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Siegel Sez

April 26, 2019

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

I don’t get to Europe that often but when I do it is often eye opening to see how business is conducted there. The day before HITEC Europe kicked into high gear there was a CIO/CFO gathering. I will keep my comments here short but I strongly encourage you to watch our video from the event. You will hear comments from Scot Campbell of Live Nation at the end which pretty much summed it up. I was invited to speak to the CIOs for a bit and when you speak to a group like this you live for the heads nodding in agreement, which thankfully they did. HITEC Europe was quite the success. Technology aside, it is amazing how beautiful Mallorca, Spain, is. I encourage you to watch our video summary, which includes the HSMAI ROC held alongside HITEC Europe. The link is below. We all need 9-minute breaks.

Now everybody is focused on HITEC Minneapolis. I have been entrusted to do a session regarding the evolution of the hotel front office. Are we dreaming that nobody will use the front desk to check in in the not-so-distant future? We have a great group of hoteliers sharing their thoughts and their plans. I am thankful to be part of the HITEC Advisory Council where the education program is put together. The Council planning day is a long one that starts the process for the coming HITEC and the conversations go all over the place which I just love. Shannon Knox from Hilton, who is also a long-time attendee at our CIO Summit, led the board this year and it was a learning experience for all. As you make your HITEC plans look at the extremely creative sessions that are offered this year. The journey to attend HITEC Minneapolis will definitely be worthwhile.
A final HITEC thought for those who are exhibiting at HITEC and the HSMAI ROC event: Hospitality Upgrade as the official technology magazine for HITEC gets distributed to every attendee when they register. If you are exhibiting and want to be part of our creative plan to drive those attending HITEC to your booth, please send an email to Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. The Summer issue will also be distributed at the ROC registration tables as well. We like being different and are quite proud to make our mark that way.

Now before we pass you over to Doug Rice and his thoughts on where we are going with technology and the latest happenings in the industry, take a 9-minute break and watch me embarrass myself along with seeing the beauty of Mallorca.  And just so you know, the ending of the video was not planned. If it was it wouldn’t have worked so well. Here is HITEC Europe and Mallorca. Click https://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/Gallery/Featured/HITEC-Europe-2019.

Definitely Doug

by: Douglas Rice

In my first column three weeks ago, I challenged readers to schedule just one hour a month to step away from the daily grind and look at innovative technologies.  Not ones you necessarily need today, but ones that push the boundaries of traditional options, and help you think outside the box.  Each issue, I’ll pick one area of hospitality technology where I’ve found interesting innovations, highlight them for you to help give you some ideas to look for, and cite some companies you might want to look at. These aren’t recommendations; there are many considerations that should enter into product/vendor selection process. Rather, they are companies whose innovations intrigued me and made me consider new ways of addressing known challenges. Your mileage may vary!
This week’s column focuses on robotics in hotels, and more specifically on robots that can roam freely and/or do physical work. I’m not dismissing robots that interact with humans only verbally, they’re interesting too, but that’s more AI than true robotics, and a topic for another week.
The value proposition of robots performing tasks like delivering room-service, amenities or luggage is still up for debate. Some guests love them -- robots can have engaging personalities, and they never ask for tips! Others prefer service from a real person, and will for many years to come, even as demographic trends suggest that the proportion is trending downwards. Robots work 24/7 and never complain. Relatively few hotels have robots, so those that do can get a marketing benefit from the “buzz” if guests write about them on social media (as many do). But robot production is still very limited, and unit costs are high.
Some hotels have reported that the labor savings roughly cover the cost of the robot, and that the true benefit is the marketing buzz, or increased revenue from chargeable items that guests request to be robo-delivered. Others haven’t cut back labor but think there is a benefit from the ability to be more responsive to guest requests. To be sure, the marketing sizzle value will fade as hotel robots become commonplace. Over time, robot costs will come down and labor costs will continue to rise, so we can expect the economics to improve.  I fully expect that robots will become a common, increasingly mature technology in many mainstream hotels within the next 5-8 years. But exactly which roles they will fill, and how, will evolve between now and then.
What are some interesting robotic applications? Apart from guest-room deliveries (Savioke, Aethon, LG), robots have been used to store and retrieve luggage (Yotel Yobot), to hand out room keys (ZoraBots), to prepare food (Chowbotics, Moley, Miso Robotics), to serve drinks (The Tipsy Robot), to vacuum guest rooms (Maidbot, Neatorobotics) or to clean floors in public spaces (Taski), to mow lawns (Robomow), to clean pools (Hayward), and to provide roaming security surveillance (Knightscope). 
All of these may have applications in hotels. I was particularly intrigued by Sally the Robot from Chowbotics, which is essentially a vending machine full of fresh ingredients and a robotic chef that will create made-to-order dishes. If the cost and logistical support requirements are reasonable, it could be a great addition to a limited service hotel in need of something a little better than day-old grab-and-go sandwiches.
Robots are only in their toddler years in hospitality, and no one knows what they’ll be like when they grow up. To be sure, many hoteliers and guests will never accept that robots can truly provide hospitality (although rumor has it that as a bartender, The Tipsy Robot is a terrific listener). But probably not too many guests really expect a warm human greeting from the vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, or even the night watchman. So these kinds of robotic applications may well be the ones to catch on first. As volumes grow and costs inevitably come down, while labor costs continue to rise, the economic case will become compelling.
Have you seen robot applications for hotels I haven’t covered here? Please let me know!
Douglas Rice


- Laurent Idrac Assumes Role as Chief Operations Officer for Hapi
- Hapi Appoints Sebastien Januskiewicz as Data Architect 
- Dominique Dosal Joins INTELITY as Director of Sales for Latin America
- Agilysys Appoints Dana Jones to Board of Directors
- Allbridge Announces Key Additions of Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance
- Cloud5 Communications Taps Marriott Veteran Neil Schubert to Lead Product Management and Development

For more information on People On The Move for 4/26/2019


- Glen Eyrie Castle & Conference Center Discusses How Its Recent Install of Maestro PMS across the 723 Acre Site Has Transformed Their Operation and Improved the Overall Guest Experience
Glen Eyrie’s team realized its existing hotel software was not able to grow with the property’s guest engagement and centralized operational needs. In 2017 Glen Eyrie began a comprehensive year-long system selection process that resulted in its installation of Maestro PMS’ sophisticated web browser version hotel software in a cloud hosted deployment.


- SHR Announces New CRS and CRO Product Features
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel distribution technologies, has unveiled five new features within their Windsurfer® CRS and Windsurfer® CRO Voice products.

- SHR Holds Inaugural Meeting of New Product Advisory Board
SHR, Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a pioneer of advanced hotel distribution technologies, held the first of a year-long series of meetings for its new client-centric Product Advisory Board.


- Mobile Key to Boosting Guest Experiences, Say Hoteliers
- INTELITY to Attend HITEC Minneapolis
- YOTEL Makes INTELITY a Brand Standard
- Events DC Helps Visitors Find Their Way with Volara-Powered Amazon Alexa

For more information on Guest Services for 04/26/2019


- Apple Core Hotels, Inc. Selects Cendyn to Power CRM Across Hotel Group
Apple Core Hotels, a New York City-based hotel ownership and management company, has selected Cendyn’s eInsight CRM across their portfolio of properties.


- Alexa Becomes Rosen Hotels & Resorts' Newest Meeting Planning Tool
Meeting planners can enable the Ask Rosen skill on their Amazon Echo device and then simply say, "Alexa, Ask Rosen..." to access all the information they need about Rosen's three award-winning Orlando convention hotels.

- Infor Completes Acquisition of ReServe Interactive
Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, today announced the completed acquisition of Efficient Frontiers, Inc., dba ReServe Interactive, a leading provider of cloud-based sales and catering, restaurant reservations, and floor management software.


- HFTP Partners with HotStats on the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices Database
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has announced a partnership with HotStats to manage the Global Hospitality Accounting Common Practices (GHACP) database. First released in Fall 2014 by HFTP, the new agreement will move the site hosting to HotStats with complimentary access to HFTP members.


- Cloud5 Communications Designs & Builds WiFi Network for the New TownePlace Suites by Marriott at Louisville Airport
The advanced HSIA network by Cloud5 ensures that the property provides the highest level of connectivity for guest satisfaction and meets Marriott’s latest Global Property Network Standards (GPNS) for Internet.

- Angie Hospitality Introduces New PassPoint™ Hotspot 2.0 Technology Powered by Global Reach Technology to Streamline and Simplify Guest Wi-Fi Connectivity
Angie Hospitality, developer of the industry's first 24-hour interactive guest room assistant purpose-built for the hotel environment, has announced the addition of PassPoint™ Hotspot 2.0 technology that leverages Global Reach Technology's Hotspot 2.0 guest Wi-Fi solution to its award-winning virtual assistant solution.


- Shift4 Payments Announces General Availability of New RESTful API
Shift4 Payments, the leader in secure payment processing solutions, today announced that their new RESTful application program interface (API) is available to their existing integration partners and for all new integrations.


- Quore is Showcasing Hospitality’s ‘Friendlier’ Housekeeping, Engineering, Work Order Automation and PM Solutions at AAHOACON
America's fastest-growing provider of workforce communication and engineering/housekeeping management technologies is showing why it’s considered to be “the friendlier solution” at AAHOACON.


- Quore is Driving Hotel Employee Engagement
Quore published a study, “The New Digital Workplace Divide,” showing that technology has a vast impact on workplace positivity and retention.


- Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen Benefits from Seamless Implementation of Signature RFID Door Locks and Superior Customer Service by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions
Altera Development's decision to adopt RFID-based door locks by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions is credited not only to the company's ability to provide the highest security technology standards, but also due to its reputation for leading the industry in customer service and support.

- dormakaba USA Inc Delivers Total Enterprise Solutions and Services for Architects, Designers and Developers
dormakaba USA Inc, leader in access control systems with the secure Saflok™ and Ilco™ electronic door locks, is presenting AAHOACON attendees this week with an exciting new suite of total enterprise hospitality solutions and services for architects, designers, developers and property managers.


- Hapi Announces Availability of "Hapi Connect" on Salesforce AppExchange, the World's Leading Enterprise Cloud Marketplace
Hapi, a transformative new data streaming, integration and enrichment platform designed to solve the hotel industry's rapidly expanding data management challenges, today announced that it has launched Hapi Connect on Salesforce AppExchange.


- HSMAI’s Curate Event Explores AI and Innovation
Hospitality industry senior executives from sales, marketing, and revenue management disciplines convened for Curate: An HSMAI Executive Insights Forum, on March 26, 2019 at Thompson Nashville in Nashville, Tenn.

- HFTP’s Third HITEC Europe Builds Momentum for Hospitality Technology Gathering
Hospitality industry professionals from across Europe and beyond, representing 34 countries, came together in Palma, Mallorca, Spain to explore the industry's best practices and latest innovations at HITEC Europe.


- New Research Shows 81 Percent of Consumers Want Experience Recommendations from Hotels
- Why IoT is the Smart Solution for the Hospitality Industry
- Are We Headed into the Teenage Years of Blockchain?
- The Benefits of Wireless Charging to Hotels and their Guests


For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 04/26/2019


And now for you-know-what …  

A world famous movie star is sitting in a hotel lobby, planning his motivational speech to a group of businessmen, when a man walks up to him.

"Excuse me, sir, I don't want to bother you, but my name is Steve, and I'm here with an extremely important client tonight. We're going to see your speech, and it would be a great help to me if, when we walk by, you could impress him by saying, 'Hello, Steve'."

The movie star readily agrees, and fifteen minutes later, the man walks by, deep in conversation with his client.

The star comes up and says, "Hello, Steve."

Steve replies, "Not now! I'm in a meeting," and keeps walking.

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