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Siegel Sez

November 06, 2020

Siegel Sez

As I write this opening to Siegel Sez on Friday morning it looks like Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. I do look forward to this happening simply so we can return to disagreeing or being upset with political decisions that are being made but not using the word hate. The United States has always been a country where there are two mainstream political parties and not agreeing on politics is actually a positive thing. This is truly what has always made America great. That is all the politics you are going to get from me.
Doug Rice in his Definitely Doug column that follows shares his HITEC experience including the many exhibitors that he visited during the event. I enjoyed HITEC as much as one can enjoy a virtual event but in truth it made me miss the real HITEC even more. I miss the lunches in the exhibit hall and people walking up and down the aisles visiting and catching up with industry cohorts while learning what new technology was being shown. That was tough in a virtual environment. Kudos to HFTP for finding the technology for a virtual HITEC. The many comments I received and what I experienced was that it worked well. The sessions were overall high quality but the two I did were tough not hearing any laughter from the audience or being able to inspire questions from them. One more reason I long for the pandemic to be over and recovery to truly kick in.
We at Hospitality Upgrade must thank the thousands for their great feedback on our Fall issue which came out last week during HITEC and was in the virtual bag of all the attendees. The positive feedback received along with the amazing support from the vendor community has us thinking that as bad as the hotel industry is suffering maybe it isn’t as bad as it seems. There was a great deal of positive energy at HITEC and way more optimism then I had heard in awhile. Maybe things are slowly getting better?
I hope if you are reading this you are also a subscriber to Hospitality Upgrade either in print or digitally. The growth of our e-newsletters continues so please be sure you receive the Watercooler which is sent every two weeks. Alan Zaccario does a masterful job in our recent Watercooler newsletter sharing his thoughts on what happens to data in closed hotels or those changing owners with foreign entities often purchasing them. It is kind of scary what might be happening. To receive the HU Watercooler newsletter please click here.
Here now is Definitely Doug with a look back at his HITEC experience. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what. Looking forward to normal!

Definitely Doug

I spent most of last week at HITEC, which is the “event of the year” in hospitality technology. Usually I come home with a literal mountain of notes to digest, follow-ups to schedule, and things to write about. We all knew this year’s virtual event would be different, and it was.
There were some excellent sessions on Customer Data Platforms and Universal Booking Engines from Lyle Worthington and Nick Price; on ideas for social distancing from Brennan Gildersleeve, Steve D’Erasmo, and Jenny Lucas; and on virtual and hybrid event models with Mark Haley, Bob Gilbert, Jeff Loether, and Stephanie Glanzer. I also really enjoyed the Women in Hospitality Tech session, with four highly accomplished professionals talking about their professional journeys and hopefully inspiring some of their younger colleagues. The virtual presentation technology had its issues and led to some odd moments, but overall, at least for the educational sessions, it worked.
I was, however, disappointed with the amount of innovation I saw on the virtual exhibit floor. Most years I come home with notes on 40 or 50 companies offering cool new stuff, much of which makes its way into this column in the months that follow. This year, however, the pickings were slim. That’s not because innovation has slowed down; all evidence points to the contrary and I have seen lots of new product ideas elsewhere. Indeed, times of turmoil are typically when innovation best flourishes.
Rather, the innovators, with a few exceptions, just were not exhibiting. And many of those that were, really did not have their act together. Many booths were unmanned when I visited (which I was careful to do only during the scheduled hours, since the “floor” itself was open 24x7); the posted materials and summaries were often meh; and responsiveness to questions was often slow or nonexistent.
Some of this may have been the way the event platform worked; it seemed to sometimes lose conversation threads if you navigated away from a booth. Some of it seemed more like booth staff who were multitasking and failed to notice attendees entering their booth or asking questions. And if the person you asked needed to consult a colleague, the conversations became even more asynchronous and disjointed. Much of it was, I suspect, the fact that both exhibitors and attendees were trying to figure out how to use the less-than-intuitive platform effectively, but I was left with the impressions that many of the booths were simply not staffed with anyone who was paying full-time attention.

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



- TraknProtect Appoints Page Petry to Board of Advisors
- Zoox Smart Data Appoints Sandy James as Director of Business Development
- M3 Announces New Hire for Regional Sales Team
- PROVision Welcomes John Burns as Senior Advisor
- NextPax Appoints Eric Leong to Lead Asia Pacific
- Rodd Herron Promoted to Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

For more information on People On The Move for 11/6/2020


- Jonas Chorum Announces New Client Addition with Affordable Suites of America and Their Innovative Hotel Concept stayAPT Suites
- Virdee Launches First End-to-End Contactless Check-in Solution for Hotels and Multifamily Properties
- Maestro to Showcase Multi-Platform Web Browser PMS Options for Independents at CYBER HITEC
- Oracle Deals an Ace in the Hole for Casino Group in Historic Downtown Vegas
- Maestro PMS Adds Frontline User Focused Native Tablet Version to Complement Its Web and Windows Solutions


For more information on Guest Management Systems for 11/6/2020


- Estatefy Chooses NextPax as Exclusive Channel Manager
Estatefy, a leading all in one software solution for property managers, real estate brokers, vacation home owners and vacation rental management companies selects NextPax, provider of one of the most advanced worldwide channel management technologies for hotels, resorts and vacation rentals as its exclusive channel manager.

- SiteMinder Launches Partner Program to Harness Local Power for Hotels Globally
SiteMinder, one of the global hotel industry's leading guest acquisition platforms, has launched the SiteMinder Partner Program to bring out the strength of the local advisory community for hotels. The Program forms the most extensive, global program for hotel advisors and property management system (PMS) vendors, who can now gain access to critical training, educational resources and dedicated online support from SiteMinder to provide a more holistic offering to their hotel clients.

- Amadeus is Breaking Data Silos with the First Integrated E-Commerce Platform for Hoteliers
To benefit both hoteliers and guests, Amadeus is introducing the Amadeus Integrated Booking Suite. The combination of Amadeus’ iHotelier central reservations system, guest Management Solutions, and Web, provides a one-stop shop for hoteliers to efficiently manage the nuts and bolts of their distribution strategy, web design, and guest communications.


- Hersha Hospitality's Independent Collection Partners sith Duetto
Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) has deployed Duetto’s Revenue Strategy Platform across its entire Independent Collection, a growing portfolio of boutique, lifestyle, and luxury hotels across the United States.

- Hilton and Amadeus Renew and Expand Exclusive Business Intelligence Partnership
In challenging times for the hotel industry, having access to quality, forward-looking data is paramount. Hilton and Amadeus announce an extension of their business intelligence partnership for Demand360, Rate360, and Agency360.

- Kalibri Labs Launches Cutting Edge Predictive Tool to Support Recovery Planning
Kalibri Labs continues to make substantial upgrades to the industry’s most robust database by 1) providing RevPAR, Occupancy and ADR for future dates and 2) creating greater visibility at the market/submarket level. The Kalibri Labs database contains daily transaction data sourced directly from almost 35,000 hotels in the U.S. calculating revenue, ADR, Occupancy, rate category contributions, channel mix, arrival/departure dates, lead time, length of stay, loyalty contribution and corresponding costs of acquisition measures.


- Nonius Has Been Playing an Important Role on The Guest Journey for More Than 600 Hotels Worldwide
- Rudding Park Reopened with Online Check-In and Hotel App to Improve Guest Safety
- Angie Hospitality Demonstrates Contactless, Smart Hotel Technologies at Cyber HITEC
- Hotel Zena, a Groundbreaking Hotel Dedicated to Female Empowerment, Opens with Volara + Google in Every Guestroom
- MCOMS Provides Mobile Contactless Experience at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

For more information on Guest Facing Technology for 11/06/2020


- Milestone Inc. Will Host Digital Transformation Thought Leaders and Marketing Trailblazers at Engage2020 on November 12
- Sojern Adds Metasearch to Multichannel Digital Marketing Platform Led by New Head of Product
- Vizergy Receives Multiyear Recognition in Website Design and Development
- HotelSiteXPRESS Offers All-Inclusive Website Solution at Affordable Monthly Rates for Any Size Hotel


For more information on Marketing for 11/6/2020


- Golden Nugget Leverages Knowland to Prospect for New Business
Knowland, the leader in group hospitality analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, announced today that Las Vegas hotel and casino, the Golden Nugget, has leveraged Knowland’s historical database of actualized events to amplify its group sales and prioritize leads.

- Hotel Kansas City Taps Knowland to Prospect Group Business Ahead of Grand Opening
Knowland, a leader in group hospitality analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, was selected by the newly opened Hotel Kansas City, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, to help increase group business for its 20,000 sq. ft. flexible event space.


- ProfitSword Recognized by Golden Bridge Business & Innovation Awards as a Leading Developer of Next Generation Business Intelligence Technology
- Aptech to Showcase its Hospitality-Specific Finance & Accounting Software at HFTP’s CYBER HITEC
- Hotel Technology Experts Trust PAS to Help with Standardization and Automation Initiatives Across the Globe
- M3 to Showcase Latest Offerings and Developments at Cyber HITEC
- Aptech Announces Next Version to its Execuvue Business Intelligence Solution
- ProfitSword Partnership with Event Temple Offers Full Real-Time Insight into Hotel Group Sales, Event and Catering Performance
- BirchStreet Systems Partners with Industry Leader Highgate on Payment Processing Solution
- Hotel Technology Experts Trust PAS to Help with Standardization and Automation Initiatives Across the Globe

For more information on Back Office for 11/6/2020


- Radisson's Country Inn & Suites and Park Inn Albany Locations Partner with Hotel Internet Services to Adopt Latest in Guest Wi-Fi Technology
- Cox Business’ Blueprint RF Launches Upgraded Wi-Fi Network Platform
- Hotel Internet Services Showcases Advances in Contactless Guest Service and Entertainment Personalization Along with Latest in Wi-Fi Connectivity at Cyber HITEC 2020
- Nomadix Unveils New Suite of Hotel Offerings at Cyber HITEC
- Nomadix Dials Up New Cloud PBX Service for High-Quality Calling at a Low Cost

For more information on Communications and Infrastructure for 11/6/2020


- PPHE Hotel Group Choose Crave Interactive’s ServeSafely Mobile Ordering for its Hotels and Restaurants
Crave Interactive, a leading global hospitality technology company, have signed an agreement with PPHE Hotel Group (‘PPHE’) to provide mobile orderings solutions to PPHE’s hotels and restaurants using its innovative ServeSafely solutions.

- Infor Develops Contactless Ordering Solution for Hospitality Industry
Infor announced Infor OrderNow, a new contactless ordering solution to help the hospitality industry better navigate the operational challenges that the current pandemic presents, while supporting the dining revenue stream in the future.


- Case Study: Hotel Paso Del Norte Re-Opens as One of the First Autograph Collection Hotels Using Bipolar Ionization for Air Purification
The bipolar ionization system works differently from traditional air filtration systems, which gradually replaces air within a property over time. The system at work in the Hotel Paso Del Norte is at work at all times, constantly sending positive and negative ions into the surrounding oxygen to neutralize viruses, bacteria, negative odors, and more. Since the air in the hotel does not need to wait to go through a filter to be cleaned, the property is able to maintain a consistent state of sanitation.

- ALICE Launches a Hotel Technology Buyer’s Guide
ALICE, the hospitality industry’s leading operations technology company, has released “The Hotel Technology Buyer’s Guide: Top Tools to Support Lean Teams.” More than 2,500 hotels and thousands of hoteliers around the world have chosen ALICE to streamline operations and communication with a single platform.

- Circa Resort & Casino Implements the InvoTech Uniform System for Contactless Uniform Distribution and Inventory Management
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its Uniform System at Circa Resort & Casino. InvoTech Systems is the 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, theme parks and production plants.


- Onity Combines Modern Aesthetics and Contactless Access with the Launch of Serene, an All-In-One, Small-Form-Factor Lock
Onity, a global leader in electronic access solutions, is announcing Serene™, an all-in-one minimalist lock designed for aesthetically-minded, high-end hotels. This small-form-factor lock combines both elegant design and leading-edge DirectKey™ mobile access technology. Onity is part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

- TraknProtect Adds New LTE Gateways to Platform
TraknProtect, a pioneer of location-based technology purpose-built for the hotel industry and a leading employee safety button provider for several major hotel brands, has unveiled powerful new technology to the TraknProtect Platform that delivers the capability to have LTE Gateways connect via a private network to communicate directly with the TraknProtect Cloud.


- HFTP Debuts CYBER HITEC to Large Virtual Crowd
The virtual event concluded its live portion on October 29 but will continue to be available through November 25. The event offered 30+ education sessions and 90+ exhibitors.

- HFTP 2020–2021 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors Begin Term
The 2020-2021 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) have officially begun their term at the start of this month. The association leaders represent a wide variety of segments within the hospitality industry, including: clubs, academics, hotels, finance, technology and more. The HFTP Global Board volunteers its time and professional expertise to help guide and progress the association to the forefront of the industry as it carries out its strategic plan.


- Airport Covid-Sniffing Dogs Appear to Be as Accurate as PCR Tests, with Instant Results  
- Our 10 Favorite Perks of Working from a Resort or Hotel
- Airbnb Has a New Design Partnership with Sir Jony Ive
- Sabre and Google Working on AI Solution

For more information on Piqued Our Interest for 11/6/2020


And now for you-know-what.…

A man is stranded on a desert island. One day, he sees a speck in the horizon. Then, out of the surf comes this gorgeous blonde woman, wearing a wet suit and scuba gear. She comes up to the guy and says, “How long has it been since you’ve had a cigarette?”

“Ten years,” he says.

She reaches over and unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes. 

He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag, and says, “Man, oh man! Is that good!” 

Then she asked, “How long has it been since you’ve had a drink of whiskey?” 

He replies, “Ten years!” 

She reaches over, unzips her waterproof pocket on her right sleeve, pulls out a flask and gives it to him. 

He takes a long swig and says, “Wow, that’s fantastic!” 

Then, with a mischievous and flirty smile, she says to him, “And how long has it been since you’ve had some real fun?” 

The man replies, “Wow! Don’t tell me that you’ve got golf clubs in there!”


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