Siegel Sez

May 07, 2009

Siegel Sez


by: Richard Siegel

How are you feeling today? Desperate? Content? Scared? Excited? Good dreams? Nightmares? These really are interesting times.  I must admit I am in a somewhat envious position since I talk to industry folks who wear all different types of hats. As we continue to put together our HITEC issue of Hospitality Upgrade I must admit it is so cool to deal with those who have never wavered in their commitment to what we are doing and events like HITEC. Then there are others who I worry about. We all have choices—we can wait and hope things get better or we can make things better by doing things. I hope I am doing my part to make things better, are you? Wow, am I feeling a bit philosophical today? I am allowed that once in awhile, right?

Speaking of HITEC there seems to be a recent flurry of activity with many people saying they need to be there. If you are attending here is something to put on your schedule. I have put together a session titled, “What do our customers want?” It will include a diverse group that is pretty well known to the industry, including someone who travels over 300 nights a year. Three hundred nights a year and he is married? Hmmm, sounds like this could be the perfect marriage.  The session is at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday so put it on your calendar.  I promise to make it both informative and entertaining.

Thanks to all who asked about our little horse with a big heart, Backbackbackgone. He actually ran two weeks ago and I am not going to tell you what happened except to say that there is a chance he will be at Pimlico Race Track in Maryland a week from Saturday on Preakness Day. If you would like to watch his last race, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbi8kqZtrvc&feature=channel_page.  Special thanks to Mary Stern, the director of sales at the Best Western Los Alamitos for meeting us there.

Speaking of horses I had one of the greatest weekends of my life this past weekend at the Kentucky Derby. It started with dinner Thursday night with Ron Strecker, the CFO of AJ Schneider Company, owners of the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, and Heather Pitts from QSR Automation who is also based in Louisville. The Kentucky Oaks was on Friday and Derby Day was on Saturday. No, I didn’t pick Mine That Bird to win the Derby at 50-1, but I did pick Musket Man who came in third. I had a celebrity-like experience at the Derby; I bet my picture was taken over a thousand times including about 300 times in 20 minutes. Why? I could show you, but then I would have to direct you to my Facebook page and Jon Inge has told me I can’t do that because then I would be mixing business with friends. I will tell you this, at the Derby there are close to a hundred thousand hats worn and I was told a thousand times that the hat I was wearing was the best. You can see of photo of me in the hat at the top of the publisher’s letter in the next issue of Hospitality Upgrade.  It was the time of my life. How cool was it to have Tiki Barber from NBC Sports begging me for a picture. What a fun day.

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.


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Technology NEWSSTAND


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

 


TOP O' THE NEWS


- Being green is a mindset, not just a technology approach
- Why don’t more software vendors support energy-saving virtualization?
---------------------------
It’s encouraging to see that green thinking continues to gain traction in hotels.  Being green isn’t only about the technology, of course, it’s also a mindset.  For example, Marriott has been ranked No. 11 on Computerworld magazine's Top 12 Green IT Companies list, the second time it’s made this list.  While some significant energy savings were achieved through technology (see full story under Engineering, below), Marriott also made noticeable improvements through some simple, manual steps.  

Not everyone has a need to reduce cooling costs by building a data center 220 feet underground, but everyone can have their security guards check thermostats on their daily rounds and make sure they’re set a few degrees higher. 
**
One of the bigger gains Marriott found was through implementing virtual servers, which cut down the number of physical servers it needed by 53 percent, saving $3.7 million in 2008 alone.  OK, that’s still a lot of servers, but most hotels can achieve noticeable energy savings by running several software applications on fewer, virtualized servers.  Disappointingly, though, many major hospitality system vendors still don’t approve their software running this way. 

Why not, folks?  It’s a proven technique, nothing bleeding edge about it, saves hardware, energy costs and computer room space, and seems to cut down support effort too.  At a time when every hotel out there is trying to save costs everywhere, it would really help to make this a more commonplace configuration.
**



PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- CMS Computers appointed sole reseller of TTI’s Scan2PMS in India
--------------------------
CMS Computers has been appointed the sole reseller of TTI Technologies International’s Scan2PMS technology in India.  Scan2PMS captures guest information from a driver’s license or passport at checkin and downloads the data into the hotel’s property management system.  CMS will manage sales, installation and support of the TTI business.  http://www.cms.com, http://www.ttitel.com
**

RESERVATIONS



- Best Western makes all North American, Caribbean locations downloadable to GPS devices
- Genares signs with EZYield for PMS connectivity and reservation delivery
- Sol Meliá Vacation Club signs with LeisureLink for rental inventory distribution
- Accor implements OTA-compliant direct connection to both Galileo and Worldspan
- Accor upgrades connectivity on both Galileo and Worldspan to Seamless Next Generation
- boo.com links with Eventful.com’s database of over 5 million events worldwide
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For more on Reservations for 05/07/09

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Real Hotels & Resorts to use UniFocus’ SERVICEScope for 17 properties
- Marriott extends TravelCLICK Hotelligence reports to 150 select-service, extended stay properties
- Travelport GDS launches Featured Property priority placement for Worldspan GDS
- ZDirect releases ZMail Mobile Pages to format e-mail messages for mobile devices
- Genares offers VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure Online Merchandising System to client properties
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For more on Marketing/Management for 05/07/09

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- Rainmaker released revolution v1.6, integrates marketing promotions, events into demand forecasting and pricing optimization
- Rainmaker now a Microsoft Certified Partner for hotel gaming industry solutions
- SAS integrating IDeaS revenue management with its customer analytics, campaign management
- SynXis in joint development with EZYield for two-way integration with EZYield’s channel management
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For more on Revenue Management for 05/07/09

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Millennium partners with Cvent
- LodgeNet releases Conference Manager for control of meeting room network resources
- Sol Meliá implements Delphi at Meliá Milano
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For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 05/07/09

F&B/POINT OF SALE



- Great Wolf Resorts orders Capton’s Beverage Tracker for selected locations
- Panasonic approves new Stingray POS workstation for seven more POS systems
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Great Wolf Resorts has ordered Capton’s Beverage Tracker for implementation in selected Great Wolf Lodge locations.  Great Wolf owns and/or manages 12 locations under the Great Wolf Lodge and Blue Harbor Resort brands.  http://www.captoninc.com
**
Panasonic System Solutions has approved its new Stingray POS workstation for use with an additional seven POS/management software systems, including Aldelo, Documentor Pro, Infospec Systems, Intura Solutions, Micro$ale POS, SoftTouch POS and XProtean.  http://www.panasonic.com
**

GUEST SERVICES



- MTech integrates HotSOS with Ascom’s UNITE Messaging
- Guest-Tek providing Internet service and support to 68 hotels previously using Sprint Nextel
- The Hotel Networks announces new promotional marketing platform
- Empire Hotel Group deploys BNS RoomWise HD-IPTV at new hotel in Causeway Bay district
- Otrum releases new Otrum Cinema in-room video option
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For more on Guest Services for 05/07/09

BACK OFFICE



- Mintek announces Trancendent Web-based system to help asset management, CAPEX planning, etc.
- Green Island Country Club orders ClubPay’s payroll and HR management services
------------------------
Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has announced its new Trancendent Web-based system that helps hotel owners and operators manage asset management, capital expenditure (CAPEX) planning, document/contract management, work orders and preventive maintenance for one or multiple properties.  An Asset Tree within Transcendent allows assets to be organized by property, region or company.  Transcendent's Inspection Master manages and monitors scheduled inspections via Motorola's MC Series of color-screen hand-held devices and bar codes placed on every item needing a PM.  Scanning a bar code displays that item’s service instructions and records completion of the work.  http://www.mintek.com
**
Green Island Country Club of Columbus, Ga., has ordered ClubPay’s payroll and HR management services, which are provided on a software-as-a-service platform. http://www.clubpayroll.com
**


INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh picks Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System
------------------------------------
Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has selected Agilysys’ Stratton Warren System for inventory and procurement operations.  The property, which is scheduled to open in August 2009, will use SWS’ inventory, purchasing, recipe/menu analysis and bar code modules, and will include 3,000 slot machines, four restaurants, live entertainment and a 1,000-seat amphitheatre.  Future plans include additional entertainment and dining venues, a 300-room hotel and a multipurpose event room to accommodate 2,500 guests.  http://thepittsburghcasino.com, http://www.agilysys.com
**

ENGINEERING



- Marriott among Computerworld magazine’s Top 12 Green IT Companies for second year
- Mintek announces new Trancendent Web-based PM, work order system
- Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch installs INNCOM in all rooms
------------------------------
For more on Engineering for 05/07/09

SECURITY



- Kaba Lodging Systems (KLS) introduces two types of environmentally friendly keycards
--------------------
To celebrate Earth Day, Kaba Lodging Systems (KLS) introduced two types of environmentally friendly keycards as a green option for hotels.  The green keys are made either from 100-percent recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or from polylactide acid (PLA) plastic, a corn byproduct which is recyclable and biodegradable.  Both key types function like traditional magnetic stripe keycards.  http://www.ilcolodging.com
**

You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what…

A woman was sitting at a bar with her girlfriends enjoying a cocktail after work when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy middle-aged man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him. The man noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her.

Before she could offer her apologies for so rudely staring, he leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for $20.00... on one condition."

The woman asked what the condition was, and the man replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words."

The woman considered his proposition for a moment, then slowly removed a $20 bill from her purse, which she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply into his eyes, and slowly, meaningfully said... "Clean my house."




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