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Siegel Sez

March 23, 2018

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

It is that time of year when those in the technology space have to pick and choose which events they should attend, or if you are a vendor, which you should support. Last week I was invited to the annual HTNG North American Conference which is now part of HT-NEXT. Nothing is worse than attending an event feeling that you are coming down with something, and then after arriving, getting worse and worse. That happened to me in San Diego. Honestly, how long can a cold last? It has been 10 days now. I did tough it out the best I could and enjoyed the event. I always love reconnecting with people I know but only get to see a few times throughout the year. Face to face is always the best as long as you aren’t spreading germs. The attendance was similar to last year, the exhibit area was bigger and the sessions were all well received. I did get to a point where the cold became more like the flu, so I left earlier than planned. Ron Hardin does a nice job sharing his thoughts on the conference before we get into the tech news that follows.
Yes, it is definitely that time of year and we at Hospitality Upgrade partner with many events. Geneva is at the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference here in Atlanta, Anne will be at the AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show next week at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in Maryland outside Washington, D.C., and I will be at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas. I remember when I started my business and attended the first AAHOA conference held in a ballroom at a hotel in Atlanta. It is amazing how that event has grown and now seems to take over any city where they hold the event. It’s pretty amazing.
Another event that I am really looking forward to is the second HITEC Amsterdam in early April. HFTP sold out the exhibit hall in record time this year and expects more than the 1,100 attendees they had last year. That is amazing for a first-time event. I have been invited to be a mentor for those participating in 20X, the competition for the startups who hopefully have the next big thing in hotel technology. I mentored at HITEC in Toronto and every attendee came back and thanked me afterwards. I guess maybe I related to many since it wasn’t that long ago that I was a startup, though the only investors I had were those who would lend me money to pay bills. Thankfully I paid them all back. Anyway, HITEC Amsterdam should be interesting. If it goes as well as it sounds like it will, then what is next? Another city in Europe or does it stay in Amsterdam? We shall see.
Here is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings which starts with Ron Hardin’s thoughts. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what and then will search for the miracle cure for a 10-day cold. Wish me luck!



by: Ron Hardin

Hospitality is a people business. It generally has a high head count, and the labor cost is typically the single largest expense in a hospitality operation. Hospitality is – traditionally – high-touch more than high-tech and has been resistant to automation in many areas. Hospitality has not exactly led the charge in employee engagement as evidenced by historically high turnover rates and the large number of low-wage jobs in the average establishment. Perhaps we should then be encouraged by Beekeeper, the winner of the 2018 HTNG TechOvation Award. Beekeeper does not sell an innovative product or service to enable labor savings. What they do sell is an employee communication and engagement solution that delivers real-time digital messaging to line employees who have, by and large, been left relegated to paper notices posted on bulletin boards. In an interesting parallel, one of the conference keynote sessions was about employee engagement through digital transformation. The presentation was certainly effective, which may have influenced attendee voters for the awards. Anything remotely related to HR has not traditionally ranked very high on the tech enthusiasm meter. The keynote speaker, David Osborne, executive organizational development consultant, trainer, Dale Carnegie Digital, cited some sobering statistics from a major study on employee engagement (from Gartner, perhaps; don’t quote me). The results of the study:  In the average U.S. business, out of 10 employees there are three who are “actively engaged,” and therefore productive and contributing positively to the business. Five out of 10 are “passively disengaged” – they do enough to get by under the radar, but they are not doing more than the minimum required. And two out of 10 are “actively disengaged.” Those two are not only nonproductive, they are actively disrupting the productivity of others and hurting the business. The graphic that Mr. Osborne used was also effective: A 10-man racing shell (“rowboat” for those of you in Rio Linda). That boat is your business. The first three guys are rowing with everything they have – heart, mind and body. The next five guys are going through the motions of rowing but are not breaking a sweat. And the last two guys? They are actively trying to sink the boat. One other statistic that Osborne threw in for all the executives in attendance: 75 percent of workers surveyed said that they would forego a raise in pay to see their immediate supervisor terminated. So yes, employee engagement is important. Automation in lieu of labor has it place – Cornell Professor Emeritus Richard Moore was fond of quoting the IBM Pollyanna Principle: “People should think, machines should work” (and, he added, “save the trees”).  But hospitality will continue to be a people-oriented business with high head counts. So think about how you are digitally engaging your employees – particularly, millennials and Gen Z – and watch out for those two guys at the back of the boat.
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting

Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade


- DiamondRock Names Jay Johnson New Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Appoints Briony Quinn Senior Vice President and Treasurer
- Great Wolf Resorts Names Murray Hennessy as Chief Executive Officer
- Omni Hotels & Resorts Promotes Brand Veteran Peter Strebel to President
- Red Roof® to Open New Headquarters Location in Support of Company's Continued Profitable Growth
- Sandals Resorts International Appoints Gebhard Rainer as New CEO
- Siddharth Narang Appointed Chief Development Officer at sbe

For more information on People on the Move for 03/23/18


- Stoney Creek Hospitality Relies on Maestro Analytics to Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Effective Performance Reporting
- StayNTouch Partners With Salt Hotels
Stoney Creek Hospitality Relies on Maestro Analytics to Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Effective Performance Reporting
Stoney Creek Hospitality wanted a new multiproperty software system that would centralize operations for its 15 hotels. Stoney Creek’s 15 properties extend across five states and offer a blend of modern lodge comfort, urban convenience and resort-style relaxation. Each has its own market and marketing challenges. Multiproperty management is perfect for Stoney Creek Hospitality’s widespread property locations. Stoney Creek Hospitality is completing its rollout of Maestro Multi-Property across its 15 hotels in 2018.
StayNTouch Partners With Salt Hotels
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and property management systems (PMS) for hotels, announced it has partnered with Salt Hotels, with the deployment of its Rover PMS™ and Zest™ products at Salt House Inn (Provincetown, Mass.), Eben House (Provincetown, Mass.), The Chequit (Shelter Island, N.Y.), and The Asbury (Asbury Park, N.J.).


- Cloud5 Adds Vertical Booking USA to Its Growing Roster of Contact Center Clients
- Sabre Corporation Announces Closing of Secondary Offering of Common Stock
- Market-leading Contribution to Hotel Revenue Earns SiteMinder a Gold Top Hotel Star Award
- Boulevard Hotéis Launches New Hotel Websites, Grows Online Bookings Almost 40 Percent with SiteMinder

For more information on Reservations for 03/23/18


- Bulk TV Partners with Aerohive Networks Delivering Powerful Connectivity to Customers
- Provenance Hotels Partners with Eleven Software and Blueport to Deploy Personal Area Networks for Seamless Casting in the Guestroom
- Del Lago Resort & Casino is Engaging Guests with Intelity
- Angie Hospitality Introduces New and Enhanced Features in Next-generation Voice-enabled Guest Room Assistant
- 71Above and Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurants Implement TableSafe’s EMV-secured Pay-at-the-table Technology

For more information on Guest Services for 03/23/18


- NAVIS Raises the Bar to Achieve Highest Level of PCI DSS Level 1 Certification
NAVIS Raises the Bar to Achieve Highest Level of PCI DSS Level 1 Certification
NAVIS, a leader in reservation sales and marketing technology for the hospitality industry, announced that it achieved Level 1 Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). The company has now reached the highest industry rating any business can attain for payment data security. The PCI standard is the most rigorous payment-card security standard available globally and is designed to minimize the exposure of credit card data to risk of fraud or compromise.


- Aptech Computer Systems Announces Strategic Partnership with Inova Payroll
- Beekeeper Wins HTNG’s 2018 TechOvation Award
- The Hoxton Group Partners with Knowcross

For more information on Back Office for 03/23/18


- Thunder Valley Casino Resort Shifts to RFID Technology from InvoTech Systems for High-efficiency Uniform Operations
Thunder Valley Casino Resort Shifts to RFID Technology from InvoTech Systems for High-efficiency Uniform Operations
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent upgrade of its uniform system at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort. The property joins InvoTech’s extensive client portfolio of RFID uniform systems worldwide. InvoTech Systems is a leading provider of advanced linen management, laundry and uniform systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort manages the uniform inventory for more than 2,000 employees.


- PCI Security Standards Council Announces Changes to Qualified Integrators and Resellers Program
- HTNG Delivers GDPR for Hospitality White Paper
- Agilysys Participates in Whitepaper on GDPR
- Beekeeper Offering 31 Point GDPR Assessment Checklist to Hoteliers Preparing for Compliance

For more information on Data Security and Cyber Attacks for 03/23/18


- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Expands Innovative RFID Lock Technology to DIN and SIS Doors With New VingCard E100 Electronic Lock
- dormakaba USA Inc Releases White Paper: Steps to Deliver a 21st Century Mobile Access Experience
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Expands Innovative RFID Lock Technology to DIN and SIS Doors With New VingCard E100 Electronic Lock
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, a leading provider of innovative security technologies for the hospitality industry, announced the launch of its VingCard E100 lock, an electronic escutcheon set specifically designed to work together with lock cases that are built according to the German DIN standard (Deutsches Institut für Normung) and Scandinavian Industry Standard (SIS). Compatible with RFID keycards, the escutcheon set was engineered with back-of-house operations in mind, and is ideal for offices and other standard hotel staff areas. 
dormakaba USA Inc Releases White Paper: Steps to Deliver a 21st Century Mobile Access Experience
dormakaba USA Inc, the provider of Saflok™ and Ilco™ electronic locks, announced its new white paper detailing why mobile access is becoming essential to property success and how operators can deliver it. The paper, “Guests Demand a 21st Century Stay: Secure Mobile Access Unlocks Your Competitive Edge,” reviews the accelerating mobile use in travel, and explains what goes into seamless property mobile access control system delivery. dormakaba USA Inc’s mobile access solution is a secure, end-to-end mobile credential application utilizing Bluetooth Low energy (BLE). It integrates seamlessly with brand loyalty apps and chain technology infrastructures, as well as third-party mobile integrator apps.


- UNLV Hospitality College Unveils One-of-a-kind Gaming-focused Graduate Degree
UNLV Hospitality College Unveils One-of-a-kind Gaming-focused Graduate Degree
Earlier this year, the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV launched the world’s first master’s degree program centered on gaming. The Master of Hospitality Administration (MHA) Gaming Management Track was designed to boost professionals who are trying to widen the scope of their expertise to include gaming, which is becoming more pervasive across destination markets and online platforms throughout the world. Students eligible for the program, which is offered totally online, include mid-level professionals with more than three years of experience in a management capacity in the hotel-gaming industry. Graduates of the MHA program hold a master’s degree from a fully accredited university.


- Beekeeper to Showcase Hospitality’s "Most Innovative Technology" at AAHOA Convention
- Digital Signage Expo 2018 to Offer Education, Networking and Extensive Collection of the Newest Cutting-edge Technologies
- Revenue Managers Flock to Five International Cities for HSMAI’s ROC
- HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA Creates Advisory Board to Continue to Advance the Industry and the HX Brand
- Rainmaker VP to Speak at Tribal Casino & Hotel Development Conference

For more information on Hospitality Events for 03/23/18


- Ten Unmistakable Habits of Utterly Authentic People
- Measuring the Investment in Training
- Chatbots aren’t failing us, our expectations for them are
- Can a smart office make your team more productive too?
- Don’t believe the hype about AI in business

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 03/23/18


And now for you-know-what…

Why Men Don’t Write Advice Columns
Dear Walter,
I hope you can help me here. The other day, I set off for work and left my husband in the house watching TV as usual. I hadn't driven more than a mile down the road when the engine died and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help.
When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbors' daughter. I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbors' daughter is 22. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months.
I told him to end the relationship or I would leave him. He was sacked from his job six months ago and he said he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won't go to counseling and I'm afraid I can't get through to him anymore.
Can you please help?
Sincerely, Sheila
Dear Sheila:
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no dirt in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
I hope this helps.

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