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Security Bulletin

To our Partners and Valued Customers:

The ever growing list of malicious and fraudulent activities seems to be spreading across the country like an out of control forest fire. Every day we hear or read about some new scheme or plan that has been uncovered to exploit the innocent, in an effort to make a buck.

The Hospitality industry is no exception to this threat. The latest scheme that we are hearing of involves criminals negotiating or manipulating a voicemail auto attendant to reach a guest room, with malicious intent.
Once contact has been made with the occupant, the caller passes themselves off as a member of the hotel staff and attempts to gain access to the guest’s credit card information.

Innovation Technologies Worldwide, Inc. wants to assure our Distributors and End User clients, that there are methods available to deter these fraudulent attempts from taking place, in all of our InnLine products.

Built in Deterrence

In order to greatly reduce or even eliminate the possibility of the aforementioned threat, ITW highly recommends setting up the Guest Transfer settings to eliminate all guest transfers from the Auto Attendant.

Even if the property doesn’t use a full time or overflow attendant, there is still a slight risk that the automated attendant can be reached or exploited. It is recommended that this setting be enabled on every Innovation Voice mail system in the field.

If the property insists on allowing call transfers to the guest rooms, there are some available features to help make it more secure. For example if  “Always allow call transfers to guests” is selected, it allows access to the “Transfer Security” feature.  If  “Require entry of first 3 letters of last name”  is selected, the caller will be prompted enter in the first three letters of the guest’s last name, before the VMS will allow the transfer to be completed.

(Note:  guest name must be supplied by PMS, during check-in, in order for this to feature to function properly)

An alternative to “always allowing call transfers to guests”, would be to select the “Follow schedule” feature, which will allow for transfers work only at certain times of day and/or days of the week.  If you use the first three letter requirement as noted before, the PMS will need to supply guest names during check-in.

The final option would be to allow all transfers and not use guest securities.  This of course, is not recommended.

If you have questions or need assistance implementing the recommended settings, please contact the ITW support department at 800-424-6757 and choose option 1 from the Auto Attendant or email techhelp@innovationtw.com


Innovation Technologies Worldwide Inc. Now Integrates InnLine IP With Legacy PBX Systems

August 4, 2011 — Innovation has successfully integrated its InnLine IP® voice messaging platform with Dialogic® Media Gateways.  This collaboration makes it possible for hotels to replace their legacy voice mail systems with next generation VOIP based messaging technology and extend the life of their legacy PBX.  When the time comes to replace the legacy PBX with a next generation phone system the investment made in the InnLine IP® system is preserved because the messaging system provides VOIP interface to the new phone system

Doug Schwartz, President of Innovation said that “By combining Dialogic Media Gateway Technology with our InnLine IP® (VOIP) messaging platform we have essentially future proofed our customer’s investment in voice mail technology”.

Supported legacy phone systems include Mitel, Nortel, NEC and Avaya.  This allows for a well-planned, phased migration to a next generation IP PBX.

“Solution providers like Innovation Technologies deliver tremendous innovation and value in vertical markets such as hospitality,” said Franz-Josef Eberle, Vice President and General Manager VAS and Cloud Enabling Unit of Dialogic. “Dialogic has decades of experience integrating unique messaging solutions with third party PBX systems, and we are pleased to continue that enabling legacy as part of the InnLine IP® messaging solution.”

About Innovation Technologies Worldwide, Inc.

Since 1990, Innovation Technologies Worldwide has been a leader in providing telephony solutions solely for the hospitality industry. Innovation revolutionized the industry by combining voice mail, automated attendant, wake up calls and automated guest services into one easy to use system. With over 8,500 systems installed worldwide, Innovation’s voice telephony solutions have set the standard for the hospitality industry.

Innovation is headquartered in Cross Plains, WI and sells through a network of licensed distributors. For more information or to find a distributor, call 800-424-6757, or visit www.innovationtw.com


Innovation Technologies merges Legacy Telephone technology with InnLine IP

Here at Innovation Technologies Worldwide, we are always looking to add value to your investment.
Our latest collaboration with Dialogic Corporation has resulted in the integration of our InnLine IP® voice messaging platform with Dialogic® Media Gateways. This allows for a well-planned, phased migration to a next generation IP PBX. Hotel Properties can future proof their investment with the purchase of an InnLine IP.

InnLine IP now works with the following legacy PBX systems: Nortel, Mitel and NEC. Future integrations will include Hitachi, Avaya and Alcatel.

What does this mean for you?   You can now offer your customers a SIP voice messaging solution by using this winning combination. When the hotel upgrades their phone system, the InnLine IP will continue to provide value into the future.


2011 Tax Incentive on Hardware/Software

The federal government has extended Section 179 through the end of 2011 making it easier for hotels, and other businesses, to purchase new hardware and software such as Innovation’s ComXChange IP PBX.

It’s all explained in Section 179 http://www.section179.org/ and here are some excerpts taken from the site:

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. Government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

Who Qualifies for Section 179?

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2 million in new or used business equipment during tax year 2011 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.  If a business is unprofitable in 2011, and has no taxable income to use the deduction, that business can elect to use 100% Bonus Depreciation and carry-forward to a year when the business is profitable.

Find out more at http://www.section179.org/

Section 179 for 2011 at a glance:

  • 2011 Deduction Limit – $500,000 (up from $250k previously). Good on new and used equipment, including new software.
  • 2011 Limit on equipment purchases – $2 Million Dollars (up from $800k previously).
  • “Bonus” Depreciation – 100% (taken after the $500k deduction limit is reached). Note, bonus depreciation is only for new equipment. This can also be taken by businesses that exceed $2 million in capital equipment purchases.

The above is an overall, “simplified” view of the Section 179 Deduction for 2011. For more details on limits and qualifying equipment, as well as Section 179 Qualified Financing, please peruse this entire website.

For more information contact Innovation through our Website at www.innovationtw.com


Do We Still Need Guestroom Phones?

Here’s a great article from our friends at Hospitality Upgrade Magazine…

Excerpt of article by Jon Inge 3.2010 from the Spring 2010 issue of Hospitality Upgrade Magazine

Do We Still Need Guestroom Phones?
Speaking of phones, for now it seems essential to keep a phone in the guestroom, despite many travelers’ total dependence on their cell phones; not every guest carries one, and as we have discussed, cell phone reception inside the building is frequently problematic.  The safety needs for a guest to be able to call for help in the case of an emergency and for the operator to know where the guest is calling from are paramount. Most cell phones have GPS location-detection capability, but those don’t work very well indoors and can’t tell an operator which floor you’re on. 

Wi-Fi triangulation from services such as AeroScout (detecting the position of a Wi-Fi-enabled device by picking up its signal at multiple access points) is very promising to help resolve this, but at the moment requires the device to be registered on the hotel network and to send out a pulse to the access points at regular intervals. This isn’t practical for guests’ cell phones but it has great promise for staff devices, helping dispatchers see who’s closest to a guest with a service request.

Guestroom phones themselves are still more often analog than digital, contrary to the trend in general business environments. Part of this is a cost issue, though there’s no reason that a straightforward IP phone without a video screen should cost any more than a traditional analog one.  Mostly it’s a reliability and safety issue, based on the need to have a working phone with a definite, known location if the guest needs to call for help during a power outage.  As cell phones become near-universal there’s been some talk about replacing the guestroom phone with a wired intercom system and a panic button but I think this approach is unlikely to be adopted by many properties, purely from a guest reassurance viewpoint.

Check out the full article at: http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/_magazine/magazine_Detail-ID-484.asp


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