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Siegel Sez

May 29, 2015

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Throughout the year I attend many industry events that have a technology connection.  With the exception of HITEC, which stands alone, and the Executive Vendor Summit and CIO Summit that Hospitality Upgrade produces, my favorite events are users’ groups. I love asking people about the systems they use, what they like, what frustrates them and generally share stories about their properties and jobs.  I also love what the attendees get out of users’ groups. There is so much shared and learned. Recently I was at the Newmarket International Customer Conference which was held in Portsmouth, N.H. Kudos to Newmarket  for holding NICC in its hometown, allowing so many of its staff to attend, and for those of us who attended, to experience small town America.  The event was great and congratulations for taking chances and trying to do things differently. On the first day instead of just being introduced and given the stage, the speakers were interviewed in a talk show format with Gregg Hopkins, vice president of marketing. Gregg did his best David Letterman impersonation. It was a very different way of doing presentations and it went over quite well. Personally, the highlight was having Jeff Bauman as the keynote presentation. Jeff Bauman was a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing; everybody has seen the picture of him being carried to get medical help.  He was a great speaker and it was amazing how along with sharing his journey to recovery he continuously had the audience roaring in laughter. I can’t ever remember a speaker at an industry event getting multiple standing ovations, but he was that moving with his story. It was a great event and I thank Gregg and his team for inviting me. We have pictures from NICC in our upcoming issue of Hospitality Upgrade. If you are not a subscriber, please go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe to receive your own copy in print or digital. I think I am going to try Portsmouth again in the summer. What a beautiful town.

HITEC (http://www.hitec.org) is right around the corner and the industry is buzzing.  In Jon Inge’s opening he stresses the importance of the pre-planning and setting up appointments. I encourage everyone to not overcommit and allow plenty of free time.  It is amazing what you might experience just walking the exhibit floor. I remember walking the floor with Nick Price many years ago when he was the CIO at Mandarin Oriental. He would ask newer and smaller companies in their 10 X 10 booths about their products.  I told him how impressed I was that somebody in his role would do that. He quickly responded that we all started somewhere and some of the more creative solutions are coming from these small companies.  I encourage you to follow Nick’s lead and do the same thing. It is also a big part of the experience and why you are there.  At 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday during HITEC I hope you will come to the session that I have been entrusted not to screw up. This Super Session is all about how marketing impacts IT, and we have three CIOs and CMOs who will share their highs and lows along with the ongoing challenges.  When doing research on the session it was suggested that six pairs of boxing gloves might be appropriate.  I laughed but it got me to think that there will be a surprise or two to add a little fun to the mix. I hope we will see you there and also please come by the Hospitality Upgrade/Hotel Online booth No. 425; it is always fun to meet readers face to face. If you are a reader of Siegel Sez then we are going to ask you for a favor, but it will be a fun one, I promise. 

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s review of the technology happenings in the industry. Momentum is building as we get closer to HITEC. Announcements and changes will be nonstop for the next two weeks and I can’t wait to see what will be coming tomorrow. 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



- HITEC: preparation is critical
- HTNG releases two new specs
Need I remind anyone that HITEC is only two weeks away?  This year in HFTP’s home city of Austin, it promises to be bigger than ever, with all the usual impossible challenge of trying to cover everything in only three days.  Whether you’re looking for new systems and vendors to see where the industry might be going or checking in with established contacts to see what new enhancements they have, the two critical parts of pre-event planning haven’t changed at all.  They are:

1. Go through the HITEC website and floor plan now (http://www.hftp.org/explore-hitec/floorplan_2015/) to identify which vendors are highest on your priority list, where to find them and how to get from one to the next.  Despite our annually unrealistic hopes and efforts we can never see all the booths with anything like enough time to understand what the vendors are offering.  After you’ve checked off your top priority list, then you can wander the aisles looking for the new and unexpected.  There’s always something fascinating and thought-provoking, but look for it only after you’ve covered your main reasons for going.

2. Make appointments with every vendor contact you want to talk to.  Their time is in incredibly high demand every year, and without an appointment you have zero chance of finding the person you really want to see.  They may not even be on the floor; several vendors have conference rooms in the convention center to offer a quieter, more focused environment than the zoo of the booths.  Make sure that the vendor’s conference room is actually in the center, though; while a hotel suite is always a nicer environment, the time you’ll spend getting to and from the hotel will take an extra 30 minutes out of your schedule, and when things are this tight very few can afford that.

What to look for this year?  Mobility will probably still be the fastest developing area, for both guest-facing and staff-oriented apps, and it’ll be fascinating to see who’s come up with innovative combinations of data and services in the most appealing way to become a new standard.  Every vendor will certainly be offering a remotely hosted configuration for its products, even those which aren’t natively designed for a cloud architecture, and of course data and personal information security is a never-ending field of change as black hats and vendors try to outwit each other.  And even with only two weeks to go, we can never rule out some last-minute announcements of takeovers or vendor consolidation.

See you in Austin!
HTNG has released two Web services specifications as its 2015A cycle, one new and one enhanced:
- Virtual Payment Cards Version 1.0, a unified approach to handling virtual (single-use) payment card information, procedures for issuing, modifying and canceling them, identifying reservations that contain them, streamlining their processing and providing a standard set of roles/participants for the exchange of data.
- Event Notification Version 3.0 enhancements include a way for subscribers to determine the status of a subscription using a subscription ID, and improved implementation notes to ease implementation and to improve consistency.



- Halcyon House implements protel’s SPE, Xn POS from Xn Hotel Systems
- RMS Hospitality Solutions enhances Hospitality Cloud (RMS 9+)
- Ariane Systems pursuing increased integration with North American vendors
- My Place Hotel in Aberdeen, S.D., becomes 100th installation of MSI CloudPM
- Martin Resorts selects RoomKeyPMS for five properties in California
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 05/29/15


- Marriott deploying streaming applications to guestrooms, including Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Crackle
- Marriott adds “ask anything” Mobile Request two-way chat option to branded mobile app
- Happiness Brussels sets up Shadow Wifi System – free Wi-Fi but only in the shade – on Playa Agua Dulce in Peru
- Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport installs shade canopy with solar-powered personal device recharging points
- Choice Hotels designates Cambria Hotel and Suites, Rockville, Md., its technology test bed
- Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel installs FlyteBoard
- Bartech enhances eDrawer minibar series
- Hotel Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre picks MCOM’s HOTstream in-room entertainment and TV channel service
- The Line Hotel, Los Angeles, adopts Go Moment’s Rev1 guest engagement app, powered by IBM’s Watson
For more information on Guest Services for 05/29/15


- Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay installs Newmarket’s REX Room Expeditor from McLaren Technologies
- InvoTech appoints new resellers in Middle East, South America
- InvoTech announces four new international clients
- HTNG releases Virtual Payment Cards Specification
- Mobile Simple’s ABreez wins a first place prize in Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest
For more information on Back Office for 05/29/15


- Fourth introducing Web ordering application
Fourth is introducing its Web ordering application for full and select-service hotels, combining a consumer-style purchasing tool, a community forum for collaboration between brand operators and behavioral analytics identifying trends.  http://www.fourth.com  


- Thing5 acquires HTS
- Cetis appoints GreenfieldTech its distributor in Israel
- Marriott Annapolis Waterfront Hotel picks Teledex E Series micro-footprint phones for its 150 guestrooms
For more information on Communications/Infrastructure for 05/29/15


- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality announces Hospitality Mobile Access mobile phone-based keyless entry application
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality (VingCard Elsafe) has announced its Hospitality Mobile Access mobile phone-based keyless entry application for hotels.  Already implemented in more than 100 properties worldwide, Mobile Access allows hotel guests to bypass the front desk and use their own mobile phone or device to securely access their assigned guestroom.  Hospitality Mobile Access is powered by Seos, a multiplatform ecosystem for issuing, delivering and revoking digital keys across a broad range of smart devices, including mobile phones, micro-processor cards and wearables such as smartwatches.  Mobile Access technology works with all VingCard locks.  http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com  


- WebHotelier integrates Revinate suite into its dashboard
- Hospitality Associates picks Leonardo Worldwide’s Vizlly digital marketing for 22 properties
- Tourism & Hospitality Association of Guyana selects Regatta Travel Solutions for its booking engine
- LeisureLink partners with Regatta Travel Solutions
- Milestone Internet Marketing releases NAPtune local listings management tool
- Lotte Hotels & Resorts offers TrustYou reputation management tools to 21 properties
- StayFaster.com integrates TrustYou Meta-Reviews into its booking engine
- HeBS Digital’s smartCMS again a finalist in 2015 American Business Awards
- CIO Review recognizes Cendyn/ONE
For more information on Marketing/Management for 05/29/15


- Duetto’s GameChanger recognized by Casino Journal and Casino Enterprise Management magazines
- Your Hotel™ Worldwide adds eRevMax connectivity module for 65 hotels
- Priceline acquires PriceMatch
For more information on Revenue Management for 05/29/15


- AllSeated releases free app to help event planners produce guest lists, scaled floor plans and seating arrangements
- Newmarket awarded Achievement of Customer Excellence by Confirmit for 9th year
- Groupize launches Instant Bookings on Groupize.com and on affiliate sites
- VirtualHotel (formerly Cardola) announces multiproperty VirtualHotel for Groups
- Ritz-Carlton launches ((Chime)) mobile app for meeting planners
- Cvent acquires SignUp4
For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 05/29/15


- TripAdvisor acquires Australian restaurant booking platform Dimmi
TripAdvisor has acquired Australian restaurant booking platform, Dimmi, which will be incorporated into its restaurant division, TheFork.  The companies have been partners since 2012, when Dimmi powered TripAdvisor’s restaurant bookings on its website and app.  http://www.dimmi.com.au, http://www.tripadvisor.com  


- Scot Campbell, Michael Schubach to be inducted to HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame
- Ken Barnes joining GuestTek as SVP client relations
- Joseph Flynn hired by Rainmaker as VP sales, gaming and hospitality
- Stephanie Hall, Ben Parks join Duetto as sales directors for global casino accounts
- Rory Fagan promoted to Duetto's VP casino accounts
- Laurent Cardot, CEO of Ariane Systems, relocates to Washington, D.C., area
- Frank Pitsikalis selected as a Canadian Ambassador for Global Wellness Day 2015
- Jeff Kays promoted to SVP of strategic initiatives and transformation at Sabre
- Raman P. (R.P.) Rama, Jason Shane, Martin Stanton join HTNG Board of Governors
For more information on People on the Move for 05/29/15


- Sabre acquiring Asia-Pacific GDS Abacus International
- Sabre integrates Triptease’s Price Check widget with SynXis Booking Engine
- Sabre launches SynXis Booking Engine in-context suite
- Sorell Hotels Switzerland transferring 17 hotels to Trust International
For more information on Reservations for 05/29/15


And now for you-know-what...

The 10 Best Caddy Replies:
10) Golfer: "Think I'm going to drown myself in the lake." Caddy: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"

9) Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course." Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."

8) Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?" Caddy: "Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now."

7) Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?" Caddy: "Eventually."

6) Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world." Caddy: "I don't think so sir. That would be too much of a coincidence."

5) Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction." Caddy: "It's not a watch – it's a compass."

4) Golfer: "How do you like my game?" Caddy: "Very good sir, but personally, I prefer golf."

3) Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?" Caddy: "The way you play, sir, it's a sin on any day."

2) Golfer: "This is the worst course I've ever played on." Caddy: "This isn't the golf course. We left that an hour ago."

1) And the best caddy comment… Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's too old." Caddy: "It's been a long time since we teed off, sir."

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