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Siegel Sez

July 26, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Don’t you just love the people in this industry? I know I do. I received so many e-mails from people commiserating about my stolen laptop in our last Siegel Sez. I was really thankful that so few gave me the grief I deserved about my lack of backups. Hey, we all figure that our computer might crash someday, but how many of us think it will be stolen. What was disheartening were the stories that were shared. I was shocked how many people have had items stolen out of checked luggage. One reader shared how he actually went back to the airport to watch video of TSA employees checking bags. I really do believe that it wasn’t TSA, but the baggage handlers who stole my laptop, but this is going to be an uphill battle that I will probably lose and eventually concede. Live and learn. It was also funny how many in their e-mails asked how the horse ran.  That made me smile (he came in third which was very good in my book). The lingering effect of a stolen laptop continues to be looking up e-mail addresses so if you haven’t sent a note, it would be much appreciated. You can e-mail me at mailto:rich@hospitalityupgrade.com, just promise no comments on how stupid I was for not having current backups. Promise?

Thanks to all who visited http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com to watch the video in our Cool New Stuff section. Thanks also to those who voted on our survey regarding the exhibit hours at HITEC. I guess when you have over 5,700 people at a conference there is also much that is not accomplished. Maybe it is time for some tweaking of the hours. If you are somebody who has attended HITEC, please vote. The survey results might surprise you.

It is summer, the season of vacations, but it sure doesn’t seem that way this year. Everyone I have talked to is as busy as ever. It is so great that the industry continues to thrive. We here at Hospitality Upgrade are very excited about our CIO Summit the first week of September. We have people coming from all over the world including Dubai, Singapore and throughout Europe. Every gaming company seems to be coming, the five largest cruise lines, the major hotel companies and those doing vacation ownership. I cannot wait; it is such a unique event. Oh well, maybe vacations are over rated.

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


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Jon Inge
Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge



- HTNG widens applicability through Open Data eXchange initiative
Widening the usefulness of its systems integration work, Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is opening its communications formats and protocol to allow any two hospitality systems to exchange any mutually agreed data.  This Open Data eXchange (ODX) approach, created by HTNG’s Property Web Services Solution workgroup, will be released in phases, starting this summer with a Web service for the exchange of unstructured information. 

Launched in response to a need identified by many hoteliers and vendors, ODX will make many more inter-system links available quickly by allowing systems vendors to agree on the messages to be exchanged between two specific systems enclosed in HTNG-standard message protocols and formats.   Since these ODX messages will be specific to the two individual systems, they won’t be HTNG-certified as standards for universal use.  They will, however, speed up the development of new custom links and the availability of existing legacy interfaces handled under HTNG-standard protocols, improving their reliability. 

HTNG also plans to define schemas for the transfer of standardized statistical, operational or financial data to be exchanged between systems in cases where a fully functional interactive interface is not required.  A library of statistical definitions will be published, with HTNG members encouraged to propose additions or extensions.


- Sheen Falls Lodge and the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort order Visual One
Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, Ireland has selected Agilysys’ Visual One suite.   The 75-room country house hotel, on 300 acres of woodlands in South West Ireland, will install property management, sales and catering, point-of-sale, spa management and Internet reservations modules.

The 143-room Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort in South Wales has also selected Visual One’s suite.   The Vale, Wales’ largest health spa and sporting facility, will implement property management, sales and catering, point-of-sale, golf management, spa management, club membership and Internet reservations.
http://www.sheenfallslodge.ie, http://www.vale-hotel.comhttp://www.agilysys.com


- GetThere, Usablenet give business travelers mobile access to corporate travel sites
- Nexus automates rate-loading uploads to Trust Voyager CRS
- Concur adds Smart Expense e-receipt tracking to its Travel & Expense tracking services
- TripAdvisor adds direct booking links to FastBooking for latter’s 3,500 client hotels
- OpenTravel Alliance announces new projects as part of 2007B specification version
- Tourism Sun Peaks picks Inntopia’s CRS for reservation center and Internet booking
For more on Reservations for 07/26/07


- SideStep acquires social networking site TripUp
SideStep has acquired social networking site TripUp, which lets travelers link up with Trip Gurus for advice, meet up with fellow travelers, and hook up with locals and Trip Buddies.  http://www.tripup.comhttp://www.sidestep.com


- Hotel Okura Amsterdam installing IDeaS V5i
The Hotel Okura Amsterdam is installing IDeaS Revenue Optimization V5i Solution.  http://www.okura.nlhttp://www.ideas.com


- Marine Corps Community Services upgrading HSI POS systems, installing MyHSI.net
The Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) is upgrading its Hospitality Solutions International (HSI) Profit Series POS systems and installing MyHSI.net Enterprise Reporting at 67 locations in 19 Marine Corps installations worldwide.  MyHSI.net gives MCCS Internet access to real-time data from any location using the Profit Series POS, with drill-down to store-level detail.  MCCS provides programs and services to Marines and their families, including clubs, restaurants, lodging programs, recreational activities, fitness centers and the Marine Corps Exchange.  http://www.hsi-solutions.com


- Venetian Casino Resorts picks LodgeNet for The Venetian, Venezia Tower and The Palazzo
- NxTV gains HTNG certification for single guest itinerary display on guestroom TVs
- icableholder enhances guestroom desk unit with locking base plate
For more on Guest Services for 07/26/07


- HTNG forms new workgroup to focus on payment systems and data security
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) has formed a new workgroup, its sixth, to focus on issues related to payment systems (including but not limited to credit and bank cards) and data security.  Specific topics are expected to include:
  • Defining best practices, business processes and technical approaches for use and processing of payment cards in the hotel industry.
  • Educating hoteliers and vendors on best practices and compliance requirements for data security.
  • Developing improved approaches to integration, including the adoption, refinement or (if required) development of technical standards.
  • Defining and implementing hospitality-specific functionality.

All HTNG members (except some Individual Industry Partner members) are eligible to apply to join the workgroup during the open sign-up period, which will run until at least September 1, 2007. 


And now for you-know-what…

An elderly man had owned a large farm for several years. He had a beautiful large pond at the back of the property next to the road, and he'd fixed it up with picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and he'd planted some nice flowers and fruit trees next to the pond.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond to look it over, as he hadn't been down there for a while. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.

As he neared the pond, he heard splashing and female voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw that five young women had parked their car at the side of the road, climbed the fence and were skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence, and they all went hurriedly splashing to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're naked and we're not coming out until you leave!"
The old man frowned and yelled back, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond." Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm just here to feed the alligator."

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