This has been an interesting week. I started Sunday with my horse friends at Gulfstream Park near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was a fun day and for once I actually won, hitting a Pick 5. I rarely pick the right horse in one race let alone five in a row. What a thrill. On Monday I decided to drive to Orlando where I attended Oracle Industry Connect 2017, the Oracle users’ conference. More than three hours on the Florida Turnpike was a bit painful; that has to be one of the most boring road trips one can take. Anyway, I made it to Orlando and the Dolphin Resort where the event was being held, and I was glad I made the trip. I loved the opening night cocktail party. One of the unique things about Oracle Industry Connect is they have so many industries at one conference. I wish everybody could have heard my conversation comparing the hotel industry to the oil and gas industry. Yes, we have a few differences. They had a great crowd and of course I connected with many that I knew would be there along with a few surprise attendees. There were many interesting sessions including Oracle sharing its research as to what operators think is important in the technology world, along with what the technology guests that stay in the hotel expect. I also was able to spend a lot of time with Peter Agel (Oracle Hospitality Strategy Group’s global segment leader – hotels) who shared challenges, successes and most importantly the focus on where Oracle is going with the cloud. Yes, I love users’ groups for all companies. The feedback you get from those who use the technology both positive and not so positive is extremely valuable for me as discussions on trends in the industry are a large part of what I do. I thank Oracle for inviting me.
Next week is going to be even more interesting. HFTP is hosting its first HITEC Amsterdam. When I asked HFTP about its goals with this event back at HITEC this past June in New Orleans, they had realistic expectations for a first-time event and were hoping for 60 exhibitors and 500 attendees. They have gone way past both, which is quite exciting. Anne Boon and I will be there and we will be distributing our new spring issue of Hospitality Upgrade to all the attendees at HITEC Amsterdam. We have received great feedback on this somewhat controversial issue, which along with looking at the current state of technology has a focus on things the industry is not doing right. While we have readers in 110 countries currently, we are thankful that we will also be getting this issue in print and digitally to this predominantly European audience and look forward to our big HITEC issue in June where we are the only magazine inserted into the registration bags of all the attendees at HITEC in Toronto. If you are not getting Hospitality Upgrade please subscribe at www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe. If you will be in Amsterdam, please let me know at mailto:Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com and we can connect. After all, it isn’t like anybody can get in trouble in Amsterdam, right?
Here now is the real reason we are here, our look back at the recent technology happenings around the industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.
by: Dan Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips
So, for the last three months I have been working with a client, flying out to its corporate headquarters most every week, staying in the same hotel. I check in every Monday morning and pretty much get the same guest service agent, and get the same room even. I eat breakfast every morning and see the same night auditor and the same person that keeps the food stocked and the breakfast room clean. I even meet the GM frequently.
What’s nice is that they know me. They know my rhythm. They know my preferences. We say hello every morning and chat when I stop by. They ask me when I’m coming back as if they will miss me.
There is a global push in every business towards personalization. Hospitality has carried that even further with trying to create personalized experiences for each individual guest. Some solution providers, and even some hoteliers, create demographic profiles and use them to address large segments of the population, but for me, I prefer those solutions and hoteliers that work down to the micro level of one-on-one engagement. To me, this strategy is about creating profiles of individual guests that enables hotels and their respective staff to communicate with guests in their preferred method, providing information that is relevant, actionable and delivered in rhythm with that guest’s journey, resulting in a much better experience for all.
How important is this? Look at what Marriott is doing in the articles in the Piqued Dan’s Interest section below.
- Wyndham Worldwide Prices $300 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2024 and $400 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2027 -------------------------- Wyndham Worldwide Prices $300 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2024 and $400 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2027 Wyndham Worldwide Corporation announced the pricing of the public offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of its senior unsecured notes due 2024 and $400 million aggregate principal amount of its senior unsecured notes due 2027 (the "2027 Notes" and collectively with the 2024 Notes, the "notes"). The notes offering is expected to close on March 21, 2017. The closing of the notes offering is subject to the satisfaction of customary and market conditions. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, stock repurchases or repayment of outstanding commercial paper or other borrowings. http://www.wyndhamworldwide.com **
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- David Cox to Lead Springer-Miller’s Industry-leading Support Team - Brewer Digital Marketing Hires Tech and Hospitality Veteran as New VP of Sales - UniFocus Promotes Celia Karseno to VP of Technology Utilization - Canyon Ranch Founders Step Down from Pioneering Brand after Nearly 40 Years - Dream Hotel Group Appoints Jeff Lee as Director of Food & Beverage - Charles Oswald Named President and CEO of HP Hotels - Michael J. Deitemeyer Named Chief Executive Officer of Interstate Hotels & Resorts --------------------------
- HeBS Digital’s Parent Company, Hotel360 Technologies, Acquires Serenata IntraWare -------------------------- HeBS Digital’s Parent Company, Hotel360 Technologies, Acquires Serenata IntraWare HeBS Digital announced its parent company, Hotel360 Technologies (Hospitality Tech Holdings LLC), has acquired Serenata IntraWare GmbH, one of the most comprehensive hotel CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms in the hospitality industry. Combining Serenata with HeBS Digital, an existing portfolio company, Hotel360 is launching what it terms, "the hospitality industry’s first fully integrated 360-degree past/future guest engagement and acquisition technology and marketing platform." Hotel360 was formed by HeBS Digital and Public Pension Capital LLC (PPC), a leading New York City private equity firm with extensive experience in technology-enabled business services. Hotel360’s single objective is to accelerate global expansion of its portfolio companies and acquire best-of-class hotel technology companies with complementary technology, product and service lines to better serve the global hospitality industry. http://www.hebsdigital.com, http://serenata.com/ **
GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
- Agilysys to Showcase Its Industry-leading Product Portfolio at HITEC Amsterdam - Ocean Park Inn Chooses Agilysys rGuest® Solution Suite to Strengthen Operations and Enhance Guest Service - Maestro PMS Housekeeping App Personalizes Guest Engagement - Movenpick Hotels & Resorts Becomes First Hotel Group To Globally Implement Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Amidst Accelerated Growth Phase - ResortSuite Founder and Forbes Travel Guide CEO Honor This Year's Winners of the Forbes Travel Guide Awards - StayNTouch Partners with Sohotel --------------------------
- SiteMinder Receives a Top hotel Star Award for the Third Straight Year -------------------------- SiteMinder Receives a Top hotel Star Award for the Third Straight Year SiteMinder, one of the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platforms, was announced a recipient of its third consecutive Top hotel Star Award, as voted on by readers of Germany’s most widely-circulated trade publication, Top hotel, for its online distribution platform, The Channel Manager. The Channel Manager placed bronze in the online category, as revealed during the third day of INTERNORGA in Hamburg. http://www.siteminder.com **
- Irvine Company Resort Properties Achieves YOY Revenue Growth with Portfoliowide Implementation of Revenue Management Solutions by The Rainmaker Group - Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for Mexico’s Brisas Group -------------------------- Irvine Company Resort Properties Achieves YOY Revenue Growth with Portfoliowide Implementation of Revenue Management Solutions by The Rainmaker Group Irvine Company Resort Properties, the hospitality division of real estate development company, The Irvine Company, has successfully implemented advanced revenue management solutions from The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker) across its portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts in southern California. The internationally renowned real estate development company has deployed Rainmaker's guestrev® and grouprev® solutions to optimize both transient and group profitability at Island Hotel and The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, as well as Hotel Irvine. http://www.LetItRain.com ** Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for Mexico’s Brisas Group Duetto, a leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced that it will implement its cloud-based revenue strategy application, GameChanger, for Brisas Group, a fast-growing owner of luxury properties in key markets in Mexico. Duetto’s GameChanger solution is already in place at the company’s 274-room NIZUC Resort and Spa, Cancun, and the 434-room Galeria Plaza Reforma, Mexico City. http://www.duettoresearch.com/ **
- Utrip Closes $4M in Latest Round of Funding -------------------------- Utrip Closes $4M in Latest Round of Funding Utrip, a free travel-planning platform that brings together the best in artificial intelligence and human experience, announced it closed $4M in Series A. The funding allows Utrip to continue the company’s momentum from 2016 with substantial growth in clients, talent and operations to maintain its impressive 100 percent customer retention over the last three years amongst its now more than 50 partners, including Starwood Hotels and Holland America Line. The investment will further enhance mobile applications for end users, enrich the company’s machine learning capabilities and achieve automation of white label infrastructure. http://www.utrip.com **
- Bulk TV Continues its Partnership with Best Western International as an Endorsed TV Provider - RLHC Integrates its Hello Rewards App with Concur to Simplify Business Travel - "Strange" Hotel, Run by Robots, Opens Near Tokyo Disney Resort; Owners H.I.S. Co. Planning to Launch 100 More --------------------------
- TravelClick Wins More than 130 Awards for Website Design in 2016 - Pan Pacific Hotels Group Appoints TrustYou to Manage All Guest Reviews and Surveys Through One Feedback Platform -------------------------- TravelClick Wins More than 130 Awards for Website Design in 2016 TravelClick, a global provider of innovative, cloud-based and data-driven solutions for hotels to maximize revenue, earned 136 awards for website design in 11 competitions throughout 2016. Some of the top honors include “Top Agency” at the Web Marketing Association’s 2016 WebAwards and “Best Hotel and Lodging Mobile Website” from the Mobile WebAwards. TravelClick and its clients also won 22 Interactive Media Awards for the highest standards of excellence in website design and development in the hotel/resort website category, as well as 33 W3 Awards, eight Davey Awards, six Mobile WebAwards, seven Travel Weekly Magellan Awards and two 2016 Adrian Awards. http://www.travelclick.com ** Pan Pacific Hotels Group Appoints TrustYou to Manage All Guest Reviews and Surveys Through One Feedback Platform TrustYou, provider of one of the world’s largest guest feedback platforms,has been appointed by Pan Pacific Hotels Group to combine its online reputation management and the collection of guest surveys across its two brands, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts and PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts. Since the beginning of February, the Singapore-based hospitality company, which operates more than 30 hotels, resorts and serviced suites with over 12,000 rooms in Asia, Australia and North America, has used TrustYou’s platform to analyze, manage and solicit guest reviews through easy-to-use dashboards. TrustYou collects and examines more than three million reviews, comments and posts across the web every week and provides one of the largest databases for analyzed review content worldwide. http://www.trustyou.com **
- Aptech Computer Systems Launches New Service-focused Website - FCS Computer Systems Becomes First Company in Malaysia to be Awarded Secured Software Assurance Certificate -------------------------- Aptech Computer Systems Launches New Service-focused Website Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hotel software for business intelligence, budgeting and enterprise financial accounting,launched a new service-focused website. Aptech Computer Systems is an IBM Business Partner that offers Execuvue® web-enabled Business Intelligence, Targetvue Budgeting and Forecasting, and Profitvue® and PVNG Enterprise Back Office systems that are 100 percent hospitality specific. Aptech is one of the only companies that provides a complete suite of financial management and analysis solutions for the hotel industry. http://www.aptech-inc.com ** FCS Computer Systems Becomes First Company in Malaysia to be Awarded Secured Software Assurance Certificate FCS Computer Systems (FCS), a leading comprehensive hospitality solutions and services provider, has become the first company with operations in Malaysia to be awarded the Secured Software Assurance Certificate by TÜV Nord and LE Global Services (LGMS). The certification recognizes FCS’ successful efforts in securing its solutions to protect against data vulnerabilities and circumvent the ongoing threat of online security attacks. http://www.fcscs.com **
- Merchant Link Secures EMV® Chip and PIN Card Certifications with TSYS for Retail, Restaurant and Lodging in the United States -------------------------- Merchant Link Secures EMV® Chip and PIN Card Certifications with TSYS for Retail, Restaurant and Lodging in the United States Merchant Link, a leading provider of payment gateway and data security solutions, announced that its TransactionLink™ product together with Ingenico devices has been certified for EMV® Chip and PIN Card acceptance with TSYS for retail, restaurant and lodging in the United States. By combining TransactionLink™ (EMV/Chip & PIN) with Merchant Link’s other security solutions TransactionVault® (Tokenization) and TransactionShield® (Point-to-Point Encryption), merchants are able to protect their consumers’ payment card data in flight, at rest, and against card-present fraudulent activity. http://www.merchantlink.com **
- Spend Visibility & Compliance: How HHM Drives Success - Newest Las Vegas Hotel Casino, The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, Opens with the InvoTech RFID Uniform Management System -------------------------- Spend Visibility & Compliance: How HHM Drives Success Birchstreet Systems, Inc., announced a joint webinar on how a large hotel management company, Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM), overcame purchasing and compliance challenges. Both HHM's EVP of financial services and director of purchasing systems will describe why they selected BirchStreet's cloud-based Procure-to-Pay platform and their partners, the implementation process, the metrics they put in place and the results they achieved. HHM implemented BirchStreet’s Procure-to-Pay automation platform in 2016, including the eProcurement and AP 3-Way Auto-Matching with eInvoicing modules. HHM now has 125 properties in its portfolio and is utilizing the system for cost savings and efficiency gains. The webinar will be on Tuesday, March 28th from 11-11:30 am PST/2-2:30 pm EST, presented by BirchStreet and HHM. http://www.birchstreet.net ** Newest Las Vegas Hotel Casino, The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, Opens with the InvoTech RFID Uniform Management System InvoTech Systems, Inc., a leading provider of uniform, linen and laundry inventory management solutions for hotels, casinos, resorts and theme parks worldwide, announced that the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip has implemented its RFID Uniform System to manage garments for its 800-person staff. InvoTech Systems has implemented inventory management systems for more than 50 Las Vegas hotels, casinos and resorts. InvoTech's Uniform System establishes a perpetual uniform inventory and has extensive reporting capabilities to determine and forecast appropriate uniform purchases. The system tracks uniform inventory without manually sorting and hand counting. The improved processes and information provided translates to significant cost saving benefits by eliminating losses, reducing purchases, and lowering laundry expenses and labor costs. http://www.invotech.com **
- Saybrook Point Inn Treats Guests to High Speed Internet Services from Comcast Business - Malmaison Hotel du Vin Keeps Guests Connected with Unlimited Wi-Fi -------------------------- Saybrook Point Inn Treats Guests to High Speed Internet Services from Comcast Business Comcast Business announced that Saybrook Point Inn, a luxury Connecticut inn featuring elegant accommodations, fine dining and premier spa services, is using Comcast Business ethernet, internet, phone and video offerings to provide guests with high-quality technology services as well as improve inn operations. To meet its commitment to environmental conservation, operational efficiency and exceptional guest services, the management team streamlined its technology offerings and implemented Comcast Business internet to increase the performance for all three of its networks in the marina, office and guest areas. http://business.comcast.com/hospitality ** Malmaison Hotel du Vin Keeps Guests Connected with Unlimited Wi-Fi Malmaison Hotel du Vin, a leading lifestyle hotel brand, announced significant investment into upgrading its wireless network infrastructure. To manage the upgrade, the group enlisted the services of Airangel. One of the United Kingdom’s leading enterprise guest Wi-Fi solutions firms, it provides safe and secure Wi-Fi that is easy to deploy, simple to manage and allows guests to get online quickly with the minimum amount of effort. The investment reinforces the brands’ ongoing commitment to constantly improving the guest experience and to meet the needs of today’s travelers. The updated offering will see improved connectivity and convenience throughout the group’s 33 hotels. http://www.airangel.com/ **
- Red Sands Hotel Invests in HMBookstore’s Hospitality eLearning For Employee Training on Guest Engagement and Service -------------------------- Red Sands Hotel Invests in HMBookstore’s Hospitality eLearning For Employee Training on Guest Engagement and Service With one million visitors annually to Capital Reef National Park in south central Utah, the Red Sands Hotel has turned to HMBookstore online education to train and certify its employees on operations throughout the hotel such as housekeeping, service culture, food and beverage, special event planning, revenue management, guest services and more. Located in Torrey, Utah, a rural city with a labor pool challenge, the Red Sands Hotel owners utilize HMBookstore’s more than 110 diverse courses ranging from entry-level to management positions to train/cross train employees on role responsibilities and elevate confidence in servicing guests despite a lack of hotel industry experience. http://www.hmbookstore.com **
- Steve Wynn Named 2017 Cornell Icon of the Industry - New Kiosk Technology and Digital Signage Displays to be Showcased at Digital Signage Expo 2017 - HFTP’s HITEC Amsterdam High Pre-registration Count Illustrates Hospitality Vitality – Stakeholders’ Support for the Industry - HFTP Launches New Multi-event Mobile App for Expanding HITEC Brand - HFTP to Hold HITEC Dubai as Extension of one of the World's Largest Technology Events for the Hospitality Industry - HITEC Toronto Exhibit Space is Officially Sold Out - HSMAI Honors Innovation at its 60th Annual Adrian Awards - National Restaurant Association® Recognizes the 2017 Kitchen Innovations® (KI) Award Recipients - VENZA Event Helps to Fuel Hire Heroes USA’s Veteran Empowerment Efforts --------------------------
- Siri and Alexa Are Fighting to Be Your Hotel Butler - Marriott Announces Investment in PlacePass, a Travel Experiences Solution - Courtyard by Marriott Earns Top Customer Experience Ratings for Hotels, in Temkin Group’s Annual Survey --------------------------
LATEST HOTEL and HOSPITALITY TECHNOLOGY NEWS and TRENDS
Hospitality Upgrade by Siegel Communications, Inc. Located in Roswell, Georgia
Siegel Communications, Inc. | Hospitality Upgrade 678.802.5300 | 70 Mansell Court, Suite 225, Roswell, GA