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Siegel Sez

March 01, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

If your livelihood is based on understanding and using technology then you should always put attending users’ conferences on your calendar. I just returned from Las Vegas where I attended the SynXis Customer Forum. It was very well attended and a great conference. I am always honored when I am invited to a users’ group meeting. This is less about business for me and more about talking to people that actually use the technology that we cover in Hospitality Upgrade. Of course, the networking aspect for those attending is extremely valuable. It is a great opportunity for vendors to share with their customers and prospects what the future holds, along with how they are dealing with current issues. It was funny how I never was introduced as Richard Siegel, but always as Siegel Sez. I strongly recommend that whenever you are invited to your vendor’s users’ conference that you attend. Just the training sessions they offer will justify the expense.

It is always fun being in Las Vegas. The SynXis Forum was at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, a lively and somewhat loud place that also had me realizing that I am getting older; it is definitely a younger crowd at the Hard Rock. Then keeping with the “rock” theme of my weekend for the first time, I stayed at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino. It is a good distance away from the action of the strip, but there was enough “action” there and a beautiful hotel to make for a great weekend. The Las Vegas gaming industry just blows me away how much money they keep spending to outdo the previous project in town.

The big project in Las Vegas is CityCenter by MGM MIRAGE that seems to be taking up half the Las Vegas Strip. This $7 billion project will include multiple hotels, casinos and condo towers with its own power plant and fire station amongst the numerous entities, and when finished will be a city in itself. Hospitality Upgrade is very excited that the CIO of MGM MIRAGE, Thomas Peck will be joining us at our Executive Vendor Summit (http://www.vendorsummit.com) and will be speaking to this group of executives from the vendor community on a multiple of subjects including doing business with companies like MGM MIRAGE. The following morning there will be a session with John Bollen and Scott Campbell who are the two guys in charge of all the technology going into CityCenter. They will share how they research current technology and the technology that will be available when the project is completed.  They will also share how they analyze the costs of technology and what investments will be made. Being the technology junkie that I am, I cannot wait for this session, it will be powerful. I must thank all three of the MGM MIRAGE executives for participating at our conference. If you have any questions about the conference please e-mail Sharon Lee (mailto:Sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com).

Congratulations to HFTP for the successful launch of their European Hospitality Technology Educational Conference. The feedback has been very positive with representatives from over 15 countries in attendance. The question people are asking now is will this become a European HITEC? I guess only time will tell.

I cannot believe I get to drive to a conference next week. HTNG will be holding its Third Annual Members Meeting and Conference (http://www.htng.org) here in Atlanta next week at the Sheraton downtown. It is an interesting meeting that I enjoy as we all get to see the progress that continues to be made. I just hope those that introduce me will refer to me as Richard Siegel, not Siegel Sez. But at least I get mentioned either way which is a good thing, right?

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s excellent technology review of the last few weeks. I will you 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



- ISHC Top Ten Technology Issues for 2007
- HTNG to focus on “practical SOA” at annual conference
You may remember that “keeping up with technological change” was voted No. 3 in the ISHC Top Ten Issues in the Hospitality Industry for 2007.  However, discussions during the voting at ISHC’s annual conference covered more aspects of technology’s impact on hospitality operations than could be included under a single item.  Consequently ISHC’s technology specialists have summarized the issues discussed into a separate top ten technology issues for 2007, as follows:
  1. Need to move off legacy systems – Properties tend to cling to obsolete systems when far more effective modern systems could significantly improve revenue opportunities.
  2. Data and system security – With today’s greater sensitivity to guest data security and to the accuracy of financial reports, properties need to implement higher levels of system security.
  3. Need for still tighter integration – Effective marketing and repeat-business management require tighter integration between all guest-facing systems.
  4. Software on demand increasingly attractive – Remotely hosted and supported software gives properties access to the most current and most securely maintained software. 
  5. Making data mining and BI effective amidst data overload – The increasing volume of guest and operational data mandates extra care to ensure consistency and accuracy and more graphics-based tools to highlight the exceptions requiring attention.
  6. Better user interfaces, ease of use – Both software applications and guestroom technology need to be more simple to operate.
  7. Impact of mobile devices – Cell phones, PDAs, etc. are having a major impact on both guestroom and management technology, and especially on network bandwidth.
  8. Impact of growing use of rich media – The growing use of rich media on hotel Web sites also increases the need for high-bandwidth connections for both management and guests.
  9. Affordability/ROI – The financial payback for technology is seldom addressed formally, but it is often the price of staying in business and keeping guest and operational data secure.
  10. Appropriate use and level of technology – Hotels still often select technology that is either too simple or too complex for their real-world needs.  
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has announced the agenda and speakers for its annual members’ meeting and conference to be held March 5-7, 2007 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.  The program will highlight service-oriented architecture (SOA), focusing on its practical realities and discussing which types of companies and products will and will not benefit, now and in the future. 


- Nantucket Island Resorts implements NORTHWIND’s Maestro for five hotels and boat basin
- The U.S. Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites upgrades to Epitome.Net, installs Core CRS
- El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico installs Springer-Miller suite
- Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg chooses SMS|Host for hotel and spa
- Mirbeau Inn & Spa orders SMS|Host for hotel, spa, fine dining, banquet and retail
- Hotel Santa Fe, Las Palomas Hotel and Inn on the Paseo in Santa Fe select SMS|Host
For more on Property Management Systems for 3/1/07


- Advantage Travel Centres signs with commission service Net Trans
- OpenTravel Alliance expands membership structure
- Dusit Hotels & Resorts picks MICROS’ OPERA Central Systems Solution
- Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts implements Micros’ OPERA Enterprise Solutions and MyFidelio
- U.S. Navy’s Gateway Inns & Suites to implement SoftBrands’ Core CRS
- Kayak.com announces consumer launch of Kayak.co.uk
- Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, Fla. signs for TravelCLICK’s iHotelier
For more on Reservations for 3/1/07


- BDL Hotel Group implementing Serenata in newly opened Ramada Encore hotels
- Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa and Sycuan Resort and Casino order Digital Alchemy
- Extended Stay Hotels implements Aptech’s Execuvue at all 681 properties
For more on Marketing/Management for 3/1/07


- London’s Royal Garden Hotel to install IDeaS V5i
The 396-room Royal Garden Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel located in London, has signed an agreement with IDeaS to install IDeaS V5i revenue optimization solution.  http://www.ideas.com


- Imaginative ideas for technology’s impact on guests in 2025
- Michelangelo Hotel installs KoolConnect’s Imagine digital entertainment
- MTech’s HotSOS now available in 15 languages
- MTech launches Quality Inspection Console (QIC) hand-held housekeeping unit
- THE WEEK magazine names Hotel Technologies’ iHome, “one of the best alarm clocks”
- Vertical Systems Inc. (VSi) announces Aspen high-style kiosks for hotel public spaces
- TTI adds Sorbis Communications wireless networking to business center product range
- Broadband Hospitality acquires wireless provider IP-Hotels
- AH&LA study reports free Internet access slowly extending into upscale properties
For more on Guest Services for 3/1/07


- MTech releases hotel inventory and purchasing (HIP) application
- Fantasy Springs Resort Casino selects Agilysys’ Materials Management System
MTech has released its hotel inventory and purchasing (HIP) application, available either standalone or integrated with its HotSOS work order/guest rapid-response system.  HIP is available over the Internet as a SaaS (software as a service) service, and includes budget management, purchase order/inventory/vendor management, multiwarehouse support, barcode-label generation and inter-warehouse transfer.  It can add parts costs to the labor figures tracked in a HotSOS-originated work order and automatically reduce inventory in the appropriate storeroom.  http://www.m-tech.com
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has selected Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory and procurement system.  The 250-room Palm Springs hotel casino is owned and operated by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and includes gaming, dining, entertainment, conference facilities and access to several golf courses.  Fantasy Springs is also using Agilysys’ MMS Menu/Recipe Analysis and Bar Coding modules.  http://www.fantasyspringsresort.comhttp://www.agilysys.com


- Marriott International names Onity a preferred supplier of electronic locking solutions
- Safemark introduces a hotel room top-open safe that can be secured in a desk drawer
Marriott International has named Onity a preferred supplier of electronic locking solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, through the end of 2008.  http://www.marriott.comhttp://www.onity.com
Safemark Systems has introduced a hotel room safe that can be secured in a desk drawer for ease of access.  The metal, top-open drawer safe is designed to protect a 15-inch laptop computer and other valuables, features hydraulic arms and four 3/4-inch locking bolts, and is secured to the desk by steel wire cables.  http://www.safemark.com


- Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) announces several senior appointments
- Roy Flora takes over at USFS as Mike Leven retires from the industry
Multi-Systems, Inc. (MSI) announced several senior appointments:
- Glen Long has been hired as vice president of sales and marketing for North America.  Mr. Long has more than 30 years of corporate technology and lodging industry experience for companies such as IBM, SMS and United Messaging, and as a property owner. 
- Rick Bennett has been promoted to vice president of product integration.  Mr. Bennett joined MSI in 1992 and has been a member of customer support, product distribution, quality assurance, second-level support and development.  He had previously worked in customer support for Rutherford and Associates and as a night auditor while attending the University of New Mexico.
- David Kantrud has been promoted to vice president of software engineering, having joined MSI in 2004 as a senior developer.  Prior to joining MSI, he was a software engineer with Pegasus Solutions, and had earlier worked as a programmer for Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auctions and the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
- Marc Voirol has been promoted to director of account management.  He joined MSI’s customer assistance center in 2000, and had previously spent eight years working in the lodging industry in positions ranging from guest service associate to general manager. 
- Kim Anglin has been promoted to director of training after six months with MSI.  She was most recently PM implementation manager at Pegasus Solutions, and had earlier spent 10 years in management at the property level with Sheraton, Hilton, Registry Resorts and L’Ermitage.
Mike Leven has retired from US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), the Global Hyatt affiliate he founded in 1995.  Mr. Leven spent his entire 45-year career in the hotel industry, most notably as president and chief operating officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide, president of Days Inn of America, and president of Americana Hotels.  He also co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) with 12 members in 1989.
Mr. Leven’s duties at USFS have been assumed by Roy Flora, executive vice president and chief operating officer for USFS.  Mr. Flora has 38 years of experience in hotel franchising, having spent more than 20 years with Holiday Inn Worldwide and serving as a franchise consultant and litigation expert for many hospitality companies.  He joined USFS in 2000.


- Grecotel picks Delphi Multi-Property Edition (MPE) for 18 resort properties
- Lodging Interactive announces RFPLink.com, letting hotel Web sites process group lead requests
- Atlas Hotels to implement Passkey at Kona Kai Resort & Spa and Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego
For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning


- PAR Springer-Miller Systems’ SpaSoft validated as CISP-compliant
PAR Springer-Miller Systems announced that VISA USA has validated SpaSoft Version 3.0 as compliant with its CISP (card information security program) Payment Application Best Practices.  http://www.springermiller.com


And now for you-know-what…

Johnny went to visit the priest to give a confession. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl."

"Is that you, little Johnny Parisi," the priest asked.

"Yes, Father, it is," Johnny replied.

"And who was the girl you were with," the priest asked.

"I can't tell you, Father, I don't want to ruin her reputation."

"Well, Johnny, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?"

"I cannot say."

"Was it Teresa Volpe?"

"I'll never tell."

"Was it Nina Capelli?"

"I'm sorry, but I cannot name her."

"Was it Cathy Piriano?"

"My lips are sealed."

"Was it Rosa Di Angelo then?"

"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."

The priest sighed in frustration. "You're very tight lipped, Johnny Parisi, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy for four months. Now you go and behave yourself."

Johnny walked back to the pew. His friend Nino leaned over and whispered, "What'd you get?"

Johnny turned to him and whispered back, "Four months of vacation and five good leads."

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