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Siegel Sez

August 11, 2017

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

I would consider myself an ideas guy. I come up with ideas, some work but just as many don’t. But you never know unless you try, right? As we prepared for the recent HITEC in Toronto, we wanted to do something to celebrate our 25th year in business. Much has changed since I started a little 20-page newsletter on technology in 1992 and in fact, lots happened before that. So we decided to create a special issue of Hospitality Upgrade that we called the History of Technology with the help of Jon Inge. If you have not seen this issue, click here to get the digital edition. The feedback has been unbelievably positive and we thank those who have shared their stories. But the celebration was at HITEC, what could we creatively do to celebrate and have everybody join in? If you were at HITEC you probably saw the 8-foot high, 15-foot across timeline hanging in our booth. We encouraged attendees to share how the industry and technology has impacted their lives. And boy, did they share. Marriages, divorce, acquisitions, bankruptcies, you name it, they shared it. If you have 90 seconds click here to see how they shared their stories. It is quite funny. Business is business but sometimes it is fun to take a break, especially during the nonstop world of HITEC. Yes, we had a crazy idea and sometimes those ideas actually work. Watch the short video and let me know your thoughts. If you were at HITEC you might be in it!
 
Since today I am only going to focus on ideas that worked, it was 17 years ago where the idea came to being about bringing the technology leaders of the industry together once a year. That was the birth of the CIO Summit. Seventeen years later and four weeks from the event and we are overbooked with the summit. Good problem to have, right? This year in Denver we have more than 75 CIOs registered from every major brand, management companies, vacation ownership and gaming. What a group! The CIO Summit works because we limit sponsors, it is the CIOs’ meeting.
 
Those of you who have been following some of my non-work adventures via Siegel Sez, you know what my real love is, and it is not hotels or technology. It is the magic and beauty that comes with owning a thoroughbred. Our 3-year-old beautiful grey horse that we got as a baby started his racing career this year and to be honest, he didn’t quite understand that it is way more enjoyable to finish the race in front of the other horses, not behind them. If you own a race horse, you dream of running at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York, which is the most beautiful and historic race track in the world. Hoboe ran his first race at Saratoga this past Sunday, and thanks to Victor Vesnaver, you can see what happened by clicking here to watch the race. When it came to the last hundred yards Hoboe couldn’t decide if he wanted to keep running or not. Yes, I am a dreamer and on rare occasions, dreams can come true!
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest and greatest that is happening in the technology space. I thank Ron Hardin for sharing his thoughts along with the news. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Way to go Hoboe!


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Introduction


by: Ron Hardin


 
I’ve been thinking about that internet thing. My ruminations on the subject were prompted by the news that Cox Communications has acquired Blueprint RF. I congratulate Ron Peterson, Blueprint RF CEO and co-founder, and the rest of his team. “Terms of the deal were not disclosed,” according to the press release, but I hope they all did well. The folks at Blueprint RF are some of the good guys in this business, and they deserve success. When I jumped back into hotel technology management in 1999, we were focused on the coming Y2K catastrophe – overblown, in hindsight, although there were some older applications that ralphed their cookies that night and never returned. But we were just starting to think about providing broadband internet access to our hotel guests. At the time, portable devices were cellular flip phones and laptops with modems. As we scrambled to replace old PBX systems that were sure to die on 1/1/2000, we made sure to upgrade to two phone lines per room, and a two-line phone with a data port for that laptop modem. Barely 2 years later, we were trying to figure out how to affordably and effectively provide “high-speed internet access” in our hotel rooms. Do you remember CAIS? How about Merlot? iBahn? The owner of the hotel company where I worked was a “pragmatic visionary” – he knew the internet would be important, but he just didn’t think that the early crop of solution providers were going to be around for the long term. He didn’t understand the technology, but he knew that feedback from other owners on early installations was shaky, and he could smell the stink of financial failure on the early revenue-share financing deals. By not jumping on that first wave, we were actually well positioned when early wireless network solutions became accepted and available. And I was fortunate to stumble across a scrappy little start-up called StayOnline, founded in 2000 by Antonio DiMilia and Ron Peterson. StayOnline used solid Cisco gear and a slick antenna invented at Virginia Tech that allowed them to get better signal coverage with fewer radios – an effective approach when only a small percentage of guests were using the service. I was fortunate to be one of their first large customers, and they grew and prospered. Ron and Antonio engineered the sale of StayOnline to LodgeNet in 2007, and it became LodgeNet Broadband. In 2011, Ron and team founded Blueprint RF and within a short few years grew that business into yet another market leader in the hotel HSIA space. Their success has led to yet another successful sale, this time to Cox. The press release states that Ron and the team will continue to operate the business under the Cox Business New Business Ventures umbrella.
 
Here’s one hotel techie wishing them the best of luck.
 
Ron Hardin
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech


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Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade
 
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TOP O' THE NEWS



- Wyndham Worldwide Announces Plan to Become Two Publicly Traded Hospitality Companies
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Wyndham Worldwide Announces Plan to Become Two Publicly Traded Hospitality Companies
Wyndham Worldwide announced plans to spin off the company's hotel business resulting in two separate, publicly traded companies. Wyndham Hotel Group, with headquarters in Parsippany, N.J., will become a new, publicly traded pure-play hotel company with a portfolio of renowned brands. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, Fla., will be one of the world's largest publicly traded timeshare companies and will be joined with Wyndham Destination Network, home to RCI, one of the world's largest timeshare exchange companies.
http://www.wyndhamworldwide.com
**

MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- Cox Communications Acquires Blueprint RF
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Cox Communications Acquires Blueprint RF
Cox Communications announced that it has finalized its acquisition of Blueprint RF, a leading managed network solutions provider serving major hotel brands and hotel properties across the United States. The acquisition of Blueprint RF, based in Norcross, Ga., immediately expands Cox Business’ ability to provide an array of managed products and solutions for hotel owners and their guests. Blueprint RF is an approved provider for leading U.S. hotel brands, which allows it to design, install, monitor and support wired and wireless network solutions for companies that own and operate hotel properties.
http://www.blueprintrf.com/
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Sabre Names Clinton Anderson as President, Hospitality Solutions
- Choice Hotels Appoints Patrick Pacious as President and Chief Executive Officer Succeeding Steve Joyce
- Crescent Hotels & Resorts Appoints Michael Metcalf to Chief Operating Officer
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rohit Anand as Vice President of Brand Activation and Partnerships
- Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s Parent Company, Names Encarna Piñero CEO
- Hard Rock International Appoints Antonio Bautista as Senior Vice President of Company Cafe Operations
- Karisma Hotels & Resorts Hires Juan Pablo Franky as Chief Executive Officer in South America
- Debra DeShong Joins MGM Resorts International As Vice President Of Global Industry Affairs
- Omni Hotels & Resorts Names Daniel Surette as New Vice President of Sales
- Harri Appoints Cleo Clarke as Vice President of HR Strategy and Development
- RLH Corp. Moves Corporate Headquarters to Denver After 43 Years in Spokane
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For more information on People on the Move for 08/11/17

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Agilysys Reports Record Quarterly Revenue of $33.9 Million for Fiscal 2018 First Quarter
- Maestro PMS eLearning Simplifies Training, Boosts Staff Productivity for Independents
- StayNTouch Launches Seven Questions Checklist
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For more information on Guest Management Systems for 08/11/17

RESERVATIONS



- Sabre Releases Report: Nine Technology Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Travel Industry
- Best Day Travel Group Signs with SiteMinder, Strengthens Offering to Hotels
- Red Planet Hotels Announces Partnership with SiteMinder
- Vertical Booking Increases Portfolio to More Than 5,000 Hotels
- eRevMax Completes Two-way Integration with Go Global Travel
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For more information on Reservations for 08/11/17

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Rainmaker Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with Record Setting First Half of 2017
- OTA Insight to provide Innovative Rate Intelligence Tools for
Best Western® Hotels & Resorts
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Rainmaker Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with Record Setting First Half of 2017
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud, experienced record-setting growth through the first half of 2017, adding to its momentum as a global leader in hotel revenue management software and services. Since January 2017 Rainmaker has expanded its reach in the number of properties using its platform, with a 41 percent increase in grouprev® and 21 percent increases in both guestrev® and revintel®. Additionally, in this same time period, Rainmaker’s revcaster® platform has activated nearly 500 new properties globally, surpassing 5,000 active installs for that product line.
http://www.letitrain.com/
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OTA Insight to provide Innovative Rate Intelligence Tools for Best Western® Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts, has selected OTA Insight to provide its industry-leading revenue maximization tools to its global business. OTA Insight’s innovative rate intelligence platform will help drive Best Western’s revenue strategy by supplying real-time dashboard and benchmarking tools to increase profitability. Best Western will benefit from OTA Insight’s state-of-the-art rate parity and online visibility tools. The solution will enable Best Western to monitor locally targeted online travel agency promotions and help ensure the best rate is always available on Best Western’s direct hotel website.
http://www.otainsight.com
**

GUEST SERVICES



- ADB Brand Recognition Spreading Industrywide
- Enseo Expands into 250,000 Hotel Rooms, Reaches 44 Million Guests
- Honeywell Implements Building Management, Energy Management Systems Throughout Australia's Crown Perth Complex
- Intelity’s Enterprise App Now Live at Grupo Posadas Hotels
- HotelTap Workplace Cloud Communication Tool Now Available as Mobile App
- Caesars Entertainment Launches the First WeChat Digital Payment Program in Las Vegas
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For more information on Guest Services for 08/11/17

PERSONALIZATION/GUEST EXPERIENCE



- Belle Mont Farm Implements Guestware
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Belle Mont Farm Implements Guestware
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s leading guest experience management software solutions, has announced that Belle Mont Farm in St. Kitts, West Indies has implemented Guestware Select. With 84 cottages, seven farmhouses and five villas, the boutique luxury hotel was seeking a guest response solution to better serve their guests who have traveled far to stay at the stunning property. They selected Guestware based on the advanced technology of the software, and the well-known easy implementation process. Guestware Select is an affordable turnkey solution that leverages cloud hosting and remote deployment to help hotels and resorts optimize the guest experience and improve guest satisfaction scores for the last 20 years.
http://www.guestware.com/
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MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Minor Hotels Partners with CRM Leader Cendyn
- Cendyn Partners with roomMaster by InnQuest Software
- HEBS Digital Wins “Best of Show” Summit Creative Award for the LUMA Hotel Times Square Website
- NAVIS Introduces First-to-Market Solution to Recent Vacation Rental Listing Site Changes
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For more information on Marketing/Management for 08/11/17

BACK OFFICE



- Three Hotel Companies Select Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting
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Three Hotel Companies Select Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting
Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hotel accounting software, hospitality enterprise accounting, budgeting, forecasting and business intelligence systems, announced three hotel companies which operate a total of 10 properties selected Aptech’s PVNG Enterprise Back Office System. PVNG is a browser-based next-generation enterprise hospitality accounting solution with a simple menu structure and easy-to-navigate platform. Companies installing PVNG Enterprise Accounting include Stagewest Hospitality and The Colony Palm Beach.
http://www.aptech-inc.com/
**

COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE



- Choice Hotels International Selects AT&T Connectivity and Mobility
- Technology-inspired Hotel VIA Deploys FiberLAN GPON from DASAN Zhone Solutions to Provide High-speed Internet Access for Guests
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Choice Hotels International Selects AT&T Connectivity and Mobility
AT&T* has been selected by Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, to deliver internet, Wi-Fi and mobility solutions. Choice Hotels franchises approximately 6,500 hotels representing more than 500,000 rooms worldwide across 11 brands, including Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. With AT&T internet and Wi-Fi solutions, Choice Hotels can offer franchisees a single provider to bring fast and reliable connectivity to guests. These solutions are now available at Choice properties across the U.S.
http://www.att.com
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Technology-inspired Hotel VIA Deploys FiberLAN GPON from DASAN Zhone Solutions to Provide High-speed Internet Access for Guests
Before construction even began, the Hotel VIA management team set out to design a hotel with advanced technology in San Francisco. To deliver state-of-the-art services, Hotel VIA deployed a FiberLAN Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) from DASAN Zhone Solutions (DZS) at the 159-room hotel, which opened its doors in June 2017. As the first new boutique hotel built in San Francisco since 2008, the independent hotel offers technology amenities, such as keyless entry and a mobile concierge service app, to enhance the guest experience.
http://www.dasanzhone.com
**

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Oracle Hospitality Introduces New Data Science Cloud Services to Help Food and Beverage Operators Optimize Every Sale
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Oracle Hospitality Introduces New Data Science Cloud Services to Help Food and Beverage Operators Optimize Every Sale
Empowering food and beverage operators to convert data into profit, Oracle Hospitality announced Data Science Cloud Services. With the new services, food and beverage operators gain the ability to analyze key information such as sales, guest, marketing and staff performance data at unprecedented speed – generating insights that lead directly to actionable measures that improve their top and bottom line.
http://www.oracle.com/hospitality
**

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Casino Pauma Chooses Agilysys Inventory and Procurement Solution to Reduce Costs and Boost Efficiency
- Clear Sky Software, Inc.® Announced the Release of Clear Sky HOUSEKEEPING for the Hospitality Industry
- New Luxury Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Installs the InvoTech RFID Uniform System
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For more information on Inventory/Purchasing for 08/11/17

DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS



- Cendyn Joins the Cloud Security Alliance
- IGMAS Achieves Prestigious PCI-QIR Status
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Cendyn Joins the Cloud Security Alliance
Cendyn, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform in the hospitality industry, has announced it has joined the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). This membership with the CSA reinforces Cendyn’s long-standing commitment and heritage with cloud and data security across all its products.
http://www.cendyn.com/, https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/
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IGMAS Achieves Prestigious PCI-QIR Status
IGMAS Technologies, a leading provider of hospitality infrastructure, application management and support services, announced that it has achieved the prestigious PCI-QIR status documenting its commitment to the security of its clients and their various business operations. PCI DSS provides a baseline of technical and operational requirements designed to protect payment card account data, and is intended for merchants and service providers, and any entity that stores, processes or transmits cardholder data (CHD) and/or sensitive authentication data (SAD). Hotel Systems Solutions (HSS) is a division of IGMAS Technologies, Inc.
http://www.hotelsystemssolutions.com/
**

SECURITY



- Galaxy Control Systems’ Integration with ASSA ABLOY Delivers Significant Savings for Installers and Integrators
- Urban Creation Implements ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access and Locking Solutions at its New Stylish Student Accommodations
- SALTO Releases Sleek New AElement Fusion Electronic Hotel Lock With RFID, Wireless and Mobile Technology
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For more information on Security for 08/11/17

HOSPITALITY EDUCATION



- HFTP and OpenTravel Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon
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HFTP and OpenTravel Announce Newest Partnership in Systems Standards Horizon
The nonprofit groups, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) and OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel) have announced a partnership to accelerate the support of travel industry distribution standards, as well as the creation and adoption of hospitality technology standards across the entire spectrum of the global consumer travel experience. To facilitate the intended projects, OpenTravel will co-locate its corporate office with HFTP Global headquarters in Austin, Texas, starting in August 2017. The move will enable the organizations to combine resources to help develop standards that ease communications between disparate technology systems, enabling stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.  
http://hftp.org/, http://opentravel.org
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HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- HFTP Announces Keynotes for its 2017 Annual Convention
- HFTP Announces Advisory Council for its Second Annual HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018
- HSMAI Accepting Nominations for Top 25 Minds and Lifetime Achievement Awards
- IHG, Hilton, Wyndham, Priceline Group, Google, Booking.com, Skyscanner, & Expedia to Meet in Las Vegas This October
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For more information on Hospitality Events for 08/11/17

PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- RLHC Completes Mobile Payment Integration with MyWallet from MyCheck
- Trump Hotels caught up in data breach (again)
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RLHC Completes Mobile Payment Integration with MyWallet from MyCheck
Trump Hotels caught up in data breach (again)
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You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what…
 
A man wakes up in the morning and it is 5:55 a.m. The temperature is 55 degrees and the humidity is 55 percent. He turns on his TV to channel 5. He gets up and it is May 5th. He heads to work and his car has 55,555.5 miles on the odometer. He gets to work and goes to the 5th floor. He has five messages. It dawns on him. He rushes to the race track. His ticket is $5 and he is put in section 5, row 5, seat 5. In the fifth race is a horse called, "Double Nickels." He understands fate has spoken. He bets his entire bank account and maxes out all his credit cards. The race is won... Double Nickels came in fifth.
 
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