Siegel Sez

August 23, 2018

Siegel Sez


by: Rich  Siegel

There is nothing more to do. A week from Tuesday everybody from Hospitality Upgrade will be in Seattle for our 17th CIO Summit. Last year in Denver we had our biggest crowd ever and we have the same size crowd this year with more than 70 technology leaders representing every major brand, management companies, vacation ownership and some very unique companies that represent the independent hotels. Thanks to the help from Mark Fancourt we have speakers coming in from all over the world which has created a very unique program for the attendees. We have fun diversions this year including hot air balloons and sea planes. Dinners on yachts and the night that everybody is looking forward to as we do our closing night at Boeing where we will be joined by Boeing CIO who will talk technology. It is always a weird feeling for our little company to pull something off like this and we thank all those who are participating; attendees, speakers and sponsors. Wish us luck! If you are curious, check out www.hospitalityupgrade.com/ciosummit for more details. We will have pictures, videos and an indepth review of the event in our upcoming fall issue. To subscribe to Hospitality Upgrade in print or digitally, please go to www.hospitalityupgrade.com/subscribe.
 
As September continues I have been entrusted to moderate the technology session at the Lodging Conference in Phoenix (www.lodgingconference.com) on Sept 26. I have attended the Lodging Conference for years and I love the change. Instead of events that are technology focused, this time technology is a small part. The big part is money. It is where the buying and selling of hotels is nonstop. Of course, I love asking the money people where they see technology come into play in their deals and their answers amaze me. I always share the understanding that technology in the hotel business is important as they do their deals. It’s an interesting event for me and I am thankful I am asked to participate.
 

Summer is over and the event season kicks in nonstop with too many events to list (they are on https://www.hospitalityupgrade.com/events.asp). But before summer ends, I get to take my one trip for fun: I am heading to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Many people know the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown for horse racing, but not everybody knows the midsummer derby is the Travers Stakes which is this Saturday, Aug. 25. Thanks to some friends I got connected with the group that owns Gronkowski, the horse named after the New England Patriots star football player and who we met at the Belmont Stakes earlier this year. He has a good shot at winning the Travers and if that happens I hope they will let me sneak into the winner’s circle with them for the picture. That would be very cool. You just never know. My fingers are crossed.

 
Summer is coming to an end which means we are focused on our Fall issue of Hospitality Upgrade. If you are a vendor of technology and would like the world to know who you are and what you are doing then please email Anne Boon a note at anne@hospitalityupgrade.com. There are some very creative things we can do to help you spread the word about your offerings. The industry wants to know.
Here now is the real reason we are here, our review of the latest technology happenings opening with the always interesting thoughts by consultant Ron Hardin. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Go Gronkowski!
 
Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

 


Rich@hospitalityupgrade.com

Introduction


by: Ron Hardin

Nobody likes a contrarian (present company excepted, of course). You know that person. The one who always takes the opposite view and seems to thrive on debate for the sake of debate.  Or worse, the person who always has to be right and win the debate at all costs. A well-worn aphorism that applies to all relationships, personal or business:  you have a choice – to be right, or to be happy. That philosophical wind-up is so I can pitch a contrarian view over the plate: old technology isn’t necessarily bad technology. I’m not suggesting the use of outdated solutions when better, newer solutions are available. And I’m not contradicting my previously stated wish from an earlier column for hoteliers to please get rid of some of the scary old stuff in their technology ecosystems.  What I’m really talking about is respect and, to a lesser degree, reality versus hype. 
 
Take Ethernet for example. That’s the wired networking technology that connects virtually all of our stationary computers and devices.  It was developed at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center; also, the birthplace of the mouse and the graphical user interface) in the mid-70s and commercially introduced in 1980.  It is now capable of supporting local area network speeds of 400 GB per second and is projected to remain the standard for wired networking well into the future.  We don’t think about Ethernet much, but at least it’s not being trash-talked constantly by those hyping something newer and better.  Unlike, oh, I don’t know ... property management systems.  (And let’s diverge here momentarily to agree that even though the “S” in PMS stands for “system,” the term “PMS system” is common usage, and those nerds who insist on saying “PM system” are both pretentious and risking confusion with preventative maintenance systems). 
 
I readily acknowledge that there are some great new(er) products in the PMS market space, but it grates my last nerve when the marketing hype for these products makes it sound like more mature PMS products are the technological equivalent of stone knives and bear skins. The largest hotel company in world uses two of the oldest PMS platforms still extant.  While that certainly has some downside, particularly in terms of mobility and ease of integration, it has clearly not impeded the success of the company. And I think it’s safe to say that they have a spectacular return on their long-term technology investment.  It is clearly time for an upgrade, but these workhorse applications deserve more respect for their years of service.  I recently read an online advertorial from one of the newer players in the PMS field that said legacy systems were barely more than loosely coupled Excel spreadsheets containing impenetrable and inaccessible data.  I respectfully disagree.  While I still
acknowledge that newer is often better, it does not necessarily follow that older was bad.  In many cases, older PMS systems were much faster and more user-friendly (albeit, with training). Interfaces and integration also get a bad rap. Vendors throw around terms like “API” and “open standards” as if they were magic-wand solutions to effortless integration. The vast majority of integration requirements involve simple exchanges of small amounts of data for room status and charge posting, and the old interface methodology is perfectly adequate (and, in many cases, more secure). Having said that, trust me when I say that I am a big proponent of the API integration model based on open standards.  I’m just saying that you can sell the new without trashing the old.  Show a little respect.  Now, you kids get off my lawn – I’m going inside and watching Matlock.
 
Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting
Ron@ronhardin.tech

Recent Headlines, From Hospitality Upgrade




PEOPLE ON THE MOVE



- Hilton Announces New Leader for Americas Region

- Radisson Hotel Group Appoints Catherine Higgins Whiteside as Vice President of Marketing for the Americas

- Hotel Amapa Appoints Alessandro Stifani as General Manager



For more information on People on the Move for 08/24/18

GUEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS



- Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery Selects Agilysys Solutions for Optimized Efficiency and Secure Guest Payments

- StayNTouch Partners With Seaside Hotels
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Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery Selects Agilysys Solutions for Optimized Efficiency and Secure Guest Payments
Agilysys, Inc. announced that Ellis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery has selected Agilysys’ award-winning InfoGenesis® point-of-sale as a hosted solution and rGuest® Pay as their payment solution. rGuest Pay will provide the property with complete security for their guests’ financial data, while InfoGenesis POS will increase efficiency across the property and help management and property team members deliver world-class guest service.
https://www.agilysys.com/
https://www.agilysys.com/en/solutions/by-products/payment-gateway/rguestpay

StayNTouch Partners With Seaside Hotels
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and Property Management Systems (PMS) for hotels, is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seaside Hotels Hawaii with the deployment of its Rover PMS™ and Zest™ products at Maui Seaside Hotel (Kahului, HI),
http://www.stayntouch.com/



RESERVATIONS



- Sabre Hospitality Solutions Announces Business Travel Services Suite, With InterContinental Hotels Group® as One of Its First Adopters

 
Sabre Hospitality Solutions Announces Business Travel Services Suite, With InterContinental Hotels Group® as One of Its First Adopters
Sabre Corporation announced Business Travel Services, the new consolidated solution suite from Sabre Hospitality Solutions that will offer hoteliers easy-to-use tools with time-saving automations and simplified processes; access to industry insights and expert guidance; and unlimited access to travel management companies and consortia partners – all in one place. 
https://www.sabre.com/




GUEST SERVICES



- ALICE Creates Eye-Opening Insights to Housekeeping Operations for Hotel Wailea

- ALICE and the Government of Puerto Rico Create the Ultimate Traveler's Experience Platform: "My Puerto Rico" Redefines Hospitality and Elevates the Visitor's Experience

- Intelity X KEYPR Meet Guests’ Mobile Demands
__________


For more information on Guest Services for 08/24/18

MARKETING/MANAGEMENT



- Omni Hotels & Resorts Launches New Planner Loyalty Program

- Marriott International’s Three Loyalty Programs Unify

__________
 
Omni Hotels & Resorts Launches New Planner Loyalty Program
Omni Hotels & Resorts launches its new Omni Select Planner program for meeting planners, offering immediately redeemable rewards and benefits unlike any other group loyalty program. Meeting and event planners can now earn free nights, tier status and unique, local experiences with every booking.
https://www.omnihotels.com/selectplanner

Marriott International’s Three Loyalty Programs Unify
A new era is beginning for the more than 110 million members of Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty programs. For the first time since Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, the programs now operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 130 countries and territories. 
Marriott.com
SPG.com




SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING



- Inc. Magazine Unveils Its 37th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000
__________ 

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its 37th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000
Inc. magazine revealed that Tripleseat is No. 1744 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment — its independent small businesses. 
http://www.tripleseat.com/
http://www.inc.com/inc5000



COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE



- Phonesuite Releases Voiceware 3.0 as An Upgrade to its Existing Hotel Communication Platform
__________

Phonesuite Releases Voiceware 3.0 as An Upgrade to its Existing Hotel Communication Platform
Phonesuite announces the release of upgraded Voiceware 3.0 software, the next iteration in its leading IP-PBX hotel management platform. This major release represents Phonesuite’s commitment toward developing innovative tools that help hotels function more efficiently and profitably through cloud-based technology delivery.
http://www.phonesuite.com/
 



SECURITY



- VENZA Ranks No. 3259 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 With Three-Year Revenue Growth of 121 Percent
__________ 

VENZA Ranks No. 3259 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 With Three-Year Revenue Growth of 121 Percent
Inc. magazine revealed that Venza is No. 3259 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment — its independent small businesses. 
http://www.venzagroup.com/
http://www.inc.com/inc5000




PIQUED OUR INTEREST



- How Is overtourism Impacting Travel To Popular Destinations?

- Hurricane Lane likely to further curb Hawaii’s September hotel performance

- Walt Disney Co. Puts Luxury Hotel Plan on Indefinite Hold Citing Feud with Anaheim Over $267 Million in Subsidies

- How Technology Is Driving Transparency in Real Estate

- Hotels Push to Build a better Hotel Breakfast


For more information on Piqued Our interest for 08/24/18

You-Know-What



And now for you-know-what …  A few points to ponder ...
 
A stingy old lawyer who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness was determined to prove wrong the saying, "You can't take it with you." After much thought and consideration, the old ambulance-chaser finally figured out how to take at least some of his money with him when he died.

He instructed his wife to go to the bank and withdraw enough money to fill two pillow cases. He then directed her to take the bags of money to the attic and leave them directly above his bed. His plan was that when he passed away, he would reach out and grab the bags on his way to heaven.

Several weeks after the funeral, the deceased lawyer's wife had gone up in the attic to clean. Coming upon the two forgotten pillow cases stuffed with cash she exclaimed, "Oh, that darned old fool. He should have had me put the money in the basement.”
 





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