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Siegel Sez

April 27, 2018

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

It is the last Friday in April which means next weekend is the first Saturday in May. For those of us fascinated by the horse world that means it is also the Kentucky Derby. I have no idea who will win this year, but it is fun trying to figure it out. Those of you reading this who also love horses (there are quite a few of you I have talked to over the years), let me know your thoughts. It is truly the most exciting sporting event in the world and the best part is that anybody can attend. But good luck trying to find a hotel room in Louisville for that weekend. I haven’t been in many years, but I will make it back. Who knows, maybe with a horse in the Kentucky Derby? Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he? The last Friday in April also means that May is upon us and this is the home stretch for HITEC planning. Last year Toronto, this year Houston – two cities that I enjoy visiting but are very different especially weatherwise. Hopefully the week will not be sweltering in Houston. At Hospitality Upgrade the list of parties we are invited to continues to grow. If you are a vendor and want to maximize your exposure at HITEC please contact Anne Boon at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. We are doing a lot of creative things for our advertising partners this year, and don’t forget as the exclusive affiliated technology publication of HITEC, we will be distributed to all the HITEC attendees when they register. The educational program at HITEC this year seems awesome. I worry that they entrusted me with a Super Session focused on how much technology is too much technology in the guestroom. We have asked three CIOs from a range of hotel companies to share their thoughts and I also will have one surprise guest who hasn’t confirmed so I am not naming names. Of course, you could check out who is participating simply by going to www.hitec.org if you need to know right now. There is so much change happening in the industry and it is intriguing that many of the startups we were exposed to over the last couple of years are now becoming real solutions that have gained acceptance. Hard work, a good product and a fair amount of backing from the money people is always a great formula for success. On the larger scale there are going to be a slew of surprising announcements that will be timed for just before HITEC and will create a great deal of industry buzz. For many years we have been doing the HITEC dance, but it does work. We will keep you informed in Hospitality Upgrade, on www.hospitalityupgrade.com and via our Watercooler e-newsletter. Do people today even know that in offices all the important stuff was always discussed at the watercooler? Yes, the homestretch for HITEC has started and a week from Saturday the homestretch in Louisville will be the place to be. Don’t be surprised if Mendelssohn is there all by himself!
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology news for the hotel industry along with the thoughts of consultant Ron Hardin to start you off. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. See you in Houston!



by: Ron Hardin

With apologies to Louis, the oily prefect of police in the classic film “Casablanca,” I’m shocked to hear that data trafficking is going on at Facebook. As many pundits have pointed out, if someone offers you a free product, then YOU are the product. And, just as Louis collected his gambling winnings immediately after expressing his righteous indignation, the public and the markets cast their lots on Facebook post scandal; Reuters just reported this week that Facebook shares were up after reporting “surprisingly strong” growth in earnings and an increase in users. Uber was also back in the news this week, announcing that it was restructuring its “bug-bounty” program to more clearly define what (and what isn’t) a “good-faith vulnerability researcher.” This comes in the wake of organizational changes related to a settlement agreement with the FTC following last year’s revelation of a massive 2016 data breach that Uber covered up for a year while it used its bug-bounty program to pay off the hacker to delete the stolen data and keep quiet about it. But based on my experience traveling about the country, Uber is just as popular as ever. Data breaches happen. The media trumpets the news. Commentators bemoan the state of affairs. Consumers, by and large, move on in blissful ignorance. Want more proof? Based on the results of a recent survey by creditcards.com, 50 percent of Americans have not checked their credit report since the 2017 Equifax breach exposed the personal details of 146 million citizens. More sad statistics from that survey: 27 percent of respondents aged 18-37 have never checked their credit report or credit scores, and 20 percent of all respondents have heard little or nothing about the Equifax breach, including 46 percent of those age 18-37. I’ve reported in the recent past that the number of publicized hotel data breaches seems to be trending downward as more operators implement tokenization and point-to-point encryption technologies for their payment applications. Restaurant chains like Jason’s Deli need to follow suit as their poorly-secured POS platforms are high on the hacker’s target list these days. But for all the pain, cost and embarrassment suffered by compromised organizations, consumers don’t seem inclined to punish businesses by changing their buying habits. It should be no surprise, then, that some hotel owners have done the risk analysis and determined that it is less expensive to pay for cyber-risk insurance and the out-of-pocket costs associated with a breach than it is to layer in all the necessary security products, processes and procedures to be truly secure and compliant with requirements like PCI Data Security Standards. This is all the more reason for all hospitality and retail establishments to push forward with the relatively cost-effective deployment of tokenized and encrypted payment solutions to get the sensitive data out of their systems and networks. This approach can greatly reduce the scope and cost of security and compliance, avoid the Faustian bargain of “pay me now or pay me later,” and keep hospitality brands out of the data breach news.
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting

Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade


- TripAdvisor Acquires Bokun To Bring Experiences Sector Further Online
- Mitel Enters into Definitive Arrangement Agreement to be Acquired by Affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners for $2.0 Billion
TripAdvisor Acquires Bokun To Bring Experiences Sector Further Online
TripAdvisor® announced it acquired Bokun, a leading provider of business management technology for the tours, attractions and experiences industry. With the acquisition, TripAdvisor expands its offering, now providing suppliers with technical solutions in addition to the sector's largest distribution channel. Based in Iceland, Bokun is a business management software created specifically for tours, attractions and experiences suppliers; it acts as a booking engine, an inventory channel manager, a price management tool and more. Founded in 2012, Bokun grew quickly to help Icelandic suppliers capitalize on the country's booming tourism industry. Bokun's customer base is global, ranging from local suppliers to Fortune 500 companies.
https://www.tripadvisor.com, http://www.bokun.io
Mitel Enters into Definitive Arrangement Agreement to be Acquired by Affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners for $2.0 Billion
Mitel® (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW), a global leader in business communications, announced that it has signed a definitive arrangement agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (Searchlight) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.0 billion, including Mitel’s net debt. Under the terms of the agreement, to be completed pursuant to a plan of arrangement, upon completion, Mitel shareholders will receive $11.15 per common share in cash. This exceeds Mitel’s 52-week and last three-year-high price and represents a premium of approximately 24 percent to the 90-calendar-day volume-weighted average price of Mitel common shares through April 23, 2018. Upon completion of the transaction, Mitel will become a privately held company, which is expected to provide the company with additional flexibility to accelerate its move-to-the-cloud strategy.
http://www.mitel.com, http://www.searchlightcap.com  


- SHR Names Chief Product Evangelist and Director of Product Management
- Aqua-Aston Hospitality Appoints Chris Port as New Chief Development Officer
- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Adds Tiffany Cooper, Senior Vice President and Dan Thorman, Vice President to Growing Development Team for the Americas
- Sunway Hotels & Resorts Appoints Andre Scholl as Chief Executive Officer

For more information on People on the Move for 04/27/18


- Guests Take Mobile Control of Their Journey with Maestro PMS Pre Check-In, Privacy Options and Amenity Requests
- StayNTouch Partners with 3C Payment to Expand Payment Options for Hotels Using Rover PMS™
Guests Take Mobile Control of Their Journey with Maestro PMS Pre Check-In, Privacy Options and Amenity Requests
Mobile convenience is an essential and expected part of the guest journey. Maestro PMS property software offers operators and guests a complete variety of mobile guest services that begin with pre-registration, pre-arrival amenity requests, mobile check-in and in-house service requests. Maestro’s proprietary WebPRO module provides online pre-registration via mobile, tablet and desktop. This speeds up onsite check-in and provides pre-arrival information to hotel staff. WebPRO also communicates valuable upsell opportunities. WebPRO is an integrated extension of Maestro that includes a pre-arrival dashboard for staff that displays all pre-registered guests for express check-in with real-time guest status updates.
StayNTouch Partners with 3C Payment to Expand Payment Options for Hotels Using Rover PMS™
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and property management systems (PMS) for hotels, announced it has partnered with the 3C Payment, a leading integrated global payments solutions company that specializes in point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solutions and EMV tokenized transaction flows. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward-thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, First Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.


- New SiteMinder Study: Google, TripAdvisor and Brand.com Equally Important to Driving Direct Hotel Bookings
- Bookings Rise for Peru’s Most Influential Hotel Chain Following SiteMinder Deal
- North American Hoteliers Spring into Second Quarter of 2018 with Continued Growth
- M Hotel Downtown by Millennium Dubai Endorses RateTiger for Online Distribution

For more information on Reservations for 04/27/18


- Rainmaker Closes Record-breaking Q1 with Largest Sales Quarter in Company History
- Rainmaker Expands Business Operations in the Middle East and Africa by Adding Hicham Diab to Dubai Office
- Frasers Hospitality Partners With Duetto to Bring Revenue Strategy to Serviced Residences

For more information on Revenue Management for 04/27/18


- Intelity Solutions Helping Hotels Achieve Higher AAA Diamond Ratings
- Art Ovation Hotel Elevates its Gallery Experience with Intelity
- Ayana Resort and Spa Selects TeleMatrix Phones

For more information on Guest Services for 04/27/18


- Washington Court Selects KEYPR as Exclusive Guest Experience Technology Partner
Washington Court Selects KEYPR as Exclusive Guest Experience Technology Partner
KEYPR®, the technology company whose enterprise cloud platform is a leader in guest experience and hospitality management, announced that its system has been fully deployed at the iconic Washington Court Hotel located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Guests staying at Washington Court now have access to a custom mobile app, digital key and in-room tablets while staff can manage requests and internal operations via KEYPR’s robust Guest Experience Management System (GEMS®). Entirely customizable to each guest’s needs, KEYPR’s platform makes it easy to seamlessly request hotel services like dry cleaning pickup, valet and in-room dining.


- MDM Hotel Group Adds Aptech’s Execuvue® Business Intelligence System to its Suite of Financial Tools
- ProfitSword Experiences Unprecedented Growth in First Quarter of 2018
- Luxury California Hotel Group Selects ALICE to Standardize Operations And Communication Across Seven Properties

For more information on Back Office for 04/27/18


- PAR Technology Announces New Delivery API Integration with Checkmate and Brink POS® Software  
- Harbour Hotels Completes the First Implementation of Its New Point-of-sale System from Xn protel
PAR Technology Announces New Delivery API Integration with Checkmate and Brink POS® Software  
ParTech, Inc. (PAR), a leading global provider of point-of-sale (POS) and workforce efficiency solutions to the restaurant and retail industries, announced a new partnership with Checkmate, a new solution that allows automatic entry of all third-party delivery orders directly to restaurant point-of-sale systems. ParTech, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR). The technology partnership will allow PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® Software to seamlessly connect with Checkmate, which integrates various online ordering platforms such as GrubHub, Eat24, UberEats, Delivery.com, Brandibble, and many others.
https://www.partech.com, http://www.itsacheckmate.com/
Harbour Hotels Completes the First Implementation of Its New Point-of-sale System from Xn protel
Global hospitality management software company Xn protel Systems has announced that the stunning Southampton Harbour Hotel in the United Kingdom has successfully piloted its point-of-sale system, xnPOS. The implementation included both traditional terminals and mobile devices across the hotel’s extensive F&B operation, giving staff the right tools to deliver service wherever it is needed. The xnPOS implementation also included interfaces to the Oracle Hospitality OPERA property management system and Procure Wizard’s enterprise stock and procurement solution.


- InvoTech Systems Inc. Completes Project to Upgrade the Uniform System at Trump International Hotel Waikiki
InvoTech Systems Inc. Completes Project to Upgrade the Uniform System at Trump International Hotel Waikiki
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent upgrade of its uniform system at Trump International Hotel Waikiki. 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 Trump International Hotel Waikiki manages the uniform inventory for 500 employees, and the property joins InvoTech’s extensive client portfolio of RFID Uniform systems worldwide, including its other Trump properties the Trump Chicago, Las Vegas, National Doral Miami, Washington D.C., Baku, Adelaide Hotel Toronto and The Dominick.


- Top Three "Best U.S. Hotels in 2018" Rely on dormakaba USA Inc Electronic Locks
Top Three "Best U.S. Hotels in 2018" Rely on dormakaba USA Inc Electronic Locks
dormakaba USA Inc, the provider of Saflok™ and Ilco™ electronic locks, congratulated its clients in the U.S. News & World Report 2018 "Best Hotels" list. The top three hotels in the publication’s U.S. ranking are the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Peninsula Chicago and The Langham, Chicago. All three use dormakaba USA Inc electronic locks for reliable, secure guestroom access. Half of the top 20 properties on U.S. News & World Report’s global "Best Hotels" ranking for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe are dormakaba USA Inc clients. U.S. News & World Report scored luxury hotels (four-star and higher) using a methodology that combines each hotel’s industry awards with expert and guest reviews.


- HFTP Announces 2018 CHTP of the Year Recipient
- HSMAI’s Inaugural “Curate” Digs into Critical Issues in Hospitality
HFTP Announces 2018 CHTP of the Year Recipient
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), will honor Sean Van Dyke, CHTP as the 2018 Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) of the Year at HITEC Houston this June. The CHTP of the Year award honors the individual that scored the highest on the CHTP certification exam within a given year. HITEC Houston, HFTP’s second and largest HITEC of 2018, will take place from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Van Dyke works as a director of IT at St. Julien Hotel & Spa, a luxury four star/diamond spot located in Boulder, Col.
HSMAI’s Inaugural “Curate” Digs into Critical Issues in Hospitality
Hospitality industry senior executives from sales, marketing and revenue management disciplines convened for the first-ever Americas-region Curate: An HSMAI Executive Insights Forum, on April 18 and 19 at Terranea Resort in Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif. The event, exclusive to companies that are Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) organizational members, generated thought-provoking conversations on issues of interest and relevance to all hospitality industry professionals. Curate is a keystone benefit of HSMAI organizational membership. HSMAI introduced its organizational membership category Nov. 2017.


- dormakaba Arrives at HD Expo With A Full Suite of Property Entrance and Opening Systems and Electronic Locks
- Hospitality Experts Gather for HFTP’s Second European HITEC
- HFTP Accepting Applications for Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Houston
- HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA Announces Launch of New Conference for 2018

For more information on Hospitality Events for 04/27/18


- As Cyber Risk Escalates, the C-Suite Must Take Action
- It’s Time to Swap “User” for the More Personal “Consumer”
- An American Airlines Passenger Was Stuck Next to a 'Screaming and Kicking' Toddler. His Stunning Reaction Went Viral
- Delivery boom is changing everything about the restaurant business
- Emaar says it will no longer have check-in at hotels
- Are "smart hotels" a danger to privacy?
- Alexa for Business can now make phone calls in hotel rooms

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 04/27/18


And now for you-know-what…
A man and his wife were in divorce court, but the custody of their children posed a problem.
The mother leaped to her feet and protested to the judge that since she brought the children into this world, she should retain custody of them.
The man also wanted custody of his children, so the judge asked for his justification.
After a long silence, the man slowly rose from his chair and replied, "Your Honor, when I put a dollar in a vending machine and a Coke comes out, does the Coke belong to me or the machine?"

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