Siegel Sez

September 29, 2011

Siegel Sez


by: Richard Siegel

Next week is the LodgeNet Customer Technology Symposium that I have been to for years and always find enjoyable and valuable. Unfortunately, this year it overlaps with the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas so I can’t attend. I asked LodgeNet if I could send Kate from our office and they loved the idea. Actually this shouldn’t surprise anyone; she is a lot more fun than I am. I started thinking how nice it was that somebody else was attending and how we should all do this more often. When I was working at hotels I remember how salespeople from the hotel would always visit those companies that are doing business with the hotel. Often they would bring a little gift of sorts. Why did they always send the salesperson just to check in? I would have sent the front office manager or someone who works the front desk and have them do the visit just to thank them for using the hotel. Don’t you think the company would be surprised? I would.

Michelle Renn who is responsible for the day in and day out operation of Hotel Online recently got out from behind her desk and went to the Lodging Conference in Phoenix. She moderated a panel for the extended stay industry. After the conference we were catching up and she was telling me how great everything went. She said many people came up to her after the session, some even searching her out, to tell her what a great job she did. This was her first time moderating a session at the conference and she was very enthusiastic beforehand and ecstatic afterwards. It was so nice somebody who doesn’t usually have the opportunity to be in front of people got the chance. Before I go on let me also add that it is Michelle’s birthday so if you want to send her a note please do at mailto:michelle@hotel-online.com.

Then I started thinking, why stop there when it comes to who deals with customers? When I go out to eat, if the restaurant has captured my email address somehow I usually get a thank you or ask to share the experience with them, good or bad. I started thinking why do it that way? If I owned a restaurant I would have the server email a note. I always have fun with servers when I am eating out, but how nice would it be for the server to do the follow up? After all I spent a lot more time with him or her than I did with the restaurant manager.  I admit I do think a bit differently than most, but is there really anything wrong with being different? I always tell people not to limit themselves to what they need to do, but try to think of things they can do, both in life and in business.

Yes, it is conference season and we have conferences galore from now until the IH/M&RS (http://www.ihmrs.com) in New York, but I am contemplating doing one more. Last year I did a panel at the BAHA Conference (http://www.bahaconference.co.uk) in London which this year has changed the name to HOSPACE. The panel was very well received and in truth I had a blast being over there. There is only one hesitation I have about participating again: the conference is on Thanksgiving Day, again! Actually this year there is an extra day with HFTP moving its popular EHTEC conference (http://www.hftp.org) to London and co-locating it with HOSPACE. It was a very large crowd last year and I imagine it will be even bigger this year with the addition of EHTEC. Oh, what the heck, there is always the Christmas season I can enjoy at home. I just hope they will serve turkey dinner at HOSPACE again this year.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last two weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Technology NEWSSTAND


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

 


TOP O’ THE NEWS


- Hospitality companies again rated highly for tech innovation in InformationWeek 500
--------------------------
Once again disproving the old line about hospitality companies being slow to adopt technology, this year’s InformationWeek 500 listing of the United States' most innovative business technology users includes seven hospitality companies in the top 250.  The rankings are made through statistical analysis and qualitative assessments of the companies’ innovation projects, and showed up some interesting trends across all industries.

It’s notable that not one of these innovative projects was specifically an IT project, focusing instead on business and customer-facing priorities.  These included making business processes more efficient (54 percent), new customer products/services (45 percent), getting better business intelligence to more employees, more quickly (40 percent), improving Web operations and customer experience (30 percent), lower IT and business costs (29 percent), engaging customers in new ways (26 percent) and improving customer service (22 percent).

Remotely hosted applications are increasingly attractive; 79 percent of IW 500 companies use software as a service, compared with 61 percent two years ago.  Use of infrastructure as a service, such as on-demand computing and storage capacity, is also up from 37 percent two years ago to 59 percent now.  Not many vital production systems run on public infrastructure services, but several companies are turning their own data centers into private clouds.

The authors conclude that IT organizations that focus too much on internal matters risk losing relevance; they must embrace a flexibility that lets them anticipate and react quickly to the changing needs of customers.

The highest ranked hospitality company honored this year was Vail Resorts (No. 10 on the list), recognized for its EpicMix Web and smartphone application that lets skiers track the vertical feet they ski or ride, collect digital awards for feats such as riding every lift at the four resorts, and share their exploits with friends via Facebook. 

Other hospitality companies in the top 250 were:
No. 25 – InterContinental Hotels Group
No. 31 – Sabre Holdings
No. 48 – Marriott Corporation
No. 96 – Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
No. 133 – Caesars Entertainment
No. 213 – Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
**


http://www.joninge.com

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- NORTHWIND Maestro-PMS announces seven new customers
- FCS moves EMEA regional headquarters to larger offices in Swindon, U.K.
- Deloitte University campus deploys Ariane Systems’ Executive kiosks at 800-room hotel
- Ariane Systems introduces KeyStation guestroom keycard dispenser
- Infor unveils Infor10 architecture with consumer-style user interaction
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For more information on Guest Management Systems for 09/29/11

GUEST SERVICES



- Park Hyatt Dubai contracts with iBAHN for IPTV services
- Quadriga acquires NxSystems
- Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills implementing Intelity’s ICE on guestroom iPads®
- Ian Schrager’s PUBLIC hotel deploys Intelity ICE on guestroom televisions
- Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad completes installation of Elsafe SENTINEL II in-room safes
- Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort in the Maldives Islands implements Barix Audio over IP
- Acentic opens Asian subsidiary on Hong Kong Island
- InterContinental releases Kitchen Cookbook iPad app of 32 recipes from 24 properties
- MTech passes 2,000-property milestone
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For more information on Guest Services for 09/29/11

BACK OFFICE



- New HTNG workgroup addresses credit card security for the hospitality industry
- Shift4 integrates with Zen Cart
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At least 16 major hotel groups from around the world have cooperated to launch an HTNG Secure Payments Framework work group, tasked with developing an industry security framework for handling credit card data.  While tokenization is an effective tool for a single company, tokens generated for one company (e.g., a reservations company taking a booking) can’t be used by a different one further down the reservation chain (such as an independent hotel accepting the booking), requiring actual card data to be passed from one to the next.  In contrast to a retail environment, too, in the hotel world, credit card data must be stored for weeks or months until the guest departs and the final bill has been settled.  Additional hotel companies are invited to join the effort, and other HTNG members may subscribe to the workgroup’s mailing list to monitor progress.  http://www.htng.org/credit-card-security  
**
Shift4 Corp has integrated with Zen Cart’s e-commerce service.  http://www.zen-cart.com, http://www.shift4.com
**

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa implements Yellow Dog Software’s inventory system
- Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui picks Agilysys’ Eatec procurement system and InfoGenesis POS system
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Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena, Ill., has implemented Yellow Dog Software’s back office inventory system for its retail operations, which cover four golf pro shops, a boutique, general store and spa.  http://www.eagleridge.com, http://www.yellowdogsoftware.com
**
The 486-room Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui, Hawaii, has selected Agilysys’ Eatec inventory and procurement system and InfoGenesis POS system.  The property includes two restaurants, three bars, two pools, 11 tennis courts, a retail shop and more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space.  http://www.royallahainaresort.net, http://www.agilysys.com
**

SECURITY



- Student housing at University of Limerick using VingCard Elsafe’s VISION locks
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The newly renovated Plassey Village housing complex at Ireland’s University of Limerick has installed VingCard Elsafe’s VISION lock system at all 424 student apartments.  http://www.ul.ie, http://www.vingcardelsafe.com
**

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Richard Berthold joins KoolConnect as chief technology officer
- Kevin Yarnell appointed Percipia’s global director of sales
- Scott Watson appointed to vice president of sales at M3 Hotel Accounting
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For more information on People on the Move for 09/29/11

RESERVATIONS



- Stout Street Hospitality renews, expands distribution agreement with Sabre
- Oriens Travel & Hotel Management announces mobile Web and booking applications
- Roosevelt Hotel, Manhattan, N.Y., upgrades to Pegasus’ RezView NG
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For more information on Reservations for 09/29/11

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- InterContinental adds 50 more hotels to TravelShark network
- Knowland Group partners with Bluebuzzard
- ReviewPro announces new version of social media/review analytics system
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For more information on Marketing/Management for 09/29/11

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- N. Daskalantonakis Group picks EZYield for its Grecotel Resorts and Classical Hotels
- Lindner Hotels installing EZYield at 34 properties
--------------------------
The N. Daskalantonakis Group has selected EZYield’s Fuzionlink channel management system for its 30 Grecotel Resorts and its Classical Hotels properties.  This is the first major sale by Sysco S.A., EZYield’s reseller in Greece and the Balkans.

Germany’s Lindner Hotels is installing EZYield's Fuzionlink channel management across its portfolio of 34 hotels and resorts in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, following a pilot project at the Dusseldorf Lindner Airport Hotel. 
http://www.grecotel.com, http://www.sysco.gr, http://www.lindner.de/en/, http://www.ezyield.com  
**



SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Utell launches Groups & Events service
- Marriott integrates Cvent’s Supplier Network (CSN) with its proprietary inventory system
- NORTHWIND Maestro-PMS announces three new customers for sales and catering module
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For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 09/29/11

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Big Night Entertainment Group implements Tabbedout at four sites, integrated with MICROS POS
- Royal Lahaina Resort selects Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec procurement systems
--------------------------
Boston-based Big Night Entertainment Group has implemented Tabbedout’s mobile payment service, integrated with its MICROS POS system, to enable guests to pay their restaurant and bar tabs using their smartphones.  Tabbedout will be deployed at four venues: SHRINE, The Scorpion Bar and High Rollers at Foxwoods Resort Casino/MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., and the Red Lantern in Boston.  http://bneg.com, http://www.tabbedout.com, http://www.micros.com
**
The 486-room Royal Lahaina Resort in Maui, Hawaii, has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system and Eatec inventory and procurement system.  The property includes two restaurants, three bars, two pools, 11 tennis courts, a retail shop and more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space.  http://www.royallahainaresort.net, http://www.agilysys.com
**

You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what…


A woman is cheating on her husband with his best friend. One afternoon, while the husband is supposed to be working overtime at the office, the two are together. The phone rings and it’s the husband.
While the friend is frantically trying to get dressed, the woman picks up the phone and says, "Hello... OK... No problem. I love you too, bye."
So the man quickly asks, "Was it him? When will he be here, is he coming?"
To which the woman replies, "Don't worry, we are fine. He is shooting pool with you."



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