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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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2013 Technology Year in Review - Mergers and Acquisitions

01/22/2014
Part 8 of 8 - All sections of Jon's Technology Year in Review can be accessed at the end of today's post. (excerpt from full post - 01/09/14 Siegel Sez Newsletter)

Part 8 - M&A 
     As usual, I was surprised when looking back to see just how many mergers and take-overs there were last year.  The biggest deal by far came right at year-end with Amadeus picking up Newmarket.  This is a fascinating move; Amadeus has been working on expanding its offerings to all areas of hotel operations for some years, and this both fills major gaps in its product range and gives it a major boost in credibility outside the GDS/CRS arena.  Further, while Amadeus does have capable RMS and GMS products already, it’s tempting to wonder whether it might also be hunting for similarly-renowned products in those two areas as well.  IDeaS?  Protel?  It’s fun to speculate, but only time will tell.
   Other M&A activity this year included, in chronological order:
- Expedia acquired metasearch company trivago.
- The Rainmaker Group acquired Grasp LLC for its flexible analytics and data visualization.
- Lanyon was acquired by Vista Equity Partners.
- LodgeNet filed for bankruptcy under an expedited Chapter 11 process, emerged with Colony Capital as its majority stockholder and rebranded itself as SONIFI Solutions.
- GoConcierge.net acquired its California neighbor and rival Gold Key Solutions.
- Hotel Concepts and Brilliant Hotelsoftware completed their integration process and officially changed the name of the combined company to iTesso.
- OpenTable acquired Foodspotting.
- TripAdvisor acquired Jetsetter.com, a members-only private sale site for hotel bookings.
- signage companies Symon Communications and RMG Networks merged, and will continue operations as RMG Enterprise Solutions.
- Pegasus Solutions sold its commission processing division (Pegasus Financial Services) to H.I.G. Capital.
- Systems Associates Inc. (SAI) acquired Scientific Control Systems.
- Agilysys acquired TimeManagement Corporation.
- Xn Hotel Systems and iHost Hospitality merged under the Xn Hotel Systems name.
- Ruckus Wireless acquired YFind Technologies Private Limited, which specializes in indoor positioning and real-time location analytics.
- TripAdvisor acquired hotel review website Oyster.com.
- PSAV acquired Visual Aids Electronics.
- Amadeus acquired Newmarket International
- Atlantic Street Capital acquired Uniguest.
 
     And that’s it.  2013 was the Year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac; amongst other things snakes shed their skins, symbolizing new beginnings, and it seems that last year many companies were preparing themselves for their next phase.  2014 will be the Year of the Horse; hopefully it will bring the horse’s legendary strength, energy and ease of communication to achieve significant improvements in systems’ functionality and integration.
 
 To read part one: click here
Part two - Mobile
Part three - GMS
Part four - CRS
Part five - Distribution Part seven - RFID
 
About The Author
Jon Inge

Jon Inge and Associates


Jon Inge is an independent consultant specializing in hotel property level technologies. Jon is a regular contributor to Hospitaity Upgrade and writes a bi-monthly technology newsletter covering technology in the hospitality industry that appears on Hotel-Online.com.

 
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