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Siegel Sez

February 23, 2018

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

It was my birthday this past Saturday. One actually gets to a point in one’s life when you aren’t celebrating birthdays, you just celebrate making it another year. In this day and age, you should prepare for the Happy Birthday messages that come via Facebook and yes, I received many messages from my 800 friends. Wait, do I really have 800 friends? How come I never see them? Of course, they are people I have met along my journey in life that I just like to stay connected with. I remember last summer when a dream came true and Hoboe ran at the historic Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York, and I reached out to one of my FB friends. It was someone I was friends with in college in upstate New York before life sent us our separate ways. I invited her and her husband to come to Saratoga with my group and since her husband couldn’t go she invited a friend – her college roommate who I also knew very well. I hadn’t talked to either of them since I was 19 and we had a blast. This was a positive FB experience. I wonder now how the lines are getting blurred. I have FB friends who post nonstop. Do I really have to know where they are eating? Do I need to get their nonstop political rants? Wasn’t FB about friends, now I get all their business messages? Hospitality Upgrade has a very popular FB page and that is what we use to post industry happenings, but should I post that news on my FB page? I don’t think so. I can see why the younger generation is leaving Facebook in droves. I know I spend less time on it than I have in the past. When it comes to business happenings, Hospitality Upgrade, Hotel-Online and personally I use LinkedIn. To me that was how it started and that is how I think it should be. My ranting is over, but before you unfriend me, I do enjoy the updates with my friends’ lives.  It brings a smile to my face. And for the record, I always wish all my friends Happy Birthday!
When we put together an issue of Hospitality Upgrade we put a great deal of thought into our feature article. If you haven’t read our magazine, please subscribe (we offer print and digital subscriptions) www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe. Our feature article was done before the recent tragedy at Parkland High School in Florida, but the world today has us all thinking what is next. Security for everybody is important in life and that includes the hotel industry. We thank Peter Klebanoff for revisiting a very important subject that he first wrote about more than 20 years ago. I strongly urge you to get this issue that will be coming out soon.
Our Spring issue will be at the printer while we are in West Hollywood at our 14th Executive Vendor Summit. More than 50 senior executives representing most of the major players in the technology space for the hotel industry will be there including every major property management systems company. When it comes to partnering, the PMS companies always need to be involved. We are very thankful for all who will be there for this very unique event. I am really looking forward to our “La La Land” dinner and that is all I will say about that now.
Here now is the real reason we are here. The latest technology happenings in the industry with an opening by the always opinionated Ron Hardin. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. 



by: Ron Hardin

I’m two weeks behind. Ask anybody – heck, ask my wife. I get busy and I don’t always stay on top of industry new in real time. So, two weeks ago, I was reading the news section of Siegel Sez – you know, the important stuff – and I happened to notice the announcement that Shift4 had acquired three established POS providers: Restaurant Manager, POSitouch and Future POS. The news item went on to mention that these three POS brands joined Harbortouch in the Shift4 family and represent more than 100,000 merchants across the four platforms. This was truly a headline that piqued my interest, as we say at Siegel Sez. I made a mental note to catch up on what’s going on with Shift4, and apparently, they’ve been busy out in Las Vegas and in Allentown, Pa. The big news from mid-January (which may be old news to some, but like I said, I’ve been busy) is that Shift4 Corporation was acquired by Lighthouse Network and the entire conglomerate has been rebranded as Shift4 Payments. Then just yesterday came another acquisition announcement, that Shift4 Payments had acquired CurvePay, a provider of card payment services to thousands of taxis across the country. Curiouser and curiouser. I hadn’t heard of Lighthouse Network, but the name of its CEO, Jared Isaacman, sounded vaguely familiar – probably because I’ve occasionally perused a copy of Entrepreneur or Inc. Apparently Mr. Isaacman is a bona fide rock star. The gentleman is 35 years old and, as if that weren’t bad enough, he’s a billionaire, an accomplished entrepreneur, a pilot and a philanthropist. He was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year title three years running (2006, 2007 and 2008). He is the founder and CEO of Harbortouch, a payment processing company that he started as United Bank Card in the basement of his parent’s house in Allentown when he was 16 (according to Wikipedia). Harbortouch grew to encompass a POS platform, and now has blossomed and grown with the above acquisitions into the new Shift4 Payments. But credit cards are boring – as a pilot, Mr. Isaacman is also part owner of 26 North Aviation and the CEO of Draken International, which (also according to Wikipedia) is the largest privately owned air force in the world, with a fleet of former military tactical aircraft and corporate jets. And, just to put a period on it, “He also flies the No. 2, right wing position, in the civilian-owned aerobatic jet team, Black Diamond Jet Team, which was founded in 2011 and maintains a strong presence on the North American air show circuit in addition to conducting flyovers at various sporting events.” So, I don’t know if Shift4 and these other brands are in good hands, but they sure as heck are in successful and interesting hands. 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting


- Knowland Acquires Strategic Data Resources (SDR), Producers of the TAP Report
Knowland Acquires Strategic Data Resources (SDR), Producers of the TAP Report
Knowland announced today that it has acquired Strategic Data Resources (SDR), effective February 15, 2018. Knowland is a globally recognized provider of meeting and group data that offers extensive insight into market analytics, group industry trends, and powerful benchmarking tools. SDR was founded in 2004 by Jeff Eastman and provides reports to convention and visitors bureaus and hotel sales teams who use their self-reported future looking booked meeting data to benchmark key metrics such as booking pace versus their competitor markets.  The bookings, provided by participating CVBs in markets across the US and Canada, are aggregated, analyzed, and configured into the TAP Report which has become an industry standard for CVBs.


- Connie Rheams Takes on Executive Role at Beekeeper
- NAVIS Appoints Michelle Marquis to Vice President of Strategic Market Development
- Denihan Hospitality Names John Chan SVP of Development and Garine Ferejian-Mayo SVP of Market Strategy and Revenue Management
- Hard Rock International Names Danielle Babilino Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos
- Nikki Beach Worldwide Appoints Lucia Penrod as CEO
- PURE Rooms Welcomes Jill Dean Rigsbee as Vice-President, Business Development

For more information on People on the Move for 02/23/18


- Maestro’s Web Browser PMS Delivers Flexibility and Mobility On-premise or in the Cloud
- StayNTouch and TrustYou Release GDPR Checklist Ahead of Deadline
- Aparium Hotel Group Expands with StayNTouch and Deployment of Rover Mobile PMS at The Inn at Cherry Creek

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 02/23/18


- Sabre Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-year 2017 Results
- Essential Tools Provides Market-leading Technology to Portuguese Hotels through SiteMinder Partnership
- Host Hotel Systems’s Property Management System Integrates into TravelClick’s Central Reservations Platform

For more information on Reservations for 02/23/18


- IDeaS Revenue Solutions provides superior revenue strategy data for The Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina
- Rainmaker’s revcaster® Powers Newly Enhanced Market Intelligence For Omni Hotels & Resorts
- Duetto Closes $80 Million Series D Financing Round Led by Warburg Pincus

For more information on Revenue Management for 02/23/18


- ALICE Voted Best Concierge Software in the 2018 HotelTechAwards
- Pestana Amsterdam Enhances Guests' Experience with Nonius Technology
ALICE Voted Best Concierge Software in the 2018 HotelTechAwards
Concierges from across the country and around the world voted ALICE “Best Concierge Software” in Hotel Tech Report’s 2018 HotelTechAwards. More than 100 of the industry’s most popular hotel technology brands competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. ALICE scored a perfect 100 on a 100-point scale, beating out the nearest competitor by more than 30 points.
Pestana Amsterdam Enhances Guests' Experience with Nonius Technology
Pestana Amsterdam Riverside is a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of Amsterdam, featuring 154 bedrooms and suites, and 26 apartments. Nonius is the Pestana's global prefered guest technology partner and more than 70 Pestana hotels around the world have already received the most cutting-edge technologies from Nonius. The Pestana Amsterdam Riverside is equipped with guest internet access and IPTV products from Nonius, which are the two products that are actually certified for the Pestana group. The highly reliable Nonius GIA system allows guests to connect seamlessly via any laptop, smartphone or tablet and offers a safe and stable internet connection.


- New Study Finds Hoteliers Fear Robot-run Future yet Believe AI is Key to Guest Personalization
- The Break Hotel Selects KEYPR as Partner for Guest Experience Technology
New Study Finds Hoteliers Fear Robot-run Future yet Believe AI is Key to Guest Personalization
A white paper by SiteMinder and IDeaS Revenue Solutions has found that while hoteliers fear a future where their properties are run by robots, they believe artificial intelligence (AI) may be the key to delivering a highly personalized guest experience. This finding was brought to light at a thought leader breakfast held during World Travel Market London in November, and during a December webinar, where leading hoteliers conceded that although robots could never replace genuine hospitality, they can decipher big data to learn about guests faster than humans.
siteminder.com, https://ideas.com/
The Break Hotel Selects KEYPR as Partner for Guest Experience Technology
KEYPR®, a leading cloud-based technology platform for the hospitality industry providing an integrated end-to-end experience for guests and staff through embedded and mobile devices, announced that The Break Hotel will be implementing its expansive hospitality platform, marking KEYPR’s first property in Rhode Island. Through the KEYPR platform, guests and staff of The Break will have access to a custom mobile app, in-room tablets and KEYPR’s Guest Experience Management System (GEMS®), which combined, will dramatically improve operational efficiency, drive new revenue opportunities, and meet the expectations of today’s highly connected traveler. The initial rollout of the KEYPR platform includes deploying in-room tablets and GEMS, with mobile check-in and keyless entry features to be deployed later this year.


- The Best Western River North Hotel Sees 300% Increase in Revenue with New Progressive Web App
- Flip.to Joins OPMA, Together Sparking New Conversations in Travel Marketing
- Milestone Launches New Website for Ginger Hotel Chain, Revenue Jumps 36%

For more information on Marketing/Management for 02/23/18


- Cher-Ae Heights Casino Selects Agilysys Solution Suite for Increased Operational Efficiency and Secure Guest Payments
- Caesars Entertainment Transforms Its Iconic Business with Oracle
- Dimension Development Selects UniFocus as Strategic Partner to Optimize Workforce Performance for its Wide Range of Hotel Brands
- ALICE Named Forbes Travel Guide’s Official Staff Operations Technology Provider for 2018

For more information on Back Office for 02/23/18


- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Awarded Inaugural 2018 HotelTechAward for Top Rated Keyless Entry Provider
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Awarded Inaugural 2018 HotelTechAward for Top Rated Keyless Entry Provider
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, developer of innovative security solutions for the hospitality industry, announced its win of the 2018 HotelTechAwards for Top Rated Guest Experience Tech: Keyless Entry Provider. ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has been recognized for its ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, a keyless entry solution that allows guests and staff to enter certain areas of a hotel, including guestrooms, with a quick swipe of their mobile device.


- HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler to Celebrate Sustainable Hospitality
HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler to Celebrate Sustainable Hospitality
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), in conjunction with National Geographic Traveler, has selected the following Gold Award winners for the Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award: Hostelling International USA; Intrepid Travel: Myanmar & MMGY Global; Terranea Resort; and Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya. The Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award recognizes a person, company or community for demonstrable leadership and innovation in preserving and communicating an authentic sense of place through a wisely managed tourism campaign. Nominees were judged by how their efforts preserve the environmental, cultural and historic integrity of a destination, and how the program demonstrated leadership, innovation and accomplished its goals. Entries required details on project analysis, objectives and goals, creativity and innovation, communication, results and leadership.
http://www.adrianawards.com, http://hsmai.org/


- IBC Partners with AHLEI to Bring Certification Programs to its Independent Hotel Members
IBC Partners with AHLEI to Bring Certification Programs to its Independent Hotel Members
IBC Hospitality Technologies has partnered with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (the long-time training and education arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association) to provide IBC members with hospitality industry certification resources. As an IBC member, independent hoteliers can purchase online study materials and gain access to online exams through a new customized landing page. AHLEI certification is available as one of the many benefits to IBC member hotels inside IBCMarketplace.com, which provides a customizable business intelligence dashboard with CRS functionality and soft brand benefits.


- Adrian Awards Celebrate Travel Marketing Superheroes
- DSE 2018 Seminar to Present “Enhancing the Visitor Experience at Independence Visitor Center”
- 2018 HEDNA Distribution Conference Exceeds Expectations

For more information on Hospitality Events for 02/23/18


- In the New Era of IT, a CIO Needs to "Be the Business"
- Warren Buffett Says Integrity Is the Most Important Trait to Hire For. Ask These 12 Questions to Find It
- Deloitte GDPR Benchmarking Survey: The time is now
- Marriott Employees Will Get $140 Million After Corporate Tax Breaks
- Common Hospitality Acronyms Defined
- Flight Attendant Goes Out of Her Way to Soothe a Crying Toddler, Reminds Us Good People Exist
- New Google Tips and Tools for Travelers

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 02/23/18


And now for you-know-what…
Albert Einstein had to speak at an important science conference. On the way there, he tells his driver that looks a bit like him, "I'm sick of all these conferences. I always say the same things over and over!"
The driver agrees, "You're right. As your driver, I have attended all of them, and even though I don't know anything about science, I could give your speech in your place."
"That's a great idea!" says Einstein. "Let's switch places this time."
So they switch clothes and as soon as they arrive, the driver dressed as Einstein goes on stage and starts giving the usual speech, while the real Einstein, dressed as the car driver, sits in the audience. But in the crowd, there is one scientist who wants to impress everyone and thinks of a very difficult question to ask Einstein, hoping he won't be able to respond. So this guy stands up and interrupts the conference by posing his very difficult question. The whole room goes silent, holding their breath, waiting for the response.
The driver looks at him, dead in the eye, and says, "Sir, your question is so easy to answer that I'm going to let my driver answer for me."

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