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Publisher's Letter

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November 01, 2009
From the Publisher
Richard Siegel - Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

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© 2009 Hospitality Upgrade. No reproduction without written permission.

This is our last issue of the year and when you think how the year started and where we are today did anybody truly expect the year to play out the way it did? I sure didn’t.

Everybody today seems in agreement that the recession is over, but now what? The recovery is now the big issue, how long will it take? More importantly then how long will it take is the question what will it take? All I know is that we all will be forced to change how we do things. Jon Inge once again does a brilliant job advising how to sell in this less than robust economy. His point should be taken to heart, there is less business today but there is still plenty of business to be had. Yes, competing for less business opportunities will be the way of the world for the immediate future. I have always been a believer in the trick to being successful is separating yourself and having people want to do business with you. Being better or cheaper isn’t always the answer; being different is. As I look through this issue there is no doubt we are doing our part to be different and I am not just talking about our Junk Mail on the last page. I read our issue cover to cover before I write this Publisher’s Letter. We are often asked how we continue to get the support we do, and I say that it is all about the reader, give them information they can’t get anywhere else and the advertising support will follow. Thanks to all our supporters this year, readers and advertisers. There is so much great content in this issue it is hard to direct you to anything in particular so read the whole thing. I loved this issue’s Point/Counterpoint; everybody talks about outsourcing and we have two very compelling arguments why you should and why you shouldn’t.  We thank our participants in our Pipeline (page 58) for sharing what they are doing with their products, their companies and where they are installing their systems.  This is how I started my first newsletter in 1992, 20-pages on bright yellow paper and here we are 17 years later and still one of the most popular things every issue. Yes, we are very proud of this issue, but there is one article that everybody must read; the review of our eighth annual CIO Summit.

Yes, our CIO Summit. Who would have guessed that this year would be our biggest crowd ever.  I made a decision eight years ago that this would not be a typical industry event, where vendors pay the bills and then try to get people to attend. We decided to limit sponsors and concentrate on making this a peer-to-peer event where attendees share issues and obstacles facing them in their professional lives. Can you imagine surveying the attendees after an event and every one saying they would be back and would suggest to others who haven’t attended that they should? That is truly our proudest accomplishment. I wish everyone could hear the discussions throughout the day or in the evenings over cocktails and dinner. For the first time we will have a video of the event on our Web site so check out www.hospitalityupgrade.com for a first look. Kris Burnett did a great job relaying what happened during our two and a half days in Boston. OK, it was actually Cambridge, but as you can see from the cover you could walk to Boston. We were told it was our best event ever and for those who attended, thank you. Yes, it was a proud moment for all of us here at Hospitality Upgrade. I do hope we can get Doc Roy to speak again; thankfully, I have a great connection there.
Yes, 2009 will be a year that we will remember. There were so many changes from our last issue of last year to this issue both inside and outside the industry. Honestly, there were a lot more lows than highs as companies needed to reinvent themselves. I am in an enviable position because of my relationships with those who buy technology and those who sell solutions. Over the last few months I think I have talked to every CIO in the industry about their current state of business. I talk to the vendors often, and it has been interesting how many have reacted to the past year’s economy. I encourage you to look closely at page 159 for a listing of those companies that are featured in this issue.  I am not an economist, but I do know that a thriving economy is all about getting money moving around. Those listed in our index are doing their parts. They are supporting us and we are doing our part by getting this issue to you. We’ll do even more by traveling to the many events this fall and bringing more great content to you to keep you informed.  Yes, next year is going to be very interesting, and I can’t wait. The road to recovery is never smooth and is always uphill, but this is a journey we look forward to taking. It will inspire us to reinvent ourselves once again.
- Rich Siegel, Publisher

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