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Siegel Sez

February 14, 2008

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

One has to love Jon Inge’s opening to his Technology Review in this Siegel Sez where he connects a study done in CIO magazine to the Hospitality Upgrade Benchmarking Survey on Technology Spending. I just returned from HFTP’s very successful European Hospitality Technology Educational Conference (EHTEC) where Sally Kelly and I did our first presentation on the preliminary results of the survey. The feedback we received from our presentation was very motivational.  It is such a high sharing information that nobody has ever seen in this industry before. CIO magazine’s No. 8 in importance on its survey, Recruiting and Retaining IT Staff really hit home. When we shared with the 150 or so in attendance in Amsterdam some of the numbers including money spent on the same employee issue in our industry you could hear the groans from the audience.  It was an eye opener.

Thank you HFTP for allowing us to present. We look forward to presenting even more information at HITEC. Thanks also to HFTP and KPMG for sponsoring this effort. You know you are on to something big when you go 30 minutes over your allotted time and nobody leaves the room. Congrats again to a great conference. There was a smattering of Americans at the conference, but this was overwhelmingly an international audience. Look for pictures and a review in our upcoming issue of Hospitality Upgrade, if you are not a subscriber then go to http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com and sign up right away to get our upcoming issue.

Thanks to all who asked for the link to watch Sea Gull Sez run his second race ever after our last Siegel Sez came out. Not sure what the future holds for him, but I can see him being somebody’s riding horse versus his running in the Kentucky Derby. He loves to run, just not around a race track. Who knows, maybe he was angry we gave him such a wacky name.

After we get our issue to the printer I am off to Seattle for the first time in many years to attend HTNG’s Annual Conference. I am still trying to get local resident Jon Inge to host a party, but that seems to be an uphill battle. Maybe he is worried he is getting too old for parties, after all his birthday is Sunday. Oh, did I just tell 40,000 people that? After HTNG I head to Las Vegas for the Carlson Hotels Worldwide Global Business Conference. I always try to attend their meeting when my schedule allows. It is one time I get to sit down and spend quality time with the presidents of companies, not just the technology folks. I cannot wait.

Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who celebrate the event. I remain one of those who sticks his head in the sand until it is over. Here now is the quickly aging 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

- Alignment is good; positive gains are better
CIO magazine just published a list of top 10 management priorities for 2008, the results of a survey of 250 top IT executives.  The overwhelming top priority was, “Improve alignment with business objectives,” voted No. 1 by 60 percent of the respondents. 

I was struck by the phrase, “improve alignment,” which recognizes that all too frequently this crucial factor is missing completely.  Despite the number of times it’s stated that “there are no IT projects, they’re all business projects with an IT component,” reality is often different.  Some business projects are launched without proper regard for the technical challenges they entail, and some IT projects are done out of a perceived need rather than an actual one.  Some IT projects done for the right reasons (e.g. the replacement of an obsolete system) introduce new possibilities that the business side fails to take advantage of, preferring simply to speed up the previous operations rather than take a fresh look at alternative uses.

Just as important as alignment is that the combined business/IT project should not be undertaken at all unless it has a significant impact.  It’s an essential task to constantly review the list of projects that could realistically be undertaken, and only tackle those that have the greatest benefit to the company.  There are always a thousand things that could be done to fine-tune an operation or to make a software application a little more appealing.  Better to take action only on those that produce real changes in effectiveness and put up with a few rough edges.

Incidentally, the remainder of the top 10 management priorities were:
2.  Improve IT planning processes (34 percent)
3.  Improve project management capabilities (29 percent)
4.  Reducing IT costs (28 percent)
5.  Improving ROI on IT spending (27 percent)
6.  Improving leadership and management capabilities (25 percent)
7.  Improving systems development capabilities (23 percent)
8.  Recruiting and retaining IT staff (18 percent)
9.  Instituting ITIL (structured development library approach) (11 percent)
10.  Improving technical training (10 percent)

This should make for an interesting comparison with the Hospitality Upgrade Benchmarking Survey on Technology Spending.


- Cannery Casino Resorts picks Agilysys’ LMS for three properties
- MSI contracts with d’Vinci Interactive for Web-based training tools for Enterprise suite
- Millennium picks MICROS OPERA as standard PMS for 14 properties in United States
- NORTHWIND-Maestro marks its 30-year anniversary
- Pinehurst adding Agilysys’ Visual One Club Management and Spa systems
- New Coco Beach Resort, Accra, Ghana, orders IDS Softwares Fortune Express PMS
- RezOvation releases version 4.5 of RezOvation GT small-property PMS
- QHotels completes implementation of Protel’s PMS, dotPOS and Xn globalRES at latest property acquisitions
For more on Property Management Systems for 02/14/08


- Amadeus sells 50 percent stake in Rumbo to Orizonia Corp
- NH Hoteles renews contract for Trust|Voyager reservation services for 340 hotels
- Travel agents continuing to increase reliance on GDS promotions
- Venere.com acquires Italian online hotel booking agency Worldby.com
- Wotif.com Holdings acquires Asia Web Direct (HK) Limited
- Priceline.com signs with Travelport GDS to process reservations through Travelport's Worldspan
- Lodging Interactive rolls out HotelDirectBook.com consumer-oriented hotel-booking portal
For more on Reservations for 02/14/08


- Hotel Berna, Milan, implements IDeaS V5i
- WORLDHOTELS launches performance and revenue optimization (PRO) service
- Guestline launches RoomLynx inventory aggregator, channel manager and distribution system
For more on Revenue Management for 02/14/08


- Palms Casino Resort names PSAV Presentation Services its sole audiovisual and event technology partner
- Fairmont deploying Passkey online group reservation application as a brand standard
The Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, has named PSAV Presentation Services its sole audiovisual and event technology partner for its 60,000-plus square feet of meeting and convention space.  The Palms is also transitioning its business center to a PSAV event-technology center, which includes private meeting rooms, high-tech workstations and a technology concierge in a more public setting, such as an Internet café.  http://www.palms.comhttp://www.psav.com
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is deploying Passkey's online group reservation application as a brand standard across its 50-plus hotels, to offer every group or meeting its own customized hotel reservation Web site.  Reservations made via the Passkey-enabled Web sites will flow via a two-way live interface to the myFairmont branded central reservation system.  The roll-out is scheduled for completion by the end of February.  http://www.fairmontmeetings.com, http://www.passkey.com


- Brisas Hotels and Resorts contracts with ICE Portal for digital media production services
- TIG Global received nine Adrian Awards
Brisas Hotels and Resorts has contracted with ICE Portal for digital media production services, including 360-degree virtual tours for all of the company's resorts in Mexico.  Brisas operates four resort properties (Las Brisas Acapulco, Las Brisas Huatulco, Las Brisas Ixtapa and Las Hadas Manzanillo) and three corporate properties (the Galeria Plaza in Mexico City, Galeria Plaza, Veracruz and Hacienda Jurica in Queretaro).  http://www.brisas.com.mxhttp://www.iceportal.com
TIG Global received nine Adrian Awards for excellence in Web marketing from HSMAI, and one of its clients, the Georgetown Inn, was named eMarketer of the year.  TIG won Web site design awards for:
    • Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin – Platinum Award (http://www.EsplanadeBerlin.com)
    • Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn – Gold Award (http://www.NickHotel.com)
    • ENO Wine Rooms (http://www.EnoWineRooms.com)
    • Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa (http://www.SawgrassMarriott.com)
    • South Seas Island Resort (http://www.SouthSeas.com)
    • The Georgetown Inn (http://www.GeorgetownInn.com)
Integrated Marketing Campaign Awards for:
   • Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn (http://www.NickHotel.com)
   • South Seas Island Resort (http://www.SouthSeas.com)
Interactive Map Award for the Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin (http://www.EsplanadeBerlin.com)


- Copper Cellar Restaurants implements Bevchek’s flow metering with SquirrelOne POS
- Buca di Beppo rolls out online ordering companywide, implementing orderTalk with SquirrelOne integration
- IHG names MICROS’ 9700 and 3700 as preferred POS for all owned/managed hotels
- Millennium picks MICROS 9700 as standard POS for all 14 properties in United States
For more on F&B/Point of Sale


- Pinehurst Resort adding Agilysys’ Visual One Spa System
Pinehurst Resort is adding Agilysys’ Visual One Spa System and Club Management System to its Visual One Premiere Property Management System, Condo Accounting, Golf, Sales & Catering, and Retail systems.  The club management system will let the resort’s country club create various membership levels, track facilities usage and post and track membership fees. The system also prints barcode photo ID membership cards, creates membership wait lists and generates a variety of reports such as dues schedules, membership statistics and spending analyses.  Sales from the property’s golf, spa and retail outlets can be settled directly to member accounts.  http://www.pinehurst.comhttp://www.agilysys.com


- Sandpearl Resort being considered for LEED certification, partly based on Inncom thermostats
The 253-room Sandpearl Resort is being considered for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, based in part on its use of Inncom’s eco-mode thermostats.  http://www.sandpearl.com, http://www.inncom.com


- Hilton Hotels centralizes all telephone accounting and call logging in the United Kingdom, Ireland on SDD's JAZZ Fusion
Hilton Hotels has centralized all its telephone accounting and call logging for its nearly 80 U.K. and Ireland hotels on SDD's JAZZ Fusion.

SDD has certified Opulentia Solutions Ltd for European implementation and support of its JAZZ Fusion voice and Internet billing software and service systems. 
http://www.hilton.co.uk, http://www.opulentia.co.ukhttp://www.jazz-fusion.net


- Doubletree and Hilton at Seattle Airport install FlyteBoard real-time airline information display screens
- Plaza installing Guest-Tek Interactive’s OneView Media platform
The Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport and the Hilton Seattle Airport Hotel and Conference Center, which share common ownership and comprise over 1,200 rooms, have installed Flyte Systems FlyteBoard real-time airline information display screens.  http://www1.hilton.comhttp://www.flytesystems.com
Elad Properties, owner of New York’s landmark Plaza Hotel, and operator Fairmont Hotels are installing Guest-Tek Interactive’s OneView Media platform at the Plaza Hotel with free-to-guest Internet protocol television including high-definition (HD) programming, and HD video on-demand entertainment services.  The 282-room Plaza Hotel will soon re-open soon after a $400 million lobby to roof renovation, including the restoration of its defining landmark public spaces The Palm Court, Oak Bar and Oak Room.  http://www.guest-tek.com


- Hotel del Coronado upgrades to version 3.0 of Agilysys’ Materials Management System
The 679-room Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, Calif. has upgraded to version 3.0 of Agilysys’ Materials Management System (MMS) inventory procurement system. Enhancements include automated e-mail bid capability, point-and-click functionality, the ability to route purchase requisitions for approval via e-mail or personal digital assistant (PDA), enhanced browser capabilitie and multiple par level functionality.  http://www.agilysys.com


And now for you-know-what…

On Valentine’s day, a guy walks into a post office to see an older man standing at the counter methodically placing “Love” stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them. The older man then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying each one of the envelopes.

The younger man’s curiosity getting the better of him, goes up to the older man and asks him what he is doing. The man says, “I'm sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed, ‘Guess who?’”

“But why?” asks the younger man.

“I'm a divorce lawyer,” the man replies.

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