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Publishers Letter

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June 01, 2011
Publisher's Letter
Richard Siegel - Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

I admit it, I like talking. I like it a lot more then emailing and texting which might make me more the exception than the rule nowadays.  Thankfully I get to talk to a lot of people. Other than the traditional conferences many of us attend, as the accompanying picture shows, I love to go to users’ groups and talk to those who actually use the technology we cover in the magazine, website and at conferences. Recently with the launch of our HUTechShare (www.hutechshare.com) initiative I have been talking to what seems like every CIO from the hotel industry about the technologies they are installing. This initiative has now expanded to  include independent properties and resorts. In April we had our Executive Vendor Summit (see review on page 64) and there I talked with every president from the technology providers about what was going on their worlds. All these are great conversations that keep me connected and allow me to have strong opinions of the pulse of the industry. Then there are the conversations generated by the Siegel Sez technology review we do via Hotel-Online that often elicit strong reactions to my stories, both positive and not so positive. Yes, I talk to a lot of people and am thankful for that. Just before writing this I had a conversation that really got me thinking about the future.

Recently, a group of us including Geneva and her two kids went out to dinner. The conversation turned to Angry Birds, a very popular smartphone game. I was exposed to the game about two weeks earlier and realized I was terrible at it. Before you knew it Geneva’s two kids were giving me lessons on it and they were really helpful. The scary part is my teachers were five and eight years old. Later on, I started thinking about this as it relates to our industry. Not believing I am old, but when reflecting on the conversations with many of the movers and shakers in our industry I realized that on the hotel side a lot of the movers and shakers are younger than I am. Yes, there is a next generation of technology leaders in our industry. So, what does the future hold? Who is dictating where development goes? I know when I was selling property management systems in the ‘80s the vendors controlled the future when developing the next-generation solutions. Does that work anymore? The people buying solutions today are far more technologically savvy than those who bought solutions 25 years ago.  I think we have reached a point that if you don’t have something new coming down the pike then someone else will. There are lots of technology investments being made on the hotel side today and most are looking for innovative solutions that make financial sense. But with that said, more and more are looking toward the future and the next generation of technology.

This leads me to our feature article which originally was going to be an update on the world of property management systems. Truth be told, property management systems might be a term used for the past. These solutions are all about how to serve the guest, which is why Jon Inge is leading the crusade to eliminate the term PMS from our industry and call these solutions what they really are, guest management systems. No matter if you are a five-star resort or a limited-service roadside property, it is all about managing your guest. I think Jon might be onto something. I strongly recommend reading his article, it was an eye opener.

Don’t forget to read through Geneva’s overview of all that is in this issue on page 8. There are a lot of next-generation updates from our very thorough writers.  The one thing we love about this issue is the great feedback we get face-to-face at HITEC. I encourage you to share your thoughts with us at booth No. 722.  You can even complain if you want to; all feedback is helpful. The only thing off limits is this publisher’s letter. Thanks to all who have continued to make our little business thrive: our writers, our readers and especially our advertisers whose support has made this our second biggest issue ever. We are now over 32,000 readers in print in 110 countries around the world and our digital edition just passed the 10,000 subscriber plateau worldwide.  We are not everything to everyone, but when it comes to technology we are proud to have become the true industry source. Now if only I could conquer Angry Birds I would be home free.

©2011 Hospitality Upgrade
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