You know it probably isn’t going to be a good day when your first call of the day is from your bank’s fraud division. Everybody knows about identity theft and illegal use of your credit card, but this was a first. I have a separate checking account for my horse world. I don’t write a lot of checks, usually just to the trainer, the vet, sometimes to a transportation service and often to the guy who does the shoes for the horse. The Wells Fargo representative asked me if had written a check to Lashawnda McKinon for $4,500.71? Who? How much? While the fraud department from Wells Fargo was on the phone I went online and looked at the check. Amazingly, somebody must have taken a picture of a check I wrote, created a blank check on their fancy printer at home and then wrote a check and cashed it. I found this amazing. Wells Fargo told me they would refuse payment and that the check was cashed at a Suntrust Bank, but that was all they knew. So if it was actually cashed, Suntrust was out the money. Unfortunately for me, I had to close the account, open a new one and the go to the police so there was a report on file in case it happened again. It was interesting that the number on the check was timed that I could have written a check in that time period; I must give the thieves credit for that. But when I looked again at the check online, it was amazing. There was nothing in the memo field which I always use and this easily was the worst attempt at my signature. It was not anywhere close to mine. So I guess now I can add the fraudulent use of checks to my security concerns. Unbelievable.
Security will be one of the sessions for our CIO Summit in San Diego in September, though we are going to take it to a much deeper level than my check situation. We are all still kind of amazed how the industry technology leaders this year are coming from near and far. We are now over 70 attendees, which is way above the norm for early registration, so this is exciting. Now we just have to make sure we give them more than they are expecting. That is always our goal and thankfully maybe why for 14 years the event continues to grow. Excited and nervous, I guess those emotions go hand in hand. Thank you to all that are coming.
Okay, here it is. This is our first Siegel Sez industry technology review without Jon Inge. We are thankful Dan has come onboard; we are excited to have him take over and add some very creative ideas. I will let Dan introduce himself and I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Welcome, Dan, and good luck. We promise not to drive you totally crazy!
by: Dan Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips
Oh, the footsteps I have to follow! Jon Inge has been doing this column for so long and so very well that I admit I am going to fall into shoes much bigger than I can handle by following him after his retirement. Jon, the work you’ve done for our industry during your tenure, and your production in this periodical, has been outstanding. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned reading your news, and I probably shouldn’t mention how many of your ideas I’ve pawned off as my own!
Readers, I will do my best to keep you as informed as Jon has. I welcome suggestions and positive criticism. In that light, while trying to maintain the level of relevant information Jon supplied, I would like to add some of my own twists. One of those twists is that I would like to implement a few themes now and then. There are several areas that I am very interested in, and hope that you are too. Please feel free to send me articles relating to any of the following themes and I will do my best to collect them and post them when the applicable theme is included in a particular column. Some themes I’m working on include: Philanthropy; Innovators/Incubators/Startups; Sustainability; Personalization/Experiential; Big Data and its application; Technology making a difference in the lives of guests/travelers/employees; and Hospitality Education.
In keeping true to the success of Jon’s column, I will keep most of the current structure going, at least for a while. As technology advances, some categories may become less relevant while others might gain in significance. For example, while there is a category for Marketing, I could suggest that Digital Marketing might be able to stand on its own, and thus deserve its own category. I would also like to add a new category. As I scour the trades for these posts I often come across articles that I find very interesting but that may not directly relate to technology. So I’ve added the category, “Piqued Dan’s Interest,” and I hope you will like those articles. Please feel free to submit articles to me as well.
And, right off the bat here, let me offer my apologies to both the vendor and hotelier communities. I may not get everything you hoped for in these columns, and what I do put in I may make mistakes with. Please bear with me as I learn how to better source and post the types of articles you want to see in this column. My expertise is more in line with guest-facing technologies, operational efficiencies, creating high levels of service and guest experiences, and enterprisewide solutions that have significant impact at the individual hotel level, so these interests might tend to skew what I decide to include. Please feel free to, nicely (!), set me straight if the need arises.
- Omni Hotels and Resorts Contributes $5,000 to Annual Giving Campaign - Dubai Hotels Doing Their bit for Charity this Ramadan - Hyatt to Partner with Kahn Academy to Bring Open-source Global Learning to Colleagues and Communities - Gecko Hospitality Launches Campaign to Benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities - Hotels for Humanity Donates to ChildHelp via eBay’s Giving Works --------------------------
- GBTA Foundation Annual Forecast Predicts Global Business Travel Spending to Hit Record High of $1.25 Trillion in 2015, China Business Travel to Skyrocket by 61 percent Over Next Five Years -------------------------- GBTA Foundation Annual Forecast Predicts Global Business Travel Spending to Hit Record High of $1.25 Trillion in 2015, China Business Travel to Skyrocket by 61 percent Over Next Five Years Despite recent economic turbulence, China business travel will increase by 61 percent over the next five years, from $261 billion in 2014 to $420 billion in 2019. That increase is greater than the increases in business travel growth in the next eight largest countries combined, including the United States, Germany, India, United Kingdom, Indonesia, France, Turkey and Japan.
These findings are part of an annual travel forecast released at GBTA Convention 2015 from the GBTA Foundation – the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, which details business travel spending in 75 countries across 48 industries over 15 years, including a rolling five-year projection.
Overall, the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, sponsored by Visa, Inc., finds that global business travel spending will hit a record $1.25 trillion USD in 2015, 6.5 percent growth over 2014. Growth will remain strong through 2019, with business travel projected to grow 6.9 percent in 2016, 6.0 percent in 2017, 6.4 percent in 2018 and 5.8 percent in 2019. http://www.gbta.org **
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- Mark Loyd Joins PAR Springer-Miller as General Manager of ATRIO - Veteran Dave McCaslin Joins HHM as EVP, Leads Investment Platform - Sabre Corporation Elects Renee James to its Board of Directors - Sabre Appoints Zul Sidi as Vice President of Enterprise Data and Analytics --------------------------
- Maestro PMS Gives Tribal Gaming Operators Powerful Solutions to Know Their Guests - Leech Lake Gaming Chooses Agilysys PMS, POS to Streamline Operations and Enhance Guest Service - SkyTouch Technology Integrates IntellicheckMobilisa’s guest ID info into SkyTouch Hotel OS platform - Amadeus Acquires Itesso --------------------------
- LeisureLink Teams up with Vail Resorts for Vacation Rental Distribution Technology - TravelClick Expands Partnership with TripAdvisor - Airbnb Overhauls Service for Business Travelers - Now Direct Hotel Bookings from Google Feature Underway - Voice Still a Viable Booking Channel - Concur Partners with Lyft and HotelTonight to Meet Growing On-demand Needs of Business Travelers --------------------------
-The Sherry-Netherland Relies on Digital Alchemy to Convey Five-star Luxury with a Human Touch - Sabre Tests New Hotel Digital Marketing Program from Google - UNWTO and Amadeus Join Forces to Strengthen Technology in Tourism - Gravy Taps DANNI Enterprises to Bring First-of-its-kind Mobile Behavior-based Personalization to Hoteliers - Guests Introduce Mission Point Resort to 120,000 Social Connections in Three Months with Flip.to - HeBS Digital Web Application for Red Lion Hotels “Hello Rewards” Loyalty Program Offers Personalized Incentives to Inspire and Recognize Guests --------------------------
- Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Enlists The Rainmaker Group to Optimize Profits in Reno - Duetto Announces Full Integration with WebHotelier’s CRS Technology -------------------------- Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Enlists The Rainmaker Group to Optimize Profits in Reno Reno, Nevada’s marquee Atlantis Casino Resort Spa – recently named the top casino outside Las Vegas by USA Today and the No. 1 hotel in Reno per TripAdvisor.com – has called upon The Rainmaker Group for profit optimization solutions to grow its business. The AAA Four Diamond hotel, spa and gaming retreat is nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and enjoys exclusive Sky Bridge access to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, complementing its own conference facilities, recently upgraded with a $100 million investment. http://www.atlantiscasino.com, http://www.LetItRain.com ** Duetto Announces Full Integration with WebHotelier’s CRS Technology Duetto, a market leader in hotel profit optimization technology, announced that its revenue strategy solutions have been fully integrated with WebHotelier's online booking engine and marketing platform, making Duetto's powerful new insights on pricing and demand available to more than 3,000 hotels in 45 countries. http://www.duettoresearch.com, http://www.webhotelier.net **
SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING
- Top 10 Trends Impacting the Hotel Industry -------------------------- Top 10 Trends Impacting the Hotel Industry
Catering to Millenials
Influx of international visitors
Increased emphasis on health and well-being
Need for seamless technology
New roles for staff
Real-time damage control
F&B/POINT OF SALE
- Tiare Technology Expands Portfolio of Key Patents for Mobile Ordering Technology - Agilysys Transforms the Dining Experiences with Latest Release of Industry-leading POS Solutions -------------------------- Tiare Technology Expands Portfolio of Key Patents for Mobile Ordering Technology Tiare’s patent portfolio covers methodology for the mobile ordering of food and beverages, and other goods or services, in or in the vicinity of a venue, such as a restaurant or retail outlet. Before the introduction of the first Apple iPhone®, iPad® or Android device, Tiare Technology built its business on products and services that provide mobile ordering solutions. Patents were applied for to secure a place in what Tiare saw as the future of consumer purchasing. Today, Tiare offers a wide range of specialized mobile ordering products and services, and controls a collection of key patents with early priority dates. http://www.tiaretech.com ** Agilysys Transforms the Dining Experiences with Latest Release of Industry-leading POS Solutions Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced general availability of InfoGenesis™ POS v4.4.7 and InfoGenesis™ Flex v4.4.7, the latest versions of its industry-leading point-of-sale software solutions. The new versions include enhancements that boost efficiency, increase revenue and improve the guest experience, as well as deliver integration with rGuest™ Seat, Agilysys' innovative restaurant reservations and table management solution, and rGuest™ Analyze, Agilysys' robust business intelligence solution. http://www.agilysys.com **
- Musement Launches Activities Booking Platform for Hotels - Integrated Hospitality Marketing App Provides Superior Customization, Increased RevPAR - Zombie Apps are Plaguing Mobile Phones - AT&T Takes Over DirecTV and Becomes Biggest Provider of TV Bundles --------------------------
- Flagship Hyatt Deploys Lua for Instant Staff Messaging -------------------------- Flagship Hyatt Deploys Lua for Instant Staff Messaging Hyatt Regency Chicago, the world’s largest Hyatt property, deployed Lua as its secure messaging provider, allowing employees to better support guests and operate the sprawling property. “Lua’s real-time communication is pivotal in the success of our operation,” said Eduard Torres, senior IT director at Hyatt Regency Chicago. “After our Lua install, our accountability and efficiency went up. The division was able to communicate with each other seamlessly in a high-volume and group format which better allowed us to serve our colleagues, guests and their needs.” https://getlua.com, http://www.hyatt.com **
- Zaplox Integrates Mobile Key Services with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Hotel Locking Solutions - OpenKey Announces Integration Partnership with Kaba -------------------------- Zaplox Integrates Mobile Key Services with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Hotel Locking Solutions Zaplox, a market innovator of advanced mobile key services for the global hospitality industry, announces its integration with the ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access solution, and becomes an accredited ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access certified partner. This integration allows any property with RFID-ready locks installed to easily implement mobile access functionality for its guests, while experiencing the unique operational benefits that Zaplox Mobile Key Services provide. ASSA ABLOY Hospitality (formerly VingCard Elsafe) is a leading global provider of advanced hotel locking solutions with locks installed in more than 7 million hotel rooms worldwide, thereby creating tremendous opportunity for Zaplox to further penetrate the global market. https://www.zaplox.com, http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com ** OpenKey Announces Integration Partnership with Kaba OpenKey, the universal front-end keyless mobile entry solution, announced its integration with Kaba, one of the leading players in the security industry and a leading provider of innovative access solutions. This partnership means that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) locks produced by Kaba will be OpenKey compatible. https://www.openkey.co, http://www.kabalodging.com **
INNOVATORS AND STARTUPS
- HITEC’s First Annual Hospitality Startup Pitch Competition Names Winner - Summary from the 2015 Technology Entrepreneurship Roundtable -------------------------- HITEC’s First Annual Hospitality Startup Pitch Competition Names Winner During HITEC on June 15, 2015, Entrepreneur 20X named Whistle as its first winner. Entrepreneur 20X, produced by HFTP, became the first hospitality startup pitch competition to be included in the HITEC schedule. Nine startups competed for the top prize and recognition as the most industry disruptive hospitality technology. "Much of the competition ended up being standing room only, which is a true testament to how innovative, thought-provoking and engaging these startups were," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "Whistle is a well-deserving winner and I am eager to see what products and services we will see in the future at Entrepreneur 20X." http://www.hitec.org ** Summary from the 2015 Technology Entrepreneurship Roundtable The inaugural Technology Entrepreneurship Roundtable brought 30 leading tech professionals and entrepreneurs to the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration during the spring 2015 semester. Participants examined the growth of the cloud and the resulting opportunities for entrepreneurs to break into established markets, notably by using mobile devices in remote and shared office spaces, streamlining documents and systems to prevent redundancy, and decreasing operating and switching costs while minimizing the need for established infrastructure. Given the economic flexibility afforded by renting assets, rather than owning them, consumers and entrepreneurs have driven the expansion of the so-called sharing economy. The support of venture capital has been critical for such entrepreneurial technology in the hospitality and travel industry. Technology is also key to the growing customer desire to have a personalized travel experience, which can become a challenge to established brands. Many of these tech-supported enterprises are disruptors that respond to consumers' desire for options as they travel. To counter the disruptions and re-emphasize their standing, brands need to use market analytics when engaging with customers and plan for using predictive analytics. https://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu **
- Study Finds Link Between Sustainability of Buildings, Market Performance of REITs -------------------------- Study Finds Link Between Sustainability of Buildings, Market Performance of REITs Carbon War Room released a study finding a link between the sustainability of buildings and the stock market performance of real estate investment trusts (REITs). The study, commissioned by Carbon War Room to the University of Cambridge, is titled, “The Financial Rewards of Sustainability: A Global Performance Study of Real Estate Investment Trusts.” REITs own and frequently operate income-producing real estate – and represent an increasing focus of energy-efficiency and renewable energy stakeholders. Modeled after mutual funds, REITs allow anyone to invest in portfolios of large-scale properties and typically offer high yields, providing investors with regular income streams, diversification and long-term capital appreciation. https://carbonwarroom.com **
PIQUED DAN'S INTEREST
- Why Big Hotel Brands Need to Act More Like Airbnb - GBTA Foundation Whitepaper explores use of technology to improve business travel - Hotel Guest Satisfaction Reaches All-Time High; Incidence of Problems Hits Record Low; J.D. Power 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study - And other stories… --------------------------
A new manager spends a week at his new office with the manager he is replacing. On the last day the departing manager tells him, "I have left three numbered envelopes in the desk drawer. Open an envelope if you encounter a crisis you can't solve."
Three months down the track there are major issues with his department, major drama, everything goes wrong - the usual stuff - and the manager feels very threatened by it all. He remembers the parting words of his predecessor and opens the first envelope. The message inside says, "Blame your predecessor!" So he does this and gets off the hook.
About half a year later, the company is experiencing a dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. The manager quickly opens the second envelope. The message reads, "Reorganize!" This he does, and the company quickly rebounds.
Three months later, at his next crisis - even bigger than before, he opens the third envelope. The message inside says, "Prepare three envelopes."
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