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

Siegel Sez

July 11, 2013

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

People are always taking pictures. They use their phones, often use their tablets and even on occasion they use a camera. Hospitality Upgrade had a photo booth at our HITEC booth and it was an amazing experience. Many attendees came by, had their pictures taken and then walked around HITEC with the pictures around their neck which inspired more to come over. What I truly found amazing was getting people into the booth, the curtain was closed, the first picture was taken and then by the fourth picture the laughter in the booth was so loud. Yes, the pictures got progressively wilder and wilder. I must thank Nicole Hockin from Nor1 for getting in the booth with me, our pictures weren’t R or X-rated, but I would definitely classify them as PG. We tweeted the pictures and got a lot of interesting feedback. If you aren’t getting our tweets, please follow us at @HospUpgrade.  Thanks to all that came by. 

In his opening Jon mentions his thoughts regarding HITEC and not to overlap him too much I will say that there truly is a love affair with Minneapolis. For those of us who have been going to HITEC for many years, there was one thing that everybody agreed on and that was the location of the opening night reception. There were indoor, outdoor and by the river areas of the reception, everybody loved it.  HITEC itself was very well attended and most all the exhibitors I talked to said that this event isn’t about quantity and lookers, this was about those attending being there with a purpose and if you are exhibiting, those are the people you want to meet. The reviews on the educational sessions were very, very good and as with all conferences there were always a few hiccups. Those attending were glad they came and those exhibiting seemed happy with the interest in their products. What else is needed? I encourage you to read Jon’s deeper opening and will also say if you read through his technology news post HITEC you will be amazed with all the announcements made at the show. As an industry, we are glad that HITEC is HITEC: one time of the year that everybody in the industry comes together. You have to love that!

HITEC is officially behind us and the next big thing on the technology calendar is the 12th Annual CIO Summit. Never before have so many booked so early which has us very excited. Maybe it is the lure of the beautiful Fairmont Hotel in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C., but I would like to think it is the uniqueness of the event that inspires people to share the highs, lows and challenges of our industry. If you have any questions regarding the CIO Summit, please email me at mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. It starts in eight weeks and when I think of what we go through making sure it is a success, I only wonder how the folks at HFTP pull off HITEC so flawlessly every year. But there are some of us who just love the challenge and with people coming in from all over the world for this year’s CIO Summit, there are many challenges for us to address.  Then again, nothing worth having should ever come easy, right?

Here now is the real reason we are here, the aforementioned Jon Inge with his very in-depth HITEC review.  Jon and I did our annual “Siegel Sez on the HITEC show floor” which is fun to do, but we always tape about 30 minutes before the close of the show. We are truly exhausted by then, but I think it came out pretty well. Click here to watch our short video http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/HUtube-Videos/?vid=SiegelSezHITEC13. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Thanks to all that came by to say hi at HITEC. We had so much fun seeing everyone!


Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Reflections on HITEC 2013
Another HITEC, another pair of aching feet…  It was definitely a good show with excellent attendance, though technology-wise it did seem a little incremental, with most vendors showing enhancements to existing products rather than completely new developments.  Some exceptions, for sure, but overall it seemed the industry was taking a breather.  I confidently expect all those vendors working feverishly on new products and significant releases to disagree with me, and hope they keep me in the loop with their efforts.

One area with a lot of activity seemed to be guest service apps for mobile devices.  This seems to have replaced Internet access as the category with far too many vendors chasing the same market segment, with little distinction between me-too products.   These are useful applications, especially if properly integrated with the rest of the hotel software, but there are already several mature and successful examples on the market and too many of the newcomers seemed hard to tell apart.  I still hold to the belief that the most successful such apps will be those that offer the most appealing combination of services with excellent integration to the back-of-house request-fulfillment systems and, most important, with the most compelling user interface.  Something truly inspired would really break ahead of the current pack.

As you’ll see from the length of this newsletter, HITEC lived up to its reputation as the place both to make new or updated product announcements and to network and find or confirm new job opportunities.  I mean, just look at the number of People on the Move below!  Minneapolis also lived up to its reputation as THE place to hold HITEC; despite the relatively high temperature and humidity (neither of which matched Baltimore, Orlando or Austin at their worst), its winning combination of a delightful downtown area and highly convenient walking access between convention center, hotels and vendor reception locations really made a difference in post-event networking and socializing. 

It would be hard to improve on the location of the opening reception, on a beautiful island in the Mississippi next to the falls with plenty of space to wander away from the entertainment and chat quietly with friends and contacts by the river.  Even the traditional Newmarket/MTech party on Wednesday evening was less deafening than usual, and maybe even more popular as a result.  How about it, Frank?  Can we make sure Minneapolis is part of the regular rotation?



- Newmarket interface with SAI coordinates HVACs with events scheduled in Delphi
- Regatta Travel Solutions implements booking engine for Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Uniguest rolls out U-Sign digital signage, Unicore content management system
- hotel SystemsPro launches hotel ProposalPro software
For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 07/11/13


- Jeff Karlson appointed group VP of international sales at Passkey International
- Jessie Becker joins Room 77 as chief marketing officer
- Doug Aley hired by Room 77 as VP product and corporate development
- Lindy Veitenheimer joins iRiS as sales director
- Chris Atkin becomes chief commercial officer at iRiS
- Darren Panto moves to business development director at iRiS
- Harri Makela joins Quadriga as SVP sales and operations, Quadriga Asia
- Rick Swift is new SVP of sales at Quadriga Americas
- John Froland joins Quadriga Americas as regional sales director Northeast and mid-Atlantic
- Stephen Carpenter appointed senior director of operations at Quadriga Americas
- Robert Snyder, Damon Smith join Quadriga Americas’ support team
- Matthew Rossi hired as VP finance at Quadriga Americas
- Deb Sander joins Swisscom Hospitality as senior manager, Americas NOC
- Brian Fillo, Graham Macdonald hired by Swisscom as directors of business development
- Mark Houser joins AutoClerk as chief of operations
- David DeLalio is new regional director of sales, Western U.S. at innRoad
- Paul Payette is new EVP business development at Uniguest
- Craig Chait joins Xn HS as SVP sales and marketing, Asia Pacific and managing director of Xn’s Australian business unit
For more information on People on the Move for 07/11/13


- MSI announces CloudCRS powered by Sceptre’s Windsurfer
- Sceptre Hospitality Resources updates WindsurferCRS
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) has announced a cloud-based central reservation system, MSI CloudCRS, powered by Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ Windsurfer engine.  CloudCRS was created by the MSI | SHR partnership and developed largely to extend a one-call customer service option together with a bundling of services to customers.
Sceptre Hospitality Resources has updated its WindsurferCRS.  Improvements include enhanced channel management capabilities and improved access to booking and reporting information.
http://www.msisolutions.com, http://www.sceptrehospitality.com


- ZDirect unveils Hotel Marketing Automation tools
- Cendyn announces Sertifi digital signature interface for eProposal module
- Regatta Travel Solutions partners with Sojern on marketing campaign for Visit Seattle
- TrustYou partners with RezNext to offer Reputation Machine in Asia, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa
- Quebec Hotel Association (QHA) partners with TrustYou to provide semantic analysis to more than 900 hotels
- Sceptre Hospitality Resources launches Postcarder iOS app
- MJS Hotels implements UniFocus GUESTScope at Majestic Mayfair Hotel, Los Angeles
- Skytop Lodge implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope
- Sabre works with VFM Leonardo to enrich multimedia hotel content in Sabre Red Workspace
- Clairvoyix announces Database Valuator, places value on unrealized revenue associated with repeat guests
- Clairvoyix partners with SundaySky to bring its SmartVideo tools to hospitality marketing
- Clairvoyix announces Travel Market Area geographic segmentation that avoids low-producing ZIP codes
- Clairvoyix releases detailed VIP Arrivals Report
For more information on Marketing/Management for 07/11/13


- Springer-Miller announces ATRIO POS
PAR Springer-Miller Systems has announced its ATRIO POS module for the ATRIO Hospitality Technology Platform.  A cloud-based POS, ATRIO POS is a native Windows 8 application, providing an identical experience on a tablet and a stationary workstation and incorporating natural gestures such as swipes and pinches into an intuitive and efficient ordering process.  It is also built to support operations in an offline mode in case of a network outage.  http://www.atrio.com  


- Swisscom, LG Electronics offer Bring Your Own Content application, allows guests to mirror devices to TV
- Whitehall Hotel selects Quadriga's Sensiq guest communications platform
- Graves 601 Hotel, Minneapolis installs Quadriga's Sensiq guest communications platform
- Quadriga incorporates new Smart TV ranges from LG, Philips and Samsung into portfolio
- FCS appoints Metropolis Technologies distributor for i-Guest software in North America
- iRiS Software Systems unveils Brand Application
- Grand Ho Tram Strip implements Intelity's ICE, integrated with Cenium ERP
- Intelity introduces Premium Content model for ICE Sapphire
- Mercure Tel-Aviv City Center installs Intelity’s ICE
- Peninsula Hong Kong completes implementation of Intelity ICE and of HotSOS
- Pan Pacific Singapore implements MTech’s HotSOS and Rex, plus SDD’s Jazz and DuVoice voice mail
- LG Electronics USA to recommend TeleAdapt’s MediaHub as preferred hospitality connectivity device
- TeleAdapt unveils new MediaHub Mini
- LodgeNet Interactive Corp rebrands itself as SONIFI Solutions
- SONIFI launches new STAY1000 guest entertainment service
- Crestron announces integration with MICROS OPERA for guestroom control
- Guest-tek Interactive upgrades myAway service for guest device mirroring
- Otrum partners with network provider Fourteen IP
For more information on Guest Services for 07/11/13


- Data Plus releases second generation DPDocs document management product
- InvoTech Systems celebrates 20 years of service
Data Plus has released its second generation document management product, DPDocs, an in-house development that replaces the previous third-party product.  Documents are stored in a Progress SQL-compliant database that allows users to scan from anywhere in the system and attach any electronic file including Excel, jpeg images, mp3 files, etc.  DPDocs also now supports virtually any scanner, locally or remote, allowing users to buy less expensive sheet-fed scanners.  http://www.dphs.com  
InvoTech Systems, Inc., a leading provider of textile tracking solutions that increase profitability for hotels, casinos, laundries, medical centers and related industries, celebrates 20 years of service and technology innovations to clients around the world.  http://www.invotech.com  


- Newmarket develops interface with SAI’s CONTROLIQ
- Crestron integrates with MICROS OPERA for guestroom control
- Mayton Inn to use BACnet integration to combine ZENO’s InnPoint with Mitsubishi's City Multi Central Network
For more information on Engineering for 07/11/13


- Quadriga announces CoCo box, transmits high-speed IP over hotel’s existing coaxial cabling
Quadriga has announced its CoCo box, designed to convert a hotel’s existing coaxial cabling into a high-speed IP infrastructure.  The CoCo box, delivered via an agreement with partner Teleste, uses a DOCSIS Access Hub supporting DOCSIS 3.0 (US and EURO DOCSIS compliant) and 2.0 cable modems, and uses a head-end box and modems in each room to deliver fast and reliable broadband.  http://www.quadriga.com  


- Hartnoll Hotel in Devon, U.K., has Installed Kaba’s Confidant RFID contactless lock system
- VingCard Elsafe announces Allure RFID locking system, uses wall-mounted detection and staff signaling panel
- VingCard Elsafe launches VISIONLINE Wired, uses a PoE wired installation for communication and to eliminate batteries.
For more information on Security for 07/11/13


- Galt House Hotel selects Infor’s HMS and Ming.le
- Infor releases HMS 3.5
- iTesso’s new i4Guests mobile app lets guests select guestroom from real-time floor plan
- iTesso announces iTessoU e-learning modules with centralized credentials
- Playa Linda Beach Resort, Aruba selects SPI Software’s Orange
- Xn Hotel Systems and iHost Hospitality merge under Xn’s name
- Springer-Miller adds mobile capabilities for Host with Glad to Have You
- Apache Casino Hotel picks Agilysys’ LMS and InfoGenesis
- Bay Lakes Information Systems certifies Travel Tripper’s RezTrip interface with Lodgical Solution
- MICROS introduces cloud-based MICROS Commerce Platform
- MICROS releases MICROS OPERA Mobile application
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 07/11/13


- Shenzhenair International Hotel Shenzhen works with IDeaS on revenue management technologies and strategies
- Rosedale Hotel Group subscribes to RateTiger for all five properties
- Ola Hotels implements RateTiger Channel Manager for 10 properties
- Hyatt names SiteMinder as one of its preferred channel manager vendors
- TravLynx piloting i-Rates Revenue Management software with InnLink customers
- RateGain appoints Befighter Business Group to sell full range of system modules in Eastern Europe
For more information on Revenue Management for 07/11/13


And now for you-know-what…

An old gentleman lived alone in Chicago. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.
Love, Papa
A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.
Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie

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.