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Siegel Sez

May 07, 2021

Siegel Sez

If you haven’t seen the HU High Five with Keryn McNamara the VP of Hotel Technology for the 1,500 hotels at Aimbridge Hospitality, I am going to strongly encourage that you watch it. In the first few minutes you will see the best one-word answer ever to one of my offbeat interview questions. I promise you will laugh. Keryn shared many of the Aimbridge initiatives as we now start to see the pandemic move to our rearview mirror. She also shared her thoughts as to why there are so few women in key technology roles in the industry, and if things will ever change. To watch the High Five with Keryn, please click here. If you are like most who are curious about changes in the industry you will watch the whole nine minutes.
I thought I was knowledgeable as to what changes are happening in the hotel room when it comes to technology, especially how and what we watch on the television. Then I read Doug Rice’s Definitely Doug column and realized how much I don’t know. We are grateful to Doug for sharing his wisdom with us each week and for those vendors who helped him with this column. It is an eye-opening read.
A handful of top industry consultants including Doug will be joining us in Nashville for Hospitality Upgrade’s 16th annual Executive Vendor Summit. Along with the consultants, there will be six hotel CIOs joining us for an incredibly unique session where everyone will be actively engaged as we discuss the state of the industry. The session format will be very creative. As of today, there are more than 50 technology companies expected and with 10 days to go for registration we expect that number to grow. The conversations with those attending is a true adrenaline rush. The eagerness to travel, to be with peers and interact face to face is beyond belief. No matter what role you have in the industry, hospitality is a people business and the people in this industry are what makes it what we all love. June 9th will be here before you know it. We are sending a big thank you to the Loews Vanderbilt in Nashville for going above and beyond in accommodating with what we are trying to accomplish this year! If you are a technology vendor for the hotel industry and you might want to join us in Nashville, please email kim@hospitalityupgrade.com today.
Here now is Definitely Doug and his look at the changes and challenges in the hotel room today. I will see you at the end with a very different ending. Whoever thought we would close Siegel Sez with a mainstream commercial that is not about hotels, but all about the end of the pandemic? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

Definitely Doug

Over the Top

Not too many sectors of hospitality technology are as much in flux as guest room entertainment. Conventional wisdom of just a few years ago is rapidly changing and will likely continue to do so. Many experts in the space hold zealous but contradictory opinions on which approaches to Over-the-Top (OTT, or streaming) content will dominate in years to come. Many of them will be wrong; a few of them might be right.

For hotels, this means risk. Many hotels need solutions now, but any decisions they make today will likely turn out to be partially or significantly wrong within just a few years. In the current environment, a reasonable payback period for an in-room entertainment (IRE) investment is perhaps as short as two years. My own crystal ball is very hazy; there are forces driving the streaming industry in different directions and no one really knows which ones will prevail. Studios, distributors, streaming networks, consumer and hospitality TV providers, mobile device manufacturers and consumers all have their own agendas, and many of these are mutually incompatible.

OTT content matters. A recent Hub Entertainment study commissioned by HTNG surveyed 1,200 U.S. consumers last fall and found that 18% watched only traditional (linear) content, 18% watched only OTT (streaming) content, and 64% watched both. Another study by Enseo comparing their own hotel installations from summer 2019 to summer 2020 showed a 49% increase in hours watched per hotel room night, but that whereas traditional TV was up 19% to 35% (depending on market segment), streaming was up 68% to 84%. Other IRE providers spoke of similar changes. Hotels that ignore this shift toward OTT do so at their peril.

OTT has been welcomed by many hotels because unlike traditional sources of entertainment, the content is generally cost-free to them as guests bring their own subscriptions from home. Many hotels, especially in some parts of the world, have dropped expensive interactive TV services and all or most premium channels, and now offer only a few linear channels and streaming. However, there is serious debate as to whether the current streaming economic model is sustainable for content providers. It would not surprise me to see streaming content providers find a way to charge hotels in the future, so this is a risk to bear in mind when signing contracts with IRE providers.

Today’s column will try to frame some of the issues around OTT content so that hotels can ask the right questions. As usual, I will not recommend any specific solution, both because there is no ‘one size fits all’ product on the market, and because of the uncertainty around the future consumer and technology trends and business strategies of key players. To be sure, there are dozens of options available in different markets around the world, most of using approaches similar to those discussed here. However, for this article I spoke with some of smartest technology leaders in the hotel IRE field, including senior product executives from EnseoHotel Internet Services (BeyondTV), InnSpire, Nevaya, Nonius, and Sonifi. All generously shared sharing their thoughts, identifying the questions that they think you should ask, and why.

Click here to read more of Doug’s column on Over the Top


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/
Over the Top


- Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Harold Dibler Honored for Excellence in Technology Leadership
Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Vice President of Technology Management, Harold Dibler, has been recognized for his excellence in technology leadership by ORBIE Awards with the CIO of the year accolade.

- CEO Tammy Gillis Named Finalist for Women in Sales Award
Gillis, a consulting, training and sales performance partner organization for hoteliers, announced today that its CEO and founder, Tammy Gillis, was selected as a finalist in the Women in Sales Awards “Professional Services Sales” category.


- RBH Hospitality Management Selects StayNTouch’s Guest-Centric PMS for their 4 Fragrance Group Properties
RBH Hospitality Management, a UK based hospitality management company which manages over 45 properties across the UK, has selected StayNTouch Cloud PMS and Contactless Solutions for their four Fragrance Group properties totaling over 400 rooms.

- What Hoteliers Want from Their PMS in 2021; Top Features Requested by Hoteliers as They Prepare for Reopening
Independent hotel and resort group operators are demanding more choice, more flexibility, more functionality, and more support as they prepare for industrywide resurgence.

- Three Forks Ranch Selects Suite of Agilysys Property Management, Point of Sale, Spa & Inventory Management Solutions
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that Three Forks Ranch has selected Agilysys Cloud-Native SaaS solutions for its premier wellness destination resort on the Colorado/Wyoming border including Agilysys Stay PMS, Agilysys Spa for spa management, Agilysys Seat for venue reservations, Agilysys InfoGenesis POS and Agilysys Eatec for inventory and procurement management.


- Travel Outlook Selected as Preferred Call Center Partner for Curator Hotel & Resort Collection
Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center announced today that it has been selected as the preferred provider of reservation and guest service calls for Curator Hotel & Resort Collection’s (“Curator”) growing roster of member hotels. Through this partnership, Curator hotels can leverage Travel Outlook’s high-performing call booking services while also reducing their costs during this highly competitive period for the hospitality industry.


- Our Town Hospitality Partners with IDeaS for Greater Profitability, Efficiency and Agility
IDeaS, a SAS company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced its new partnership with Our Town Hospitality, beginning with the implementation of IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) at two of the hotel group’s independent properties.


- Aemilia Hotel Deploys BeyondTV GuestCast to Cater to Latest Demands in Contactless Guestroom Entertainment
BeyondTV (BTV), a full-service provider of guestroom entertainment services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful implementation of its BeyondTV GuestCast streaming solution at the Aemilia Hotel in Bologna, Italy.

- Nonius TV, Voice, Internet, Mobile, Marketing and Cast solutions are Now Available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace
Nonius, a leading provider of Guest Technology Solutions and a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork(OPN), announced that its Nonius TV, Voice, Internet, Mobile, Cast and Marketing solutions are now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace offering added value to Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud customers.


- How a Hospitality CRM Vendor Helped Fight Unemployment Benefits Fraud
Clairvoyix Marketing Database leveraged by the State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR)

- Introducing Pre-Made Social Media Posts for Hotels & Restaurants
The Pipeline team is excited to offer a new product to hospitality professionals—Social Media Post Packs: Ready-made posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or wherever you share posts!


- April Group Data Shows U.S. Meetings and Events Volume Increased 58.5 Percent over March 2021
Knowland, a leader in AI-powered data for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, today released its monthly meetings and events data for April. The numbers reveal that April U.S. group meetings volume increased 58.5 percent over last month.

- Nemacolin Selects Knowland to Expand Lead Volume and Increase Meetings and Events Revenue
Knowland, an innovator of AI-powered group data analytics for hospitality, announced that Nemacolin has selected Knowland to give its sales team the leverage it needs to be more proactive and productive in uncovering meetings and events business through recovery.


- ProfitSword Demonstrates the Cost Savings of Business Intelligence for Hotels With Newly Published White Paper
ProfitSword, a premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, has announced the publishing of a white paper focusing on how hoteliers can save themselves from thousands of dollars in operational expenses when deploying an advanced business intelligence platform.

- Arbor Lodging Management is Emerging Strong from Pandemic with Aptech Financial Solutions
Prior to the 2020 pandemic, Arbor Lodging Management made a critical financial decision; the hotel management group operating Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotel Group brands partnered with Aptech, an industry standard for hospitality financial management.


- LEVL Releases Device Intelligence Platform for Hospitality Network Industry
LEVL Technologies, Inc. today released its LEVL-IQ™ device intelligence and identity platform, which resolves issues caused by MAC address randomization which poses challenges to the hospitality network industry, while offering intelligence and insights on all devices in the network.

- Lancemore Crossley St. Hotel Partners with Liveport to Meet Guest Expectations for High-Speed Wi-Fi
Liveport, a leading provider of internet services and IoT-based technology, has today announced its successful deployment of a high-speed internet network at Lancemore Crossley St. Hotel in Melbourne, Australia.


- Hotel Buffets Are Out. Here’s What’s In.
Hotel food and beverage operations have radically changed in the wake of the pandemic. From breakfast buffets to banquet dinners, service has drastically altered to keep guests safe and as stopgap against weaker demand. Several of the adjustments made due to immediate needs are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, according to some F&B authorities.


- Hotel Effectiveness Growth Outpaces Hotel Industry Recovery
The leisure travel season is heating up, and hotels are building back to full capacity. Hotel Effectiveness is rising to the challenge by helping more than 5,000 hotels return to profitability through labor optimization.


- When It Comes to Employee Safety, ‘Don’t Wait’ to React
Finding help is not as easy as it used to be. Those struggling to get people back to work must do everything possible to ensure that the right security measures and safety technologies are in place to protect everyone against threats of violence and sexual harassment.


- LG Green Underscore COVID-19 Impact On Hawaii Hotel Jobs; Cleanliness Protocols Ahead of Summer Travel
With projections showing Hawaii is expected to be in the top five states with the highest number of hotel job losses for 2021, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) president and CEO, Chip Rogers and Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green joined today to underscore efforts to bring hotel employees back as hotels prepare for summer travel.


- Hotel Tech Report Launches the 2021 HotelTechIndex™ Market Leaders Report to Help Hotels Identify Top Technology Solutions in the Recovery
Hotel Tech Report released the 2021 HotelTechIndex™: Hotel Software Market Leaders Report, the most comprehensive view of technology solutions aiding hotel businesses in the industry recovery.

- New Data: State-By-State Breakdown On Projected Hotel Industry Job Loss For 2021
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new data showcasing the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 on hotel industry employment, including projected hotel job loss through the end of 2021. Without targeted relief from Congress, nationwide, hotels are expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs. Hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid.

- Zoox Smart Data Experiences Impressive Uptick in Online Traffic Connections During Q1, 2021
Following a successful Holiday Season of record online traffic connections despite the pandemic’s impact on global travel, Zoox Smart Data (“Zoox”), has published its first set of traffic analytics for 2021.


- The First "Crypto Hotel" Presented by Hotel Manager Johannes Fritz Groebler
- Vaccine Passports: World’s 20 Biggest Economies Give Go-Ahead
- Why Fake Travel Sites Are Fooling More People
- Hotels, Retail, Restaurants: In Pandemic, Industries Worry about Finding Summer Workers

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 5/7/2021


And now for a very different you-know-what.…

For When It’s Time

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