Every seven years I get to write a Siegel Sez on my birthday, lucky me. Since we have been doing this technology review for 16 years this is the third time the newsletter falls on my birthday. I miss the old days when Siegel Sez was done with Jon Inge and I could divert all the birthday wishes to him, who also has a birthday on February 17. In fact, since many of you have been reading this for years, why not surprise Jon with a happy birthday message at email@example.com. You can also check out the retired Jon Inge’s true love now which is his creative photography at www.joningephoto.com. Retired? Who does that at such a young age? Birthdays, they definitely change over the years. When you are young and get asked what you want for your birthday your mind wanders. When you get to my age it is pretty simple: all you want is to be happy and healthy. There are no complaints from my end though I wouldn’t mind living life with a bit less stress. I am sure I am not the only one who wishes that. We can dream, can’t we?
Stress aside, it is a fun time of the year for Hospitality Upgrade. We are finishing up our first issue of the year which is turning out to be a great one. We have our Executive Vendor Summit coming up in San Antonio, Texas (www.hospitalityupgrade.com/vendorsummit), and our second biggest crowd ever. So many CEOs, presidents and company founders are joining us at this unique event. It is exciting but when you get down to the last two weeks of planning there comes that ugly friend “stress” again to make sure everything planned falls into place. Then again, nothing worth doing should ever come easy, right? I must thank Bryson Koehler the chief technology officer at IBM responsible for Watson as he is presenting at the EVS. It will be like having the human and computerized versions of Watson with us sharing the future of artificial intelligence. Sometimes, at least to me, it is downright scary where AI is going and the impact it will have on both business and our personal lives. The hospitality industry is ripe for this type of change. After our EVS then we get to visit other events. We will be off to southern California to attend the Rainmaker Users’ Conference OPTIMIZE (www.letitrain.com/optimize) at the beautiful Terranea Hotel and Resort which I have been to but never stayed at and am really looking forward to it. It is always fun for me to attend a users’ group of a company in multiple industries. Rainmaker is big in the world of revenue management for the hotel industry, but also very dominant in the multifamily world. This should be interesting meeting with those who do revenue management for apartment complexes. It is always great to learn something new. I thank Rainmaker for inviting us. Then it is off to the first-ever HITEC in Europe which this year is in Amsterdam (http://www.hftp.org/hitec/amsterdam/). There is a great deal of buzz about the event this year and just about all of it is positive. The exhibit hall is maxed out and attendance especially for a first-time event is very strong. I wonder if those at Rainmaker and HFTP are feeling a little stress right now? Yes, silly question. It comes with the territory. If you will be at either event, let me know. It is always fun getting together at some unique locations.
Here now is the real reason we are here, a look back at the latest industry technology happenings with comments from Dan Phillips. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Happy Birthday, Jon!
I remember one of my first clients when I started my consulting company back in 1991. It had 11 hotels that were still using the old Reg Card board; you know that board where every room number had a slot, and you would insert a guest registration card into the slot of the room they occupied, and you used red cellophane to mark checkouts. I structured a deal that would get them a new PMS for every hotel at a cost that, I thought, could not be refused. But, they did! Why? Because it would take too much training and change to bring their employees up to speed, to move from the 50s to the 90s in one fell swoop.
I’m sure you’ve been to an Apple® store, and if not, most any cell phone store. The service and the employees there are much different than what you find in typical hotels. Labor is always a major problem in the hospitality sector. In the articles from the Piqued Dan’s Interest section below you will find how technology is making radical changes in our industry that require us to rethink the labor pools we pull from. Should a next hire not be a front desk agent but a data mining scientist? Or, not a restaurant server but a micro-farmer? Not a room attendant but a robot programmer?
If, as an industry, we continue to search for the cheapest labor and place them in mundane, repetitive jobs that offer nothing in the way of creativity or innovation, even if just coming up with a new service initiative, we will continue to suffer from poor labor, both the individuals and the quality of service they provide. Also, new technology forces us to either hire new, or train existing, staff on how to use it, implement it, drive it, modify it, enhance it, and determine its effectiveness.
When you consider new tech for your hotel, develop the job description that is required to make it successful. When you consider employing millennials, purchase and install new technology that makes them shine. When you want to WOW the guests, put in place the team, the staff and the tech that can perform. Schools today are teaching innovation, creative thinking and collaboration; those are the skill sets you need to make the tech revolution in hospitality work.
- Hyatt Centric Brand Expected to Nearly Double Portfolio by the End of 2019 -------------------------- Hyatt Centric Brand Expected to Nearly Double Portfolio by the End of 2019 Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced significant growth of the Hyatt Centric lifestyle brand, with expectations to nearly double its portfolio before the end of 2019. Following the recent domestic growth spurt of the brand with the opening of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach and the transitions of Hyatt Centric Arlington and Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile, at least 12 more hotels are expected to join the brand portfolio by the end of 2019. The brand will also continue to expand its international growth with locations expected in France, Japan, Qatar, Senegal, Australia, China and Turkey, among others, in the coming years. **
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- Roland Fasel Joins Aman as Chief Operating Officer - Crescent Hotels & Resorts Names Raul Moronta as SVP of Revenue Management - Rob Palleschi Joins G6 Hospitality as New Chief Development Officer to Lead Global Expansion - HSMAI Announces Americas Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 2017 - Noreen Martin Steps Down as CEO of Martin Resorts, Names Lori Keller as New CEO - Prism Hotels and Resorts’ Mark Van Amerongen Named Chief Operating Officer - Jeffrey Parker Joins RLHC as VP of Hotel Systems - And more People on the Move… --------------------------
- Associated Luxury Hotels Acquires Europe-based Worldhotels - Busy Rooms Acquires Hotelwebservice to Expand in Europe - HPE Acquires Niara to Enhance Security at the Intelligent Edge - Hyatt Centric Brand Expected to Nearly Double Portfolio by the End of 2019 - The Priceline Group Agrees to Acquire Momondo Group, The Group's Existing Global Meta Brand KAYAK to Oversee Operations of momondo and Cheapflights --------------------------
- Agilysys Visual One® Hosted PMS Delivers Predictable IT Costs, Accelerated ROI, Enhanced Guest Service - Spirit Lake Casino & Resort to Boost Efficiency and Guest Service with Agilysys Visual One® PMS - Maestro PMS Announces 2017 Software Roadmap for Independent Operators - StayNTouch Partners with Hotel Chicago - Illinois Medical District --------------------------
- Cloud5 Contact Center Achieves Major Service Record with One Million Hotel Reservations Booked - Global Hotel Alliance Selects Sabre Hospitality Solutions as an Alternative Distribution Provider - SiteMinder Announces Integration with Agilysys to Offer Integrated Distribution Solution to PMS Customers - Travelport Hotelzon Releases Newly Designed Hotel Booking App for Consumer-driven Business Travelers --------------------------
- nSight for IDeaS™ Helps Hoteliers Drive More Profitable Bookings by Tapping Forward-looking Travel Intent Data - Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for easyHotel -------------------------- nSight for IDeaS™ Helps Hoteliers Drive More Profitable Bookings by Tapping Forward-looking Travel Intent Data When it comes to forecasting hotel booking behaviors in order to maximize revenue strategy, more data is better than less. That's why IDeaS Revenue Solutions and nSight Travel Intelligence have teamed up to offer hoteliers a new experience in revenue management that allows managers to “futurecast” inventory demand based on a rich set of data points never before available on a single technology platform. http://ideas.com/nSight ** Duetto to Provide Revenue Strategy Solutions for easyHotel Duetto, a market leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced that it will implement its cloud-based revenue strategy solutions, GameChanger and Scoreboard, for easyHotel plc (AIM:EZH), the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of "super budget" branded hotels in European gateway markets. The agreement comes as easyHotel expands its portfolio of company-owned and franchised properties quickly across Europe. http://duettoresearch.com/ **
- Enseo Triples Growth to Reach 20 Million Guests in 2016 -------------------------- Enseo Triples Growth to Reach 20 Million Guests in 2016 Enseo® announced a record year of explosive growth in 2016. In the process of more than tripling its portfolio of hotels that have chosen Enseo as their technology services provider, the company set an impressive pace that is continuing into 2017. Enseo provides a suite of technology-based services into commercial locations such as hotels that include in-room entertainment, wireless network solutions (Wi-Fi /HSIA), and digital signage to more than 30 brands from the world’s largest hotel chains. Starting with more than 100 properties as of the end of 2015 for TV or Wi-Fi services, Enseo increased installations by 300 percent to more than 400 hotels by the end of 2016. With hundreds of additional hotels already contracted in Q1 so far, Enseo is only getting started. http://www.enseo.com **
- Marriott Reimagines its Mobile App to Meet The Needs Of Modern World Travelers -------------------------- Marriott Reimagines its Mobile App to Meet The Needs Of Modern World Travelers Ushering in a new of era of superior customer service in the travel industry, Marriott International, Inc., announced it will now offer guests a dynamic mobile experience personalized for them, launching the newly redesigned and engaging Marriott Mobile app for iOS users in five languages, with Android coming soon. Guests will enjoy new and expanded digital features; customized travel content; simple, one-button navigation; and a new swipeable discovery home screen. http://www.marriott.com
- Fuel and Flip.to Reveal Key Components of an Effective Website in New Leisure Travel Behavior Study - Year in Review: HeBS Digital Achieved 2,200 Percent ROI and an Average Direct Distribution Cost of 4.5 Percent for its Hotel Partners in 2016 - New Inncentives Loyalty Club by Vimana to Drive Value, New Customers to Owners - Milestone CMS Delivers Record 30 Percent Average Revenue Growth and 300 Percent Average Group Booking Increases for its Customers, Powered by a Unique Mix of Technology, Design and Strategy - NAVIS Sets Record in 2016: $138M in Client-booked Revenue Through RezForce® - ReviewPro Propels Growth in Asia Pacific with Key New Partnerships --------------------------
- The Mark Hotel Selects Agilysys Point-of-sale Solutions to Boost Efficiency and Enhance F&B Operations -------------------------- The Mark Hotel Selects Agilysys Point-of-sale Solutions to Boost Efficiency and Enhance F&B Operations Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that The Mark Hotel in New York City has selected InfoGenesis® POS and InfoGenesis® Flex to streamline food and beverage operations at the 150-room luxury property. The agreement continues the expansion of the company’s leadership position in the upscale hotel and resort market. http://www.agilysys.com **
- EAST, Miami Installs Latest Generation of Door Lock Technology from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality - Sir Adam Amsterdam Installs dormakaba Saflok RFID Electronic Door Locks -------------------------- EAST, Miami Installs Latest Generation of Door Lock Technology from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EAST, Miami, the first hotel venture in North America from Swire Hotels' EAST brand, implemented ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's new VingCard Essence door locks and Visionline locking solution at its new location situated on top of Brickell City Centre in Miami. ASSA ABLOY Hospitality officially announced the launch of its new VingCard Essence door lock in December of last year. http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com ** Sir Adam Amsterdam Installs dormakaba Saflok RFID Electronic Door Locks dormakaba Group, provider of Saflok and Ilco RFID and mobile access security solutions, announced the Sir Adam Amsterdam hotel in The Netherlands, implemented its Saflok Quantum RFID electronic door lock system. Sir Adam is located in the first eight floors of Amsterdam’s landmark A’DAM Toren tower overlooking the historic city center. http://www.kabalodging.com **
DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS
- IHG® Notifies Guests of Payment Card Incident at 12 Properties in the Americas -------------------------- IHG® Notifies Guests of Payment Card Incident at 12 Properties in the Americas IHG notified guests who used their payment card at restaurants and bars of 12 company managed properties during the time periods from August 2016 – December 2016 after receiving a report of unauthorized charges occurring on some payment cards that were used at a small number of U.S. hotel properties. IHG hired leading cyber security firms to examine the payment card processing systems for the hotels that it manages in the Americas region. http://www.ihg.com/protectingourguests **
- Marriott Signs Letter of Intent for Green Headquarters in Downtown Bethesda -------------------------- Marriott Signs Letter of Intent for Green Headquarters in Downtown Bethesda Marriott International Inc. announced it has signed a letter of intent with a joint venture between The Bernstein Companies and Boston Properties to develop its new corporate headquarters and hotel project in downtown Bethesda, Md. The selected site is located at 7750 Wisconsin Avenue, at the corner of Wisconsin and Norfolk Avenues and spans two blocks to the south and one block west to Woodmont Avenue, just a short walk from the Bethesda Metro station. The $600 million urban campus will include a 22-story build-to-suit office building and a 230+ room flagship Marriott hotel, which are anticipated to open in 2022. http://www.MHQBethesda.com **
- New Study Reveals Hoteliers Envision Similar Industry Technology in 2020 as Ten Years Ago - LodgIQ & HSMAI Forge Revolutionary Partnership to Heighten Educational Programming Globally -------------------------- New Study Reveals Hoteliers Envision Similar Industry Technology in 2020 as Ten Years Ago Peter O’Connor, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Revinate and SiteMinder announced the research findings of "The Hotel Industry in 2020," which compiled survey results from hundreds of leading hoteliers around the world, and the results of a "visioning" session with experienced hoteliers and consultants held during World Travel Market (WTM) London in November 2016. While hoteliers anticipate highly sophisticated and "digital native" hotel guests in 2020, their plans for industry technology remain stuck in the early 2000s. http://www.SiteMinder.com, http://www.ideas.com ** LodgIQ & HSMAI Forge Revolutionary Partnership to Heighten Educational Programming Globally LodgIQ, a machine learning-based revenue management system (RMS), announced a global partnership with the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), a global organization of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals. The unique partnership will encompass each HSMAI region around the world. http://lodgiq.com/, http://www.hsmai.org/ **
- Digital Signage Expo 2017 Offers Education, Networking and One of the Most Extensive Collections of the Newest Cutting-edge Technologies – All in One Place - GBTA Announces World Champion and Gold Medalist Michael Phelps as Featured Speaker at GBTA Convention 2017 - HITEC Toronto Online Registration and Housing Bureau Open Now - HFTP is Now Accepting Applications for Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Toronto - 29th Annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference Set to Host Nation’s Lodging Leaders in Atlanta - PhoneSuite Hosts Innovation Summit to Identify and Shape the Hotel Industry’s Vision for a True Next-generation Hospitality Communications System --------------------------
- Hoteliers Comb the Ranks of Tech Workers to Gain an Edge - How big data analytics help hotels gain customers' loyalty - Unlocking a Hotel Innovation Strategy - What Marriott Learned From Starwood’s Loyalty and Digital Expertise - There's more than a tree growing in Brooklyn, as one start-up farms high-tech produce --------------------------
Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Her parents were divorced, but that never stopped her from wanting to get married. Her mother had found the perfect dress to wear. A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother. Jennifer asked her stepmother to exchange it, but she refused. "Absolutely not. I look like a million bucks in this dress and I'm wearing it," she replied.
Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day."
A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."
Her mother just smiled and replied, "Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding."
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