Sometimes things just work and you always wonder why that isn’t the case every time. But when it does one can’t help but be thankful. Last week in New Orleans, Hospitality Upgrade had its 10th Executive Vendor Summit where close to 50 technology leaders gathered for two and a half days to share their thoughts and visions of where the industry is going. There were sessions on leadership, legal challenges and the amount of money being poured into our industry from outside investors. We had sessions led by attendees Larry Hall, the CEO of PAR Springer-Miller, and Jay Troutman, the CEO of Aptech. The CIO session with industry technology leaders Richard Tudgay of Omni Hotels, Page Petry from Marriott, Greg Taylor of Kimpton and Mike Blake from Commune Hotels sharing their challenges and how they see the future was the icing on the cake. The weather was great, the Omni Royal Orleans was spectacular, and special thanks to the New Orleans Pelicans for winning their basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the last second. Yes, sometimes things just work and I am not one to ever question why, just be thankful it happened. I encourage you to read Jon Inge’s opening to his technology review where he shares his thoughts of what he got out of the Executive Vendor Summit; his slant is a bit different than mine. A big thank you to all who attended.
I decided to do something different after this trip, and instead of doing the standard roundtrip flight from Atlanta to New Orleans and back to Atlanta, I decided to fly to New Orleans and rent a car to drive back after our Summit. I had never been to the Gulfport/Biloxi area or to Mobile, Ala., and I thought it would be fun. I need to work on my scheduling if I ever do something like that again. I finally made it back to Atlanta at 2:30 a.m., and when I went to get my car at long-term parking it wouldn’t start. A mechanic at the lot couldn’t figure it out, but the one thing we were sure of was that it wasn’t the battery. I drove the rental car home, got three hours of sleep, drove back to the airport, returned the rental car, met the tow truck operator and then had the car towed to a dealership to have them figure it out. They called later in the day to say they had fixed it, and said it was the battery! Huh? I think I need to learn a bit more about cars.
No more automobile trips upcoming in the near future for me. I will be off to Dallas next week for the Newmarket International Customer Conference (NICC) and then to Las Vegas for the Agilysys Inspire 2014, user conference. Of all the events I go to throughout the year, users’ groups are always my favorite. The conversations with those who use technology are always eye opening. I can’t wait. .
For those of you who don’t know, I work with some crazy women and what they ask me to do at times often gets me wondering what they are thinking. The spring issue of Hospitality Upgrade is out and we have gotten unbelievably positive feedback, and for that we thank you. Along with the amazing content in the issue, there has been great feedback about our cover that teases Samuel Ayisi’s feature article on Big Data. If you haven’t seen the issue or would like to view the digital edition, please go to http://mag.hospitalityupgrade.com, and then you can watch one of the more offbeat interviews I have ever done at http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/HUtube-Videos/?vid=springcover. Talk about a one-sided interview, this absolutely takes the cake. Never again! If you have thoughts on the interview that you would like to share, please drop me a note at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Just promise to go easy on me!
Here now is the real reason we are here, the aforementioned Jon Inge with his review of the industry technology happenings. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.
by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge
TOP O’ THE NEWS
- Vendor Summit better than ever - HTNG charters two new workgroups -------------------------- Last week’s Executive Vendor Summit in New Orleans was even better than usual. Apart from the all-important social events – congratulations on arranging for the Pelicans/Clippers basketball match to be a really close, exciting game, Rich – and the wide range of interesting and relevant educational sessions, the networking remains outstanding.
What’s most encouraging is that the mix of attendees is expanding and bringing on some new, younger executives. The range last week ran from old-timers like me to the 20-something CEOs of start-ups, such as Lisa Israelovitch of Umapped and Arthur Waller of PriceMatch. The conversations were predictably richer for the wider variety of viewpoints, and led to more than a few “hmmm, let me think about that” moments.
One of the best sessions for me was the free-form Q&A led by Larry Hall of PAR Springer-Miller, exploring what it will take to get more innovation into the hospitality technology arena. There was some lively discussion about whether true innovation can arise within a well-established vendor’s development team, and if so whether it can be nurtured into productive life. The consensus seemed to lie in favor of start-ups and the energy coming from small, young teams, with significant assistance from the relative ease with which new modules can be connected into existing architectures. Equally important, though, were strong partnerships with complementary vendors, to ensure that the links between systems were meaningful to both. Good stuff.
A final word on the social scene: at the opening dinner I was presented with an award for my efforts during the afternoon’s best-ball golf tournament. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was for the golfer making the lowest contribution to his team’s overall score. The award itself? A slim book entitled, “Why You Suck at Golf.” Talk about truth in advertising. ** HTNG has chartered two new workgroups: - the Above Property Systems Workgroup will create a framework to provide guidance and minimize risk when moving applications above property, looking at above-property interoperability at both the business and technical levels. The framework will include a list of best practices and considerations when going above property, a glossary of standard terms and a common framework for discussing issues such as data ownership, security, termination rights and support. - the Event Notification Workgroup will focus on helping different systems connected to an enterprise service bus to communicate with each other, so that an event detected in one system can automatically be communicated to another. This workgroup will modify the existing HTNG spec to align with the more widely adopted W3C WS-Eventing standard. **
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
- Valyn Perini joins Kalibri Labs as senior vice president - David Bonnette appointed to CEO at Lanyon - Jim Rowe is new director of sales in North America at PAR Springer-Miller - Kristie Goshow joins Viceroy Hotel Group as senior vice president of commercial - Ken Dufault named senior director, hospitality product marketing at SONIFI - Jeff Imm named president and COO at ThisCLICKS --------------------------
- Infor to offer CloudSuite Hospitality suite hosted on Amazon Web Services - StreamSong Resort implements Springer-Miller’s Host - Leicester Arms, Kent, England, installs protel’s cloud-based Air GMS and Xn POS EPoS from Xn Hotel Systems - Comanche Nation of Oklahoma picks Agilysys’ Visual One for Comanche Red River Hotel - InnDependent Boutique Collection offers MSI’s CloudPM to 4,000+ non-branded hotel members - protel receives Best Exhibitor Award/Travel Support & Media at ITB 2014 - Cenium’s ERP now interfaces with Casino Management Systems guest redemption of comp/player club awards --------------------------
- IHG enters into strategic relationship with Amadeus for development of consumer-facing technology - Millennium & Copthorne Hotels migrates global portfolio to Sceptre’s WindsurferCRS - Sceptre announces Internet booking engine with Save For Later shopping cart booking and Call-to-Continue button - Sceptre enhances WindsurferCRS, expands direct connect network and adds new GMS and RMS interfaces - Sunlake moves four hotels to Pegasus Connect+ - Vimana Franchise Systems signs with Sabre for Centerstone Hotel and Key West Inn brands - Z Resorts switches to TravelClick’s iHotelier for Hotel ZaZa properties --------------------------
- TexasHillCountry.com signs with OpenBook for a comprehensive online marketing strategy - Tambourine developing Google Glass app to capture hotel video for social media channels - Pegasus announces development of next-generation PegasusView Market Performance Analytics - HRI Lodging to install Aptech’s Targetvue, Execuvue and Profitvue systems for 17 hotels - Thoma Bravo acquires TravelClick - Tui UK & Ireland releases Holiday Open Day interactive virtual technology to “try” holidays before buying - ProfitSword reports record growth in 2013, adds nine new clients - Summit International recognizes Pegasus’ Open Hospitality division with two leader awards --------------------------
- IDeaS launches Revenue Performance Insights (RPI) - PowerYourRoom integrates PriceYourRoom with Cubilis by Stardekk’s online channel management - San Diego’s Comfort Inn at the Harbor implements iRates Revenue Management - Hyatt endorses eRevMax’s RateTiger as preferred channel management in EAME and Southwest Asia. - Rakuten Travel completes integration with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect - Singgasana Hotels and Resorts signs with eRevMax’s RateTiger Suite - Mystic Lake Casino Hotel implements The Rainmaker Group’s TribalREV - Woodside Hotels implements Duetto’s Edge at three properties - SiteMinder donates channel distribution software to White Linen Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh --------------------------
- Vivonet develops certified integration with PAR Springer-Miller’s guest management systems - Comanche Nation of Oklahoma selects Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system for four casino properties - Caesars Entertainment implementing Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system across multiple properties --------------------------
- Pullman Saigon Centre Hotel deploys Quadriga-based Connectivity by Pullman guest service network - at-visions integrates Google’s Chromecast with its ONEvision Hotel TV service - Germany’s industry magazine Top Hotel recognizes Quadriga with two awards - Intelity adds pre-arrival services to ICE Sapphire - Guest-tek acquires iBAHN - Magnani Caruso Dutton study reports that improving digital experience is key to increasing traveler loyalty --------------------------
- Palace Resorts, Cancun, installs InvoTech's automated linen and laundry systems - CrunchTime! announces TeamworX team management mobile software -------------------------- Palace Resorts, Cancun, has installed InvoTech's automated linen and laundry systems. The InvoTech Linen System was installed at all seven resort properties and InvoTech’s Laundry System at its laundry distribution center. UHF-RFID linen reading stations at each Palace Resort track laundry carts of soiled linens going to the Palace Resorts laundry distribution center in real time. Palace Resorts has approximately 500,000 linens tagged with Fujitsu UHF-RFID laundry tags. http://www.palaceresorts.com, http://www.invotech.com ** CrunchTime! Information Systems has announced its CrunchTime! TeamworX team management mobile software to support authorized employee shift swapping, more efficient scheduling and better team communications. Managers can view the schedule on their smartphones, tablets or desktops, approve staff requests and communicate messages to relevant team members about shift openings or important updates. http://www.crunchtime.com **
- Radisson Blu Jeddah and Radisson Blu Yanbu implement data networks from Swisscom Hospitality Services -------------------------- The 292-room Radisson Blu Jeddah and Radisson Blu Yanbu have implemented scalable data networks from Swisscom Hospitality Services, marking Swisscom’s entry into the Saudi Arabian market. http://www.radissonblu.com/Jeddah, http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-yanbu, http://www.swisscom.com/hospitality **
And now for you know what…
Once upon a time Dracula decided to carry out a competition to see which bat was the finest to stand at his side. All the bats were honored to take part. The rules were simple. The bat that drinks the most blood would be the winner.
So the first bat leaves and comes back after 10 minutes. Her mouth is full of blood. Dracula says, "Congratulations, how did you do that so quickly?"
The bat replies, "Do you see that tower? Behind it there is a house. I went in and sucked the blood from all the family."
"Very good," says Dracula.
The second bat leaves and comes back after five minutes with all her face covered in blood.
Ashtonished, Dracula says, "How did you find so much?"
The bat replies, "Do you see that tower? Behind it there is a school. I went in and drank the blood of all the children."
"Very impressive," says Dracula.
Now the third bat leaves and comes back after three minutes literally covered in blood from head to toe. Dracula is stunned. "How on earth did you manage so much?" he asks.
"Do you see this tower?” the last bat asks. “Well, I didn't."
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