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Siegel Sez

January 11, 2019

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

I have been to many CES events over the years, but the best ones are when I join Bob Gilbert and the private HSMAI tour put together for hotel executives. This year the group included executives from Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Red Roof Inns, and MGM Resorts amongst others.  I liked that these tours mixed the technology that could impact hotel business along with consumer technology. Blockchain, robots, facial recognition all the way to the smart bathroom with so much in between.  When companies like Proctor and Gamble remove someone’s freckles right in front of you that is amazing and a little bit creepy. It gives you a feeling of the wide range of technology advances that are becoming mainstream.  But you can’t dismiss the things that are coming sooner rather than later. I spent a great deal of time at the Qualcomm booth understanding how and what to expect when 5G becomes reality. All I will say is, get ready for driverless cars, they are definitely coming. We spent time with Google, and AI was everywhere.
CES can be overwhelming. Imagine a conference that attracts a crowd of 170,000 people. It was nice having lunch and catching up with Rahul Samant the CIO for Delta Airlines. Our conversations about technology both in the hotel and airline industries went all over the place. There were many industry folks attending CES. On Thursday night Mark Fancourt of testbed.vegas coordinated a dinner for nearly 40 industry people. It was a great way to end the week. There were many from the vendor community so the conversation quickly moved toward the Hospitality Upgrade Executive Vendor Summit the end of February in Austin, Texas (www.hospitalityupgrade.com/vendorsummit ). It was funny with all the things we have put together for the event, many thanked me for bringing back our golf tournament. I guess it’s the little things in life that are important. If you are a vendor of technology and you need to partner with other vendors this is where you need to be. It is an invitation-only event so to find out more quickly get hold of Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com or call (678)802-5304. Just about everybody who attended EVS last year in West Hollywood already registered for this year and many were first time attendees last year. That is a sign that this is both needed and extremely valuable to the attendees.
One thing I have learned in life is the only constant is change. For a few years industry consultant Ron Hardin has opened the news section of this Siegel Sez with thoughts about how technology impacts the industry and us as individuals. Ron has been offered a great opportunity and will be ending his time with us. I will leave the rest of his career change to his brief comments before the news. We thank him and will miss his sometimes offbeat thoughts about where technology is going and where it needs to go.
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest happenings in the tech world for our industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Let’s all have a great 2019!


by: Ron Hardin

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.  This was the title of the final episode of the long-running TV series M*A*S*H, and a memorable cultural pivot point for those of us of a certain age.  I humbly borrow it here to sign off on my stint as Mr. Siegel’s sidekick on Siegel Sez.  Traditionally, this role has been filled by an independent hospitality technology consultant, and I will no longer be one of those.  I am returning to my IT management roots and taking a real job.  I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Rich and the entire team at Hotel Online and Hospitality Upgrade for the privilege of sharing my thoughts, opinions and miscellaneous ramblings with you, our gentle readers.  We have been embraced as part of the Siegel Publishing family and enjoyed living and working just down the road from everyone OTP in ATL.  I would also like to thank my clients and customers for their support and encouragement over the last 2 years.  It was actually one of my first consulting clients who recommended that I pursue more opportunities to write and publish, and I’m forever grateful for his thoughtful nudge.  Christine and I are recent empty-nesters, so we’re relocating to the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle, downsizing our lifestyle, and getting some salt air and fresher seafood.  That’s the “amen” part.  I’m still in hospitality, so I’ll look forward to seeing everyone at HITEC or HFTP Annual Convention or CIO Summit or at the beach bar.  And no, I can’t get you comp room in season.  Farewell!
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting


- Hyatt Announces Participation in Google Assistant Pilot

- Marriott Provides Update on Starwood Database Security Incident

- Hospitality Upgrade Selects HFTP as New Partner for the 2019 Executive Vendor Summit

For More Information on Top O’ the News For 1/11/19


- NEC Acquires the Largest Danish IT Company, KMD 

NEC Acquires the Largest Danish IT Company, KMD
NEC Corporation announced the acquisition of KMD Holding ApS, the holding company of KMD A/S (KMD), the largest Danish IT company.


- AHLA Announces Appointment Of Chip Rogers As President & CEO

- AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers to Step Down

- IDeaS Founder Dr. Ravi Mehrotra Joins the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

- Hotel Technology Pioneer Brad More Joins Hapi as Chief Architect

For More Information on People on the Move For 1/11/19


- Maestro’s Built-in Single Guest Itinerary Feature Engages Guests in Their Journey to US Virgin Islands’ Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

Maestro’s Built-in Single Guest Itinerary Feature Engages Guests in Their Journey to US Virgin Islands’ Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
Maestro PMS’ Single Guest Itinerary feature now enables operators to customize their guests’ total stay itineraries with the property’s special look, feel and branding delivered with every Maestro deployment.


- SiteMinder partners with RoomIt by CWT on modern alternative to traditional corporate travel distribution 

SiteMinder partners with RoomIt by CWT on modern alternative to traditional corporate travel distribution
SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, announces a pioneering partnership with RoomIt by CWT, the hotel distribution division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a long-standing leader in business travel. 


- Volara Integrates with and Supports the Just-Announced Google Assistant Interpreter Mode at Dream Downtown Hotel

- Intelity Partners with Acuant to Further Streamline Guest Check-in and Mobile Key Delivery

- Uptown Suites Chooses Blueprint RF for Best-in-Class Guest Connectivity

For More Information on Guest Services For 1/11/19


- Kahala Hotel & Resort Upgrades Financial Accounting to Aptech PVNG 

Kahala Hotel & Resort Upgrades Financial Accounting to Aptech PVNG
Hawaiian Luxury Destination Taps Aptech for New Back Office System, Custom Financials for its Unique Operation


- Beekeeper Reflects on Its Landmark Accomplishments in 2018; New Year Looking Equally as Promising 

Beekeeper Reflects on Its Landmark Accomplishments in 2018; New Year Looking Equally as Promising
When you’ve had a banner year like Beekeeper, it’s difficult to see it end. Looking back on 2018, the leading communication and employee operations platform company is seeing an impressive list of accomplishments, yet it is even more excited for what is coming in 2019.


- Kiawah Island Golf Resort Enhances Guest Experience While Increasing Bookings Revenue with Agilysys rGuest Book 

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Enhances Guest Experience While Increasing Bookings Revenue with Agilysys rGuest Book
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that Kiawah Island Golf Resort has implemented Agilysys’ new online reservations solution,rGuest® Book. The resort chose the new booking solution to offer new and returning guests a user-friendly and effortless reservation process. Within the first 30 days of deploying rGuest Book, Kiawah Island Golf Resort more than tripled their bookings.


- Celebrating the Exceptional: HSMAI Adrian Awards to Honor Year’s Top Travel Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is pleased to announce the Gold Winners of the 2018 Adrian Awards, which honor outstanding advertising, digital marketing, and public relations in hospitality. Platinum and Best of Show winners will be unveiled at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on January 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis.


- 2019: The Year of Connectivity

- You Can’t Get Anything for Twenty Bucks These Days

- Traveling With Your Kids Will Make Them Better in School, Study Suggests

- Boeing's unveils radical 'transonic' wing design

For More Information on Piqued Our Interest For 1/11/19


James is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his old high school friend, Harry, a little ways up ahead. "Harry, Harry, how are you?" he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.
"Not so good," says Harry.

"Why, what happened?" James queries.

"Well," Harry says, "I just went bankrupt and I've still got to feed my family. I don't know what I'm going to do."

"Could have been worse," James replies calmly. "Could have been worse."

A month or so later, James again encounters Harry, in a restaurant. "And how are things now?" he asks.

"Terrible!" says Harry. "Our house burned down last night."

"Could have been worse," says James, again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.

A month later, James runs into Harry a third time. "Well, how goes it?" he inquires.

"Oh!" says Harry. "Things just get worse and worse. It's one tragedy after another! Now my wife has left me!"

Harry nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming little smile, accompanied by his usual words: "Could've been worse."

This time, Harry grabs James by the shoulders. "Wait a minute!" he says. "I'm not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in the past few months we've run into one another, and every time I've told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same thing: 'Could have been worse.' This time, for God's sake, Harry, I want you to tell me: how in Heaven's name could it have been any worse?"
James looks at Harry with the same little wisp of a smile. "Could have been worse," he says. "Could have happened to me."

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