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Siegel Sez

October 24, 2013

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Who came up with the term “Black Friday”? Yes, I am referring to that infamous day after Thanksgiving when the stores open very early and have super sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.  Black Friday was in the news this week because the big stores keep moving their openings earlier and earlier. It used to be that stores opened at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Then some started opening earlier, even opening on midnight Thanksgiving night. Now stores are opening late in the day on Thanksgiving Day. There has been a lot of backlash because the employees have to work on Thanksgiving.  Big deal! I don’t remember any complaining about those of us in the hospitality industry that needed to work on Thanksgiving. Did those who went out for dinner complain that the restaurant workers were working on the holidays? Did those who traveled the weekend feel bad for those in the hotel that were working on Thanksgiving? I started my career in the hotel industry and loved all the jockeying that went on as the holiday season approached. Who would work Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day? (New Year’s Day was the one I avoided at all costs.)  Personally I loved working New Year’s Eve. There was no party that could compare with the excitement in a hotel on that night.  I remember working at a Holiday Inn a million years ago where the GM was so excited after renting all the suites at top dollar. Of course, those who rented them had no plans on sleeping in them, they were overflowing with a younger crowd that was consuming alcohol at an amazing pace. I don’t think the GM was overly excited trying to collect on all the damage that happened that night. That was just one part of the hotel experiences that we all had. So for those of you who have to work retail on the holidays all I can say is enjoy it.  We used to get double time for those days, and I hope it is the same today. If you were like me and need to come up with a reason to get out of the dreaded family Thanksgiving Day dinner, what better reason could you come up with then having to work?

As we approach the holiday season, the one place I want to visit more than any other is New York City. The city has an incredible energy during the holidays that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. In early November we will be in New York for the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show (http://www.ihmrs.com) where Hospitality Upgrade sponsors the Technology Innovation Center, which is always a popular gathering spot for the technology enthusiasts at the show.  While in New York we will also be going over to the Revenue Strategy Summit at the Affinia Manhattan. This is a first-time event, but from what we hear it looks like it will be well attended.  The importance of revenue management along with the enhancements in this part of the industry just seems to keep evolving, and it should be an interesting conference. (http://www.revenuestrategysummit.com)  

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s review of what is going on in the world of technology the last two 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



- Working together: HTNG’s on a roll
It’s always fascinating how much you can learn from listening to different points of view – and no, this isn’t a post about what we used to call our “government.”  HTNG has been bringing multiple viewpoints together to benefit systems interoperability for over a decade, and it’s been on something of a roll lately.  Four examples:

- Its recent Software Forum meeting (held a couple of weeks ago at Guestware’s offices in Seattle) hosted some very informative discussions, mostly around the challenges and opportunities of remotely hosted systems and on multiparty payment protocols.  With some formal presentations from specialist third parties setting the background, the informal discussions between many different hotel and vendor representatives really helped clarify what works now, what doesn’t and what we need to define to understand the middle ground more clearly.  Great sessions.

- HTNG announced its Strategic Leadership Engagement Series for vendors wanting to engage in dialogs with the hotelier CIOs on its board.  While similar in concept to the benefactor series in that vendors who contribute significantly to the organization gain direct time with the CIOs, the new program brings up to three appropriate vendors into a three-hour summit session focused on a single area of technology.  Single-vendor presentations will be followed by a 75-minute moderated discussion on the topic between the CIOs and all three vendors.  Should be very educational.

- Its recent Middle East conference was a success, with almost double the attendance from the previous one two years ago, many more exhibitors and an excellent variety of speakers from outside IT and outside hospitality.  Different points of view come from all kinds of sources.

- HTNG’s 2013B Web Services specifications were just released, highlighting five updates:
     - Kiosk Integration v2.1, covering interfaces between hotel kiosks and PMSs, now includes expanded roles and additional system types.
     - Product Distribution Availability v4.0, covering the exchange of availability information between systems, now also includes inventory information, which used to be contained in a separate spec.
     - Product Distribution Groups v2.0, covering the exchange of group information, has been broken out into its own, stand-alone document and illustrates more comprehensive use cases.
     - Product Distribution Rates v2.0, covering the exchange of rate information, is also now its own, stand-alone document with more comprehensive use cases.
     - Product Distribution: this collection now excludes the availability, inventory, groups and rates specifications, as above, and the reservations and seamless shop/book specs have minor updates.



- Ruby Hotels picks hetras as brand standard
Munich-based Ruby Hotels has selected hetras as its brand standard for hotel management software.  The first Ruby Hotel is scheduled to open in February 2014 in central Vienna, as part of the re-development of the Sofiensäle.  http://www.hetras.com  


- Luxury Hotels Group signs with Pegasus for GDS distribution services
- Compass Hospitality switches 28 hotels to Pegasus
- Visit Knoxville to use Regatta booking engine
- Regatta Travel Solutions release booking engine aimed at groups, convention and sports housing
- Magnuson Worldwide launches CRS1 global hotel reservation system
For more information on Reservations for 10/24/13


- TrustYou report compares Q3 user-generated hotel reviews to last year’s
- Simpleview adds TrustYou reports to its DMO marketing software and services
- Compass Hospitality signs with ReviewPro for 45 properties
- TripAdvisor acquires Oyster.com
- Protel A.S. releases Ustay+ guest messaging app for MICROS OPERA
- HeBS Digital receives five Silver 2013 W³ Awards
For more information on Marketing/Management for 10/24/13


- Indian OTA Cleartrip integrates with eRevMax’s RateTiger and Connect services
- San Carlos hotel selects eRevMax’s RateTiger, RateTiger Review
- Mandarin Orchard Singapore selects Infor’s EzRMS
- Anantara picks SiteMinder's Channel Manager
- RateGain incorporates wholesaler GTA’s Supplier API into RezGain channel management
For more information on Revenue Management for 10/24/13


- RoamingAround releases Mobile Photo Share service
- Groupize unveils Groupize Live groups and meetings booking engine
- SpeedRFP launches SpeedRFP Network portal
For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 10/24/13


- ReServe Interactive’s Table iQ a MobITs Awards finalist
- Guestline announces next-generation EPoS
ReServe Interactive’s Table iQ table management software for the iPad®, has been selected as a MobITs Awards finalist in the category of Best Customer Experience Management.  Table iQ automatically maximizes seating capacity and table turns while minimizing table idle time.  Table iQ allows host staff to check in guests and update table status as they walk the dining room floor, speeding up table turns and increasing wait staff productivity.  Actions on one iPad instantly sync to any other iPad running Table iQ to improve communication.  Table iQ integrates with ReServe Interactive’s online dining reservations software, and can also send text messages to guest mobile phones when tables are ready for seating.  http://www.reserveinteractive.com  
Guestline has announced its next-generation EPoS system.  New features include complete integration with its Rezlynx PMS, optimization on all hand-held and mobile devices, detailed reporting and analysis of stock and billing information and enhanced security and management operations.  The new system has been installed in the 270-room Sydney Boulevard Hotel and the Arts Hotel in Sydney.  http://www.guestline.com  


- Christopher Kemp joins innRoad as director of sales, south central U.S.
- Sandra Ries hired as account executive by Flyte Systems
- Mark Fetcenko becomes VP operations and technical services at Guest-tek
- Klaus Kohlmayr joins TSA Solutions as chief commercial officer
- Steve Green joins TSA Solutions as director of business development, Americas
- Vizergy adds five staff members:
     - Paul Fraser, director of product management
     -Sean Taylor, senior manager of creative
     -Danielle Stumpff, director of accounting and finance
     -Steve Buckler, regional director of sales
     - Piper Perry Farr, manager of transactional sales
For more information on People on the Move for 10/24/13


- LOCATEL's Eclipse Cloud TV now powered by Anevia CloudTV for Hospitality
- Holiday Inn Express Amarillo, Holiday Inn Express Amarillo West Medical Center install ElevenGC
- Ascension Software releases ORION Amenity InStay Services
For more information on Guest Services for 10/24/13


- Gateway Hospitality Group implementing hotel ServicePro in 18 properties
Gateway Hospitality Group is implementing hotel SystemsPro’s hotel ServicePro in its 18 properties, which include Hilton, Hyatt and Choice brands.  Gateway implemented the company’s hotel SalesPro in 2001.   http://www.ghghotels.net, http://www.hotelsystemspro.com



And now for you-know-what…

A man and a woman were having a quiet, romantic dinner in a fine restaurant.

They were gazing lovingly at each other and holding hands.

The waitress, taking another order at a table a few steps away, suddenly noticed the man slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, but the woman stared straight ahead. The waitress watched as the man slid all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman stared straight ahead.

The waitress, thinking this behavior was a bit risqué and that it might offend other diners, went over to the table, and tactfully began by saying to the woman, "Pardon me, ma'am, but I think your husband just slid under the table."

The woman calmly looked up at her and said, "No, he didn't. He just walked in the front door."

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