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Siegel Sez

September 30, 2016

Siegel Sez

by: Siegel Richard

This has been a great week. I’m attending events that are a bit different from the usual and it is such a learning experience. I started off in Phoenix at the Lodging Conference which is all about money. Those who own hotels and those who invest in hotels are normally the topics of conversations. How and why deals are done is something that absolutely intrigues me and the sessions offered relating to this are often eye-opening. As somebody who puts on conferences, I had to cringe when their very popular outdoor opening night cocktail party was very close to starting and a light rain began to fall. The Arizona Biltmore staff moved a party for many hundreds of attendees indoors so very quickly and it was really impressive. I love the Lodging Conference, and even though those in the technology space are quite limited, it is a true learning experience. I spoke with Chris Rivas and Larry Birnbaum of Corning Optical and the VT Group about the event they are planning for Oct. 20 at the Dallas Omni (click here for more information). I told them that Hospitality Upgrade will be there. It was an excellent event last year. If you have never attended the Lodging Conference I suggest you add it to your radar for next year.

From Phoenix I headed up to Las Vegas for the Global Gaming Expo, commonly known as G2E and where  we also are a sponsor. Walking through the exhibit hall at G2E is always an eye opener for me, there is nothing like it in the hospitality space. Slot machine companies spend millions of dollars on this event so you can imagine how large the areas they have are. It is simply amazing. Of course, while walking the floor I had a chance to catch up with people. Leah McEachern and Tony Ross of BirchStreet Systems shared the news of the recent acquisition of Accubar which inspired its exhibit at G2E. A long day at G2E and then even longer nights as the parties started, which for me ended at the Agilysys and Rainmaker event at the very cool Surrender Nightclub at Encore. Parties inspire a great deal of conversations and reconnecting with people. One of the conversations that surprised me was Thomas Castleberry, who I have known for years, told me he has left his role as the top honcho at Skywire (though he remains on the board) and is now the vice president for Oasis 360 Enterprise Systems at Aristocrat, which is one of those slot machine companies I referred to that spends more than a million dollars at G2E. His going from a company like Skywire to a company the size of Aristocrat will probably take some adjustment, so I wished him luck. There is more news to come regarding this move, but my lips are sealed. Stay tuned.
Yes, it was a great week and this is the season for conferences and events. I will be back in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks for the HFTP Annual Conference, which has tweaked its format a bit this year to create more value for sponsors and attendees. I like when people try new things. After HFTP it will be off to the Springer-Miller Users Conference, which everyone calls the HUG Conference, then HOSPACE (http://www.hospace.net/) in London and then to HX (http://www.thehotelexperience.com/hx2016/Public/Enter.aspx) in New York (formerly the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show) where we sponsor the Technology Innovation Center. It should be a fun month ahead, and I hope I bump into many people along the way. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips’ technology review of the past couple of 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

The fractured state of the hotel industry – is it fact or fiction, when discussing reasons why new technologies don’t ever seem to get enough market penetration to enjoy a long tenure? Our industry is made up of big hotel companies that then split into numerous sub-brands. Then, those brands are owned by different companies and often managed by many other companies, all with various degrees of ego-driven general managers (forgive me for that one, but you know who you are!). Who can make decisions that have a wide-spread impact? Are there just so many decision-makers that personal, or even professional, preferences are so disparate that the general consensus is near to impossible.

Look at the first article in the “Piqued Dan’s Interest” section below. Hotel Live Chat has a great concept.  But, in most of the rest of the world WeChat is the dominate player. What company wins that battle? And, there are so many new companies coming out with voice recognition; will there ever be one platform that all of our guests around the world, or the country, or even within one brand, can get used to?

The other articles in “Piqued Dan’s Interest” bring light to several new solutions coming to market. Will these gain market share and thrive, just survive, or wither away? With so many Cinderellas losing shoes at the ball, will there ever be a time when one size will fit all?

To be honest, I hope not. However, I would love to see some new technologies sweep, and hold, the interests of both hoteliers and guests, creating a demand that can be then built upon and improved. I fear that we waste much effort and resources in creating wheels with minute and insignificant differentiation when we could instead be leap-frogging into newer and greater realms. If any of you are on the “greater realm” path, please let me know as I would love to be enlightened.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- For Fifth Consecutive Year, Bulk TV & Internet Named in Prestigious Inc. 5000
- Bulk TV & Internet Makes TBJ List of Best Places to Work
- Crave Interactive Rapidly Expands with Three More Vacation Resorts in Cancun with AMResorts
- iRiS and Nu-Menu Partner to Bring a New Digital Dining Experience to South African Restaurant Market
- Palazzo Versace Dubai Hotel Selects MCOM HOTstream Solution
- TTI Technologies’ Recent Launch of TTI Access Portal Saves the Day for “It’s Not Your Typical” Holiday Inn Manhattan – Financial District
- Exa Ushers in the Next Generation of Guest Engagement Using Voice Automation
- C&J Bus Lines Keeps Airport-Bound Clients Informed with Flyte Systems®
- Century Park Hotel LA Creates Mobile Guest Experience with Intelity
- Lodging Interactive Expands Its Fully Managed Hotel Live Chat Service to 7 Days a Week
- Monscierge Receives Patent for Providing Mobile Services to Hospitality Customers
- Relovate Integrates TrustYou Meta-Reviews Side by Side with Pre Book Consider Function
For more information on Guest Services for 09/30/16


- Sabre Fosters True Hospitality Experience with Integration of Award-winning TripCase App
Sabre Fosters True Hospitality Experience with Integration of Award-winning TripCase App
Sabre is helping hoteliers make a meaningful, personal connection with their guests through the power of technology, by integrating the SynXis Central Reservations (CR) and TripCase, its award-winning mobile app which is already used by millions of travelers. With this integration, hoteliers are able to engage with guests via their mobile device before, during and after their arrival on property. This real-time personal communication will help hoteliers build their brand image, increase loyalty and drive incremental revenue.


- Xeros Signs 50-property Deal With Jamsan Hotel Group to Expand Eco-friendly Near-waterless Laundry Services to New England Hotels
Xeros Signs 50-property Deal With Jamsan Hotel Group to Expand Eco-friendly Near-waterless Laundry Services to New England Hotels
Xeros, the innovator of an ultra-low water laundry system, announced that its award-winning polymer bead cleaning laundry system is to be installed in 50 of Jamsan Hotel Management (JHM) Group's properties. The program will see the replacement of conventional washers in the properties with Xeros laundry systems which reduce their water and energy costs without sacrificing the quality of service to their hotel customers.


- Agilysys Continues to Expand its InfoGenesis POS Offerings
Agilysys Continues to Expand its InfoGenesis POS Offerings
Agilysys, Inc., announced the latest version of its award-winning InfoGenesis® POS which offers EMV, mobility innovations, enhanced user features and improved wireless network performance. Approved earlier this month by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, InfoGenesis POS v4.4.8 continues to demonstrate Agilysys’ hospitality solutions leadership, with support for EMV and a set of innovative enhancements designed to boost efficiency, improve the user experience and increase revenue. InfoGenesis POS is Agilysys’ comprehensive point-of-sale system that combines easy-to-use terminal and tablet touchscreen applications with offline capabilities. Designed for multi-unit and complex operations, its enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, strong reporting and analysis features, and multilanguage support drive service flexibility and increase operational efficiency. The system easily manages any combination of food, beverage and retail services, and integrates with other Agilysys applications and a wide variety of third-party offerings.


- Agilysys Announces Latest Version of Stratton Warren System for Inventory and Procurement
Agilysys Announces Latest Version of Stratton Warren System for Inventory and Procurement
Agilysys, Inc., announced the latest version of its award-winning Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution. SWS v9.1 includes a number of innovative enhancements designed to boost efficiency, increase revenue and improve compliance. Supporting a strategic procurement strategy, SWS is designed to improve productivity while reducing labor costs and waste. The system manages the entire inventory and procure-to-pay process, and integrates with leading financial and point-of-sale software products. It allows organizations to optimize their buying power by aggregating the purchasing of all departments and locations for mission-critical items, as well as for the hundreds of incidentals that add up to big dollars.


- Hotel Internet Services Unveils HIS Property Dashboard for Maximum Visibility and Control Over Network Performance
Hotel Internet Services Unveils HIS Property Dashboard for Maximum Visibility and Control Over Network Performance
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hotel industry, has announced the launch of its newly developed HIS Property Dashboard, a proprietary portal that provides clients with the ability to maintain direct control over every aspect of internet performance at all times. Central to the HIS Property Dashboard's functionality is its ability to free hoteliers from having to keep track of long lists of URLs and passwords, by serving as a platform that centralizes all tools necessary to manage and analyze each guest's HSIA experience. With the dashboard, hospitality professionals are provided with a virtual map of how their property's network is connected, in addition to a real-time overview of its health and capabilities.


- Motor City's Group 10 Management Puts Guest Security First with dormakaba USA Inc Door Locks
Motor City's Group 10 Management Puts Guest Security First with dormakaba USA Inc Door Locks
Group 10 has selected dormakaba USA Inc's Saflok and ILCO guest door locks to ensure security at its properties. Owner operator Group 10 Management, based just outside Detroit, has 30+ years of hotel experience with some of the largest brands. Group 10 has Saflok Quantum electronic door locks in its new-builds; its Marriott and Hilton properties have Saflok MT RFID units. dormakaba USA Inc’s Saflok and ILCO BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) mobile access lock solutions may be seamlessly integrated with brand loyalty apps and chain technology infrastructures. Cloud-based Kaba mobile access solutions enable guests to open their room doors with their own BLE mobile phone or device, including the new Apple Watch, as a flexible alternative to a classic RFID keycard. Most Kaba RFID locks manufactured today are compatible with BLE, IOS and Android mobile technology.  


- First Edition of HITEC Dubai will be Hosted by HFTP and Naseba in 2017
- HFTP Announces 2016 Paragon Award Recipients
- Finalists for EyeforTravel’s Start-up & Innovation Awards 2016 Announced
- Hoteliers Stay Ahead of Rapidly Changing Industry at Revenue Strategy Forum Hong Kong, Co-Hosted by Duetto and Hotel ICON
For more information on Hospitality Events for 09/30/16


- TTI Technologies Partners with David Escobedo as Business Director for TTI in Mexico
- Duetto Accelerates Expansion throughout Europe
- FelCor Appoints COO Troy Pentecost President and Interim Senior Executive Officer as Richard Smith Retires as President, CEO and Director
- Jumeirah Group Appoints Marc Dardenne as Group Chief Operating Officer
- Mosaic Hotel Group Appoints Richard Hill as President and Chief Operating Officer
For more information on People on the Move for 09/30/16


- Boyd Gaming Completes Acquisition of Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa
- Marriott's Acquisition of Starwood Receives Antitrust Approval in China
- Red Lion Hotels Corporation to Add 1,000 Hotels, Enters Agreement to Acquire Vantage Hospitality Group
For more information on Mergers and Acquisitions for 09/30/16


- The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park Looks to Agilysys to Boost Efficiency and Expand Operations
- StayNTouch Partners with Lightspeed to Integrate Cloud-based PMS and POS Solutions
The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park Looks to Agilysys to Boost Efficiency and Expand Operations
Agilysys, Inc., announced that The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park in North Bend, Ore., has selected Visual One® PMS and InfoGenesis® POS to enhance efficiency and guest service at the 203-room property. Owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe, the organization is a longtime user of Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System (SWS), a gaming industry solution for comprehensive inventory and procurement management. The executive team wanted state-of-the-art property management and point-of-sale technology that would increase operational efficiency and enhance guest service across the entire property.
StayNTouch Partners with Lightspeed to Integrate Cloud-based PMS and POS Solutions
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and property management systems (PMS) for hotels, announced a new integration between Rover™, its cloud-based property management system (PMS), and Lightspeed’s cloud-based restaurant point-of-sale (POS) system. The new two-way interface allows hotel restaurants to communicate guest and billing information between the hotel’s POS and the restaurant’s POS. Lightspeed’s Restaurant POS, is a mobile, end-to-end restaurant management platform that provides everything from efficient tableside ordering and employee management to reporting and accounting. Integration with the StayNTouch PMS lets hotel guests have the flexibility to place their food order anywhere they would like within the hotel and charge their hotel room directly.


- DerbySoft Announces "One" to Target European Hoteliers
- Sabre and Routehappy Collaborate to Provide Travel Agents with Intelligent Product Content in Flight Search
- SHR, Developer of WindsurferCRS™, Secures Growth Capital To Support Expansion
For more information on Reservations for 09/30/16


- TravelClick Named Top Agency Across All Industries at Web Marketing Association’s 2016 WebAwards
- ADARA Launches Site Impact, an Analytics Solution Enabling Destination Marketers to Measure Website Influence on Travel Purchase Behavior
- HeBS Digital Awarded Four Travel Weekly Magellan Awards for its Best-of-breed Design, Technology and Ability to Drive Direct Online Bookings
For more information on Marketing/Management for 09/30/16


- IDeaS Integrates TrustYou’s Review Data to Improve Revenue Performance
- The Rainmaker Group Takes Gold in 16th Annual GGB Gaming & Technology Awards
- TravelClick's Demand360 Enhances IDeaS Advanced Revenue Management Solutions
- Duetto Introduces ScoreBoard Revenue Intelligence Platform for the Hotel Industry
- Expedia Launches Rev+, a Revenue Management Tool
For more information on Revenue Management for 09/30/16


- The End of the Branded Hotel
- Data suggests hotel loyalty rates may hurt owners more than OTA fees do
- Travel Brands Play It Safe on Social With Popular Attractions, Not Local Experiences
- Hilton’s Newest App Feature Ups the Game in Guest Personalization
- 2 Customer Service WOW Stories to Jumpstart Your Week!
- The Cosmopolitan Hotel Takes its Individualized Service One Step Further
- Five Scary Facts About Millennial Travel Purchases
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 09/30/16


And now for you-know-what…

A father is in a conversation with a neighbor, telling him how all four of his sons still live at home. The first son has a degree in economics, the second has his MBA, the third has a PhD, and the fourth is a thief.

The neighbor asks, "Why don't you throw the fourth son out of your house?"

And the father says, "He is the only one earning any money."


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