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Siegel Sez

June 19, 2014

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I think I might truly be connected. I couldn’t believe how many calls, emails and texts I received this past Tuesday about the potential sale of MICROS Systems. Of course, the key word here is potential. I will let Jon Inge share his thoughts on this in his opening, but I can’t help wondering how many times MICROS will be answering the same question at HITEC. I wonder if the answers the first day will be the same as closing day Thursday. Yes, the buzz about HITEC this year seems to be through the roof. Could the Los Angeles location bring record breaking attendance? Many are thinking that it will. If you are doing the party circuit, don’t forget at night that there will be a tomorrow morning, especially Thursday at 9 a. m. when we do our very creative Super Session, CIO vs. CMO. Does HFTP think we are going to set up a boxing ring to let them duke it out? Maybe not, but there will be a few surprises, and we hope you can be there. Yes, how more than 5,000 people can go nonstop for four days with so little sleep is amazing. I can’t wait until next week.

By the way, if you are at HITEC, please come by booth No. 1640. We have historically done some pretty creative things with video and we are looking for volunteers who might be open to having a little fun. We promise not to totally embarrass anybody, at least not on purpose. Just come by and say you are here for our video, and be ready to smile! You only live once, right? Plus, if you come by our booth, you can see the latest addition to my family which seems to both grow and shrink throughout the year. That is all I am saying about that.  I want to thank all those who emailed me after our previous Siegel Sez about my trip to New York for the Belmont Stakes. It was an amazing day but it didn’t end as the over 100,000 in attendance had hoped. There’s always next year, which is why you should come by our booth.  Was that a good enough clue?

Here now is the real reason we are here, Mr. “I have strong opinions” Jon Inge with his pre-HITEC technology review. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. California here we come!


Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Wave of acquisitions stands out from the HITEC press release avalanche
One of the challenges vendors face at HITEC is making their individual voices heard above the avalanche of press releases they all put out, whether they’re about new products, significant new sales or just “we’re exhibiting, come and see us” notices.  Some news items are big enough to stand out all on their own, however, and the most prominent ones over the last week have been about takeovers.

The big news – Oracle buying MICROS – came out just as we were going to press, not as an official release but reported by several business magazines as a “strong probability.”  I’m not sure how much of a game changer this would be if it came to fruition; after all, how much more dominant could MICROS be in this industry?  Nevertheless, major companies such as Oracle don’t always have an appreciation for the value of supporting the smaller players such as independent hotels and small groups.

The other major acquisition news of the past week has been Priceline’s multipronged takeover of several vendors in different hospitality sectors, including restaurant reservations leader OpenTable, fast-growing digital marketing specialist buuteeq and guest management system start-up Hotel Ninjas.  This is a fascinating and fast-paced expansion of Priceline’s presence in hospitality technology, and it will be really interesting to see how its strategy shapes up.  Clearly it’s determined to make a much wider impression on the industry than it’s had so far as an innovative provider of booking services.

With a major expansion of flexible, mobile-based products covering ever more areas of operations, and with Agilysys unveiling its long-awaited from-the-ground-up new guest management system, this is shaping up to be a memorable HITEC.  I hope you’ve already made appointments to see everyone on your list!  See you at the show.



- Red Lion Hotels selects HeBS Digital for digital marketing services
- Minor Hotel Group picks Leonardo for its Anantara, AVANI and Per AQUUM brands
- Skyscanner picks Leonardo to source visual content for hotels listed on its flight search website
- Sunway Hotels & Apartments picks ZDirect for nine properties in Spain
- Stoney Creek Hospitality selects ZDirect for 13 properties
- Priceline acquires buuteeq
- MakeMyTrip integrates TrustYou's Meta-Reviews
- Wego adds TrustYou’s Meta-Reviews
- TrustYou enhances reporting services
- Zentano launches personalized guest communications platform
For more information on Marketing/Management for 06/20/14


- Getaroom.com, BookIt.com and JTB Hawaii sign with SiteMinder's RDX
- The Montcalm, Park Grand London and Shaftesbury Hotels group extends IDeaS RMS to London Premier Hotels brand
- MELIÃ Bali adopts IDeaS RMS
- IDeaS celebrates 25th anniversary
- SnapShot launches beta version of hotel demand management system
- eRevMax launches Managed Reports Service
For more information on Revenue Management for 06/20/14


- Dolce Hotels and Resorts selects Sertifi
- Lanyon launches Hotel Spend Management ROI Calculator
Dolce Hotels and Resorts has selected Sertifi’s closing automation software to allow customers to sign event contracts electronically and pay event deposits.  http://www.dolce.com, http://www.sertifi.com
Lanyon has launched a Hotel Spend Management ROI Calculator on its website.  Created in conjunction with Hobson & Company, the calculator allows site visitors to preview the financial value of Lanyon's Transient Sourcing product to their organizations.  http://www.lanyon.com/roicalculator/


- HFTP recognizes notable women in hotel technology
- Michael Zetterlund joins Ariane Systems as product and marketing director
- Keli McCormack appointed regional director of sales, western region at nSight
- Rene Arredondo C. Moreno joins hotel SystemsPro as director general for Latin America
- Shaji Kuriakose appointed director of sales and operations for FCS Computer Systems in India
- Steve Silbar joins FCS Computer Systems as national sales director, North America
- Elizabeth Harz appointed president of media at Adara
- David Goldstone rejoins SONIFI Solutions as senior VP of global strategic relationships
For more informaton on People on the Move for 06/20/14


- Agilysys to launch new cloud-based guest management system, rGuest, at HITEC
- Priceline’s Booking.com buys Spanish GMS vendor Hotel Ninjas
- iTesso developing Google Glass-assisted hotel check-in application
- RDP chooses Shift4 as exclusive payment gateway provider
- B4Checkin integrates booking engine with First Atlantic Commerce
For more information on Guest Mangement Systems for 06/20/14


- Sceptre integrates WindsurferCRS with Merchant Link's TransactionVault
- TripAdvisor launches instant booking feature on mobile app and mobile website
- nuTravel integrates tripBAM’s cluster shopping processes
- Apstar Tours, Ghana, lists 100 hotels with Busy Rooms
- NAVIS announces NAVIS Reach CRM tool
- NAVIS opens eastern regional office in Orlando
- Dedeman Bostanci implements HotelIQ Business Intelligence
For more information on Reservations for 06/20/14


- Moxy Milan Malpensa Airport selects Otrum
- Marriott and MIT develop Six Degrees app using LinkedIn to connect people staying at the same hotel
- Marcus installs Tesla High Power Charging Stations at more than two-thirds of owned/managed properties in United States
- Hotel WiFi Test report compares Wi-Fi cost, bandwidth at chain, independent properties
- ZDirect integrates ZMail with Google Now
- Bartech introduces BarTouch app for manually managing any vendor’s minibars
- InterCityHotels offer guests access to digital media library
- Starwood releases SPG app for Google Glass
For more information on Guest Services for 06/20/14


- hotel SystemsPro launches property ServicePro in Mexico and Latin America
- Interel RMS now fully certified to HTNG specifications, implementing five sets of messages
hotel SystemsPro has announced the international launch of its property ServicePro Web-based facilities and asset management software for clients in Mexico and Latin America.  The system is currently being implemented in hotels across Mexico; it is currently available in Spanish and English, and will be available in Portuguese in Q3 2014.  http://www.hotelsystemspro.com
Interel RMS became the first room control management system to become fully certified to HTNG specifications, implementing five sets of messages to support the provisioning, personalization and monitoring of guestroom devices, as well as key cutting.  http://www.interelme.com/hospitality/


- OKKO Hotels selects Swisscom Hospitality as IP networks and applications partner
OKKO Hotels, a new hotel chain in France, has selected Swisscom Hospitality as its IP networks and applications partner, delivering the hotel networks, high-speed Internet, connected hotel TV and voice services chainwide.  The first OKKO Hotel has gone live in Nantes, France; two more openings are planned for this year in Grenoble and Lyon.  The OKKO Hotel Nantes offers guests free high-speed Internet access in all hotel areas, a credit of 10 euros for IP voice calls, interactive TV menu options and free videos on demand.  When entering the hotel, the guest receives a mobile key on his smartphone (which he registered during reservation), allowing him to go straight to his room without stopping at the front desk.  Housekeeping staff receive notification of checked-out rooms on their tablet devices, allowing them to service the room at once and report back to the front desk.  Swisscom supports OKKO Hotels through a service manager based in France and from its network operations center in Lisbon, Portugal.  http://www.okkohotels.com/en, http://www.swisscom.ch/en/business/hospitality.html


- Hotel Hugo, New York, implements VingCard’s Signature RFID guestroom door locks
- White Lodging standardizes on Kaba's Saflok Quantum and RT RFID guestroom door locks for all retrofits and new properties
The newly opened 122-room Hotel Hugo, New York, has implemented VingCard Elsafe’s Signature RFID guestroom door locks, linked by Vingcard’s VISIONLINE wireless networking platform to a central property server.  http://www.hotelhugony.com, http://www.vingcardelsafe.com
White Lodging has selected Kaba's Saflok Quantum and RT RFID guestroom door locks for more than 30 Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and other flagged properties, replacing non-PMS-interfaced mag stripe locks with fully interfaced RFID locks.  Installation began in Q4 2013 and is expected to be complete in early 2014.  A number of systems will also be integrated with the property's guestroom energy management system.  White Lodging has standardized on RFID lock systems for its replacement systems and for all new construction; 10 hotels will open this year.  http://www.whitelodging.com, http://www.kabalodging.com


- Agilysys introduces Analytics v2.0 business intelligence application for InfoGenesis
- Priceline buys OpenTable
- Choice Hotels partners with Zuppler for guest ordering from local restaurants
- TripAdvisor acquires LaFourchette restaurant booking service
For more information on F&B/Point of Sale for 06/20/14


- Infor partners with Booker Software
- ResortSuite releases tablet-based SPA Check-In application
Infor has announced a partnership with Booker Software to offer Booker activity management software to its hotel clients to manage and schedule spa, salon, golf, classes and other recreational activities.  Guest activities can be paid for through Booker's integrated POS or routed to the guest's account in Infor's Hospitality Management Solution (HMS).  http://www.booker.com, http://www.infor.com
ResortSuite has released its new tablet-based SPA Check-In application, part of its OPS (operations) framework for iOS or Android tablet-based devices.  ResortSuite SPA Check-In allows a staff member to check in a guest from an arrivals list, view details about the guest and his or her services, hand the tablet to the guest for completion of an intake form, health questionnaire and/or waiver signature.  Guests can also view their itinerary and service details.  The app synchronizes with the ResortSuite SPA (services, programs, activities) module for schedules, guest preferences and alerts.  http://www.resortsuite.com


- UniFocus upgrades STAFFScope with corporate-level dashboard
- InvoTech Systems now in 25 countries
- pasUNITY migrates 400+ centralized accounting users to cloud with less than six days of resource effort
For more information on Back Office for 06/20/14


And now for you-know-what...

A defendant in a lawsuit involving large sums of money was talking to his lawyer. "If I lose this case, I'll be ruined," he said.

"It's in the judge's hands now," said the lawyer.

"Would it help if I sent the judge a box of cigars?" the defendant asked.

"Oh no! This judge is a stickler for ethical behavior," the lawyer said. "A stunt like that would prejudice him against you. He might even hold you in contempt of court. In fact, you shouldn't even smile at the judge."

The next day, the judge rendered a decision in favor of the defendant. As the defendant left the courthouse, he said to his lawyer, "Thanks for the tip about the cigars. It worked!"

"I'm sure we would have lost the case if you'd sent them," the lawyer said.

"But, I did send them," announced the defendant.

"What?" said the lawyer, incredulously. "You did?" 

"Yes," said the defendant. "That's how we won the case."

"I don't understand," said the lawyer.

"It's easy," said the defendant. "I sent the cigars to the judge, but enclosed the plaintiff's business card."

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