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Siegel Sez

December 13, 2012

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I always find this the strangest time of the year, at least for business. We have one more week and then the holiday season kicks in. Having Christmas and New Year’s Day on Tuesdays this year makes for some very long weekends for those of us who are not on vacation.  It is the time we look back on the year past and at the same time plan for the future. It keeps my head spinning, but through all the spinning, I force myself to simply take a moment and reflect on the good and the not so good. Why do we take for granted the good, but focus so much energy on the things we wish didn’t happen? I guess this is why the mainstream media always leads with stories about bad things and rarely focuses on the positive.  My No. 1 New Year’s resolution is not to be that way.  Yes, aren’t New Year’s resolutions something we all start thinking about now, or are you like me and wait until two days before New Year’s?  Yes, a little more than two weeks to go and 2012 will be behind us. I think there is much for which to be thankful.  What about you?  I hope your year had more highs than lows. For those of you who live technology for our industry, don’t forget after the first of the year Jon Inge will be doing his Year in Review, a simple way to catch up on all that happened in 2012. We thank Jon for his partnering with us throughout the year and keeping us all informed. He does a great job.

Are you about done with Facebook? I think I am. It was fun when I got into it, but I think I friended too many people. I like when people post silly stuff, fun stuff or share some things both good and bad that have happened to them. But honestly, how many dogs can I adopt or find homes for? How many feel good/motivational messages can I read each day?  Maybe it is just me, but I do find myself spending less time on there, but when I get back and someone shares something that really sparks my interest or makes me smile then I think I should check it once a day. Besides, where else would I be able to post what is going on in the horse world that I love so. We had our horse Make the Moment run her first race at Aqueduct Race Track in New York yesterday. She is a fun horse, a smart horse and when training, a very fast horse. But in her first race when the gates opened she thought it would be fun to let all the other horses have a head start and then she would leave the gate. I think I need to explain to her that might not be the best way to run. Ten horses in the race, couldn’t she have least beaten one? But it was a fun day, exciting and always a great experience. A wonderful escape from real world responsibilities, we all need that once in a while, right? I know I need to.  Now one last comment about Facebook.  No matter what my feelings are you cannot deny it is extremely popular. On our Facebook page we got into the holiday spirit and posted four very creative videos. Internally we have argued which was best, so help us out for a moment. Check it out and vote for your favorite at http://www.Facebook.com/Hospitalityupgrade. We all need a little holiday cheer.

This is our last Siegel Sez for 2012. My goal for 11 years now is to just soften you up for the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review. We started doing this 11 years ago and it never ceases to amaze me how the readership keeps on growing all over the world. Thank you for putting up with my ramblings, and more importantly, thank you for reading and sharing this email with others.  Yes, it is a little quirky, but sometimes quirky is good, right? Hope your holidays are great, we look forward to starting up again right after the first of the year. Thank you and Happy Holidays.


Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Happy Holidays!
- PhoCusWright publishes report on travel/technology trends
‘Tis the season for prognostications and forecasts, but as usual I’ll be covering that in my Year-end Review in January.  In the meantime, I can’t do better than refer you to PhoCusWright’s most thoughtful review of travel technology trends (below), which is well worth a read.

Thank you all for your support and feedback during the past year!  Have a warm, safe and above all, happy holiday season, and I’ll see you in January.
PhoCusWright has published a report on its 10 Travel Innovation and Technology Trends for 2012 and Beyond, which it initially presented at the World Travel Mart in London in early November.  This is an excellent, concise and thoughtful presentation containing an overview, technology summary and examples of each trend, and I strongly recommend everyone to download it and read it.

The trends discussed are:
1. Technology is compensating for content fragmentation and a multidimensional supply chain.
2. Social media is the cornerstone of marketing strategy.
3. The digital divide between technology haves and have-nots is narrowing, providing greater purchasing reach.
4. Business intelligence at every level is the new face of successful travel companies.
5. In meeting the expectations of the modern consumer, today’s travel companies are living laboratories.
6. GDSs are extending their content sources, evolving their walled gardens.
7. Capabilities of mobile platforms are converging, helping users achieve true mobile empowerment.
8. Semantic technology is finally becoming relevant in the travel value chain.
9. Big data, cloud computing and logical data warehouses are a big deal for travel distribution.
10. Travelers enjoy more technology-enabled service delivery.



- Peter Altabef to become president and CEO at MICROS Systems, succeeding Tom Giannopoulos
- Bill Oliver promoted to president-North America at VingCard Elsafe
- Ariel Herr named VP communications and marketing services at Pegasus
- Kevin O'Connor hired by Carlson Wagonlit as EVP and CIO
- Angela Westphal joins ReServe Interactive as sales account executive
- Tim Stanley joins Runtriz’ advisory board
For more information on People on the Move for 12/13/12


- MSI releases CloudSync for CloudPM business continuity
- hetras now supports Safari® browser
- Prologic First announces 14 new clients
- Prologic First releases version 7.1.3 of WISH GMS
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 12/13/12


- Benchmark opens Global Revenue Support Center for voice reservations services
Benchmark Hospitality International has opened a Global Revenue Support Center for voice reservations services, located at its corporate offices in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston.  The center allows each Benchmark property to manage its inventory centrally so that customer service agents can sell in real time and offer accommodations at current price demand; its also serves as the overflow alternative for each individual property’s reservations department.  http://www.benchmarkhospitality.com  


- Lodging Interactive announces a record year
- Sabre to offer Dragon Trail Interactive website, digital marketing and social media services
- Starwood Preferred Guest releases new mobile application for Android™
- Infor announces social sentiment measurement widgets for HMS dashboard in partnership with TrustYou
- HeBS Digital receives five HSMAI Adrian Awards
- Vizergy wins two HSMAI Adrian Awards, three W³ Awards and WMA’s Web Award for Outstanding Website
- Sceptre launches MotionNotes email delivery of video messages/campaigns
- Cornell study quantifies how social media reviews drive hotel reservations
For more information on Marketing/Management for 12/13/12


- Skyline Hotels & Resorts implements EzRMS at five properties
- Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India implements RateTiger
- Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, Nev., implementing IDeaS’ RMS
- Venice’s Bauer Hotels implements IDeaS’ RMS across four hotels
- ONYX Hospitality Group signs with SiteMinder for 22 properties in Thailand
- Spanish hotel distribution services vendor Idiso opens office in Shanghai
For more information on Revenue Management for 12/13/12


- Inn at Honey Run selects hotel SalesPro
- Lansdowne Resort deploys Passkey's GroupMAX
- Passkey adds over 40 new clients in United Kingdom after merger with Velvet Software
- Colwen Hotels orders Newmarket’s Delphi.fdc for 23 properties across New England
For more information on Sales & catering, Meeting Planning for 12/13/12


- Prologic First releases version 7.1.3 of Touché POS
Prologic First has released version 7.1.3 of its Touché POS system.  Enhancements include the ability to create bundled menu items in Touché, to summarize and add multiple checks into a single POS check, and for POS order tickets to be printed across multiple kitchens (allowing sommeliers to see what food items have been ordered).  A new mail merge feature for Touché Profiler allows hotels to use Microsoft Office to mail customized sales and marketing messages.


- Monscierge launches Monscierge|Connect mobile application for guest services
- Element Hotels installs stationary bike with pedal-powered generator in each fitness center
- TravelMax USA installs FlyteBoard in Lima, Peru office, first Latin America install for Flyte
- Roomlinx partners with Hewlett Packard for networking and thin-client technology
- The Modern Honolulu implements Digital Alchemy’s iNeed guest services software
- Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center installs Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications
For more information on Guest Services for 12/13/12


- Merchant Link completes integration with ID TECH’s encrypting point-of-interaction (POI) devices
- Mandarin Oriental, Boston installs InvoTech Systems’ UHF RFID Uniform System
- Prologic First releases new version of Web Prol'IFIC accounting system
For more information on Back Office for 12/13/12


- Vantage Hospitality Group implements proprietary mobile app for QA inspections
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins, InterContinental San Francisco in SoMa launch Stem's Energy Optimization service
Vantage Hospitality Group has implemented a proprietary mobile application developed by Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi) for quality assurance inspections.  http://www.ver-sys.com, http://www.vantagehospitality.com
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins in Nob Hill and InterContinental San Francisco in SoMa have both launched Stem's Energy Optimization service, which uses a proprietary combination of big data, predictive analytics and energy storage to switch between battery power and grid power to reduce energy costs.  The service includes an automatic, real-time decision-making engine that dynamically stores energy from the electricity grid in a CODA Energy lithium-ion battery core and discharges it into business operations as needed.  Data included in the analysis includes historical weather information and industry vertical usage patterns.  http://www.intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com, http://www.intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com, http://www.stem.com  


- One Room Hotel, Prague, uses VingCard Elsafe Signature RFID locking system
The One Room Hotel, a single luxury suite 66 meters above ground level in Tower Park Prague, Prague’s tallest building, has opened with VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID locking system.  http://www.oneroomhotel.cz, http://www.vingcardelsafe.com


And now for you-know-what…

In the spirit of the holidays and the new year that awaits us, we thought you would enjoy something a little bit different for this edition of Siegel Sez: http://www.jibjab.com/view/L00I1mrt9YsDq9dQmpMW
For more rather humorous videos from Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online, please go to: http://www.Facebook.com/Hospitalityupgrade and vote for your favorite one on our home page (http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com)!  

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