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Siegel Sez

November 03, 2017

Siegel Sez

by: Rich Siegel

It is simply that time of year. Last week Hospitality Upgrade was invited to Marriott’s Download 2017, the Americas IT Conference, where nearly 600 of the company’s IT professionals from North and South America attended. Download was held at the brand-new Marriott Marquis in Chicago, and it is quite the hotel.  It was an amazing event that also dedicated a day to Marriott’s technology partners who simply raved about the event. On Tuesday I had an opportunity to sit down for an hour and interview Bruce Hoffmeister, Marriott’s global CIO, and then on Wednesday I interviewed Page Petry, the Americas CIO.  So much was shared in these two hours including Marriott’s technology plans as the company continues to bring Starwood into the Marriott family. The videos of these interviews will be available on our http://www.hospitalityupgrade.com site soon. Both Page and Bruce were wonderful, sharing the vision of the future and specifically where they are innovating with technology for all Marriott properties. We thank them for inviting us.
After Chicago it was off to Orlando for the HFTP Annual Conference, one of my favorite events of the year. This event is always heavier on the finance side of HFTP, but the technology side was well represented. The highlight of this event is always the Friday night somewhat formal dinner. This year they thanked Lyle Worthington for his past year as president and welcomed Tim Nauss to the position leading HFTP. Tim is the CFO at Studio City in Macau. How cool that the year after their president was based in Amsterdam they now have a president living in Macau. Yes, HFTP is really going global. I thank HFTP for inviting us.
From Orlando I was off to the Lodging Conference in Phoenix where Hospitality Upgrade is a sponsor. This is a great event for me personally since the crowd is typically owners and investors in the hotel industry. Hotel Online’s Michelle Renn put together and moderated a panel on technology that owners could understand, and she was nice enough to invite me to be a panelist. It was a highly interactive session. Once again, I am thankful to be invited. 
Yes, it has been quite a 10 days. Soon we will be off to New York for HX, the event that many of us simply called the New York Show. I will leave the group there and head to Dubai for the first HITEC Dubai. HFTP set the bar fairly high with the successful HITEC Amsterdam, so I am eager to see how Dubai goes. This will be my first trip to Dubai, so that should make it even more interesting. I can’t wait.
We have gotten a great deal of great feedback on our fall issue that many of you have received. If you don’t subscribe to our three issues a year publication (which you should) then click here for our digital edition. The feature article on CRM has generated quite a bit of discussion and this issue also includes the review of the CIO Summit in Denver. We encourage you to read it and share with us your thoughts. That is always appreciated.
Here now is the real reason we are here; Ron Hardin’s look back at the latest technology happenings and his thoughts on what we should do with paper. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Ron Hardin

Last week, we celebrated the 65th birthday of HFTP, the professional association for those of us who have made our careers in the fields of hospitality finance, accounting and technology. The HFTP Annual Convention, held this year at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, was another resounding success. I have been a member for almost 20 years, and I’m constantly impressed with the quality of all the events produced by HFTP. I’ve been going to HITEC for more than 20 years, and like so many others, I discovered HFTP through HITEC. It was a transitional time in my career, and in HFTP I found a professional home – an incredibly diverse and vibrant community of amazing people that I’m proud to name as friends and colleagues. HFTP also manages the two globally recognized certification programs for hospitality finance and technology: the CHAE (certified hospitality accounting executive) and CHTP (certified hospitality technology professional). On a personal note, I’m pleased to announce that I recertified as a CHTP this year in Orlando. The certification exam has certainly been updated since I originally took it in 2002! I also had the opportunity to speak at one of the many educational sessions at HFTP’s Annual Convention, on the subject of information management and going paperless. It is a fascinating subject when you dig into it – the amount of paper used in business is not only staggering, but actually growing. Eighty-five percent of printed documents wind up in the trash within 24 hours. And the production of paper is a significant contributor to deforestation, air and water pollution and energy usage. Businesses (and their people) are married to paper, and the divorce won’t be easy. But there are proactive, incremental steps that any business can take immediately to start down the road toward reducing or eliminating their paper usage. Just as with information security (my favorite subject), the process of going paperless requires a comprehensive information management policy and plan that identifies and quantifies the paper-based information assets in an organization. Reducing paper records also improves information security, so let’s all add “going paperless” to our strategic initiatives for the coming year. And thanks again to the volunteer member leadership of HFTP, and to HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe and his small but dedicated team, for all the events, education and opportunities. Here’s to the next 65 years!

Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting


Recent headlines, from Hospitality Upgrade



- AccorHotels Signs an Agreement to Acquire Mantra Group Limited
AccorHotels Signs an Agreement to Acquire Mantra Group Limited
AccorHotels announced the signature of an agreement with Mantra Group Limited with the view to acquire all issued capital in Mantra by way of a scheme of arrangement to be approved by Mantra shareholders.  Under the terms of the agreement, AccorHotels would offer AUD3.96 in cash for each Mantra share including any potential special dividend. Mantra is one of Australia's largest hotel and resort marketers and operators with 127 properties and more than 20,000 rooms in hotels, resorts and serviced apartments across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.


- Sundar Kamak Joins BirchStreet Systems to Head Marketing and Product Strategy
- ProfitSword Promotes Maureen Allen to Newly Created President Position
- Douglas Wilkins Joins B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group as Senior Vice President of Operations
- Beekeeper Establishes Hospitality Division; Andrada Paraschiv Named Head of Hospitality
- Caesars Entertainment Appoints Chris Holdren Chief Marketing Officer
- And more People on the Move…

For more information on People on the Move for 11.03.17


- StayNTouch Rover™ PMS Integrates With Merchant Link’s EMV Product, TransactionLink™, to Help Hoteliers Combat Card Present Fraud
StayNTouch Rover™ PMS Integrates With Merchant Link’s EMV Product, TransactionLink™, to Help Hoteliers Combat Card Present Fraud
StayNTouch, an innovator in mobile technology and property management systems (PMS) for hotels, announced EMV integration between Rover™, its cloud-based property management system (PMS), and Merchant Link, a leading provider of cloud-based payment gateway and data security solutions. Merchant Link enables more than 6 billion transactions annually for some of the world’s best-known merchants, providing connectivity to the major U.S. payment card processors. EMV integration provides StayNTouch hotel customers the third leg of the transaction security stool. Previously, StayNTouch had integrated with Merchant Link’s TransactionVault® (tokenization) and TransactionShield® (P2PE) products, which secure transaction data at rest and in flight respectively. TransactionLink™ (EMV Chip and PIN) provides an additional level of authentication at the point of sale that increases the security of a payment transaction and reduces chances of fraud.
http://www.stayntouch.com/, http://www.merchantlink.com/


- IBC Hospitality Technologies Unveils RES360 for Medium and Large Management Companies and Ownership Groups
- Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Joins TravelClick’s Market-Leading Demand360® Program
- b4checkin Expands in Tribal Gaming Hotels Space
- Fornova Partners with eRevMax to Create a One-stop Shop for Smart Distribution, Benefiting Hotels Worldwide
- Pegasus Solutions Unveils New Intelligent Booking Engine at World Travel Market 2017

For more information on Reservations for 11.03.17


- LUX* Resorts & Hotels Books In For Growth With Infor
- Rainmaker and StayNTouch Partner to Help Hotels Increase Bookings, Optimize Revenue and Boost Profitability
- citizenM Chooses Duetto as its Revenue Strategy Partner

For more information on Revenue Management for 11.03.17


- ADB Cites Three Features of In-room Entertainment Every Hotel Should Budget for in 2018
- Intelity Continues Strong Growth Trajectory with New Customers in 2017
- Eleven Software Launches Guest Wi-Fi Management Purpose-Built for Multifamily
- GuestTek Completes Samsung’s Tizen Integration
- The Historic Beau-Rivage Hotel in Geneva partners with MCOMS
- MyCheck Teams with Lokion to Bring "Pick Your Room" and "Find My Way" Mapping Functionality to Hotels and Guests
For more information on Guest Services for 11.03.17


- Guests at The Greenwich Hotel Have A New Way To Get In Touch With The Front Desk
Guests at The Greenwich Hotel Have A New Way To Get In Touch With The Front Desk
ALICE, the operations platform that empowers hotels to deliver a better guest experience through consistently excellent service, is celebrating a successful year of partnership with New York City’s Greenwich Hotel and Alta, the tablet provider that enhances a guest’s stay by allowing users to discover and request available goods and services. Through this partnership, guests at The Greenwich Hotel have been requesting services and amenities as well as uncovering the surrounding area, all without having to swing by the front desk or call down to reception. 
http://www.aliceapp.com, http://www.getALTA.com


- Cendyn Nominated for Two World Travel Awards
- Cendyn Opens Office in Munich, Germany After Seeing Continued Growth in EMEA Region
- Voyat Debuts Voyat Black, Latest Platform Release that Brings Hotels and Guests Even Closer Together
For more information on Marketing/Management for 11.03.17


- Sabre Launches First AI-powered Business Intelligence Solutions for the Hospitality Industry
- TravelClick Expands Strategic Business Intelligence Relationship with Hyatt
- Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Joins TravelClick’s Market-leading Demand360® Program
- Launch of FCS Analytics Provides Hoteliers with Total Business Intelligence Solution
For more information on Back Office for 11.03.17


- Foxwoods Casino Goes All In With BirchStreet Procure-To-Pay Suite
- Viceroy Chicago Implements InvoTech’s RFID Uniform Management System to Reduce Operating Costs
Foxwoods Casino Goes All In With BirchStreet Procure-To-Pay Suite
Foxwoods Resort Casino has chosen the BirchStreet Procure-To-Pay suite for its entire campus of casinos, restaurants, hotels and convention spaces. The Mashantucket, Conn. property, which is the largest resort casino in North America, will use the BirchStreet eProcurement, AP 3-Way Auto-Matching, Food & Beverage Inventory Control, Recipe Management and Capital Projects modules. It will rely on BirchStreet to meet procurement needs for both direct and indirect-spend items across the Foxwoods campus. Foxwoods’s evaluation found BirchStreet to be a user-friendly system, that, with its drill-down checkbook feature, provides property-level and enterprisewide food and beverage spend visibility and control. Switching to the cloud-based BirchStreet system will enable Foxwoods to significantly improve its food and beverage ordering and monitoring of business processes.
Viceroy Chicago Implements InvoTech’s RFID Uniform Management System to Reduce Operating Costs
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its uniform system at the new Viceroy Chicago that opened September 1, 2017, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood. InvoTech Systems is a leading provider of advanced linen management, laundry and uniform systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. InvoTech's Uniform System establishes a perpetual uniform inventory and has extensive reporting capabilities to monitor inventory levels and forecast uniform purchases. The system provides significant cost saving benefits by cutting labor costs, eliminating losses, reducing purchases, and lowering laundry expenses.


- Historic Francis Marion Hotel Chooses VENZA® to Provide Proactive Cyber-security Training
Historic Francis Marion Hotel Chooses VENZA® to Provide Proactive Cyber-security Training
The Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C., has partnered with VENZA to provide critical data security and PCI compliance training for its staff. The 235-room hotel has selected VENZA’s Denali package, which offers online training modules, awareness audits and other resources, including a five-stage phishing campaign designed to measure staff understanding and adherence to best security practices.


- Cardtek Partners with TableSafe to Assist with Pay-at-the-table Security Compliance Standards
- EMV Smart Card Payment Security is Available for Independent Hotels
Cardtek Partners with TableSafe to Assist with Pay-at-the-table Security Compliance Standards
Cardtek, one of the world’s leading providers of innovative end-to-end payment solutions and technology, announced its partnership with TableSafe Inc., maker of the first EMV-certified and PCI compliant pay-at-the-table platform for full-service restaurants and the broader hospitality industry, to assist with payment industry security compliance and to help TableSafe streamline EMV certification of the RAIL™ payment platform. 
EMV Smart Card Payment Security is Available for Independent Hotels
Lodge Tools Inc., an inventive hospitality SaaS company that provides leading-edge property management solutions, has integrated its property management system InnTender with Heartland’s Pax S300 terminal processing reader providing full EMV secure payment processing for the independent hotel market. Independent hotels can benefit from the reduction of card-present card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.
­­­http://www.inntender.com, http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com


- HEDNA Announces Featured Speakers for This Year’s Global Distribution Conference, Austin, Texas, January 29 – 31
- HFTP Celebrates 65 Years of Success at Annual Convention 2017
- HITEC Amsterdam 2018 Online Registration and Housing Bureau Open Now
- HITEC Dubai, Officially Endorsed by DTCM, Aims to Facilitate Tourism Vision 2020
- Rainmaker Executive Angie Dobney to Participate in TribalNet Panel
For more information on Hospitality Events for 11.03.17


And now for you-know-what…
A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and all of a sudden he hears some music. No one is around, so he starts searching for the source.
He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads, "Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827." Then he realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward. Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.
By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backward.
Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar. When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backward. The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.
By the next day the word has spread and a throng has gathered around the grave. They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward. Just then the graveyard's caretaker ambles up to the group. Someone in the crowd asks him if he has an explanation for the music.
"Oh, it's nothing to worry about," says the caretaker. "He's just decomposing."


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