⚠ We would appreciate if you would disable your ad blocker when visiting our site! ⚠

Siegel Sez

October 02, 2008

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I have always believed the best things that happen in life are usually unplanned. Recently, I was at the Atlanta airport for a flight. I was a little early so I decided to have lunch. I got my tray, placed my order and while waiting for my two-item combo, a guy dressed in military fatigues got in line behind me, grabbed his tray and before he ordered asked if the restaurant gave a military discount. What a nice idea to do that even if it is a token discount. The server told him they didn’t. He placed his order and life goes on. As I got to the register after ordering my drink the cashier asked if there was anything else I wanted. I said yes, I would like to buy the guy behind me his lunch.  The guy in Army fatigues looked at me and told me I didn’t have to do that. I said that I wanted to. Again, he said that was not necessary. I looked at him and said that it might not be necessary, but I want to and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. He smiled, we laughed and chatted for a few minutes and then he went to join his other Army buddies who were at a table waiting for him.  It was a small gesture but I had to admit as I sat down to eat my lunch I couldn’t get over how good I felt. Not just buying him lunch, but his initial refusal and then our talking, laughing and my thanking him for what he is doing with his life and his thanking me for lunch.  Honestly, it was not about paying for his lunch, it was just about doing something nice and then being able to enjoy it for a few minutes. I am not sure if any of us do this enough but the next time you sense an opportunity, just do it. It was a great feeling that we all probably don’t experience enough.

Throughout the year there are so many conferences held in Las Vegas that I attend that I should probably just live there. But there is one Las Vegas weekend that is my football/guys weekend that I never miss. This group of guys rarely travel and this year we stayed at the Palazzo, which is the newest hotel on the Las Vegas strip. All weekend the guys kept thanking me for getting us into this hotel. It is hard to believe that there are rooms this large on the Strip; actually all the rooms at the Palazzo are suites. Next time you are in Las Vegas I would recommend you check it out; it was a different Las Vegas experience for me. Of course, part of it might have been that nobody in the group understood the hotel industry and that was kind of fun for me, too. Thank you to Mark Molinari from the Venetian (they own the Palazzo) for helping me pull this off.
I just returned from the HFTP Annual Conference which is less about technology and more about the “F” in HFTP, but a conference I absolutely love to attend. It was my first time at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel since HITEC was there about 12 years ago. Those who were there years ago all remember the experience at checkin—what an adventure that was. It is still a unique hotel and I didn’t get lost once this time. Congratulations to Jules Sieburgh for his induction as this year’s president of HFTP. It is always nice when they put a technology guy in charge.

Just a little over a month until the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York and there are a couple of spots available in the Hospitality Upgrade sponsored Technology Innovation Pavilion. If you are interested in a less expensive way of showing your products to the 40,000 plus attendees then e-mail Sharon Lee at mailto:sharon@hospitalityupgrade.com. It is always a fun time, after all there is no place like New York, right?

Here now is the real reason we are here—Jon Inge’s technology review of the last few 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


- Hilton, Choice Scandinavia recognized for technical excellence
- Ensure your new TVs are compatible with your supplier’s programming and security before you buy them!
Two hotel chains have been acknowledged for their innovative use of technology: Hilton Hotels has been named No. 2 on the InformationWeek 500 list of top innovators, and Choice Hotels Scandinavia has been nominated for an Excellence in Innovation Award from Microsoft.

Hilton was recognized for the extent to which it uses its OnQ platform for IT-facilitated customer service; OnQ encompasses property management, reservations, e-commerce, CRM, HR, e-learning and BI.  InformationWeek also cited Hilton's development of a Linux-based distributed availability engine to ease the traffic load on its reservation system, its move towards a single Web site content management system, the ability for its guests to select a room from a floor plan when booking a Homewood Suite property, and its use of in-room guest service kiosks and connection panels.

Other hospitality companies listed in the InformationWeek 500 included Aramark, Darden Restaurants, Harrah's Entertainment, Marriott International, MGM MIRAGE, Mohegan Sun Resort and Travelport GDS.
Microsoft nominated Choice Hotels Scandinavia for an Excellence in Innovation Award for its centrally hosted implementation of Cenium's integrated system across 160 properties.  Cenium, which is based on Microsoft's Dynamics NAV (Navision) platform, replaced a mix of 10 different finance systems and 15 front desk systems. It covers property management, conference booking, POS (retail and food and beverage), back office financials, spa management and other activities bookings.  A dynamic pricing (revenue management) module was implemented within two months of Choice's specifications, and is credited with increasing revenues by 38 percent.
Finally, another reminder to all properties buying flat-panel TV monitors for their guestrooms: please don’t do this before talking to the vendor supplying your programming!  Once again I’ve heard of hotels spending considerable sums on new TVs and only later finding out that they weren’t compatible with the high-definition or digital rights security approach used by their programming supplier, whether pay per view or free to guest.  Compatibility matters: discuss it with your provider before buying!


- SoftHotel appoints AutoClerk as a value added reseller
- Gateway Canyons implements Agilysys’ Visual One PMS/S&C, Stratton Warren , InfoGenesis and Guest eMarketing
- M Resort, Spa and Casino picks Agilysys’ LMS, Stratton Warren and Visual One Spa
- Darden School of Business installs MSI’s WinPM and WinSAM
- East West Resorts selects SPI's condo hotel software for Westin Riverfront Resort, Avon, Colo.
For more on Property Management Systems for 10/02/08


- Marriott to launch Web site for group travel intermediaries
- Marriott signs new multiyear distribution agreement with Booking.com
- GoPlanit launching planning tool for personalized trips
- Hotelzon UK introduces real-time mobile phone hotel booking for Nokia smartphones
- Sunvil implementing Dolphin Dynamics in its retail travel division
- Advantage Travel Centre names Dolphin Dynamics as a preferred supplier
- Accor Hospitality renews global agreement with TravelCLICK
- Hotels.com announces Visualiser search engine based on travelers’ selections of images
- Splendia.com signs with Pegasus for UltraDirect connectivity
For more on Reservations for 10/02/08


- Carmel Partners implementing Rainmaker’s revolutionLRO at over 19,000 units
- Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Miss., installs Rainmaker’s revolution Product Suite
Carmel Partners is implementing The Rainmaker Group’s revolutionLRO multifamily housing revenue optimization application at over 19,000 units after a 12-month pilot test in eight communities.  LRO will be installed across 57 communities totaling nearly 14,500 units in late 2008, and includes a two-way interface with Carmel Partners’ MRI property management and accounting systems. 

The 494-room Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Miss., has installed Rainmaker’s revolution Product Suite, fully interfaced to the hotel’s Agilysys PMS.
http://www.carmelpartners.net, http://www.hollywoodcasinotunica.comhttp://www.letitrain.com


- Newmarket certifies LateMeetings.com as MeetingBroker channel partner
- Marriott to introduce self-paced online training for travel industry meetings professionals
- Mohegan Sun picks Passkey for group meetings management
For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 10/02/08


- Vendue Inn implements Capton’s RFID-based Beverage Tracker
- Tripleseat Software launches Web-based sales and catering application
The Vendue Inn in Charleston, S.C. has implemented Capton’s RFID-based Beverage Tracker solution.  http://www.vendueinn.comhttp://www.captoninc.com
Tripleseat Software has launched its Web-based sales and catering application targeted at private dining rooms and catering operations.  http://www.tripleseat.com


- Telkonet granted new powerline communications, thermostat patents
- Three CityCenter hotels to use Control4’s in-room technology
- B.F. Saul Company to install FlyteBoard at three properties
- TeleAdapt announced AudioHub product line
- KoolConnect lets guests using TeleAdapt's passive MediaHub use TV remote control to switch media source
For more on Guest Services for 10/02/08


- Wendy Couch joins EZYield.com as East Coast sales manager
- Wyndham consolidates distribution, channel management and reservations under Jeff Edwards
- Cindy McCall promoted to vice president of marketing at CBORD
- Jim Vinson hired as director of commercial sales at Onity
- TripIt draws from Yahoo!, Travelocity and Mozilla in expanding its management team

For more on People on the Move for 10/02/08


- TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS now PCI-certified
- TravelCLICK wins 16 WMA awards for Web site design excellence
- Kimpton chooses Market Metrix’s customer satisfaction survey system
- Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa contracts for UniFocus’ GUESTScope
- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to deploy GUESTScope throughout its facilities
- GuestCentric Systems releases marketing performance tools
- Sage Hospitality implements ProfitSword business intelligence at all 49 managed properties
- Distinguished International picks Cendyn for Web site services
For more on Marketing./Management for 10/02/08


And now for you-know-what…

A preacher was seated next to a cowboy on a flight to Texas. After the plane took off, the cowboy asked for a whiskey and soda, which was brought and placed before him.

The flight attendant then asked the preacher if he would like a drink. Aghast, the preacher replied, "I'd rather be tied up and taken advantage of by women of ill repute than let liquor touch my lips."

The cowboy then handed his drink back to the attendant and said, "Me too. I didn't know we had a choice."

want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.