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Siegel Sez

October 30, 2015

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

The big news this week as reported on Hotel-Online was the acquisition of ZDirect by Travelclick. If half of what I hear is true I expect between now and the end of the year there will be a few more announcements but you can never be sure. Some make sense, some are just rumors but it does make for interesting conversations. These are interesting times in the hotel technology space. Of course a lot of these conversations happen at events and they are not always alcohol inspired. This is why I always encourage those in the industry to attend events; it is all about interacting with peers. Last week I was at the HFTP Annual Conference in Bellevue, Wash. I would like to meet the marketing types who decided to promote Hyatt Regency Bellevue on Seattle’s Eastside.  It is a good ways from Seattle; you can ask my cab driver if you don’t believe me. The event was very enjoyable, great crowd and for me I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was mostly the financial types that are a major part of the HFTP membership.  The week ended on a great high after HFTP concluded with Ted Horner and Lindsay Geyer pulling off an unbelievable surprise party for the retiring Jon Inge. It was absolutely amazing how many traveled a long ways to be there for the one night. Jon was absolutely surprised. Bob Bennett did a nice job recording on his phone the shocked Jon Inge walking into the room. If you would like to see the video then please click here. What a great way to end the week in Seattle East.

We are looking forward to heading up to New York City in a week to experience HX – The Hotel Experience which is the reinvented IHMRS. The event management is doing a lot of creative things this year especially with technology.  As they say, the only constant in life is change and a change was needed for the New York Show. Hopefully good things will happen.  If you make it to New York, please come to the Technology Innovation Center which is where we will be.  It is always fun to meet people face to face.  Hospitality Upgrade always does a dinner on Monday night in New York so come by and let us know if you would like to join us. After New York it is one day in Washington, D.C. at The Hotel Network of Tomorrow conference. Then finally for November it will be off to London for Hospace which is an amazing one-day event. Of course it never seems to bother HOSPA who produces the event that it is once again happening on Thanksgiving Day. Let’s see if they serve turkey at their big dinner at the end of the show, which would be nice for those of us who are traveling over from the United States.  Turkey in London? Who am I kidding.

The baseball World Series is going on right now. In February there will be a Super Bowl for pro football. It seems all sports to crown their champions have two teams or two players playing for their championship.  Yes, I am a bit biased, but if you are near a television around 5 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow you should watch the Breeders’ Cup Classic horse race. There will be 10 of the top horses in the world racing and only one winner. The buildup before the race is great, but nothing beats that moment when the gate opens and the race starts. I was at the Belmont Stakes this year to see American Pharaoh win the first Triple Crown in 37 years and my fingers are crossed he will cap off his amazing year with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  We can only hope.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips' review of what is happening in the technology world. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

Recent headlines,
from Dan Phillips



I have to admit that I know little about cyberattacks and data security.  Unfortunately, if you are a hotelier reading this you best not make the same statement.  Here is a partial list of companies that were attacked just in 2014: Neiman Marcus, White Lodging, Michaels, PF Changs, Affinity Gaming, Albertsons, UPS, Dairy Queen, Goodwill, Home Depot, Jimmy Johns, JP Morgan Chase, Staples, Sony, Target, Yahoo, AT&T, eBay and Google.  The average cost of such attacks doubled from 2013 to 2104, up to $8.6M per occurrence.

The director of the FBI, James Comey, said, “There are two kinds of companies in the United States.  There are those who’ve been hacked…and those that don’t know they’ve been hacked.”  Trump Hotels Collection just announced last month that it was attacked.  On which side does your hotel company sit?

Check out the articles below…

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- Hyatt Becomes Latest Hotel Company to Remove On-demand Porn in Rooms
- Accor Picks Quadriga for Wi-Fi in Africa
- RoomNetTV Opens Dubai Office
- Starwood Adding DIRECTV to Its Suite of In-room Entertainment in the United States
- Next Evolution Beach Services at Hyatt Regency Aruba
- Uniguest Acquires Vertical Systems Incorporated
- Kube Systems to Display Portable Mobile Charging Stations for Public Spaces at HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA
- Delta Toronto Improves Service with the Help of GoConcierge
For more information on Guest Services for 10/30/15


- RoomKey Technologies Rebrands as Ve-Go Technologies
- Kaba and DORMA Finalize Merger
RoomKey Technologies Rebrands as Ve-Go Technologies
RoomKey Technologies Inc., a leading mobile solution for hotel guest services, has changed its name to Ve-Go Technologies, Inc., and rebranded its flagship product to VeGoKey, as it accelerates the process of mobile room key adoption at hotels in key markets across the country.  http://www.ve-go.com  
Kaba and DORMA Finalize Merger
Earlier this month Kaba announced that its merger with DORMA was finalized on Sept. 1, 2015. The new company, dorma+kaba Group will be one of the top three firms in global access control, with pro forma annual sales of more than CHF 2B ($2.1B) and more than 16,000 staff in 50 countries. DORMA's automatic doors and Crane revolving doors are in wide use throughout the hospitality industry. Kaba provides the Saflok™ and ILCO™ brands of electronic locks.


- Scandic’s Sustainability Work to Inspire Japanese Business Leaders
- Marriott International Making Big Gains in Corporate Responsibility
- Sustainability Upgrades No Longer “Nice to Haves”
- Hyatt Regency Greenwich Selected as Recipient of Hyatt’s First Fuel Cell
- Hilton Worldwide Unveils Upgrades to Corporate Responsibility Reporting Across Its Global Portfolio
- Why Hotel’s Laundry Services are Responsible for High Utility Costs
For more information on Sustainability for 10/30/15


- HSMAI Foundation Releases Publication on the Evolution of Hotel Sales
HSMAI Foundation Releases Publication on the Evolution of Hotel Sales
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation released its new research publication entitled, "The Evolution of Sales: Perspectives and Realities Defining the Modern Sales Professional." The report, authored by Lalia Rach, Ed D, offers specific facts and implications to hotel sales and explores the challenges facing hotel sales, as well as highlights the need for the hospitality industry to change perspective.


- HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA to Celebrate the Hospitality Industry in Grand Style
HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA to Celebrate the Hospitality Industry in Grand Style
Next month 15,000 will congregate at HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA — Rooms to Restaurants, November 8-10, 2015, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Celebrating the best of hospitality is an important part of this leading industry tradeshow and the management group has announced the following happenings during the event: The International Hospitality Ball on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at the JW Marriot Essex House, NYC; The 35th annual Gold Key Awards Gala, Industry Networking Reception on Monday, November 9, 2015, at Naples 45 Restaurant, NYC; and a breakfast and panel discussion including Venus Williams, professional tennis player and V*STARR Interiors CEO, on Monday, Nov. 9.  http://www.thehotelexperience.us/


- Emoji Room Service is Now a Thing If You’re Too Lazy to Call the Front Desk
- Shangri-La Hotels CMO on Secrets to Developing a Virtual Reality Strategy
- VR and beacons tipped for mainstream adoption in 2016
- You Won't Believe This New Playstation Controller (Hint: Nissan Is Behind It, and it won’t fit in your hand)
- Travel with a Personal Touch: The Facts Behind Personalization
- And more stories…
For more information on Piqued Dam's Interest for 10/30/15


- Trump Hotels Warns of Data Breach in Chicago, Other Cities
- 2015 Verizon Breach Report: A Must-read for all Security Pros
Trump Hotels Warns of Data Breach in Chicago, Other Cities
Hackers may have accessed payment card information at Trump hotels across the country, including Trump International Chicago at 401 N. Wabash Ave., according to the hotel chain. Unauthorized software may have been used to access to credit card information as it was put into the hotels' payment system, according to a statement on the Trump Hotel website. The data breach may affect people who used credit or debit cards at certain Trump hotels between May 19, 2014 and June 2, 2015.
2015 Verizon Breach Report: A Must-read for all Security Pros
Part of the Telus Talks Security Blog provides a summary of the extensive 2015 Verizon Breach Report, which can be found at this link.


- Interval Leisure Group to Acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Vacation Ownership Business
- Diamond Resorts International Completes Acquisition of Gold Key Resorts
Interval Leisure Group to Acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Vacation Ownership Business
Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq:IILG) ("ILG"), and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) ("Starwood") announced that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which a wholly owned subsidiary of ILG will acquire and then merge with and into Vistana Signature Experiences ("Vistana"). The combination, which will follow completion of the planned spinoff of Vistana from Starwood announced on February 10, 2015, has a total value to Starwood of approximately $1.5 billion.
Diamond Resorts International Completes Acquisition of Gold Key Resorts
Diamond Resorts International, Inc., announced its acquisition of the vacation ownership business of Gold Key Resorts, adding five vacation ownership resorts in Virginia Beach, Va., and one in the Outer Banks, N.C. The acquisition adds two new East Coast locations to Diamond Resorts, bringing its global portfolio to a total of 99 managed resorts.


- Denihan Names Carl L. Cohen Chief Experience Officer
- Patrick Andres Joins The Rainmaker Group as Managing Director of Asia-Pacific
- The Hotel Marketer Finds Director of Digital Marketing in Matt Tutt
- Jim Glasspoole Joins GuestTek as New Executive VP, Finance & CFO
- INTEREL Group CEO Joins HTNG Vendor Advisory Council
- Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc., Appoints Jonathan J. Gantt as Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer
- HFTP Establishes Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE Scholarship at the University of Houston
- Duetto’s Marco Benvenuti Named 2015-16 Pillsbury Institute Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell’s SHA
- David Weidlich Appointed Vice President of Operations, Eastern Region, by Loews Hotels & Resorts
For more information on People on the Move for 10/30/15


- WoodSpring Hotels™ Migrates 180 Properties to MSI CloudPM™
- Maestro PMS Brings Mobile Operation Apps to HX and TribalNet
WoodSpring Hotels™ Migrates 180 Properties to MSI CloudPM™
WoodSpring Hotels has successfully moved 180 hotels off premise-based property management systems to the cloud, specifically to MSI CloudPM.  Kyle Rogg, WoodSpring Hotels president and COO, said, "We now have the ability to speed training, improve disaster recovery, increase functionality, and decouple the CRS from the call center, nearly doubling conversion rates.”  http://www.MSIsolutions.com  
Maestro PMS Brings Mobile Operation Apps to HX and TribalNet
Maestro PMS will exhibit its mobile leadership at HX, the New York hotel show, Nov. 8-10, and at TribalNet, the Indian gaming technology event, Nov. 2-5. "Maestro PMS goes mobile at HX with a suite of Web solutions, including our Mobile Housekeeping app and Maestro Web Property Management to simplify operations for independents," said Warren Dehan, Maestro PMS president. http://www.maestropms.com  


- Amazon Shutters its Destinations Travel Service
- Wyndham Hotel Group Joins the TripAdvisor Instant Booking Marketplace
- Fragrance Hotels Reveals Booking Rates Have Risen With SiteMinder
- SiteMinder Named a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Winner for Fifth Consecutive Year
- Classic Hotels & Resorts Increases Productivity with SHR’s WindsurferCRS Distribution Platform
- TrustYou Answers the Question, How to Get Guests to Find, Book and Trust Your Hotel?
For more information on Reservations for 10/30/15


- 100+ Preferred Hotels & Resorts Properties Rely on Digital Alchemy to Strengthen Guest Relationships
- Fontainebleau Miami Beach Implements Sabre Digital Marketing Solutions
- NAVIS Introduces NAVIS Capture for Vacation Rental Companies
- Cendyn Arcaneo® Tapped to Facilitate Specialty Session at 2015 Momentum Sports Marketing Symposium
- HeBStrategy Releases Hospitality Digital Technology & Marketing Strategy Whitepaper
- Tambourine Reveals Annual Halloween List of Hotel Marketing Nightmares
For more information on Marketing/Management for 10/30/15


- TravelClick Acquires ZDirect
TravelClick Acquires ZDirect
TravelClick has acquired ZDirect, a leading hospitality CRM solution provider, making it the second acquisition by the company in the last 12 months.  http://www.TravelClick.com, http://www.zdirect.com/


- Agilysys Recognized for Groundbreaking rGuest® Seat Solution
- Alabama Resort Selects Clear Sky Software
Agilysys Recognized for Groundbreaking rGuest® Seat Solution
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), has been named a finalist for Product of the Year in the 2015 BIG Awards for Business for its product rGuest® Seat. Presented by the Business Intelligence Group, the BIG Awards for Business recognizes top-performing companies and organizations from around the world, and uses a proprietary judging process scored by well-known and experienced leaders and executives. http://www.agilysys.com  
Alabama Resort Selects Clear Sky Software
The Perdido Beach Resort in Gulf Shores Alabama has selected Clear Sky Software and its food and beverage inventory control solution. The Clear Sky FOOD & BEVERAGE will help the busy seaside vacation spot, located in Orange Beach, Ala., control all food and beverage products and maintain a perpetual inventory. http://www.clearskysoftware.com  


- BirchStreet and HotSOS Partner to Create a Cloud-to-cloud Integration
BirchStreet and HotSOS Partner to Create a Cloud-to-cloud Integration
BirchStreet's Inventory Control module integrates directly into HotSOS so hotel staff can report, track and cost perpetual inventory throughout the property.  This integration allows HotSOS technology to monitor maintenance and operations while BirchStreet allows staff to track inventory parts, monitor par levels and reorder items through its procure-to-pay platform. http://birchstreet.net  


- Agilysys Continues Its Commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Agilysys Continues Its Commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Agilysys, Inc., is donating 500 AMC movie tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada as part of its "Lasting Connections" initiative, which supports and encourages community outreach. Each time an attendee at the recent Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas visited the Agilysys booth and viewed a product demo, a movie ticket donation was made. http://www.agilysys.com  


And now for you-know-what…

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert of bears while in the field. They advise that outdoorsmen wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting them. They also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. 

Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear dung. Black bear dung is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear dung has little bells in it and smells like pepper.

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