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Siegel Sez

September 18, 2020

Siegel Sez

Don’t people ever learn from their mistakes? I have been invited to create and lead two sessions at HITEC in the highly creative Hospitality Upgrade Hangout theatre. These will be for young professionals who are pursuing a career in the hotel industry with a focus on technology, but I am guessing there will be many not so young attendees joining as well. The first session will have Alex Alt who leads Oracle Hospitality and Mark Holzberg CEO of Cloud5 Communications. The second one will include CIOs Jeff Bzdawka from Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Scott Strickland from Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. There will be no mention of Hyatt, Wyndham, Oracle or Cloud5 at the discussions. It is all about what leaders look for when building their teams and what young professionals should focus on as they start their careers. Yes, there will be plenty of stories and hopefully some not so normal moments. Please put 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27 on your HITEC schedule for the vendor session along with Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 3:15 for the CIO session, which is right before the young professionals networking event which should be interesting in this not so normal cyber world we are living in. I am honored to be asked to lead these forums and as we get closer to HITEC there is a bit of excitement from those I have talked to who are attending this year. HFTP who has partnered with us for our recent events has been very generous stating that any past attendees or invitees to the CIO Summit will be offered complimentary registration. To receive a comp registration code, please send an email to registration@hftp.org for qualification.
It is interesting to see on social media that many people are taking their first plane trips in six months. I have taken a few since March -- one I had no choice and three I just wanted to do and one I shouldn’t have. I will tell you the hotel experiences have gotten so much better and other than having to wear a mask everywhere (which I already do) at times it almost seems normal. Almost. I have been to Florida twice and it seems that just like Georgia masks are optional. Then I went to New York twice and you wouldn’t think of walking in any building without a mask. That is all I am going to say since I don’t want to get political but here in Georgia it seems way more don’t wear them unless they are told they can’t enter a building without a mask.
It is all about safety and one thing we have all hear about is how hotels are pursuing the contactless experience. Doug Rice in his Definitely Doug blog which follows shares where we are with this initiative and what we have learned works and what doesn’t. We love how Doug shares his views even when often there are disagreements on his thoughts. How boring would life be if we all agreed?
Before I close and turn this over to Doug and the latest industry technology news, it is funny how many times I get into horse conversations which I very much enjoy. Our schizophrenic 4-year-old Riken is running Sunday at Belmont Park in race two. You can watch it on Fox Sports 1. The race goes off a little before 1:30 p.m. eastern. Wish us luck. I hope to see you at HITEC or at the end of the news with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Go Riken!
Be well!

Definitely Doug

Macro Tech Trends for the Post-COVID Future (Part one)

Over the past six months, this column has focused mostly on hospitality technologies and issues that were triggered by COVID-19. Innovation has flourished during that time, from both established industry technology providers and from startups. At last count I had identified nearly 300 startups in the space since the beginning of the year, some of them with very interesting technologies.

Of course, most companies that started in 2020 are not yet “ready for prime time” – it takes time to build a product and a company that can really have an impact. But the trend is clear: 2020 will, for all its pain, go down as a year in which many of the future industry technology leaders were born. This last happened at scale during the great recession of 2008-2009, and it seems like this time the level of activity is even greater.

So, in this installment and the next one or two, I want to recap the areas where innovation has been the greatest. I will not be doing a deep dive on any one area, but will rather try to paint the broader context, while referencing some of my earlier articles and providing a few updates where relevant.

There are four trends I will cover in total. Together they cover most of the landscape of innovation in hospitality tech so far in 2020. The most active trend is technologies that facilitate contactless interactions with guests, and that will be this week’s topic. In the next one or two installments I will cover the other three, which are health and sanitation, social distancing, and communication.

Douglas Rice
Email: douglas.rice@hosptech.net
Twitter: @dougrice
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ricedouglas/


- IDeaS Intern Program Makes WayUp 100 List in U.S. for Second Year
IDeaS was once again listed in WayUp’s Top 100 Best Internship Programs in the United States. WayUp, the go-to job placement platform used by millions of early-career professionals, releases the top 100 internship programs each year.


- Cox Business’ Blueprint RF Welcomes New Senior Sales Leader Blueprint RF Sales Director Kathy Hatala
Blueprint RF, a Cox Business company, announced the appointment of Kathy Hatala as its new director of sales. In this role, she will lead Blueprint RF’s sales efforts with a renewed focus on developing and nurturing relationships with national brands, property management groups and local leadership teams within the Hospitality industry.

- Technology Finance Veteran Aman Kothari Joins Sojern as Chief Financial Officer
Sojern, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for travel, today announced that technology finance veteran Aman Kothari has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In his new role, Kothari will oversee all aspects of finance, including financial planning and analysis, accounting, tax, and treasury.


- Prince Waikiki Selects Cendyn's Revenue Cloud to Power Revenue Management and Business Intelligence
Cendyn, a leading innovator in CRM, sales and revenue strategy for the hospitality industry, announces Prince Waikiki has selected rainmaker and revintel to power revenue management and business intelligence for their premier resort in Hawaii.

- IDeaS and Cenium Partnership Delivers Modern Technology Platform for Total Hotel Revenue Optimization
IDeaS and Cenium announced a product integration that enables guest data from Cenium's property management system (PMS) to automatically flow into IDeaS revenue management solutions. This partnership allows hotels and resorts to optimize revenue, gain control of the entire guest journey and make staff processes more efficient.

- Accor and Amadeus Announce Strategic Partnership Around Business Intelligence
To support Accor hoteliers in successfully navigating COVID-19 and to plan for the future, the hotel group has expanded its strategic partnership with Amadeus to include the use of Demand360®. The solution provides the most comprehensive, forward-looking market data in the hospitality industry.


- Uniquely Yours: Personalized Offers for Your Guests
Often times we see specials and packages continually repeated while searching for a hotel. If you’re getting tired of seeing the same promotions, so are your potential guests. So get creative with your offers and generate far more interest in your hotel – from both new and returning guests.

- Upgrade to a New Affordable ADA Compliant Website, on "Pay-As-You-Go" Model with No Capital Expense
Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement, and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, is making it easy for hotels to upgrade their digital marketing presence through its HotelSiteXPRESS service.


- GuestTek Announces Collaboration with IT Hospitality for Middle East and Africa Region
GuestTek Interactive Entertainment Ltd., the global leader in providing innovative and interactive technology solutions for the hospitality industry, is pleased to announce the collaboration with IT Hospitality for the Middle East and Africa region. With over 20 years’ experience operating within the hospitality industry, they have an unsurpassed wealth of knowledge of the region and coupled with GuestTek, will be a formidable partnership.

- The Lodge at Tiburon Partners with Hotel Internet Services to Upgrade Its Guest Wi-Fi With High Speed Network Capabilities
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced the successful upgrade of guest Wi-Fi services at The Lodge at Tiburon.


- Quore Deemed Essential at Holiday Inn Detroit Northwest to Uphold Guest Experience During Pandemic
Quore, a leading provider of workflow management and productivity tools for hotels, was determined to be an indispensable tool for the staff at the Holiday Inn Detroit Northwest while navigating the challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. Quore was temporarily suspended but quickly brought back when guest satisfaction suffered.

- Boston Laundry Inc. Grows Client Base and Improves Services Installing the InvoTech Laundry System
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its Laundry System at Boston Laundry Inc. in Medford, Massachusetts. The InvoTech System installed at Boston Laundry Inc. manages the Laundry inventory and the rental activity for thousands of items daily, and the Laundry joins InvoTech’s extensive client portfolio of laundry, uniform & linen services worldwide.


- Beekeeper Webinar to Showcase Some Technology Must-Haves of the Next Normal
Together with its marketplace partners Lua and SalesBoost, employee communication hub Beekeeper will showcase some of the tools every hotel needs on the road to recovery.


- Mandarin Oriental, Santiago Adopts Advanced Security and Convenience Enhancing Technology by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions
ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions has successfully implemented a wide range of advanced security access platforms at Mandarin Oriental, Santiago.


- BU School of Hospitality & ESSEC Business School (France) Announce Collaboration for Graduate Students
Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) Dean Arun Upneja, PhD, has announced the formalized relationship between two of the world’s leading hospitality programs: Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) and the ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. Graduate students enrolled in either program have the opportunity to earn part of their Master’s degree abroad – an opportunity which involves elective courses taught by premier internationally-recognized industry practitioners and internships in Europe and / or the United States.
www.bu.edu/hospitality   www.essec.edu


- Maestro PMS Says the Future of ‘Virtual Events’ is Bright with BITAC Ongoing and CYBER HITEC On Deck
If you were planning on attending a hospitality event in 2020, chances are high that it was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. While this disruption in show business has been devastating to event planners and convention facilities, the advent of virtual events is quickly proving to be a lucrative alternative for everyone involved.

- PAS to Host Webinar Featuring Panelists from Hard Rock, Hilton, Aimbridge and Four Seasons
On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. (ET), PAS (Professional Accounting Solutions, Inc.) will host a webinar on standardization and automation for improved efficiency. The program is part of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) ProLinks Webinar series and will feature a panel of technology leaders from Hard Rock International, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide and Aimbridge Hospitality.


- Contactless Technologies Gaining Traction in Travel and Tourism Industry, Says GlobalData
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the travel and tourism industry to a near standstill with prolonged lockdowns. Now that government authorities across several countries have relaxed air travel restrictions, airports and hotels are trying to re-build confidence in travelers. Against the backdrop, contactless technologies are proving to be a game changer for the industry, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

- Economy Extended-Stay Hotels Hold Up Best During Q2 2020
The second quarter of 2020 was the low point for the hospitality industry, as the world was gripped by the pandemic and as travel lockdowns were widespread. HVS compiled the 2020 performance statistics of brands reported by public companies for the second quarter and compared the data to second-quarter performance of 2019. The data reflect the resiliency of economy, extended-stay brands during the first months of the pandemic.


- Travel Industry Giants Failed to Secure their Websites Despite High-Profile Data Breaches, New Research Shows
- The Pandemic Is Accelerating AR Adoption for Retailers and Entertainers
- “Free” PMS API Integration Is the Key to Hotel Innovation
- Virtual Conference 2020: Ideas, Tips, and Tools

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 9/18/2020


And now for you-know-what.… 

A Mafia Boss finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of $10 million dollars. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that Marco would hear nothing so he would not have to testify in court. 

When the Boss goes to confront Marco about his missing $10 million, he takes his lawyer who knows sign language. The Boss tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the money is!" 

The lawyer, using sign language, asks Marco, "Where's the money?" 

Marco signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about?" 

The lawyer tells the Boss, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about." 

The Boss pulls out a pistol, puts it to Marco's head and says, "Ask him again or I'll kill him!" 

The lawyer signs to Marco, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him." 

Marco trembles and signs, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, in the shed at my house. 

The Boss asks, "What did he say?" 

"Boss, he says you're not man enough to pull the trigger.” 

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