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Siegel Sez

November 07, 2008

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Wow, I’ve made another checkmark in life. Don’t you just love when you get to do something you always wanted to do and then get to put a checkmark next to that item? It has been a whirlwind two weeks for me but it started with a great event that had nothing to do with work. I met seven friends in Las Vegas and went to see the last concert of the year for Jimmy Buffet at the MGM Grand. Actually calling it a concert does not do it justice, it is truly an event and nonstop party.  Everybody dresses with a Buffet theme for the concert and the party starts hours before the actual concert. What a great, great time. I guess now I should pursue being a Parrothead, I just need to figure out how membership in this club works.

After the concert it was off to San Diego for the PAR Springer-Miller Users Group. This is one of the industry’s more unique users’ groups because I believe it is the only one run by the users, not the vendor. There were great parties and very good speakers. I think the highlight was witnessing the official passing of the baton from company creator John Springer-Miller to its new president Larry Hall. The handoff was smooth and there seemed to be a renewed energy for both PAR Springer-Miller and the users. It was great being there; I enjoy spending time with those who actually use the technology that we write so much about.

After San Diego it was back to Las Vegas and Caesars Palace for the SAS Conference. SAS has been around the industry, especially the gaming market for quite awhile but with its acquisition of revenue management company IDeaS earlier this year it is focused on having a bigger impact in the hotel industry. An interesting conference for me since it included attendees from many other industries which allows me to learn what other industries are doing and what the hospitality industry should be doing or considering. Thank you to both PAR Springer-Miller and SAS for inviting me to their conferences.

Our whole group at Hospitality Upgrade is off to New York tomorrow for the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show. Our Technology Pavilion has been moved to a more central location this year so if you are in New York please visit us at booth No. 3186. After all, you don’t want to miss our infamous Monday night dinner, right?

If you read my Publisher’s Letter in our fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade you know that the feedback at our recent CIO Summit is that the investment in technology remains very strong which is great to hear with so much negative economic news being reported daily. Jon Inge’s commentary in the opening of his technology review might help everybody understand why. Of course, one of the greatest benefits of investing in new technology is that it allows you to do more with less. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Here now is the aforementioned Jon Inge with his somewhat lengthy review of the recent happenings in the world of technology. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what.”  Before I go, mark Nov. 23 on your calendar. Our budding superstar Backbackbackgone who has run three times and won all three times will be running in the Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. This is a big test for him and if he wins or just runs well the dreaming really gets into high gear, after all the Kentucky Derby is now only six months away. Wish him luck!


Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- ISHC Conference highlights technology’s impact on all areas of the hospitality industry
We certainly live in interesting times.  Last week’s annual conference of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants naturally took an in-depth look at all the major issues facing the industry.  These ranged from declining occupancies, rates, asset values and financing availability to potential labor shortages and cost increases. 

What I thought was particularly striking, however, was that almost every speaker on every topic brought up the importance of technology and how it affects the situation.  From business intelligence for more informed management decisions, CRM for better targeted marketing, revenue management to maximize the value of the business, energy management systems for cost control and HR systems for labor recruiting and management, to the impact of telepresence video-conferencing on potential meetings business and the balance between guestroom technology’s cost and its ability to attract guests, the interest in technology was remarkably high. 

All major decisions still need to be made by intelligent analysis of the options, of course, but there’s no doubt that awareness of technology’s value in providing essential tools is greater than ever.

Damn, we might almost be getting respectable.


- George Meshkov hired as vice president of sales at Blizzard Internet Marketing
- Michael Crain joins MSI in new position of vice president of success!
- Suzanne Child joins Onity as marketing manager for global operations
- Mark Hoare joins The Prism Partnership as a new principle partner
- Elizabeth Homewood promoted to VP of global support at SoftBrands
- Bob Coyne joins Megasys as a sales/marketing consultant
- Richard Reyer hired as western regional sales director at Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi)
- Pegasus Solutions promotes Aaron Shepherd to CIO, Steve Lapekas to SVP corporate business development and CTO, Mark Dubrow  to EVP and CFO, Mel Kemp to SVP global operations and service delivery, and Andrew Stringer to SVP human resources
For more on People on the Move for 11/07/08


- Fontainebleau Miami Beach orders ResortSuite for Lapis spa
Fontainebleau Resorts has ordered Enablez Inc.’s ResortSuite for the Lapis spa at its Miami Beach property, linked to its Micros OPERA hotel PMS to provide a single guest itinerary.  http://www.fontainebleau.comhttp://www.enablez.com


- Algonquin Hotel loaning Amazon Kindles to guests
- Le Meurice Hotel installs iHome alarm clock/radio/iPod docks in 160 guestrooms
- Walt Disney World designates Hotel Technologies exclusive alarm clock radios supplier
- DOCOMO interTouch shows hYspace prototype guestroom controller for guests’ touch screen phones
- DOCOMO interTouch to offer Wi-Fi SmartPhone video chat service
- Affinia Manhattan adds self-service fax/copier/scanner from TTI Technologies
- Crowne Plaza Glen Ellyn, Ill., opens with Roomlinx in all 119 rooms
- KoolConnect introduces Intrigue 3.0, third-generation HD system
- Swissôtel Zurich rolls out Knowcross’ TRITON guest request management system
- TripIt and LinkedIn partner to encourage contacts to meet on the road
- Flyte Systems signs 14 property contracts in past 60 days
- Destination Hotels & Resorts now has GoConcierge at six properties
- ekit announces pre-paid data service plans for mobile data and online activity
- BNS launches turnkey in-room entertainment, room control and A/V system based on IPTV
- Royal Resorts implements high-performance wireless at two properties on St. Maarten
- Starwood launches SPG Mobile for preferred guests to access member Web site from phones
- LodgeNet’s The Hotel Networks (THN) launches FreeViews ad-supported long-form video on demand (VOD) content
For more on Guest Services for 11/07/08


- Vail Resorts upgrades to latest version of Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System
Vail Resorts has upgraded to the latest version of Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System (SWS) inventory and procurement solution.  Improvements include centralized item master functionality, better scalability, point-and-click functionality, routing purchase requisitions for approval via e-mail or personal digital assistant (PDA) and multiple par level functionality.  http://www.vailresorts.com, http://www.agilysys.com


- Riverwalk Casino Hotel in Vicksburg orders Agilysys’ LMS
- NORTHWIND consolidating training, support and development in new corporate offices
- MSI releases Web booking engine for its PMSs
- Golden Tulip Jaipur becomes first Amadeus PMS customer in India
- Guestline releases direct connection between Roomlynx and both Venere.com and hotel.info
For more on Property Management Systems for 11/07/08


- Relais & Châteaux picks SynXis’ RedX for 482 member properties
- SynXis certifies direct booking connections to Qunar.com and Wego.com
- American Express Business Travel launches BTX online community for corporate travel
- Warwick contracts with Pegasus for commission processing for over 40 hotels
- Travelport GDS offers discounted Pegasus commission processing to Apollo and Galileo-connected travel agencies
- Microsoft and Travelport partnering to develop integrated travel services
- Dolphin Dynamics integrates Microsoft Virtual Earth to map-based search tool
- STA Travel rolls out Dolphin Dynamics’ booking management software to 32 sites in Germany
- Trust International releases direct interface with Priceline’s Booking.com portal
- Amadeus certifies FCm Travel Solutions as a global reseller
For more on Reservations for 11/07/08


- VFM Interactive acquires Leonardo Media
- Americas Best Value Inn picks VFM Interactive for rich content production and distribution
- Sheraton Atlanta implements Express-Way guest-spoken comment feedback system
- The Tides Inn selects HeBS as exclusive Internet marketing provider
- Hostmark Hospitality Group orders Standing Dog Interactive’s ReviewAnalyst
- Utell signs for Rate Tiger’s Market Insight tools
- Cherokee Nation Enterprises signs with Market Metrix for employee surveys
- Prima Hotel Group picks TravelCLICK for Web site redesign and marketing for five hotels
- Feathers Hotel and Catering signs with TravelCLICK for Web site booking engine and merchandising services
For more on Marketing/Management for 11/07/08


- Foxwoods Resort Casino installs The Rainmaker Group’s revolution
Foxwoods Resort Casino has installed The Rainmaker Group’s revolution system to optimize revenue for its more than 2,200 hotel rooms in four hotels; the 806-room Grand Pequot Tower, 312-room Great Cedar Hotel, the 280-room Two Trees Inn and the 825-room MGM Grand at Foxwoods.  Foxwoods also features more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space and 25 conference rooms.  http://www.foxwoods.com, http://www.letitrain.com


- Cvent upgrades event management, supplier network, and Web survey products
- Choice Hotels deploying Sonoma Partners’ Franchise Management system
- MICEpoint launches MICEpoint.com event planner Web portal
- MeetingMatrix announces MeetingMatrix LIVE! packaged services
- Starwood makes small meeting rooms available for real-time booking at http://www.worktopia.com
- Newmarket launches regional certification program
- Libra OnDemand releases salesforce.com-based Libra OnDemand CRM
For more on Sales & Catering/Meeting Planning for 11/07/08


- Columbia Sussex equips three properties with Telkonet’s SmartEnergy
Columbia Sussex has equipped approximately 1,300 guestrooms at the Doubletree Rochester, N.Y., the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center and the Westin St. Maarten with Telkonet’s SmartEnergy energy management system.  Additional properties are scheduled for TSE implementation by the end of the year.  http://www.columbiasussex.comhttp://www.telkonet.com


- PhoneSuite centralizes sales and support operations at Broomfield, Colo.
- Shangri-La Vancouver to open in January 2009 with Nortel’s Unified Communications
PhoneSuite has centralized its sales and support operations at its headquarters in Broomfield, Colo.  http://www.PhoneSuite.com
Shangri-La’s 119-room Vancouver, Canada, property will open in January 2009 with Nortel’s Unified Communications system to integrate voice, data and mobility services.  http://www.shangri-la.com, http://www.nortel.com/uc


And now for you-know-what…

An 80-year-old woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge he asked her, "What did you steal?"

She replied, "A can of peaches."

The judge asked her why she had stolen the can of peaches and she replied that she was hungry. The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can.

She replied, "Six."

The judge said, "Then I will then give you six days in jail."  

Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment, the woman's husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something. The judge said, "What is it?"

The husband said, "She also stole a can of peas."

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