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  1. #1

    Default Friend Communications Enhanced Integration

    Many of you may have read the recent press release announcing a strategic alliance with Friend Communications. We are very excited about this alliance and what it means for Campground Master customers, and we're anxious to tell you all about it.

    "Real time" online reservations

    The new strategic alliance with Friend Communications will enable Campground Master to provide online reservations support with a 2-way "real time" interface, rather than the 1-way manually-updated interface currently employed. This means that you can make your complete site inventory available online all of the time, rather than just part of it, part of the time. The availability shown to customers booking through your web site (via the Friend Communications gateway) will always match the availability in Campground Master, eliminating the possibility of double-booking. Likewise, reservations made through Friend will immediately and automatically be reflected in Campground Master (optionally tagged as "pending approval" until you review them), abolishing the need to manually retrieve them periodically. You will still have the ability to change or reject online-submitted reservations if necessary, so you don't give up any control of your inventory.

    This new online integration functionality is already in the works, and you'll receive more information as it progresses. We expect it to be fully released by the end of this year, and will have it ready for testing much sooner. Current customers will be notified when the product is available in beta and will be offered the opportunity to participate in beta-testing. Whether you already use Friend or you're just thinking about online reservations, we welcome and encourage your comments, suggestions or concerns so that they can be suitably addressed and incorporated in the final design.

    What follows are some excerpts of a press release.

    "After years of working together, we are taking the relationship to the next level by creating this strategic alliance," said Gary Pace, Friend president and CEO. "This enhanced relationship will enable us to build a tighter integration with Campground Master."

    Campground Master customers will not notice any change in the software or support, other than the ability to participate in the enhanced benefits of the Friend online booking engine and increased exposure on Camping.com and the Friend network. Rest assured that this is not a merger or buy-out -- Cottonwood Software, LLC, the producers of Campground Master, remains an independent company with the same leadership, goals, and business practices as before.

    "We are excited about this alliance. After working together for several years, this is just a natural progression in our relationship and we are pleased with what it can offer our customers," said Stan Spielbusch, president and CEO of Cottonwood Software. "Being able to integrate with Friend's online booking engine is a valuable asset to any park or campground. This enhanced partnership will ensure that the integration remains strong and continues to progress technologically, as well as strengthening our position in the industry through cooperative opportunities."

    Friend Communications Inc., a subsidiary of Leisure Holding Inc., provides an integrated portfolio of services, including online reservation technology, advertising infrastructure and marketing services to the outdoor recreation industry. Friend is committed to delivering best-of-breed products and marketing support to unite the businesses that make up this vertical and allow the industry to compete effectively for the general travel dollar. Through industry partnerships and its own brands, including Camping.com, Friend enhances the consumer's online experience by providing outdoor recreation-centric information, resources and an extensive online reservation network for locating RV parks and campgrounds. More information is available on the Web at www.friendcommunications.com.
    Stan Spielbusch
    [Forum Administrator]

  2. #2

    Default yeah!

    this is very exciting news. I will be watching for updates, and would love to be a beta tester.
    Cheryl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Clinton, CT
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Sounds great, I would also love to be a beta tester.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    This is big! This is most definitely what our customers want and expect from us

    Let us know some beta testing details when you do know...

  5. #5

    Default Friend Communications Enhanced Integration

    Hey Stan, Do you have an update for us on this???
    Cheryl

  6. #6

    Default

    There was an update in the newsletter yesterday:
    http://campgroundmaster.com/news/fri...onsupdate.html
    Stan Spielbusch
    [Forum Administrator]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Four Oaks, NC
    Posts
    6

    Default Rich

    hey, what is the status of this? we have been waiting since last year.

  8. #8

    Default

    I'm afraid it's taking longer than expected, but we're working as fast as we can.
    Stan Spielbusch
    [Forum Administrator]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Four Oaks, NC
    Posts
    6

    Default intergration

    Is there a time that you are shooting for? I know that I have been talking with them, As I want to intergrate so I can gain GDS/IDS Presence for Both our Motel and Campground in the near future.

  10. #10

    Default

    We hope to have it ready for beta testing sometime in March, so we can release it by April.
    Stan Spielbusch
    [Forum Administrator]

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