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Siegel Sez

November 20, 2014

Siegel Sez

by: Katherine Darsie

If you are expecting a traditional opening to Siegel Sez, you are not getting it this week. Rich was walking out the door to the airport on his way to London for HOSPACE and said flying overnight and then having to write Siegel Sez was not in the cards so he asked me to write it. I asked what I should write and he said to not talk about my job, but talk about my experience in the industry. He is the boss, so here it goes.

My name is Katherine Darsie and I am the media manager/assistant editor at Hospitality Upgrade. I am 23 years old and this is my first time in the hospitality industry. As I look back at my first year here I have to tell you two things, this is an interesting industry with some amazing people in it. My first venture out of the office was to Hospitality Upgrade’s Executive Vendor Summit. Sixty CEOs from all different types of technology companies gathered in New Orleans for a conference and some entertaining social activities. I met some amazing people. (I do have my favorites but Rich will get mad if I mention them by name.) That was a great way to start my career here. Then three months later I got to experience my first HITEC. Ever since I started I kept getting told to “wait until HITEC” when I asked questions about the industry. I always thought to myself that HITEC is probably just another tradeshow. Let me say this, it took me a week to get over the event this year in L.A.  Everybody there seemed to know who we were and people were unbelievably helpful. I learned so much about the industry, but more than that I realized how crazy an industry this is. The one thing that overwhelmed me was how nice everybody was. What is it that makes people in this industry so friendly and warm to new people? HITEC was an amazing experience from the exhibit hall, to the educational sessions and to the wild parties. I had never been to so many parties in three nights in my life. Now I tell people to wait until HITEC and I look forward to Austin next year. A few months later, in September, we went to Milwaukee for the Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit. It is interesting how different, but in many ways the same, that the CIO Summit is to the Vendor Summit. The CEOs at the Vendor Summit lead their companies and the CIOs lead their companies’ technology initiatives. It sure puts us in a great place to have such wonderful relationships with both sides of the fence. Again, with all I learned and all the people I met, the one thing that stood out is how nice everyone is. I can see why people get hooked on the industry, I know I have. It has been a great first year with Hospitality Upgrade.

Even though Rich said not to talk about my job I feel I need to mention that this week was the launch of the Hospitality Upgrade e-newsletter which we labeled “HU Watercooler Talk.” If you didn’t receive it, please visit http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/Subscribe-Magazine/ to subscribe. It was so much fun creating something new and that addresses a void in the marketplace, which is something that I had never been involved with before. Of course when Rich added the trivia question at the end I had to remind him that the events he was referring to happened before I was even born. Hopefully he will figure that out in the future. We would like to congratulate Doug Rice of HTNG for being the first to post the correct answer to the trivia question on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/HospitalityUpgrade). Be on the lookout for the next e-newsletter trivia question…  A correct answer could win you a prize!

This was my opening to this week’s Siegel Sez, I hoped you enjoyed it. If you have any questions for me then please email me at mailto:Katherine@hospitalityupgrade.com, especially if you liked it. If you didn’t, then please don’t email Rich at mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com, I kind of like working here. Now, as Rich told me to close the opening to Siegel Sez, I need to tell you that this is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few weeks. As always, at the end we will have our you-know-what. Thanks!


Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Tech vs. Touch revisited
Another aspect of the tech vs. touch debate on guest service comes via a new study from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR), "Cyborg Service: The Unexpected Effect of Technology in the Employee-Guest Exchange."  Narrowly focused on the use of check-in kiosks, the study determined that guests were more willing to use kiosks when they were placed a short distance away from the bell stand.

Satisfaction with the kiosks decreased when they were closer to the stand.  When they were within what was perceived as a normal distance for interaction, guests were apparently more apt to feel awkward about not responding to an agent’s greeting, or felt that the technology was making them appear rude to the agent.   When there’s sufficient social space between the two, the bell person is still nearby but the guest doesn't feel so awkward about not interacting. 

I guess the message here is that guests choosing to use self-service technology, whether on hotel-provided kiosks or on their mobile devices, should be left alone to do so.  Staff members should be close enough to be able to offer help if desired or if they see the guest is struggling, but not to intrude otherwise.  The overall lesson, the report concludes, is to make sure the guest, the employee and the technology work together appropriately.  Can’t argue with that.



- Monika Nerger is new president of HTNG’s board
- Jeremy Ward hired by iRiS as COO
- Mansoor Khan appointed regional sales manager at Infor in Dubai
- Michael Cohen hired by INTEREL as SVP key accounts
- Scott Gibson joins Pegasus Solutions as interim CEO
- Jules Sieburgh, Seth Christian join Puzzle Partner
- Patricia Brusha is new director of channel sales at CheckMate
- Gayle Edwards hired by PAS as director of hotel accounting
For more information on People on the Move for 11/20/14


- Guest-tek partners with DIRECTV
- Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport North adds Flyte Systems’ Event Module to FlyteBoard display
- Eleven Software integrates Mobile Print Zone with Dropbox 
For more information on Guest Services for 11/20/14


- The Edgewater selects Infor’s SunSystems
- Sertifi completes integration with Shift4 to capture customer signatures and secure payments online
The Edgewater, a historic hotel in Madison, Wis., has selected Infor’s SunSystems financial systems. http://www.theedgewater.com, http://www.infor.com
Sertifi has completed integration with Shift4 to capture customer signatures and secure payments online, streamlining the contract and payment processes while addressing PCI compliance.  http://www.sertifi.com, http://www.shift4.com


- INTEREL releases series of online room management products
INTEREL has released a series of online room management products and has established a local presence in Asia and the Americas.  The company offers a series of Room Control Units with expanded and flexible configuration options that allow hotel operators to optimize their energy monitoring and consumption, and deliver a wider array of guestroom environment features, interactions and experiences.  One example is a smart lamp that provides full bedside lamp functionality even when the master light switch is off. 

INTEREL also introduced a new series of customizable wall and tabletop room control panels, which now incorporate a range of third-party power and connectivity options.


- HoistLocatel offers Zaplox mobile key system
Turnkey systems provider HoistLocatel is now offering Zaplox’s mobile key service and system, integrated into its lock system offerings.  The smartphone app also includes check-in, checkout and other services.  Based in Stockholm, HoistLocatel Group operates in 13 countries in Europe and the Middle East.  http://www.hoistgroup.com, http://www.zaplox.com


- Sandals Resorts upgrades to latest version of Aptech’s Execuvue
- TravelClick expands partnership with Travelport
- REBEL adds hotel data from Hotel Compete to its PropertyVIEW Content Verification Service
- know’N’act announces general availability of its customer engagement platform
- ADARA unveils ADARA Magellan travel intelligence platform
- VisitEngland contracts for nSight
- Cendyn/ONE receives three WebAwards and two W3 Awards
For more information on Marketing/Management for 11/20/14


- Proxce announces mobile check-in and guestroom key app
- SkyTouch announces two-way interface with Sabre’s SynXis
- Sabre announces SynXis Enterprise Platform, starting with SynXis Property Manager guest management system
- CheckMate announces travel partners for Guest Engagement Platform
- Airline Hotels implements CheckMate at nine hotels
- Agilysys offering B4Checkin’s booking engine to Visual One customers
- Great Wolf Lodge New England deploys StayNTouch’s Rover FrontOffice and Housekeeping
- broughtonHOTELS picks PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ ATRIO as brand standard for 14 properties
- The Ascott Limited orders additional protel MPE licenses for a further 5,000 apartment units
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 11/20/14


- Pegasus Electronic Distribution Services purchased by H.I.G. Capital
Pegasus Electronic Distribution Services, the connectivity switch part of Pegasus’ operations, has been purchased by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.  The current senior leadership team will be supplemented by Toni Portmann, who will act as the full-time executive chair of the board of directors and interim CEO until the remainder of the go-forward senior management team is put in place.  H.I.G. also acquired Onyx Payment Solutions (formerly known as Pegasus Financial Services) in April 2013.  http://www.higcapital.com, http://www.pegs.com


- Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino implementing Duetto’s GameChanger
- Vincci Hotels picks eRevMax’s RateTiger Shopper for 22 properties
- Transamerica Hospitality Group selects eRevMax’s RateTiger Channel Manager for all 21 properties

For more information on Revenue Management for 11/20/14


- MICEHotelFinder releases online hotel directory for event professionals
- Vantage Hospitality Group encourages 1,000+ properties to deploy Groupize Solutions’ GBE
- Groupize announces Instant Book version of GBE, introduces Groupize Hub mobile platform
For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 11/20/14


- Partender receives Editors' Choice Award for Technology at IH/M&RS
- Gaylord Opryland installs Clear Sky Software’s Beverage software
Partender received the Editors' Choice Award for Technology at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York.  Partender’s patent-pending bar inventory and ordering system runs on Apple® iOS mobile devices and streamlines full bar inventory and ordering.  Users can view accounting and order reporting on the Web or in Excel.  http://www.partender.com  
The banquet department of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center has installed Clear Sky Software’s Beverage inventory management software.   http://www.marriott.com/Gaylord-Opryland, http://www.clearskysoftware.com


And now for you-know-what…

A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns sharing their adventures on the seas. The sailor notes that the pirate has a peg leg, hook and an eye patch. Curious, he asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg leg?"
The pirate replies, "I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off."
"Wow," says the sailor. "What about the hook?"

"Well," replies the pirate, "We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand clean off."
"Incredible," remarks the sailor. "How did you get the eye patch?"
"A seagull dropping fell into my eye," replies the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asks.

"Well," says the pirate, "That was my first day with the hook.”

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