Haile Resort is testing some components of its Newhotel Software, its new IT system from Newhotel Software Business Solutions which is worth 10 million Br, which was installed after a delay of more than a year.
The agreement for the procurement and provision of the software was signed with Offshoring 2.0 Technology Services Plc, in collaboration with eVentive LLC, during the construction of the resort, which officially opened five months ago. However, the delivery and complete installation of the system have been delayed for over a year now, according to sources who wished to remain anonymous due to a nondisclosure clause in the agreement.
If there are any delays or breaches of the contract, both sides must go to arbitration and then to court, according to these sources.
The 10 components of the IT system will be installed separately, and the vendor will be paid by phase of installation once the components have been tested, according to the agreement.
“To date, local online reservation, point of sales, and Alcatel telephone systems have been installed and started giving service,” Engidawork Tesfa, IT consultant for Haile Resort, told Fortune. “The telephone system is connected to the booking software which calculates a guest’s telephone bill once he checks out.”
The remaining systems of housekeeping, security, stock, spa, electronic key card, as well as conference and international booking are yet to be installed.
Haile Gebrselassie, owner of the resort, and officials from Offshoring, a local representative of eVentive, a Chicago based consulting and outsourcing firm, refused to comment on the nature of the agreement and the delay. However, EWBA Engineering Plc, a local company that was subcontracted by Offshoring, is not shy to voice its grievance with the company.
“We were contracted to import and install projectors and conference equipment, which we were told would be duty free,” Biniam Alemayehu, general manager of EWBA, told Fortune. “After we imported it, we were asked to pay duty, but, when we requested a refund, Offshoring refused to pay us.”
Despite the issues being raised behind closed doors and the brewing controversy, there has not yet been any development in exercising the clauses in the contract about the delay of the project. Instead, it is continuing.
“We have paid 50pc of the cost and expect the remaining components to start service within six months,” Engidawork, who refused to comment on the conditions of the deal, told Fortune. “We also bought smoke detectors and security cameras at an additional cost of 500,000 Br.”
The smoke detectors, which are being tested, send a message to a control panel when detecting a fire.
The international booking system will enable overseas customers to make online bookings for the 212 hotel rooms of the resort, which is located on a 43,000sqm plot of land in Hawassa, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) Regional State. Various amenities of the resort, such as the mini golf course, two tennis courts, and horseback rides, can also be reserved online, according to Wondowossen Tegene, manager of the resort.
While the booking system also allows electronic payments to be made online, according to the website of the software company, the resort has not yet found a local bank to enable it to provide the service. The system also touts that it integrates all the components within a central system to allow the service to use customers’ information which will be available in one location.
“The electronic key card will be programmed with the booking information of the customer and will only work for the duration her stay,” Engidawork told Fortune.
By Eden Sahle, Fortune Staff Writer