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Siegel Sez

July 14, 2023

Siegel Sez

Well, the dueling conferences of HITEC and The Hospitality Show are now a thing of the past, and I know everyone is thankful for that. Doug Rice adds his thoughts on the two shows in his Definitely Doug column that follows, though I am not sure everyone will agree with him. Then again, the more people I talk to, the more my head spins, but it is great that everybody has an opinion.
I was at HITEC in Toronto as was Doug, and if you want to know where the future of technology is going then you will love what he shares. It is great how he focuses on the little guys who often think way outside the box.
I have attended HITEC every year that I’ve been in the industry. It’s almost embarrassing to say how long that has been! I thank HFTP and the HITEC Advisory Council for letting me lead two sessions the first day of the show. and as you can see from the picture above there was a bit of fun involved. I might never do the “1,3,5,7” then “2,4,6,8” introduction exercise to start to a session again, but it was amazing how much everyone enjoyed it.
Also, if you have any questions about Taylor Swift song lyrics, ask Anthony Melchiorri, Ted Horner or Frank Wolfe. They are now experts. I also must thank Shannon McCallum and AJ Aluri who are both in the picture for their help with the session. The morning session for first-time HITEC attendees was also fun. There was great excitement in the room looking forward to the start of HITEC. I thank all the panelists from both sessions for doing a great job sharing their expertise. For me it was a great way to start my time in Toronto.
Everything we are doing now at Hospitality Upgrade has one focus, 21st CIO Summit on Sept. 6 in Austin, Texas. There were so many international attendees who joined us last year along with just about every major brand and most management companies. When you get a crowd like this it is amazing what gets shared amongst those in attendance. If your technology leader has not registered yet or received an invite, please email me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com. We already have so many first timers registered for Austin, and it motivates us beyond belief. Yes, there will also be some creative surprises this year and that is all I can share right now.
One last thing, and it’s a big thank you to all who checked in with me at HITEC Toronto. I’ve been told that knee replacement will make me a happy person at some point, but the time it takes to recover and get the knee to do what it’s supposed to do is a challenge. No one will ever accuse me of being the most patient person in the world and this recovery is a test of my patience. So many asked how I was doing, and I thank everyone for that. Nothing like having a knee replaced and going to HITEC, walking the show, and then doing the many parties at night. But I survived. I think. 😊
Here now is Definitely Doug and the latest technology happenings in our industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Then it’s off to Saratoga, which is what I look forward to every July. If you haven’t been, do it. You will thank me!

Definitely Doug

What Was New at HITEC 2023?

With HITEC 2023 now in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for a wrap-up of what was new, different, and interesting on the show floor. As usual, I tried to visit every first-time exhibitor for at least an overview. There were 89 newbies, of which I was able to visit 75. One was a complete no-show, while 13 others had unattended booths when visited.

The Dueling Shows

Everybody has been asking about the impact of The Hospitality Show (“The Show”), the inaugural of which was scheduled in Las Vegas during the same week as HITEC in Toronto. While I only attended HITEC, I spoke with several vendor executives who attended both. The HITEC vibe was somewhat upbeat; most exhibitors felt that traffic was light, but quality was high. Attendance suffered significantly due to major flight disruptions at the start of the week, which caused many to arrive a day or two late (or not at all). Others arrived on time but left early to fly to Las Vegas to catch part of The Show. I knew that some HITEC regulars had chosen Las Vegas this year, but it was few enough that from a networking standpoint, HITEC still felt like the usual annual chance to catch up with old friends – some of whom you would inevitably miss even if you were both there.

Reports on The Show were generally positive, despite the flak that the organizers American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Questex took for scheduling it at the same time as HITEC. Floor traffic was described as light, particularly on the second day, but the event met its objective of getting business buyers rather than just IT leaders; several vendors commented that this was what they really needed. Conference sessions were well-attended, high quality, and relevant. I look forward to attending next year, when the dates will not conflict.



- Sojern Acquires VenueLytics to Bolster Its Platform for the Hospitality Industry
Sojern, the leading travel marketing platform, today announced the acquisition of VenueLytics, the hospitality industry’s most integrated guest experience platform serving independent hotels, resorts, chains and casinos. Sojern will incorporate VenueLytics’ capabilities as an extension of the Sojern Travel Marketing Platform.

- Cox Communications Completes Acquisition of Unite Private Networks
Cox Communications has completed the acquisition of commercial fiber provider, Unite Private Networks (UPN). UPN and Cox-owned Segra will form a new standalone fiber company to accelerate growth in the company's commercial fiber solutions. 


- VENZA Hires Daniel Santiago to Lead Pen Testing Effort
VENZA, a leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, announced that it has hired Daniel Santiago as its Vulnerability Management Lead. In this role, Santiago will work with VENZA’s Security Team to execute the company’s VENZA Pen Testing product.

- VENZA Hires Bill D’Argis as Security Analyst
VENZA, the leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced that it has hired Bill D’Argis as a Security Analyst. As a member of the VENZA Security Team, Bill will work in support of products in the company’s best-in-class Everest™ and Denali™ programs. 

- Charles Smart Promoted to VENZA Security Team Manager
VENZA, a leading provider of data protection and regulatory compliance solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced that it has promoted Charles Smart to the position of Security Team Manager.


- Leading Hospitality Software Solutions Trendsetter Agilysys to Receive the AHLA Technology Acceleration Award
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the United States’ largest hospitality association dedicated to supporting and advocating on behalf of the industry, has announced Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), will receive its inaugural AHLA Technology Acceleration Award as a company that took specific steps to further advance innovation in hospitality.


- Zucchetti North America’s Integrated Suite of Solutions Supports Hoteliers in Driving Direct Bookings & Revenue
Zucchetti North America - the North American outpost of the Italian-based Zucchetti Group – offers the leading, all-in-one, fully integrated tech stack for hotels and lodging accommodations of all sizes and types, designed to streamline business operations and enhance guests’ experience – and the newest features and functionalities on the various solutions provide hoteliers with even more ways to increase revenue.

- AI Creates Happier Guests and Increases Hotel Profitability, Says AI Pioneer
AI creates happier guests and increases hotel profitability, says tech pioneer Frank Reeves, who launched the first AI-powered booking engine in 2017. allora.ai provides booking and retention technology to over 2000 hotels around the world. It recently joined forces with SHR Global to create a new global hospitality tech powerhouse, with an unrivalled suite of products using AI to maximise both the guest’s online experience and hotel revenue.


- Red Carnation Centralises Commercial Teams with an Agile Revenue Strategy
The management of Red Carnation Hotel Collection wanted to revitalise its strategic approach to revenue management and consolidate the function within a centralised commercial team. Sarah Glanville, Red Carnation’s director of revenue, had seen the value of IDeaS’ RMS data in informing the wider commercial function and managing performance metrics.

- Duetto Reports Increased Adoption of Revenue Technology
Duetto, the hospitality industry’s #1 Revenue Management System (RMS), has reported an increase in hotel revenue tech investment in the first half of 2023, as hoteliers continue to look for ways to improve revenue and drive team efficiencies. The cloud-based software-as-a-service provider has enjoyed a 30% increase in business in the first half of 2023, compared to new hotel subscriptions in H1 2022.

- Demand Calendar Showcases Profit-Oriented Revenue Management at HITEC 2023 in Toronto
Demand Calendar, a comprehensive revenue and profit management system, exhibited for the first time at HITEC in Toronto. Demand Calendar, designed with a profit-oriented approach, aims to provide hotel businesses with tools for more accurate total revenue forecasting, effective management of customer acquisition cost, and profit optimization.


- Fantasyland Hotel Partners with INTELITY for Mobile Guest Experience
- Luxury Skistar Lodge Hotel Brings Off-Piste Entertainment Experiences into Guest Rooms with 286x Chromecast Built-In Philips Mediasuite TVs from PPDS
- PPDS wows HITEC crowds with world’s most energy efficient digital signage series for hospitality with the ‘zero power’ Philips Tableaux range
- The Hazelton Hotel Transforms the Guest Experience with INTELITY
- UrVenue Debuts Cutting-Edge PXMS Product Suite
- INTELITY Set to Launch Mobile App with The Leading Hotels of the World
- Hotel Internet Services Showcases the Future of Online Guest Connectivity and Guestroom Entertainment at HITEC Toronto
- Advanced Nonius Cast Monitoring and Troubleshooting Tools at your Fingertips
- JW Marriott São Paulo Enhances the TV Experience with Nonius Solutions
- Enseo's CORE Create Allows Hotels to Control In-Room TV
- InnSpire Forms CNN International Commercial Partnership for IPTV Solution
- MCOMS Celebrates 4 Years of Partnership with Allbridge

For more information on Guest Facing Technology for 7/14/2023


- Sage Hospitality Group Leverages Hapi and Salesforce to Centralize Data and Accelerate Innovation
Hapi, a provider of integration solutions for the hospitality industry, announced that Sage Hospitality Group has experienced remarkable transformation in CRM capabilities with the help of Salesforce technology, powered by Hapi. By leveraging Hapi’s Salesforce expertise and Hapi Guest for Salesforce, Sage has seen accelerated results and maximized their utilization of the Salesforce platform.


- Amadeus and Knowland Unveil Comprehensive Hospitality Group and Business Performance Index
Group business is critical to hotel recovery and for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) looking to attract visitors. This is why Amadeus, a global leader in hospitality technology, and Knowland, a global provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, are expanding their partnership to deliver new data insights.


- PVNG Integrates with Plaid for Secure Financial Institution Connectivity for Hotels
Aptech is the first hospitality company to link its hotel-specific enterprise accounting solution to the popular data network to achieve seamless, secure access to bank reconciliation data; Visit Aptech in Booth 1301 at HITEC.

- YOTEL Extends Its Relationship with PAS to 18 Properties in 10 Countries
Professional Accounting Solutions (PAS), a preferred provider of back office and accounting solutions for the global hospitality industry and the leading provider of Infor SunSystems  and Infor EPM services, announced YOTEL has expanded its relationship with PAS to include 18 properties in 10 countries under the YOTEL, YOTELAIR and YOTELPAD brands.


- Hospitality Innovator BluIP® Receives the AHLA Technology Acceleration Award
- Cloud5 Unveils Multi-project Vendor Management Solution at HITEC Toronto
- Nomadix is Bringing Connected Experiences to Life at The Hospitality Show
- Introducing TraknProtect's Cutting-Edge LTE 2-Way Radio: Revolutionizing Communication and Safety in Hospitality Industry
- Positron and Cloud5 Communications Announce Partnership
- InnSpire Partners With Positron Access Solutions to Enable Robust Internet and Hotel IPTV System Connectivity
- Percipia Launches New Hospitality Interface for Webex by Cisco
- Sure Hotel by Best Western Centralhotellet improves guest experience using Ethernet over Coax Technology
- Nomadix is Bringing Connected Experiences to Life at HITEC Toronto

For more information on Communications and Infrastructure for 7/14/2023


- Verdant Doubles Down to Showcase Its Popular Energy Management Solutions at ‘HITEC’ and ‘The Hospitality Show’
This week hoteliers will have two opportunities to see the latest in energy-management solutions for hotels. Verdant will display its popular digital thermostats at HITEC® Toronto, June 27 to 30 in Booth 607 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, and at The Hospitality Show, June 28 to 29 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. While there, the Montreal-based company will introduce a NEW mobile app and a NEW energy service-optimization program.


- Beekeeper, PredictiveHR Form Strategic Partnership to Drive Innovation and Market Growth
Today, Beekeeper, the leading frontline success system, and PredictiveHR, a renowned human resource consulting services provider, jointly announced that the two companies have formed a strategic partnership to foster innovation, expand market reach, and deliver enhanced value to customers. Together, the two companies will work to resolve frontline disconnect, improving communication and engagement for frontline teams.


- Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Deploys Latest in Hotel Security Technology by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions
- SecValMSP Named to ChannelE2E List of Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs
- CyberTek Partners With Leading IT Companies; Brings Unique Expertise to Hospitality Industry
- VENZA Continues Innovation; Adds Pen Testing and Pathfinder Products
- Strawberry Leverages Seamless Mobile App Compatibility of ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions and Zaplox to Deploy Room Keys in Apple Wallet
- Trying to Find Out What’s Next in Hotel Security Technology but Unsure Whether to Attend HITEC or The Hospitality Show?

For more information on Security for 7/14/2023


- Next Generation of Hapi Solves for Hotel Data Integrations at Scale
Hapi, the hospitality industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, is excited to announce new infrastructure in partnership with AWS that is providing hotel companies access to critical guest and transactional data in revolutionary ways. Newly built in the Amazon AWS environment, the Hapi Data Platform can provide data from technology systems “at rest,” or in storage, that hotel companies can access quicker.

- HotelPORT Announces Custom Hospitality Software Development and Platform Integration Services
HotelPORT, a trusted leader in the hospitality industry, announces the launch of their groundbreaking Hospitality Software Development and Platform Integration Services. This transformative suite of solutions is powered by the expertise of their joint-venture member, GP Solutions, a renowned software development firm.


- Industry Professionals Celebrate 2023 HITEC Return to Toronto
- AHLA, Questex Host Successful New Event: The Hospitality Show
- The Hospitality Show Welcomes Thousands of Attendees, Holds First Full Day of Programming
- Hospitality Technology Innovator Agilysys Demonstrates How Hotels and Resorts Are Using Technology to Elevate Return on Experience (ROE) across Six Key Hospitality Moments
- Future-Forward Hospitality Technology Software Leader Agilysys to Present Session on Maximizing Guest and Staff Experience at the HITEC Toronto Conference

For more information on Hospitality Events and Association News for 7/14/2023


- Knowland Reports Meetings and Events Growth for June at 30.3 Percent
Knowland, the world’s leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, reports June meeting and event volume is up 30.3 percent over June 2022.
Austin, TX, and Nashville, TN, were the stars, with growth topping 74 percent and 42 percent, respectively.


- There's a Real-Time Revolution Happening in Hotel Operations
- Hotel Tech, Marketing Experts Say Industry Must Take a 'Quantum Leap' in Innovation
- Do's and Don'ts of Hotel Chatbots
- Business Travel Leaders Cautious on Generative AI, Tout Benefits

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 7/14/2023

And now for the You-Know-What...

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