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Siegel Sez

May 19, 2017

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

You fly into Boston Logan Airport and you need to get into the city. How do you get there? Cab? Limo? Lyft? Uber? If you are like me and you are in Boston attending the Amadeus Hospitality Customer Conference, which is where I am right now, you take the Water Taxi. It was a beautiful day and how nice there was no traffic to deal with, though we did have to stop at a tugboat to drop off the tugboat captain as the crew was changing shifts. It was a great way to start the conference in my book. The AHCC has been terrific. Amadeus CEO Lee Horgan kicked the conference off with one of the most honest presentations I have seen, where he shared what has gone right and also what hasn’t. It was a perfect way to start a conference and the large crowd attending seemed to really enjoy his sharing both the past and what lies ahead in the future. The day was closed with a very unique general session featuring Ken Nwadike, who you probably don’t know by name, but I am sure you have seen his videos. He is the Free Hugs Guy, and he inspired everybody in the room. It has been a great event, and I thank Amadeus for inviting me.  
For those of you who are LinkedIn to me – and many thousands of you are – you may have seen the picture from UNLV where I, along with Anthony Melchiorri (the guy from television’s “Hotel Impossible”), Les Ottolenghi (the CIO from Caesars Entertainment) and others spent more than three hours together having students from UNLV pitch concepts for future technology initiatives. We all have concepts of how millennials think, but all these teams of students presenting and then getting harassed by us judges afterwards was eye opening. There is no black and white with millennials; they think, act and react without any consistency. I loved that. It was really a unique experience since these weren’t actual startups. These were students with concepts that could lead to being a new start-up business at some point – at least some of them could be. It was really nice to be invited, and I look forward to doing it again. 
As most of you know, Hospitality Upgrade is celebrating our 25th year in business. We have done many creative things along the way, but our special issue on the History of Technology that will be unveiled at HITEC has been beyond fun. Today next generations of technology are being pitched to the industry. Imagine when every type of technology being pitched was the hoteliers’ first exposure to any technology. The stories that are being shared from those days and then connecting them to where we are today has been interesting and sometimes unbelievably funny. If you want to receive a copy, please make sure you are a subscriber to Hospitality Upgrade either in print or digitally. You can subscribe here. If you are going to be at HITEC, you will get a copy, but please make sure you come to our booth (No. 2008) to share some well wishes/comments which will be added to our new website that will be launched soon. This is going to be enlightening and fun!   
Yes, five weeks until HITEC. There are lots of discussions all over the place regarding Toronto. Everybody agrees it is a great city and all are looking forward to going there. Then there are others who worry about the challenges of holding it outside the United States and how that might affect it. Registration today is as high as it usually is so that is a good sign, but with that said, there are still five weeks to go. We shall see. I have been to Toronto quite a few times in my life and it is a beautiful, clean and very friendly city. I can’t wait to visit it again. 
Here now is the real reason we are here, our look back at the recent technology happenings. 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


Artificial Intelligence (AI), what do you know about it? I don’t think that our industry can fall too far behind the curve on this emerging technology. We all know that in the not-too-distant past we thought that if our technology was equal to or better than what our guests could experience at home we were successful. More recently, we tread water by figuring out the easiest methods not to get in the way of our guests using their own technology in our hotels. AI is a huge leapfrog jump and to fall behind even a few months could be competitively devastating.

The first article in the Piqued Dan’s Interest section raises two questions. The first relates to this specific development by Google and the impact it will force on our marketing efforts. SEO will change and customer comments in social media will be the barometer driving listings. If AI can cause that problem, can it also be used to solve it? The second issue is unspoken in the article, but intuition leads me to think next of screenless browsers. With a simple Bluetooth earpiece and mic, it won’t be long before we simply talk to the AI engine and hear back responses. How can we implement strategies to take advantage of that?

The second article also pinpoints two interesting bits. How secure are you in your job? When AI enables a lesser paid employee to be as impactful as you are to the success of the business, how long will you last? How must you reinvent yourself today to preserve your job tomorrow? And, secondly, how will your hotel (company) compete when others have adopted AI and you haven’t? Quoting from this article, “…invent the future. You must try to see the world as it will become.”

AI will be more like smartphones than pet rocks, more like Blue-ray than Beta, more like Amazon than Woolco. Please, start learning more about AI and not only its impact on the art of hospitality but on humans in general. You will be glad you did.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine



- TrustYou Names New U.S. Head of Sales, Continues Rapid Growth
- Kevin Carey Appointed as EVP, Chief Operating Officer of AHLA
- Eric De Neef Appointed as the Executive Vice President, Global Chief Branding & Commercial Officer of Carlson Rezidor
- Andrew Skobe Appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Carlson Hotels, Inc.
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Christian Cooper as Vice President of Information Technology

For more information on People on the Move for 05/19/17


- StayNTouch and MGM Resorts International Redefining Hotel Check-in on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond
StayNTouch and MGM Resorts International Redefining Hotel Check-in on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond 
StayNTouch, Inc., announced a strategic partnership with MGM Resorts International, among the world's leading entertainment companies, to provide an intuitive check-in and checkout process across all of its properties. To date, the StayNTouch platform has been installed at 15 MGM Resorts destinations, delivering increased guest satisfaction and a boost in hotel operational efficiency. MGM Resorts intends to install mobile check-in capability at all properties by the end of 2017.


- Hospitality International Selects Sabre as its Strategic Technology Provider
- SiteMinder Penetrates Latin America, Signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th Hotel
Hospitality International Selects Sabre as its Strategic Technology Provider
Hospitality International, a full-service online hotel franchisee company, with five distinct brands, Red Carpet Inn, Scottish Inns, Master Hosts Inns, Downtowner Inns and Passport Inn, has selected Sabre Hospitality Solutions as a preferred technology provider for its more than 280 hotels. Under the agreement, Hospitality International hotel owners will have access to Sabre’s best-in-class central reservation system (CRS), booking engine and call center services. Sabre’s CRS is powered by the SynXis Enterprise Platform, which integrates critical hospitality systems to provide a single view of the guests giving hoteliers the tools to deliver a seamless guest experience at every step of the guest journey.
SiteMinder Penetrates Latin America, Signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th Hotel
SiteMinder, one of the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platforms, announced it has surpassed 26,000 hotel customers with the signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero, an established provider of extended-stay accommodation in Chile’s major business districts. The signing of RQ Grupo Hotelero’s properties in Santiago, Providencia and Las Condes comes mere weeks after SiteMinder’s exhibition at World Travel Market Latin America and the company says it plans to only deepen its penetration within the region.


- The Rainmaker Group Maintains Leadership Position in Hospitality Pricing Optimization and Intelligence Sector with Record-setting Growth in Q1 2017
The Rainmaker Group Maintains Leadership Position in Hospitality Pricing Optimization and Intelligence Sector with Record-setting Growth in Q1 2017
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), one of the industry leaders in profit optimization and intelligence solutions for the gaming and hospitality market, announced record-setting growth during the first quarter of 2017, welcoming more than 200 additional properties to its rapidly expanding global client base. In addition to growing the number of users for its comprehensive platform of pricing optimization and intelligence solutions, many existing Rainmaker clients also expanded their agreements during this time period, with several hotel groups taking their current Rainmaker solutions portfoliowide or implementing additional solutions from the Rainmaker platform to augment those already in use at their properties.


- dormakaba, Intelity, StayNTouch Announce Webinar to Simplify Mobile Adoption
- Callaway Gardens Implements Guestware
dormakaba, Intelity, StayNTouch Announce Webinar to Simplify Mobile Adoption
Three of hospitality's leading mobile solutions companies dormakaba, Intelity and StayNTouch announced a collaborative webinar on May 31st at 1pm EST (10am PST) that will show operators how to plan and execute a mobile strategy that delivers a positive guest experience and creates greater operating efficiency. “Leveraging the Power of Mobility: The New way to Satisfy Guests” will be hosted by executives from dormakaba, StayNTouch and Intelity. In the webinar (register here), hoteliers will learn: How to offer guest convenience, access and an enhanced guest experience via mobile, why offering guests a choice in service is essential to increasing guest satisfaction, and how to stay ahead of the technology curve with the right mobile solutions.
http://www.kabalodging.com, http://www.intelitycorp.com, http://www.stayntouch.com
Callaway Gardens Implements Guestware
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s most comprehensive and flexible guest experience management softwares, has announced that Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., has implemented Guestware Select. The popular destination needed a comprehensive guest response and preventative maintenance solution for its sprawling 13,000 acres of breathtaking gardens, four hotels and conference and recreation facilities. Utilizing a shared call center, the properties can immediately dispatch guest requests with Guestware’s rapid response tool directly to the staff’s mobile devices at any property.


- Bulk TV Earns No. 10 Spot Among Best Employers in North Carolina
- Honeywell's Hotel Guestroom System Upgrades Southern Hospitality at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead
- Five-star Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Chooses Teledex Phones


- TrustYou and Welcome Systems Form Strategic Partnership to Help Hotels Collect Guest Reviews
TrustYou and Welcome Systems Form Strategic Partnership to Help Hotels Collect Guest Reviews
Pursuing the joint goal of facilitating the hotelier’s everyday business and enhancing bookings, TrustYou, one of the world’s largest guest feedback platforms, and Welcome Systems, the British hospitality company behind the popular Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system, announced their new strategic partnership. Welcome Systems’ users now have free access to TrustYou Stars Lite, an advanced software solution to collect, analyze and market guest reviews.


- WoodSpring Hotel Property Management Implements Hotel Effectiveness in 107 WoodSpring Suites
- Tendoto Systems Launches Enterprise SaaS Platform To Measure Workforce Awareness
WoodSpring Hotel Property Management Implements Hotel Effectiveness in 107 WoodSpring Suites
WoodSpring Hotel Property Management has chosen Hotel Effectiveness as the labor management provider for its company-managed WoodSpring Suites properties. This partnership adds 107 hotels to the rapidly growing list of hotels using Hotel Effectiveness’ complete suite of labor management tools. The partnership provides the WoodSpring property managers with cutting-edge tools to match its employee schedules with their business volumes. It also improves the level of visibility into each property’s efficiency and allows WoodSpring to identify best practices across its company-managed locations.
Tendoto Systems Launches Enterprise SaaS Platform To Measure Workforce Awareness
Tendoto Systems announced the launch of the Blast Platform™, a workforce awareness enterprise platform that enables organizations to build, execute and measure organizational awareness. GameBlast™, the first application on the Blast Platform, enables fun and fast interactions with employees at all levels to deliver measurable awareness of mission -critical information. With GameBlast, organizations can improve employee awareness, elevate engagement and reduce turnover. The Blast Platform is built from direct experience with customers in the hospitality and distribution industries, where organizations successfully improved customer service, product knowledge and safety culture using Tendoto's previous product, Edify™.


- JUCY Snooze Christchurch Integrates ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for Complete Guest Convenience
- Israel-based Self Check-in Startup Announces Official Status as ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner
JUCY Snooze Christchurch Integrates ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for Complete Guest Convenience
JUCY Snooze, a unique pod-hostel accommodation concept from JUCY New Zealand, opened its first property at Christchurch Airport in late 2016, with the installation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access for keycard-free entry and security. JUCY Snooze Christchurch is currently using the ASSA ABLOY Hospitality app to implement Mobile Access using VingCard Signature RFID door locks. Self-check-in stations have also been installed to eliminate the need for a traditional guest reception.
Israel-based Self Check-in Startup Announces Official Status as ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner
Guest Experience enhancement mobile application startup, Check-In, announced its official status as an ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Certified Partner. This certification gives the Check-In app advanced capability, allowing guests to use the application to enter hotel rooms equipped with VingCard locks, through a simple swipe of their smartphones. Check-In, an ambitious small business based out of Israel (startup nation), aims to revolutionize the hotel guest experience and interaction with hotel staff.


- PAR Technology and TempAlert Announce IoT Partnership
PAR Technology and TempAlert Announce IoT Partnership
ParTech, Inc. (PAR), a leading global provider of point-of-sale (POS) and workforce efficiency solutions for the restaurant and retail market, announced that TempAlert, a specialist in temperature monitoring, has become an IoT integration partner with PAR’s SureCheck® Advantage Food Safety Solution. ParTech, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR). TempAlert will seamlessly integrate with SureCheck to enable 24x7 remote monitoring. Combined, these solutions maximize operational efficiency, compliance and quality control.
https://www.partech.com, https://www.tempalert.com/


- Global Gaming Expo Named One of Top 25 Fastest-growing Shows in Attendance
- HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees Announced
- HSMAI Announces 2017 Revenue Management Professionals of the Year and Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Honoree

For more information on Hospitality Events for 05/19/17


- What Google's Pivot to an "AI first" Company Means for Travel
- Stop Saying AI Can't Replace Humans
- Are Robots and Artificial Intelligence Real-Life Threats to Humans and Their Jobs?
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Checking Into Your Hotel
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: What will be the Impact on The Travel Industry?
- Why Google’s CEO Is Excited About Automating Artificial Intelligence
- The war over artificial intelligence will be won with visual data

For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 05/19/17


And now for you-know-what…

Two men are out fishing when one decides to have a smoke. He asks the other guy if he has a lighter. He replies, "Yes I do," and hands over a 10-inch long BIC lighter.

Surprised, the first guy asks, "Where did you get this?"

The second guy replies, "Oh, I have a personal genie."

The first man asks, "Can I make a wish?"

"Sure," says the other man. "Just make sure that you speak clearly because he is a little hard of hearing."

"Ok I will," says the other. As he rubs the lamp, a genie appears and asks the man what he wants. The man says, "I want a million bucks."

The genie says, "OK," and 10 seconds later a million ducks fly overhead. He says to the other guy, "Your genie really sucks at hearing doesn't he?"

And the other man replies, "I know, do you really think I asked for a 10-inch BIC?”


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