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Siegel Sez

August 13, 2015

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Every year our little company brings technology leaders together from all over the world for our CIO Summit (http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/CIOSummit) in September. I believe one of the reasons this event has grown is because of the program. I truly love the month before the event because I get to talk to so many of the attendees regarding their challenges with technology. Yes, we get the popular feedback regarding the cloud, mobile strategies and a host of other topical issues from legal vulnerabilities to the impact marketing has on their responsibilities. This year so much of the feedback from the more than 70 attendees surrounds the issue of security. How many of us talked about the CISO role not too many years ago? Not many. Today the role of the Chief Information Security Officer is key to those responsible for technology. HTNG created a forum for those in this role a little over a year ago with some great representation (http://www.htng.org/forums/hotel-ciso-forum). We have taken all this feedback and have created a great session at our CIO Summit focusing on technology, security and the interaction technology leaders have with the CISO.  I have very much appreciated the feedback from the attendees and look forward to the session. I think we are all going to learn a great deal.

Speaking of security, when I started my career in the hotel industry many years ago it was working the front desk. I love telling people that in my career, being a front desk agent was my favorite job. I looked at every guest checking in as a new audience. There was one thing I was told that I could never do and I have to tell you a few times as a traveler this has happened to me and I always say something. I am not a fan of frivolous lawsuits and the world seems full of them. Not sure if what I am going to share is extortion or even true, but I think it should be shared with our hotel audience as a reminder to those who work the front desk of a hotel. Here is the link to the “situation,” http://www.11alive.com/story/news/2015/08/13/parkview-hazing-lawsuit-hotel/31597445/?source=nletter-. If it is true, I know I wouldn’t want to be the person working at the Hyatt Place in South Carolina. Yes, the issue of security in the hotel industry should always be important.

Thanks to all for the warm welcome to Dan Phillips as he shares the recent technology happenings in the industry. If you have any comments or want to give him suggestions, then email Dan at dphillips@dare2i.com. Here now is this week’s review, I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

Recent headlines,
from Dan Phillips



Sustainability.  Sometimes when I think of that word I think conservation and recycling.  Other times I think longevity and sayings like, “plan the plan then work the plan.”  Sometimes I am confused by the apparent lack of common sense applied to new conservation/sustainability practices.  I remember a few years back when government regulations here in the States mandated smaller toilets.  No, not toilets, but really the amount of water used when flushed.  It used to be that a toilet would hold about 3.6 gallons of water to be used during one flush.  Then, the government changed it to about 1.6 gallons.  On many occasions, and you know who you are, one had to flush a toilet two or three times.  I guess that still saved water.

So, I recently had to purchase a new dishwasher.  We didn’t buy the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but one comfortably in the midrange.  We installed it and began using it.  The dishes didn’t get as clean (relevant term there!) nor would they dry completely.  We went back to the store and spoke with a very intelligent man that explained to us that with the recent government regulations, no dishwashers really completely clean dirty dishes nor dry them anymore.  We were instructed to fully clean the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, and to be prepared to dry them when the cycle was completed.  You see, new regulations have cut down on water consumption, and on the soapiness of the soap, and on the energy used to dry water.  I’m not sure we are saving anything by washing the dishes twice.  We just had to order a new laundry machine, or clothes washer.  New government regulations have cut down on the amount of water used (drastically) and now we have to use HE (high efficiency) quality detergents.  I am fraught with anticipation to see just how clean my whites come out now.  (The washer is due to arrive tomorrow, I can hardly wait!)

What has always intrigued me about consulting in the hotel industry is that each individual hotel, regardless of size, is really like a small city.  It operates 24 hours a day, it requires electricity and other utilities and provides room, board, utilities, service, hospitality, comfort and so much more to each person that enters the building.  And, just like a city, hotels create a lot of waste.  Do hotels efficiently use resources and utilities?  And what do hotels do with the waste byproducts of all of the resources they use and their guests consume?

I hope that hoteliers apply common sense to the sustainability plans they implement.  Do they have energy management systems and special lighting solutions to save on electricity and gas?  Do they offer their guests amenities like electric car charging stations?  Are they gardening, producing their own vegetables and fruits, or perhaps buying them locally, to cut down on packaging debris?  Are they purchasing products that come in recyclable wrapping?  Do they really only wash the towels thrown on the floor?

Please, I would love to hear about common sense, results proven and sustainability practices your hotel or hotel company has instituted.  Let’s share smart ideas!

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle Earns Green Globe Certificate
- Hotel Sustainability Tool 2015 now Available at no Charge Through Cornell University
- Starwood Announces Accomplishments in Energy, Carbon, Water Reductions
- Jumeirah Dhevanafushi Awarded Green Globe Certification
- AccorHotels Recognized for Reinventing Hotel Sustainability
- Suppliers Innovate to Discover More Sustainable Versions of Popular K-Cup
For more information on Sustainability for 08/13/15


- Agilysys Listed as a Champion in Info-Tech Research Group’s Property Management Systems Vendor Landscape
Agilysys Listed as a Champion in Info-Tech Research Group’s Property Management Systems Vendor Landscape
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, announced that the company has been listed as a Champion in Info-Tech Research Group's Property Management Systems (PMS) Vendor Landscape report. Info-Tech Research Group Vendor Landscape reports recognize outstanding vendors in the technology marketplace. Assessing vendors by the strength of their offerings and their strategies for the enterprise, the reports pay tribute to the contributions of exceptional vendors in a particular category.


- Amadeus Acquires hotel SystemsPro
- Cvent Reveals 2015 List of top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States
Amadeus Acquires hotel SystemsPro
hotel SystemsPro delivers high-performance, ASP-based enterprise and property solutions to more than 4,500 hotels in North America and beyond, with a specific focus on mid-tier properties.  The acquisition will see hotel SystemsPro formally integrated into Newmarket. This will complement Amadeus’ existing market reach and will expand its overall product offering whilst generating new business opportunities across the hotel SystemsPro customer base. The deal also forms an important component of Amadeus’ broader strategic end-to-end IT vision for hotels.
http://www.amadeus.com, http://hotelsystemspro.com
Cvent Reveals 2015 List of top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States
Orlando reclaimed the top spot on the 2015 list, a position the city last held in 2013. Las Vegas climbed one spot on the ranking compared to last year, while Chicago dropped two places from No. 1 in 2014 to round out the top three.

The top 10 cities for 2015 are:
1.  Orlando, Fla.
2.  Las Vegas, Nev.
3.  Chicago, Ill.
4.  San Diego, Calif.
5.  Atlanta, Ga.
6.  Washington, D.C.
7.  New York, N.Y.
8.  Dallas, Texas
9.  Nashville, Tenn.
10.  Phoenix, Ariz.


- Disneyland Resort Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Announces Million Dollar Philanthropic Program
- Homewood Suites by Hilton “Makes a Travel Moment” for U.S. Service Members and Military Families with the USO
- MGM Resorts International Employees Pledge $6 Million to Help Nonprofit Organizations and Programs Serving Communities
- Queue Jump app Lets Charitable Patrons Skip the Lines
For more information on Philanthropy for 08/13/15


- Marriott Transforms Mobile app Development
- U.S. News & World Report Reveals the 2015-16 Best Travel Rewards Programs
Marriott Transforms Mobile app Development
International Data Group’s (IDG) CIO magazine has announced that Marriott International, Inc., is a recipient of the 2015 CIO 100 Award. The 28th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology.  Marriott is being honored for its Application Programming Interface (API) Platform, a new, centralized way in which the company collects and distributes data, and delivers its applications. Launched in 2014, the Platform provides a core application infrastructure, application development tools and an evolving catalog of APIs, which enable Marriott to make strategic, efficient and cost-effective business decisions. The Platform has also reduced mobile release delivery times from four to six months, to four to six weeks. Most importantly, through the Platform, Marriott is able to execute game-changing mobile releases that provide a seamless, technology-driven guest experience.  http://www.marriott.com  
U.S. News & World Report Reveals the 2015-16 Best Travel Rewards Programs
U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, released the 2015-16 Best Travel Rewards Programs. The annual rankings feature information on 28 airline and hotel loyalty programs to help travelers easily identify programs with the most perks. For the first time, Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan tops the list of the Best Airline Rewards Programs. Marriott Rewards holds onto the No. 1 spot in the Best Hotel Rewards category for the third year in a row.

2015-16 Top Five Best Hotel Rewards Programs:
1. Marriott Rewards
2. Wyndham Rewards
3. (tie) Best Western Rewards
3. (tie) Club Carlson
5. IHG Rewards Club


- What Business Travelers Want from Hotels
- Intelity and Crestron Unveil Guestroom Services and Automation System at J House Greenwich
- Have Internet?  The Lawsuit the Entire Hotel Industry is Watching
For more information on Guest Services for 08/13/15


- Are you Ready for EMV Card Adoption?
Are you Ready for EMV Card Adoption?
Credit card security is a topic top of mind for any business that processes consumer payment data, and this October the stakes for U.S. businesses—including hotels—to comply with the latest wave of payment security will get higher.  It’s all part of a continuing wave for the United States to widely adopt EMV chip credit cards, which reduce counterfeiting and card fraud, but which require hardware and software upgrades on the part of the party processing the payment.  Beginning in October, new compliance language will shift the burden of liability for some types of fraudulent credit card transactions away from banks and ultimately onto merchants. Hoteliers who know these new liability burdens and are actively implementing technology upgrades to read these new cards will come out ahead, legal and technology sources said.


- Hilton Debuts Digital Key, new Enhancement for HHonors app
Hilton Debuts Digital Key, new Enhancement for HHonors app
Hilton Worldwide has introduced Digital Key, an all-new feature of the Hilton HHonors app, providing the ability to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access the rooms, as well as other areas of the hotel that require a key.  According to the company, by early 2016, HHonors members will be able to use their smartphones as their room keys to enter more than 170,000 rooms at 250 U.S. properties within the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton brands.


- Skift Global Forum 2015: Hyatt CEO on Bringing Humanity Back to Hospitality
- 4 Charts That Show the Growth of Mobile Search by Leisure Travelers
- Ecova: More Companies Using Energy Management Systems
- Digging to the core of Airbnb's Big Apple data
- Responsible Personalization: How Brands Can Build Trust With Consumers
- And other stories...
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 08/13/15


- SkyTouch Technology Announces new Chief Executive Officer
- Bokun Appoints Shelly Edwards as Director of Sales, North America
- John Chaffin Joins RoamBOOST to Champion Cause for Improving Hotels’ Cellular Infrastructures
For more information on People on the Move for 08/13/15


- Expedia Cozies up to Google While Boycotting TripAdvisor Hotel Bookings
- Guests Will Wait Until 2017 for InterContinental’s new Reservations System
- trivago Partners with TrustYou to Power its Review Summaries
For more information on Reservations for 08/13/15


And now for you-know-what…

The CIA had an opening for an assassin. After all the background checks, interviews and testing were done, there were three finalists: two men and a woman. For the final test, the CIA agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun. "We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances," the agent said. "Inside the room you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Kill her.”
The man said, “You can't be serious. I could never shoot my wife."
The agent said, “Then you are not the right man for this job. Take your wife and go home."
The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the man came out with tears in his eyes. He said, "I tried, but I can't kill my wife."
The agent said, "You don't have what it takes, so take your wife and go home."
Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the same instructions: to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard one after another. They heard screaming, crashing, and banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman, wiping sweat from her brow.
"The gun was loaded with blanks," she said. "So I had to kill him with the chair."

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