Siegel Sez

July 30, 2009

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

It has been an interesting week. Monday the headline of the USA Today business section read that a group of leading economists agree that a slow recovery is on tap. Then the cover of Newsweek read that the recession is over and it is all about the recovery. Then I received an e-mail regarding real estate and that multiple real estate markets led by Cleveland, Dallas and Boston are showing increases in value for the first time since 2006. Yes, there is still bad news out there with probably some more to come, but how encouraging is it that we are getting positive news also. Now if we can just figure out a way to get those looking for jobs back to work we will be traveling the right path to where we all want to be.  I said this last month at HITEC and I will say it again, we are coming back. Not as fast as we would like, but we will be there.  Yes, interesting times we are experiencing.

Speaking of HITEC, I now understand why movies get filmed one year and then make it to the theatres over a year later. Yes, the magic of editing. At HITEC since Jon Inge who does the technology news for this Siegel Sez and I were both there we decided to do a “Live at HITEC Siegel Sez” in the Hospitality Upgrade/Hotel Online booth, and it is now ready to be viewed. Go to and watch the billboard for the video of the live Siegel Sez. I enjoyed watching all the people walk by while doing the interview. Did you make it on camera? Also in keeping with our video theme at HITEC, we did our first ever CIO interview with an audience watching. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is truly one of the “hot” companies in the market today and I convinced its CIO Kris Singleton to be interviewed in the Realview TV booth. I finally figured out how to make myself look good when doing interviews. Interview very smart people. I did that twice at HITEC with Kris and Jon. Again, both interviews can be seen by going to While you are there, if you want to see something new and different, go to the Find a Vendor section while at the site and see more videos from the vendors there. I just love creative people.

This is our ninth year of doing Siegel Sez and let’s be honest, this is all about keeping the world abreast of the technology happenings in our industry which consultant extraordinaire Jon Inge has done a great job sharing with you. My opening has at times been serious, often silly and sometimes too personal. I have shared my dating life, getting on wrong airplanes, woodpeckers at my front door, the passing of my parents along with many other things that I have experienced including the excitement of the race horses I have with my friends.  I have gotten numerous e-mails over the years and have answered every single one. Some were encouraging, some were funny and some were critical.  The growth of Hotel Online has been phenomenal over the last nine years also, and I have to believe much of it has been because of the popularity of Siegel Sez that compliments the daily e-mail from Hotel Online. Too often we take the good things that happen to us for granted. I never want to be accused of that. Much of the growth has been because so many of you forward and pass this e-mail on to so many others. This is very appreciated. We thank you for that, we thank Jon Inge for his great work and we thank Dick Johnson who started Hotel Online in his garage in the mid-90s, for allowing us to join him nine years ago. To those who continue to support us, we thank you. It has been a great journey and we thank you for coming along.

Now here is the aforementioned Jon Inge with this week’s technology review. Don’t forget to see our video after you read this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Technology NEWSSTAND

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



- Vendors continue to develop their systems with admirable enthusiasm
One good thing about the current quiet time in the economy is that it’s given me time to catch up on systems I haven’t looked at recently, or even at all.  And you know what?  It’s really heartening to see that the spirit of inventiveness and optimism is still thriving.

At a time when so many hoteliers are looking to do the minimum upgrades they can to stay afloat, implementing just the essentials without going for the nice-to-have enhancements they’d been hoping for, it’s refreshing to see vendors continuing to develop their systems enthusiastically.  Just recently I caught up with a couple of established vendors of systems targeted at smaller properties, and was pleased to see what a good job they’ve done in re-writing their applications on more modern platforms.  They’ve also found success outside the traditional lodging industry, finding ways to tweak their applications for similar-but-not-quite-the-same verticals. 

I’ve also looked at a couple of newer arrivals from Europe aiming at much larger fish, with very comprehensive systems that have been in development for some time and show some nice, original features.  And kudos to MICROS, too, while I’m at it; with their dominant market share they could probably get away with resting on their laurels for a while, but I’m constantly pleased to see how much extra functionality they’re able to keep adding. 

Of course, no vendor does everything – if they ever do I’ll probably be out of work – and as I mentioned after HITEC it’s encouraging to see their ever-growing ability to work together in flexible combinations to offer what hoteliers are looking for.  Teamwork rules, and I salute the industry’s optimism!


- JDA Software signs collaboration agreement with QL2 Software
- Lenox Hotel to deploy IDeaS V5i
- IDeaS expanding operations in China
- Ehbox partners with RateTiger
- Raffles activates HBSi iDemand Gateway to electronic distribution channels
For more on Revenue Management for 07/31/09


- PSAV Presentation Services partners with X20 Media
- hotel SystemsPro announces Account Saturation Tool for hotel SalesPro
- Penn State implements UniFocus’ MEETINGScope
- EMCVenues adds Cvent’s technology to VenueFinder tool
- ConferenceDirect to use Cvent Supplier Network
- MeetingMetrics releases version 2.1 of its session evaluation tools
For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 07/31/09


- SCI approves Motorola MC5590 hand-held scanning device for use with FOOD-TRAK
System Concepts, Inc. (SCI) has added the Motorola MC5590 as an approved hand-held scanning device for its FOOD-TRAK System.


- Protel implements interface between its PMS and Trust’s Voyager CRS
- Hilton releases mobile web/iPhone reservation services for United Kingdom and Germany
- SynXis launches direct interface to Expedia QuickConnect
- Kohler Resort installs new two-way interface between Springer-Miller PMS and iHotelier
- TravelCLICK on Crain’s 2009 Fast Fifty list for Chicago-area companies for third year
- Travelport joins with PSP International to offer eNett payment and settlement services
- America’s Best Franchising extends contract with InnPoints for Internet/voice reservations
- Founders of launch new discount site,
- Airline flight search site Skyscanner adds hotel search
For more on Reservations for 07/31/09


- Venky Rangachari appointed chief technology officer at Wyndham
- Robert J. Webb hired as chief information officer at Hilton
- Darren Temple joins PSAV as executive vice president of global sales
- Michael Jacques to lead business development at Tripware
For more on People on the Move for 07/31/09


- Southwind Management orders SPI’s Orange Systems CRS and PMS
- Think Apartments picks protel Multi-Property Edition for five new sites in London
- NORTHWIND-Maestro PMS announces 25 new installs in western United States
- Clevelander Hotel and Essex House order Visual One PMS and InfoGenesis POS
- China Hangzhou Dragon Hotel picks IBM for completely integrated hotel management system
For more on Property Management Systems for 07/31/09


- Rezidor approves iBAHN as HSIA provider for entire portfolio
- SDI Technologies appoints TeleAdapt as a distributor of iHome clock radio for EMEA
- London's May Fair Hotel installs 3-D film theater from RealD
- Eliot Hotel and Hotel Duval installing Intelity’s Interactive Customer Experience
- Hilton Garden Inn, Charlotte, N.C. implements Televue HDTV equipment, services
For more on Guest Services for 07/31/09


- Libra OnDemand appoints McLaren International as Asia Pacific distributor
- Xotels names ZDirect its preferred e-CRM system for European hotels
- Ritz London picks TravelCLICK’s Social Media Optimization (SMO) service
- TravelCLICK uses DoubleClick/Google technology to improve GDS advertising
- Wyndham deploys ProfitSage business intelligence software to all managed properties
- RCI announces over 30 resorts signed for high-definition (HD) online marketing videos
- Hotelicopter unveils new hotel rating platform linked to Facebook
For more on Marketing/Management for 07/31/09


- priZem adds Jet Reports USA technology to enhance its Business Performance Tools application
- New Castle Hotels & Resorts picks UniFocus’ STAFFScope for all 31 properties
priZem Hospitality Solutions is including Jet Reports USA technology to enhance the financial reporting of its Business Performance Tools (BPT) application, which includes labor productivity reporting, daily revenue preparation and budgeting/forecasting.  Jet Reports provides a live-to-database connection that allows for real-time reporting with the look and feel of a spreadsheet.  With a single repository of data organized down to the account code, the addition of Jet Reports offers many options for reviewing and displaying revenue and labor data by day, month or year and expense data by month or year.  http://www.jetreports.com
New Castle Hotels & Resorts has selected UniFocus’ STAFFScope survey system for all its 31 properties.,


- Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Olaya installs SDD’s Jazz call accounting and DuVoice voice mail
The 180-room Hilton Garden Inn Olaya in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the first Garden Inn in the Middle East & Africa, has installed SDD’s Jazz call accounting and DuVoice voice mail from McLaren International Pty Ltd.,,


And now for you-know-what…

An elderly woman walked into the local country church. A friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps, "Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.

"The front row please," she answered.

"You really don't want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."

"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.

"No," he said.

"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked.

"No," she said.

"Good," he answered.

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