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Siegel Sez

August 26, 2016

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Because of what I do for a living, this is my favorite time of the year. We are less than two weeks away from our 15th annual CIO Summit and the conversations I have been having as we planned our program are nothing short of amazing. There is much change going on in the industry today. Door locks or how one gets into their room is hot along with guest expectations once they are in the room. Industry technology leaders still need to deal with PCI issues along with security. Attendees have shared what they consider current challenges along with the issues they are facing in the future. The list goes on and on. We have more than 60 technology leaders coming this year, which will be our biggest crowd ever. Aside from one exception, every major brand will be at our CIO Summit, along with all the major management companies. What the brands want to accomplish and the need for those who own the hotels to buy into these initiatives creates some very interesting dialogue. Yes, it should be a very lively CIO Summit this year, I can’t wait. This is our first time holding the CIO Summit in Philadelphia. We will see how much love there is in the City of Brotherly Love, that is for sure. Our plans include a visit to the Art Museum where we will climb the steps and do our Rocky dance at the top. How can one go to Philadelphia and not do that? Philly, here we come!

We do take advantage of the content from our CIO Summit as we put together the fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade each year. We have already surveyed the attendees, and they have shared how they see technology initiatives and the corresponding challenges. We thank the CIOs who have shared their experiences and thoughts. In our fall issue some of the survey results will be included.  It is fun, interesting and sometimes a challenge putting together the fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade but we are up for all challenges. We thank HFTP for being a great partner as it expands its technology reach around the world, and also thank HSMAI for partnering with us as the world of sales, marketing and revenue management professionals drive much of the technology advances the industry is experiencing today. I would like to personally thank Bob Gilbert (the CEO of HSMAI) for inviting me to join his board and other industry leaders on a trip to Cuba. This should be interesting. Our magazine continues to grow both in print and digital formats; if you are not receiving either I strongly recommend you go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe. It amazes us that we are now past 30,000 readers who still enjoy the printed issue of Hospitality Upgrade, and the magazine is read in 110 countries around the world. It inspires us to keep improving. If you think we’re doing a good job or have a comment to help us improve, your feedback is always appreciated.

And finally, it wasn’t a dream come true, but it was close. Last week, B Three ran her first race in more than five months at historic Saratoga Race Track in upstate New York. It was a beautiful day with a gigantic crowd and we had Hall of Fame jockey, John Velasquez, riding her. She struggled a bit at the start and then got going, and just missed third place by a head. It was an amazing experience. Jeff Hecklau, a longtime friend who has worked at Onity for many years was able to join us – and it was his first time at a racetrack. I think he is hooked. What a great way to end the summer. For the many of you who watched and cheered, thanks. We will get them next time!

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips’ review of the technology happenings the last two weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Dan Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips



Data security.  It’s in the news all of the time.  Hillary Clinton’s email server was hacked.  Even today, as I prepare this piece, reporters working for The New York Times have had their laptops hacked.  Pretty much every month now there is a major company that has suffered a data breach and tens of thousands of our credit cards are now cloned and used to purchase gift cards at Target stores around the world.  Have we become complacent; have we become numb to the news?

Just last week a major hotel company informed its owners and franchisees that it has calculated the cost of protecting against noncompliance to the EMV standards (issued October 2015), and it is higher than what they perceive the risk in potential bad debt would be to swallow.  Really!  It may be easy for them to say since the actual losses will be borne by the owners, not the hotel company.  But what really bothers me is the attitude.

That attitude comes from looking at the billions of dollars hotels generate versus the comparatively small amount lost to credit card fraud, and specifically EMV fraud to date.  To the policy makers in the ivory towers, a tiny fraction of a percent of total revenue lost is nothing.  But, to many hotel owners, losing a couple of hundred, or thousand, dollars a month might be significant.  I find the attitude of nonchalance bothering.

The articles in the Data Security and Piqued Dan’s Interest sections below detail recent data breaches and include recommendations for prevention in the future.  Plus, you will find a link to a great article, “Under Siege, Staying out of the Headlines” by Hospitality Upgrade’s Geneva Rinehart and data security expert, Marion Roger!

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- GuestTek Announces Global Organizational Restructuring
- Mark Loyd Appointed President of MSI Solutions
- Springer-Miller Systems Addresses Growing Luxury Hospitality Technology Market
- ADARA Builds a New Analytics Foundation Helping DMOs Measure Impact on Their Marketing Spends
- IHG Appoints Jacque Riley as Brand Director, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Europe
- La Quinta Inns & Suites Names J. Sal Icaza New Director of Franchise Development
- Loews Hotels Appoints Greg O’Stean as Chief Investment Officer
- Paloma Resort Properties Names Leslie Johnson New VP of Sales & Marketing

For more information on People on the Move for 08/26/16


- TTI Technologies Partners with Maestro PMS to Help Hotels Automate the Guest ID Process at Check-in
- MSI Celebrates 500th CloudPM Installation
- StayNTouch Rover™ PMS Expands Guest Communication Features with Integration with Checkmate
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 08/26/16


- NAVIS Named a Top Workplace in Central Florida by Orlando Sentinel
- TrustYou Extends Reach of its Meta-reviews through Partnership with TRIPCON
NAVIS Named a Top Workplace in Central Florida by Orlando Sentinel
NAVIS, a reservation sales and marketing platform for independent hotels, resorts and vacation rental management companies announced that its east coast office has been named one of the Orlando Sentinel's Top 100 Workplaces in 2016. This year's recognition marks the fifth consecutive year that NAVIS has been ranked as one of the best places to work, and follows other honors NAVIS has received, including Top Place to Work in Oregon four years in a row. Headquartered in Bend, Ore., NAVIS delivers data-driven, cloud-based sales and marketing solutions for hotel and vacation rental companies to help them attract and convert more profitable demand across all channels, as well as increase staff productivity and promote guest satisfaction.
TrustYou Extends Reach of its Meta-reviews through Partnership with TRIPCON
TrustYou, one of the world’s largest guest feedback platforms, has been selected by TRIPCON, Japan’s premier site for comparing and booking hotels, to provide meta-review data for its search results. Nearly all travelers rely on review information before making a purchase; 95 percent of booking decisions are informed by online feedback. Meta-reviews summarize verified hotel reviews, and are easily integrated into other websites.


- Hotel Effectiveness Announces Two-Way Integration with ProfitSword
Hotel Effectiveness Announces Two-Way Integration with ProfitSword 
Hotel Effectiveness has announced a two-way integration with hospitality business intelligence tool ProfitSage by ProfitSword. The integration will eliminate manual data entry within both systems and broaden data insights that will help enhance the decision-making process of mutual customers. With the new two-way integration, operational data including actual and forecasted occupancy, revenue and other business drivers will automatically sync from ProfitSage into Hotel Effectiveness. Likewise, actual labor data will automatically sync from the Hotel Effectiveness labor management tools into ProfitSage. This gives customers a more complete and up-to-date view of their hotel operational data.


- Alpin Rentals and Luxury Group Appoints SiteMinder to Take Control of Inventory and Rates
- DHISCO Signs First Southern African B2B Partner, Plum Accommodation
- Expedia and RLHC Work Together to Accommodate Guest Preferences
For more information on Reservations for 08/26/16


- Rainmaker Group Ranks on Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Private Companies for Sixth Consecutive Year
Rainmaker Group Ranks on Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Private Companies for Sixth Consecutive Year
The Rainmaker Group, a provider of revenue and profit optimization solutions to the hospitality and multifamily housing industries, announced that it has been ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. The 2016 edition of the Inc. 5000 marks the sixth consecutive year that Rainmaker has been included, a distinction that only an elite subset of the companies on this year's list can claim. Having surpassed 200 employees last year, the Atlanta-based company continues to rank on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list due to its impressive three-year growth of 86 percent. Founded in 1998, the company has since established itself as a market leader in revenue management and profit optimization solutions for the hospitality, gaming and multifamily housing industries.
http://www.LetItRain.com, http://www.inc.com/inc5000   


- ALICE Concierge Draws Rave Reviews from Hotel Concierges Nationwide
- ALICE Brings its ALICE Suite Platform to Hotel Des Trois Couronnes
- Hyatt Regency Chicago Guests Enjoy HD IPTV from Bulk TV
- Netflix Expands Hospitality Offering Through Expanded Enseo Agreement
- Rising Demand for APAC Hotels to Provide Mobile Charging Stations
- From Spreadsheets to Cloud Collaboration, Management Companies Transform Hotel Sales with HelloShift
For more information on Guest Services for 08/26/16


- Aloft Hotels Unveils Voice-activated Hotel Rooms
Aloft Hotels Unveils Voice-activated Hotel Rooms
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., unveiled the results of its top secret “Project: Jetson” experiment, and is excited to debut the first-ever voice-activated hotel room, giving guests entirely new ways to interact using “Hey Siri.” Each Aloft voice-activated hotel room is equipped with an iPad® running a custom Aloft app used for controlling the in-room guest experience, with HomeKit-enabled accessories including room temperature, lighting options and more. The new rooms are available at Aloft Boston Seaport and at Aloft Santa Clara, and allow guests to browse the internet, check the weather and more.


- Velociti, Inc., Makes Third Appearance on the Inc. 5000 list, Ranking No. 4,022 with Three-year Sales Growth of 72 Percent
Velociti, Inc., Makes Third Appearance on the Inc. 5000 list, Ranking No. 4,022 with Three-year Sales Growth of 72 Percent
Inc. magazine ranked Velociti, Inc., No. 4,022 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000, one of the most prestigious rankings of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small businesses. In 2015, Velociti was ranked No. 4,845, and in 2012, Velociti was ranked 2,417. Velociti is a global provider of technology deployment services, specializing in the management, installation and service of a broad range of transportation and networking technology products. Its experience allows enterprise-level technology consumers to maximize ROI as a result of leveraging expert, rapid deployment. Velociti clients include many Fortune 500 companies from a wide variety of market segments including hospitality, transportation, retail, distribution, manufacturing, healthcare, government, education, food service and public venues. The 2016 Inc. 5000 was unveiled online at Inc.com and features the top 500 companies in its September issue. 
http://www.velociti.com/, http://www.inc.com/inc5000 


- HEI Hotels & Resorts Posts Notice of Breach of 20 Properties
- Millennium Hotels & Resorts North America Informed of Potential Data Security Incident
- Noble House Hotels and Resorts Notified of Payment Card Security Incident at Ocean Key Resort & Spa
- VENZA Helps Provident Hotels & Resorts Protect Guest Security of Personal Data
For more information on Data Security & Cyber Attacks for 08/26/16


- Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre Adapts to Mobile-dominated Guest Lifestyles with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access
Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre Adapts to Mobile-dominated Guest Lifestyles with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access
The Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, a Winnipeg, Canada-based property, has enhanced its security access and self check-in capabilities with the implementation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access. This advanced new feature allows the property to adapt to the hospitality industry’s demand for faster, mobile device-compatible self-service options. With current industry trends demonstrating the vital need to cater to guest expectations for instant satisfaction, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access provides hoteliers with a solution that taps into the growing demand for services that are compatible with today’s mobile-oriented lifestyles, allowing guests to use personal smart devices as digital guestroom keys. To cater to these evolving guest needs, Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre leadership chose to implement Mobile Access as an alternate check-in method that allows users to bypass the front desk and begin enjoying their hotel stay experience immediately.


- PolyU Study Finds Internet Travel Planning at Saturation Point in U.S.
PolyU Study Finds Internet Travel Planning at Saturation Point in U.S.
Use of the internet for travel planning in the U.S. market has reached saturation point but there are still opportunities for growth, according to Dr. Dan Wang of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and her co-researchers. In a recent study the researchers revealed the changing trends in the use of the internet for travel planning, with a growing “bifurcation” between traditional users who use it for “standard planning” and those who are increasingly using it to search for products that offer “deeper and more authentic experiences”. They also identify a number of ways that businesses can improve their services to accommodate travelers’ changing needs and expectations.


- HFTP to Provide Food Assistance to Residents of Southern Nevada via HFTP Helps
HFTP to Provide Food Assistance to Residents of Southern Nevada via HFTP Helps
As part of its ongoing social responsibility efforts, global hospitality association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®will hold its second HFTP Helps silent auction fundraiser at this year’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. Created to support the local communities that host HFTP’s Annual Convention each October, this year’s HFTP Helps fundraiser will benefit Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank. HFTP will donate 100 percent of the silent auction proceeds and monetary donations directly to the charity. HFTP Helps 2016 will be in conjunction with the Annual Convention’s President's Evening event taking place on October 21, 2016, at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.


- Under Siege – Staying out of the Headlines:  An Honest Look at Preventing Breaches in the Hospitality Industry
- Three Takeaways From The HEI Hotels And Oracle MICROS Breaches
- How Hoteliers Can Protect Against USB Attacks / Jeff Parker
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 08/26/16


And now for you-know-what…

A flight attendant for a major airline, watched one day as a passenger overloaded with bags tried to stuff his belongings in the overhead bin of the plane.

Finally, she informed him that he would have to check the over-sized luggage. "When I fly other airlines," he said irritably, "I don't have this problem."

The flight attendant smiled and replied, "When you fly other airlines, I don't have this problem either."

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