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Siegel Sez

August 12, 2022

Siegel Sez

First, I must thank all those who emailed, called and texted after the video we posted two weeks ago trying to encourage AHLA to change the dates for its new Hospitality Show. So many people simply commented that if they were on different dates, they would attend the new AHLA event and, of course, HITEC Toronto. I gave it my best shot, and we’ll see. It is only August so who knows what might transpire between now and June 2023. These are strange times for the hotel tech world.
Being it is August that means we are only a few weeks away from our 20th CIO Summit and this one will be memorable. Getting so many leaders together – leaders who are responsible for their company’s technology initiatives – always generates amazing conversations when they share what is going on in their worlds. This year will be even better because along with those based here in the states, we have attendees coming in from Europe and Australia as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The stories are always amazing. Of course, putting together a program for a crowd like this allows us to be creative. The CIO Summit is simply a unique gathering of tech leaders. Who would have guessed when we had our first summit in 2002 in Wilmington, DE, with 21 attendees it would grow as it has? I guess there are benefits to thinking outside the box. California, here we come! If you have any questions about The CIO Summit, please send a note to me at rich@hospitalityupgrade.com.
I know I was not the only one intrigued when two weeks ago Doug Rice in his Definitely Doug column that follows introduced us to Guest Journey Software, that is simply referred to today as GJS. It opened everybody’s eyes to what changes are coming for the hotel industry. Today he follows his introduction to GJS with a look at how to evaluate GJS platforms. There are links included in his column in case you missed his intro two weeks ago. Take a few moments to read through. There is nothing wrong with spending a little money to make big money, right?
It has been an amazing summer for much of the travel industry with many challenges still. I know the challenges can often be extreme with severe staffing challenges, but I would take these challenges over the ones we had after March 2020. It has been a long road back, but we are back and that is the most important thing even with some uncertainty down the road. What a ride it has been! 
Here now is the real reason we are here, Doug’s column along with the latest technology happenings in the industry. Thank you for being part of what we do. It really motivates us. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what!  Enjoy what is left of your summer!


Definitely Doug

The Digital Guest Journey (Part Two)
My last column introduced the large and complex category of Guest Journey Software (GJS). It made the case that this should be on virtually every hotel’s radar as an inexpensive way to reduce operating costs, increase guest satisfaction, and generate new revenue. I outlined the benefits and explained why the timing is now right for many hotels – when just a few years ago, the offerings were still pretty rough. I also provided insights into the challenges of deploying GJS.
This week’s column builds on Part One but shifts the focus to evaluating GJS platforms. It’s not a simple checklist, because every hotel is different. Not every capability makes sense for every hotel, and integration with existing systems often creates challenges. You’ll need to overlay your own judgment on what you can learn here.
As noted in the first column, nothing described here is science fiction – everything is commercially available in at least one solution among the ones I interviewed. These included Canary Technologies, Duve, GuestTraction, hudini, NexGen Guest, Nonius, Operto, QikInn, TigerTMS, and Virdee. A few others did not respond to requests for interviews, but from what I know of them, they are in the same range.
We will start with how to think about deploying Guest Journey Software as a category, then dive into the details of specific features provided by various platforms.

General Considerations for Guest Journey Software
My interviews yielded a lot of good advice that can help you approach this complex category. I have distilled some of the main points in this section.
Prioritize Your High-Level Objectives. GJS can help optimize staff efficiency, can generate incremental revenue, and can improve the guest experience. There are often tradeoffs, however. The smoothest guest experience may be less efficient for hotel staff or might not generate as much revenue. Understanding your primary objective can help you select the best options. If your biggest problem right now is staffing the front desk, then you might focus on preregistration and mobile check-in – especially if upselling requires a lot of manual intervention to fulfill (you can always return to upselling later). If labor is not an issue but revenue is, then upselling may be more critical.


Click here to read more of Doug’s column The Digital Guest Journey (Part Two)


Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas
The Digital Guest Journey (Part Two)


- Cendyn Names Two New Leaders to International eCommerce Team
Cendyn, a catalyst for digital transformation in the hospitality industry, is excited to announce the appointment of Kelly Snyder as Vice President of Customer Success, eCommerce and Sumit Sethi as Regional Vice President of eCommerce in India.


- BWH Hotel Group Makes Oracle OPERA Cloud Available to All Hotels
BWH Hotel Group, one of the world's largest hotel companies, is the first to integrate its central reservation system (CRS) with Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud property management system (PMS) through the Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform.
- Community-Focused Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel Expands Technology with Agilysys to Elevate Staff Productivity and Transform Guest Experiences
Eight Agilysys solutions work together to maximize Return on Experience across casino, racetrack and hotel operations.   


- Cloudbeds Publishes ‘Big Book of OTAs,’ Unveils Top Performing Distribution Channels and Strategic Guide to Driving Growth
Cloudbeds, a hospitality management platform powering more reservations and happier guests for lodging businesses around the globe, revealed data on top performing distribution channels in a free guide released today titled, “The Big Book of OTAs: A Hotelier’s Guide to Top Distribution Channels.”


- Apex Hotels Launch Mobile App Powered by Nonius
Luxury UK hotel group, Apex Hotels have partnered with Nonius to develop and launch a brand-new app, Apex Hotels & Rewards, now available to download!


- AutoCamp Partners With Cloud5 Communications for High-speed and Reliable Guest Internet Access
Cloud5 Communications, a leading provider of communications solutions and Managed IT Services for more than 5,000 hotels, MDUs, and commercial facilities across the Americas, has partnered with AutoCamp – the premier outdoor lodging brand – to deploy high-speed internet access (HSIA) services for several of its locations.
- Scottsdale Plaza Resort & Villas Deploys HIS High-Speed Network Technology for Events and Meetings
Upscale property maximizes on the return of conferences and other physically held events by partnering with HIS to exceed attendee connectivity expectations.
- Virgin Voyages Standardizes on Aruba ESP to Deliver Exceptional Sailor Experiences
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, announced that Virgin Voyages is deploying an end-to-end Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) network to deliver world-class, premium experiences aboard all four of their inaugural fleet of “lady ships.” Working with DeCurtis Corporation, Virgin Voyages set out to create an extraordinary, technology-enabled cruise experience.


- Westin Phoenix Downtown Hotel Implements Clear Sky's Beverage Inventory Control Software
Clear Sky Software, Inc.® announced today that the Westin Phoenix Downtown Hotel is up and running on Clear Sky Software’s beverage inventory control system.  The Westin selected Clear Sky Software to help control all beer, liquor and wine inventory.


- Skye Virtual Agent Eases Front Desk Pressure, Improves Hotel Guest Experience
Tyme Global today announced the launch of its virtual agent, Skye, an addition to its menu of remote staffing services. Skye uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand conversational language and recognize intent. As a result, guests can interact naturally with Skye as if speaking with a human operator. Calls, texts, and emails are answered immediately with no wait time.


- TPI Hospitality Upgrades to UniFocus for Enhanced Labor Management Platform and Time & Attendance Technology
Rapidly growing hospitality development and management company boosts staff productivity, operational efficiency and service quality using industry's leading AI-based workforce solutions.


- VENZA and CyberTek-Led HITEC Opening Party Drives Record Turnout; Important Fundraising Efforts Remain
The Opening Party for the 2022 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) lived up to its billing, receiving an incredible turnout at SeaWorld Orlando to kick off this year's annual conference. However, with the growing attendance, the financial structure of the charitable purpose has been compressed, creating a continued need for contributions to important causes.
- HFTP Moves Forward to Publish the USALI, 12th Revised Edition, Ends Relationship with AHLA
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has been associated with the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) since the association was established in 1952. In recent editions, HFTP has provided expertise support and funding for its publication without reimbursement.


- Knowland Meetings and Events Data Shows 163.9 Percent Growth Over July 2021
Knowland, the world’s leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, released its monthly meetings and events data for July reporting a significant increase of 163.9 percent over July 2021. Although there was a 15.5 percent decline from June, this is related to normal seasonality, however, it is still less than typically exhibited pre-COVID.


- Industry Leaders Share Thoughts on the Future of Attribute-Based Shopping in Reaction to Stayntouch-NYU Tisch Center of Hospitality Report
- The Spectacular Failure of the $1.2 Billion Chinese Luxury Hotel that Would Have Made the Burj Al-Arab Seem Ordinary
- Group Travel Is Back, Bleisure Belongs, but Where Will Business Transient Land?
- The Hotel Labo(u)r Crisis and How Technology Can Help

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 8/12/2022

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

A woman decided to give herself a big treat for her 70th birthday by staying overnight in a really nice hotel. When she checked out the next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for $250.00.
She demanded to know why the charge was so high "I agree it's a nice hotel, but the rooms aren't worth $250.00 for just an overnight stay - I didn't even have breakfast!"
The clerk told her that $250.00 is the 'standard rate,' and breakfast had been included had she wanted it.
She insisted on speaking to the manager. The manager appeared and, forewarned by the desk clerk, announced, "This hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center which are available for use."
"But I didn't use them."
'Well, they are here, and you could have." He went on to explain that she could also have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which they were so famous." We have the best entertainers from the world over performing here."
"But I didn't go to any of those shows ..."
"Well, we have them, and you could have."
No matter what amenity the manager mentioned, she replied, "But I didn't use it!" and the manager countered with his standard response.
After several minutes of discussion, and with the manager still unmoved, she decided to pay, wrote a check, and gave it to him. The manager was surprised when he looked at the check.
"But Madam, this check is for only $50.00"
"That's correct I charged you $200.00 for sleeping with me."
"But I didn't!"
"Well, too bad, I was here, and you could have."

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