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So far NetLink Resource Group has created 21 entries.

Striking a Balance Between Selling on Price and Advancing Your Brand

It is no surprise that many potential guests base their travel bookings on price alone.  In this highly competitive marketplace, price can be a true differentiator, but it can also cause friction for hoteliers who are looking to enhance their brands with new innovations.

For example, with the rise of mobility, there has been an increase in mobile apps that are geared towards providing last-minute bookings at the right price.  Of course, these mobile apps help hoteliers fill rooms that may be vacant, but it could also contribute to compromising a hotel’s brand.

Most forward-thinking hospitality providers know that these mobile apps and other online travel agencies (OTA) fill a major void when it comes to helping with guest lead generation.  However, the challenge is that many OTAs and mobile apps have the potential to erode a hotelier’s profit margins and one cannot rely on price as the dominating factor for the brand.

“Hoteliers struggle to find a balance between selling on price and differentiating the brand based on key innovations,” said Tobias Bray, Innovation Strategist at NetLink Resource Group. “The key is being able to create brand loyalty that will last even if a hotel is not the most cost-effective option available on the web or on a mobile app.”

As we have highlighted before, it is all too easy for hoteliers to fall into the trap of viewing guests and customers as being ‘transactions.’  We believe that the world of data that is available at any hotelier’s fingertips provides unique ways for influencing potential guests in ways that extend way beyond price alone.

Selling on price certainly works when developing last minute deals in partnership with OTAs and new mobile apps.  Filling up surplus rooms at any given time is a good thing.  Though by focusing on price alone, many hoteliers are missing out on the opportunity to establish long-term brand loyalty that will supersede price – and innovation can be the driver of this effort.

Pushing Innovation and Role of IT to Forefront of the Hotel Industry

In every industry sector, we are seeing the pace of innovation moving at fast speeds. Fully leveraging all of the mobile- and cloud-based solutions – in ways to help organizations stay fully ahead of the curve – can be tremendously challenging.

The hospitality sector is going through its own information revolution where new innovations make it possible to not only mine guest data more effectively, but also serve up offerings that please guests in highly individualized ways.

This is all very exciting, but how can large hospitality providers keep up with the pace of innovation?

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, the new ‘digital title wave’ should cause organizations to move the function of IT from the ‘back of the bus to the front seat.’   The article also underscored how this hypothetical bus is moving very fast.

For many years, we have believed and supported client projects that only provide direct business value to an organization.  This new fast-paced digital frontier reinforces our long-held philosophy about IT being a business catalyst, but takes it to the next level.

Rather than just pushing for IT to have a seat the management table, it is time for this role to be the ‘bus driver.’ This requires IT professionals to have a strong business knowledge base, along with the ability to embrace and procure the most bleeding-edge innovations.  Simply put; IT leaders needs to wear many hats – some that will push them out of their comfort zones.

This is no small challenge for hotel IT professionals.  The stakes have become much higher for technology and everyday we are seeing new examples of how it can be the foundation for true business differentiation.

“The challenge for every business is to look across the enterprise to see how silo-based operations are impacting the guest experience,” said Tobias Bray, Innovation Strategist at NetLink Resource Group.  “Guest expectations are being shaped by the efficiency and innovation they find in personalized interactions on mobile platforms outside hospitality.  Brands are making the transformation, but have to walk carefully around the deep cultural expectation of high-touch services that are common today.”

We believe that this is one of the most exciting times in technology.  Yes, things are moving very fast, but it’s time for all of us to adapt and take a ‘smart, fast’ approach to implementing the most cutting-edge innovations.

NetLink’s Director of Business Development Named Chair of CRTC’S Ambassador Committee

NetLink Resource Group, Inc., a leading provider of custom web application solutions, today announced that Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, has been named Chair of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council’s (CRTC) Ambassador Committee.

In this role, she will be helping the Ambassador Committee ensure that CRTC members are fully connected to the organization and are reaping the benefit of their membership. The CRTC Ambassador Committee’s mission is to enhance recruitment and retention of CRTC members, and provide opportunities for members to be fully connected with the organization and other members.

“Our region is full of many forward-thinking companies that are breaking the bounds of innovation and the CRTC serves as the hub for this vibrant business community,” said Turner. “ I am very excited about my new role in the CRTC and I look forward to helping advance the mission of this great organization.”

The CRTC Ambassador Committee is comprised of 13 executives from multiple business disciplines who meet monthly to develop programs for both growing membership and expanding opportunities for current members. The CRTC also recently announced the winners of its TechAwards 2012, which honored the region’s rising tech companies, outstanding innovators and regional tech leaders.

About Chesapeake Regional Tech Council

Founded in 1992, the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (CRTC) energizes and propels the advancement of technologies with the exchange of ideas, expertise and business and partnership opportunities. The CRTC is a resource for visibility, connections, knowledge and education for technology companies in and around the Annapolis-Washington-Baltimore area, attracting new technology companies to the region and helping emerging technology companies grow and prosper in this increasingly dynamic environment. The CRTC is a non-profit membership organization supported by a grant from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (MD DBED) and a grant from the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) and enabled by membership and annual sustaining sponsorship. More than 250 businesses from the Annapolis-Washington-Baltimore area are members of the council, including many of the area’s well-known leading technology companies. For more information go to http://www.chesapeaketech.org.

About NetLink Resource Group

NetLink Resource Group, Inc., (http://netlinkrg.test.netlinkrg.com) is a custom web application development firm based in Northern Virginia’s technology corridor. Established in 1996, the company has built a consulting practice that provides web strategy and technology solutions to organizations seeking to increase their profits, improve their business processes, and gain a competitive advantage. NetLink provides sophisticated web solutions in many arenas, including B2B, B2C, government (federal, state, and local), and non-profit.

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NetLink Supports “Telework Week” Again in 2012

Productivity is paramount to the success of any business. For many area workers, a big part of the day is often spent commuting to and from work –causing a drain on productivity and even sapping their creativity.

On top of this, having so many cars on the Beltway is causing undue stress on the environment. This is why NetLink Resource Group is an avid participant in Telework Week, hosted by the Telework Exchange.

Telework Week is a national effort to get companies and organizations to telework during the week of March 5th. Since we are already a distributed organization with many working from home, we decided to do the online savings and environmental calculations provided by Telework Exchange, and here’s what we found:

During Telework Week, NetLink employees will save:

  • $1,030.95 – Total amount saved
  • 1,370 – Number of pounds of pollutants saved
  • 0.653 – Number of tons of pollutants saved

And, since our employees telework essentially all the time, each year we collectively save:

  • $51,547.50 – Total amount saved
  • 68,513 – Number of pounds of pollutants saved
  • 32.625 – Number of tons of pollutants saved

Saving money and helping the environment is certainly laudable. But, let’s not forget about how teleworking will aid in employee wellbeing and productivity. Along those lines, we did a blog post last year about technology being the true enabler for distributed organizations to be truly productive – no matter where employees, clients and partners are located.

With the Washington DC region often being ranked #1 for worst traffic, it is time for local companies to consider a new, more progressive way of doing business. We need to re-think the whole “clocking in” for work at a centralized office and focus on giving employees the flexibility they need to get things done.

Kudos to the Telework Exchange for all if its great efforts. We urge all businesses to embrace teleworking. It could only lead to happier and more productive employees, which will enhance the bottom-line.

NetLink’s Diann Turner Named Vice Chair of NVTC Business Development, Sales and Marketing Committee

ALEXANDRIA, VA – NetLink Resource Group, Inc., a leading provider of custom web application solutions, today announced that Diann Turner, Director of Business Development, has been named Vice Chair of the Northern Virginia Tech Council’s (NVTC) Business Development, Sales and Marketing Committee.

In this new role, Turner will support the committee’s mission of creating opportunities for sales and marketing leaders in the Northern Virginia region to share best practices, form partnerships and collaborate on business opportunities.   In addition, she will assist in developing content and programs for networking events that help meet this mission.

“The NVTC is the premier organization for the viable and vibrant technology community in Northern Virginia,” said Turner.  “I am very excited to work with the brightest sales and marketing minds on the committee, and I look forward to advancing the goals and mission of this great organization.”

Since 2002, Turner has been the Director of Business Development at NetLink Resource Group, where she has played a critical role in expanding the company’s growth in the areas of hospitality, government agencies, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies.

Turner is also heavily involved in a number of other business and technology organizations in the region including the Chesapeake Regional Technology Council (CRTC), Women in Lodging (WiL), American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the BWI Business Partnership, the Ft. Meade Alliance, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and AFCEA-Central Maryland Chapter.

 

 

About NetLink Resource Group

NetLink Resource Group, Inc., (netlinkrg.test.netlinkrg.com) provides web strategy and custom web application development solutions in the B2B, B2C and government markets.  Established in 1996, the company has built a reputation for reducing time-to-market, increasing profits and providing leverage in the areas of client attraction and retention.

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NetLink Sponsors BWI Partnership Breakfast Featuring David Marriott of Marriott International

One of the most important aspects of business development is networking and finding the right events to sponsor and attend. As members of the BWI Business Partnership, we often like to promote and sponsor key events that benefit the business community and expand brand awareness for NetLink Resource Group.

One BWI Business Partnership event certainly caught our attention: The January Signature Breakfast featuring a keynote address by David Marriott, COO of Americas Eastern Region, Marriott International. A Fortune 500 global lodging company that has more than 3,200 properties in the U.S. and 66 other countries, Marriott is by far one of the most significant businesses in our region.

Hearing business and operational insights from a member of the esteemed Marriott family will be worth the price of admission. We believe so much so that we are sponsoring the event. And to top it off, we will be hosting a raffle for a $200 Marriott Gift Card.

Be sure to mark your calendars for January 25th at 7:45 a.m., and here’s the link to register. See you on the 25th!

TSS Taps Into NetLink Resource Group for Development of Marketing Site for “TitleSphere”

ALEXANDRIA, VA – NetLink Resource Group, Inc., a leading provider of custom web application solutions, today announced that it developed the marketing site to support “TitleSphere,” a 100 percent Web-based HUD-1 solution for use by realtors, mortgage lenders, title agents and closing attorneys nationwide, created by Annapolis-based TSS Software Corporation.

A key component of promoting the new Web-based solution, NetLink Resource Group developed and designed the online marketing site aimed at driving additional TitleSphere sales leads for TSS Software Corporation.  The website can be accessed at www.TitleSphere.com.

“We required a partner who understood the value of developing a marketing site for our cloud-based application,” said Barbara Miller, TSS president and chief operating officer. “As such, NetLink was the ideal partner to provide the development skills and insights required to build out a website that raises awareness of this industry-leading solution.”

A unique cloud computing offering for the real estate market, TitleSphere offers complete Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 preparation, along with document, contact, and calendar management.  The easy-to-use solution can be accessed anytime from any computer with a reliable Internet connection, and multiple team members and colleagues can access data from any location.

“We were excited to have the opportunity to promote an industry-leading solution that uses cloud computing like TitleSphere,” said Steve Short, President, NetLink Resource Group.  “TitleSphere is a prime example of a Web application that addresses unique market needs that offers complete flexibility and is easy to use – and we are confident the marketing site will help with market penetration.”

About TSS Software Corporation

TSS Software Corporation is an independent provider of software and services for the real estate title and settlement industry, with more than 18,000 users nationwide. To learn more about TSS’s industry-leading solutions, visit

iwantTSS.com or call 443-321-5600.

About NetLink Resource Group

NetLink Resource Group, Inc., (netlinkrg.test.netlinkrg.com) is a custom web application development firm based in Northern Virginia’s technology corridor. Established in 1996, the company has built a consulting practice that provides web strategy and technology solutions to organizations seeking to increase their profits, improve their business processes, and gain a competitive advantage.   NetLink provides sophisticated web solutions in many arenas, including B2B, B2C, government (federal, state, and local), and non-profit.

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Global Gift Card E-Commerce Application

NetLink Resource Group was initially approached by Marriott International to fully re-design its gift card site for the U.S. market, to improve on the original site’s lackluster functionality and, most importantly, increase revenue.  NetLink provided a completely re-built, custom architecture, creating a dynamic, fully e-commerce-enabled site that offers the ability to purchase multiple cards sent to multiple addresses, as well as is integrated into the client’s credit card system, its card fulfillment operations, and its third party gift card providers.

Since the initial deployment of the U.S. gift card site, NetLink has created a site for the U.K. retail market, a comprehensive online wedding registry destination, a site for promotional sales through airline partners, as well as an internal web application that allows all call centers throughout the world to cross-sell gift cards to customers when they call to make reservations at the company’s thousands of hotels and resorts.  The sites, also hosted by NetLink, use the most cutting-edge analytics for tracking all gift card sales, and the effectiveness of various promotional offers in real time – all viewed by product and market.

Since going live in November 2005, Marriott customers have purchased more than 150,000 items from the gift card sites, resulting in more than $35 million revenue.  NetLink continues to host and provide innovative solutions for all of the applications that make up the Marriott online gift card offering, which generates significant revenue for the hospitality leader’s global business.

Comprehensive Internal, Web-Based Workflow Automation Tool

NetLink Resource Group developed a highly comprehensive, web-based internal workflow automation tool for gathering and managing individual client hotel offers to be showcased at Marriott International’s main website.  Marriott required a system that was fail-safe in allowing the request and approval of promotional offers that were hotel-specific – a process that was previously managed through cumbersome Excel documents submitted via e-mail.

The workflow automation tool provided for consistent tracking and approval, and included various security and management capabilities for thousands of hotel associates to submit offers for consideration.  This greatly improved Marriott’s ability to handle increasing volumes of hotel offer requests while decreasing staffing needed to manage the process through the previous manually-intensive process.

Development of Secure Registration and Payment Solution

NetLink developed a secure registration solution for a federal agency, which is an easy-to-use web application allowing agency peer reviewers to register their banking, address, and other required information in order to receive payments from the agency.  Prior to developing this system, the agency relied on an open-to-the-public system for up-to-date payment information for its peer reviewers.  This system made peer reviewers potentially vulnerable to receiving unsolicited commercial email and other solicitations once they have registered.

Thanks to NetLink, the new system is now a fully automated, highly secure web-based system that easily and efficiently allows agency peer reviewers to register to receive compensation.  Registrants can now update banking information and Social Security numbers at anytime, resulting in a reduced number of improper payments.  In addition, Christopher J. Hinkle, Senior Web Architect, NetLink, received the two prestigious awards from the federal agency for this implementation.