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Siegel Sez

April 13, 2018

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

I am writing this week’s Siegel Sez from my hotel room while attending HITEC Amsterdam. My hotel is about a 20-minute walk to the RAI Convention Center and for those of us from the States, when you walk the 20 minutes and get passed by more than a thousand people riding to work on bicycles, you realize how unique this city is.
Amsterdam is a great place to bring Europeans together. According to HFTP, there were 47 countries represented at this year’s event. Last year HITEC in Europe was an absolute success. I remember all the positive vibes from exhibitors and attendees at the completion of the event. This year there was growth on the exhibit floor, but the growth of attendees was not quite as large which created a bit more quietness for the exhibitors. This is only the second HITEC in Europe and probably some additional tweaking will be done. There was great support from those exhibiting this year with most signing up to exhibit again next year when the event will be held a month earlier again in Amsterdam. Holding HITEC Europe earlier in the year will hopefully be a positive boost for attendance. I am always a believer in trying new things. Some things work, some don’t but I always try.
This year’s event had great sessions, like the opening keynote, “Extreme Customer Centricity in a Networked World” with speaker Nancy Rademaker. It was one of the best I had heard in a long time. I didn’t totally agree with all her views, but how she engaged the audience and kept everybody focused for 75 minutes was amazing. It was a great way to start the event. I don’t spend a lot of time in Europe, but when I do I love the feedback I get regarding how Europeans look at the world of technology, where it is and where it is going. Some things are the same as in the United States, but much is quite different as the market in Europe is very different. We will look back at HITEC Amsterdam in the summer/HITEC issue of Hospitality Upgrade that will be distributed to all the attendees this year in Houston. It was great being in Amsterdam again, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Who knows, maybe next year I will find time to get on a bicycle.
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings with consultant Ron Hardin’s opinion piece starting it off. At HITEC Houston I will be moderating a session on how much in-room technology is too much.  Ron danced around the subject which inspired much thought for the session I am doing. We thank Ron for being part of Siegel Sez. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Thank you, Amsterdam, for a great week.



by: Ron Hardin

Is your hotel room smarter than a fifth-grader? OK, so maybe it’s a cheesy reference to a game show that went away in 2015. But there has been a fairly constant buzz for several years about “smart” hotel rooms. What there hasn’t been is much consensus on what, actually, is a smart room. As the Internet of Things grows exponentially, the definition becomes fuzzier, not clearer. In animals, intelligence is primarily a function of the number of connections in the brain and the ability to integrate multiple sources of sensory information inputs and stored memories, knowledge and instincts. “Artificial intelligence” is really the same thing. Even without a cohesive master plan, hotel guestrooms are getting smarter through the organic process of more smart stuff being installed, and more communications and integrations between all that smart stuff. One example is wireless electronic door locks that integrate with wireless smart thermostats to facilitate better occupancy detection for improved energy management. Guestroom energy management solutions have used less intelligent methods for occupancy detection – check-in/checkout status, motion sensors, door switches – each better than nothing, but all with shortcomings. Now, because the locks increasingly support short-range wireless communications, as do the thermostats, they can simply be paired so that the lock can tell the thermostat when the room is entered and if it was a guest entry, as opposed to a staff entry. More sensory inputs + more communication links + more processing capability = more intelligence. These particular devices gained their increased communication capabilities to facilitate emerging application requirements. Lock vendors wanted to enable wireless mobile device unlocking. Both lock and thermostat vendors wanted to leverage wireless mesh networking to better monitor and manage the devices. Being able to send check-in/checkout information to the room thermostat has obvious advantages for energy management as cost-saving temperature set-backs can be used for unoccupied rooms. But more intelligence begets greater functionality. If a guest sets the temperature to 68 F and the temperature doesn’t reach that value within the target time range, then an alert can be generated for maintenance to check the operation of the HVAC in that room, hopefully before the guest complains. As more smart devices are put into guestrooms, more opportunities arise for both guest engagement and monitoring/management of the devices. Room controls can be implemented with a mobile app or an in-room tablet or voice-control device (although one method generates more guest engagement than the other, as I’ve opined elsewhere; see “The Great Divide of In-stay Guest Engagement: Mobile App vs. In-room Device” in Hospitality Upgrade’s spring 2018 issue). Hotel TVs (and hotel TV systems) increasingly have the ability for content casting from the guest mobile device. Climate control, lighting, drapes and blinds can also be controlled by app, tablet, voice or TV. Control touch points can double as communication and merchandising devices, replacing or incorporating legacy devices such as telephones and clock-radios. And the more items that can be controlled and monitored, the more opportunity there is for improving property management and guest experience. Going back to the energy management example, having the various devices smart and online can enable drapes or blinds to be closed to reduce solar load, and lights to be turned off in unoccupied rooms. More sensory inputs + more communication links + more processing capability = more intelligence. Maybe your hotel rooms will be smarter than a fifth-grader soon.
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting

Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade


- TravelClick Acquires Hospitality CRM Solutions Provider Digital Alchemy
- AccorHotels Signs Strategic Acquisition Agreement with Mantis Group for 50% Stake in Company
- RLH Corporation Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Acquire the Knights Inn Brand From Wyndham Hotel Group

For more information on Mergers and Acquisitions for 04/13/18


- Agilysys Appoints Two New Senior Executives to Lead Technology and Marketing Initiatives
- Floor Bleeker, Chief Information Officer, Mövenpick Group, succeeds Monika Nerger as President of HTNG
- SHR Names Two New Vice Presidents, Plus New Director
- Dave Johnson Named Chairman & CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality; Robert Burg Promoted to President & COO
- BENCHMARK® Adds to Its Executive Team
- And more People on the Move…

For more information on People on the Move for 04/13/18


- Frasers Hospitality Australia Deploys Infor to Deliver Seamless Mobile Experiences and Become a Paperless Business
- StayNTouch Brings PMS Mobility to Innovative New Brand, Origin Hotel
- StayNTouch Partners with Juyo Hotel Analytics to Integrate Property Management and Revenue Management Systems

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 04/13/18


- SiteMinder Lands its 30,000th Customer in River Palace Hotel
- Dayuse.com Reveals Its New Brand Campaign
SiteMinder Lands its 30,000th Customer in River Palace Hotel
SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the hotel industry, has signed its 30,000th hotel customer for integrated hotel guest acquisition technology. SiteMinder has secured River Palace Hotel in Italy to achieve its most recent milestone and continue its strong trajectory in the dynamic European region where 40 percent of its hotel customers today are based. According to the Director of River Palace Hotel Paolo Rivolo, what the property needed was flexibility in the setup of its management systems and more autonomy for guests.
Dayuse.com Reveals Its New Brand Campaign
Dayuse.com, a premier solution for daytime hotel reservations worldwide, is launching its new brand campaign, the "Dayuse Effect." Designed, produced, and directed by communications agency Orès Group, the same agency responsible for the brand's first TV campaign in 2016, this new appearance will focus on benefits for consumers and on the advantages of daytime hotel use. The "Dayuse.com Effect" identity campaign will be distributed through digital video devices, including the Teads network on all international business, lifestyle and general media throughout France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Dayuse.com is a world leader in daytime hotel booking. Dayuse.com's platform successfully places hotels in touch with a wide range of modern consumers: travelers looking to relax after an exhausting flight or survive the extended layover, businesspeople in need of an ideal environment for a big meeting, or any user looking to spoil their spouse with a luxury “daycation.” 


- Infor EzRMS Mobile App Enables Revenue Management on the Go
- The Rainmaker Group Kicks Off 2018 With Record-Setting Performance
- Amara Hotels & Resorts Selects Duetto as Revenue Strategy Partner

For more information on Revenue Management for 04/13/18


- Cape Verde Airports and Amadeus Partner in New Mobile Check-in Service
- Blueprint RF Keeps Club Magnolia Guests Connected During the Masters Golf Tournament
- The Ace Hotel Portland Goes Leading Edge with Guestware, Personalizing the Guest Experience
- Intelity to Host Voice Technology Webinar
- Orchard Hotels of San Francisco Partners with Hotel Internet Services to Implement Advanced Wi-Fi with Voice-activated Television and Casting Solutions
- ReviewPro Launches the Guest Messaging Hub

For more information on Guest Services for 04/13/18


- "The Loyalty Divide Operator and Consumer Perspectives Hotels 2018" Reveals Operators Are Struggling to Find Relevance Among Younger Guests that Demand More Personalized Incentives and Experiences
"The Loyalty Divide Operator and Consumer Perspectives Hotels 2018" Reveals Operators Are Struggling to Find Relevance Among Younger Guests that Demand More Personalized Incentives and Experiences
Oracle announced the findings of a global study titled, “The Loyalty Divide, Operator and Consumer Perspectives, Hotels 2018,” auditing consumer perceptions and hospitality brand realities of loyalty programs and influences. The study revealed that hotel operators believe they offer personalized and relevant rewards while consumers disagree and look to social influencers for aspirational recommendations that drive their travel experience. The study was conducted in February 2018 among 13,000 consumers and 500 businesses across retail, hotels and restaurants in nine countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States.


- The Set Hotels Partners with Cendyn
- Clairvoyix Named Top Hospitality Email Marketing, CRM Company
- Ponterra Business Advisors Advises Digital Alchemy on Sale to TravelClick
- SHR Teams Up with nSight to Offer Predictive Marketing Suite
- Vizergy Launches New Custom Website for Neighboring Hotel, One Ocean Resort & Spa

For more information on Marketing/Management for 04/13/18


- Beekeeper Ranks No. 59 on SaaS 1000
- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Aces Operations Efficiency with ALICE Staff
- M3 Partners with French Duncan and Cycas Hospitality to Expand Internationally

For more information on Back Office for 04/13/18


- PAR Technology Introduces PAR Pay for all PAR POS Software Solutions
PAR Technology Introduces PAR Pay for all PAR POS Software Solutions
ParTech, Inc. (PAR), a leading global provider of point-of-sale (POS) and workforce efficiency solutions to the restaurant and retail industries, announced the introduction of PAR Pay, a SaaS-based, EMV-enabled transaction processing solution for processing credit, debit and store value cards. PAR Pay is seamlessly integrated as an extension of all PAR POS software solutions and supported by the PAR service infrastructure. PAR Pay will be available to all Brink and PixelPoint clients in June of this year.


- VENZA® Presents the GDPR Readiness Survey
- VENZA Presents Free GDPR Essentials™ Webinars
- Ransomware Still a Top Cybersecurity Threat, Warns Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report

For more information on Data Security and Cyber Attacks for 04/13/18


- KViHotel Deploys ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access Solution for Convenient Keyless Guestroom Entry
KViHotel Deploys ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access Solution for Convenient Keyless Guestroom Entry
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, innovator of security technologies for the hospitality industry, announced the successful implementation of several of its advanced security and access solutions at KViHotel in Hungary. Located in Budapest, KViHotel has implemented ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, VingCard Allure electronic door locks and the Visionline software platform to maximize security and enhance the overall guest experience. The new 40-room property is among the first smart hotels in Europe to offer a complete mobile experience through the use of its mobile app, TMRW Hotels, which as an ASSA ABLOY Hospitality certified partner, includes the added feature of Mobile Access keyless entry.


- Hospitality and Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP) to Develop Joint Program for Students of the NYU School of Professional Studies
Hospitality and Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP) to Develop Joint Program for Students of the NYU School of Professional Studies
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) announced the joint development of a new program with the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, which provides the students with the opportunity to prepare for their HFTP Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) designation. The program, which is expected to launch in the 2018-2019 academic year, will include HFTP-approved CHTP information in the school's 14-week class syllabus. A faculty advisor, who has attained and maintains the CHTP certification, will be appointed by NYUSPS to teach the class and oversee the program offerings.


- Thousands of Hoteliers Converge on National Harbor for 2018 AAHOA Convention
- DSE Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Heavy End-user Attendance
- HFTP Launches New Multi-event Mobile App for Upcoming 2018 Conferences
- HFTP Announces Dates and Location for Second Annual HITEC Dubai
- HFTP Announces Exclusive CIO/CFO Event Sponsorship Agreement with Fourteen IP at HITEC Amsterdam
- HITEC Amsterdam 2018 Entrepreneur 20X Participants and Judge’s Panel Announced
- Hotel Professionals to Grab Revenue by the Horns at HSMAI’s ROC Americas in Houston

For more information on Hospitality Events for 04/13/18


- Space hotel bookings take off like a rocket selling four months of reservations in 72 hours
- Royal Caribbean's CEO reveals how the world's biggest cruise line got travelers to spend more money – and doubled its earnings
- How Hotels Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Your Stay
- The Next Cold War is Here, and It's all About Data

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 04/13/18


And now for you-know-what…
An old geezer who has been a retired farmer for a long time becomes very bored and decides to open a medical clinic. He puts a sign up outside that says, "Get your treatment for $500. If not cured, get back $1,000."
A young doctor who is positive that this old geezer doesn't know a thing about medicine thinks this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000, so he goes to Dr. Geezer's clinic.
"Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?" asks Dr. Young.
Dr. Geezer replies, "Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put three drops in Dr. Young's mouth."
Dr. Young says, "Aaagh! This is gasoline!"
Dr. Geezer replies, "Congratulations! You've got your taste back. That will be $500."
Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days, figuring he can recover his money. Dr Young says, "I have lost my memory; I cannot remember anything."
Dr. Geezer says, "Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient's mouth."
Doctor Young exclaims, "Oh, no you don't, that's gasoline!"
And Dr. Geezer says, "Congratulations! You've got your memory back. That will be $500."
Dr. Young (after having lost $1,000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days. "My eyesight has become weak I can hardly see," he says.
Dr. Geezer says, "Well, I don't have any medicine for that, so here's your $1,000 back."
Dr. Young quickly says, "But this is only $500!"
And Dr. Geezer says, "Congratulations! You got your vision back! That will be $500."
The moral of story: Just because you're "Young" doesn't mean that you can outsmart an old "Geezer."

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