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Siegel Sez

June 18, 2021

Siegel Sez

Have you ever found yourself in excruciating anticipation because you’re so eager to share something? That is what the last 24 hours have been for me. Last week was our Executive Vendor Summit with a crowd of 88 from the vendor community, a half dozen or so CIOs from the hotel world, the leaders of HTNG, HFTP and HSMAI and some amazing speakers and staff for a crowd of 103 attendees. It was amazing. During our planning for EVS I had this creative idea for our first night ice breaker and even though my team thought I was nuts, I said we could pull this off. I know the vendors for the hotel industry are a somewhat adventurous group. Stop reading for the next 2 minutes and 29 seconds and watch what could best be called a very embarrassing video and then come back to this Siegel Sez. Ready? Click here.
I hope you enjoyed the video and smiled while also in bewilderment of what they did. When we planned the EVS back in February we rolled the dice that June 9th would work. I have always said I would rather be lucky than smart, and luck was on our side to have a crowd like we had in Nashville last week. A big shoutout to the Loews Vanderbilt for doing an amazing job as our host. Make sure you receive our next issue of Hospitality Upgrade (to subscribe) to read the EVS review and see the amazing and often creative pictures from this very special event. It was a great crowd and I know the Nashville Humane Association was very thankful that those in the hotel industry are such generous souls. The two words we kept hearing over and over were welcome back. We were glad to be back!
I had to laugh at Doug Rice’s comment early in his Definitely Doug column that something he wrote about 17 days ago is now outdated. I guess when it comes to Apple, you can never be sure what is next. Doug’s column is definitely a great read.
I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you know what. For those who have followed my horse exploits, and it is amazing how many in the hotel industry do, add La Culpa to your watch list. With a little luck he might be able to start his career at Saratoga this summer. He has a famous dad, so we hope some of dad’s success rubs off on him. The dreaming has officially begun. Here now is Definitely Doug along with the latest industry technology news.


Definitely Doug

The Apple Changes its Stripes
Four weeks ago in this space, I published comprehensive thoughts on the need to reimagine the guest arrival process, and the many challenges hotels have faced trying to do that. Guests want the journey from the porte cochère to their room to be simple, fast, and personalized. Hotels, facing the most severe staffing shortages of modern times, want to minimize the need for staff, but also enable them to focus on things that can impact guest satisfaction.

Technology is constantly evolving and changing, so most everything I write eventually becomes stale. Usually, it remains relevant for a year or two, sometimes more, sometimes less. That article, however, set a record, becoming seriously outdated just 17 days after its publication, based on a major change in direction from Apple. It is all good news for hotels, but it means that this week, rather than moving on to a new topic, I need to revisit the issue and discuss what has changed.

A major conclusion of the original article was that current-generation mobile keys, a major potential contributor to a better arrival process, simply do not work well. For guests, they required downloading an app, logging in and using it to obtain a mobile key, unlocking the phone and activating it each time they need to use the key, and (in most cases) waking up the lock by holding the phone in front of it. All of these either create barriers to usage or provide an experience that is in most respects inferior to using a traditional keycard. Mobile key usage at hotels that offer it is still mostly in the single-digit percentages. While the need to download an app is one major barrier, it is also problematical that a mobile key is much harder to use than a traditional RFID keycard.

In the article, I identified the biggest issue as Apple’s unwillingness to make Near-Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, built into all iPhones since the iPhone 6 launch in 2014, available for use in hotel key applications. This was a business decision by Apple, not a technical one; Apple already supported the use of NFC in other environments such as access control for college dorms and paid entry to transit systems.

Much of this is now changing. At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7, Apple announced that it would be launching hotel keys into the Apple Wallet with iOS15, and deploying it first with Hyatt in 1,000 properties this fall. It uses the same underlying NFC technology as Apple Pay. This should not be confused with QR-code based credentials that can also be stored in the Apple Wallet, such as airline boarding passes or membership cards, all of which can be easily copied and shared. NFC enables high levels of security and further guarantees that the credential can only be used by the intended device.

Click here to read more of Doug’s column on The Apple Changes its Stripes


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/
The Apple Changes its Stripes


- McLaren Signs Strategic Agreement with AnMeng in China
McLaren Technologies has signed a partner agreement with Guangzhou AnMeng Intelligent Technology Co. as a reseller of the McLaren solution suite in China, as it looks to fortify and grow its operation in the region.


- b4checkin Announces Peter J. Rogers, Jr. as Chief Executive Officer, Founder Saar Fabrikant Appointed as President
- ProfitSword Reaffirms Commitment to Business Intelligence Innovation with Appointment of Jason Wallace as Vice President of Engineering
- Jeff Bzdawka Joins Knowland as CEO Positioning Company as Critical Partner for Hotel Recovery
- Positioning Hotels for Growth: ProfitSword Reaffirms Vision and Strategy Through Reimagined Senior Leadership Team

For more information on People on The Move for 6/18/2021


- Jonas Chorum Surpasses 1,000 Hotels across North America
Jonas Chorum, a suite of streamlined, intuitive and flexible property management solutions, announced that they now have over 1,000 North American hotels using Chorum PMS. With its leading cloud-based property management software, as well as staff and guest facing mobile and contactless solutions that can be used on any device, Jonas Chorum offers innovate technology designed to enhance hotel operations.


- Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo Partners with INTELITY to Deliver Mobile-First Guest Experience
- Gila River Hotels & Casinos Partners with SONIFI Solutions to Enhance Guest Experiences While Also Generating More Revenue
- Bartech's Customized In-Room Minibar POS Solutions Lead to Increased Hotel Guest Satisfaction
- Shephard's Beach Resort Adopts BeyondTV's myRemote for Contactless Compatibility with All Guestroom Television Models

For more information on Guest Facing Technology for 6/18/2021


- Vizergy® Named Partner of the Year for Its Leading-Edge Digital Sales and Marketing Platform
Hard Rock International (HRI) presented Vizergy® Digital Marketing with their prestigious Partner of the Year award. Vizergy received this recognition for its excellence in overall performance, brand involvement and collaboration.


- UgoVirtual™ Debuts New 3D and AR Elements to Enhance Engagement and ROI of Virtual, Hybrid and Physical Events
Innovative new addition to UgoVirtual's modular virtual/hybrid event solutions platform leverages the advanced power of 3D and AR to maximize attendee engagement and ROI for virtual, hybrid and physical events.

- U.S. Meetings and Events Volume Shows Double Digit Growth for Fourth Consecutive Month According to Knowland
Knowland, the leader in AI-powered meetings and events data for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other venues, today released its monthly meetings and events data for May. The numbers reveal that May U.S. group meetings volume increased 28.4 percent over last month.

- Groups360 Launches Global Direct Booking Solution for Group Room Blocks with Hilton
Groups360 and Hilton announced the global launch of GroupSync Engage, the hospitality industry’s first integrated direct booking solution for group room blocks, across the majority of the Hilton portfolio.


- Accor Transforms its Accounting System for Hotels in Middle East with Infor SaaS Solution
Infor, the industry cloud company, today announced that Accor IMEA, an augmented hospitality leader with more than 400 hotels in India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, is transforming its accounting systems with Infor SunSystems, a powerful financial management solution, on AWS.


- Cloud5 Communications Ranked Top HSIA Provider in May GPNS Vendor Report by Marriott International
Cloud5 Communications, a leading provider of communications solutions for the world’s top hotel brands and management companies, has been recognized by Marriott International as achieving the highest vendor ranking in May for High-Speed Internet service based on its stringent Global Property Network Standards (GPNS).


- Manor Vail Lodge Selects Agilysys Solutions to Improve Operations & Enhance Guest Experience
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, CO has selected the award-winning innovative InfoGenesis POS solution, as well as IG Flex for Mobile POS, its modern cloud-native SaaS IG OnDemand for self-service F&B ordering and payment, and Agilysys Pay Connect for secure payment processing.


- Kipsu and Quore Announce Integration
Kipsu, the leading guest engagement platform in the hospitality industry, and Quore, the leading provider of workflow management and productivity tools for hotels, are excited to announce their new alliance and integration that will allow teams to streamline communication between front- and back-of-house operations.


- Sabre Partners with GOPASS Global to Mitigate Travel Risks while Increasing Confidence to Travel
Sabre Corporation a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has partnered with travel risk management platform GOPASS Global to help deliver its game-changing COVID-19 biosecurity risk analytics capabilities to the travel industry.


- Seatrade Cruise Global Returns to Miami September 2021 Celebrating Resilience as Industry Makes Strides Toward the Next Era of Cruising
Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry's leading annual business-to-business event, is returning to the Miami Beach Convention Center, 27-30 September for its first in-person gathering since 2019.


- Hotel Employees Are Sharing Their Darkest Secrets, And Anyone Who Travels Should Know Them
- Business Travel in the Age of Zoom
- Hospitality Workers Are Quitting at the Fastest Rate in 20 Years Just as Employers are Raising Wages
- The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 6/18/2021


And now for you-know-what.…

A Tail of Two Horses

Twin brothers each bought a racehorse. Racehorses often have strange names, and the brothers were trying to think of names that would be unique, yet related. 

Though the twins were born only a few minutes apart, the first twin was born on January 1st, and the second twin on January 2nd. They appreciated that this odd timing gave them unique birthdays and decided to name their horses after their birthdates. So, the older twin named his horse 1 1 and the younger twin named his 1 2. 

As they groomed and trained their horses, a friendly competition developed about whose horse would be the best. The argument was never decided though, because while 1 1 1 1 race, 1 2 1 1 2.

(Say each digit individually….get it?)


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