Fall 2011 Publisher's Letter from Richard Siegel

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

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I love writing the publisher's letter. I could excite you about the amazing quality of editorial we have in this issue, but Geneva, who is responsible for it, does a great job on page 6 highlighting the content in this issue. With that said, I will encourage you to go to page 24 and read Dan Phillips’ argument for the need to have a hosted PBX, or not. This is a hot topic in the industry. Yes, this issue’s Point/Counterpoint is a bit different. Read how Dan talks out of both sides of his mouth as only a consultant can do. It is a great argument, and I must thank Mark Holzberg from Xeta for encouraging us to address this topic. From Jon Inge’s feature article explaining why this is the perfect time to invest in technology to Lori Juliano harassing her guests at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge asking about their mobile devices, this is a great issue. We hope you enjoy it.


How often do you get to visit your past? If you are like me then probably not as much as you would like. Do you ever get to go back, grab something and bring it to today? I had a chance to do that last month at our 10th CIO Summit in Miami at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Ten years ago the idea for the CIO Summit was born when I met with Tom O’Toole who was the CIO at Hyatt Hotels at the time. He encouraged and inspired me. I often think back to all the great people I have met over the 19 years I have been doing my technology thing and how one simple meeting can change a future. This makes me think of the book "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." I believe Mitch Albom’s story. Tom’s encouragement eventually paid off and the CIO Summit was born at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Del., in September 2002. As we planned our 10th CIO Summit earlier this year I thought how nice it would be to harass Tom and asked him to come back. Today he is the COO at Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC, at United Airlines, and when I invited him he jumped at the opportunity. When I told this story to our attendees and introduced him, it was simply one of those moments for me. Visiting the past and having it join you in the present is truly a great experience. He did a great job highlighting his role today and how his time in the hotel industry was such a big part of what he does today. This is a very unique industry with very creative people, and I am thankful that I have been in it this long.

Not only were those in attendance at our CIO Summit creative, they are visionaries. We allotted time on the program to share the progress we have made with Hospitality Upgrade’s TechShare initiative. I figured instead of telling them what they would get out of it, we asked Katrina Lane from Caesars Entertainment, Ken Barnes from White Lodging and Gustaaf Schrills from IHG to explain why they are participating. I followed this group by asking everyone to imagine coming to work on a Monday morning, signing on to HUTechShare and seeing what technology was installed at all hotels from luxury to limited service around the world last week, last month or last quarter. We are so excited to see this idea come to fruition. If you have any questions regarding HUTechShare, please email Lisa D’Angelo at lisa@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at (678) 802-5306. This was another great moment at this year’s CIO Summit. I admit it: I am into moments that I know I will remember forever.

This is our final issue of 2011. Kris tells me that we are now up to 32,000 readers in 109 countries around the world. Kate reminds me that we are also up to more than 9,000 readers of our digital edition. Honestly, I hear these numbers and I start thinking it was 19 years ago when I had this crazy idea to create a newsletter about technology for the hospitality industry. Nineteen years ago! This is kind of scary as we complete this year. How many of you reading this have worked at the same company for 20 years? Not many I bet. I am lucky to be surrounded by great people, love what I do, and am very thankful for those I have met along the way that have become friends. This journey has not been easy and has not come without cost, but has been well worth taking. I look forward to continuing the trip for many years to come. I thank you all for coming along.
 
 
- Rich Siegel, Publisher
 

©2011 Hospitality Upgrade
This work may not be reprinted, redistributed or repurposed without written consent.
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