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Siegel Sez

August 02, 2012

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Technology advancements are made every day that make our lives easier. Is there a technology that you refuse to use to make your life easier? There is with me. I know it makes no sense, but I never use a GPS. Don’t have one in my car; never use the one on my phone. Why you ask? I am not even sure, but I know I love mapping out a trip. Even if it is finding an office somewhere near where I live, I like looking it up beforehand and seeing what my options are getting there. But when I really love using a map is when I am traveling. I landed in Reno, Nev., on Monday this week. I needed to get to Lake Tahoe and the directions to get there are relatively simple. But when looking at the map I got from the car rental company I noticed some very thin lines that looked like they might also get me to my destination. Since I wasn’t pressed for time, I figured why not make it an adventure. I was glad I did. Yes, the road was two lanes and very winding most of the way. But the views were unbelievable and I got to see a bear. Yes, bears are all over the place here in Tahoe. Would I have gotten to experience this if I followed the directions on a GPS? Of course not, so count me as a continued holdout for this technology. I am sure I will cave eventually, but until then I remain MapQuest’s best friend.

I eventually did make it to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. It was weird sitting on a balcony and reading USA Today’s story about America’s most beautiful lakes. Number one on the list was Lake Tahoe and it was staring me right in the face. The Hyatt is as beautiful as I remember it from years ago and is the location for our upcoming Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit on Sept. 5-7 (http://www.theciosummit.com). We are on pace once again for a record crowd with attendees this year coming in from as far away as India, South Africa, Spain, France and other areas of Europe. Cruise lines, gaming, vacation ownership, hotel and hotel management companies are attending in record numbers and it is so much fun knowing about 80 percent of the attendees have never been to Lake Tahoe. They are in for a treat. If by chance your company was not invited, please email me immediately since it seems like the Hyatt is running out of rooms. Between the location, the exceptional program and the social events including white water rafting and golf, this will probably be our best event ever. Who would think this little idea 11 years ago would become so popular. As a little business, we are all proud creating something that seems to not only be needed, but absolutely embraced by the industry. Only five weeks to go, and we can’t wait.

I will keep this short since there is a mountain in front of me that I need to get over. Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. 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



- Hospitality ERP systems have major benefits, but need tighter integration with franchise brands technology.
I just returned from a week in Barcelona (my first visit - what a beautiful city!) reviewing yet another hospitality enterprise system, this time TMS from Indra, one of Spain’s biggest IT companies.  Every time I see one of these fully integrated systems I’m struck by how much more efficient they make life for any reasonably complex hotel, let alone a hotel chain, and I continue to wonder why more hotel companies don’t make use of them, either in North America or internationally. 

I’ve discussed before that while these systems make all kinds of sense for a new-construction property that’s looking for end-to-end integration of data and maximum efficiency, the real world often requires compromises.  This is especially true for existing hotels with significant investments in their major applications, and for management groups that must accommodate their franchise brands’ mandatory systems.  As a result, hospitality ERPs are modular by design and necessity, intended to work well in conjunction with other vendors’ products as well as in their ideal implementation running a complete hotel.

Franchise brands will continue to want to keep control of their reservations and standard guest management systems. After all, it’s their job to generate as many reservations as possible for their member hotels.  But it’s not just about throwing bookings over the wall to the properties and expecting them to perform.  If both franchisors and management companies are to benefit, they need to focus on maximizing the guest experience, as well as their own efficiencies.  We continue to live in uncertain times, after all, and even if pessimistic forecasts don’t come true, everyone can benefit from tighter operations. 

Franchisors want to maximize guest loyalty and repeat business.  That’s only going to happen if the properties can deliver the experience the guests thought they’d booked, which requires the complete property to operate around that focus.  Franchisees want to maximize profits, which is best achieved with the most integrated system possible.  Both aims can be achieved through a good ERP with tight integration with the franchisors’ standard systems, giving the property the ability to understand the guest’s history and preferences and the capability to act on them at every touch point.

The ERP technology’s there to achieve this.  Granted some of it needs tweaking for the North American market, but the functionality and willingness are certainly there.  What can we do to encourage greater technical cooperation between the organizations themselves?



- WebRezPro adds signature capture to iPad® check-in app
- Vimana Franchise Systems installs AutoClerk system in Centerstone Inn, Tuscaloosa
- AutoClerk partners with Technology At Work, PhoneSuite to offer packaged GMS, PBX, hardware and implementation
- Hotelogix 2.0 adds online channel management and multilingual capability
- Chalet High Resort, Basye, Va., converts to SPI Software
- Zetter hotel picks protel SPE, dotPOS from Xn Hotel Systems
- Resort Data Processing opens regional sales office in Central Wisconsin
- Microsoft twice cites PAR Springer-Miller’s use of Azure for ATRIO™ guest management system
- Eight InnSuites Hotels’ properties implement MSI’s WinPM
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 08/02/12


- Room Key becomes direct channel partner in VFM Leonardo’s VNetwork
- Preferred Hotel Group names NAVIS an Alliance Partner
- IQware releases enhanced version of IQrez Mobile booking application
- Treovi taking hotel registrations for no-commissions online hotel reservation system
- Pelican Hotel Solutions integrates Flip.to into its booking engine
- Sceptre adds over 85 new service agreements since acquiring Windsurfer CRS
- Fotopedia adds links to Expedia to images in Fotopedia Paris, Fotopedia Japan apps
- CWT To Go wins Global Business Travel Association award for innovation of the year
- Insignia Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Villa Padierna, Fontana Park Hotel, Casa da Calçada listed with FastBooking
- Shilo Inns extends reservations services agreement with Genares
For more information on Reservations for 08/02/12


- TrustYou becomes global authorized partner with TripAdvisor
- Lodging Interactive partners with Masterminds creative advertising agency
- Hotelsbase announces 500,000-hotel pricing and contact database
- Six Grand Heritage Hotel Group properties using Digital Alchemy's eRelationship
- Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, implements Digital Alchemy's eRelationship
- Lake Lawn Resort selects UniFocus’ GUESTScope
- HotelREZ announces REZtoMarket sales platform
- VFM Leonardo launches VPowered Tablet Website to help hoteliers optimize websites for tablets
Formore information on Marketing/Management for 08/02/12


- IQware launches IQlink least-cost connectivity to over 750 channels
- Far East Hospitality implements EzRMS’ Product Suite at all eight properties
- Clevelander, Essex House Hotels in Miami Beach select Travel Tripper for online channel distribution
- Regal Hotels Group deploys SiteMinder’s RDX connectivity platform for six hotels
- Avvio picks RDX to drive direct distribution from Convert 5 platform
- SiteMinder delivers over $2 billion (US) in booking revenue from online channels in last 12 months
For more information on Revenue Management for 08/02/12


- Helena, Montana CVB signs with Regatta Travel Solutions
- Regatta Travel Solutions integrating its CVB booking engine with Google Hotel Finder
- Stockton Convention Visitors Bureau deploys Passkey's GroupMAX ME
For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 08/02/12


- Shift4 partners with FoundryLogic to provide secure mobile payment to Retail Pro users
Shift4 has partnered with FoundryLogic to provide secure mobile payment to users of Retail Pro versions 8 and 9.  Retail Mobile POS allows merchants to answer product questions, provide personal service and check out customers directly on any Apple® device running iOS 5, and integrates seamlessly with Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET® payment gateway for pre and post-settlement auditing, enterprisewide reporting and total bank/processor flexibility.  http://www.shift4.com, http://www.foundrylogic.com


- Intelity adds SpaSoft to ICE guest services menu
Intelity has added PAR Springer-Miller’s SpaSoft system to the guest services menu of its ICE (Interactive Customer Experience) enterprise platform, with the first deployment expected in September.  Hotel guests will be able to use ICE to check the availability of spa services and schedule appointments via any ICE interface, from smartphone to tablet to television to laptop.  http://www.springermiller.com, http://www.intelitycorp.com


- HTNG publishes, demonstrates new standard letting single guestroom remote control support multiple devices
- FCS Computer Systems has appointed Innergo Systems its sales partner in Poland
- Holiday Inn Resort, Goa implements in-house high-speed Internet service with IDS NEXT
- Intelity adds SpaSoft to ICE guest services menu
- OPUS Vancouver installs iPhones® in every room
For more information on Guest Services for 08/02/12


- Nexonia integrates its expense management platform with Egencia, GetThere and Atriis
- Italian travel agency Frigerio Viaggi joins TRX’s reseller program for TruExpense travel management
- TravelSavers Worldwide Independent Network picks TRX's TruePartner Complete as preferred travel technology
For more information on Back Office for 08/02/12


- RedPrairie used by 16 brands ranked in Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Top 25
- Affinity Gaming picks Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System for Terrible's Hotel Casino in Las Vegas
RedPrairie has announced that 16 of the 25 brands ranked in Gartner’s 2012 Supply Chain Top 25 are using RedPrairie applications.  Gartner analysts selected the top 25 companies from more than 298 companies assessed, ranking them by public financial data and an opinion component that looks to future potential and reflects future expected leadership. These two components are combined into a total composite score.   http://www.redprairie.com  
Affinity Gaming has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System inventory and procurement software for Terrible's Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.  Affinity already uses Stratton Warren at its three Primm Valley properties.  http://www.terriblescasinos.com, http://www.agilysys.com


- Hyatt Place Los Angeles/El Segundo, Calif., installing Telkonet’s EcoSmart energy management
- Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort adding six wind turbines to rooftop
The143-room Hyatt Place Los Angeles/El Segundo, Calif., is installing Telkonet’s EcoSmart energy management technology, in partnership with South Carolina-based OTO Development.  The property will install EcoInsight intelligent thermostats to reduce HVAC equipment runtime and conserve energy use when guestrooms are unoccupied, with centralized control allowing staff to track HVAC efficiency, monitor energy savings and make changes to thermostat settings from any Web-connected device.   http://elsegundo.place.hyatt.com, http://www.telkonet.com
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is adding six 40 ft.-tall wind turbines to its rooftop, each producing 32,000 KWH, to help reduce the amount of energy used in guestrooms and on property.  Installation is scheduled to begin in September, with an estimated cost of more than half a million dollars.  http://www.hilton.com  


- Patricia Sappington joins Merchant Link as director of channel development
- HTNG’s vendor members elect six to serve on Vendor Advisory Council
- Anthony DiPaolo joins Roomlinx as chief financial officer
- Peter Brooks joins Guestline as non-executive chairman
- Rupert Gutteridge appointed group sales and marketing director at Guestline
- Matt Willacy joins Guestline as corporate sales manager
- IDeaS announces 2012 winners of IDeaS Cornell Revenue Management Scholarship
- Peter Watt hired by TTI Technologies to lead sales efforts in Mexico
- Michael O’Connell returns to Pegasus as SVP distribution and demand sales
- Christelle Pigeat hired by FCS as national sales director and major accounts, North America
For more information on People on the Move for 08/02/12


And now for you-know-what…

Bob's Annual Review

1. Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found 2. hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without 3. wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never 4. thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always 5. finishes given assignments on time. Often he takes extended 6. measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee 7. breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no 8. vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound 9. knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be 10. classed as a high-caliber employee, the type which cannot be 11. dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be 12. promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be 13. executed as soon as possible.

Addendum: That idiot was standing over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today. Kindly reread only the odd lines.

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