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Publisher's Letter - Spring 2017 Issue

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March 01, 2017
Publisher's Letter
Rich Siegel - Rich@HospitalityUpgrade.com

I recently had lunch with someone I used to work with who shared what she is doing now. She has a good job, but she works remotely out of her house and hates it. She misses interacting with people. I told her when it comes to working remotely you either love it or hate it.

I shared a story about the time I went into sales for a PMS company back in the '80s and the company moved me from San Francisco to Dallas. I moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone and worked out of my apartment. Imagine this: there was no internet and no email when I did this. The look of disbelief on her face (she is 32 years old) made me laugh. That was the way things were back then. Wow, I might be getting old. A positive of having been around for a long time in the same industry is the many stories and experiences we have had. As I was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, Bob Gilbert the CEO of HSMAI invited me to join his board and some guests for dinner. Eric Pearson (CIO of IHG) was there and we had met before so we sat down and talked. And talked and talked. He has been around quite a while also, and conversations went to the days of initiatives like CONFIRM and the birth of THISCO. I shared my stories about the early days of property technology. He suggested, quite strongly, that I write a book on the history of technology in the hotel industry. Oh sure, I will spend all this time and cost of writing a book that nobody will buy. Any other ideas for me? We laughed and then went on with the dinner that night. I bring this up because that was one of many conversations I have had over the years about the history of technology and how it has changed over the years. This year is my 25th year publishing and promoting a better understanding of technology for our industry. Maybe it is time to take a look back and share what has transpired over the years. I have often been encouraged to do this, but it is a great deal of work and research. I know I would need help. Now I don’t know how good of a salesperson I am, but today I am feeling that I am great. To talk the happily retired Jon Inge, one of the most respected industry technologists ever, into coming out of retirement to help with this project makes me smile. In life, it is often all about timing. If you are reading this and know some old-timers or are one yourself, please email me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. We want to hear your stories for this special edition of Hospitality Upgrade, A History of Technology. We will distribute this special edition at HITEC in June. There are many I know who were technology leaders from the hotel side and some were early adopters of tech solutions for the hotel industry. It will be fun sharing stories with the industry and who knows, maybe this will lead to an actual book. Wish us luck!

Geneva does a great job on page 8 sharing what is included in this issue. Geneva along with Kris, Anne and Savannah really make this all happen. We have come a long way since the 20-page newsletter on bright, yellow paper. This issue has 152 pages of content and it never ceases to amaze me how well we are supported from the vendor side as well as the many industry consultants and professionals that take the time to share their knowledge with us. We thank every partner for their support. I think one of the reasons Hospitality Upgrade has grown over the years is that we are not afraid to take chances. In this issue Ron Hardin shares what we are doing wrong that leaves the hotel industry so vulnerable to thieves looking to steal data. Trevor Warner takes a hard look at the trend of outsourcing IT. And only Jeff Parker can find a way to connect industry technology with beer. The truth is, it makes sense. I always insist that we save space to recognize someone we have lost in the industry. Professor Paul Wise headed up the University of Delaware’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program. I was early in my publishing career when he invited me to participate on a technology panel discussion that was shown on an educational cable channel across the country. It was very cool that people contacted me to tell me how much they enjoyed it. What a great experience and a great guy. He will be missed. Read the look back on Professor Wise’s career (page 147). Knowing that people like that are part of the industry is very inspirational. This is a great industry with amazing people. We thank you for letting us be an informative part of it.
- Rich Siegel, Publisher

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