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March 01, 2010
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Geneva Rinehart - geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com

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Some things truly are a labor of love. As we prepared for the unknown in 2010 we looked for ways to improve – to work smarter, provide more value and better expert advice – and we had lofty goals and a if-you-build-it-they-will-come attitude. What sheer joy it is to bring together so much great editorial and so many suppliers of innovations for our industry. We have many of the same challenges going into this year, but looking at this page and thinking of all the behind-the-scenes extras, and potential our industry has, it is my hope that you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed pulling it together. It's going to be a great year.

With so many innovations available for the guestroom how do you decide what the guest wants and needs and then squeeze it into your budget? It’s truly a balancing act to try to find the right mix between technology and budget. It’s a good thing we have the expertise of Jon Inge to help us remain steady on the tight rope.

Michael Schubach might have missed his calling as a TV game show host and fortunately for us, he did. In his best wit and common sense style Michael finds the relationship between technology and personal service.

When it is time to dump that old PBX a cloud-based and hosted IP-PBX may be the way to go. Dan Phillips interviewed three suppliers of telephony solutions to answer some important questions.

Jeremy Rock revisited the digital signage topic of a few years ago. While much of the expected has evolved there have been a few surprises to report.

Before you make another technology purchase you must read the list of eight factors to consider by John Burns. The list includes many important items to ponder. Some of the weightier issues include usability, innovation and financial stability.

Flat-screen TVs are now an expected part of every hotel room but what about high definition? Trevor Warner discusses the HD effect, the current adoption rate, and any challenges that moving to HD might mean.

In the new OTA environment large hotel chains are beginning to challenge the OTAs over commissions and contract conditions. So what’s a regular hotelier to do? Tim Coleman has seven steps for you to follow to tactfully position yourself for good times and bad.

This issue Michael Kasavana focuses on redesigning Web sites with innovative technologies for clubs and club members. This comprehensive club-focused article answers what fees you should pay, some popular features, sections to include and pointers on service agreements.

In this issue our data security column provided by Visa discusses the best practices for data field encryption…in other words, how to render card holder data unreadable if a hacker should succeed in penetrating your merchant payment system.

Even the small properties must cope with shrinking attention spans and increasing content to vie for the potential guest’s attention. Carol Verret shows how hotels can stand out in the over-contented world of competing messages. Don't try to stumble through without some basic tools.

In the second part of a series on Strategically Aligning Your Business for a Digital Age, David Atkins also keeps with the theme of having a good social media toolset at your disposal. He recommends some monitoring techniques to create a strategic business plan.

“Just-in-Time Training,” what is that?  Well, I am glad you asked. Rick Warner makes a case for this informal learning method and its effectiveness coupled with traditional formal training. The combination can really make a difference.

In our gaming-goes-green article, Bill Geoghegan writes of the MGM CityCenter project and the efforts taken to build a sustainable and environmentally friendly location. Some extraordinary lengths were taken in this project.

Some recent news about the Marriott Autograph brand sparked the next article by George Roukas about the current trend of independents joining major chain brands. George has put together quite an interesting list of what this means to consumers, hotels and chains.

As of March 1, 2010, Massachusetts Privacy law went into effect. A list of legal requirements for companies electronically storing or transmitting personal information pertaining to a Massachusetts resident has been included with the article. This information was compiled by HospitalityLawyer exclusively for Hospitality Upgrade.

Smartphones and the amazing things that they allow us to do continue to make headlines. Over the last few issues we have covered mobile technology and the uses it has for the hospitality industry. This issue Ashok Kumar focuses on how hotels can harness and manage this power for better quality of service.

The IT Service Shop has been working overtime since the beginning of the year with service call after service call on crippling new computer viruses. Geoff Griswold and Bert McDonold advise what to do if your computer becomes infected.

Julie Squires was our roving reporter for the ALIS event in January. Julie brings us the highlights and a few smart quotes from folks to watch.
 

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