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Siegel Sez - December 15, 2017
On Tuesday my body was feeling kind of weird. Then on Wednesday the occasional cough was not a traditional cough, so I knew something was coming. Thankfully the impact on Wednesday night was minimal and that was the night of our Hospitality Upgrade/Hotel Online holiday party. Then Thursday morning, how can one feel this sick? I went to the office for a conference call and then headed home. I laid down on my couch and that was where I was for the next 19 hours. How can anybody sleep that long? Weird. I am writing this Siegel Sez and then will be going back to lie down. The team at the office has banned me from entering – no one wants to get this for the holidays.
Am I the only one intrigued by the five Houston hotels that have had their ATMs stolen? How much money is in an ATM? Where do they take them and how do they open them? Do they use some blow torch or maybe it is an inside job where somebody has keys? I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but stealing ATMs? That is a bit strange. Thankfully nobody has gotten hurt during the five robberies.
If you have the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on your mind, let me make a suggestion. HSMAI does a great event during CES, with access to people and places that the general public is not typically allowed. HSMAI hosts special dinners and invite many industry insiders. It really was enjoyable last year and I expect it will be even better this year. If you have an interest in joining HSMAI at CES, send a note to me, or better yet, to Bob Gilbert at bgilbert@hsmai.org. I hope to see you there.
This is our last Siegel Sez before the holiday season really kicks in and as we prepare to celebrate it is always a good time to think about the less fortunate. I know I should do things more than I do throughout the year, but I try to do my part to make the holidays better for all. I hope you will think of that also. Happy holidays to all.
Here now is the real reason we are here, Ron Hardin’s look back at the recent technology happenings. I will see you once again at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.

Rich Siegel
Technology NEWSSTAND
Recent headlines from Hospitality Upgrade


If you are a hospitality CIO or technology executive, you’re not ready for 2018. Don’t take my word for it; that is the theme in every magazine, newsletter and blog I’ve read about tech in the New Year. I know it’s a rhetorical device to catch the reader’s attention. I confess to using the same technique earlier this year when I wrote an article on information security entitled, “You’re Doing It Wrong.” The overarching theme of the articles I’m reading now is, “2018 Tech: You’re Not Ready.” Ready for what? Digital transformation, apparently. So, let’s take a page from “The Tale of Chicken Little,” and formally declare that the sky is falling because you don’t have a plan for digital transformation.
Digital transformation: As a buzz phrase, it reminds me vaguely of “business process re-engineering,” but it is more fundamental than that. In some businesses, it may simply mean “going paperless.” Or it could mean putting better tools in the hands of your workers to give them more and better access to data, and the building blocks to actually re-engineer some of those legacy business processes on the fly to better adapt to a changing business environment. Amazon, compared to traditional retailers, is a great example of the cultural and societal changes that digital transformation represents. A recent report in eWeek is titled, “Gartner Says Enterprises Must Embrace Digital Transformation in 2018.” The writer, Scot Petersen, reporting on the Gartner Data Center Infrastructure and Operations Conference, summarized his takeaway thusly, “Companies do not have the time to think about how to embrace digital transformation. They must embrace it–now.” Petersen continued, “Gartner executives Dave Russell and Milind Govekar hammered home that point in Monday's opening keynote. ‘Digital is real and it is disrupting, attacking the weaknesses of incumbents,’ said Govekar, Chief of Research with Gartner's Infrastructure & Operations group. ‘It's time to rethink infrastructure and operations or you will end up as custodians of legacy technology,’ said Russell, Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst. ‘Enterprises need to ruthlessly seek to retire infrastructure that has no more useful life and to stop deploying systems that create high technical debt.’” A related eWeek slideshow trumpeted, “CA Technologies Study Finds Enterprises Unprepared for Emerging Tech.” Writer Dennis McCafferty summarized the study findings, and stated, “IT departments appear unprepared for the emerging technologies that are driving today’s business opportunities.” 
I will examine this topic more in the spring edition of Hospitality Upgrade (to subscribe, click here). Happy holidays, and start making your plans for a happy, healthy and transformative New Year! 

Ron Hardin, CHTP
RonHardin.TECH Consulting

- Zucchetti Strengthens Its Leadership in Hospitality with Vertical Booking
- Aramark Completes Acquisition of Avendra
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts Executes Agreement to Acquire the Management Agreements of 83 Properties from White Lodging
For more information on Mergers and Acquisitions for 12/15/17
- SiteMinder Names New Regional Manager in France and DACH
- Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Appoints Jim Cosgrove as New Board Chairman
- Don Moore Named Chief Operating Officer of GuestTek
- Hilton Appoints Kellyn Smith Kenny as Chief Marketing Officer
- Hotel Equities Promotes Drew Salapka to Senior Vice President of Revenue Generation
- Westgate Resorts Promotes Five Leaders to Senior Executive Positions
For more information on People on the Move for 12/15/17
- Maestro PMS Localized Capabilities, International 24/7 Support Wows UK Clients
- Remington Hotels Selects Springer-Miller's PMS, POS and Spa Solutions for its Luxury-independent Portfolio
- StayNTouch Partners with AutoCamp to Bring PMS Mobility to Innovative Lodging Company
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 12/15/17
- Chakela Hotels and Resorts Selects Sabre as Strategic Technology and Distribution Partner to Grow Footprint in Africa
- The Netherlands’ First Fully Electric Hotel Now Taking Reservations with SiteMinder
- eRevMax Completes Two-way integration with Globalybeds and EMI Global USA
- GuestCentric and Duetto Partner to Bring Personalization to Hotel Bookings
For more information on Reservations for 12/15/17
- The Rainmaker Group Closes Sale of Multifamily Housing Assets
- Fontainebleau Miami Beach Selects Solution Suite from Rainmaker to Optimize Hotel Revenue and Drive Competitive Advantage
- TravelClick and IDeaS Expand Partnership with Advanced Integration for Hotels
For more information on Revenue Management for 12/15/17
- Intelity Says Hello to New Voice Request
- Orlando World Center Marriott Elevates Guest Experience, Unveiling Innovative World Finder App
Intelity Says Hello to New Voice Request
Intelity unveiled Intelity Voice Request, a product that leverages Amazon's Alexa, to give guests immediate access to room controls, hotel services, restaurant information and more. The hands-free device, powered by the cloud-based digital assistant, enables guests to speak to their room with voice-activated commands. Voice Request uses Intelity’s Edison to control lighting, thermostat, drapes and other elements of a guest’s comfortable room experience. Intelity Voice Request connects with ICE: Request Management to make housekeeping, valet and concierge services more efficient, freeing staff for interactions that require the human touch. Hoteliers can view powerful metrics showing guest interaction with Alexa in the ICE: Control Panel.
Orlando World Center Marriott Elevates Guest Experience, Unveiling Innovative World Finder App
In an effort to continue offering unique guest experiences, Orlando World Center Marriott announced the launch of the World Finder smartphone app in partnership with MeetingPlay, an innovative hospitality and event technology pioneer. Utilizing iBeacon technology and cutting-edge 3-D mapping, the interactive wayfinding program provides guests with turn-by-turn, point-by-point navigation and directions, ensuring a seamless resort experience from check-in to checkout. Once travelers download the free World Finder app, guests can pinpoint their exact location on property and use the app to navigate the world-class resort with ease.
http://www.worldcentermarriott.com, http://www.worldcentermap.com, http://www.meetingplay.com
- Cendyn is Named World’s Leading Data Driven Marketing Agency by World Travel Awards
- Frontdesk Anywhere and Cendyn Announce Integration of Property Management and Guest Engagement Platforms
- HEBS Digital Wins Record-breaking 21 HSMAI Adrian Awards, Including 10 Gold
For more information on Marketing/Management for 12/15/17
- Anantara Hotels Choose Knowcross for Guest Satisfaction
- Knowcross Brings its Hospitality Solutions to The Ned, London
- Beekeeper Crisis Communications White Paper to Help Hotels with Non-Desk Workers Establish Best Practices and Foster Preparedness
For more information on Back Office for 12/15/17
- New Interface from Clear Sky Software Allows Users to Receive Products from Performance Food Group and Update Costs in Seconds
- New Fairmont Austin High-rise Hotel Will Manage 850 Employee Uniforms with the InvoTech Uniform System
New Interface from Clear Sky Software Allows Users to Receive Products from Performance Food Group and Update Costs in Seconds
Clear Sky Software, Inc.® announced the release of a new software interface between the company’s food inventory control system, called Clear Sky FOOD and Performance Food Group (PFG ®). This interface is available immediately. Through the company’s PFG interface, users of Clear Sky FOOD now have a food tracking system that streamlines the process of receiving PFG products. Once a PFG order arrives at a customer site, users select the Clear Sky FOOD receiving function and import PFG electronic invoices. Product pricing is updated to current amounts and product substitutions are added to the Clear Sky FOOD product master file. With this new interface, time-consuming and tedious data entry is eliminated, thus saving hours and increasing accuracy and efficiency.
New Fairmont Austin High-rise Hotel Will Manage 850 Employee Uniforms with the InvoTech Uniform System
InvoTech Systems Inc. announced the recent implementation of its uniform system at the new Fairmont Austin Hotel opening in early 2018. InvoTech Systems is a leading provider of advanced linen management, laundry and uniform systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at Fairmont Austin will manage the uniform inventory for 850 employees soon after the property is operational, joining InvoTech's extensive client portfolio of hotels and resorts worldwide.
- VENZA Wins Gold in Best in Biz Awards 2017
VENZA Wins Gold in Best in Biz Awards 2017
VENZA has been named a gold winner in the Best Place to Work – Small Business category for the Best in Biz Awards, an independent business awards program judged each year by prominent editors and reporters from several publications in North America. The seventh annual program included more than 650 entries from an impressive array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and geographic regions in the United States and Canada. Best in Biz Awards 2017 honors were presented in 65 categories, including Company of the Year, Fastest-growing Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Place to Work, Support Department, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Product, Best New Product, App, Event and Website of the Year.
- SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta Partners with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and Intelity to Implement Digital Key Functionality
- YOTEL Installs dormakaba Electronic Locks at Boston Hotel
SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta Partners with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and Intelity to Implement Digital Key Functionality
SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta, a five-star hotel and one of the newest property additions to Sydney, Australia, has partnered together with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and Intelity to provide its guests with state-of-the-art digital key functionality. With the implementation of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access in 72 of its apartment-style suites, along with the use of Intelity's downloadable mobile app, the property can now allow guests to quickly and conveniently enter their room with a swipe of their mobile device.
http://www.assaabloyhospitality.com/, http://www.intelitycorp.com/
YOTEL Installs dormakaba Electronic Locks at Boston Hotel
dormakaba, one of the top companies in the global market for access and security solutions, announced YOTEL Boston installed its BLE-ready Saflok Quantum® RFID electronic locks. YOTEL Boston is the third YOTEL property to trust dormakaba for guestroom locks. dormakaba manufactures the Saflok™ and Ilco™ electronic door locks, and provides installation and service for its systems. dormakaba’s mobile access platform is a secure, open platform that adapts to the business goals and marketing needs of hoteliers while it enhances the guest experience.
- Cornell Presents the 2017 Center for Hospitality Research Sustainability Roundtable Summary
- More than 30 Hotels and Commercial Laundries Each Have Saved More Than One Million Gallons of Water Using Xeros Polymer Cleaning
Cornell Presents the 2017 Center for Hospitality Research Sustainability Roundtable Summary
Sustainability remains top of mind for many global hospitality industry corporations. This was evidenced by the robust engagements of participants that attended the 2017 Cornell Sustainability Roundtable recently hosted by The Center for Hospitality Research at The School of Hotel Administration in the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University.  Participants gathered from around the world to discuss a wide range of emerging topics including actionable strategies for the industry to meet prioritized United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), sustainable tourism asset management research, deeper engagement with hospitality business owners and developers in sustainability initiatives, and trends in furniture, fixture and equipment (FF&E) procurement and what a the hotel of 2050 may look like. 
More than 30 Hotels and Commercial Laundries Each Have Saved More Than One Million Gallons of Water Using Xeros Polymer Cleaning
Xeros, an innovator of polymer cleaning technologies, announced that 33 hotels and commercial laundries have now joined the Xeros Million Gallon Club, each saving more than one million gallons of water using Xeros’ award-winning polymer cleaning laundry system. The patented, award-winning system uses up to 80 percent less water, up to 50 percent less energy, and approximately 50 percent less detergent than traditional systems while delivering superior cleaning performance. Environmentally conscious hotels and commercial laundries across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and United Kingdom are among the latest Xeros’ customers to reach the million-gallon savings mark. Additionally, the Hyatt Regency Reston and Hilton LA Universal City each have three Xeros near-waterless laundry systems installed and have now individually saved more than five million gallons of water.
- HFTP and Forrester Group Administer Hospitality Survey to Shape the Industry’s Future
HFTP and Forrester Group Administer Hospitality Survey to Shape the Industry’s Future
Focused on continually improving ways to communicate and engage with its members and stakeholders, international nonprofit Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) and Forrester Research have just released an extensive global research project that will provide guidance on the state of the industry, provide existing industry stakeholders with additional resources, and enrich the association's understanding of financial and technology trends that will shape the industry's future. HFTP is seeking participation from professionals working in and around the hospitality finance and technology sector, with the survey taking approximately 10 minutes for respondents to complete the survey.
- New at Digital Signage Expo 2018: Emerging Tech Talks
- HX: The Hotel Experience Demonstrates Strength of Hospitality Industry Heading into 2018
New at Digital Signage Expo 2018: Emerging Tech Talks
Digital Signage Expo (DSE), one of the world’s largest international trade shows and educational conferences dedicated to digital displays, interactive technology and digital communications networks, announced that it will debut Emerging Tech Talks at DSE 2018. Registration for any of the Emerging Tech Talks, or any of the DSE 2018 educational conference seminars, which are sponsored by BroadSign International and are eligible for Digital Signage Expert Group (DSEG) certification renewal credits, is available online at www.dse2018.com. DSE® 2018 is scheduled for March 27-30, 2018, with access to the exhibit hall March 28-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
HX: The Hotel Experience Demonstrates Strength of Hospitality Industry Heading into 2018
Exhibitors at HX: The Hotel Experience, reported brisk leads and business interest from the Nov. 12-13, 2017, trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. HX featured more than 300 exhibitors and 7,200+ registered attendees, and presented 33 conference sessions in three show floor theaters, headlining industry thought leaders from companies such as: Disney, Marriott International, Two Roads Hospitality, High Gate Hotels, Skift, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and White Lodging. HX360° Tech Innovation Zone showcased out-of-the-box new technology, including two types of virtual reality demonstrations, robotics and a tech and mobile app support team. HX will return to the Javits Center in New York City, Nov. 11-12, 2018.

And now for you-know-what…
Three men die on Christmas Eve and go to heaven, where they’re met by Saint Peter. “In order to get in,” he tells them, “you must each produce something representative of the holidays.”
The first man digs into his pockets and pulls out a match and lights it. “This represents a candle of hope,” he says. Impressed, Saint Peter lets him in.
The second man pulls out his keys and shakes them. He announces, “These are bells.” He’s allowed in too.
“So,” Saint Peter says to the third man, “what do you have?”
The third man rifles through his pockets and then proudly shows him a pair of red panties.
“What do these have to do with Christmas?” asks Saint Peter.
And the man replies, “They’re Carol’s.”

Here are the latest hospitality news headlines from Hotel-Online! To get the complete stories and more, visit our website:


ATM Heists Hit Fifth Houston Hotel in a Week
A group of masked thieves has lifted ATMs from five Houston hotels in a week, including a heist during which one robber showed a machete to Marriott Hotel employees, police said.
Mexico Scores Big Tourism Gains After Hurricanes Devastate Caribbean Islands
When devastating hurricanes pummeled Texas, Florida and several Caribbean islands this summer, vacationers didn't stay home and mope.
Santa Rosa Prepares for Boutique Hotel with Careful Demolition of Century-Old Building
Following extensive renovations, the two buildings will become the 62-unit Old Courthouse Square Hotel. The $19 million project is a partnership between the Santa Rosa-based Hugh Futrell Corp. and Greystone Hotels, a San Francisco-based boutique hotel management company. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Elkhorn Plan Commission Approves E&M Strategic Development’s Plan for 83-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites
The hotel would be built on a 2.7-acre tract near the southwest corner of the parcel. E&M would own the franchise and develop the hotel, Meyer wrote, though First Hospitality Group would handle the day-to-day operations.
G&G Hospitality Group in Partnership with Seneca Wallace to Co-Own New 120-Room Courtyard by Marriott in Ames, Iowa
Jetha said G&G is preparing to submit a request for bids early next year. The hotel could break ground sometime next March and begin operating in early 2019 if weather cooperates and construction goes to plan.
Paramount LaGrange LLC Opens 90-room Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown LaGrange, GA
The four-story hotel, which has the chain's latest contemporary design, is not far from the relatively new Sweetland Amphitheatre, Del'avant Event Center, Hills & Dales Estate and the Biblical History Center.
Safari Hospitality Set to Open New Courtyard by Marriott Cedar City in Utah
The 112-room Courtyard Cedar City is led by General Manager Sharon Fuller.
Owned and Operated by High Hotels, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Opens in Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Mike Williams is the General Manager of the 132-suite SpringHill Suites Allentown Bethlehem/Center Valley.
General Manager Daniela Sirec Welcomes Guests to New SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Augusta, Georgia
The 88-suite hotel will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Augusta Lodging, LLC and managed by PeachState Hospitality LLC.
Auro Hotels Opens New Towne Place Suites by Marriott Charleston Airport/Convention Center in South Carolina
"We are proud to continue our long term commitment to serve the Charleston market," said D.J. Rama, president and CEO, Auro Hotels.

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