Siegel Sez

November 12, 2009

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

Freaky. That is the only way to describe it. I grew up in New York. I went to school in New York. My first hotel job was in New York. I have been attending the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show for longer than I care to say. I remember when it was at the New York Coliseum, which was across the street from Central Park. I just returned from New York on a delayed flight because Atlanta was experiencing the effects of Hurricane Ida and is for what seems like the hundredth time this year getting flooded. What a difference from New York. Think about this; it is November 8, 10 p.m. and I am sitting at an outdoor café with Terry Price from the Grove Park Inn and neither of us have coats on. Outdoors at night in November in New York and it is near 70 degrees? Then it gets warmer on Monday and Tuesday. Of course, with a trade show this can also work against you. As we were visiting with those exhibiting and attending the show on Sunday we noticed a pretty light crowd. I wonder how many were in Central Park instead of the Jacob K. Javits Center, although I am not sure I could blame them. Thankfully they all made it over to the show on Monday. Even though the show was smaller than it has been in years, Monday was booming and everybody was pretty amazed at the quality of the attendees with the vibe on the exhibitor floor being very positive.

Personally, I had a blast Monday being part of a panel moderated by Frank Wolfe from HFTP, which also included the afore mentioned Terry Price and international traveler and technology consultant Ted Horner from Australia that was titled, “What Does Today’s Hotel Guest REALLY Want.” It was lively, very interactive and very well received. Technology is a big part of the experience, but not the only thing. It all starts with a clean room, good lighting and then comes the issue of the Internet connection. I was honored to be included especially since I stay at more moderate properties than my fellow panelists. Hmm, moderate? Is this my new hotel classification?  It was an interesting session with many opinions, which made it enjoyable for all. Thanks to all who came to our customer appreciation dinner on Monday night. We had 47 attend this year, which really was one of our bigger crowds. With so much negativity in the news, it was great to hear so much optimism toward next year and we heard a lot of that at the show. Yes, things are different today but they are going to be better next year, we have all adjusted. Let the recovery continue and let’s all do our part to make things better. Jon Inge will share with you in his intro to the technology review who the big winners were at IH/M&RS this year along with his accompanying biting comments. He is really getting good at that. For some reason I am imagining next year in New York during some miserable and normal November weather people saying, “Remember last year?” But the weather this year made for a great NYC experience, and it reminded me why out of all the cities in the world New York remains No. 1 on everyone’s list.

Thanks to all who came by to say hello to our group at the Technology Innovation Center. It was once again the popular hangout for those in the technology world. It was fun catching up with so many. Next week Geneva and I will be at the PhocusWright Conference ( and then I will sneak out to attend the Global Gaming Expo, commonly referred to as G2E in Las Vegas ( I sometimes wonder why when I am home I rarely go out and never drink and then when I am at conferences I am always with lots of people with a glass of red wine in my hand. I sometimes think I am just living in two different worlds. This is our last Siegel Sez before Thanksgiving and I am quite thankful for the people I have in my life. We should probably all take a moment and reflect, but never forget there is much we can do to make others’ lives better. I know I do.

Here now is the real reason we are here, Jon Inge’s excellent technology review of what has been happening the last few weeks and there has been a lot going on. 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



- IH/M&RS Editors’ Choice Awards recognizes hardware, not software; why?
Once again the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS, known to most as the New York Show) has announced its Editors' Choice Awards, and once again the Technology winner also received the overall Best of Show award.  Congratulations to Bittel, which won for its newly released UNO device, a combined guestroom phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/MP3 player docking station. 

The full list of both regular and green awards is given below, and in comparing this to the winners in the last three years two things struck me.  One, the Best in Show winner is quite often a technology product, and often also the winner in that category too.  Two, that to the Editors’ Choice selection panel, “technology” appears to mean guestroom device. 

For example, the 2008 Best of Show winner was LG Electronics’ ART COOL picture air conditioner, and Earlex’s Raycop Anti-bacterial Handheld Vacuum won the Technology award.  In 2007 INNCOM won Best of Show, as well as the Green Technology category, for its e4 Smart Digital Thermostat with ecoMODE.  In 2006, Best of Show and the Technology category award went to Minibar Systems for its Smartcube system.

This may be because hardware devices are easier to see and evaluate, but it does seem odd to me that software applications don’t seem to be award-worthy.  It may be harder to see the elegance of their design, but they usually have a far greater impact on hotel operations and profitability.  Maybe this is another example of the renowned reluctance of hotel owners and operators to spend money on technology that the guest (and perhaps management) can’t see or touch, but I challenge the judges to cast the net wider next year. 
This year’s IH/M&RS Editors' Choice Award winners are:
Kenneth F. Hine Best of Show - Bittel Electronics for its UNO single-unit guestroom phone, alarm clock/radio and iPod/mp3 player.
Décor - MTS Seating for its Impilato Stacking Chair. 
Essentials - Protect-A-Bed-Chicago for its Protect-A-Bed Storage or Disposal Bag, designed to minimize the spread of bed bugs during transportation and to dispose of infested mattresses. 
Luxury - Bella Luna Yoga for its Onsite Resort Yoga Program.
Restaurant - Frieling USA for its Emsa FLOW Carafe, which features a cooling coaster with a freezable pad inside. 
Technology - Bittel Electronics (see above).
Green Décor - JKF Contract for its Rho Series Lounge Chair collection.
Green Essentials - Pacific Coast Feather Company (Seattle, Wash.) for Renova Recycled Eco Fiber by Restful Nights bedding line, made from recycled plastic soda bottles.
Green Luxury - BluePoint Living for its BluePoint Towels, which include pre-consumer cotton waste.
Green Restaurant - Ciao, Inc. for its CIAO spring water in 100 percent biodegradable bottles.
Green Technology - Energy Eye for its EyePower Solution energy management approach, which is platinum certified by the Globally Green Energy Consortium.


- RezStream releases version 2009.9.1 of RezStream Professional reservation software
- Cornell report shows billboard effect increase for hotels listed on Expedia, Travelocity
- TripAdvisor acquires, second largest travel-related Web site in China
- launches RoomRez hotel Web booking engine
- releases Hotel Negotiator App for the iPhone
For more on Reservations for 11/12/09


- UniFocus partners with Circos Brand Karma and gCommerce Solutions for reputation management
- Aqua Hotels and Resorts selects Milestone Internet Marketing’s eBuzz Connect
- Libra OnDemand selected as finalist in Forty Innovation Showcase
- HeBS receives three W3 Silver Awards for outstanding achievement in Web 2.0 and Web site development
For more on Marketing/Management for 11/12/09


- Amsterdam Hospitality adopting for entire portfolio
- Thistle Hotels and Guoman Hotels pick for 39 properties
- partners with
- eRevMax launches direct GDS connectivity for RateTiger with ReservHOTEL
- RateTiger announces addition of 500th fully integrated distribution channel
- eRevMax integrates RateTiger into MSI’s WinPM and ePM PMSs
- Nickelodeon Family Suites implements EzRMS’s full product suite
For more on Revenue Management for 11/12/09


- Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista install hotel SalesPro, hotel ServicePro
- X2O Media announces Xpresenter interface with Newmarket’s Delphi
- Dawn Beach Club, St. Maarten, selects SPI Software's Orange Systems
For more on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 11/12/09


- Palomar Hotel, Philadelphia, opens with SuiteLinq distributed wirelessly to all rooms
- MBOi (Interactive) and 180SQUARED unveil Cirrus IPTV Managed Cloud Service
- Acentic partners with Philips for no-set-top-box high-definition service to hotel guestrooms
- Fairmont Pittsburgh implementing VingCard Signature RFID locks, VISIONLINE network
- TheWit Hotel, Chicago interfaces SAFLOK Quantum locks with MTech HotSOS
- SAFLOK launches RFID lock reader for wall mounting instead of on the door
- SAFLOK interfaces Messenger network technology with Control4’s Suite Systems
- OpenWays announces mobile phone-based guestroom access system
- SAFLOK enables its locks to read an OpenWays-enabled cell phone-delivered key
- Hyatt Regency Chicago first property to implement SAFLOK RF interface to INNCOM
- INNCOM listed in Connecticut Technology Council Tech Top 40 for second year
- iLuv releases iMM183 Hi-Fi Dual Dock Alarm Clock with Weather Hazard Alert
- LodgeNet licenses b-LAN technology to LG Electronics and Philips Electronics
- LodgeNet launches Guestroom Manager 2.0
- TeleAdapt announces new Audio/Video Pull-Through to link guests’ iPod/iPhone video/movies to guestroom TV
For more on Guest Services for 11/12/09


- Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites in Lake Buena Vista install hotel ServicePro, hotel SalesPro
The Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista and the Homewood Suites Lake Buena Vista in Orlando have installed hotel SystemsPro’s hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro systems.  The new-build properties have a combined total of 260+ rooms and will use the Web-based hotel SalesPro system to automate group convention sales and hotel ServicePro to manage hotel maintenance.


- eRevMax announces new leadership, corporate management team
- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality sales team adds one new director, seven regional managers
eRevMax/RateTiger announced its new corporate and management structure as follows:
Reuel Ghosh and Andrew Morsi, the shareholders and founders of eRevMax, have stepped down from the day-to-day management of the group and will serve as presidents on the board of directors.
Sascha Hausmann has been promoted from chief operating officer to chief executive officer, and will remain a member of the board.
The senior management team now consists of:
Udai Singh Solanki – chief technology officer and managing director India
Lars Hahn – chief financial officer (CFO)
Keith Povah – vice president sales international, responsible for Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia
Phil Stiles – vice president sales Americas, responsible for North and South America
Ragnar Strerath – vice president product development.
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has expanded its sales team as follows:
Dominic Locascio is the new director of key accounts and brings 15 years of experience, most recently with iBAHN.
Robert Contardi joins as the Ontario regional manager for national accounts, hospitality groups and distributors; he was most recently Canadian sales manager for Marietta Corp.
Charles Hummitsch joins the VingCard Elsafe to oversee Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico as the regional sales manager; he has more than 10 years experience, most recently with Tesa, Onity and Salto.
Lisa Cunningham is the new regional sales manager for Georgia, Atlanta and Mississippi.  She joins from the MICROS division HSI, where she worked as the eastern regional director of business development for four years, and has also served as corporate sales manager at ADP Time and Labor Management Hospitality Vertical Marketplace.
Matthew Vecchio, now regional sales manager for the northwest region, joins from Best Access Systems where he served as a sales representative for four years. He also previously served as a territory manager for KeyTrak for four years.
Jennifer Humphrey is the new Midwest regional sales manager; she joins VingCard Elsafe from American of Martinsville, where she served as vice president of sales.
Robert Attard brings more than 13 years of experience to his new position as regional sales manager for Eastern Canada; he previously exclusively represented Sysco, Guest Supply Canada.
Greg Glessner, the new regional sales manager for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Ohio, joins after working for 10 years with MICROS Systems.


- Kapalua Resort installs DataWorks’ complete NeXT software suite
- Hershey selects Agilysys’ Eatec inventory/purchasing and InfoGenesis POS
- Omni Hotels completes implementation of BirchStreet Systems's Web-based e-procurement
For more on Inventory/Purchasing for 11/12/09


- Hilton launches first iPhone/iTouch applications, include pre-order on-arrival services
- China’s 7 Days Inn Group introduces self checkin system
- MICROS incorporates OpenWays interface into OPERA MyStayManager, PMS and CRS
- Best Western Peppertree Inns of Washington State first client of MSI’s nTouch suite
- MSI integrates eRevMax RateTiger into WinPM and ePM PMSs
- Lemon Tree Hotels orders Protel PMS for five Red Fox hotels
- InnQuest’s roomMaster 2000 PMS now fully compliant with PCI PA-DSS
- Caravanserai Beach Resort, St. Maarten, selects SPI Orange Systems
For more on Property Management Systems for 11/12/09


- Meru introduces E(z)RF Service Manager proactive diagnostics for wireless networks
- Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands picks SDD’s JAZZ Fusion to manage voice, Internet services
Meru has introduced E(z)RF Service Manager, a proactive diagnostics system for wireless networks that it claims is the industry's first.  Continuously running test traffic over all network components from the radio link to the back end infrastructure provides assurance that the network is available and meeting performance expectations.
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands has selected SDD’s JAZZ Fusion software to manage its voice and broadband Internet services to guests.  The Sands will use JAZZ-driven portals and service packages to present personalized content and pricing of voice and broadband Internet to its guests and visiting groups.,


- Connaught hotel, London, implements Agilysys’ ResPAK
- Hershey Entertainment & Resorts selects Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS and Eatec
- Culinary Software Services releases ChefTec Reporter 2010
For more on F&B/Point of Sale for 11/12/09


And now for you-know-what…

A local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town’s most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called the lawyer. “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $400,000, you give not a penny to charity,” the representative said. “Wouldn’t you like to give back to the community in some way?”

The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?”

Embarrassed, the rep mumbled, “Uh… no.”

“Or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair,” the lawyer continued.

The stricken rep began to stutter an apology but was interrupted by the lawyer who added with his voice rising in indignation, “Or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident, leaving her broke with three children?!”

The humiliated rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea.”

The lawyer cut him off once again, and said, “So, if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you?”

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