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Siegel Sez

August 22, 2013

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I was talking to an industry friend recently and she was telling me about a two-week vacation she took. I know what she does for a living and I was so envious she figured out how to take off for two solid weeks. I asked her if she really disconnected from work and she told me that her boss told her if he got one email from her during her time off he would get very angry. Wow, we should all have a boss like that. Then there was somebody who I know pretty well who I was trying to get hold of. I was told he was on a trip where there was no cellular signal and no Internet access. This was for two weeks? Of course, this was more business related so I also wondered if maybe that was stretching the truth a little bit. But it got me thinking, how long could you go without any connection to the Internet? No phone, no tablet, no Internet at all. Could you go a week? Three days? Heck, could you go 24 hours? I think how often we connect, professionally and personally and I can’t imagine going 48 hours without connecting. Then I thought, there seems to be a holiday for everything in the world, why don’t we have a holiday where for one day a year nobody connects. No emails, no tweets, no posting on Facebook, Instagram or whatever you are using. How many would participate? Would you? I know it would never happen, but if it was one day I would try. Just think, it would be like days gone by…you want the news turn on the radio, watch TV or maybe even read a newspaper. I think we should try it, how does one start a holiday like this? With all said and done, I am curious if anybody out there has actually gone a few days without connecting, how did you survive? What caused your disconnect? If you have a short story to share, please send it to me. I won’t do anything with it without your OK, but I get so many stories after a Siegel Sez that I am thinking it might be fun to share them with others. Email me at mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. This could be fun.

Earlier this summer in Minneapolis before HITEC, HSMAI had its Revenue Optimization Conference, which it creatively refers to as the ROC. It was a great event. If you were unable to attend and want to know what you missed, in fact if you were there and want to see if you made our camera lens, then go to (http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/HUtube-Videos/?vid=2013hsmairecap) and watch a very short video with conference highlights. Sometimes the simplest of videos come out the best, I think that is what happened with ours.

When it comes to the two horses I am involved in, I am as paranoid as they come, but I threw caution to the wind last Siegel Sez and said our 4-year-old colt was going to end up in the winner’s circle. And he did by the slimmest of noses. It was an exciting day at Del Mar and it was nice that so many of my friends could come and enjoy the experience, including Kelly Popp of Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a reader of Siegel Sez who lives close to Del Mar.  Because I shared the story about Currahee running, another Siegel Sez reader who I didn’t get the chance to meet was also there. Laurenne Douglas from Pacific Plaza Hotels convinced her husband to go watch Currahee run. Laurenne sent me a wonderful note afterwards telling me it was her husband’s birthday and they had a great time. They even bet $20 on Currahee and thanked me for the $58 they won. But the best part was she sent pictures from before, during and after the race. They were fabulous. It’s the little things that mean the world to me. How nice is it to know you made somebody’s day? I need to do that for others more often. Thanks Kelly, Laurenne and most of all, Currahee. What a day! To see a picture of the winning moment, take a look at the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s review of the technology happenings in our industry. 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



- Tech gadgets to make travel easier; what do you use?
Most of us hotel tech types who travel – that would be all of us – seem to have a fascination with gadgets that promise to make our lives on the road a little easier.  The lure of the new idea always tempts us toward more productive or more entertaining travel, and maybe even a lighter backpack.  Many things do help, many others somehow don’t quite live up to their promise or to our eager expectations, but we’re always interested in what other travelers are using.

Here are half a dozen of the things I rely on when I travel.  What am I missing that you find useful?  Drop me a note at mailtjon@joninge.com and let me know.

a) Sony noise-cancelling earbuds: a must for noisy long-distance flights.  I like the sound of over-the-ear headphones a little better, but they usually fall off my head when I try to get some sleep.  The Sony buds stay put, are all-day comfortable and their sound quality is excellent. 
b) Samsung Note 2 smartphone: love it, love it, love it.  I don’t carry a tablet, but this has a large enough screen for me to read magazine articles easily and to share photographs without other people having to squint to see them.  I use its stylus and electronic “paper” to take notes when I interview clients or attend conferences, and store them as PDF attachments to Evernote notes.  It holds my music, and it’s even a good phone.  I don’t find its size a challenge; it fits easily in my pocket, and I have big hands so that’s not a problem when making calls.  Great device.
c) Aviator laptop stand (http://www.keynamics.com): three flat pieces of plastic that fit together to form a sloping stand for my laptop, putting the keyboard at a comfortable angle and raising the screen to a better position.  Even in a cramped coach seat, this lets me use my laptop on a tray table.
d) Terence Ronson’s ingenious iFlyPad (http://www.spicy-innovations.com): I used to carry a phone holder that clipped into a rental car’s vent grilles in the dashboard when using my phone as a GPS, but I haven’t been able to find one that fits the Note 2.  This handy device suctions itself onto any flat surface and holds the phone steady and at the right angle.  You can also clamp it onto a seat-back screen in flight to hold your phone or tablet at eye level.
e) Audio patch cord for modern rental cars which have a 3mm input for their sound system, so I can play my own music in the car without having to spend 30 minutes exploring unfamiliar radio stations.
f) Probably the best thing I ever packed – a small three-way power adapter plug.  Even if every outlet in the departure gate area is being used by someone else, they’re willing to let you share if you have an adapter, and someone else can also join the re-charging party.  A great way to make friends and meet new people!

Things have changed a lot since we used to travel with small screwdrivers and patch cables with crocodile clips, crawling around under tables to find a phone jack we could hack into to get a dial-up modem signal.  What gadgets do you find indispensable now?



- David Dreschner appointed senior director, strategic alliances and business development at Swisscom
- Mike Dickersbach elected chair of AH&LA Technology e-Business Committee; Jim Lamb elected to vice chair
- Russell Butler joins MICROS as SVP of global R&D
- Gustavo Varallo, Ana Sagrian join Dashbell to lead sales and marketing in Latin America
- Casey Flynn hired by The SmarTV Company as VP sales
For more information on People on the Move for 08/22/13


- RoamingAround announces Mobile Engagement services
- Sabre receives eight awards for website design
RoamingAround has announced its Mobile Engagement services, a set of 27 custom technologies to help hotels in creating and sending targeted, relevant and timely mobile offers to their guests.  RoamingAround will work with hotels to build an opt-in database for mobile communications via tools such as QR codes in marketing campaigns or click here widgets in banner ads, blogs and the hotel website to promote the property and make special offers.  Each campaign is intended to gather a few more guest data points in return for specific benefits.  http://www.RoamingAround.com  
Sabre Hospitality Solutions has received eight awards for website design in the Media and Interactive Award category of the 43rd Annual Creativity International Awards.
Silver Awards include:
- Suncadia Resort, http://www.suncadiaresort.com  
- Toga Hotels, http://www.togahotels.com  
Honorable mentions include:
- Abbey Resort, http://www.theabbeyresort.com  
- Destination Hotels & Resorts Weddings, http://www.destinationhotels.com/weddings/  
- Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, http://www.ojairesort.com  
- Preferred Hotel Group, http://www.preferredhotelgroup.com  
- Quail Lodge, http://www.quaillodge.com  
- Valley River Inn, http://www.valleyriverinn.com  


- GTA interfaces with eRevMax’s RateTiger
- Yatra.com and Travelguru.com interface with eRevMax
- eRevMax rebrands RTConnect as Connect by eRevMax
- Sun International signs with SiteMinder for all 30 properties
- Hyatt names RateGain’s RezGain as one of its preferred online channel management systems
For more information on Revenue Management for 08/22/13


- Passkey wins TSE Readers' Choice Innovation Awards
In the 2013 Trade Show Executive (TSE) Readers' Choice Innovation Awards, Passkey was the first place winner in the Most Innovative Technology Serving Show Managers, Exhibitors & Attendees category, and received second place honors in the overall Most Innovative Organization in the Trade Show Industry category.  http://www.tradeshowexecutive.com/innovationhonors.asp, http://www.passkey.com


- MICROS receives Gold Award from Retail Solutions Providers Association
- CloverTwo contracts Jitscale to develop and manage IT infrastructure for its online hotel and restaurant management platform
- TrustYou expands online reputation management service into restaurants
For more information on F&B/Point of Sale for 08/22/13


- FCS interfaces e-Connect with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO radios
- Canalta Hotels to install Samsung electronics in all 37 properties
- Red Lion Hotels completes implementation of hotel ServicePro system at all 27 corporate-owned properties
- Starwood Preferred Guest launches new SPG app for Android™ in Chinese
For more information on Guest Services for 08/22/13


- Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Hotel to install InvoTech’s UHF-RFID Uniform System
The Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Hotel will install InvoTech Systems’ UHF-RFID Uniform System to help manage the 8,000 uniforms used by its 900 employees.  The Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ latest hotel and casino, Wind Creek Wetumpka is scheduled for completion in winter 2013/2014.  http://www.windcreekcasino.com, http://www.invotech.com


- Canadian hospitality school, Olds, Alberta installs MSI’s WinPM
- Silverton Casino Hotel picks Agilysys’ LMS and Workforce Management (WMx)
- CSS Hotel Systems interfaces SumIT with SolidusIQ’s BI system
- Glow hotel chain to standardize on hetras
- Dashbell adds automatic FNRH reporting, becomes TripAdvisor Premium Partner
- Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club installs protel PMS, Xn Hotel Systems’ dotPOS and globalRES
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 08/22/13


- broughtonHOTELS migrates 12 properties to Sceptre’s WindsurferCRS
broughtonHOTELS has migrated its 12 properties to Sceptre Hospitality Resources’ WindsurferCRS platform, with custom enhancements to the hotel's PMS interface and booking engine.  http://www.broughtonHOTELS.com, http://www.sceptrehospitality.com


- Des Moines Marriott Downtown installs Clear Sky’s BEVERAGE inventory management
- Agilysys releases SWSDirect shopping cart module for Stratton Warren System
The Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa, has installed Clear Sky Software’s BEVERAGE inventory management software.  Functions include purchasing, receiving, outlet transfers/issues/returns and physical inventory, plus an interface with the property’s MICROS POS system to allow reporting of beverage costs by location, product and product category. 
Agilysys has released the SWSDirect add-on shopping cart module for its Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution.  http://www.agilysys.com  


- Red Lion Hotels implements hotel ServicePro at all 27 corporate-owned properties
Red Lion Hotels has completed its implementation of hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro system at all 27 of its corporate-owned properties, using it to manage both guest requests and all maintenance activities.  http://www.redlion.com, http://www.hotelsystemspro.com


- Crestron releases two new infiNET EX IOEX wireless control modules for retrofit applications
Crestron has released two new infiNET EX IOEX wireless control modules, targeted at the retrofit addition of wireless control of serial, IR and relay devices in homes and commercial buildings. The INET-IOEX-IRCOM module enables long-distance wireless communication between 3-Series control systems and devices such as TVs, cable boxes, displays, projector screens, AV components, switchers and other equipment that is controllable using basic serial or IR commands.  The INET-IOEX-RYIO module provides a low-voltage relay and digital input control interface for remote devices such as sensors, motorized screens and other relay-controlled devices.  The connected device can then be controlled from any Crestron user interface such as a touch screen, keypad or remote, or from any Apple® or Android™ smart device.  http://www.crestron.com  


And now for you-know-what…

A captain and his crew were sailing on the sea during a battle. Another large ship came up aside of his ship. Upon seeing this, he called for his servant and said, "Bring me my red shirt."

So, the servant did as the captain said. The two crews battled on and on over a day, but finally his ship defeated the other.

Afterward the servant came up to the captain and asked, “Why did you say to bring your red shirt, Captain?"

The captain said, "I asked for my red shirt, because if I get hurt during battle they won't see the blood and won’t think they have an advantage.”

The next day the ship was entering turbulent waters. The servant came up to the captain and said, "There are 50 ships on the horizon, Sir. Do you need your red shirt?"

To which the captain calmly said, "No, bring me my brown pants."

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