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Siegel Sez

October 18, 2007

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

If you are a vendor of technology and have been thinking about exhibiting at the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (http://www.ihmrs.com) next month in New York, here is a great opportunity. The Technology Innovation Center that Hospitality Upgrade sponsors has sold out every year for the last 10 years. Some of the vendors this year decided to go from the pavilion to a full booth so I believe there are some spots available. If you want an inexpensive opportunity to show your products at this popular event then e-mail John Kelly at George Little Management, the company that produces IHMRS. John’s e-mail is mailto:john_kelly@glmshows.com or call him directly at (914) 421-3268. You get to hang out with the whole Hospitality Upgrade team and Dick Johnson, the guy who created Hotel Online. How could you not have a great time at this great show? Plus, it is the place that all the technology people from the industry hang out, so there will be plenty of people to meet. Even Jon Inge will be there.  What more could you ask for? First come, first served so contact John Kelly as soon as possible if you want to join us.

Speaking of Hospitality Upgrade (which we do a lot), you should visit the http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com Web site and click on our Cool New Stuff section. We had a bit of fun at last month’s CIO Summit and asked many of the technology leaders in attendance to share their likes and dislikes about personal technology. We created live video clips and have posted them for you to view. Some of the comments will make you laugh. Others will educate. For instance, I never knew how to save a laptop after spilling beer in it. Now I know you use water and a hair dryer. It is definitely worth a few minutes, especially if you are having a bad day.

There has been a lot of buzz from the industry about the first-ever Benchmark Study being done on technology spending. How much easier would life be if you could actually justify the amount of money you want to spend because you know what the companies in your segment that you compete with are spending (collectively) on technology. Not just new technology, but what about the cost of maintaining what you have. If you are the person who is in charge of the dollars spent on technology I encourage you to participate. Please e-mail Sally Kelly for more information at mailto:sally@hospitalityupgrade.com.

We discussed, we argued and then we decided. Our two year old filly Set Play ran a clunker two weeks ago. Was it just a bad race or was she up against better horses? The best horses in the world are running a week from Saturday in New Jersey in the Breeders Cup Championships and we had to decide whether to go or not. Well, the dreamers in our group (I am at the top of the list) won out and New Jersey here we come. She will be running in the Juvenile Fillies on Sat., Oct. 27 and the whole day will be shown live on ESPN. Maybe you will see me in the winner’s circle with my crazy partners. Dreaming is free.

Finally, I must thank Jessica Davis from the Marriott Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida – a great hotel, a wonderful staff and Jessica is a very nice person. That is all I am going to say.  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
- Internet-based systems becoming the norm
If there’s any doubt left about the growing shift from property-based to Web-based systems, a quick look through the following news stories should help dispel it.  Another hotel group deploys a Web-based PMS across over 50 properties; the reservations section is all about Web-based channel distribution services, marketing/management features stories on Web-based video, trouble-ticket management and survey products; the revenue management vendors covered all offer Web-based systems; Newmarket releases a new version of Delphi.Net; Passkey releases a Web-based service for individual hotels; Reserve Interactive introduces Web-based trouble-ticket system; the guest services stories are all about Internet-based applications, and so on.

This seems to indicate that we’ve crossed a couple of thresholds.  One is the effective, practical integration between both on-site and remotely hosted systems. Even if many key applications are outsourced they still need to be integrated with property-based telephone, movie, POS and other systems, and remotely hosted systems need to interface with each other wherever they happen to be located.  Now they are, routinely.

The other is that hoteliers now are much more comfortable trusting their operations and data to a remotely hosted system.  They believe that the communications networks are solid enough for reliable daily operations, and that the vendors and/or hosting companies are reliable enough to keep their operational and guest data secure and properly supported.  It’s taken a while to build up enough real-world experience to prove these concepts, and given the installed base of older, site-based systems, it will take a lot longer for Web-based systems to become the majority choice, but we’re clearly on the way there.


- Mark Fancourt promoted to vice president of information technology at Pan Pacific
- Tiffany Topcik joins Lanyon as senior vice president
- Sabu Picha joins TeleAdapt as sales director

For more on People on the Move for 10/18/07


- Cara Operations to implement MICROS Pay-at-the-Table functionality across Canada
- ReServe Interactive introduces customer self-service portal extranet
Cara Operations has contracted with MICROS Systems for its pay-at-the-table functionality at Cara restaurant locations across Canada.  Implementation began in September and is targeted for completion by the summer of 2008.  Pay-at-the-table integrates MICROS's 3700 Point-of-Sale system with a mobile payment device from VeriFone, and is intended to reduce the risk of consumer fraud, increase speed of service and lower processing fees by allowing debit transactions.  http://www.cara.com, http://www.micros.com
ReServe Interactive has introduced its customer self-service portal, an extranet providing support subscribers with a single point of access for product support and training issues.  Users can research answers to product-related questions, submit and track support cases, find solutions to software functionality issues within a comprehensive knowledge base, and communicate with ReServe’s support technicians. The portal will also offer training videos and self-guided tutorials to help users keep current on software features and updates.  http://www.reserveinteractive.com


- Hyatt Place adds location-specific content to home page of guests’ complimentary HSIA
- Singapore pilot-testing Digital Concierge downloadable interactive guide for Web-capable mobile phones
- Swissotel Chicago selects iBAHN’s wired and wireless HSIA for guestrooms and conference services
For more on Guest Services for 10/18/07


- Mintek Mobile Data Solutions named one of the top 500 global software and services providers by Software Magazine
For the third consecutive year, Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has been listed as one of the top 500 global software and services providers by Software Magazine. The ranking is based on 2006 revenues from software licenses, maintenance and support, training, software-related services and consulting, and includes both public and private companies.  http://www.mintek.com


- Sheraton Cable Beach Resort, Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino installing VingCard Classic locks --------------------
The Sheraton Cable Beach Resort and Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino, both owned by Baha Mar Resorts, are installing VingCard Classic smartcard electronic locks in 6,000 guestrooms.  http://www.bahamar.comhttp://www.vingcard.com


- Newmarket releases latest version of Delphi.Net
- Newmarket breaks ground on new LEED-certified corporate building
- Sunstone Hotel Properties deploying Passkey at twelve North American properties
- Passkey launches EventExpress online group reservation system for individual hotels
For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 10/18/07


- Sea Island Resorts chooses Springer-Miller
- MotorCity Casino Hotel implementing Springer-Miller
- Hotel Concepts releases two-way interface with Unirez
- innRoad to use Comtrol’s Lodging Link Premier for innCenter PMS interfaces
- ONETECH opts for Comtrol's Lodging Link for interfaces to ONETECH PMS
- Marston’s Inns & Taverns picks Guestline’s RezLynx Internet-based PMS for 58 sites
For more on Property Management Systems for 10/18/07


- Settle Inn switching to InnLink for distribution services
- LeisureLink contracts with HBSi for distribution services
- Mövenpick picks SynXis RedX for distribution of 62 properties
For more on Reservations for 10/18/07


- On The Scene Productions and ICE partner to bring video to hospitality/travel
- Prism to use Centrada’s Web-based issue management/ticketing system
- Gemstone implements UniFocus’ STAFFScope and GUESTScope
For more on Marketing/Management for 10/18/07


- JDA Software Group releasing version 3.2 of Tour Revenue Optimizer
- Millennium and Copthorne deploying IDeaS V5i throughout Asia Pacific, EAME and Americas
- Oberoi selects IDeaS for 32 hotels in India
For more on Revenue Management for 10/18/07


And now for you-know-what…

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables, and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, "Jesus is watching you." He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off and froze.

When he heard nothing more after a few moments, he shook his head, promised himself a vacation after the next big score, then clicked the light on and began searching for more valuables. Just as he pulled the stereo out to disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, "Jesus is watching you."

Startled, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

“Did you say that?” he asked the parrot.

“Yep,” the parrot said. “I'm just trying to warn you.”

The burglar said, “Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses? What kind of people would name a bird Moses?” the burglar asked.

The parrot replied, "The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler, Jesus."

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