body is organized into workgroups.  Each workgroup has been chartered with defining a standard message set of attributes and elements needed for the proper exchange of data between systems.  The workgroups are perhaps the most fascinating element of the organization as they are comprised of hoteliers, vendors, and allied industry partners who express a desire to assist on a given collaboration effort.  In short, you will find direct competitors sitting next to each other at the table bringing their collective experience to bear on a solution that will benefit the entire hospitality industry.  

It’s fun to see the likes of Microsoft and Novell, Marriott and Hyatt, and Agilysis and MICROS rolling up their sleeves.  All this collaboration could easily be seen as unhealthy and damaging to the industry.  To the contrary, a very strong ethical code of conduct is agreed to by all parties and reviewed at the start of every HTNG meeting.

Someone at this year’s conference offered up the analogy that as a body, they are defining what data elements to transmit for a defined message set.  What the applications do with that data once it is received remains that vendor’s competitive advantage, or “secret sauce” – this driving home the point of why the HTNG effort benefits our entire industry.

The HTNG organization really hit its stride this past year.  There are a number of active workgroups, some published standards, and the early adopter vendors have gone through the strict certification process to signify their product meets the HTNG specifications for that message set.  Some vendors have adopted the HTNG standards as their product’s de facto standard while internal thought leaders at hotel companies such as Marriott and Delaware North Companies have developed internal applications using these same specs.

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