Siegel Sez

May 11, 2018

Siegel Sez


by: Rich Siegel

I always wonder if I am a hotel guy or a tech guy. I started my career in hotels before tech got me and kept me. Today we look at what is available, wonder what is coming and question when those legacy systems will be put to bed. Successful hoteliers today must focus on the next wave of technology and how it will affect their businesses. Yes, we all want to know what is next. I bring this up because if you haven’t heard, the big news in Las Vegas is the very powerful Culinary Union will have a strike vote on May 22. If the majority vote yes then the union can call a strike any time after June 1. Culinary Union members include just about all kitchen employees, cocktail and food servers, housekeepers and others that work at 34 hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown. Labor issues are not new, but what I found intriguing is the union wants to protect its workers and make sure they have job security because of the advances made in technology. They don’t want their jobs outsourced to robots. Of course, those of us in the technology space have seen robots delivering food, potentially cleaning rooms and doing other things around the hotel. Now if you are the hotel operator, what do you do? Ignore technology that can save them money and invest in their people or say the world is changing and job security can’t be protected with the advances in technology and deal with the first strike in Las Vegas of this magnitude since 1984. There was a quote I read from a union pantry worker who said, “Technology can be assistive in the workplace, but workers should have a voice in that and additional job training, The company needs to invest in human capital and treat us with dignity.”
It will be interesting to see what happens after June 1.
 
Technology is causing change in many industries and if you are in the hotel industry, the one place to see all the technology that is available is at HITEC (http://www.hitec.org) next month in Houston. If you have never attended, you should even if you are not a technology person. Technology touches us all, just check out what is on your smart phone. Of course, if you don’t have a smart phone then maybe you can miss HITEC. They have great sessions this year including the one I am doing that asks how much technology in the room is too much. If you’d like to hear more, mark Wednesday morning (June 20 at 8:30) on your calendar. If you want to attend HITEC and just see the exhibits, I know quite a few vendors that are offering passes; let me know and I will direct you. Houston in June, who could ask for anything more. The invites to parties are coming in pretty quickly, it’s always fun for us at Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online to attend them, take pictures and then share them with our readers. Thirty-nine more days – I can’t wait. Hopefully we will see you there.
 
Here now is the real reason we are here, the latest technology happenings in the industry with an intro by the always opinionated consultant Ron Hardin. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what… it was not politically motivated, just a funny joke.


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Introduction


by: Ron Hardin

It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your IP addresses are? Probably in the pool. Specifically, a DHCP pool, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  You’ve probably heard of the “Internet of Things,” or IoT – a term that makes many techie people cringe because we’ve always had “things” on our networks. But it is a handy term for the explosion of new and different things that can be monitored and managed over a network, from toilets to thermostats to light bulbs to refrigerators. If you logged into your home wireless router – you know, that thing on which you were recently supposed to update the passwords because those pesky Russians have been hacking into our home networks – anyway, if you logged into that device you’d probably be amazed at the number of wireless devices connected to it. And the device count goes up exponentially in businesses and places we gather, like hotels. The IoT movement in hotels actually goes back to when we started using IP phones and IP TVs. The key term here is “IP”; it stands for internet protocol, the network language used by the internet and most of our internal networks, also known as TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol). TCP and IP are part of a much larger suite of internet protocols that include DHCP, DNS, FTP, HTTP, SSH, SIP and a whole alphabet soup of others. But I digress; back to those pesky IP addresses. Every device on an IP network must have a numerical IP address to work. There are “public” IP addresses that work over the internet and “private” IP addresses that are used on our internal networks for the gazillions of devices that don’t need a direct, public connection to the internet. There are two basic ways for devices to get an IP address – either a permanent “static” address is assigned to the device, or the device can request a temporary “dynamic” address from the network. The network service that assigns dynamic IP addresses is DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol), and the DHCP pool is the block of addresses reserved to be handed out dynamically to devices. Recalling that every device MUST have an IP address to work, you start to understand how critically vital DHCP is to the operation of our networks and most of the “things” in this ever-growing internet of things. Unfortunately, it is the Rodney Dangerfield of network services; it gets no respect and, as a result, it is often less robust than it needs to be. In many hotels with up-to-date technology, chances are that all admin user computers, all telephones, all TVs, all guest devices, all IoT devices – ALL this stuff – is dependent on getting an IP address from a DHCP server. The good news is that there are usually multiple DHCP servers for these different systems. The bad news is that they are also usually not redundant, so if they have a problem, you lose an entire system. I learned that lesson with the first IP PBX I installed many years ago. The IP phones got their IP addresses from the same DHCP server as the admin office computers. Two years down the road, it was time to replace the network DHCP server, and the IT support folks didn’t know anything about the phone system. They put our standard DHCP setup on the new server, and a couple of hours later all the phones started going down. Just recently, I had a client hotel lose all IP phone and guest Wi-Fi functionality due to a DHCP issue because the guest network and phone system shared the same DHCP server. Fortunately, the hotel was not open yet, and the issue was quickly resolved. Just to reinforce the concept, at the same hotel all the TVs went down the next day when the TV system vendor made a configuration change that knocked out DHCP. The takeaway is that DHCP is the secret sauce that allows us to easily deploy devices onto our networks and to provide network services for mobile “occasionally connected” devices for both guests and employees. Given the critical nature of this service, it needs to be more bulletproof. Ask your vendors and IT folks if their DHCP services are set up to be redundant and highly available. Otherwise, be prepared to learn the true meaning of another techie term: single point of failure.
 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech
**


Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade



MERGERS and ACQUISITIONS



- AccorHotels Acquires Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
- Secure Technology Provider Acquires U.K. Digital Signage Company
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AccorHotels Acquires Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
AccorHotels has announced that it has signed an agreement with Mövenpick Holding and Kingdom Holding to acquire Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, for a cash amount of CHF560 million (€482 million). The transaction implies a 14.9X 2019e EBITDA multiple before synergies (including transaction costs), and less than 10X pro forma 2019e EBITDA after run rate synergies and committed development pipeline. The transaction will have an accretive impact on group earnings from the first year. Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels (more than 20,000 rooms), with a particularly strong presence in Europe and the Middle East. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts also plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021, representing almost 11,000 rooms, with significant expansion in Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
https://www.accorhotels.com/, https://www.movenpick.com
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Secure Technology Provider Acquires U.K. Digital Signage Company
Uniguest, a cybersecurity technology specialist in the secure operating system space with a customer-centric approach focused on hospitality, office retail and community living, announced the acquisition of ONELAN, a U.K.-based digital signage and visual communications company. After making several acquisitions in the secure kiosk market space in 2015 and 2016, Nashville-based Uniguest announced its latest acquisition of ONELAN. ONELAN's digital signage and visual communications solutions are a natural extension to Uniguest's current portfolio of products. The combined solutions will assist Uniguest customers in driving guest, shopper and resident engagement in the hospitality, office retail and community living industries respectively.
http://www.uniguest.com
**



PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- AHLA Names Rosanna Maietta President of Foundation
- Aqua-Aston Hospitality Appoints Chris Port as New Chief Development Officer
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Ryan Walker and Kathryn Barrett to Executive Positions
- Extended Stay America Appoints Brian T. Nicholson as Chief Financial Officer
- Hilton Names Martin Rinck as Global Head of Luxury and Lifestyle Group
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts Names Fernando Salazar Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage
- Omni Hotels & Resorts Appoints Cara Banasch as Vice President of Sales
- Playa Hotels & Resorts Promotes Howard Tanenbaum to Senior Vice President of Sales
- Salamander Hotels & Resorts Appoints Tracey Slavonia as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
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For more information on People on the Move for 5/11/18

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Maestro PMS Encourages Sustainable Processes with Mobile Check-In and Check-Out
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Maestro PMS Encourages Sustainable Processes with Mobile Check-In and Check-Out
With 40 years of established practices bringing the latest property software technology to the independent hospitality space, Maestro PMS has been a leader the paperless movement for the last 10 years, providing technology solutions that support sustainable hospitality practices. Maestro’s most recent property software innovations reduce paper use and simplify the guest journey. Maestro’s Mobile Check-Out capability streamlines property operations and eliminates the need for paper folios or visiting the front desk.
http://www.maestropms.com/
**



RESERVATIONS



- New Research Shows Consumers Spend $5.2 Billion Annually in Fraudulent and Misleading Hotel Booking Transactions
- South Africa’s Top Low-cost Airline to Grow Travel Packages with SiteMinder
- TravelClick Announces New Partnership with SEH United Hoteliers
- Hotel OTTO Berlin Recommends RateTiger for Channel Connectivity
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For more information on Reservations for 5/11/18

REVENUE MANAGEMENT



- HSMAI Names 2018 Revenue Management Professionals of the Year and Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Honoree
- IDeaS Expands Partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts to More Than 100 Properties
- Hotel ICON Turns to IDeaS for Best-practice Revenue Management Capabilities
- Duetto, Mews Systems Announce Technology Partnership
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For more information on Revenue Management for 5/11/18

GUEST SERVICES



- Small Inn is Big on Guest Engagement with Intelity
- The Berkeley Shore Hotel Partners with MCOMS
- Cachet Boutique NYC Enhances Guest Connectivity and Marketing Efforts with BeyondTV by Hotel Internet Services
- TTI Technologies and DESKO Partner to Make Hotel Check-in Easier Than Ever
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For more information on Guest Services for 5/11/18

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Cendyn Nominated for Two World Travel Awards 2018 Across Three Regions
- Two Roads Hospitality Selects Inntopia for Companywide CRM Platform
- Lodging Interactive Launches Real-time Reputation Management
- Milestone Partners With Yelp to Launch New Client Offering
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For more information on Marketing/Management for 5/11/18

BACK OFFICE



- Chartres Lodging Group and Kokua Hospitality Select Aptech for Business Intelligence, Budgeting/Forecasting, Enterprise Accounting
- RCI® Transforms Social Media Monitoring with TravelVUE℠
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Chartres Lodging Group and Kokua Hospitality Select Aptech for Business Intelligence, Budgeting/Forecasting, Enterprise Accounting
Aptech Computer Systems announced Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, and Kokua Hospitality, LLC, have selected Aptech’s suite of financial solutions – Execuvue Hospitality Business Intelligence, Targetvue and PVNG – to streamline the companies’ data collection, analysis, forecasting and reporting processes. Chartres Lodging Group, an investment and advisory company focused on the investment, asset management and development of high-quality lodging assets, works in tandem with Kokua Hospitality, an independent hotel management company with a portfolio of independent and branded hotels throughout the mainland United States and Hawaii. The two San Francisco-based companies are pleased to join forces with Aptech, a leading provider of hospitality business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise accounting hotel software systems.
http://www.aptech-inc.com/
**
RCI® Transforms Social Media Monitoring with TravelVUE℠  
RCI, a worldwide leader in vacation exchange, and CustomerCount®, an enterprise customer feedback solution for the vacation hospitality industry, recently announced the launch of TravelVUE, a multifaceted social-analytics and support system that monitors brand sentiment, gathers real-time brand conversations and provides insight for social media and marketing teams. Through aggregated reports, TravelVUE can help travel professionals make critical decisions related to the performance of digital and social advertising, audience engagement with content, reputation management and the delivery of social customer service. Built on the success of RCI’s award-winning Timeshare Online Listening Center® (TOLC), the new service monitors both the individual resorts and overall brand. www.customercount.com, https://www.rci.com/
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DATA SECURITY AND CYBER ATTACKS



- Terra Verde and SkyTouch Technology Team Up to Bring Cybersecurity and Compliance Platform to the Hospitality Industry  
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Terra Verde and SkyTouch Technology Team Up to Bring Cybersecurity and Compliance Platform to the Hospitality Industry  
Terra Verde, a leading provider of cybersecurity, risk, compliance and managed security services, and SkyTouch Technology, provider of one of the most widely used cloud-based property management systems, have joined forces to bring an innovative cybersecurity and compliance platform and managed solution to the hospitality industry. Under the agreement, SkyTouch Technology will be the exclusive distribution partner providing hospitality and lodging businesses access to Terra Verde's Breach Radar™, an innovative small business cybersecurity and compliance monitoring platform and service.
http://www.TVRMS.com, http://www.skytouchtechnology.com  
**



SECURITY



- Hotel VIA Creates Contemporary Aesthetic with Solutions from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and KEYPR
- The Mayumi Hotel Streamlines Mobile Keyless Access for New Flexible Stay, Community-driven Project with OpenKey
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Hotel VIA Creates Contemporary Aesthetic with Solutions from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and KEYPR
ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, along with KEYPR®, announced the successful implementation of several innovative technologies at Hotel VIA in San Francisco. The first newly constructed hotel in San Francisco since 2008, Hotel VIA has installed and is using ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's VingCard Essence electronic door locks, Visionline locking system and the ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access solution, which is available to Hotel VIA guests through KEYPR's customized mobile concierge app. Hotel VIA's 159 rooms are now equipped with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's VingCard Essence door locks, which feature mobile access compatibility to allow guests to use their smartphones to access their room. With the Visionline wireless locking system, hotel management can remotely monitor and control lock access and activity in the hotel. Hotel VIA has also deployed KEYPR, which includes a custom Hotel VIA mobile app, in-room tablets, and its Guest Experience Management System (GEMS®).
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com/, https://www.keypr.com/
**
The Mayumi Hotel Streamlines Mobile Keyless Access for New Flexible Stay, Community-driven Project with OpenKey
As travelers become more favorable towards implementing technological advances in their trips and experiences, the same desire for streamlined accessibility and convenience has emerged for their hotel check-in and home-living as well. Mayumi, a new 35-unit boutique hotel nestled in Culver City, Calif., has partnered with OpenKey, a leading provider of mobile key technology for hotels. Through this partnership, the Mayumi Hotel now offers an experience-focused technology platform with a mobile access solution that grants guests keyless access to their short and long-term living spaces.
http://www.openkey.co
**



HOSPITALITY EVENTS



- HEDNA Announces Diverse Speaker Lineup and Refreshing Program for Global Distribution Conference in Lisbon
- HITEC Houston Keynote Speakers Announced, Exhibit Hall Sold Out
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HEDNA Announces Diverse Speaker Lineup and Refreshing Program for Global Distribution Conference in Lisbon
HEDNA, the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, has announced the speaker lineup and agenda for its 2018 Distribution Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 4-6, 2018. "A Conversation with Tomorrow's Guest," is the theme of the event. It encapsulates the engaging content that will be featured during the three-day conference which takes place at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel. The program – featuring comprehensive tracks – is tightly focused on leading-edge developments in communication and customer engagement, also covering innovations in payments and transactions, Bblockchain applications, personalization in revenue management and shopping experiences.
http://www.HEDNA.org
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HITEC Houston Keynote Speakers Announced, Exhibit Hall Sold Out
Two authorities on operating a business in a digital-dependent world have been added to the education program for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®)’s upcoming Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®). The opening keynote presenter is Mike Walsh, a 21st century business designer, futurist, global nomad and author. The event’s closing keynote is Theresa Payton, former CIO for the White House and cybersecurity authority. HITEC Houston is the second, and largest, of three HITEC events planned for 2018, and will take place from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.
http://hitec.org/
**



PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- What is 5G? Everything you need to know about the new wireless revolution
- Mixed reality’s benefits — and costs — may surprise us
- Shake Shack is abandoning its plan to go cashless after customer backlash
- Developers see a healthy future for "wellness" amenities
- China's Alipay sharpens its focus on North American cities
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For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 5/11/18

You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what… (again, disclaimer: this is not a political statement, it is just a funny joke.)
 
During his visit to the United States, the Pope met with President Trump. Instead of just an hour as scheduled, the meeting went on for two days. Finally, a weary President Trump emerged to face the waiting news media.
 
The President was smiling and announced the summit was a resounding success. He said he and the Pope agreed on 80 percent of the matters they discussed. Then Mr. Trump declared he was going home to the White House to be with his family.
 
A few minutes later the Pope came out to make his statement. He looked tired, and discouraged, and was practically in tears. Sadly he announced his meeting with the President was a failure.
 
Incredulous, one reporter asked, "But your Holiness, President Trump just announced the summit was a great success and the two of you agreed on 80 percent of the items discussed."
 
Exasperated, the Pope answered, "Yes, but we were talking about the Ten Commandments.”
 
**




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