⚠ We would appreciate if you would disable your ad blocker when visiting our site! ⚠

Siegel Sez

September 14, 2006

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I have decided that life is simply about moments. Those things that we experience and remember forever, those are the moments I am talking about. I know that people with children experience moments as their kids grow, but since I don’t have children, my moments are probably different than most. Last week at our CIO Summit I experienced two moments. One was during a toast where Nick Price from Mandarin Oriental Hotels acknowledged what we had created over the years. But “the moment” was at the Thursday night dinner when every attendee stood and gave a standing ovation to Charlotte and our entire Hospitality Upgrade team who have worked so hard to make this event happen. I have been to many, many conferences over my career and never once remember those that produced an event getting a standing ovation. That was truly a moment. Thank you to all who attended, sponsored and spoke. We live for moments like that. For a detailed review of the CIO Summit, make sure you are a subscriber to our magazine Hospitality Upgrade (it is a free publication for the industry and you can subscribe at http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com). We will have a review of the event, a related article on the state of the industry from the CIO perspective and of course embarrassing pictures. The magazine will hit the streets in mid-October.

Thanks to all who responded to our last Siegel Sez where I described my Ruby Tuesday experience. Half thought I did the right thing and the other half stated that I clearly blew it. It was the second most feedback I had ever received (behind my woodpecker problem) and I loved it. We actually put it to vote on our Web site so if you haven’t voted or missed the Siegel Sez go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com. No matter what your thoughts are, it was great to see such passion concerning right from wrong. Currently 82 percent of those who voted think I should have refused the waiter’s offer.

George Little Management, the company that produces the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (http://www.ihmrs.com) in New York every November has gotten us new kiosks for our technology pavilion. They are really cool and very big. They are way beyond kiosks this year and almost like small booths. We are limiting participation to 12 vendors because of the size. With the health of the industry and the investment in technology seeming to be at an all-time high along with HFTP having their Guestroom 2010 at the show, we expect this will be a very popular event this year. There are some great technology tracts at the show this year which also will increase attendance once again from this sector. If you are a vendor and are interested in participating in our pavilion, please e-mail Sharon at mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. It is first come, first served for the kiosks.

Here now is the reason we are really here—Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. You should really read his opening comments carefully; I think every hotelier has wrestled with when and why. What Jon didn’t mention was that he was touching on what his feature article in next month’s Hospitality Upgrade magazine is about.

I would like to thank all of the readers of Siegel Sez who forward it to your industry counterparts. Six years of my babbling and Jon’s great review have enabled Hotel Online’s daily e-mail to grow and remain the industry’s most popular source of hotel-specific information. Your support is very appreciated. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

- Thoughts on ROI for hotel technology
Return on investment in hotel technology is a perennially thorny issue.  Some systems you simply have to have to run a hotel these days, such as a property management system; they’re just an essential part of the operation.  Other factors are often added through market pressure, such as providing high-speed Internet access in the guestrooms.  They may not make much (if any) additional revenue, but not having them is very likely to cost you bookings.  Investments like these are the price of staying in the game.

There’s a third category of systems that are less visible since they run behind the scenes, but which generate real ROI through increased staff efficiency, higher levels of guest service or tighter cost controls.  These are the ones that help you improve your game.  Justifying ongoing investment in them is often more difficult, however, since once they’re in place and all is running well, it’s easy to forget how badly things were before.  Their value is often intuitively obvious, especially to those who use them in their daily tasks, but determining their financial return can be difficult unless you set up the right measuring practices.  Better guest satisfaction survey scores or lower food costs when comparing before and after scenarios are obvious examples.  It’s important to retain this data supporting their value, especially when it’s time to invest in upgrading them or in providing refresher training for their users.

All of this is easier for a multiunit chain, of course, when pitching a system to a new owner.  “We installed system X in property Y, very equivalent to your hotel, and saw GSS scores improve by Z,” is a persuasive argument.  It’s much harder for a vendor to convince the owner of a new construction project.  With no “before” problems for comparison, and especially when initial budgets are drawn up a year or more before opening, making the case that such a system is an important contributor to operational efficiency and should therefore be included in the IT budget from day one is much harder.  But as staff labor costs continue to rise in parallel with the demand for higher standards of guest service, all hoteliers should be looking into every way to make the operation as effective as possible from the minute the doors open.


- Carl Leander joins Turning Stone Software as chief technology officer
- PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Scott Berman joins Cornell’s research advisory board
Carl Leander has joined contract software developer Turning Stone Software as chief technology officer.  Mr. Leander was most recently director of development - Daylight products at Newmarket International; he had earlier served as vice president of development at Daylight Software, which was acquired by Newmarket in March of this year.  Prior to his ten years with Daylight, he worked for Shaw Data Systems as an architect and developer of financial service software applications.
Scott Berman, U.S. advisory leader of the hospitality and leisure practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers and a principal in the Miami office, has joined the Cornell Hotel School’s Center for Hospitality Research advisory board.


- Multi-Systems, Inc. switches customer assistance center to brand-focused model
- Instant Software designates Shift4 as preferred payment vendor for V12.NET
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has switched its customer assistance center to a brand-focused model from a product-focused one.  Beginning Sept. 18, each hotel chain or independent hotel will now be supported by one of five dedicated brand support teams, initially covering Wyndham Hotel Group, Best Western International, Select Hotel Group-USFSI, Nova and independents.  The new initiative will provide MSI’s technicians with intensive, brand-specific training on the system modules used by their respective groups.  http://www.msisolutions.com
Instant Software has designated Shift4 as the preferred payment processing vendor for its V12.NET vacation rental management software, which is scheduled for release at the end of September.  http://www.instantsoftware.comhttp://www.shift4.com


- KDS contracts with Pegasus for UltraDirect electronic distribution service
- Boscolo contracts with Pegasus for global commission services for 19 hotels
- TRUST.WIZCOM adds secure credit card payment from Wirecard AG to Voyager CRS
- AC Hotels renews agreement for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS for 79 properties
- Aquarius Hotels Group installs SensibleRez booking engine on Web site
- Rosewood expands relationship with SynXis to include private label call center services
- Sabre introduces Hotel upSell technology to the U.K.
- Thomas Cook orders £20 million multichannel reservation system from BlueSky Travel Systems
For more on Reservations for 09/14/06


- Kor signs with Clairvoyix for Guest Intelligence and Knowledge Factory
- Travelport signs with VRX Studios for hotel and cruise rich-media content
Kor Hotel Group has signed with Clairvoyix for its Guest Intelligence and Knowledge Factory applications.  Kor currently manages eleven hotels, with five more planned.  Clairvoyix will import guest data from the hotels’ property management systems, augment it from third-party data providers and provide automation tools for e-mail marketing and direct mail campaigns.  http://www.korhotelgroup.comhttp://www.clairvoyix.com
Travelport Operations has signed a one year licensing agreement for VRX Studios to provide hotel and cruise rich-media content to Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com and eBookers.com.  http://www.travelport.comhttp://www.vrxstudios.com


- Classical Hotels installing IDeaS v5i at several city hotels
- InterContinental deploys Hotel Booking Solutions (HBSI) Demand Management suite
Classical Hotels, the 14-property city hotel group within Grecotel, Greece’s largest hotel chain, is installing IDeaS v5i ASP-based revenue optimization application at several of its city hotels including locations in Athens, Thessaloniki and Sofia.  The IDeaS system will work with Classical’s existing Protel environment.  http://www.grecotel.com, http://www.ideas.com
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is deploying Hotel Booking Solutions (HBSI) Demand Management suite to expand the number of online distribution channels and third-party interfaces available to IHG properties worldwide.  http://www.ichotelsgroup.comhttp://www.hotelbookingsolutions.com


- Ireland’s Rebel Bar Group implements MICROS’ RES 3000 at 15 locations
Ireland’s Rebel Bar Group is implementing MICROS’ Restaurant Enterprise Series (RES 3000), which includes MICROS 3700 Point-of-Sale (POS), Enterprise Management, mymicros.net and myinventory, across its 15 locations.  The RES 3000 suite will replace the group's dependent till systems.  http://www.rebelbargroup.comhttp://www.micros.com


- Demand for spa services at high-end properties still increasing
Emphasizing guests’ continued demand for spa experiences at luxury and upper-upscale lodging hotels and resorts, a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Smith Travel Research and the International Spa Association reports that approximately 40 percent of U.S. development projects in this tier have spa facilities and services, compared to 27 percent of existing sites.  But it’s still a high-end market; among U.S. hotels in all categories, 1.9 percent of planned projects have spa facilities and services compared to 0.6 percent of existing hotels.

According to the International Spa Association, resort/hotel spas is the second largest category of spas after day spas, but is disproportionately larger and more profitable.  They account for 14 percent of spa locations but 37 percent of the total industry square footage and 41 percent of revenues.


- Beverly Hills Hotel orders Agilysys’ Materials Management System
The 204-room Beverly Hills Hotel has ordered Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory and procurement application, including the MMS Menu/Recipe Analysis and MMS Bar Coding modules.  http://www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com, http://www.agilysys.com


And now for you-know-what…

Bob, a 70 year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the country club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25 year-old blonde who proceeds to knock everyone's socks off with her youthful sex appeal and charm.

She hangs onto Bob's arm and listens intently to his every word. His buddies at the club can’t believe it.

At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, "Bob, how did you get such a beautiful girlfriend?"

Bob replies, "Girlfriend? She's my wife!"

They're amazed, but continue to ask. "So, how did you persuade her to marry you?"

"I lied about my age,” Bob replies.

"What, did you tell her you were only 50?" they ask.

Bob smiles and says, "No, I told her I was 90."

want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.