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Siegel Sez

January 18, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Here we are, 2007. We start the year and wonder what surprises are in store for us, both professionally and personally. At least that is what I do. Who really believes in New Year’s resolutions? I for one am a great believer in them. I make a list every year and even if I don’t accomplish many (or any) of them, the list encourages me to look at my life, what I want to change and how I can make it better.  I make plans for change in the upcoming year and then look back at how I did when the year ends. It probably explains why I get so depressed around the holidays. But move forward we do since there aren’t any other options.

Speaking of plans, Jon Inge talks about investing in training in his opening comments, thoughts that we should all take to heart. We all thrive to learn and experience new things every year, right? This belief has allowed our Hospitality Upgrade magazine to continue to grow as technology touches more and more people in the industry, not just technologists. It has been 15 years of publishing for me. Who would have guessed? I think back to those long and lonely days in my apartment having no clue what I was doing. You should take a moment and think where you were in January 1992. Remember what you were doing? Where you were living? Did you ever think you would be doing what you are doing today? Life is full of surprises, that’s for sure. I hope that 2007 is your year.

If you are a technology vendor, I am sure you plan where you are going to show your products this year. Are there too many events throughout the year? You have HITEC where you pretty much have to be there. Then you have very big shows like NRA in Chicago and the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York. What about the rest of the shows? What are your competitors planning? You also have association conferences like HFTP, HTNG and HEDNA amongst others.

Five years ago Hospitality Upgrade launched our CIO Summit. It has grown every year and has become a must attend event for those in the industry in charge of technology for their company. What I am just as proud of is that two years ago we launched our Executive Vendor Summit for president and c-level executives who provide technology for the industry. Who would have guessed how popular an event with only vendors would be. But then again, this industry is built on relationships, partnerships and all sorts of alliances. Even though the event is only two and half days, the relationships seem to last forever or until people end up buying or merging with each other. It is a very unique event. If you provide technology to the industry and would like to attend, please e-mail Sharon, Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com or call her at 678-802-5304. It is by invitation only and it looks like everybody who is anybody will be there this year. Thanks to HFTP, Microsoft and TechTeam Global for sponsoring this year’s event and BearingPoint for being a great partner.

Speaking of thanks I must say thank you to all who e-mailed me after I shared my experience with the military man singing John Lennon’s song, “Imagine” at the Atlanta airport. Your kind words really meant a lot to me. If you missed that Siegel Sez it is on our Web site, http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/_siegel_sez/siegel_sez.asp?ID=17. I know I will be reflecting on that moment forever. Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few 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

- Training and education: we need more of both
A couple of conversations with fellow consultants this week touched on training and how we don’t do enough of it in this industry.  It’s not a unique problem; a technology trade magazine I read today made the same comment about software in general, that training is frequently under-funded and often misdirected.

But the examples my colleagues gave made me think that we also have a problem with education.  Yes, training staff members to perform specific tasks is an essential element of bringing performance up to speed and helping them do their jobs effectively and efficiently.  However, we also need to educate managers that not budgeting for regular refresher training at least annually will inevitably degrade the operation.  Existing staff members lapse into inefficient processes and forget how seldom-used functions really can help, and new hires receive only hand-me-down training in what their peers remember.

It goes wider, too.  Chains rolling out new standard technology could educate their managers to think more about how it could be used to improve their business beyond the principal functions for which they’re trained.  Managers should be encouraged to educate themselves about the other solutions that are available in the market and how they could make operations more effective, and about how to make a case to their owners for acquiring it.  Asset managers sometimes need to be educated about the operational shackles they place on a hotel by squeezing the last piece of life from a 15-year-old investment in what’s now an obsolete system, preventing a significant increase in asset revenue generation through a focus on cost control.  And, owners would benefit from a wider awareness of the value technology can bring to their properties so that they can ask the right questions of their asset and operational managers.

Training and education are two sides of the same coin.  Improving both could make major differences to operational efficiency, revenue generation and profit.


- Jeff Edwards elected to the board of HTNG
- Patrik Wennerland appointed sales director EMEA at Newmarket
- Ganesh Srinivasan heads new Adaco Services office in Bangalore, India
For more on People on the Move for 1/18/07


- The City Rooms, Leicester, England, opens–after 210 years–with Oasis’ integrated PMS/POS
- Agilysys sells KeyLink Systems Group, now focused solely on software applications
The City Rooms, a boutique hotel in Leicester, England, recently opened with Oasis’ integrated Linux-based PMS and POS system, sold and installed by Oasis’ U.K. distributors, Sensible IT Ltd.  Construction work on the property originally started in 1796, but stalled for lack of development funds.  One hopes the renovation and completion of the project improved the original plumbing.  http://www.thecityrooms.co.uk, http://www.makeitsensible.com
Agilysys has sold its KeyLink Systems Group to Arrow Electronics, completing the divestiture of its distribution division to focus solely on its Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG) software business.  ESG specializes in vertical markets including retail and hospitality, and includes the PMS product lines acquired through the purchase of Inter-American Data in 2004 and Visual One Systems in December 2006.  http://www.agilysys.com


- Internet booking growth in United Kingdom highlighted by new report
- SECURE-RES releases version 3.0 of Internet booking engine
- Langham Hotels signs with TravelCLICK for iHotelier CRS
- Orient-Express switches to SynXis’ RedX for channel management at its 35 properties
For more on Reservations for 1/18/07


- SECURE-RES to be honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards
- E-site Marketing wins thirteen WebAwards from Web Marketing Association
- Lodging Interactive launches full service Internet presence and marketing service for economy sector
For more on Marketing/Management for 1/18/07


- Rainmaker Group pilot testing its revolution LRO system with four apartment operators
- Delaware North implementing Amadeus’ Hotel RMS, will integrate with SMS|Host PMS
The Rainmaker Group announced pilot tests of its revolution LRO system at Colonial Properties, Windsor Property Management Company, Mid-America Apartment Communities and Western National Property Management, a total of over 124,000 combined units.  http://www.letitrain.com
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is implementing Amadeus’ Hotel Revenue Management System (formerly Optims), fully integrating it with its PAR Springer-Miller SMS|Host Hospitality Management System.  http://www.delawarenorth.com,  http://www.amadeus.com


- Hilton releases new global meetings and events Web site
Hilton has released a global meetings and events Web site as part of its strategy to increase online bookings up to 25 percent by 2009.  Guests can search for and view facilities around the world, see room plans, capacities and dimensions and request custom, 24-hour proposals and e-brochures. The Web site also offers an e-newsletter subscription for meeting and event planners.  http://www.hilton.com


- Marriott Atlanta Perimeter completes pilot test of Capton’s RFID-based pour-control system
- Carnus Systems updates its intelligent food and beverage forecasting and employee scheduling system
The Marriott Atlanta Perimeter has completed a pilot test of Capton’s RFID-based pour-control system in its Perimeter Grille, and is now testing Capton’s new mobile catering unit.  http://www.marriott.com/property/propertypage/ATLPChttp://www.captoninc.com
Carnus Systems has updated its artificial intelligence food and beverage forecasting and employee scheduling system, AI Robotic Scheduler.  The system now automatically generates complete weekly employee schedules on the fly, based on data extracted from PMS, POS and other systems, and taking into account individuals’ vacation, sick days, seniority, union rules, labor laws and other variables.  http://www.carnussystems.com


- GolfSwitch joins HBSi’s Demand Partner Network
GolfSwitch has joined Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated’s (HBSi) Demand Partner Network of distribution channels, linking golf courses’ tee time inventory with resellers such as hotels, travel agents, GDSs, tour operators and Internet sites.  http://www.golfswitch.comhttp://www.hotelbookingsolutions.com


- Marriott signs with iBAHN for Internet PCs and printers at 250 properties
- LodgeNet announces SIGNETURE HDTV system now contracted for 80,000+ hotel rooms
- Holiday Inn, Washington-Central/White House installs NetEqualizer bandwidth management
- InterContinental Boston implements GoConcierge
For more on Guest Services for 1/18/07


- Adaco Services donates Eclipse procurement management system to Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Adaco Services has donated its Eclipse procurement management system and training services to the Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.  http://www.adacoservices.com


And now for you-know-what…

Three blondes were all applying for the last available position on the state highway patrol. The detective conducting the interview looked at the three of them and said, "So you all want to be cops, huh?"

The blondes all nodded.

The detective got up, opened a file drawer and pulled out a folder. Sitting back down, he opened it and pulled out a picture and said, "To be a police officer, you have to be able to detect. You must be able to notice things such as distinguishing features and oddities such as scars and so forth."

Then, he stuck the photo in front of the first blonde and withdrew it after about two seconds. "Now," he said, "did you notice any distinguishing features about the man in the photo?"

The blonde immediately said, "Yes, I did. He has only one eye!"

The detective shook his head and said, "Of course he has only one eye in this picture! It's a profile of his face! You're dismissed!"

The first blonde hung her head and walked out of the office.

The detective then turned to the second blonde, placed the photo in front of her for two seconds, pulled it back and said, "What about you? Notice anything unusual or different about this man?"

"Yes! He only has one ear!" she said.

The detective put his head in his hands and exclaimed, "Didn't you hear what I just told the other lady? This is a profile of the man's face! Of course you can only see one ear! You're excused too!"

The second blonde sheepishly walked out of the office.

The detective turned his attention to the third and last blonde and said, "This is probably a waste of time, but here goes." He flashed the photo in front of her for a couple of seconds and withdrew it, saying, "All right, did you notice anything distinguishing or unusual about this man?"

The blonde said, "I sure did. This man wears contact lenses."

The detective frowned, took another look at the picture and began looking at some of the papers in the folder. He looked up at the blonde with a puzzled expression and said, "You're absolutely right! His bio says he wears contacts! How in the world could you tell that by looking at his picture?"

The blonde rolled her eyes and said, "Well, with only one eye and one ear, he certainly can't wear glasses."

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