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Siegel Sez

January 29, 2021

Siegel Sez

I need to warn you that Doug Rice’s column that follows many might find a bit controversial. But then again, I can simply say that is why the column is titled ‘Definitely Doug.’ Not all technology goes flawlessly from purchase to install and often the results are not what was expected. His column is long but definitely worth the read. I have lived in the hotel technology space, as have many others, and we all have stories. I am consumed by technology and all the changes that continually happen. Sometimes, it is nice to take a break and we did just that this week. Earlier this week, Hospitality Upgrade did a very unique webinar we creatively called an HU-inar. The feedback from more than 150 attendees was unbelievably positive. Was this webinar about technology? Nope. It was about those demons that we all have inside our heads that cause anguish. The topic was HeadTrash and Renie Cavallari from Aspire and the RCI Institute talked about what causes head trash. I had the easy job of just asking her questions. Thankfully Renie shared how you can change your thought process, move to the connected side of your brain, remove stress and promote productivity. In my case, it also will help you sleep at night. We have the webinar on our website so if you are curious or think you suffer from head trash (we all do!), please go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com and check it out. It ran for about 45 minutes, and definitely is worth a listen. A big thanks to HSMAI, HTNG and especially HFTP!  
For the last few weeks, I have been fielding questions regarding the two events Hospitality Upgrade does annually and as risky as June might sound right now, we are planning our Executive Vendor Summit in mid-June in Nashville. This year will be our 16th EVS and is our annual event for presidents and other executives from the vendor community. If you are a vendor and have questions about attending, please contact kim@hospitalityupgrade.com right away. There are things you will need to be aware of in order to be included. It is truly an amazing event and if one segment of the industry is extremely eager to get on the road, it is the vendor community. I love how many have been reaching out to inquire about these annual events. Our 19th CIO Summit will be in September in its regular Labor Day week, with a location to be announced soon. Speaking of CIOs, I recently did an HU High Five with Dan Kornick the CIO at Loews Hotels and if you haven’t seen it, you must. Dan was great and he even shared a few surprises with us. To watch our High Five with Dan Kornick click here.
I have talked to many people who have gotten their vaccine and it is encouraging. In fact, talking to many in the industry it is refreshing knowing there is true optimism for the future for the first time in a long time. It will be quite awhile before there is a full recovery, we all know that, but it is amazing how there are more people from the hotel and the vendor side talking about future plans with a positive light.
Here now is Doug Rice and his Definitely Doug column. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what which we changed this week. Everybody wants travel to happen again at the levels from the past though there is a downside to air travel. I strongly recommend you take three minutes to watch Michael McIntyre’s video at the end, if you are like me you will watch it and say, yes….that is me! And laugh. Don’t we all need a good laugh once in a while? I know I do!

Definitely Doug

Why is technological innovation so hard?

Most attempts to deploy new technologies at hotels fail. That’s my observation based on 30+ years of exposure to hundreds if not thousands of hotel technology projects. To be sure, some benefits may be gained, and success is often claimed, but in too many cases, when you go back to the original objectives, many were never achieved.

These new technologies were intended to improve sales, operations, guest experience or guest satisfaction. Yet rarely did they deliver everything that was expected, or if they did, it was only after spending much more money than planned. Too often, a major issue was overlooked in the project design and led to the loss of a key benefit because fixing it would just be too costly.

When the track record of technological innovations is consistently disappointing, it becomes even harder to sell future projects.

Today I address some of the common reasons why projects fail and identify some techniques that can improve your success rate. The keys involve looking at three ecosystems: the operational processes of the hotel; its organizational structure; and the project management. I could use many examples, but for this article I will choose a hypothetical project involving guest room controls, because everyone will find the technology reasonably familiar.

Assume you are renovating your hotel and you decide to upgrade from mechanical room controls (a fancy name for wall switches and standalone thermostats) to panel-based touch controls (often placed on the desk, bedside table, on the entryway wall, and/or in the guest mobile app). You will also implement mobile key at the same time, since many guest room controls systems integrate with door locks and can simplify the design, especially for locks that also have built-in indicators like do-not-disturb.

With the upgrades, you expect guests to be able to unlock the door, adjust the lights or temperature, and perhaps control the draperies, the television, and the make-up-room and do-not-disturb indicators, all from the panel or mobile app. You also hope to get some operational efficiencies such as better housekeeping productivity from knowing which rooms are ready to clean rather than having the room attendant knock on each door until they find one. Or you want to improve guest satisfaction by avoiding the need for them to check in at the front desk, or by better scheduling housekeeping around the guest’s needs.


- Hyatt Expands Luxury Alila Brand in the U.S. With Alila Napa Valley
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced today an expansion of the luxury lifestyle Alila brand in the United States with the addition of Alila Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calif. Slated to join Hyatt’s portfolio on March 1, 2021, and at this time, scheduled to resume operations on March 15, 2021, the exclusive 68-room adults-only retreat will feature personalized hospitality that celebrates the authenticity of one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Alila Napa Valley will add to Hyatt’s growing Alila brand portfolio, joining Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, and Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, which is slated to open in March 2021.
alilahotels.com    hyatt.com

- Agilysys Reports Fiscal 2021 Third Quarter Revenue of $36.7M
Reports record recurring revenue of $22.8m inclusive of subscription revenue growth of 18%; reports positive adjusted EBITDA of $7.6M.


- Tom Underwood Appointed CEO of StayNTouch
Mr. Underwood benefits from more than 20 years of senior executive experience in travel and hospitality technology, including serving as CFO and SVP of Corporate Development at Lola.com, a SaaS-based travel expense management platform, and as Senior Vice President of Hotels at Orbitz Worldwide, an online travel company acquired by Expedia Group.


- Maestro PMS Kicking Off New Year with ‘Training Promo Packages’ and Free Contactless Tools and Services
To support its clients in preparation for reopening, Maestro is offering training promo packages for its recent Version 5.5 Browser & Windows property-management system for cloud, on-premises, or private cloud; participating hotels receive a FREE contactless mobile tool, system productivity audit or training session.

- Araceli Hotel & Resort Selects Suite of Agilysys Property Management and Point-of-Sale Solutions for New Property
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that the Araceli Hotel & Resort has selected Agilysys cloud-native SaaS solutions for its new Orland Park, IL property including Agilysys Stay PMS, rGuest Book online reservations, rGuest Express for mobile check-in/out with digital keys, and Agilysys InfoGenesis POS.


- Park Regis Birmingham Partners with IDeaS for Greater Forecast Accuracy and Committed Support
IDeaS, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced today Park Regis Birmingham has switched revenue technology providers to implement IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS).


- INTELITY Collaborates with the Leading Hotels of the World to Develop Custom Mobile App and Guest Experience Platform for Brand and Member Hotels
INTELITY®, the developer of hospitality’s broadest guest experience platform, announced today a new collaboration with The Leading Hotels of the World (Leading Hotels). The relationship will launch the INTELITY platform worldwide with the future development of a Leading Hotels mobile app.

- youtip Partners with Volara to Bring Digital Tipping to Guests via Google, Amazon Voice Assistants in Guestrooms
Guests scan a QR code on an in-room Google Nest Hub powered by Volara or simply say ‘Alexa, leave a tip for the housekeeper’ to reward hotel staff for good service.
www.youtip.money     volara.io

- Yara Valley Lodge Partners with Liveport to Implement BeyondTV and Enhanced Guest Wi-Fi Connectivity
Boutique hotel adopts advanced casting technology to address demands for streamed content access while ensuring fast online experiences for guest devices.


- Three Ways Smart Data Technology Gives Your Casino an Edge in Generating Guest Loyalty and Revenue in the Post-COVID World
The global casino and gaming market has seen significant market upheaval over the last year with industry professionals questioning what they should do next to regain much needed revenue from their operations. Yet as the pandemic has continued to grow, so too have advances in the area of big data technology for the casino industry.

- Cendyn and Avvio Partner to Power Loyalty for Roomzzz Aparthotels
Cendyn, a leading innovator in CRM, sales and revenue strategy for the hospitality industry, announces the successful integration between Cendyn and Avvio to power loyalty for Roomzzz aparthotels. Avvio, the market-leading AI booking platform, partners with hundreds of independent and group hotels across Europe and North America to grow their direct booking channels.


- Top Management Company Turns to Knowland to Accelerate Group Sales
Today Knowland, the leader in hospitality group data analytics, announced the completion of a project with long-term partner, award-winning hospitality management company, Davidson Hotels & Resorts, that helped develop and implement a multifaceted prospecting program to re-invigorate sales teams and accelerate sales into recovery.


- M3 Announces New Company Divisions & Internal Promotions
M3, one of the hospitality sector’s preferred cloud-based accounting, financial reporting and data management platform in North America, is proud to announce six internal promotions and two new corporate divisions following organizational changes within the company.

- myDigitalOffice 2020 Year-In-Review: Customer Growth and Tech Evolution
myDigitalOffice (MDO), the award-winning hotel performance management and back-office automation solution, today announced continued expansion throughout 2020, despite setbacks in the hospitality industry due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.


- Shaner Hotel Group Selects Cloud5 for New Build HSIA and PBX Services
Cloud5 Communications, a leading provider of communications solutions for the world’s top hotel brands and management companies, today announced that they’ve expanded their long-standing relationship with the Shaner Hotel Group by providing HSIA and PBX solutions for six newly built Marriott-branded properties.

- San Vicente Resort & Golf Course Partners with Hotel Internet Services to Provide Guests with Latest in Wi-Fi Connectivity
Renowned Californian getaway location experiences fast and reliable connection speeds after upgrading online capabilities with hospitality's leading provider of network technology.


- New SALTO Dark Bronze Finish Option Offers Perfect Match for New Building Design Trends
SALTO access control door lock components and system peripherals are definitely keeping in step with the latest and best new building design trends. The new Dark Bronze option for the XS4 Original and Mini ANSI product range matches some of today’s new design trends and blends perfectly with both white and dark doors, modern styles, and sophisticated wooden decorations.


- AAHOA Reschedules 2021 Convention & Trade Show
The 2021 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show is being rescheduled to August 3-6. It will still be held in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD).


- Report: Hotel and Travel Outlook in 2021
The American Hotel & Lodging Association released “AHLA’s State of the Hotel Industry 2021” outlining the forecasted state of the hotel industry in 2021 and into the immediate future. The report examines the high-level economics of the hotel industry’s recovery, the specific impact on and eventual return of business travel, and consumer travel sentiments.


- A Hotel in Aruba is Offering Workstations on the Beach for Digital Nomads
- Personalization, Tight Budgets Dictate Hotel Tech in 2021    
- Vaccine Shortage Puts Americas on the Road in Search of Shots     
- Vaccination Passports Are the Only Way We Can Return to Normality

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 1/29/2021


And now for a little different you-know-what.… 

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