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March 31, 2011
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Geneva Rinehart - Geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com

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Who feels busy? I’m feeling it. It seems activity in 2011 is in overdrive. Projects move at warp speed. And the best part is that people are genuinely excited about being busy, and for good reason: some big things are going to come out of 2011. Do you know why? Because when challenges abound some are potholes that cause you to momentarily veer off course and some are brick walls. 2010 was a brick wall kind of year, and the only thing to do with a brick wall is climb over it. Brick walls have an interesting byproduct. It’s an opportunity to start with a fresh blank page. It brings out the genius that is often dormant during boom times. I have a feeling that we are at the beginning of genius unleashed. Do you feel it?

The technology sector in particular is poised to unveil some spectacular innovations—cheaper products, made smaller that run processes faster. If you missed the Consumer Electronics Show 2011, check out David Atkins’ update on page 158. In fact, companies are reportedly sitting on profits going into 2011 and are ready to reinvest. At the top of many companies’ to do list is reinvestment in technology. From the recent ALIS 2011, Michael Squires’ article, Big Checks for Technology, provides some welcome insight.

In the business world it is always about money. Money drives business. What else drives business? Revenue managers drive business. Consultant extraordinaire Jon Inge looks at the changing role of revenue management systems. A smart balance between human manipulation and key analysis mixed with a well-versed communicator and you have the perfect recipe for success.

Geomarketing is fascinating. It’s not Hollywood fiction as Bill Geoghegan points out in his article, Location, Location, Location. He presents some current examples of geomarketing and how savvy marketers should take a look at what is sure to permeate the service industry.

The term social media is so passé. I mean, isn’t all media social? I propose we call it engagement media from now on. Send your letters and we can petition. In the meantime Cindy Estis Green did a fantastic job narrowing the questions to the top 10 surrounding social media. She reported fresh from an HSMAI panel on the subject and her insights on the topic are quite good. Personally, I was intrigued with question No. 9.

Oh, no, he did it again. Here in our little editing bubble, and if you know any editors they will confirm this, we sit around and are entertained by poor word usages and bad spelling. But what truly irritates and amuses an editor is when an author creates a new word. For those of us who live by the rules of Oxford and Webster's, it's a challenge to go that far out of the box. Then there is Michael Schubach. Somedays he really stretches the boundaries.

Moving right along, John Burns revisits an old favorite, Choosing a Reservations Representation Company. In part one of this two part series, he lays the groundwork to review and evaluate your options. Part 2 for the June issue will contain an extensive list of criteria and a list of suppliers. I can hardly wait.

Do you know who is your property’s greatest competition? It might surprise you to know it isn’t always the hotel or restaurant across the street. Tim Coleman sheds some light to what competition forces are lurking in the alleyway.

I am very excited about this next article. It combines a ingenuity with a dash of common sense. Whether a good or bad economy, the name of the game is a strong bottom line and increased revenue. Ashok Kumar has polled a few hoteliers on record who have capitalized on an intriguing, revenue generating idea.

Phil Bossert has become our unofficial official leadership mentor. His articles have little to do with technology but everything to do with life. As long as we need good leaders, we’re going to keep publishing this column.

At The Phocuswright Conference last fall I had the opportunity to hear Groupon, Inc. President Rob Solomon speak about the Groupon business model. It was fascinating and even more so to hear the monstrous growth of a company that didn’t exist three years ago. Mashable ran a great piece earlier this year on the history of Groupon, which only launched in November 2008 (http://tinyurl.com/4goare5) Along this theme, Michael Kasavana begins our second half on this evolution of the e-commerce game. The phenomenon continues.

Hospitality must remain vigilant against hacker attacks. Our regular column from Visa takes us back to the basics of data security. Every operator has to do something to keep the firewalls up and protect data. Whether you are just getting started or need a review, these five issues are a great place to start.

It’s not your father’s sales game. If sales 2.0 is old hat, how do you keep yourself in the game? Carol Verret shows us how social media helps sell product. As it turns out social selling really isn’t that different–listen, connect, engage–but those who are unwilling to embrace it will be wondering why cold calling no longer works.

What a treat to have Steve D’Erasmo writing for us again. It has been awhile, but welcome back, Steve. I love his carefree style on a topic that is almost anything but carefree. Check out who just turned six, why you should care and what you have to bring to the party.

Application security is an issue for the entire team, not just the IT department. But how do you relay to the team the importance of highly secure passwords among other security practices? Lyle Worthington has a few ideas on the subject.

Most people use Internet connectivity. Most people who use Internet connectivity understand that it has associated costs and requires resources to maintain. Yet, here we are in 2011 and Trevor Warner is encouraging the industry to buck the trend and charge for guest Internet.

In our notes from an IT service shop, Geoff Griswold checked in with some hotel companies and reports on the new high-speed Internet standards.

In our legal corner, Sandy Garfinkel writes about data breach laws and the widely differing legalities state to state. Did you know that each state differs in their interpretation of data and what constitutes a data breach.

Our last column is by Jeremy Rock on the topic of CCTV, better known as security camera systems. For many it is time to upgrade or enhance and expand monitored coverage areas on property. Jeremy provides 11 considerations to finding the right solution for your property.

So, I ask again, are you feeling busy? Technology is poised and the industry is gearing up for a big year. Stay current of the latest innovations happening across industries by following Mashable and other trend reporters. If your road has been too smooth it might be time to find your next brick wall.

©2011 Hospitality Upgrade
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