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Siegel Sez

June 02, 2017

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

It is June, so if you are in the technology or revenue management space there is a good chance you are heading to Toronto in three weeks to attend HITEC and HSMAI’s ROC. There are many reasons to attend these events, especially the networking with peers and visiting the exhibit halls to see the latest and greatest in the world of technology. I went to my first HITEC in 1984 and haven’t missed one since, so that means two things: I have seen the amazing growth of the event and I need to accept that I am getting older! When I started attending HITEC as a vendor I remember how I would rarely go to the education sessions except for the occasional general session. That slowly started to change and I was always amazed at the people I would meet in the sessions. Then back in the early ‘90s I was entrusted to create a session for HITEC, and since then have been part of some amazing presentations. I bring this up because right now I am preparing for hopefully a great one. There are always numerous technology projects going on in the industry, but there is nothing bigger than what IHG is doing in the world of central reservations. The company has been using its Holidex system since 1965, but it is in the midst of replacing it. I am thankful IHG will be joining my session and sharing what they have experienced with a project of this magnitude, why they are doing it and most importantly, where they hope to go with their new system. In this session we will keep focused on the world of reservations with the speakers sharing what hotels should be doing with social media to lessen the cost of guest booking, and we will share successful stories on how to get guests to book direct. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 28, at 3:45 p.m. It should be a great hour of your time.

Yes, this is a busy time for those of in the hotel technology world and especially for us here at Hospitality Upgrade. We are completing both our big summer issue and a special edition, the industry’s first-ever History of Technology. You will receive both if you are attending HITEC. Imagine what it would cost to automate a hotel in the ‘80s compared to what it costs now. The answers will surprise you. Try to figure out who the vendors were in the ‘70s and ‘80s and where they are today, as we followed all the acquisitions, mergers and those that failed. It was quite a trip down memory lane. Those that have seen our History of Technology have said it doesn’t matter if you have been in the industry five years or 50 years, you will get a lot out of the stories that were shared. I would love to share the list of those who helped us create it, but that would take forever. The big thanks goes to Jon Inge who was there from the beginning and was masterful in his leading the charge to create this amazing issue. If you are not a subscriber, please click here and you will also get this special issue in its digital format. Another announcement for Hospitality Upgrade is our brand new website that we will launch at HITEC. Talk about a labor of love, but it is beautiful and has so much more functionality and content for our readers. We are very excited about both as we take a fascinating look back at the History of Technology and we continue to look forward and provide cutting-edge technology content for an industry that we love.

Here now is the real reason we are here, our look back at the recent technology happenings. Yes, it is June 2 and the next three weeks will be nonstop updates as we get closer and closer to HITEC. We will be sharing all these updates with you via this Siegel Sez and Hospitality Upgrade’s Watercooler e-newsletter that is sent out to our subscribers. Put your seatbelt on as we start this wild ride. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Toronto here we come!


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Dan  Phillips
Recent headlines, from Dan Phillips


Remember the days when our first question to any technology vendor (think PBX, POS, CAS, VMS) was whether or not they interfaced to the selected PMS? Interface was the word that the GM used to sound techy. Then we brought out the two-way interface, and then that slipped into the term, integration.

Well, I have put three apparently disparate articles into the Piqued Dan’s Interest section below. But, they do have at least one common denominator. To many readers the commonality might be something they have yet to hear about, and most likely many have not yet seen. But, I dare say, it should be one of the most sought-after technologies at HITEC in Toronto just a few weeks away.

What might it be? Some might call it a black box, or a hub, or more recently, a service bus. What does it do? It speaks and understands the language of interface. More directly, it seamlessly integrates with pretty much every system a hotel might install and then communicates between them.

When we talk about enhancing guest services, and personalization, and experience, and focused marketing, and guest recognition, and geo-location-driven content, and all of the other sexy things at HITEC, more than likely in order for them to do everything they claim, they will need a service bus.

Just like a fancy car has an engine under the hood, to get the solutions you want, you will need to do more than kick the tires; you need to find a bus!

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine



- HeBS Digital Launches Enhanced Brand Website for RLHC, Featuring More Than 1,100 Properties and 14 Brands
- TravelClick’s New Digital Media Campaign Portal Provides Real-time, On-demand Insights
- Accubase Simplifies Hotel Marketing and Technology Solutions with Acculists

For more information on Marketing/Management for 06/02/17


- Best Western Hotels & Resorts Acquires Sweden Hotels

Best Western Hotels & Resorts Acquires Sweden Hotels
Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced the addition of Sweden Hotels – one of Scandinavia’s largest hotel groups – to the Best Western global family. As a result of the acquisition, Best Western Hotels & Resorts is now the largest hotel brand in Sweden, totaling 135 properties across the country – leading with 55 more properties than its next competitor. Founded in 1977, Sweden Hotels has provided quality hotel solutions to Scandinavia for more than 40 years. By adding 59 properties to the growing Best Western family, the brand’s guests are provided with increased opportunities to participate in the award-winning Best Western Rewards® (BWR®) program and even more destinations to visit.


- Scott Socha Named President of Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts Business
- Dream Hotel Group Appoints Rob Dellibovi as Vice President of Global Sales
- Great Wolf Resorts Names Edward Malinowski as Chief Information Officer
- RLHC Names Calvin Anderson Senior Vice President and Chief of Revenue Optimization

For more information on People on the Move for 06/02/17


- Pursuit Selects Maestro Web Multi-Property PMS for 15 Properties Totaling 1,400 Rooms
- MyCheck Mobility Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Hospitality’s OPERA 5 Property System
- "RMS Hotel" to Give HITEC Attendees an Interactive Virtual Tour of The Hospitality Cloud
- FCS Streamlines Connectivity and Efficiency with Integration of CosmoPMS and FCS Unicorn
- IBC Marketplace Now Serving as Technology Management Hub for Independent Hotels
- Leeu Collection Standardizes Systems for Its Recently Acquired Linthwaite House Hotel with the Help of Xn protel Systems

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 06/02/17


- Vertical Booking Introduces New Premium Booking Engine

Vertical Booking Introduces New Premium Booking Engine
Global reservation technology leader Vertical Booking announced the release of its new Premium Booking Engine. The Vertical Booking CRS booking engine allows guests to book services and accessories in addition to their stay, through the dynamic packaging function. After selecting the room type and rate, guests may choose extra services, such as airport pickup, car rental, spa treatments or tickets for destination tours.


- The Rainmaker Group Solves Revenue Management Challenges to Bolster Growth at Westgate Las Vegas

The Rainmaker Group Solves Revenue Management Challenges to Bolster Growth at Westgate Las Vegas
The Rainmaker Group has successfully deployed its comprehensive suite of revenue management and business intelligence solutions at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, a popular casino resort that is celebrated for its variety of suites, onsite amenities, customer service and prime location adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In late 2016, the Westgate Las Vegas team deployed Rainmaker’s guestrev®, grouprev® and revcaster® solutions to optimize property pricing and revenues, with grouprev aiding the team in managing its impressive 200,000 square feet of meeting space. Since the implementation, the team at Westgate Las Vegas has seen a significant increase in YOY revenue, which is due in large part to the Rainmaker platform’s ability to provide a deeper understanding of demand by various customer segments.


- Runtriz Leverages DataArt’s Expertise and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Technology to Deliver “Front of the Line™” Program to Hotels
- Guestware Releases New Features

Runtriz Leverages DataArt’s Expertise and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Technology to Deliver “Front of the Line™” Program to Hotels
DataArt has announced that it was selected by Runtriz in partnership with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality to help enhance its “Front of the Line” feature to reward guests with a VIP-level experience. It is unique as it builds on Runtriz’s installed base in more than 100 countries to enable hotel guests to use their mobile device to not only check in prior to their arrival, but additionally bypass the front desk at enabled hotels and head straight to their room, entering with Runtriz’s mobile key. The ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access solution greatly increases the guest experience, to allow guests to skip front desk lines and access their rooms via a secure, encrypted digital key on their smartphones.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com, http://www.dataart.com, http://www.runtriz.com

Guestware Releases New Features
Guestware, one of the hotel industry’s most comprehensive guest experience management (GEM) systems, announced a new release of its cloud software solution. The latest version adds new features and offers even greater ease-of use. Building on more than 20 years of technology, the latest version expands the Welcome Intelligences® algorithms empowering hotel staff to personalize guest’s experiences. Highlights include reoccurring automatic guest request fulfillment, multi-incident guest request entry, reservation event triggered dispatch, and much more. The latest release adds more automation so hotel staff can focus on serving their guests.


- Hilton Launches Revolutionary New Guestroom, Five Feet to Fitness™
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – One of Marriott International’s Loyalty Programs — Further Elevates The Member Experience Through Mobile Check-in
- ADB Enhances its 4th Generation vuTyme IRE Solution
- Intelity Recognized by Info-Tech Research Group as an In-Room Tablet Technology Champion

For more information on Guest Services for 06/02/17


- Hosted Food & Beverage Inventory Systems Available from Clear Sky Software

Hosted Food & Beverage Inventory Systems Available from Clear Sky Software
Clear Sky Software, Inc.®, a leader in food and beverage inventory control systems, announced that the company’s software is now available as a hosted solution. Clear Sky’s hosted software, provided as a service to end users, is billed on a pay-as-you-go monthly fee. This lowers implementation costs and makes funding new software projects easier. The complexities of servers and data storage are removed from the customer’s IT budgets and customer data is stored on replicated servers for redundant protection. Since the company’s hosted software is managed and upgraded by Clear Sky IT professionals, users always have access to the most updated software.


- Velociti Expands Headquarters to Accommodate Growth

Velociti Expands Headquarters to Accommodate Growth
Velociti Inc., a global provider of technology deployment and support services, is in the final stages of construction on an expansion project that will double the size of its Riverside, Mo., headquarters. The additional 33,000 square feet will not only accommodate Velociti’s growing team, but will house an expanded warehouse for inventory management, staging and configuration; a fitness center and a cafeteria. A Velociti team of technicians will soon begin installing the additional digital signage, Wi-Fi and audio/video conferencing systems for the new space. The plan also includes technology demo points for customer walk-throughs, including an RFID system to illustrate Velociti’s inventory management process, a sample state-of-the-art security system and the synergy between fleet technologies and the facility technologies they interact with.


- Digital Signage Expo Opens Call for 2018 APEX Awards Nominations
- HITEC Toronto Entrepreneur 20X Contestants Announced
- HFTP Announces Keynote Speakers and Opening Party for HITEC Toronto
- HFTP Annual Convention 2017 Online Registration Now Open
- HSMAI Announces 2017 Revenue Management Professionals of the Year and Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Honoree
- PolyU to Host HONG KONG 2017: 3rd Global Tourism & Hospitality Conference

For more information on Hospitality Events for 06/02/17


- Runtriz Leverages DataArt’s Expertise and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Technology to Deliver “Front of the Line™” Program to Hotels
- Your Guests’ On-Property Experience Is Your Best Marketing
- IBC Marketplace Now Serving as Technology Management Hub for Independent Hotels
- And more articles that Piqued Dan’s Interest…

For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 06/02/17


And now for you-know-what…

An elderly man enters a jewelry store on a Friday night with a beautiful, much younger woman and states that he is looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler brings out a $5,000 ring. The man says, "No, I'd like to see something more special."

The jeweler returns, this time with a $50,000 ring. The woman's eyes sparkle and the man seeing this, says, "We'll take it! I will give you a check now, so you can verify the funds on Monday with the bank and I'll pick up the ring that afternoon."

On Monday morning, the jeweler phones to tell the man, "Sir, there's no money in that account."

"I know," the man replies. "But let me tell you about my weekend!”


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