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Siegel Sez

February 18, 2022

Siegel Sez

There are things that we have to do for work that we love, and there are things that guarantee groans will accompany them. For those of us at Hospitality Upgrade, I can tell you that putting together a program for a conference is one of our favorite things. We get great feedback from attendees with suggestions as to which paths to take and, of course, some work and some don’t. We are planning our 17th Executive Vendor Summit for next month, so finalizing the program has really been eye-opening. Whether we like it or not, cryptocurrency is going to affect everybody. Security on both sides of the fence – hotels and vendor – continues to be a battle. Mergers and acquisitions are happening and will continue. How do they come about?
This year our CIO Roundtable will address where they see changes happening with the hotel business and how technology will be used to address these changes, as well as these same technology leaders will share what they have gone through over the past two years. There is much, much more – let’s just say we’ll have a unique session or two. We thank those from the vendor community who have helped steer the program and especially the hotel tech leaders who have asked to join us this year. They live dangerously knowing that nearly a hundred tech companies big and small are joining us in Frisco, Texas. Of course, much of their motivation is the very unique event on Thursday night, that our friends at PROVision Partners have led the charge to make happen. Hospitality Upgrade will be celebrating 30 years, and if you had told me in February 1992 that an idea I had for a 20-page newsletter would become a business known around the world in our industry, I would have laughed. The Thursday night celebration will include a “Rich Roast” and it seems like so many want to add their 2 cents. All I can say is, it should make for an interesting and memorable night. If you are a vendor who would like to join us in Frisco, Texas, please send Kim a note at kim@hospitalityupgrade.com. If you are a hotelier and the idea of a very unique industry party on a Thursday night in Frisco, TX intrigues you, then let please email elizabeth@hospitalityupgrade.com. I have had a lot of fun over the years in this industry and have never hesitated to embarrass myself. It should be interesting having so many wanting to do that to me this year!
Doug Rice does his typical bang-up job in his column that follows allowing us all to better understand what it means to have a connected hotel. It is interesting how he shared that the cost to do this can be so minimal. I bet every hotelier will relate and it is nice how the return on these investments can be so easily realized.
A big thank you to all who reached out yesterday to say Happy Birthday. The world of social media can be a bit overwhelming, but something at times we can be truly thankful for. I will see you after the recaps of what is happening in the industry with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Hope to see many of you at the Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort in Frisco, Texas for the Executive Vendor Summit.


Definitely Doug

Leverage Your Infrastructure to Create a Connected Hotel (Part One)

The hotel industry is in the middle of its greatest restructuring in decades. Hotels are adapting long-held operating models to compensate for staff lost to the great resignation. In December 2021, there were some 1.7 million hospitality and leisure jobs open, nearly twice the level of early 2020. Where new staff simply cannot be hired, many hotels are leveraging technology to enable the remaining staff to do more with less.

This week’s installment and the next one will explore recent technology developments that can help to do this. Popular culture often talks about this as the Internet of Things, but that’s a poor description, because much of it does not ride on the Internet. A better name might be The Connected Hotel. Indeed, the real estate business has long talked about Connected Buildings, and the principle is the same. Other good names might be The Intelligent Hotel or the Smart Hotel.

In researching this topic, I spoke with companies across a range of products and services that are found in Connected Hotels. Several are involved in guest room environmental controls (Auverte, Enseo, Honeywell, Interel, and VDA); others address other aspects, including PwC (data aggregation, analytics, monitoring, staff alerting, and other services), Transcendent (asset management and preventive maintenance), Nomadix (network gateways and voice activation), VivoAquatics (recreational water monitoring and maintenance), and TraknProtect (asset tracking and staff alerting). Many of these companies operate in multiple areas and space does not permit me to describe each of them in full. But the executives I spoke with at these companies provided a wealth of information about both the applications and the challenges, and I thank them for sharing their time and wisdom.

Many hotels don’t realize that they already have the infrastructure needed to operate a Connected Hotel. If you have an energy management or staff alert system, you may already have made all or much of the investment needed for other Connected Hotel applications that can share the same infrastructure. It’s analogous to a Wi-Fi network: building it from scratch is costly, but putting one more application onto it is much less expensive.

What Makes a Connected Hotel?

The basics of a Connected Hotel are conceptually simple. First there will be sensors, which collect data from guest rooms, public spaces, back-of-house, conference rooms, recreational facilities, building systems, and grounds. These may be physical sensors such as ones that detect temperature or water flow, camera sensors to capture video, or beacons that can detect a nearby staff panic button. They may be embedded, such as a light switch sensor that can tell if it is on or off, or one in a door lock that can detect the presence of a nearby key. They can even be virtual sensors, such as the housekeeping status of a room in the Property Management System or weather data obtained from an external source.

Second is a network, which can move data from the sensors to someplace where it can be monitored, analyzed, combined with data from other sensors and external sources, and converted into actions. This may be the hotel’s main Wi-Fi network, but it is more commonly a mixed environment that uses specialized radios and protocols that may be better optimized for particular devices and applications.

Third is controls, where instructions can be sent to devices (such as to turn off a light) or to people or other systems (such as to open a ticket for engineering to perform maintenance on a machine).

Fourth and fifth are a data repository and dashboard, where the data collected can be presented to a human, who may be an owner or manager, an onsite engineer, or at a contracted monitoring center. The human uses the data to identify problems and trends and, where needed, to arrange for needed on-site investigations or repairs. Access to historical data through the dashboard provides the ability to compare metrics on different issues across rooms, multiple hotels, and even non-hotel facilities (anywhere you have access to the data). Software analytics can also be used to detect patterns that warrant attention.


Click here to read more of Doug’s column on Leverage Your Infrastructure to Create a Connected Hotel


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas
Leverage Your Infrastructure to Create a Connected Hotel (Part One)


- Enseo Appoints Jeff Johns to Lead Room Controls Business Unit
Enseo, a premier technology services provider offering solutions in hospitality, senior living, and education, has hired Jeff Johns as the Managing Director of Connected Solutions. In this role, Johns will lead the growth of room controls, energy management and IoT products in both hospitality and senior living.

- UniFocus Announces Moneesh Arora as Chief Executive Officer
Workforce management provider positions itself for growth with the appointment of a new CEO with extensive experience in human capital management.

- ROAR for Good Adds Depth and Experience to Sales Team with Two New Hires
ROAR for Good, a leading technology company for hotel worker safety, has expanded its sales team with the hiring of Aldo Fratta and Maria Marroquin.


- Historic Pickwick Hotel Selects Stayntouch PMS to Help Elevate the Guest Experience through a Fully Connected, End to End Platform
Stayntouch, a global leader in guest-centric cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology, today announced the completed implementation of its flagship cloud-native PMS platform at the historic Pickwick Hotel in San Francisco.

- Agilysys and IDeaS Partner for Seamless Two-way Integration with Agilysys PMS Solutions – Stay, Visual One and LMS
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation SaaS hospitality software solutions and services, today announced it has partnered with Integrated Decisions and Systems (IDeaS), a SAS company, the leading global hotel revenue management solution provider. The result of this relationship expansion includes the seamless two-way integration between IDeaS and three Agilysys PMS solutions servicing all verticals of the hospitality market: Visual One, LMS and Stay.


- SiteMinder, Hopper Partner to Fuse Benefits of Online Commerce and Travel Fintech for Hotels
SiteMinder, a world leading open hotel commerce platform, and Hopper, the most downloaded travel booking app in North America, have partnered to bring together the benefits of online commerce and travel fintech at a scale never before seen for hotels. The partnership will see SiteMinder’s more than 33,000 hotels in 150 countries gain a newfound ability to reach modern travelers, by directly accessing Hopper’s 70 million users, 70 percent of whom classify as Generation Z and millennials.


- Wyndham Teams up with Amadeus for Business Intelligence Insights
Increasingly, hoteliers are turning to data to build more informed business strategies that take into account shifting traveler demographics, booking behaviors, and preferred channels for their properties. To gain a broader view of market performance across its organization and in turn, enhance its demand generation strategies, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has selected Amadeus Demand360.


- INTELITY Named a Forbes Travel Guide Brand Official for Sixth Year in a Row
INTELITY®, the provider of hospitality’s most comprehensive guest experience platform, announced today its appointment as a Brand Official by Forbes Travel Guide, the creators of the original Five-Star rating system, for the sixth straight year.


- STS Cloud Becomes the Preferred Sales and Catering System of Award-Winning Genesis Hospitality Management's Growing Portfolio of Hotels
Genesis Hospitality Management, a leading hospitality management company, has moved 10 of their Canadian hotel properties onto SalesAndCatering.com’s STS Cloud platform. Since its original implementation, STS Cloud has become the preferred platform of Genesis Hospitality Management’s ever-growing portfolio of hotels.


- M3’s New Mobile App Takes the Work out of Labor Management
M3’s partnership with Haneke Design dates back to 2017, when development of the M3 Insight application began. M3 Insight was developed specifically for managers of large hotel chains, offering an overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) across various branch locations.

- OTH Hotels Resorts Makes its Accounting Operation Paperless with PVNG from Aptech
With revenue volumes among its portfolio of independent, branded and soft-brand hotels and resorts on the rise, third-party management company OTH Hotels Resorts needed a way to streamline its financial processes without incurring costly support fees.


- Boyd Gaming Upgrading In-Room Entertainment, WiFi through Partnership with Cox Business and Hospitality Network
Cox Business and Hospitality Network announced that it is outfitting Boyd Gaming Corporation’s Las Vegas properties with premium connectivity services to enhance the guest experience from hotel rooms to the casino floor.


- Belmond Hotels Selects Silverware as the Preferred POS for All F&B Outlets Including the Michelin 2 Star Rated Restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
- Historic Pinehurst Resort Successfully Deploys Beachy's 5G Mobile POS Solution to Modernize F&B Operations Across Six Golf Courses
- The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, Completes Multiple Outlet Installation of Infrasys Cloud POS
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Moves Forward with Infrasys Point-of-Sale Across Portfolio and Installs Infrasys in Flagship Properties

For more information on Food & Beverage for 2/18/2022


- Sea Pines Resorts Picks VENZA For Privacy Management Services
As of November 7, 2021, Sea Pines Resorts has selected VENZA to perform a privacy regulation readiness assessment and ongoing privacy management to ensure company and customer data remains secure and used appropriately.

- SALTO Introduces EAN Code Standard into Product Packaging
SALTO Systems has introduced EAN13 standardized barcodes into its product packaging answering to partners and channel needs. The EAN code is a 13-digit bar code used internationally to identify each product.


- Expedia Group Media Solutions Releases Q4 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report
New data shows growing appetite for travel and sustained demand for long-haul destinations.

- Knowland Meetings Recovery Forecast Identifies Top U.S. Markets to Recover in 2022
Knowland, a world leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced it has added the ability to filter its U.S. Meetings Recovery Forecast by market, now known as the Top 25 U.S. Meetings Recovery Forecast (MRF25). Access to the data is complimentary and provides the industry with predictive insights into event recovery over the next three years.

- Meetings Up 350 Percent Year-over-Year from January 2021
Knowland, a world leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, today released its monthly meetings and events data for January. Meetings are up 350 percent year-over-year from January of 2021 while month-over-month there was a slight decline of 16.5 percent from December 2021 to January 2022.


- Get Ready for The Next Intelligent AI-Powered Voice Bot
- Hoteliers Hit by Labor Shortage Have Robots in their Toolbox
- How Supply Chain Issues Are Crushing Hotels — and Your Stay
- Why Hospitality Workers Are Quitting
- Hotel CEOs Concede a Lasting Labor Shortage May Reshape Guest Experience

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 2/18/2022

And now for the You-Know-What...

Tom was so excited about his promotion to Vice President of the company he worked for and kept bragging about it to his wife for weeks on end.

Finally she couldn't take it any longer, and told him, "Listen, it means nothing, they even have a vice president of peas at the grocery store!"

"Really?" he said. Not sure if this was true or not, Tom decided to call the grocery store.

A clerk answers and Tom says, "Can I please talk to the Vice President of peas?"

The clerk replies, "Canned or frozen?"

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