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Siegel Sez

June 15, 2018

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

If you are reading this, you probably have an interest in the latest technology happenings in the industry. Of course, there is an excellent chance that you are one of the more than 6,000 people who will be invading Houston next week for HITEC and ROC. I can’t wait for Houston. If you were at HITEC Europe in Amsterdam or live in Europe, then keep reading since we will share some important news regarding next year’s event.
I have many meetings set up with hotel companies and specifically with those executives responsible for technology, and who will be attending this year’s CIO Summit in Seattle. I have overcommitted my schedule, as I usually do, to meet with the leading vendors of technology that are included in our amazing HITEC issue of Hospitality Upgrade. Pick up your copy at the registration desk at HITEC. Then there will be nonstop parties which I am trying to figure out a way to get to them all. We at Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online are thankful that so many have invited us. I also have been entrusted with a Super Session Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. with three CIOs and one CEO to share where we are going with technology with an emphasis on what should be done in the guestroom. It is going to be a very busy week in Houston. But meetings, educational sessions and parties aside, the No. 1 thing I get out of HITEC is reconnecting with so many people who I just like. As crazy and frustrating as this industry can be at times, the people who are in it simply make it the best. I can’t tell you how many times when people who have career changes and are “forced” to leave the hotel industry for an opportunity either regret the change or just share how much they miss it. When all is said and done it is the people and the friends we make that motivate so many of us. I know it does me. We will be in booth No. 226 at HITEC. Please come by and say hello. Who knows, maybe we can become friends.
Regarding Europe, those who were at HITEC Amsterdam this past March were simply not uniformly happy. Some mistakes were made but most importantly are now being corrected. I believe that if HITEC Europe wants to grow to the level of HITEC North America there is a formula that has always worked – don’t stay in the same place every year. I like Amsterdam but not three years in a row. Europe is big and to attract new attendees to HITEC Europe it should be moved. Next year it will be held at the Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain and is scheduled for April 10-11 (click here to view the full release). HFTP did some things for its exhibitors in Amsterdam that I don’t think any business that puts on tradeshows would ever do. This is probably why those involved with HITEC are so loyal. Amsterdam was a fun city, but now we can all look forward to Spain. But let’s get through Houston first! We hope to see you there.
Here now is the real reason we are here, all the industry technology happenings and there have been a lot. Ron Hardin opens the technology news with his thoughts as to what he is looking for at HITEC this year. Is he dreaming? I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Houston, here we come.



by: Ron Hardin

What are you looking for at HITEC this year? That’s the most common question I get asked every year. My stock answer: “Illumination.” As in insight – not lighting. I’m like the little neighbor kid in “The Incredibles” (the first one, but I can’t wait to see the new one). When asked what he was hanging around waiting for, he said, “I don’t know. Something amazing, I guess.” That’s what I want, something amazing. Here’s my short list. They may not all be amazing, but it’s what I’m looking for. 

  • A network management and security appliance that can be dropped onto an existing network, identify the stuff on that network, manage the stuff on the network that is manageable, flag what isn’t manageable, and dynamically create secure network segments with traffic rules. I’m specifically thinking of the all-too-frequent scenario of operators tasked with taking over a hotel after an ownership or management change. You shouldn’t have to “reverse-engineer” the network one component at a time, while always worrying about what you’re going to break if you make a change. The ideal solution – particularly if combined with a pre-configured library of segment definitions and rule sets – could greatly simplify the transition process and allow the rapid imposition of the organization’s information security standards on a “foreign” network.
  • Hotel TVs that have a space on the back of the set for mounting the set-back box so that it won’t interfere with wall-mount hardware, and set-back connectors on the back of the TV that face down or to the side, not back towards the wall. Cables sticking out of the back of the TV are another impediment to wall-mounting, which everyone is doing because it allows you to eliminate that big piece of furniture upon which the TV sits and make the room look bigger.
  • In-room tablets with integrated telephone. This is not to be confused with telephones with touch-screen displays. I want the tablet to be part of a robust guest engagement platform, with room controls, concierge services, in-room dining and all the other bells and whistles. Plus, a phone app with a handset (cordless, preferably) and speaker-phone capability. It can support voice control as well, but that can be optional. I just want to get rid of phones, but I get the pushback. So just add the phone functionality into the product I really want. There are a couple of these already on the market, but I want more. 
  • An integrated staff mobile device solution that includes user devices – smartphones and tablets – along with charging stations and a mobile device management platform, and is pre-loaded with basic functional apps such as push-to-talk.  All of this stuff is available separately – I just don’t want to do the integration.
The wonderful thing about HITEC is that I can always count on finding some of the stuff I’m looking for, and stuff that I wasn’t looking for that’s really cool anyway. So, what are YOU looking for at HITEC this year?
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting

Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade


- HFTP Responds, Makes Changes to HITEC Europe 2019
HFTP Responds, Makes Changes to HITEC Europe 2019
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) announced several changes to the European Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) after the second HITEC Europe in 2018 failed to meet HFTP’s high quality standards. After completing surveys, interviews and conducting additional industry research, changes to the program and exhibition have been made, including the re-location of HITEC Europe 2019. Originally announced for Amsterdam, and the location of the first-two years of HITEC Europe, in 2019 it will be located at the Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain, scheduled for  10-11 April.
http://www.hitec.org, http://www.hftp.org


- Bulk TV & Internet Announces Merger with DCI Design Communications and EthoStream
- Uniguest Acquires U.K. Digital Signage Company ONELAN
Bulk TV & Internet Announces Merger with DCI Design Communications and EthoStream
Bulk TV & Internet (Bulk TV), a leading integrator of enterprise video, data and voice solutions, announced its acquisition by Marlin Equity Partners (Marlin) and its merger with DCI Design Communications (DCI), a leader in data, voice and unified communications. The agreement will consolidate assets and operations of Bulk TV and DCI, as well as those of EthoStream, which was acquired by DCI in March 2017. This combined entity of network technology systems will deliver a true triple-play offering for converged video, data and voice solutions for the hospitality and healthcare industries. The newly combined company has a portfolio that provides services to more than 1,000,000 rooms in thousands of properties nationwide.
https://www.bulktv.com/, http://www.dci-design.com/
Uniguest Acquires U.K. Digital Signage Company ONELAN
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 is excited to announce 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.


- HAPI Taps Laurent Idrac as Latest Advisory Board Member
- Ruckus Networks Appoints Industry Expert Larry Birnbaum to Lead Hospitality Business
- Hospitality Technology Veteran Joins Uniguest as EVP Brands and International Sales
- Hilton Appoints Vera Manoukian as Global Brand Head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Pacific Hospitality Group Appoints Paul McCormick as Chief Operating Officer and President
- RLH Corporation Appoints Gary Sims Chief Operating Officer
- RLH Corporation Promotes Amanda Marcello to Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy
- sbe Appoints Alvaro Valeriani as SVP of Sales and Marketing
- Wynn Resorts Appoints Erik Hansen as First Chief Sustainability Officer

For more information on People on the Move for 06/15/18


- Agilysys Announces Latest Release of LMS With Modern User Interface and Launch of New rGuest Modules
- Koridor Announces New Hotel Room Self-selection Platform: MyRoom
- Zaplox Partners with Maestro PMS to Introduce Innovative Mobile Guest Technology to More than 800 Leading Independent Hotels
- Maestro PMS Makes Guest Engagement Top Priority at HITEC
- Springer-Miller Systems Expands Mobile PMS Solution To Include Housekeeping
- Homestead Resort Returns to Springer-Miller to Manage its Property Operations
- StayNTouch to Liven Up HITEC With a PMS Technology Showcase and an Exciting Game of Jeopardy - The Hotel Maven Edition
- Mews Raises €6M to Advance Hotel Automation and Enhance Customer Experience

For more information on Guest Management Systems for 06/15/18


- Leading Portuguese Tour Operator Top Atlantico DMC Embraces Dynamic Online Rates  
Leading Portuguese Tour Operator Top Atlantico DMC Embraces Dynamic Online Rates  
One of Portugal’s largest travel and leisure companies, Top Atlantico DMC, part of Springwater Tourism Group, has made the transition to dynamic online rates thanks to a partnership with SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for the global hotel industry. The long-established tour operator has integrated SiteMinder’s hotel distribution solution with its booking engine to offer travelers the latest accommodation rates and availabilities for the first time. The move is a significant break from annual contracted FIT rates and fixed pre-packaged deals, which the company says are now used only for more niche markets and products.


- IDeaS Breaks the Rules with New Agile Pricing Approach
- Concilio Labs and The Rainmaker Group Announce New Technology Partnership
- The Rainmaker Group Partners with Sonesta Resorts St. Maarten and The Maho Group in Caribbean
- Rainmaker and ZS Partner to Help Hoteliers Improve and Capitalize on Revenue Management
- The Rainmaker Group Partners with Torarica Group of Hotels

For more information on Revenue Management Systems for 06/15/18


- Angie Hospitality Selected to Present "Tech Talk" at HITEC Houston on Benefits of Purpose-built Hotel Technologies
- Eleven Software Delivers Smart Wi-Fi Management to More Than Half a Million Hotel Guest Rooms Worldwide
- Guest-facing Chat and Task Management All-In-One at HITEC Houston with Guestware
- Intelity Announces 5 Things to Consider When Buying Mobile and Inroom Technology
- MCOMS Breaks Record for Second Consecutive Year
- ALICE and Samsung Unveil First-Ever Hospitality Industry Smartwatch with Viceroy Hotel Group
- Telkonet and SONIFI Partner to Deliver Increased Energy Savings to Hotels
- New Partnership Between ALICE And Volara Lets Guests Make Requests By Voice, And Gives Staff A Way To Seamlessly Manage Their Requests
- The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston Creates and Delivers Itineraries Without Leaving The Lobby With ALICE and Percipia
- Bartech Demonstrates Advances in Hotel Minibar Revenue-Enhancing Technology at HITEC 2018
- Bittel to Debut MODA, a Smart Device for Hotel Guestrooms, at HITEC Houston
- EMD Offering Self-audit Questionnaire to Help HITEC Attendees with Tradeshow Strategy
- Routier Helps Hotels Provide Real-time Solutions for Real-time Issues So That They Don’t Become Permanent Problems

For more information on Guest Services for 06/15/18


- Benbria and Knowcross Announce Technology Partnership
- Cloud5 Introduces the Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX) at HITEC 2018 Booth No. 2519
- Radisson Hotel Group Chooses ReviewPro for Guest Experience Management

For more information on Personalization/Guest Experience for 06/15/1


- Cendyn Integrates With Sitecore via Hedgehog to Elevate Real-time Marketing Personalization
- protel and TrustYou Collaboration Brings Huge Benefit to Hotels By Enabling Automated Survey and Guest Data Processes
- Vizergy Sees Record-breaking Growth in First Half of 2018

For more information on Marketing/Management for 06/15/18


- La Corsha Hospitality Group Migrates to Aptech PVNG Enterprise Accounting
- Beekeeper Achieves ISO Certification to Protect Hotels' Data
- Clairvoyix Client Databases GDPR Ready Before Deadline
- HAPI Enables Digital Key Provider STAYmyway to Focus on Innovation
- hospitalityPulse to Exhibit at HITEC in Houston to Promote Insights BI Platform and Attribute-based Selling
- ProfitSword Optimizes Sales Pace Data Tracking for Interstate Hotels & Resorts

For more information on Back Office for 06/15/18


- BirchStreet Offers Comprehensive Inventory Management Solution
BirchStreet Offers Comprehensive Inventory Management Solution
BirchStreet Systems, a long leader in the hospitality procure-to-pay space, is debuting its comprehensive inventory management system at the upcoming HITEC show in Houston. The newly redesigned module called BirchStreet Inventory with AccuBar combines all of the profound capabilities of BirchStreet Inventory with AccuBar’s comprehensive beverage management and bar code scanning process. The result is a powerful system that excels in fulfilling the wide-ranging needs of hospitality operators who until now have been unable to find one combined solution that helps decrease high inventory carry cost and reduce stock outages.


- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and OpenKey Bring Combined Keyless Entry Solution to Hotels Worldwide
- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Introduces Cloud-Based Security to Hotels with Vostio Access Management System
dormakaba USA Inc Brings Ambiance™ Mobile Tablet Keycard Encoding Flexibility to HITE

For more information on Security for 06/15/18


- VENZA® Presents the GDPR Readiness Survey Results
VENZA® Presents the GDPR Readiness Survey Results
Now that we have passed the effective date for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), what will the future hold and how ready is the hospitality industry to protect European data subjects? VENZA wanted to find out precisely that, so a GDPR Readiness Survey was released in April to decision makers within the hospitality industry. This survey provided some interesting data, showing that 70 percent of participants were aware that fines could be assessed to businesses outside of Europe; however, 65 percent indicated that their companies were not prepared for GDPR compliance.


- HFTP Launches New F&B Bytes Site, an Addition to its Online News Portfolio
HFTP Launches New F&B Bytes Site, an Addition to its Online News Portfolio
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) continues to build on its online news series with the addition of its F&B Bytes website. Powered by Hsyndicate, an electronic media-hub based in The Netherlands, F&B Bytes is an aggregated content destination where users will find the latest food and beverage news all in one place. Recognized as a global educator in the hospitality industry, HFTP now offers hospitality professionals online news resources specific to technology, clubs, finance, GDPR, F&B and its association at large. HFTP’s informational sites include: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes, F&B Bytes, GDPR Bytes and HFTP News.


- HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees Announced
- HFTP Announces Startups, Judge’s Panel and Mentors for Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Houston
- HFTP Announces Entrepreneur 20X Sponsorship Agreement with Amadeus at HITEC Houston
- HITEC Houston Tuesday General Session Announced: "Technology and the Power of the C-Suite"

For more information on Hospitality Events for 06/15/18


- The Guilt-Inducing Psychology of Unlimited Vacation Time
- Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns
- Bitcoin plummets after cyberattack on South Korea exchange
- California may lead the way on GDPR-like regulations in the US
- PageUp says it is 'probable' customer data was externally accessed
- The bizarre story of Australia's floating hotel and its 14,000km round journey to North Korea
- GDPR could result in higher ransomware demands, experts warn
- Over the edge: 5G and the internet of very different things
- To increase your emotional intelligence, develop these 10 qualities

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 06/15/18


And now for you-know-what…
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning behind a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!"
The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"
The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him."
He waved him over and said, "Hi, George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"
The greenskeeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."
The group was silent for a moment.
The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.
The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."
The engineer said, "Well, how about they play at night?”

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