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Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.

Spam is one of the major problems that most hotel website owners face on regular basis. It is a bad practice used by spammers to persuade the page rank of a site.

GBTA recently partnered with AccorHotels to conduct a study investigating the role of loyalty in managed travel programs in Europe with the goal of understanding how loyalty programs currently fit within company travel policy and what opportunities may exist in the future.

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. 



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Thoughts on HITEC 2015: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

07/10/2015

The more things change, the more they stay the same! That old saying rang true in Austin at HITEC. So many companies that used to exhibit and have the biggest stands are now gone… divested, acquired or broke. And so many new dewy eyed hopeful companies pop up to replace them  yet it seems cyclical so in a lot of ways nothing has changed. Weird.
 
Several key things stood out at HITEC this year. I saw senior people we used to see at one company in new roles at smaller startups or working on projects that they could not talk about without a confidentiality agreement. These are exciting times and it seems some really good people are doing some really good things for our industry. 

Another standout was it seemed at long last that there were more women. I will make this disclaimer first! Although HER Consulting ‘sounds like’ it’s a girls club, it’s simply the acronym for Hospitality E Resources (HER), so please let me put that into context. The following comment does not mean our company is focusing on female empowerment. Having said that, I think it is fair to say that many colleagues have observed over the years that “at times” the hospitality technology space we walk in can feel a bit too much like the old boys club – let’s call a spade a spade. There have just not been too many of us women at the technology and financial table. This year, as last we observed more female industry colleagues are now heavy hitters making waves and like last year, we salute them!

Moving on… Innovation is always the holy grail in our industry each year we walk the aisles asking who is really innovating and who is just “ummm…reinventing the wheel?” There were some really neat concepts and companies who shall remain nameless because at HER we don’t want to imply our blessing or endorsement, but, trust us, we came away feeling that although many are targeting innovation, a chosen few are really achieving it.

Innovation made headway in Big Data, which by the way was a term that was so last year and yet, oddly enough, still so very timely. It is now an integral and deeply accepted part of our lives so instead of evangelizing a la John the Baptist that it is the coming savior (the next big thing) or, as this writer often does, worrying that it’s really a bit too Big Brother for our tastes, we actually left Austin thinking that innovation was actually part of the Big Data discussion... we saw exhibitors who are at long last able to illustrate how it can actually be used to generate increased revenue. That is the real innovation. Instead of telling us that it can be done there are companies who are doing it! We can now actually track the campaigns, all the touch points leading to the sale and figure out how to turn all that information into something actionable that is shown to drive increased dollars? We absolutely saw that with one big exhibitor. 

But I digress… Security and compliance is no longer the latest topic. It is the ONLY topic. No matter who you talked to or what kind of product we saw the security component was the big buzzword… Yes, I write about security so maybe my radar was attuned more than others, but in all fairness, it was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. In fact, it actually annoyed me after a while that so many people bandied about terms that in some cased seemed like they were just trying to sound good without  knowing the real story but in the end it was more than acceptable. Why? Because the big message is being shouted out loud – better security helps the bottom line. Similarly, better BI drives increased revenues. Put the two together and the message was use Big Data (BI) right and keep it safe and secure. If you do both then you have a home run!

About The Author
Marion Roger
VP Business Development
Hospitality E Resources


Marion Roger, vice president of Hospitality E Resources (HER Consulting), is a specialist in the hospitality supply chain landscape who is currently leading an industry initiative to support guest data security and has developed a hotel-focused training curriculum on PII protection. With a speciality focus on electronic reservation systems, payment technology protection and data security, Marion is a regular on the speaker circuit and contributor to Hospitality Upgrade on these key topics.

 
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