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Enterprise System Pitfalls: Summary
Today I’m wrapping up a series of posts on the broad topic of Enterprise System Pitfalls. In this series, my hope was to help shed light on the primary problems that cause us to miss budgets, fall short on capabilities, or completely fail when implementing an enterprise system. 

The Year in Review
 
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to count our blessings. One of mine has been the privilege (and fun!) of being able to reach out to so many interesting companies and get them to tell me what they’re doing that’s different, disruptive, and game-changing. The list of things I have to write about in future columns has only gotten longer in the nine months since I started writing this column.

Sustainable Innovation
 
Sustainability can yield multiple benefits to hotels. Saving energy and water yields direct cost savings. Revenue can be generated by guests who prefer to deal with businesses that minimize their environmental impact. And many would argue that conserving scarce resources is simply the right thing to do.

Meetings Innovation
 
The sale and delivery of groups and meetings is perhaps the most significant and under-automated functions for many hotels. Even though groups often account for 30% to 60% of revenue, most group bookings are still handled manually for most if not all of steps, as they move from a meeting planner’s research to a confirmed booking.

The biggest enemy to any system is complexity. In a system of inputs and outputs, such as an enterprise system, more complexity means more parts are used in interaction with inputs to create the outputs. Every part that must be built and maintained costs time and money



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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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