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Siegel Sez

August 11, 2005

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Have you ever played with a little puppy that had your hand in its mouth and was biting it but wasn’t really hurting you? Instead of a 10 pound puppy imagine it was a 1,100 pound thoroughbred race horse. Now you can picture the highlight of my backstretch tour of Delmar Race Track outside San Diego this past Sunday. I amaze myself how stupid I can be at times.  I was somehow able to get my right arm solidly entrenched inside the mouth of this two-year old race horse. Years ago I was told never to show fear with horses so I calmly talked to the horse making nervous jokes while Jeff Bloom, an ex-jockey and my tour guide that day, tried without luck to get the horse to let go. It was strange because everyone around me had this look of fear in their eyes but I really wasn’t that scared. That was probably because I wouldn’t let my eyes leave the eyes of the horse and never saw the blood trickling down my arm. Eventually the horse let go and my next stop on the tour was the first aid station of Delmar Race Track.

Afterwards I was told that the smartest thing I did was not try to pull my arm out of the horse’s mouth which probably would have inspired him to pull also either yanking my arm off or pulling me into his stall. I wanted to take credit for remaining calm but truthfully I was too nervous to do anything. Anyway, horses really are beautiful animals and it was a great way to see the other side of the horse racing industry. I was considering buying into a horse partnership. Maybe this horse biting experience was telling me something, but I wasn’t sure what. Oh well, I now own 5 percent of a race horse named Cambria Breeze. Keep your fingers crossed, I in turn will learn to keep my arms crossed when around horses.

For those of you in Atlanta, tonight (Thursday) is our second Hospitality Upgrade/Hotel Online social gathering. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. and go until everybody leaves. We had 55 attend last time and we are near 70 confirmed attendees for tonight.  It should be fun. Great Emeril’s food will be provided along with a cash bar. If you haven’t confirmed yet, just come on down. For directions please call Emeril’s Atlanta restaurant at (404) 564-5600.

Before we turn this over to Jon Inge, I must thank all the CIOs who are confirmed to attend this year’s CIO Summit in Denver. Four years ago at this invitation-only event our attendance was 21. This year we currently have 45 technology leaders representing most of the major hotel, hotel management, gaming, timeshare and cruise line companies from all over the world confirmed to join us in September. It really is one of our favorite events. The gathering is intimate and fun as much as it is a learning and sharing experience. If you have any questions about the CIO Summit, e-mail me at mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com or visit http://www.theciosummit.com.  

Ok, here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. We 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



- Does anyone know how hard you’re working?
A recent discussion with a client’s staff highlighted the need for the unsung heroes, the techies and managers at the property level who are responsible for keeping the systems running, to remind people what else they do apart from fix printers and re-boot the system at peak check-out time.

It used to be said that the sign of doing a good tech support job was that no one noticed.  In one sense that is still true, but it’s also a fast track to being under appreciated.  If people only notice you when they have a problem, they’ll inevitably associate you with trouble, which isn’t healthy for anyone and certainly won’t do wonders for your annual review.

The key to a good reputation is two-fold:
1.  Do good things.
2.  Tell people about them.
You don’t need to put out an IT newsletter; a simple weekly status report can do wonders to let people know that you’re not just sitting in your cubicle, you’re actually working hard to keep the company running.  What was the system up-time this week?  How many viruses were detected and blocked?  How much spam?  Who had a hardware/software issue, and how quickly was it resolved?  What project progress was made?

These figures are relatively easy to track, and it’s always better to have quantified baselines for your review than just someone’s perception that you’re only associated with problems.  CYA?  Not really; call it expectations management. 



- MSI promotes Marc Voirol, Ted Warring, hires Leor Levi
- Ursula Rhode promoted to Executive Vice President, Global Services at GenaRes
- Sam Fahmy joins Passkey as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management


- Aleenta orders Visual One for two properties, Visual One’s first sale in Thailand
- Forbury Hotel, Reading, England orders Visual One’s PMS suite
- HIS reaffirms TierOne Hospitality Solutions as exclusive distributor in Canada
- Harris Ranch chooses PAR Springer-Miller 


- BTG-Jianguo Hotels and Resorts signs with TravelCLICK
- Best Western lists with Hotwire.com
- Red Lion redesigns Web site to include reference and comparison rates
- Pegasus re-enters consumer Web booking market with Hotelbook.com
- Great Hotels launches Luxotels GDS reservation service for four/five star properties


- Pegasus offers integrated version of Open Hospitality’s interactive Web marketing services
- AH&LA members can pre-register through August 26 to use ".travel" domain name
- Myrtle Beach adopts ZMail hosted e-mail/data integration system


- Convention Industry Council releases APEX OfficeReady suite of templates, tools
The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has released APEX OfficeReady for Meeting and Event Planning, a collection of over 200 event management and business templates including those developed through APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange).  Designed to interface with Microsoft Office, OfficeReady includes tools such as the APEX Event Specifications Guide (a wizard-driven format for preparing and sharing event instructions and details), completed samples of all hard-copy APEX templates, all checklists from The Convention Industry Council Manual, 7th Edition, the ability to create PDF files for secure distribution, an automatic profile feature that inserts the user’s name, address and event-related relevant information into new documents automatically, and an industry glossary.  http://www.conventionindustry.org


- SIVA integrating CBORD’s Webfood online ordering application into iSIVA POS
SIVA is integrating CBORD’s Webfood online ordering application into its iSIVA point-of-sale software, to allow customers to place takeout, delivery and catering orders via the Internet.  Once integration is complete, Webfood will transmit those orders in real time to the iSIVA POS for payment processing and routing to SIVA’s kitchen, delivery management and back office systems.  http://www.sivacorp.com, http://www.cbord.com


- Outrigger Waikiki offers free high-speed Internet access and long-distance domestic calls
- Aruba Beach Club installing In-Systcom’s ResortLynx Infotainment System
- Hotel Carlton, Bilbao orders Otrum’s interactive video services
- GuestWare using SpectraLink phones for faster message speed over hotel wireless networks


- BirchStreet releases eInventory module
- Myrtle Beach contracts with Avendra for procurement services
Birch Street Systems has released its eInventory module to simplify the tracking, costing and requisitioning of storeroom or retail outlet inventory.  When coupled with Birch Street’s eProcurement and financial controls, eInventory tracks true food cost, cost-by-outlet and actual-vs.-budget costs.  Both e-inventory and e-procurement system are available as hosted solutions accessed via a browser.  http://www.birchstreet.net
The Myrtle Beach National Co. has contracted with Avendra for procurement services for its six hotels and nine golf courses, which include The Breakers Resort.  http://www.mbn.com, http://www.avendra.com


And now for you-know-what.

Life Explained

On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks by. For this, I will give you a life span of 20 years."

The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only 10 years and I'll give you back the other 10?"

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a 20-year life span."

The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for 20 years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back 10 like the dog did?"

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of 60 years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for 60 years. How about 20 and I'll give back the other 40?"

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you 20 years."

But man said, "Only 20 years? Could you possibly give me my 20, the 40 the cow gave back, the 10 the monkey gave back, and the 10 the dog gave back; that makes 80, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."

So that is why the first 20 years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next 40 years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next 10 years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last 10 years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

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