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Siegel Sez

August 25, 2017

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

Do you know what GDPR stands for? If you are in the hotel industry you should. If you don’t, I strongly encourage you to read Ron Hardin’s opening to the technology news this week. At times I wonder what the world would be like without lawyers. Kudos to HFTP who earlier this year gathered industry leaders to organize and prepare the hotel industry for the GDPR deadlines that are upcoming in the not too distant future. It is said that the only constant in life is change, and things seem to change at a furious pace.
One thing that hasn’t changed:  those who are responsible for the hotel industry’s technology will be coming together in Denver at the CIO Summit in less than two weeks. Hospitality Upgrade’s CIO Summit has a record number of CIOs coming from across the globe to meet with peers for three days. For the first time in the 16 years since it was created, we needed a second hotel to handle the overflow attendance, but thankfully it is only two minutes from the front door of the Kimpton Hotel Born where we are holding our CIO Summit. I guess this is a good problem to have. Wish us luck.
Speaking of an amazing event, one thing that has amazed me is how many in the hotel industry love horses the way I do. I have had some great conversations with many who have all become Hoboe fans. Thank you for all the congratulations regarding Hoboe’s winning race which I shared last Siegel Sez. Hoboe ran a second race this past week against older (he is only three years old) and faster horses and nobody expected much. He just missed winning the race by a head. Two trips, two great results at historic Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York. Yes, we are in the home stretch of summer but for us it has been a good one! 
I will keep this short because I really do want you to read Ron Hardin’s opening. Then there is the technology news and finally I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.



by: Ron Hardin

A few months ago, I was having lunch with the head of an information security services group when he asked me what I thought about GDPR. I paused for second, and took a stab: “East Germany? As in, the German Democratic Peoples Republic?" Sadly, no. He was asking about the General Data Protection Regulation, an emerging regulatory initiative of the European Union. According to Wikipedia, the intent of the regulation is “to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.”
The regulation was adopted in April 2016, and becomes enforceable after a two-year transition period, on May 25, 2018. One controversial aspect of the regulation is “extraterritoriality,” meaning that the regulation applies to organizations outside of the EU who collect, store and process the private data of EU citizens. The requirements are stiff, particularly for organizations not compliant with the preceding EU data protection directive of 1995, which GDPR replaces. And the sanctions range from a written warning of first (and non-intentional) non-compliance, to the imposition of regular periodic data protection audits and fines up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of global enterprise turnover, whichever is greater. Once it was explained to me (slowly), my first thought was that it would be unenforceable on businesses that only operate in the United States, or otherwise don’t have any operations in the EU.  But even if that is true, and you are in that category, chances are that you work with brands or other operators who do have operations in the EU and they will have to comply, which will create a ripple effect for you. And there is always the possibility that new opportunities for growth in your business may arise in the EU, and your organization should be prepared.
As I have said before about information security planning and PCI compliance, your first step should be to talk to a lawyer – get a clear legal opinion from a qualified attorney on what your legal liability and responsibilities are for GDPR – and do your own independent research on the subject. Many vendors and service providers are already starting to put out marketing messages which essentially ask, “Are you ready for GDPR?” While the question is valid, who it is coming from reminds me of “Are you ready for Y2K?”, “Are you ready for PCI DSS?”, “Are you ready for the Great Eclipse?” – you get it. There may be a place in YOUR plan for some of these services and products, but come up with your plan first, based on professional legal guidance plus your research, and with the buy-in of ownership and upper management. We’ve all been witness to previous cycles of information security, where many in the early days took the “why should I care” approach, which resulted in publicized data breaches, huge costs and interrupted careers. Keep your head in the game, not in the sand, and not in the clouds, and hopefully, not on a plate.

Ron Hardin
RonHardin.TECH Consulting


- NAVIS Expands Executive Team to Amplify Product and Service Innovations
- Sabre Names Vish Saoji as Chief Technology Officer
- Charles McKee Appointed as Chief Commercial Officer, Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
- Choice Hotels Appoints Raul Ramirez as Vice President, Strategic Finance and Financial Planning & Analysis
- GuestTek Appoints James Jessel as Vice President, Sales - Americas
- John A. Rubino Promoted to Executive Vice President of Interstate’s Crossroads® Hospitality Division
- Irene Hoek Appointed Vice President of Development, Europe for Rosewood Hotel Group
- Telkonet Names Beau Walter New Director of Marketing
- Wyndham Worldwide Announces Spin-off Hotel Company Executive Leadership Team
For more information on People on the Move for 08/25/17


- Multiple Infor Solutions Placed on the Constellation ShortList™ for HR, Financial and Customer Experience
- Maestro PMS Earns Repeat Business from Clients with Growing Portfolios
- Software Advice Names RMS in FrontRunners Quadrant for Hotel Management Software
- eRevMax Completes Integration with Hotel Management System Provider hoteliport
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 08/25/17


- SHR Named to Inc. 5000 List for Sixth Time
- SHR Buys European Firm Cross-Tinental
- Upscale Washington Hotel Recommends eRevMax for Online Distribution
For more information on Reservations for 08/25/17


- The Rainmaker Group Ranks on Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest-growing Private Companies for Seventh Consecutive Year
 - Meliá Hotels International Partners With Duetto to Transform Revenue Strategy
The Rainmaker Group Ranks on Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest-growing Private Companies for Seventh Consecutive Year
The Rainmaker Group (Rainmaker), the hotel revenue and profit optimization cloud, announced that it has again ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. for 2017, making it the seventh consecutive year to achieve this honor. With the addition of 2017, Rainmaker is now part of an elite two percent of companies that have had the honor of being listed seven times, and an even smaller percentage that have received this distinction for seven years consecutively. With a continuously expanding customer base, Rainmaker continues to rank on the Inc. 5000 list due to its impressive growth, particularly in the last 3 years when the company grew by 67 percent.
Meliá Hotels International Partners With Duetto to Transform Revenue Strategy
Duetto, a leader in revenue strategy technology, and Meliá Hotels International have partnered to implement Duetto’s cloud-based solutions as part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation. Meliá, one of the largest hotel companies in the world with seven brands and more than 370 hotels across 43 countries, has undertaken several initiatives to elevate its revenue strategy and digital-marketing and distribution capabilities. Its adoption of Duetto’s price optimization application, GameChanger, and revenue intelligence application, ScoreBoard, confirms the two companies are aligned on a long-term vision for innovation.


- More Than Half the Hilton Portfolio to be Digital Key Enabled by End of Year
- Grace Santorini selects MCOMS HOTstream
- Hotel Bonaventure Montreal Selects Teledex Phones
- Indy Marriott Chooses TeleMatrix 3300 Series Hotel Phones
For more information on Guest Services for 08/25/17


- HEBS Digital Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America
- TRACK Releases First AI Powered Secure Messaging Platform for Homeaway and Airbnb
HEBS Digital Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America
Inc. magazine ranked HEBS Digital on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, one of the most prestigious rankings of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. HEBS Digital’s accelerated global expansion provides hoteliers with best-of-class hotel technology and solutions fundamental to engaging and acquiring hotel guests, increasing direct bookings, and lowering acquisition and distribution costs. This global strategy has led to remarkable growth for HEBS Digital and earned the firm, for the second time since 2012, a coveted spot on this list.
TRACK Releases First AI Powered Secure Messaging Platform for Homeaway and Airbnb
In June, Homeaway announced that it would no longer pass along critical traveler contact information until a reservation is confirmed, creating concerns about the changing landscape of vacation rental listing sites. These changes by Homeaway have aligned it with the likes of Airbnb and traditional OTAs, creating increased concern and uncertainty for many vacation rental property managers and owners within the hospitality industry. TRACK Hospitality Software (TRACK), a leading all-in-one cloud communications platform for the independent lodging industry, has announced the launch of the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered secure messaging application for Homeaway and Airbnb business users.


- ProfitSword Shortlisted for 2017 SaaS Awards
- White Lodging Selects UniFocus’ Industry-leading Labor Management Solution for Its Diverse Hotel Portfolio
ProfitSword Shortlisted for 2017 SaaS Awards
ProfitSword has been named a finalist in the 2017 SaaS Awards Program in the category Best SaaS Product for Management Accounting or Budgeting. With awards for excellence and innovation in SaaS, the Software-as-a-Service Awards program accepts entries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australasia, United Kingdom and EMEA. The SaaS Awards program is now in its second year of recognizing and celebrating innovation in software.
White Lodging Selects UniFocus’ Industry-leading Labor Management Solution for Its Diverse Hotel Portfolio
White Lodging has selected UniFocus’ industry-leading labor management system (LMS) for all of its 170 full and select-service hotels throughout the United States. The software has been installed at the first five full-service properties, including the JW Marriott Austin, where it has generated a 5:1 return. UniFocus also has contracted with White Lodging to provide consulting services to a select number of its hotels. UniFocus’ LMS is also unique in its scalability, which helps companies like White Lodging manage the labor needs of a diverse and quickly growing portfolio.


- Vivonet Announces Strategic Partnership and Integration with MyCheck
Vivonet Announces Strategic Partnership and Integration with MyCheck
Vivonet Acquisition, Ltd (Vivonet), a leader in cloud-based point-of-sale and reporting solutions for the hospitality industry, has partnered with MyCheck, a leader in mobile payment technologies, to develop a point-of-sale and payment API integration to deliver frictionless mobile experiences for hotels, resorts and restaurants. Through this new integration with MyCheck’s MyRestaurant solution, customers of Vivonet using the Vivonet Cloud POS platform will have the ability to extend their food-and-beverage options to mobile devices, to offer full menu viewing, ordering, roomservice and digital wallet capabilities to meet the demands of a new breed of travelers.
http://www.vivonet.com, http://www.mycheck.io  


- Cayman Islands' Newest Addition, the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, Manages Uniform Inventory with InvoTech Systems
Cayman Islands' Newest Addition, the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, Manages Uniform Inventory with InvoTech Systems
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its Uniform System at the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, located on the Cayman Islands. InvoTech Systems is a leading provider of advanced linen management, laundry and uniform systems that increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa manages the uniform inventory for more than 400 employees.


- Stout Street Hospitality Notifies Guests of Third-party Security Incident
- VENZA Honored as Gold winner in the 9th Annual 2017 Golden Bridge Awards® Customer Service Executive of the Year
- ShoCard Secures $4 Million in Funding, Launches Enterprise Identity Solution, ShoBadge
For more information on Data Security and Cyber Attacks for 08/25/17


- Hotel Las Américas Bolsters In-room Security with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Elsafe SENTINEL II Safes
Hotel Las Américas Bolsters In-room Security with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Elsafe SENTINEL II Safes
Hotel Las Américas, a five-star hotel located in Cartagena, Colombia, is further increasing onsite security with the installation of the Elsafe SENTINEL II in-room safes from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality in all 530 guestrooms at both Las Américas Casa de Playa and Las Américas Torre del Mar. After using a competing in-room electronic safe, Hotel Las Américas looked to ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Elsafe SENTINEL II because of its long battery life, ability to store and remember access events, safe depth, advanced futuristic design and user friendliness. The property has also successfully employed a mix of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's VingCard electronic locks with RFID technology.


- HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Holds First Meeting in Amsterdam, Moves Ahead on Building Resources
- NYU School of Professional Studies’ Students Tap into Latest Hotel Technologies with IDeaS Revenue Solutions  
HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Holds First Meeting in Amsterdam, Moves Ahead on Building Resources
Preparing for the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), a framework legislated by all EU member states with a required compliance date of May 25, 2018, international nonprofit association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) recruited a team of experts to develop Hospitality Data Protection Officer (HDPO) guidelines and supporting resources for the industry. In addition, the group is designing a certification program specific for HDPOs to demonstrate their competence with the specialized position. A key requirement of the GDPR is that companies who handle large stores of sensitive personal information must assign a DPO, and it is estimated that this could open approximately 28,000 positions across all industries.
NYU School of Professional Studies’ Students Tap into Latest Hotel Technologies with IDeaS Revenue Solutions  
Starting in the spring of 2017, students attending the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) within the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism program have had access to the latest technology platforms and learning resources through a collaboration with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. The IDeaS Academic Partner Program is a worldwide educational curriculum with more than 60 institutions of higher learning. It is designed to provide students with valuable hands-on exposure to industry-leading pricing, forecasting and revenue management solutions. Combined with other business and revenue management courses, the program empowers the next generation of hoteliers with a deep understanding of how technology will play a pivotal role in their careers.


- HFTP and Naseba Announce HITEC Dubai 2017 Advisory Council
- HFTP Announces 2017 CHAE of the Year Recipient Guus Martinus Heijmans, CHAE
- Industry-defining Speakers to Headline Hospitality Trade Show, HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA
- OpenTravel Advisory Forum Online Registration Now Open
For more information on Hospitality Events for 08/25/17


- Dancing robots set world record ... again
- Okay Google, Are Apps Dead? Alexa, Do Hotel Guests Want You?
- How Artificial Intelligence will change the hospitality industry
- How AI, AR, and VR are making travel more convenient
- How to Improve the Hotel Guest Experience With Mobile
- Famed Plaza Hotel Is On the Block
- The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation: What Steps Must Members of the Hospitality Industry Take?
- PART 2: The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation: Two Important Steps to Take
For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 08/25/17


And now for you-know-what…
Once there was a little boy that lived in the country. They had to use an outhouse, and the little boy hated it because it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter and it stunk all the time.
The outhouse was sitting on the bank of a creek and the boy determined that one day he would push that outhouse into the creek. One day after a spring rain, the creek was swollen so the little boy decided today was the day to push the outhouse into the creek. So he got a large stick and started pushing. Finally, the outhouse toppled into the creek and floated away.
That night his dad told him they were going to the woodshed after supper. Knowing that meant a spanking, the little boy asked why.
The dad replied, "Someone pushed the outhouse into the creek today. It was you, wasn't it?"
The boy answered, “Yes.” Then he thought a moment and said, "Dad, I read in school today that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and didn't get into trouble because he told the truth."
The dad replied, "Well, son, George Washington's father wasn't in the cherry tree."

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