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Publisher's Letter - Summer 2017 Issue

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July 06, 2017
Publisher's Letter
Richard Siegel - Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

©2017 Hospitality Upgrade
This work may not be reprinted, redistributed or repurposed without written consent.
For permission requests, call 678.802.5302 or email info@hospitalityupgrade.com.

This is our 25th year publishing. Today we have more than 32,000 readers in 110 countries who read our printed issue. We have another 14,000 that receive Hospitality Upgrade digitally. If you are reading this before HITEC but will be on your way to Toronto, be sure to pick up our History of Technology special issue at HITEC. All subscribers will receive a digital edition of the History of Technology, but if you are at HITEC, we have a limited number of printed editions we are distributing. If you are reading this issue and haven’t yet subscribed, go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe and do it now. You’ll receive a copy of the special issue, History of Technology. If you think this wacky world of technology today is confusing with all the change, you will love the stories that Jon Inge shared. Jon really led this charge to cover the background of technology in the industry. There was a time when there was no technology in hotels, and many, many creative people started developing solutions. Some of these stories will make you cringe, but others will have you laughing. We also connected the start of technology in the hotel industry to where we are today. Maybe there is truth in the saying the more things change, the more they stay the same. Thank you, Jon for helping us celebrate our 25th year in business. 

I live in the technology space. I interact with most of the vendors that provide technology solutions, but I spend as much time with those in charge of the technology for hotels, casinos, vacation ownership and cruise lines. It is always eye opening when the operators share challenges and successes. Their sharing inspires us to address the issues that face the industry. We are very thankful that those who write for us are not traditional writers, but most are high-level consultants who share their experiences and knowledge with you. They do an amazing job. As I read through the articles, I remember Victor Vesnaver helping us with the  Executive Vendor Summit program earlier this year and insisting we have a session on blockchain. I finally agreed and it was a powerful session. Now everyone is talking blockchain and how it might impact the hotel industry. We thank “Chats” of Deloitte Consulting and his team for this great update. Ron Strecker, the CFO from Al J Schneider Company, loves technology more than any CFO I know. His article “Fishing for Data” is so true. You have to love the weekly meetings where senior management is trying to decipher numbers. Ron Hardin, who is establishing himself as a top industry security expert, looks at recent breaches as well as the release of Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Incident Report. I remember a session I did with three leading industry CIOs, and when I asked about the possibility of a breach they all agreed it isn’t a question of if, only a question of when. That is frightening. Who would have known that the next hot topic in our industry could be central authentication? Diane Estner, Cathy Zatloukal and Dayna Kully received great feedback from many of the major hotel companies and they ended the article with the “must ask” questions.
We cover technology for the industry and much of it helps properties generate revenue. Not all solutions are designed to generate revenue, but many are of equal importance, perhaps even more. Yes, we are talking about those often-neglected solutions that are in the back of the house. Do you rely on Excel spreadsheets for financial statements, purchasing and inventory, reporting? How many of these systems are outdated? According to Jeremy Rock, too many. Yes, we like glitz also, but when you're building a business you need a strong foundation, and the accounting and financial systems are what you need to build upon. Jeremy does an excellent job explaining how and why. 
Finally, I am going to insist you go to page 172 and read this issue’s Who’s the Reader. It will put a smile on your face. If you are a tech person, you will laugh out loud at his first job. Even though I haven’t seen or talked to Bruce in ages, he is a perfect example of the wonderful people that make this industry great. Good luck, Bruce! 

- Rich

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