Siegel Sez

June 12, 2009

Siegel Sez


by: Richard Siegel

There was a woman that I dated about a year ago. As what usually happens with me, it wasn’t meant to be but we remained friends. She lives in North Carolina and I live in Atlanta so I never see her, but like many we stay connected through Facebook. I got a text from her about a week ago and since it was basically gibberish I ignored it. I then received an e-mail from her saying that she hadn’t seen me online and was worried about me. I probably overreacted a bit and replied by asking if she was really worried about me. Does anybody remember the old days before the Internet when we thought of somebody we picked up the phone and called them? I told her if she was really worried, why didn’t she call? Then I started thinking of how many people I could call and never do. I send an e-mail to catch up with people, I exchange messages on Facebook or other social media sites. I recently received an e-mail from Minot Osborne who told me after 18 years with the same company he was moving on (see Jon’s technology review) so I picked up the phone and called him. It was so much fun catching up with him. But did I really have to wait for this news to call him? How many people are there that I should call just to say hello. Sure we can all claim we are busy, but couldn’t we pick a moment on occasion to call somebody we haven’t talked to in awhile? I remember many years ago when there was only one phone company and there were television commercials encouraging people to use the phone. The message was simply that the best call to make was the one that you didn’t need to make. All these years later I still believe it is a great message.  Think about it.

When does summer start, June 21? I think not. When I grew up in New York it started around the third week of June when school let out. I have lived here in the South for a long time now and have never gotten used to the school year ending the third week of May. But how about those of us who live in the world of technology for the hospitality industry? Summer starts the day after HITEC ends, which means this year it starts on June 26.  However, when summer ends is never open to interpretation, it is Labor Day. For eight years we have always celebrated the end of summer with the Hospitality Upgrade CIO Summit that begins the Wednesday after Labor Day. Our ninth CIO Summit (www.theciosummit.com) will be at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., and the responses to the invites this year have been nothing short of spectacular. These are interesting times we are experiencing and since this gathering is all about those in charge of technology with very limited vendor participation, it has grown in popularity every year. Technology issues are always going to be the main purpose behind our summit, but spending quality time with your peers is a very unique and valuable experience for those who have attended. If you are the person who is in charge of your company’s technology and didn’t get an invite, please e-mail me right away. This is a great way to end the summer and prepare for the rest of the year. I can’t wait.

We are off to HITEC in a week; hopefully we will see you there. One of the things you have to love about HITEC is how everybody times their major announcements to coincide with the conference. The first one came out this morning with SoftBrands announcing that an affiliate of Golden State Capital and Infor have signed a definitive agreement to acquire them. There is a release of this announcement posted at www.hospitalityupgrade.com.

Hospitality Upgrade readers know that we always interview CIOs, which we have moved from the magazine to our Web site as live video recordings. Thanks to our friends at Realview TV and a very bold Kris Singleton, the CIO at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, who I will interview at HITEC on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Come by the Realview TV booth (No. 1170) and watch it. It might be fun to have audience participation. Then on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Hospitality Upgrade booth (No. 441) if I can talk Jon Inge into it, we will record a live version of Siegel Sez. Now this should be interesting.  Don’t forget that I am co-moderating the session, “What Do Our Customers Want,” with Scot Campbell, the CIO of MGM MIRAGE, on Wednesday at 2:45. I promise this will be a very unique panel. We hope to see you there.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon’s technology review of the last couple of weeks. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at “you-know-what.”  We hope to see you at HITEC, but if we don’t then let me wish everyone a nice summer. Do your part and plan a trip somewhere this summer for fun. Let’s get the world traveling again!


mailto:Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Technology NEWSSTAND


Systems News in Plain English from Jon Inge

 


TOP O' THE NEWS


- News items emphasize shrinking market, growing use of Internet and lack of user loyalty
- Marriott included in CIO magazine’s Top 100 companies for the tenth time
- See you at HITEC!
---------------------------
An interesting sequence of news items today points out the essential need to use the Internet to attract and book visitors, and the difficult challenge of generating guest loyalty in this very volatile environment.  Consider:
- According to Euromonitor International, the global downturn will cause the travel and tourism industry to shrink in 2009 and begin to rise again in 2010, though well below prior forecasts.  Hotel bookings are now expected to shrink by 3.6 percent in 2009 and grow by 1 percent in 2010.
- Within this shrinking market, more people are booking online; hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index reports that the online hotel sector is proving more resilient than traditional channels in volume terms, although not in prices.
- More and more Web booking sites are being launched, but few are creating strong loyalty among their users; new Hitwise data shows that 30 percent of user visits to online travel agencies (OTAs) are from people who were looking at another OTA’s Web site.  In fact, online travel agencies receive more visits from other OTA sites than they do from search engines, presumably because everyone’s constantly looking for a better deal.
All of which emphasizes the value of an appealing Web site that attracts attention instantly, offers rates which are clearly good value and is so intuitive to use that people prefer to re-visit it rather than look for alternatives. 
**
Extending an impressive track record, Marriott International has been included in CIO magazine’s Top 100 companies for the tenth time.  The worldwide award program recognizes organizations showing the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology.  Marriott was the only hospitality company honored this year, and was recognized for its Group Pricing Optimizer (GPO), a Web-based application for improving how group business is priced, sold and serviced.
**
This is the last newsletter before HITEC so I’ll just say three words about it – See you there!
**



MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- ZDirect and Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) form partnership
- Aptech launches Innvue application for multiproperty data extraction, consolidation
- E-site Marketing introduces its Mobile Website application
- VFM Leonardo contracts with GeoBeats to produce high-impact videos
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For more on Marketing/Management for 06/12/09

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- eRevMax acquires Simple Distribution from Rate Reports
----------------------------
eRevMax has acquired Simple Distribution from Egypt-based online channel management company Rate Reports, to fit alongside its RateTiger system.  eRevMax plans to expand Simple Distribution’s benchmarking, channel management and booking engine functionalities from its current Asian and African markets into Europe and America, targeting small, independent hotels with 40 rooms or less.  http://www.erevmax.com
**

SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Resorts World at Sentosa selects MICROS Systems' OPERA Enterprise Solution
- Choice Hotels adds hotelSalesPro, hotelCateringPro and hotelServicePro to its Qualified Vendor Program
---------------------------
Resorts World at Sentosa has selected MICROS Systems' OPERA Enterprise Solution for its new project on Singapore's Sentosa Island, due to open in early 2010.  With 1,800 rooms spread over six hotels, the resort will utilize the multiproperty version of the OPERA Sales and Catering and OPERA Property Management systems for the resort's hotel and catering operations.  http://www.rwsentosa.comhttp://www.micros.com
**
Choice Hotels has selected hotelSystemsPro’s Web-based hotelSalesPro, hotelCateringPro and hotelServicePro systems for its Qualified Vendor Program, with its Cambria Suites brand being the first adopters.  hotelSalesPro is a multiproperty ASP sales and catering system; hotelServicePro is a hotel maintenance application that automates the management and reporting of maintenance and guest request tasks.  http://www.choicehotels.com, http://www.hotelsystemspro.com
**

SPA/GOLF/LEISURE ACTIVITIES



- Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland picks ResortSuite
------------------------
The Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland has selected ResortSuite’s PMS and spa modules to manage its 33-room hotel and 28-room spa.  http://www.monastery-spa.com, http://www.enablez.com
**

GUEST SERVICES



- LodgeNet signs over 25 properties this year to new Hotel Investment Model
- Four Rosen Hotels and Resorts installing 1,000 Onity OS200 electronic in-room safes
- LG announces new flat-panel LCD HDTVs and Auto-Sensing Remote Jack Packs (RJP)
- White Lodging upgrades HSIA at 27 properties to Guest-Tek’s OneView
- Uniguest installs HP TouchSmart PCs in kiosks at Nashville Marriott Airport
- Marriott Courtyard/Gatwick Airport installs HSIA and digital video from RIEO, Acentic
- Colonnade Hotel in Boston sees first U.S. deployment of iBAHN’s ETVi all-digital IPTV
- Lorien Hotel & Spa, Epic Hotel implement SuiteLinq entertainment and connectivity
------------------------
For more on Guest Services for 06/12/09

INVENTORY/PURCHASING



- Clear Sky Software releases interface with U.S. Foodservice
------------------------------------
Clear Sky Software has released a new interface between its Clear Sky Food inventory system and U.S. Foodservice, enabling Clear Sky Food to transmit product orders to U.S. Foodservice and import U.S. Foodservice shipped order files.  http://www.usfoodservice.com, http://www.clearskysoftware.com
**

ENGINEERING



- Choice Hotels adds hotelServicePro to Qualified Vendor Program
------------------------------
Choice Hotels has selected hotelSystemsPro’s Web-based hotelServicePro, hotelSalesPro and hotelCateringPro systems for its Qualified Vendor Program, with its Cambria Suites brand being the first adopters.  hotelServicePro is a hotel maintenance application that automates the management and reporting of maintenance and guest request tasks; hotelSalesPro is a multiproperty ASP sales and catering system.  http://www.choicehotels.com, http://www.hotelsystemspro.com
**

COMMUNICATIONS



- Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan’s Herald Square implements BTP network design and technology infrastructure
------------------------------
The 298-unit Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan’s Herald Square opened in February 2009 with network design, technology infrastructure and audiovisual and security systems from Business Technology Partners (BTP).  http://www.btp.net
**

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Minott Osborn joins ClickSquared as business development manager, travel and hospitality
- Cam Troutman promoted to vice president and officer at Aptech
- Michael Boult appointed as Lanyon’s chief commercial officer
- John Davis recognized as one of the Top of the Top 25s most influential travel executives
--------------------------
For more on People on the Move for 06/12/09

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- SoftBrands acquired by Infor
- InterContinental deploys first Hotel-in-a-Box package
- Resorts World at Sentosa picks MICROS' OPERA Enterprise Solution
- Branson's Nantucket vacation ownership resort selects SPI Orange Systems
- Spa at the Monastery and Suites in St. John’s, Newfoundland picks ResortSuite
- Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments selects Xn Hotel Systems, protel PMS and Xn dotPOS
--------------------------
For more information on Property Management Systems for 06/12/09

RESERVATIONS



- SynXis passes 10,000-property mark for RedX
- Tripware launches OutBook travel management software as a plug-in for Outlook 2007
- TripAdvisor launches Business Travel Center
- Marriott to list all properties on Asian booking specialist Agoda.com
-------------------------------------------
For more on Reservations for 06/12/09

You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what…

A pirate walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened? You look terrible."

“What do you mean,” said the pirate. “I feel fine.”

“What about the wooden leg,” asked the bartender. “You didn't have that before.”

Well, we were in a battle and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I'm fine now,” the pirate said.

“Well, OK, but what about that hook,” asked the bartender. “What happened to your hand?”

“We were in another battle,” the pirate explained. “I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook. But, I'm fine, really.”

“What about that eye patch,” the bartender said.

“Oh, one day we were at sea and a flock of birds flew over,” the pirate responded. “I looked up and one of them pooped in my eye.”

“You're kidding,” said the bartender. “You lost an eye just from bird poop?”

To which the pirate replied, “It was my first day with the hook.” 




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