HTNG 2007 Members’ Conference Program Announced

  • HTNG
  • 02.13.07
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) announced the preliminary agenda and speakers for its acclaimed annual members’ meeting and conference to be held March 5-7, 2007 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.

The program will highlight one of the most important technology trends of the early 21st century, service-oriented architecture (SOA).  The HTNG program will focus on the realities of SOA, including the types of companies and products that will and will not benefit, both now and in the future.  Attendees will get insights from a range of leading-edge companies on the benefits, challenges, risks and rewards associated with the inevitable migration from monolithic applications towards loosely coupled, collaborative systems. 

“Our board of directors which consists of technology leaders from some of the largest and most innovative hotel companies in the industry, is committed to moving the hospitality industry toward an open, service-oriented architecture,” said Douglas C. Rice, executive vice president and CEO of HTNG.  “But we have found that many participants in this industry have little or no experience with SOA and may not understand either the potential rewards or the risks.  Others have embarked on the SOA bandwagon but are looking for practical advice from their peers.  SOA is neither something that can be ignored, nor a panacea that will cure everything that ails us.  HTNG saw the need for a SOA program that would educate those who are not familiar with it, and also provide reality-based experience to help those companies who have already decided to move in that direction.”

The conference will also feature the announcement of the first HTNG-certified products to be available in the marketplace and will explain how the HTNG certification process makes it easier for hotels to buy technology with confidence and easier for vendors to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. 
“Certification is a critical step toward HTNG’s objective of creating application interfaces that simply work,” said Rice.  “The announcement of the first certified products represents a milestone for the industry and represents countless hours of dedicated effort by the teams that produced the certification specifications, by the product developers who implemented and tested, and by the OpenTravel Alliance from which the distribution-related specifications were adopted.”

HTNG’s members’ meeting and conference will include updates from its active workgroups on their accomplishments of the past year, their current priorities and their future directions.  Key leaders in HTNG’s workgroup efforts will also be recognized in an annual awards ceremony.  HTNG workgroups consist of hoteliers and technology vendors working together to address specific problem areas including distribution connectivity, content management for distribution channels, integration of property-level systems, architecture and guest-room technology. 

HTNG conferences have also become recognized as the leading networking event in the hotel technology community, bringing together more of the top-level buyers and sellers of technology in one room for a longer period of time than any other gathering.  The high-powered format, with a combined meal area and low-key exhibit hall, ensures maximum opportunity for both buyers and sellers of next-generation technologies to discover each other, to compare notes and to forge new relationships.

After a welcome reception on Monday evening, the general session will open on Tuesday with a keynote presentation by Jeffrey Harrow.  Harrow, a noted futurist and an engaging speaker, will highlight key technology trends showing how they will likely affect us all over the coming 10 to 20 years both professionally and personally.

HTNG’s Thought Leadership Program will feature several presentations focusing on service-oriented architecture (SOA).  Top SOA experts and practitioners from both inside and outside the hotel industry will discuss the myths and realities of this much-hyped but often misunderstood subject.  The roster of presenters ensures a wide variety of thought-provoking perspectives from leading technology providers, mainstream industry, and hospitality companies.  Speakers include:

  • Robert Dye, head of research, The Research Board.  The Research Board is an international think tank headquartered in New York City, the membership of which is by invitation only and is restricted to CIOs of the world’s largest corporations.  Mr. Dye is intimately knowledgeable about the trials and successes of SOA efforts and speaks regularly on this topic to CIOs and other senior executives within The Research Board’s member organizations.
  • Kerrie Holley, IBM fellow and chief technology officer of the IBM SOA Center of Excellence.  Mr. Holley is widely recognized as a leading expert on SOA and will shed light on the future direction of this trend from the perspective of one of the world’s leading platform companies.
  • Laurie Laning, chief IT architect, Proctor and Gamble.  P&G is one of the world’s largest and most successful consumer products companies, and is a recognized innovator across a wide range of technologies.
  • Howard Melnick, senior vice president of information resources application services for Marriott International, will speak about Marriott’s quest for greater agility, how the company is using SOA to achieve this, and why the SOA challenge is not purely a technical issue.
  • Jay Scully of SR Consulting Associates has led numerous SOA projects in multiple industries including hotels and will share some key lessons learned.
  • In a session highlighting HTNG members from the vendor community, Paul Armstrong, executive vice president and chief technology officer of MICROS Systems, and Shawn McGowan, vice president of product development for Newmarket International, will present some of their respective companies’ experiences with SOA, including challenges and benefits.
  • Leaders and participants from HTNG’s five active workgroups will each make presentations outlining their accomplishments over the past year, their current initiatives and their future directions.  Each workgroup will also recognize the contributions of the participating companies and solicit greater participation from both hotel companies and vendors interested in their upcoming areas of focus.

Martin Kirk, program director from The Open Group, and Douglas Rice from HTNG will lead a session covering the HTNG Branding and Certification Program, and will recognize the first certified products and the vendors that produce them.  The Open Group, a world leader in open standards and certification, serves as the certification authority for the HTNG certification program.

The HTNG members’ meeting and conference is open to all HTNG members and all employees of the nearly 200 corporate HTNG members that include most major hotel companies and technology vendors.  Employees of hotels owned and managed by member companies are also eligible to attend.  Non-members can attend the conference by joining HTNG first. 

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