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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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Jon Inge's 2013 Technology Year in Review

01/10/2014
Part 1 of 8 - Check back daily for each section of Jon's Technology Year in Review.
(excerpt from full post - 01/09/14 Siegel Sez Newsletter
 

     It’s been an odd year.  Apart from Indra’s bringing its successful and comprehensive TMS system to the US market and Choice launching its proprietary GMS onto the open market under the SkyTouch name, no major new systems have appeared.  The sound and fury surrounding “mobile everywhere” has signified nothing much more than a flurry of apps spreading existing functionality across more convenient devices, putting even more strain on overloaded WiFi networks.  There have certainly been many interesting developments across the board, but these have tended to be incremental rather than game-changing.  Probably the biggest news of the year was Amadeus’ takeover of Newmarket, which may indicate a potential shake up in the established order of vendors, and this is discussed more below.
     One topic that received little coverage this year was that of cloud-based systems, indicating that it’s no longer controversial.  Some GMSs and many utility applications are available only as remotely-hosted systems, but pretty much every one on the market can now be configured that way for properties that don’t want to look after their own servers.  Some remote sites with poor communications will still be better off with an on-premise system, but the reliability and data availability of cloud-hosted systems is now proven.  The decision on whether or not to use them has become one of balancing long-term costs against greater security and peace of mind.
     The great WiFi debate also seems to have cooled off, at least towards the end of the year.  There’ll always be pressure on hotels to provide more bandwidth for guest use, but it does seem to be becoming more acceptable to charge for higher-demand uses such as streaming video.  Charging for basic access to check e-mail, however, is increasingly unacceptable to todays’ travelers, and charge-for-all-access hold-outs will face very strong pressure to either drop the charge altogether or to wrap it into room rates to make it inconspicuous.
     Hospitality made it into the wider press world again this year, not (thankfully) for guestroom door lock security issues but in the much more positive sense of creating jobs and showing strong growth.  “Inc.” magazine emphasized the largely unrecognized contribution of the hospitality industry to the country’s economic recovery through increased hiring, with four hospitality companies included in its survey of the top 100 companies for job creation from 2008 to 2011. The magazine also recognized Sceptre Hospitality Resources, UniFocus and The Rainmaker Group in its Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.  Excellent work!
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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