Siegel Sez

May 20, 2016

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

It seems like déjà vu; I am writing this Siegel Sez from my hotel room in Las Vegas this time while attending the Amadeus Hospitality Customer Conference. Yes, there is one thing that we learned on the first day of the conference, formerly known as the Newmarket Customer Conference. At the opening session, CEO Lee Horgan shared that after the many acquisitions by Newmarket, and then the acquisition of Newmarket by Amadeus, that all the product names we have been familiar with will be going away and everything will fall under the Amadeus Hospitality product umbrella. He was very realistic knowing that it would take time. Lee did a great job sharing future plans, and not sidestepping the missteps along the way. I like when leaders do that. I wish more would share their vision of the future but not ignore things that didn’t go quite as planned. The one message that he hammered home is that the vendor/customer relationship is all about partnering. If the customer succeeds then the vendor succeeds, which is something I believe we have done a very good job of here at Hospitality Upgrade. It was a great conference with strong attendance and enlightening sessions. I was very glad Amadeus invited me. I just have to get used to saying Amadeus, not Newmarket. That will be a bit of a challenge.

The nice thing about being in Las Vegas is there are so many people we do business with who are located here. There was one night on our own and before I knew it there were 12 of us going to dinner. I am not going to name names as to who said what about whom, but it was a fun night. If you want to see the wacky group we had together, check out the picture above and to the right. Thanks go to Ted Horner for inspiring the dinner. A good time was had by all.

Whenever you get a group of industry technology people together in late May there is one thing that gets brought up. Yes, everybody talks about HITEC. It is amazing how powerful this conference has become and how it continues to grow. I have been thankful for being part of the HITEC Advisory Board for a long time, which helps to shape the educational sessions. The session I am doing at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, is listed as the “WOW” session, which gave me a great deal of freedom to create something different. I love how diverse the panelists are as they share how creatively they have used technology to both establish and build their businesses. The panelists are Michael Levie from citizenM Hotels, Colleen Birch from The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and Floor Bleeker with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, a company currently with 82 hotels on its way to 100. Who says you need a loyalty program? Not us! Wow them with technology is the message here, and all three companies will share what they do and how they do it. Yes, we will include a surprise or two and I will probably embarrass myself but I have become a bit immune to that. We hope you will make plans to be there.

Congrats to the aforementioned Michael Levie and Prakash Shukla this year’s inductees to the HFTP Technology Hall of Fame. Their moment to shine will be 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, at the general session preceding the keynote speaker.  Also thanks to Frank Wolfe and the entire HFTP team for doing something special in memory of John Cahill who passed on April 19. John had a big impact on me when I started my business and Hospitality Upgrade will also have a special memorial coming to recognize John and his impact in the industry. Yes, he will definitely be missed.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips’ review of all the technology happenings in the industry. For those of you who have been reading Siegel Sez for the last 15 years, our original technology reviewer Jon Inge who retired earlier this year shared that he is coming to HITEC. Yes, you can take the boy out of the technology industry, but you will never be able to not miss all the friends you make in this industry. We look forward to seeing Jon in New Orleans. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Dan Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips


My wife is a teacher, a great teacher. To her teaching is and always has been an art. However, in today’s society we have the national, state and local governments stepping in with lists of specific content for each grade and subject scientifically measured by tests, tests and more tests. School district superintendents take all of that data and crunch it into scientific gobbledygook that does very little in getting students to think and learn on their own.

To me, the life of a hotelier is much more art than science. Don’t get me wrong, technology, or the science behind our business, is important but it should never dominate the art of hospitality. We have taken what I think to be a wonderful concept referred to as “experience,” which is getting out and relating to people and places personally, and are now scientificating it by designing a multitude of different hotels. We have taken the thought of “personalization,” which is communicating with each guest relationally as an individual, and are scientificating it by creating bots to send messages. We are morphing RevPAR past “wallet share” to RevPAG, which includes revenue from guests even when they are not in the hotel.

It’s funny how hoteliers and vendors have differed in their redefinition of “customer satisfaction,” which at one time meant actually interacting with customers to learn more about them. Today, vendors define and measure it by getting fewer calls from their customers while hoteliers define and measure it by the ever-increasing frequency of mentions on social network sites.

Technology is a tool to be used to make the art of hospitality easier to offer and provide. A shovel is a tool, too.  In one aspect it can be used to dig a hole to plant a living organism and to nurture its growth.  In another aspect it could be used to knock someone over the head. I love hotel technology. I love the art of hospitality more.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine  




- Ken Barnes Joins Omni Hotels and Resorts as CIO
- AccorHotels Appoints Thibault Viort as Chief Disruption and Growth Officer
- Vikramjit Singh Named President and Chief Revenue Officer of Lemon Tree Hotels
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts Appoints Michael Miner as SVP, Operations
- Sonesta Names Stephen Miano as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
- Scandic Hotels Group AB Appoints Jan Johansson as New CFO
- Loews Hotels Appoints George Fleck as Senior Vice President of Brands and Marketing

For more information on People on the Move for 05/20/16



- Agilysys Announces General Availability of rGuest® Stay Property Management System
- Maestro's GEM Guest Response System Builds Repeat Business and TripAdvisor Ratings
- StayNTouch Partners with Oliver Hospitality to Bring Innovative PMS and Mobility Solutions to Four Distinctive Hotels in Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 05/20/16



- TravelClick’s iHotelier Web 3.0 Booking Engine Named Best Hotel and Lodging Interactive Application by WMA
- evolution Distribution has Completed Integration with Techhotel PMS
- Travel Tripper Expands Global Presence with New Office in Hyderabad, India

For more information on Reservations for 05/20/16



- Cendyn Announces Strategic Equity Partnership with Accel-KKR
- Sparks Reach and Return for Hotel Hugo
- RCI Rolls Out New Communications Platform for Customer Emails
- Carver Hotel Group to Provide Website Development & Marketing with Bultman Media
- HeBS Digital’s smartCMS Website Technology Wins Gold Stevie® Award for Third Consecutive Year

For more information on Marketing/Management for 05/20/16



- NAVIS Launches Competitive Edge Calculator to Help Hotels and Vacation Rental
NAVIS Launches Competitive Edge Calculator to Help Hotels and Vacation Rental Management Companies Uncover How Much Revenue They are Leaving on the Table
NAVIS, a leader in innovative technology solutions for hotels, resorts and vacation rental companies, announced the launch of its new Competitive Edge Calculator, a tool that makes it easy for lodging providers to analyze the revenue they are likely missing out on within their existing demand. The calculator is designed with customized preferences for both hotels and vacation rentals, and powered by a data-driven algorithm built on more than 10 years of industry performance data.




- Chargerback, Inc. Estimates $139,164,559 in Items Will Be Lost This Memorial Day Weekend
- Intelity Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Gold Level Member
- Rosewood Jeddah Hotel Selects MCOM's HOTstream Solution
- Allianz Global Assistance Releases Enhanced TravelSmart Mobile App
- Book. Stay. Go. Launches Saas-enabled Hotel Marketplace Featuring Mobile Check-in and Mobile Room Keys
- Holiday Inn KCI Expo Center Selects Flyte Systems for Hotel and Expo Events and Flight Information
- Kube Systems Enters Middle East Hotel Market with Precision Technologies
- W Hotels Worldwide Unveils W Sound Suites – Private Music Studios to Record, Remix and Relax

For more information on Guest Services for 05/20/16



- Tennessee’s Largest Waterpark Chooses Clear Sky Software to Better Manage F&B Inventory
Tennessee’s Largest Waterpark Chooses Clear Sky Software to Better Manage F&B Inventory
Clear Sky Software, Inc.®, announced that Wilderness at the Smokies has installed the company’s food and beverage inventory control system to help manage and track all food and beverage products. Called Clear Sky FOOD & BEVERAGE, this is a comprehensive, perpetual inventory system that tracks and controls all food and beverage products. Functions include purchasing/ordering, receiving, electronic requisition, outlet transfers/issues/returns and physical inventory.




- Sandals Resorts International Selects BirchStreet to Support Capital Projects and Supply Chain Operations
Sandals Resorts International Selects BirchStreet to Support Capital Projects and Supply Chain Operations
BirchStreet Systems, a cloud procure-to-pay automation software for the hospitality industry, has announced that Sandals Resorts International recently selected BirchStreet to support capital projects and supply chain operations. With five brands and 24 properties in seven countries, Sandals was challenged with finding a solution for managing various capital projects across all of its properties, as its current procurement system didn’t offer that capability. Sandals is now using BirchStreet’s Capital Budget Management module, while BirchStreet builds a custom integration to tracking shipping for its projects.




- FCS Partners with Neorcha to Offer Integrated Solution for Rotana Hotels
FCS Partners with Neorcha to Offer Integrated Solution for Rotana Hotels
FCS Computer Systems (FCS) and Neorcha, both leading service providers in the hospitality sector, have partnered to deliver an integrated back-of-house and front-of-house solution for Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. FCS’ e-Connect system is a back-of-house application that enables automated dispatch of guest requests and inter-department work orders. Neorcha’s myHotel application gives hotel guests instant access to real-time information on hotel accommodation, food and beverage, and entertainment options.,




- Prime Hospitality Group Selects RoamBOOST to Ensure Mobile Phone Coverage at New Autograph Collection Resort & Spa
Prime Hospitality Group Selects RoamBOOST to Ensure Mobile Phone Coverage at New Autograph Collection Resort & Spa
When the Playa Largo Resort & Spa, an Autograph Collection Hotel, opens its doors in July on Key Largo, guests of the luxury resort – the first new resort in the Florida Keys in more than 10 years – will be able to make and receive cellular phone calls without disruption or delay. Through a recent contract between Prime Hospitality Group (PHG) and RoamBOOST, the property’s 14.5 beachfront acres, 144 luxury rooms, 10 bungalows and public spaces will received enhanced mobile signal coverage via the company’s Distributed Antenna System.




- VENZA Helps Mohonk Mountain House Stay Current and Compliant with Evolving Data Security Requirements
- ISACA’s CRISC Certification Reaches Milestone
VENZA Helps Mohonk Mountain House Stay Current and Compliant with Evolving Data Security Requirements
VENZA is helping Mohonk Mountain House, a 261-room historic property located near the Catskill Mountains of New York, stay compliant and up-to-date with complex, evolving data security requirements. Leaders at the award-winning all-inclusive resort selected VENZA’s holistic approach to hospitality security that offers 360-degree visibility for proactive management of risks to help defend hotels against threats, ensuring that guests and their data stay safe. The hospitality industry is particularly vulnerable to data breaches, with recent reports estimating that the industry’s cybercrime costs topped $8.2 million in 2015.
ISACA’s CRISC Certification Reaches Milestone
Global IT association ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification recently passed the 20,000th certification milestone. Introduced in 2010, CRISC is for IT risk and compliance professionals who identify and manage risks through the development, implementation and maintenance of information systems controls. The CRISC designation focuses on risk identification, risk assessment, risk response and mitigation, and risk and control monitoring and reporting. ISACA also administers the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) credentials.




- Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy Secures Guests with Technology From ASSA ABLOY Hospitality
Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy Secures Guests with Technology From ASSA ABLOY Hospitality
The Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy has implemented advanced security access solutions and RFID technology by ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, demonstrating its commitment to guaranteeing guest safety while maintaining maximum convenience. With the advantages of RFID technology becoming increasingly apparent to hoteliers around the world, the Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy has chosen to equip its 284 luxury guestrooms with VingCard Signature RFID door locks and elevator access readers, offering state-of-the-art design that combines enhanced guest convenience and security.




- The Hotel at Oberlin: A Visionary Solar-Powered LEED Platinum Hotel Opens
The Hotel at Oberlin: A Visionary Solar-Powered LEED Platinum Hotel Opens
The Hotel at Oberlin, one of the most innovative green hotels in the world, is now welcoming guests in Oberlin, Ohio. Designed to be one of the most environmentally sustainable hotels to date, The Hotel at Oberlin is the first hotel in the nation to incorporate solar, geothermal and radiant heating and cooling. Owned by Oberlin College, the groundbreaking 70-room boutique property is among a rarified short list of LEED Platinum hotels and is the only one owned by a college. The official opening will be in September 2016.




- Single Digits Acquires HSIA & IPTV Assets of Signal Share Infrastructure, a Subsidiary of Roomlinx
- InnVest REIT Enters into Definitive Agreement with Bluesky Hotels and Resorts to be Acquired for U.S. $1.6 Billion
- Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Acquires Full Ownership of Country Development & Management Services Private Limited in India
- SBE to Acquire Morgans Hotel Group

For more information on Mergers and Acquisitions for 05/20/16



- HFTP Allied Association, China Hotel Technology Alliance (CHTA), to Lead Educational Session at HITEC 2016
HFTP Allied Association, China Hotel Technology Alliance (CHTA), to Lead Educational Session at HITEC 2016
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has announced plans for a new educational session on hotel technology trends in China at the upcoming Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITECSM). The Global China session will be organized by HFTP’s allied association, the China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA) and is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. in the Rivergate Room at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. The featured HITEC educational session will discuss how China is growing globally in the areas of tourism and travel, as well as how investors and technology vendors are making an impact toward the hospitality industry at large.,




- Tech Paradise: Wiring into the Four Seasons Lanai
- How Cutting Edge Science is Bringing Buildings to Life
- "Intelligent Apps”: Chances are the Entity Managing your Favorite Smartphone App or Internet Service isn’t a Person
- MGM Resorts Upgrades to Integrated Customer Data
- This Is 2016. Why Can’t We Still Book Specific Rooms in a Hotel?
- And more stories…

For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 05/20/16



And now for you-know-what…

A married couple was in a terrible accident where the man's face was severely burned. The doctor told the husband that they couldn't graft any skin from his body because he was too skinny. So the wife offered to donate some of her own skin.
However, the only skin on her body that the doctor felt was suitable would have to come from her buttocks.
The husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one about where the skin came from, and they requested that the doctor also honor their secret. After all, this was a very delicate matter.
After the surgery was completed, everyone was astounded at the man's new face. He looked more handsome than he ever had before. All his friends and relatives just went on and on about his youthful beauty.
One day, he was alone with his wife, and he was overcome with emotion at her sacrifice. He said, "Dear, I just want to thank you for everything you did for me. How can I possibly repay you?"
"My darling," she replied, "I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheeks."