Siegel Sez

September 17, 2009

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Hospitality

Learn and share. It is as simple as that. We all have careers we are pursuing and what helps us in that pursuit–learning something new about our professions every day. How do we do that? You read Hotel Online obviously and it is a great way to stay abreast of what is going on in the industry.

For those with a focus on technology who read our magazine Hospitality Upgrade, this is another great way to learn. The more we know, the better we are as professionals, right?  But how do we share? Is it communicating with others via e-mail, blogs or Facebook? I don't think so. Nothing beats an actual conversation. Over this past week I have been on the phone and I learn more about issues in the industry from a 15-minute phone call than I do in three days of e-mails. The best way to learn and share what is going on is always going to be face to face. Two people or 200 people, when discussions start everybody benefits.

I am writing this Siegel Sez at the HFTP Annual Conference and as I get deeper and deeper into conversations regarding industry happenings, struggles and successes, I walk away feeling reinvigorated, because the next group I speak with I will share what I have learned. This is why events, even in these uncertain times, are so important. I am glad I am here in Las Vegas at the HFTP Annual Conference and I look forward to the other events I will be attending in the next six weeks including the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York (www.ihmrs.com), which always unofficially completes my year of must-attend events. For those attending the New York Show, make sure you come by our Technology Pavilion; it is always a popular hangout of the technology crowd. If you are interested in participating in the pavilion, please e-mail Kate at kate@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at (678)802-5304.

The next event I will talk about just happened last week. The Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit had its biggest crowd ever, and considering the state of the world today, that makes us proud. We did quite a few creative things this year, some worked great; some spectacular. But we will always try something new, which is what makes the event very popular. Just about every major hotel company was there, all the major cruise lines, management companies, gaming and vacation ownership companies.

I promise you that we did a session on Friday morning that will never be done again in the industry and everybody loved it. There were also some great discussions on topics ranging from saving money, making more money in a down economy, HTNG, what companies are spending money on today and quite a few other subjects. Yes, we all learned a great deal, but more importantly, everybody attending shared something. Forty-nine CIOs converged in Boston making for a very memorable event. Thanks to everyone who attended, our sponsors and Sally Kelly from KPMG who coordinated a very unique program.
 
If you aren't receiving Hospitality Upgrade I would recommend you go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com right now and click on subscribe. It is a free publication for those inside the industry. Our next publication will have a review of the CIO Summit along with many amazing pictures from the event and the great editorial for which we always receive accolades. If you are a vendor and would like to participate in our magazine, call Kate right away at (678) 802-5304 or e-mail kate@hospitalityupgrade.com.  We will also have a video of the Summit soon, which was produced by our new best friends at Realview TV.  Some of the things people say on camera just makes me laugh. Who knows where Doc Roy will show up next.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge's very complete review of the recent happenings in the world of technology. Of course, Jon once again starts off by sharing his views on what we do right, or in this case not so right, in the technology space. I will see you at the end with this week's attempt at you-know-what.

Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com
 
 

Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 

TOP O' THE NEWS


- Encouraging more effective system use
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Various conversations with colleagues and clients recently have highlighted the ongoing challenge of trying to ensure that hotel systems are used effectively.  The old issue of rapid front desk staff turnover is still with us, with the consequent loss of system knowledge as the new hires pick up just the basics from their peers, but a couple of other factors associated with the younger generations seem to be complicating things.

One is that most of our front desk systems have been around for many years, and their user interfaces are seriously old-fashioned compared with what younger staff members are used to seeing in their personal lives.  Another is the younger set’s general lack of patience with the established way of doing things.  Not only do these issues create a learning hurdle, they’re also a deterrent to troubleshooting when something unexpected happens.  There’s often a tendency to find a quick work-around to the problem, either within the system or manually, rather than understand where the problem comes from and fix it. 

There’s not much we can do in the short term about modernizing the user interfaces, but this increases the importance of management pro-actively encouraging the staff to stick with the systems and not try to bypass them.  The systems aren’t going away, and it’s a requirement of their jobs that the staff use them.  But it makes it much easier to persuade them to do so, and to make detailed notes of exactly what went wrong whenever there’s a problem, if the hotel invests in regular refresher training.  Far too few do so, but it’s an investment that pays off immediately in more effective use of the system, faster problem resolution with the vendors, and improved staff morale.
**




 

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

 

- Randy Smith to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from ALIS
- Agnes DeFranco and Stephen LeBruto receive HFTP’s 2009 Paragon Award
- Amruth Sivalenka joins The Rainmaker Group as vice president of business consulting
- IDeaS awards Cornell Scholarships to Alexandre Teixeira, Crystal Edwards, Fraser Pearce
- Karen Martin hired by EZYield.com as West Coast sales manager
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For more on People on the Move for 09/17/09
 

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

 

- Hershey selects ResortSuite for all operations
- ResortSuite launches version 5.3.0
- Agilysys releases LMS Version 7.1
- Baccarat Residences picks TimeShareWare for 308-unit Shanghai Residences
- Taboo Resort, Golf and Spa adds NORTHWIND’s ResWave online activity booking
- Maho Bay Camps and Resort installs MSI’s EnterprisePM for three properties
- Best Western Carib Beach Resort re-installs MSI’s Nova Plus
- Mayo Hotel and Residences of Tulsa, Okla., installs Springer-Miller Host
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For more on Property Management Systems for 09/17/09
 

RESERVATIONS

 

- Sabre Travel Studios ports TripCase mobile post-booking application to BlackBerry®
- Open Hospitality and InnLink Central Reservation Services announce partnership
- Expedia enhances its Egencia corporate travel program management application
- Pegasus Solutions introduces monthly hospitality industry trends report
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For more on Reservations for 09/17/09
 

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT

 

- Hickory Travel Systems launches Hickory UltraConnect in partnership with TRAVELCLICK
- TRAVELCLICK partners with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Expedia QuickConnect
- Whiteboard Labs uses TurnHere video services to enhance MotionNotes application
- Benchmark Hospitality selects d2o consulting’s Performance Management Intelligence
- Libra OnDemand appoints Sulcus Solutions SL its distributor for Spain
- Floridays Orlando Resort orders SPI’s Orange Systems Sales and Marketing software
- VFM Leonardo’s VScape Digital Asset Management chosen by Preferred Hotel Group, StarCite, WORLDHOTELS, La Quinta and Rosewood
- Concur expands relationship with VFM Leonardo to include rich media supply
- ShermansTravel.com launches Sherman Meter meta-search hotel rating tool
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For more on Marketing/Management for 09/17/09
 

REVENUE MANAGEMENT

 

- InterContinental adds price optimization module to PERFORM revenue management system
- Rainmaker Group formalizes four-year relationship with QL2
- SiteMinder completes two-way link with OPERA
- IDeaS completes two-way integration between V5i and CM Solucoes’ PMS
- Grove Park Inn picks IDeaS V5i, integrated with Cenium PMS and Preferred CRS
- Cornell releases spreadsheet-based revenue management tool
- Trust International and EasyRMS develop recommended-BAR upload
- Classic British installs RateTiger’s RTSuite in all 80 properties
- Portfolio Hotels & Resorts’ Hotel Abrego installs EZYield.com
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For more on Revenue Management for 09/17/09
 

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

 

- Aspen Meadows Resort picks Passkey
- Lanyon acquires DirectConnections!
---------------------------
Dolce’s 98-room Aspen Meadows Resort has chosen Passkey for group housing management. 
http://www.dolce-aspen-hotel.com, http://www.passkey.com
**
Lanyon has acquired DirectConnections!, whose on-demand corporate spend management application helps corporations source and manage preferred hotel rates and includes a reverse auction alternative.  http://www.lanyon.com
**



 

F&B/POINT OF SALE

 

- Verve picks Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec inventory and procurement for three new restaurants
- Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix picks Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS for new 35-acre water park
---------------------------
Verve Hospitality Group has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec inventory and procurement applications for its three new restaurants in Danville, Calif., Stomp, Coa and Laurus.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS for its new 35-acre water park in the Adobe Dam Regional Park in North Phoenix.
http://www.vervehg.com, http://phoenix.mywetnwild.com, http://www.agilysys.com
**




 

GUEST SERVICES

 

- MTech integrates HotSOS with both Control4’s Suite Systems and Intelity’s ICE
- Peninsula Shanghai installs MTech’s HotSOS
- TTI Technologies International releases new business center software
- GBCblue incorporates SolutionIP gateway software into LOBBYblue and ORION
- Holiday Inn Express Brookpark Hotel, Cleveland, installs FlyteBoard and FlytePass
- Hotel Palace Berlin picks Swisscom to install integrated CAT-7 wired and wireless network
------------------------


For more on Guest Services for 09/17/09
 

BACK OFFICE

 

- Linen Technology Tracking launches linentracker RFID system for hospitality industry
------------------------
Linen Technology Tracking has launched its linentracker radio frequency identification (RFID) system for the hospitality industry.  linentracker integrates passive UHF radio frequency identification technology with high performance smart tags (Gen2) that withstand commercial washing, drying and pressing to enable tracking and monitoring of all linen assets as they move throughout the hotel.  http://www.linentracker.com
**


 

INVENTORY/PURCHASING

 

- Verve picks Agilysys’ Eatec and InfoGenesis for three new restaurants
------------------------------------
Verve Hospitality Group has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory and procurement and InfoGenesis POS applications for its three new restaurants in Danville, Calif., Stomp, Coa and Laurus.  http://www.vervehg.comhttp://www.agilysys.com
**


 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

- Affordable Hospitality picks PhoneSuite for Microtel Inn & Suites, Anderson/Clemson, S.C.
- African Sun Crowne Plaza Monomatapa, Harare, orders NEC Philips UNIVERGE SV8100
------------------------------
Affordable Hospitality Group has selected PhoneSuite’s telecommunications system for its new 69-room Microtel Inn & Suites property in Anderson/Clemson, S.C.  http://www.affordablehospitalitygroup.com, http://www.phonesuite.com
**
The 180-room African Sun Crowne Plaza Monomatapa, Harare in Zimbabwe, has ordered an NEC Philips UNIVERGE SV8100 communication server, fully integrated with the hotel’s property management system.  The system, provided through local business partner Destiny Electronics, includes NEC’s digital DT330 models and is expected to be expanded with wireless solutions and networking capabilities in the near future.  http://www.CrownePlaza.com, http://www.nec-philips.com
**


 

SECURITY

 

- Resorts World Sentosa orders VingCard’s VISIONLINE RF-online locks for all 1,800 rooms of its six hotels
--------------------
Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa has ordered VingCard’s ZigBee-based VISIONLINE wireless RF-online lock system for all 1,800 rooms of the six hotels at the resort, which is due to open in early 2010.  http://www.rwsentosa.com, http://www.vingcard.com
**


 

You-Know-What

 

And now for you-know-what…


A guy goes into a confessional box. He notices on one side a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest Cuban cigars. Then the priest comes in.

"Father, forgive me,” he says. “It's been a very long time since I've been to confession, and I must admit that the confessional box is much more inviting these days."

And the priest replies, "Get out. You're on my side."