Siegel Sez

December 01, 2011

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Today I had a phone call with a friend.  This friend of mine and I used to get together very often and we realized during the conversation that not only have we not gotten together in the last six months, we haven’t even talked. How did that happen? Why did it happen? Of course, we both blamed each other, but when the call ended (yes, we made plans to get together) I realized that this happens far too often.  We can blame work, family responsibilities or whatever excuse is popular at the time, but when all is said and done, it really was a lack of effort on both our parts.  I am probably influenced by this time of year, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the so-called holiday season. For me it is a time to reflect and it really gets me thinking: where did the year go? It isn’t too early to make my New Year’s resolution, is it? On my list will be to reconnect with those from my past. My friend and I talked about that during our call and I bet everybody reading here can think of at least one person who’s lost touch and who you would love to catch up with. I am going to do it and will be making my list. It is the holiday season, aren’t we supposed to do things like this?

I am in a reflective mood today. As we are in the homestretch of 2011 I start looking back at the year. Professionally things have gone well with the many challenges that come with business. My personal life was pretty much a disaster, but after all these years I am getting used to it.  Still, I look at the things I have done and smile, but then I look at the things I wish I hadn’t done and I grimace. But this is life, right? Yes, I am going to start working on my New Year’s resolutions and I am not going to wait for 2012 to have them kick in. On Tuesday of this week, USA Today had a special section on sharing. There are so many people who do so much to help others. That will be my first resolution, to be one of those who do more to help others in need. I wish I didn’t wait for the holiday season to start thinking like this, but whatever the inspiration is behind it, I am going to do it. I can tell you, out of all the things we do in our lives, there is no better feeling then giving and knowing you made somebody have a better day, whether it be a friend or somebody you will never meet. Yes, it is the season of giving and I am starting right now. I hope you will do the same.

Back to business, here is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. The person who sent me this week’s you-know-what said that everyone over age 30 can relate. I know I did.

Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Can truly personal offers exist when CRM must be automated to cope with the huge volume of personal data?
With the ever-growing emphasis on gathering information about us from as many sources as possible, I’m curious as to whether we’ll ever get a good handle on CRM.  By this I mean a way to gather complete (or at least pretty full) and accurate information about our clients, analyze it properly to understand what’s really significant to them, and then provide truly meaningful personalized service to them based on that information. 

We can now pull in data from a guest’s social network to gather information on their travels, preferences, regular Twitter posting topics, past employers, etc., but how many hoteliers have the time to analyze all this on an individual basis to make truly personal special offers to them?  It has to be automated, but automation based on incomplete or inaccurate data can lead you to the wrong conclusions.  Tech writer Robert Scoble talked about this ( in relation to Facebook’s latest intrusion into our private space, its ability to repost your activity on sites such as The Washington Post, Spotify and about 60 other sites (at the moment) for all to see what news articles you’re reading, what music you’re listening to, and so on.  Except that it doesn’t; it reports what your device (PC, phone, tablet, etc.) is displaying whether or not you’re actively looking at/listening to it, have let it play while you’re doing something else, or have let a friend borrow it.

This necessary reliance on automation makes it especially important that the humans who write the CRM rules for action base them on a holistic view of the guest, using their general information trends rather than specific, one-time actions, and go beyond simple responses based on one or two criteria.  For example, two people in the last week alone have mentioned to me that they’d cashed in frequent-stay points accumulated over many, many stays to book family vacation rooms, and had been given small rooms next to the elevator and the ice machine.  Is this really the message the chain wanted to send loyal guests?  To show them in front of their families how little they value past loyalty, even if they did get a “free” room on this visit?

Call me cynical, but maybe we need to accept that the vast, increasing, incomplete and inaccurate data floating around about each of us makes it virtually impossible for vendors – including hotel marketing departments – to really care about us as individual humans instead of individual sources of revenue.  In a bottom line-driven world, they’ll be happy as long as they can increase revenues through getting “personalized” special offers right for enough people most of the time.  Those annoyed by the inevitable blunders will be seen as just the cost of doing business, leaving it up to the hotel staff to recover from an increasing number of marketing gaffes.  We the people will recognize and accept the artificial nature of these marketing offers, and will place ever more value on the level of truly personal service and care we experience once we arrive at the hotel.  No amount of automated CRM personalized offers can replace a real connection with someone who cares.


- Fairmont Raffles names Cables To Go its approved provider of connectivity panels
- FCS launches i-Guest Hotels Finder smartphone app to play recording of directions to hotel in local language
- Novotel opens hotel room of the future in Paris using Microsoft’s Kinect interactive interface
For more information on Guest Services for 12/1/11


- Bear River Casino Hotel picks Agilysys’ Lodging Management System and DataMagine
- Frontdesk Anywhere introduces two-way interface with InnLink
- Infor to relocate headquarters from Alpharetta to New York City
- Leisure Hotels & Resorts implements Resort Data Processing’s RDPWin at four resorts
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 12/1/11


- FastBooking appoints Keychain Hospitality its partner in Southern Africa
FastBooking has appointed Keychain Hospitality as its partner in Southern Africa. 


- ReviewPro receives Best Emerging Technology Innovation Award at the 2011 PhoCusWright Conference
ReviewPro received the Best Emerging Technology Innovation Award at the 2011 PhoCusWright Conference.  


- Springer-Miller appoints InfoScape Technologies its SpaSoft distributor in mid-East
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has appointed Dubai-based InfoScape Technologies as its exclusive SpaSoft distributor in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt and India.,


- Mexico's ExtendedSuites selects VingCard Elsafe's VISIONLINE, Signature RFID locks brandwide
Mexico's first extended-stay brand ExtendedSuites has selected VingCard Elsafe's VISIONLINE wireless locking system and Signature RFID locks for brandwide implementation.,


- Best Western endorses RateTiger in Ireland, Denmark, Turkey and South America
- Park Hotels implements RateTiger’s RTSuite Shopper at five properties
- Claridges Hotel New Delhi picks IDeaS
- Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel Singapore implements EzRMS
- Millennium & Copthorne/Europe implements EZYield’s Fuzionsync
For more information on Revenue Management for 12/1/11


- Hyatt 48 Lex, New York City, installs Crestron controls in four meeting rooms
Hyatt’s new boutique Hyatt 48 Lex property in New York City has implemented Crestron integrated audio/video, lighting and shading controls in its four meeting rooms.,


And now for you-know-what…

Points to ponder:

1) Sometimes I look down at my watch three consecutive times and still do not know what time it is.

2) Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you are wrong.

3) I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4) There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5) How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6) Was learning cursive really necessary?

7) MapQuest really needs to start its directions on No. 5. I am pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8) I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

9) Bad decisions make good stories.

10) You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11) Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection... again.

12) I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my 10-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13) I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

14) I wish Google Maps had an "avoid ghetto" routing option.

15) I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

16) How many times is it appropriate to say, "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

17) I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

18) Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

19) Even under ideal conditions, people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cellphone, and pinning the tail on a donkey, but I bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

20) The first "cup," was used in the sport of hockey beginning in 1874 and the helmet was used beginning in 1974. That means that it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brains are also important.

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