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AH&LA Technology Committee Creates Technology Primers

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June 01, 2002
Robert S. Bennett

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© 2002 Hospitality Upgrade. No reproduction without written permission.

The Technology Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association has spent the past year creating four hotel technology “primers” for the benefit of AH&LA members. The series of booklets under the common theme of “Hotel Technology 101” cover four of the areas that are the most challenging to hotel operators. The booklets are especially helpful to the independent or small chain owner who may not have access to the technical resources of a large chain or consultant. The material has been complied by some of the premiere consultants in our industry and reviewed and edited by the committee members. The results are a set of simple manuals that are very easy to read yet extremely helpful and up-to-date.

1. The Fundamentals of Systems & Security Maintenance—Compiled by Jon Inge, Jon Inge & Associates

This guide reviews the main threats to your information and offers practical guidelines to making your systems as secure as is reasonable, without interfering with daily routines. Topics covered include:
• Anti-virus software
• File maintenance (delete or archive old files, database rebuilds/indexing)
• Monitoring error messages and logs
• Clean environment (as much as possible based on location)
• Hardware maintenance vendor
• Software support for all key applications and operating systems
• Proper and continuous training program for employees
• Recovery plan and manual operation guide
• Published rules and regulations, signed by employee, on use and privileges of company hardware, software, Internet and e-mail use
• User logins, rights and passwords with periodic review and password changing
• Proper hard drive/files sharing on network and individual computers
• Backups
• External access to systems, firewalls

2. Hotel Technology Infrastructure—Compiled by Mark G. Haley, The Prism Partnership, LLC
This guidebook provides an overview of infrastructure requirements for a broad range of property-level hotel technology applications. Some of these applications include voice and data in guestrooms and public spaces as well as administrative voice and data, including property management systems (PMS), point-of-sale systems (POS), video (free-to-guest, pay-per-view and interactive), locking systems, high-speed Internet access (HSIA) and more.

The outline for the primer is:

  1. Overview
    a. Voice networking; b. Data networking; c. Master antenna TV networking; d. Electrical requirements; e. Data center
  2. Cable plant concepts
    a. Systems approach; b. Documentation; c. Management
  3. Data center
    a. Demarcation; b. Distribution
  4. Guestrooms
    a. Voice; b. Data; c. MATV; d. Electrical
  5. Meeting rooms and public spaces
    a. Voice; b. Data; c. MATV; d. Electrical
  6. Administrative locations
    a. Voice; b. Data; c. Electrical

3. Introduction to Hotel Systems—Compiled by Jon Inge, Jon Inge & Associates
This primer is intended to give the newcomer to the hospitality industry, whether an owner buying or renovating his first hotel or a new hire on the front desk, an overview of the main types of computer-based systems available in the hospitality marketplace. It describes the various operational areas each system covers, their main functions and the way in which they interact with each other.

Chapters include: reservations; front desk; housekeeping; telephone operators; F&B outlets; guestroom technology (locks, PPV video, mini-bars, energy management); other guest activities (spa, golf, tennis, etc.); sales and marketing; accounting; human resources/payroll; purchasing; engineering/maintenance; telephones/communications; wiring/infrastructure; and glossary of terms.

4. E-commerce–Frequently Asked Questions—Compiled by Victor L. Vesnaver, V2
The objective of this primer is to answer commonly asked questions about e-commerce and provide insight to some common scenarios faced by today’s hotelier. The format of the primer is based on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) model that is used often on the Internet. The content consists of scenario-based questions and answers to a list of wide-ranging topics on e-business. The questions were developed and then answered by the members of the AH&LA E-business Committee.

Available to View or Purchase
Samples of the primers can be seen at the AH&LA HITEC booth No. 812.
AH&LA members can download PDF versions of the primers at no charge from the members-only section of the AH&LA Web site (www.ahla.com) or may order printed booklets for $10 each by calling (301) 705-7455. Non-members can order the booklets for $20 each. Several major hotel chains are also considering supplying, or recommending, these materials to their franchisees and property owners.

Committee Promotes Knowledge of Hospitality Technology
The purpose of the AH&LA Technology Committee is to provide resources to help the industry understand, use and benefit from the existing and emerging technologies in hospitality. Our primary method of achieving these goals is through education, pro-active communications and research. The committee also advises the AH&LA leadership and membership on issues of technology and telecommunications legal issues and policies.

Ideas Welcomed
The Technology Committee of the AH&LA is always looking for ways to serve the industry through educational and similar projects. If you have suggestions please send them to Richard Jackson at rjackson@ahla.com.

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