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A great deal has been written over the years about the viability of moving a hotel’s property-management system (PMS) to the cloud to take advantage of the latest technologies, but hoteliers need to realize that it’s not the only viable option. All platforms have advantages, including self-hosted, private cloud and on-premise solutions that leverage the latest mobile, contact free and web-based technologies. Independent operators can still enhance the digital guest experience, support personalized and mobile check-in, deploy contact free technologies, and secure hotel/guest data even if their PMS does not reside in the cloud. It should not be a question of “Cloud or On Premise?” but rather “Does the PMS solve your business objectives in both technology and service?”

Much has been written in the mainstream hospitality press about the challenges COVID-19 has presented to the industry. Hotels are in more pain than at any time in our memories. Because of the extensive media coverage, I won’t dwell on this topic further in what is primarily a technology column. But it’s the background for this week’s column, and so merits acknowledgement.

Are You All In?
Posted: 07/27/2020

Imagine everyone in your organization engaged, aligned, and performing to their potential. Imagine everyone playing “All In.”

Great organizations have synergy. Their culture allows them to play to a rhythm at a different tempo than the average organization. How do you get that at your organization?

Many front-line hospitality workers rely on tips for a significant part of their paychecks. If not for tips, many hotel associates who serve as waitstaff, bartenders, housekeepers, bell staff, concierges and pool attendants would soon be looking for other jobs. This is a regional issue: in most of Asia and Europe, staff get higher base pay, and tips are either not expected at all, or are truly discretionary. But in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other countries, tips are an important reality, and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As somebody who’s helped to grow a company from 13 people to nearly a thousand, I know very well the excitement that comes with having a mindset focused entirely on growth. Every newly acquired customer, every new office and every milestone means the gap between you and your nearest competitor is that much bigger and that much harder to overtake.



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Thoughts on HITEC 2015: Hospitality's Halley's Comet

07/10/2015
by Michael Schubach

With HITEC 2015 as my assigned topic, I have little choice but to start off selfishly:  this year’s gathering in Austin was the site of my induction into the HFTP International Hall of Fame. That experience meant a great deal to me – the Hall of Fame is the honor of a lifetime for someone who has spent almost that long working in hospitality technology. That said, there is still the larger issue of what HITEC 2015 meant to me as a rank-and-file attendee. As always, this year’s event aligned rather smartly with what I think is the enduring meaning of HITEC – it’s a touchstone of certainty in an uncertain world. For example:

1. At HITEC, I know that bad things can happen to good technicians as a direct result of the plethora of vendor-sponsored social opportunities. There’s drinking with music (dancing optional), drinking without music (dancing still optional), reunion drinking, insincere drinking, competitive drinking, I-found-a-drink-coupon drinking, and, of course, the ever-popular expensive restaurant meal surrounded by vendor/client trysts at every table drinking. Technicians may not get out much but when we do, watch out… and the last one home has to wear the same outfit to tomorrow’s sessions, and go directly to item #2 below. 

2. At HITEC, there’s always a bright star the morning after. Our friends at Infor have figured out what the real basic human need at HITEC is, and have filled it by populating their booth first thing in the morning with rich coffee offerings, talented baristas and fabulous (though somewhat heavy in a tote bag) coffee mugs, all of which are available at the hospitality industry’s very favorite price: complimentary. Sometimes I can’t help but feel bad for Infor, seeing all those pie-eyed attendees in their booth first thing in the morning. Sure, they will all tell you that they will sign a big contract if you give them a tall low-fat latte with a vanilla shot, but you know that’s just the caffeine-deprivation talking.  They drink up and then scatter like vampires caught out at dawn.     

In fair disclosure I must point out that as a result of Infor’s largesse over the years, my kitchen boasts travel mugs (service for sixteen), a drawer full of branded potato chip bag clips and one extra giant Infor coffee mug that holds two dozen of their Infor pens. If I can convince them to come out with logoed silverware, I’ll have the complete Infor Kitchen of Tomorrow. Thank you again, Infor, and see you in New Orleans at HITEC 2016, first thing each morning. I promise I’ll sign a big contract then.   

3. At HITEC, it’s always Christmas in June. Giveaway goodies are everywhere – and not just at the Infor booth.  There is a sort of scavenger-hunt mentality that seems to kick in automatically, and you compulsively begin to stock up on items that serve little or no function. I’m the worst – I slip into a hoarding frenzy, as though the world were in danger of an imminent crap shortage. I came home with a set of beer coozies; I don’t know why. I have a plastic rainbow spring; I don’t know why. I have hair bandanas even though I don’t have hair; I don’t know why. I have two unidentified things that look expensive and plug in; I don’t know why. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty successful year.  

So there you have it.  HITEC is boisterous, bustling and energetic.  It gives us a chance to renew old acquaintances, make new contacts, feel the pulse of the industry and share our appreciation for this very specialized, very wonderful industry in which we work.  HITEC is hospitality’s Halley’s Comet – constant in its return, an ever-bright reminder of the possibilities outside our own finite existence.     

About The Author
Michael Schubach




Michael Schubach is a regular contributor to Hospitality Upgrade.

 
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