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Siegel Sez

April 05, 2019

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

They say the only constant in life is change. Some good, some not so good but no matter what we deal with it. Today there is change for this Siegel Sez technology review and thankfully, it is a positive one! Doug Rice -- who many in the tech space know as one of the original group who met in his Chicago backyard before HITEC 2002 to start HTNG and then eventually became CEO of HTNG -- will be sharing his thoughts and technology knowledge with us. Doug knows technology as well as anybody in the industry, and more importantly has been focused on emerging technology which everybody is trying to get their arms around how it can make a positive impact. Welcome aboard, Doug! We are glad to have you with us!
The Hospitality Upgrade spring issue has been hitting mailboxes this week and we thank those who have taken the time to drop us notes with their thoughts. We have received many kudos to the work Fran Worrall did this issue as we dived into the cruise industry and how that industry is addressing technology needs. It’s a bit different than the hotel space even though many call cruise ships “floating hotels.” If you would like to share your thoughts, please drop a note to me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.
It’s a busy upcoming week for the industry and especially the vendors who are promoting products. Our crack videographer Liz will be going with me to Mallorca, Spain, for HITEC Europe. Geneva and Anne will be going to HT-Next in New Orleans, and Jen will be going to Seatrade in Miami. Some will say I got the better of this deal, but honestly there are times I would love to plan for a one-hour flight rather than 10 hours in a couple of planes. However, I do get to go to Madrid, a city I have never been to and stay for one night so that should be fun. Look for many stories and pictures upcoming from our group, as we find out where the industry is going when it comes to technology.
Here now is the real reason we are here: the latest technology happenings in the industry preceded by Doug Rice’s thoughts as to where technology will impact us. Doug might be our newest change, but at the end of Siegel Sez there will be no change. We will continue to make you smile with the you-know-what at the end.


Definitely Doug

by: Douglas Rice

So many exciting things are happening in hospitality technology right now. The pace of innovation, the number of new startups, the M&A pace, and the tearing apart and rebuilding of technologies that hadn’t really changed in 40 years (PMS anyone?). Artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, analytics, enterprise service buses, open source, voice recognition, location tracking, real-time translation, blockchain, and many other areas are exploding with new ideas.
Most hospitality businesses gravitate toward known and comfortable technologies. That serves us well when technology change is slow. But when change is rapid, like now, it insulates us from understanding the future. Could we imagine a world without a PMS or CRS or TV? Many vendors say yes, and I’m not betting that one of them won’t be right.
I’ve spent much of the past few years exploring the world of startups and early growth stage companies, where much innovation occurs. I’ve attended as many accelerator pitchfests, startup pavilions, and accelerator events as I can, and have wandered the back aisles at trade shows like HITEC where the lowly startups lurk. I love seeing new ideas that challenge the status quo. Unlike established vendors, startups have nothing to lose by cannibalizing their own business, and they have the kind of boundless entrepreneurial energy that is, alas, but a fading memory to baby boomers like me. To be sure, established companies innovate too, but mostly around the edges. Giants don’t generally deliver the true paradigm changers.
My goal with this column will be to help you expand your horizons beyond the traditional hospitality tech stack. Most weeks I will focus on a single area of technology where innovation is rapid. If you aren’t out there looking at new ideas often enough (and if you have a day job, who has the time?), then I will give you a simple challenge. Once a month, schedule an hour to check out just one truly innovative technology (I’ll give you some ideas starting in my next column). It doesn’t matter if you buy it – you probably won’t, for any one of a dozen good reasons. But try to answer the question, “how could I revolutionize my business with this, and what would I need to do to make it work?” It will help you break out of the box of only considering “safe” solutions and missing the ones that could be game changers. And if you DO find a game-changer worth pursuing, great!
As I dive into a particular area of technology or trend, I’ll try to highlight a few product ideas that caught my eye. Many of the companies will be so small you’ve never heard of them, and they are often so inexperienced in hospitality that they have no idea that “everyone” knows their idea “can’t ever” work (which only means, until someone figures out how it can!). And if you find such a company yourself, please drop me a note, I’d like to hear about it. I won’t be recommending any of these products, they’re just ideas I find interesting – in most cases I won’t have even verified that they aren’t built on the PowerPoint operating system! Nor will my suggestions necessarily be comprehensive. But by calling them to your attention, I hope it might take at least some of the work out of expanding your horizons.
What new type of technology or innovative solution do YOU want to hear about? Drop me a note and maybe I’ll use it in a future column.
Douglas Rice


- ALICE Accelerates Expansion with European Staff Additions
- BirchStreet Systems Announces Jo Stanford Joins as Vice President Strategic Accounts EMEAI
- RLH Corporation Names Vinod Sankar Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer

Hapi Continues Growth Momentum with Appointment of John Figliolini as Vice President of Business Development
- IHG® Appoints Jamie Cole as Senior Vice President of Global Channels


For more information on People On The Move for 4/5/2019


- Allin Interactive DigiPublic™ Digital Signage Platform Activated at Wind Creek Properties
- Quore to Showcase its Award-Winning Housekeeping Management and Engineering Solutions at HT-NEXT in New Orleans
- Azalea Hotels & Residences in the Philippines Sees a 30% Increase in Its Revenue With Hotelogix
- Hoteliers Deliver Stellar Guest Experiences with Oracle Innovations

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 04/05/2019


- Newmark Hotels Joins with Pegasus/Travel Tripper for Comprehensive CRS Solutions
Deal brings an expanding hospitality group of more than 16 properties in Africa to the newly combined Pegasus & Travel Tripper, which offers a complete suite of industry-leading reservations, distribution, business intelligence, and e-commerce solutions.
http://www.pegasus.io/, www.traveltripper.com 

Hotel Booking Engine Launched by Bedvine
The new offering allows potential accommodation providers to register and operate a fully featured booking engine at no monthly cost and no commission fees.


- RCD Hotels Taps Duetto to Drive All-Inclusive Technology Innovation
With Hard Rock and Nobu Los Cabos expected to open in summer 2019, RCD Hotels seeks a game-changing resort revenue strategy.
https://rcdhotels.com/, http://duettocloud.com/

- World-Class Mohegan Sun Partners with Duetto to Drive Innovation
The massive tribal-owned casino business looks to implement a more modern approach to revenue management.
http://www.mohegansun.com, http://duettocloud.com


INTELITY and SkyTouch Team Up to Mobilize Staff and Property Management
The integration between two industry leaders gives hoteliers the ability to monitor guest and staff activity from anywhere on property

- San Diego’s Sycuan Casino Resort Includes INTELITY Platform in $260 Million Expansion
The well-established property recently opened its new 12-story luxury tower and expanded gaming space.


- Lodging Interactive Launches PULSE Reputation Management Platform for Hotels & Restaurants
PULSE enables customers 24/7, real-time access to their guest review data and management responses.

- Cendyn and Hospitality Plus Collaborate to Assist Hotels with the Guest Experience
The new partnership will empower hoteliers to acquire new customers as well as drive loyalty with existing guests.

- Hotelogix and RepUp to Host Webinar on Hotel Reputation Management
Titled - How your hotel can make more money from Online Reviews, the webinar will take place on Thursday, April 11 at 2:00 PM Singapore time.


- You've Chosen to Self-Manage AV: Now What Happens If You Don't Own ALL the Equipment Meeting Planners Are Asking For?
- iVvy Venue Technology and Coastal Gaming Announce Strategic Partnership
- Teneo Hospitality Group Surveys Meeting Planners and Hoteliers; Targets Five Challenges Confronting Meetings Industry in 2019
- HSMAI Foundation Launches New Initiative to Build Hospitality Industry Talent Pipeline in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management

For more information on Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning for 04/05/2019


- TPI Hospitality Leverages ProfitSword Integration to Maximize Business Intelligence Transparency and Efficiency Across Organization
Developer and operator of hotels, restaurants and conference centers implements ProfitSage platform to provide all staff levels with instant access to real time performance data and unrivaled budgeting/forecasting abilities.


- Hotel Internet Services Survey of Hoteliers and Guests Reveals Latest Hospitality Wi-Fi Trends and Expectations
Newly unveiled research conducted on more than 670 guests and 200 hoteliers demonstrates how evolving online behaviors are placing greater demands on hotel Wi-Fi networks.

- Angie Hospitality Introduces New PassPoint™ Hotspot 2.0 Technology to Streamline and Simplify Guest Wi-Fi Connectivity
Hotspot 2.0 compatibility adds simplified authentication of Wi-Fi-enabled guest devices and seamless, secure connectivity for users of hospitality's only purpose-built virtual assistant.

- Cloud5 Communications Upgrades Internet to GPNS Standards at the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel
Top-rated Marriott Internet supplier Cloud5 is working with properties across the U.S. that are required to upgrade to meet GPNS standards by July 2019.


- Hermitage Hotel Becomes the First Hotel in Nashville to Offer Wine by the Glass with Plum
Award-Winning Luxury Hotel to Bring Innovative Wine-On-Demand Technology Plum to their Suites, Restaurant, and Bar.
http://www.plum.wine/, https://www.thehermitagehotel.com/


- Freedompay Announces New Decisionpoint Network™ Partner, Cedar Fair, At Its Amusement Parks And Hotels
FreedomPay, a leading global customer-centric commerce payments platform, is announcing a new partnership with Cedar Fair Entertainment, building upon the established secure payments services FreedomPay provides at Cedar Fair’s popular amusement parks.


- Beekeeper to Debut Shift Schedules at HT-NEXT in New Orleans
New mobile tool reduces use of non-compliant messaging services in the workplace by moving shift schedule communication to Beekeeper.


- Grand Sierra Resort and Casino Installs dormakaba USA Inc BLE Enabled RFID Electronic Locks at 2,000-Room Destination
Casino resort smoothly upgrades from magstripe locks to dormakaba USA Inc MT RFID electronic door locks.


- StayNTouch CEO and Director of Strategic Partnerships Talk Platform Power
Alan Young writes on reimagining hotel technology with open APIs based on strategic partnership alignment.


- HFTP Announces Datavision Technologies as Exclusive Entrepreneur 20X Sponsor at HITEC Europe
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals has announced that Datavision Technologies, which provides business intelligence for hospitality and a long-time exhibitor with HFTP, will become the exclusive sponsor for the upcoming European Entrepreneur 20X (E20X).

- HFTP Announces Startups for Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Europe
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference, announced the selected hospitality technology startups, expert judges and industry mentors that will participate in Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) at HITEC Europe.


- Optimism Reigns at Hunter Hotel Investment Conference
- IHG Pilots Lighting Technology to Improve Guests’ Sleep
- China’s Alibaba is Shaping the Future of the Machine-Driven Hotel
- Tim Berners-Lee Laments State of the Web but Offers Hope for Travel Brands
- The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: March Edition

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 04/05/2019


And now for you-know-what …  
The young man at the flower shop was taking an unusually long time to place his order. When the clerk asked how she could help, he explained that his girlfriend was turning nineteen and he couldn't decide whether to give her a dozen roses or nineteen roses -- one for each year of her life.

The woman put aside her business judgment and advised, "She may be your nineteen-year-old girlfriend now, but someday she could be your fifty-year-old wife."

The young man bought a dozen roses.

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