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  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • What to Expect at HITEC Houston 2018: Elite Education, Exhibits, E20X and More

    HOUSTON: A booming cosmopolitan city that is home to more than 2 million Texans, NASA’s famous Johnson Space Center, and — in just two short months — the world’s largest hospitality exhibition HITEC®.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

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Free webinar: Your Data Security in a Post-GDPR World

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·11 July 2018
It is no surprise. Hotels use a plethora of different software, all of which store guest data in various formats. How could hotels possibly keep track of all this data in a way where they could provide it back to the guest, or worse, delete all the guest's data upon request?dailypointTM is launching an all new webinar on July 13th to help hotels navigate their data in this new, post-GDPR era. In it, Michael Toedt, Managing Partner and CEO at dailypointTM will explain:What the new GDPR regulations areWhat the implications are for hotelsBest practices for hotels to handle the requirementsHow to simplify compliance with all your data in one, centrally managed sourceThe webinar will take place on July 13th at 10am CEST in German and at 11:30am CEST in English. Register now, as space is limited.

HFTP to Host Inaugural, Invitation-Only Club Forum in Sarasota, Florida This Month

HFTP ·11 July 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is hosting its inaugural HFTP Club Forum on July 28, 2018 at the Sarasota Westin in Sarasota, Florida USA - immediately following HFTP's Florida Regional Conference that is taking place from July 25-27, 2018 at the same location. HFTP's Club Forum is an executive-level event designed to provide club professionals with the opportunity to connect with industry peers, share ideas and discuss hot topics.The invitation-only event will be facilitated by Dr. Larry Ross, emeritus professor and former Anne and Bill France Distinguished Professor of Business in the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. The focus of this year's event is the Uniform System of Financial Reporting for Clubs. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses, as well as, suggest changes and additions for the upcoming revised version."HFTP is excited to host this executive-level event for club professionals," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Designed with intent to explore pressing industry issues, the HFTP Club Forum will serve as another great networking and educational opportunity for its club attendees."Attendees will be able to earn up to eight hours of continuing education credits at the HFTP Club Forum - a link for the CPE reporting will be provided at the conference.Online registration is open for the HFTP Florida Regional Conference, which precedes the HFTP Club Forum. HFTP is no longer accepting applications to register to attend the HFTP Club Forum. In addition, HFTP has several upcoming events. The HFTP Annual Convention is October 24-26, 2018 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. And HITEC Europe is April 10-11, 2019 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.For additional information about HFTP Club Forum, contact Linnet Baskett, director of club engagement & regionals at HFTP. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTP Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###
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Is GDPR Legislation Coming to U.S. Hotels?

Hotel Online·10 July 2018
Privacy legislation is dominating the news cycle these days-and it's unlikely to slow down. Now, as U.S. companies are adjusting to the requirements of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, the State of California has introduced new laws that will apply to California companies or companies doing business in California.
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Travel Managers Should Get Used to Data Privacy Restrictions

skift.com - Travel Services·10 July 2018
For most organizations, it’s business as usual after Europe’s new privacy measures embodied in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25. That is largely because of the efforts of the major travel suppliers and industry associations.
Article by Michael Toedt

GDPR complaints are on the rise. Are you prepared?

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH · 9 July 2018
As an indicator of what is to come, let's look at what's been happening outside of the hospitality industry. Regulators in the UK, France, Austria, and across Europe are reporting a sharp increase in data protection complaints and breach notifications since the GDPR came into effect. The majority of these complaints were filed against tech giants like Google and Facebook.Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the head of French data protection regulator, CNIL, told Politico: "The general public is interested about all the transparency obligations, consent and all the new rights."What does this mean for the hospitality industry? Should hotels be concerned? Only time will tell, however, with maximum fines up to EUR20m or 4% of a company's global turnover - whichever is higher, hotels must be prepared if complaints come their way.So how can hotels prepare? First, they must have a proper way to manage all guest data. Since most hotels use multiple different systems that all store guest data in different formats, this can quickly become a burden. One way to simplify the storage of data is to centrally manage all guest data in one system. In this scenario, if a guest requests that his or her data is retrieved, edited, or removed, the hotel can simply fulfill the request at the click of a button.Centralized data management has further benefits for hotels. It allows them to truly understand their guests and use their data in meaningful ways. Imagine the possibilities when data from a hotel's PMS, POS, WLAN, newsletter system, Outlook, booking engine, channel manager, questionnaires, website etc. are all in one place. The possibilities to personalize marketing, upsell communications and guest services are limitless. Centralized data management transforms data into revenue.Learn more about how to leverage your hotel's data in the post-GDPR landscape in an all new webinar hosted by Michael Toedt, Managing Partner and CEO at dailypointTM. The webinar will cover:What the new GDPR regulations areWhat the implications are for hotelsBest practices for hotels to handle the requirementsHow to simplify compliance with all your data in one, centrally managed sourceFurther operational benefits of central data managementThe webinar will take place on July 13th at 10am CEST in German and at 11:30am CEST in English. Register now, as space is limited.
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What GDPR Means for You and Your Restaurant

Modern Restaurant Management· 6 July 2018
The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently went into effect. The set of rules were created to govern the privacy and security of personal data and were put out by the European Commission. Even though the GDPR is set in Europe, it still has serious implications for a number of companies in the United States. Who Is Affected? Regardless of the location of your company, you will be affected by the GDPR if: You collect personal data or behavioral information from someone located in a EU country You’re based outside of the EU but provide goods or services to the EU, including free services You are established within the EU, regardless of where you process and collect personal data (including cloud-based processing performed outside of the EU for an EU-based company) With that being said, clearly the new regulation will cause a rippling around the world.

Personal data protection and the hospitality industry in France

In Extenso Avocats, a subsidiary of the DELOITTE Group · 3 July 2018
France has just adopted the modifications to the Data Protection Act ndeg78-17, integrating the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) measures. As a reminder, the GDPR - ndeg2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council, voted the 27 April 2016 - is a regulation in EU law on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. The act came into effect in all EU member states on the 25 May 2018.The CNIL has already indicated that it will take into account the "efforts undertaken" by companies in their compliance process, and that no sanctions will be applied until the end of 2018 regarding provisions directly resulting from the regulation. This does not, however, exclude the pronouncement of sanctions in case of breach of the provisions already in force under the Data Protection Act (far from being complied with everywhere).It is clearly not too late to look at how the regulation can be applied in your own company.There are a number of ways of implementing GDPR in hotels and restaurants, and the regulation can be viewed as yet another administrative constraint or as an inevitability and an opportunity. Indeed, it should be remembered that its very name embraces personal data protection issues, yet it also covers the free movement of such data. Given this, the regulation not only seeks to protect the personal data of businesses and their clients, prospects or employees, it also allows for the free movement of these data. This free movement merely has to be controlled and regulated to avoid misuse, errors or accidents in data processing - the like of which has been seen several times over the past few years (Google, Facebook, Darty, Hertz, Direct Energie and so many others)[i].Top of the list of the sectors concerned is the hospitality industry...The regulation provides for thresholds to take into account the situation and business activity of SMEs or intermediate-size companies. Not all hotel and restaurant businesses are necessarily affected, but if they automatically store and conserve customer data - on preferences, for example (in order to send promotional offers or improve satisfaction during a later visit) - then they are directly concerned. Likewise, if customers can make a reservation through the company website, then the regulation also applies, since the question of the use and compliance of booking platforms (e.g. La Fourchette, Booking.com) evidently arises, as does that of holding records for inspection by the police or maintaining Cardex files.In the same way, the processing, use and safeguarding of payment methods must be carefully examined. In addition, if hotels and restaurants use video surveillance, they must also examine how such systems could impact on the privacy of their customers and employees.What measures can hotel operators - and to a lesser extent, restaurant operators - take to serenely anticipate these regulatory obligations after the 25 May 2018?Beyond implementing a unified legal framework at the European level, the objectives of the GDPR include:A strengthening of the individual rights of natural persons, already instigated by a number of decisions such as the Google Spain judgment sanctifying the right to erasure, or Darty's recent fine further to a security breach in the confidentiality of customer loyalty card data[ii]Compliance based on transparency and accountability;Shared and specified responsibilities (the outsourced service provider becomes accountable, just as the contracting party);The strict supervision of data transmission outside the European Union;Regulated, incremental and stricter financial penalties.Hotel and restaurant operators should take particular note, since they will move from a reporting regime with an a posteriori penalty to a new regime based on anticipation and accountability. The consequences are multitude, as we will see later. Although this change means fewer reporting obligations, it also reflects the strengthening, or even the creation, of a number of obligations for all hospitality operators (and companies, in general) that process their customers' personal data.These obligations mainly focus on anticipation, information, transparency and security and documentation. HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OPERATORS MUST ANTICIPATE: In case of complaints, security breaches or CNIL controls, business must generally be able to justify their having applied the universal "privacy by design" principle, meaning that they have integrated respect for the privacy of natural persons into data processing right from the start. This principle requires considering the lawfulness of the data processing, conducting preliminary impact studies when necessary, and potentially obtaining the consent of individuals whose data have been collected and informing them of their rights.HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OPERATORS MUST INFORM: Henceforth, an obligation of transparency is imposed on hospitality operators who manage, store, host, process or sell personal data. Take, for example, hotel and restaurant customers who are natural persons, and whose data are collected - these individuals must be notified as to the purpose of the data processing and informed of their rights in terms of data access, rectification, erasure and portability.HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OPERATORS MUST PROTECT:Everything must be done to protect the data held by a company, in accordance with the "security by default" principle. Going beyond the required and optimal protection, businesses must allow data to be traced, and any security breach has to be declared to the CNIL within a very short time frame (72 hours, as stipulated by the regulation). Penalties for breach of these obligations will be reinforced (up to either 4% of annual global turnover or 20 million euro), although there is an emphasis on making the sanction proportional.AND LASTLY, HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OPERATORS MUST DOCUMENT: In certain cases, maintaining a Record of Data Processing Activities is obligatory.Hotel and restaurant operators are directly concerned by GDPR if:They employ 250 employees or more.And/ or they processes personal data en masse or automatically.And/ or this processing concerns sensitive data and/ or could infringe individual rights and freedoms. Each of these criteria must be assessed separately, and in certain cases, hospitality operators are required to maintain a Record of Data Processing Activities. Indeed, the sector is especially impacted by GDPR, given its various business activities: organisation and information systems, HR management, sales and marketing (prospection, promotion, customer record management, etc.), supplier management and, of course, hospitality IT management.The hospitality sector is specifically targeted, whether or not data are conserved in the company's computer server and/ or stored and/ or hosted and/or reprocessed by a subcontracting party. Hotel and restaurant customer records can no longer contain any old data and must respect certain conditions. These personal data, already considered by some as the new "black gold", can be coveted by malevolent competitors or by hackers for resale or ransom (WannaCry ransomware, for instance). At a time when cyberattacks are on the rise, the sector must ensure the protection of its customers' personal data, as well as those of its employees (who are also covered by the new directive). There is no doubt that a hotel or restaurant's e-reputation also depends on whether or not it complies with the regulations.In concrete terms, an audit is necessary to evaluate a business's practices and to pinpoint the risks. Further to the audit, an action plan must be instigated to potentially maintain a Record of Data Processing Activities that groups and describes the business's personal data processing practices, or if the maintenance of such a record is not mandatory, to implement minimal GDPR compliance procedures. This requires the assistance of a multidisciplinary technical and legal advisory structure - one that is well-established and specialised in the hospitality sector - so that the process can be correctly handled at the best possible cost.It is, of course, never too late to comply.[i] CJUE, gde ch., 13 May 2014, aff. C-131/12, Google Spain SL and Google Inc./ Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos and Gonzales,CNIL Resolution ndegSAN - 2017-006 of the 27 April 2017 imposing a fine on FACEBOOK INC. and FACEBOOK IRELANDCNIL Resolution ndegSAN-2018-001 of the 8 January 2018 imposing a fine on ETABLISSEMENTS DARTY ET FILSCNIL Resolution ndegSAN-2017-010 of the 18 July 2017- HERTZCNIL Decision MED ndeg 2018- 007 of the 5 March 2018 serving notice on DIRECT ENERGIE and CNIL Resolution ndeg 2018-082 of the 22 March 2018 and decision issued to make public the formal notice to DIRECT ENERGIE[ii] CJUE, gde ch., 13 May 2014, aff. C-131/12, aforementioned Google SpainCNIL Resolution ndegSAN-2018-001 of the 8 January 2018, aforementioned DARTY ET FILS
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AirGain New Time-Table Feature & Flight Comparison to Empower Airlines with Competitor Intelligence on Various Time Windows

RateGain ·28 June 2018
London -- RateGain Technologies, the market leader in big data solutions for Travel and Hospitality industries, today, announced new product updates on AirGain,the airfare competitor intelligence tool. In the new set of releases, AirGain has focused on giving a broader compset intelligence to the airlines with full context at a glance.The new features like time-table and flight comparison view would display the most important data and insights that every Revenue Manager needs to make the right pricing decision. Following are highlights of the latest release:Time Table View-Users can now view departing schedules of all the itineraries from all the competing channels in a timetable format. Each date on the table view provides with information on airline code, the rate and the channel with the cheapest availability. Users can also see all the different channels an itinerary is available on through the tooltip.Flight Comparison - Cheapest View: This view compares airlines between an O&D on different departure dates. Cheapest View picks up the cheapest data point for each channel along with picking one data point for one departure date of each channel and ignoring the rest.Flight Comparison - Default view: This view allows airlines to analyze all different itineraries and monitor rates offered by different channels. Also, in addition to subscribers own parity check, this new feature also outlines the parity trend line for the comp set across different channels.Reverse crawling: With this feature, the subscriber gets access to fresh data for the nearest departure dates which are more prone to changes.According to Dr. Anand Medepalli, CPO, RateGain, "We are excited to roll out new updates in AirGain2.2 for Quarter-1. In this multiple product update releases, our effort has been to provide insights and data points beyond the known comp-set intelligence. These are the important information plugs which needs to be factored and taken into account while strategizing the pricing of the airlines. All these new features will automatically be updated for our existing airline clients. Along with this release, we are also happy to share that from 25th May onwards, all business processes and systems at RateGain are in compliance with the EU GDPR law. As a global organization, RateGain has updated its privacy policy which details how do we use and process the information that we collect. We are proud to be one of the first rate-intelligence and distribution solutions companies to appoint a Data Protection officer in compliance with the EU GDPR law."AirGain, the next-gen Pricing Intelligence Solution was launched in November 2017, with an aim to offer real-time big data pricing intelligence and exhaustive market data to the airlines. The tool takes care of critical business challenges faced by the industry such as inaccurate or delayed pricing, understanding ancillaries pricing and tackling the airline rate parity issues, enabling airlines to make smarter business decisions. We currently monitoring 14000+ routes and 4 Million+ data points for around 40 Airlines across the globe.Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the statements containing the words 'planned', 'expects', 'believes',' strategy', 'opportunity', 'anticipates', 'hopes' or other similar words. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding impact of pending regulatory proceedings, fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services, data services and consulting services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, customer acceptance of our services, products and fee structures, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, our ability to integrate acquired assets in a cost-effective and timely manner, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-timeframe contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, the success of our brand development efforts, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies /entities in which we have made strategic investments,

Alexa for Hotels - The Good, The Bad and The Creepy

Puzzle Partner Ltd. ·28 June 2018
This past week marked another successful HITEC, the culmination of which left hospitality experts with a lot to think about as it relates to industry-wide innovations positioned to make major waves in 2018. One of the more notable discussion points is the mainstream integration of voice-powered assistants (AI technology) into hotels. In fact, Amazon.com Inc recently announced that it has partnered with Marriott International Inc to help increase guest access to amenities with Alexa, through its voice-controlled device Echo, in an attempt to expand its presence in the hospitality industry. This is an exciting prospect for hotels, as implementing Alexa in a hospitality setting could assist in a personalizing room settings, ordering room service, housekeeping, calling the concierge and so much more. Of course, in the same excited breath that we speak to the potential conveniences which Alexa (and other voice-activated tech) can provide, we have to consider the on-going concern of data security. Especially with the recent implementation of GDPR, the protection of guest data and the proper attainment of documented consent for all data collection should be paramount. However, voice-activated devices are admittedly trudging into uncharted waters, as their ability to gain uninhibited access into user's conversations and preferences comes into question.With this in mind, we've delved into the good, the bad (and even the creepy) that is in store for hoteliers eager to branch into the world of Alexa for hotels. The Good Alexa for hotels offers a wide range of exciting possibilities, including room temperature regulation, turning on lights, sending emails, ordering room service or housekeeping, asking for local recommendations and so much more. Alexa will offer 24-7, efficient and hands-free customer service for every guest, tapping into the desire for increased personalization without over-extending hotel staff. Ideally, Alexa should help hoteliers provide a seamless guest experience as part of the myriad of programs and devices in place to improve hotel operations, and better connect with and serve guests. According to Marriott International, consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far. And as far as guests readily engaging with the device? That's been promising as well. According to Volara, for every 1,000 occupied room nights, it is automating an average of 240 item/service requests and 700 guest questions about the hotel and surrounding area. Throughout these pilot programs with Alexa, guests requesting for the device to be removed from their rooms has also been very low. Volara CEO David Berger assures, "We are not capturing transcripts or recordings, and we don't know guests' identity. Just their room number. Meanwhile, Amazon, which does capture recordings once a person says "Alexa," to improve the devices' natural language processing capabilities, does not have access to the guest's identity or room number, ensuring that the information is always anonymous.The Bad Speech-recognition software is by no means new, with the likes of Siri often being used as our iPhone-enabled personal assistant while on the go. However, as the capabilities of speech-recognition and AI evolve within technology such as Alexa, Google Home, smart refrigerators and hotel rooms, the technology continuously becomes smarter. Using real-time experiences (machine learning) to identify and respond to user needs more accurately, these devices are continually collecting and analyzing data. Essentially, in order to serve us, these devices must learn about us -- a concept which may leave some users feeling unsettled or subject to invasive data collection.The concern here is that it's not always clear when Alexa is listening, although it's noted that"Amazon and Google insist their smart speakers do not record voices until someone directly addresses the device with a 'wake word' such as 'Alexa' or 'okay, Google. However, It is possible to accidentally 'wake' such devices, which means it is not always clear when they are listening."Further to suspicions of idle data collection, it's also unclear who should have access to what data, since multiple individuals will typically use the device at different times, which makes for complex privacy boundaries. We also have to consider the fact that the evolving capabilities of voice-powered assistants on such a public scale leaves room for error -- there are bound to be some initial learning curves that leave users feeling vulnerable. An example of such a privacy mishap recently unfolded in Portland, Oregon, when a local woman had private conversations secretly recorded by the voice-controlled Amazon virtual devices in her home. Those conversations were then sent to a random contact in Seattle. While cases like these are a rarity, the user-friendly simplicity of the device which makes it so popular to the general public, also means the security protocol may mirror that simplicity when it should be more complicated. As we'll delve into more later in this article, Alexa is triggered into action by a 'wake word', an exchange which could easily be misinterpreted and mis-triggered. For those of us particularly concerned about Alexa accidentally "listening in," an easy fix is to unplug or mute the device in moments you know you won't need its service. So the question becomes, can we trust Alexa?As the technology continues to improve, we can only hope that these virtual assistants become better equipped to identify different types of information with varying layers of security to prevent private information from being mistakenly shared. As mentioned above, user concerns regarding the misuse of their private information should (mostly) be put to rest, as any information collected is anonymous aside from room number.The CreepyAs Alexa's popularity has picked up momentum, so have the odd-ball stories circulating the web claiming witness to strange or otherwise unexplainable reactions from the device. These include, but aren't limited to, sudden laughter, unsolicited and seemingly random replies, or Alexa speaking without being woken up by a wake word.On one forum, a married couple described the time in which Alexa interjected into their dispute."My wife and I were arguing about something. No clue what it was, but it was getting a little heated. I don't know what Alexa thought she heard, but she suddenly interjected with, "Why don't we change the subject?" It was just unexpected and relevant enough to be creepy. We both heard it, and we both still talk about it years later. There was nothing in the app logs." Another woman detailed that her Mother's Alexa suddenly turned on one day (started glowing) and her Mom asked, "Alexa, what are you doing?" to which Alexa replied, "I'm trying to learn new things." Her Mom replied, "No one told you to do that" and Alexa replied "okay" before turning back off. Of course, while we may love to assume Alexa has an ulterior motive aligned with some sort of Sci-Fi horror movie, there is a reasonable explanation for these occurrences. ZDNetnotes that the most likely cause of an Alexa spontaneous reaction is a misinterpretation of sound. Given how sensitive Alexa has to be to process wake words, sometimes Alexa will react to a sound (even one we might not hear or notice) and interpret that as a wake word or command of some sort. After all, Alexa's sound processing system has to be able to take the sound waves and do its best to interpret what the humans speaking are asking for.AI technology and voice-powered assistants are undeniably one of the hottest topics following the close of HITEC 2018, and there's no doubt they will continue to be a prominent focal point moving forward. Love it or hate it, Alexa is likely coming to a hotel room near you -- and I don't know about you, but I'm interested to see the way in which this technology evolves within our industry.
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The GDPR compliance - The hidden benefits of compliant hotel

Hotelogix Blog·27 June 2018
Now that the GDPR compliance laws have been implemented, getting your hotel GDPR compliant has become a mandate. And as you are faced with this daunting task of managing your customers data to ensure that their data is protected, there are a few points that can help your business.
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Teneo Hospitality Group Polls Leading Meeting Planners On Emerging Trends in 2018

Teneo Hospitality Group ·27 June 2018
Budgets, greater quality control, cost and reliability of AV and technical services, security of content and the challenges of meeting the increasingly complex dietary demands of a more diverse demographic: these are among the major concerns of the nation's meeting planners.Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier group representation firm, gathered observations from top meeting planners to determine their most pressing issues and concerns. They represent a spectrum of the meetings industry - banking, pharmaceuticals, technology, associations and travel management companies.According to Teneo President Mike Schugt, rapid expansion of technology has generated new and more complex issues and rising prices. "Concerns about technology costs and reliability led the list of trends, and planners expressed unease with their ability to protect meeting content."In dealing with these issues, planners must be able to trust their suppliers, Schugt notes. "Our planners stressed the need for honesty, accuracy and rapid response as a major requirement for effective planning," he asserts.Wi-FiEffective, high speed Wi-Fi is the most critical aspect of today's meetings, bringing together phones, tablets, laptops, messaging services, AV, lighting and an array of special applications designed for each meeting. But more than ever, planners are frustrated by high prices, increasing labor costs, lack of flexibility, difficulties in negotiations and in some cases, a lack of options in hiring a firm for these events. Planners agree that Wi-Fi should be more reasonably priced since current policies can make planning and cost control difficult. Many of these costs are passed on to smaller businesses, associations and exhibitors, making participation costlier and potentially placing the participants at a competitive disadvantage.AVLinking Wi-Fi to AV is increasingly problematic, with stories of breakdowns in coordination that have impacted presentations and events. At a recent luncheon in a major city, the AV company failed to do the required run through and the entire AV had to be shut down. Reliability of AV can be easily compromised - interference from outside the venue can compromise bandwidth as much as 25%. Controlling costs and ensuring technical quality are a challenge for both venues and planners. Venues must provide top-of-the-line technical services, keep abreast of advances and ensure their equipment is operated by a highly-trained staff, either in-house or outsourced. In order to negotiate effectively, planners need to become more familiar with terminology and the specific needs of exhibitors, vendors and attendees.Plug-In Power SourcesAs devices proliferate, travelers are faced with the problem of recharging everything from phones and tablets to laptops and other portable electronic devices. The demand has rapidly outpaced available charging options, leaving airlines and railways scrambling to add charging stations at airport gates and aboard trains. Hotels and conference centers are equally challenged. It is no longer enough to have power sources in guestrooms and meeting spaces and comments from meeting planners and attendees indicate that the existing outlets cannot always accommodate the number of devices guests take with them. Demand for connectivity does not stop in the guestroom or meeting space. Today's travelers want to be plugged in at all times and everywhere in the conference venue. That includes lobbies, bars, dining rooms, gyms and lounges.Planners hosting a meeting overseas should check to ensure attendees will have access to voltage adapters at the venue, should they be needed.Diet, Diversity and LiabilityThese issues are not new but few elements of meeting planning have expanded more rapidly and caused more concern than the demand for special dishes at meetings. Where once planners offered a few options such as Kosher, vegetarian, or perhaps a Heart Healthy dish, today's menus are flooded with choices that span gluten free, lactose intolerant, Halal, pescatarian (fish, no meat) and infinite varieties of vegan and vegetarian. A recent meeting of 271 participants drew 37 requests for special meals - mostly vegetarian and vegan. As the attendee base becomes more ethnically diverse, dietary requirements are predicted to increase.Consistency of ServiceEven in an age of highly standardized big brands, consistency of service remains an issue. As one respondent noted, it is possible to book the same meeting at the same hotel brand in two different cities and find notable discrepancies in cost, facilities, services and staff competence. This may be due to several factors, including the inability of owners to make necessary renovations or invest in new technology and training.Security of DataAs technology expands, so do the opportunities to steal information and compromise a company's data. Security problems can range from thefts of mobile devices that can result in a major loss of information if an attendee has downloaded any of the meeting content, to a full-blown hacker attack.Just how seriously governments are taking data security and privacy issues can be seen in the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation provides protection and personal control to European Union residents over data transmission and privacy and seeks to simplify existing legislation regarding international business transactions via the internet.The regulations apply to any organization that processes and stores data from an EU-based individual or company. These organizations must comply with the new EU standards regardless of whether they themselves are EU based. The European Union defines personal data as "any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer's IP address."These are all valid concerns and complex problems, that require realistic and long-term solutions, according to Mike Schugt. "Right now, the hospitality industry is at its zenith, with demand exceeding supply. In a seller's market, planners must cope with a range of issues from explosive changes in technology and rising costs to changing demographics and increasing regulation on a national and global level."It's a challenge that both hotels and planners must meet. Successful negotiations for technical services now require a wider and more in-depth knowledge of IT. Hotels and suppliers must take the long view and invest in topnotch technology and property improvements while working towards more consistent levels of customer service.Flexibility is the key here according to Mike Schugt. Meeting planners may need to adjust their expectations, while hotels can explore ways of making policies less rigid - something he notes that independent hotels, not bound by strict corporate policies, can more easily do. "Whatever economic factors are involved, the conference and hotel industries have the same goals," says Mike Schugt. ''These issues will be with us for the foreseeable future and we should unite to solve them."
Article by Michael Toedt

GDPR - a blessing in disguise for the hotel industry!

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·27 June 2018
For me, however, the GDPR is not a monster at all, as it is so often described. I see it as an opportunity for the hotel industry to make up for lost ground. It has, by law, forced every company to deal with its own digitization and IT strategy.This is because, among other things, all people (including hotel guests, if we look at the hospitality industry specifically) in the EU have comprehensive rights to their personal data, including the right to request their data, correct it, delete it, and transfer it to another provider. All this must have been guaranteed by the 25th of May.It is a sometimes overlooked secret that hardly any hotels are actually able to abide by these regulations! This is because hotels work with a proliferation of systems that can no longer be controlled. How should a guest's right to his or her data possibly be managed when the data is scattered across the PMS, POS, WLAN, newsletter system, Outlook, booking engine, channel manager, questionnaire system, website etc.? This is simply impossible! Hotel companies are therefore wading treacherous waters.The fact that hotels work with so many systems is not only a nightmare for hotels that want to focus on the new GDPR regulations. It also leaves the hotel industry behind when it comes to digitalization. With data scattered in so many sources, hotels can't properly understand or use it in any meaningful way.But some companies did it right. Enter the winners from last decade: the Online Travel Agents (OTAs). They did something fundamentally different from the beginning. They understood the value of data and pursued a central storage of their customer data, aptly called central data management (CDM). Simply put, all data about the customer comes together in one central location, a kind of parent database that combines everything.This central database is the standard for hotels that want to move into the digital era. Only those who know their customers down to the smallest detail and use this knowledge for a comprehensive individualization of guest interaction can benefit from data. Even if it is unpleasant, hotels today generally have no idea who their guests are. This is unacceptable. All decision-makers should be aware of this.So how can hotels move forward? They need a central system in which everything comes together. In the past, this system was the property management system (PMS). But PMSs are inflexible, with expensive interfaces, and poor data cleansing functionalities. Today's dominant PMSs are not designed to handle the increasing amounts of data and data sources, and the upcoming cloud-based generation of systems is too lean and focus only the key functionalities like check-in and check-out.The hotel industry therefore needs a new central system, a mothership that takes over the former role of the PMS. An #abovePMS system is required to finally be able to work at eye level with the OTA's again.If you look at the GDPR from this perspective, it is ultimately a measure initiated by politicians to force companies to make themselves fit for the future. All those who do not do so run the risk of violating applicable law and drifting further down the competitive spiral in the coming years.In this sense, perhaps some hoteliers will thank the politicians in a few years for making them fit for the future through the GDPR. It has forcibly given those that comply with a competitive advantage.PS - Looking to see how your hotel can manage its data in compliance with GDPR regulations? Register for our webinar on July 13!
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European regulators report sharp rise in complaints after GDPR

hotelmarketing.com·27 June 2018
The first month of GDPR has seen a sharp increase in the number of complaints to regulators across Europe, showing strong public interest in the new rules. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) told the Guardian it has seen a rise in breach notifications from organisations, as well as more data protection complaints following the activation of the law.
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Beekeeper Wins E20X 'People's Choice' at HITEC Houston

Beekeeper ·26 June 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Digital workplace app developer Beekeeper is taking the hospitality industry by storm. Last week the company was presented with the "People's Choice Award" at HITEC Houston, part of the Entrepreneur 20X Competition hosted by Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP).Judged by HITEC attendees, the workplace communication app was chosen as the crowd favorite for its ability to digitize hospitality workers who don't sit behind a traditional desk and don't have access to work email. By connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform, Beekeeper helps hoteliers exchange information, share property updates, and communicate best practices within or across departments in 30 languages. In March, Beekeeper was named hospitality's Most Innovative Technology by Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG), winning the 2018 TechOvation Award."HFTP is happy to congratulate Beekeeper as the 2018 People's Choice E20X HITEC Houston winner," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "An award selected by actual users and buyers is a great boost to a company. Beekeeper should be very proud of the honor.""We couldn't be more thrilled to win this award from among the world's brightest minds in hotel technology," said Connie Rheams, Beekeeper Vice President Hospitality. "There were many innovative startups competing for this top honor. Being named the 'People's Choice' speaks volumes for the need in our industry to improve communications for a hotel's non-desk workers which typically account for 80% of the workforce. Beekeeper is a solution that drives strong operational alignment, employee engagement, reduces turnover and enables a hotel company to become an employer of choice. We'd like to thank HFTP for making the E20X award program possible, and we sincerely appreciate everyone who voted for Beekeeper."The E20X Houston innovation competition for hospitality featured 16 startups, an expert panel of six judges and 16 industry mentors who coached the entrepreneurs before their four-minute pitch. According to HFTP, HITEC Houston broke barriers at the George R. Brown Convention Center June 18 to 21 as the highest attended event in the association's history with more 6,650 attendees. Next year, HFTP will host HITEC Minneapolis from June 17 to 20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career. Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.

Amazon Echo, Google Home ... hotels are wrong again

tendancehotellerie.fr ·26 June 2018
And yet it's impossible not to come across an article that does not talk about it. On a simple common sense, it seems obvious that Amazon will organize everything to boost the story because on the one hand it is potentially hundreds of thousands of sales for its toy, but especially by ricochet millions of customers potentially to buy it too. All these multinationals on the web employ the best in all areas, and marketing is the keystone of the building.And the one who thinks that only the price of selling the device justifies such a debauch of energy, he or she forgets the double effect of the richness of the collected data: before we said, "if it's free, you're the product "but now we can add" even if it's not free, you're still the product ".In hotel chains, who's the boss? Many hotel chains are in fact headed by their CFO instead of their CEO, the example of Marriott sacrificing the Starwood CRS for the antediluvian Marriott CRS, just for a matter of money, demonstrates it perfectly.In this regard, the troublemaker Sebastien Bazin president of AccorHotels decided to fight, not in a "against everything" mode but in innovation and investment mode. Is he one of the only ones to have understood that a new wave of hotels emerged, driven from Asia or more simply that the word "hospitality" had changed meaning? Focusing on some of his mistakes such as the marketplace for the independent hotels would be petty: Sebastien Bazin is a locomotive on his own and we need big companies to be driven by locomotives rather than followers or worse, accountants!A question of common sense ...Working on its customer supply chain is a priority for any company that intends to last but not for a hotel chain, because the central tool in its supply chain, the CRS, is old, rigid, stuck outdated, obsolete, far too expensive, etc ... in almost every major hotel group. How many hotels have not yet incorporated this ugly concept of "customer acquisition cost" in their business management: they suffer while it is the main lever of their sustainability.Recent technological lessonsThe main slap in the hotel business is Booking: Little guys from a tiny country have taken the problem upside down and have become the undisputed masters of the hotel reservation, at least for now. Since Booking.com exists, have we seen a single hotel reservation system from a hotel or chain be as effective? as fast? as simple for the customer? Have we seen real initiatives to offer the customer a hotel list that may seem to him exhaustive? As long as the neighbor hotel is considered a competitor instead of a colleague who is heading in the same direction, the Booking-Expedia duopoly will have a bright future. As long as the bed and breakfast or furnished accommodation will be considered enemy #1, the hotel will continue to dig his grave.Wi-Fi is still a problem in the hotel industry: it is payable too often, it is of mediocre quality and its security is not often acceptable. Offering a high-quality internet (stability + security) and with a good bandwidth should be the same concern as providing hot water at the same time to all rooms. If a hotelier finds it logical to have a peak flow during rush hour, then why is it not the same with electricity during these peak hours? It would be funny to see the TV go down when you turn on the hair dryer or be in the dark as soon as the guests in the next room come in ... On this point, the comfort of use of Internet in an Airbnb is a hundred times better than in a hotel! If a hotelier finds that the Wi-Fi is expensive, may we suggest him to sell his hotel and to buy a shoe store where we do not need Wi-Fi, although ... the customers also need the Internet to visit in real time Amazon's store and check if it's not cheaper.Where's gone the innovation spirit that used to drive hotel chains to innovate, for example, IHG with the 1st CRS worldwide in 1965, at a time when even the word "computer" was unknown to most?Who remembers the beautiful days of the phone device in a hotel room, at a time most of the customers used because it was his only means of communication? Who remembers the huge margins that hoteliers could generate on the use of the telephone, especially in high-end hotels? In 2018 who's still using the room phone to call home or office? Indeed, some hotels have implemented systems allowing the customer to access from the room phone to the list of his contacts, much like the multimedia system of any modern car. Except that in the car, it is the customer's phone that serves as a transmitter, not another line with an additional cost associated ...Aside from car rentalWhen you rent a car from one of the leaders in car rental, you have a clean car, recent, little damaged and yet this car is full of traces, the digital traces of ALL previous customers: just look at the list of previous navigation destinations to find out where the car has already gone. On the phone, you even have access to dialed numbers!!!On this specific point, the hotel entertainment systems automatically reset themselves from the client (if the systems are connected) and do not speak Russian to the Argentinian client who has just checked in ... So, all is not lost!The mania of forcing the customerIn all sectors and not only hotels, we force the customer to behave as the merchant has decided: selling channels are compulsory, it is compulsory to install this app to do that, etc... now we even push the plug to bother him/her as soon as he/she passes in the street, in the alley of the commercial gallery, in front of the laundry with incessant and exhausting solicitations.Chatbots have not yet revolutionized this game. Nevertheless, rather than go to the mobile application of our bank, would not it be easier to complete a wire transfer directly from our favorite messenger/chat application (Facebook Messenger, Skype, Telegram, etc ...)? The security of the transaction is not that difficult on these tools ... if we have the right engineers. Same to book a hotel room!With Google Home or Amazon Echo installed in the room, once again we want to force the customer to use technology that the hotel has unilaterally decided to install.The law is evolving much more slowly than technologyIt's terrible! And it's not going to get any better because technology is accelerating more and more while the laws are long to be promulgated because made by generations who do not really understand the stakes, the quest for power for power being too often more important than the rest.By gaining height, the recent establishment of the GDPR is a dark task in the middle of a blank page of law (s) on digital. While the GDPR is heavy for small companies, it rings the bell and reminds all businesses, especially the most powerful, that the law can touch the only place that matters to them, the dough.For once a law is taken at the scale of a continent and not a single country, the event is literally extraordinary. Especially when at the same time this Dear POTUS renegotiates European country by European country its bilateral trade agreements, seeking to sow discord in a wobbly Europe and where small countries (in number of inhabitants and especially in GDP) that are subsidized have as much of weight than those who perfuse them.The world is changing fast, very fastThe Internet wave was followed by a technological tsunami that destabilized entire sectors of the economy. We can waste time crying and regretting the past or we can decide to make it an opportunity.DarwinAccording to Darwin's theory of evolution: the one who survives is neither the strongest nor the smartest, it's just the one who adapts!Technology has allowed every human being to do things unthinkable 40 or 50 years ago. Who would have predicted that 97% or 98% of people in many parts of the world would have their own phone in their pocket all day long? Who would have predicted that this phone would become smart and would do more than just talk?The era of personal dataWho can think that this wave will fade? Artificial intelligence and its associated technologies like machine learning are again shaking up the established order.This is just the beginning of the era of personal data, not that it did not exist before but because it is recordable, saveable, duplicable, compilable, exportable, measurable, spyable, comparable and usable to infinite power!Go headlong or think 2 seconds?There are many people who go headlong into technology without taking a step back. Is it healthy to have only one Wild West mode provider for ALL of his personal data technology tools? Is it safe to disclose 100% of one's life to an entity that does not meet any rules other than those of its own board?How many people use for example only Google: Android + Gmail + Chrome + Google Search + Google Drive + Google Calendar, etc ...? How many do it privately AND for professional purpose? Their answer is always the same and they would almost try to pass the others for degenerate morons who are too stupid to understand: it's simple! Obviously, Google's tools are well made, ergonomic, simple and addictive! Who could imagine that Google or Amazon or Booking would have arrived there with ugly and complicated tools?Must we give in to all that is addictive? Is not it reasonable to say that you have to divide your digital print between several tools while waiting for your own tool?Fortunately, there are people in the world of technology and computers who think that the web belongs to everyone and not to a handful of multinationals. And among these people, many say that the way of storing his data today is a heresy: everyone should have their own silo of data from which it gives access to such or such service, for a fixed term or not, for a precise use or not, etc ...No one has really developed its own silo data in his garage, nevertheless the blockchain today has one of the best potential on this specific topic: everyone could unilaterally control his data, give rights, revoke or modify and especially have access to undeniable and tamper-proof traceability of the use of these data.Today we do not realize the digital footprint that we leave everywhere: we leave geolocation enabled by default and shops around our phone know and can tease, propose or even harass if the pressure becomes too much strong.Imagine a hotel room where 100% of what you do is recorded and used to make statistics.Soon statistics of farts!Do you really want the hotel to be able to do statistics on the number of your farts? Little ones, big ones, sneaky ones, monstrous ones, ...Imagine the receptionists' face in the morning saying to a colleague "here's the record man of the month! "Or at check-in "I bet this one is the winner! ". Should we organize a prize giving?Do you want the "system" to remember and decide to go as far as you can down the corridor or force the HVAC to stay on a loud and de facto noisy mode the next time you come not in this hotel but in one of the hotels of the chain, at the risk that you shiver?Do you want the hotel to be able to cross this statistic with other personal and discriminating data?The time of reason is comingHe takes his time. The GDPR has allowed some people to become aware of several things. Businesses literally disappeared with the GDPR because their business was to use data acquired without consent for non-consensual purposes. And we are not going to cry for these parasites.But above all the GDPR makes it compulsory (in principle) for companies to the proportionality of information stored according to real needs, not to follow the fads of the head of marketing.The personal shopping botsArtificial intelligence is still in its early days on this specific subject of the personal purchasing robot that presents a multitude of interests, especially on social networks, rather than on the sales sites themselves: according to its settings, the fact of participating in a discussion about a product or service, or even a simple Like, allows the brand to communicate one-to-one, to access some calibrated personal details (I like blue shoes without animal matter and in 10.5 size but I do not give my name nor my mobile number) and to be able to present to the visitor a very short and hyper-targeted list of products, with personalized tariff: offering a one-to-one discount has not impact on the public value of the product because the price remains the same online.The setting of this shopping bot allows you to pause your purchases, to plan a long-term search or to start an urgent search for delivery within an hour.Except in the business travel where premises are visible, we do not yet see a real shopping bot in the field of B2C travel, however it should happen. With these shopping bots, Booking.com can have some chilling to do because what will be its added value for a casual customer? Booking.com may be able to use a loyalty system for a regular traveler but not for others, and still it will be necessary that this system of loyalty is advantageous for the customer ... And when the transaction will take place on the ground of customer, the added value of booking ergonomics will no longer be worth a kopeck! No false joy, by then Booking.com will have found something else. Remember that with the money you give them every month, they have billions in the bank to hire the best of the best ...Besides, how many customers book EXCLUSIVELY by an OTA to avoid giving too much personal details to the hotel? To avoid credit card details to be lying on a piece of paper?The explosion of data collection points All experts predict an explosion of so-called Internet of Things (IoT). A multitude of objects for programmed use (a refrigerator, a television, a shutter, a coffee maker, a switch, etc ...) are not replaceable by a single object that will do everything.On the other hand, objects of the Amazon Echo or Google Home type will not be able to multiply indefinitely and anarchically. As for the phone, this item will inevitably become personal and no longer attached to a home, room or hotel room. At this stage of technology, we almost all have a tool that already has this technological component.It's called a smartphone and it already contains a more or less intelligent tool like Siri and works very well on its connected watch or connected headset or glasses connected, or any other personal AND connected object.What should hotels do then?It is doubtful that it is not the independent hoteliers who will be able to be the driving force nor devote big means.But the chains can.Instead of trying to multiply the points of collection (and de facto friction points with the customer if he is "allergic" to a technology) and at the same time to put himself at odds with the law and the GDPR by collecting and storing data that they clearly do not need, the logic would be for hotels to do everything so that the customer's connected watch can turn on the light of the hotel room. Idem for the reservation: the customer must be able to book a room in his own environment that he could punctually leave to be possibly reassured (see a room in video 360, see breakfast room, ...). And so on for 100% of the tools and services.Imagine being able to say to the maniacs of the cleanliness: here no more common remote control, it is your telephone that controls everything. This customer segment alone is worth the investment!A priori the personal system of the client will know very well his accent and his way of speaking, which will necessarily reduce the risk of error. But above all, it will be THE system chosen by the client and that he/she will TRUST.Why should a customer trust a hotel and its employees? With these new tools, which guarantees to a customer that his extra-marital "fitness" will remain within the 4 walls of the room as it always did? It's important to remember that hotel and sex (not priced) always got along well!In this way, the customer is therefore responsible for his own digital security. The hotel does not collect and therefore no longer stores personal and unnecessary data.No need to push the reasoning very far to say that we could very well ensure that the hotel does not hold the information of an intolerance to the feather pillows until before guest check-in and DELETES it of its system once the client left. What a change of mind for hoteliers, especially in luxury segment, who think they are allowed to know everything and especially store everything on their regular customers. Yet the only data they are legally required to store for several years is the invoice and billing items. The word hospitality only means "welcome well" and not " hold a very detailed sheet" of which even the STASI would not have had the crispy details.The era of true customizationWith the arrival of shopping bots, chatbots and the rapid growth of their artificial intelligence, it is no longer the merchants who push information to the visitor. It is the potential customer who opens the floodgates of his data to merchants who meet his next generation RFP without having access to data that is not necessary to provide the service.Idem for the transaction that, for these users of a new kind, will happen on the customer side and not on the merchant side, with at stake a better understanding by the customer of the small lines, deadlines, modalities, supplements, etc ... because he will at some point be able to compare in his familiar environment.We are not there yet, and this won't explode in 2018. Nevertheless, this kind of thing should seriously develop in the decade, especially with the trend of more and more consumers trying to consume better.ConclusionIf the hotel industry wants to become again an industry that innovates, then perhaps it will be necessary to start and become precursor instead of follower.If the hotel industry wants to regain market share it would have lost due to the "furnished accommodation" business, perhaps it would be tight moment to make these tourist accommodations amateur in terms of technological security in comparison to what hotels could guarantee on the specific subject of their customers' data.In any case, the time when hotels could force customers to use a system is over. It is up to the hotels to adapt to their customers'.Whoever does not take risks and does nothing has no chance of being wrong, has no chance of adapting and consequently surviving!
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Overcome GDPR - A Law in Full Force

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·25 June 2018
Overcome GDPR - A Law in Full Force Please login to view the whole article - or subscribe here For a free two week trial to EyeforTravel OnDemand, please click here.

Live from HEDNA Lisbon: Top experts share practical advice for hoteliers

HEDNA ·22 June 2018
On marketing to millennials - and anyone else online The most vivid keynote of the week came from Steve Bartlett, the founder of social media consultancy Social Change. Beyond the prototypical inspirational founder story, Steve offered some very specific advice for brands defined success selling to consumers online.While this wasn't a marketing conference, the reality of distribution is the digital channels (such as Instagram) are increasingly becoming bookable. This means those that sell online have to understand these emerging distribution channels. His advice:Become a publisher. well this advice has been standing for quite some time, successful brands these days know how to create content that resonates with their target audience, says Bartlett: "Branz they're winning set up internal teams as publishers, especially as Instagram shifts to bookings."Facebook: Brands should encourage content the facilitates meaningful conversations on this platform.YouTube: Consider frequency, as daily videos ranked higher Windows that are one-off. Episodic content also performs well.Fertile ground: Bartlett mentioned both podcasts and LinkedIn as still "thriving with opportunities."On brands outside of hospitality doing retail rightRetailing and merchandising continue to be hot topics in hospitality. Looking to expand additional revenues, many hotels are looking for interesting ways to deliver more than just a room.Kate Ancketill, of consultancy GDPR Creative Intelligence, offered a bevy of examples when attempting to answer the question "how to engage with tomorrow's customer?" Here are some standouts that audible enthusiasm from the crowd:The Museum of Ice Cream: this attraction was built with Instagram in mind. Offering only 30 minutes to explore, the space is full of interactive, memorable experiences -- such as a giant pool of sprinkles. The attraction ended up garnering so much attention on social media, that it has now gone on tour.Delta and Tinder's dating wall. Emerging from the insight that profiles with travel pictures were seen as more appealing, Tinder partnered with Delta to create a static dating wall that allow people to take more "sophisticated" pictures.Alibaba's "New Retail" experience. The new food retail experience, called Nema, offers seven paths to purchase for different needs and use cases. This targeted approach to satisfying specific consumer needs with targeted products within the one operation allows for maximum profitability. The brand's consumer group has different needs depending on the time of day and individual situation.Emphasizing how these experiential campaigns made a viral impact, the takeaway was to brainstorm ways that hotels could leverage their physical assets for a viral effect.Audience Poll, June 5th, 2018On developing and maintaining a fruitful client/vendor relationshipDuring the "Hotelier's View" panel, a group of hoteliers share their thoughts on how Hotels and their partner vendors can work better together.One of the key points was addressing account management and account servicing. Sarah Fults, of MGM Resorts, made an important distinction between the definition of vendor versus partner. The choice of word informs the approach, as vendors might not have as much skin in the game as partners. Fults prefers to use partners, to emphasize that this is a mutual beneficial relationship.However, many hoteliers, including some in the audience, felt that how their accounts for managed was a critical piece of satisfaction with any technology provider. From educating new hires to understanding the implications of new features, customer success was very important to hoteliers.On pain points in payments Payments continue to be a point of vigorous discussion, as the landscape's complexity only seems to increase with time. When struggling to implement the variety of payments that consumers expect, there are a variety of things that create headaches for hotels.As part of the standalone payments track, Mike Carlo, of ZanderPay, brought together a group of payment processors to share some of the hidden costs of payments for hotels."The biggest 'hidden' cost for the hotel industry is the lack of efficient payment processing for any cross-border guest. Whether it be cross-border fees charged by the card schemes or lack of transparency in FX conversions, hotels can pay 1 - 5% more than they should for any cross-border guests."On iterating new business models in an uncertain age If there's one thing that all businesses share today, it's that the digital transformation has required evolving business models. This applies to the hospitality industry, as well as the vendors that serve it.It's all about "how to thrive when disruption has become the norm," said Benjamin Devisme from Colossal Factory and Fernando Vives from NH Hotel Group. The quote that got the most reaction was that brands must"Believe in your model more than you believe in god."This applies to both business models and algorithmic models. The point is you have to put the full weight behind whatever model you choose to build around.Therefore, key criteria for successful models. Models must be:Rationable: It's a blend of French and English but the point is that models must be rational and reasonable given current business circumstances. Irrational business models don't work, especially in an uncertain environment.Shareable: If the model is not easy to share, it's likely not easy to understand. This complexity reduces the chance of success as the model is communicated throughout the value chain.Challengeable: Your brand's team needs to be able to prod and push, and make sure but the model stands on its own. It should be resilient but also pliable whenever needed.These observations are just one view into the many threads throughout the Lisbon event.In the weeks and months ahead, we will be publishing an ongoing series that explores the themes, trends, and conversations of the conference. A refresher for those who were there, and a look inside for those who weren't. Either way, the journey continues as we expand our scope towards understanding today's constantly evolving distribution landscape.Keep an eye out here on the HEDNA blog, as well as our LinkedIn page, for an ongoing series of articles around HEDNA Lisbon. Subscribe to our newsletter at https://www.hedna.org/members/blogs.aspAbout Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA)HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1991, HEDNA's mission is to be the leading global forum for advancing hospitality distribution through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Its vision calls for HEDNA to be known for creating an environment that fosters strategic collaboration toward business development in the global hospitality industry. For more, visit www.HEDNA.org.
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New data rules stress privacy by design

Hotel Management·22 June 2018
Data security just got a lot more complicated. After four years of discussion, the European Union has signed the General Data Protection Regulation on May 25. The regulation consists of 99 articles that replace the EU Data Protection directive, as well as new penalties for non-compliance. The GDPR was founded to protect the privacy of individuals located in the European Union, and its implementation impacts any business that collects data from EU citizens. This includes international businesses, and most hotel companies.

HITEC Houston Makes History as HFTP's Highest Attended Event in 65+ Years

HFTP ·22 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce that HITEC Houston broke barriers this week as the highest attended event in the association's history with over 6,650 attendees. Produced yearly by HFTP, Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) showcases the industry's latest innovations, and provides a top-notch education program for attendees. HITEC Houston took place from June 18-21, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA.HITEC Houston featured over 120 speakers, including futurist Mike Walsh and data security expert Theresa Payton as the keynote speakers. The daily education sessions addressed trending topics including: data security, IT initiatives, sustainability and CSR, AI, leadership development, blockchain, millennials reshaping the industry and more. The Houston exhibit floor featured 397 exhibitors showcasing the latest in hospitality technology products and services. An impressive 47 registered press members were in attendance covering the event."Thank you to everyone who helped make HITEC Houston a huge success," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "HITEC Houston was not only the highest attended HITEC conference to date, but it was also the highest attended overall conference in HFTP's 65-year history. HFTP looks forward to continuing to serve the hospitality technology community in years to come. See you next year in Minneapolis!"The Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) Houston innovation competition for hospitality startups featured 16 startups, an expert panel of six judges and 16 industry mentors who coached the entrepreneurs before their four-minute pitch. Reply.ai won the E20X Judge's Award grand prize of $5,000 USD, and Beekeeper was chosen by conference attendees - via the HFTP Multi-event app - as the E20X People's Choice Award winner. The HITEC Houston Opening Party, presented by Samsung and HFTP, featured multi-platinum rapper Flo Rida and took place at the famous House of Blues Houston.Three hospitality technology industry leaders were recognized and awarded at HITEC Houston: 2018 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame recipients Tammy Farley and Jing Zhu; and 2018 CHTP of the Year recipient Sean Van Dyke, CHTP. HFTP also hosted its annual HITEC Helps social responsibility project during HITEC Houston, and raised funds for local nonprofit Compudopt - who provides technology access and education to underserved youth.Attendees with access to the HFTP Multi-event app can use it to refer back to the attendee list and exhibitors to follow-up on the event. HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. In addition, HFTP has several other coming events. The HFTP Annual Convention is October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. And HITEC Europe is April 10-11 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

New Women in Technology Luncheon Announced for HITEC 2019 Minneapolis

HFTP ·22 June 2018
As HITEC Houston wraps up its biggest week, plans for next year's North American event in Minneapolis are already in the works. New to the program is a Women in Technology networking luncheon designed to connect professionals and honor industry accomplishments. HITEC (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference), produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology event and is dedicated to recognizing those guiding the forward path of hospitality technology. The inaugural luncheon will be June 17, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and will feature an accomplished business leader speaker. Following the initial luncheon will be additional regional programs throughout 2019."A primary reason that HITEC attendees return year after year is the opportunity to meet with fellow industry professionals to share their ideas and learn from each other," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "The addition of the luncheon offers a dedicated opportunity to celebrate the successes of the professional women who have focused their careers to hospitality technology. Hopefully the program will continue in successive years and will be a place to follow the evolution and progress of the industry and the women's careers."HITEC Minneapolis is June 17-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. In addition, HFTP has several other coming events. The HFTP Annual Convention is October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. And HITEC Europe is April 10-11 at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.
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Luxury Resorts Appreciate Guest Privacy Enhancements Included in Version Update for Springer-Miller's SMS|Host PMS

PAR Springer-Miller ·21 June 2018
STOWE, VT -- Springer-Miller Systems (SMS), the leading provider of guest-centric hospitality and spa management systems, announces that the latest update to their SMS|Host Property Management System, v.22.1, is now available and includes new functionality to conform to GDPR regulations.The fully-integrated SMS|Host Property Management System provides core property management tools as well as point-of-sale, owner management, online booking and other key resort functionality. In addition, SMS|Host interfaces with leading industry systems to ensure a seamless operating environment for hotels and resorts. With this new version, SMS has focused on personal security while enabling its customers with the ability to manage and secure the data privacy of their guests. The solution includes a package of Personal Data Privacy Controls including tools for compliance with the EU's General Data Privacy Requirements (GDPR)."Our customers are very excited about this release version of SMS|Host and the advancements that we're making with our solutions," commented Robert Selwah, President of Springer-Miller Systems, "This version update will help them better serve their guests by meeting security expectations while complying with the regulatory environment."As properties update to this version, they will be able to utilize Springer-Miller's new seamless Secure Data Extract (SDE) utility with vendors for whom real-time, two-way integration may be unnecessary. Built to support automated, schedulable, secure, one-way data exports, the SDE will benefit them by:Removing sensitive guest data prior to compression and encryptionReducing performance degradation resulting from command errors, extremely large file sizes or ill-timed transmissionsProviding a reliable, programmed transfer of data while simultaneously allowing for greater processing frequency"We know from speaking to our customers that they're energized and excited about upgrading to v.22.1 and taking advantage of all the new security features and capabilities," commented Selwah.SMS has deliberately taken the time to become proficient in General Data Privacy Requirements by working closely with GDPR experts to design a set of features that allow properties to easily conform to the key aspects of the requirements. Requirements include tracking guests' privacy preferences, documenting the information on file about them and complying with a guest's request to be forgotten."In conjunction with recent enhancements to our mobile, web and POS solutions, the emphasis on guest security with this release positions SMS and SMS|Host to continue to lead the luxury hospitality technology industry far into the future," continued Selwah.Springer-Miller Systems provides access to software version updates to all customers in good standing. These updates are backed by the strength of the SMS Support team, including 24/7 live support as well as an online HelpCenter, active Customer Community and live monthly webinars.About Springer-Miller SystemsSpringer-Miller Systems provides premier software solutions for the finest hotels, resorts and spas worldwide. Springer-Miller Systems offers the SMS|Host Hospitality Management System, the truly guest-centric and fully-integrated property management system, and SpaSoft, a dynamic activities management and scheduling software solution for luxury spas.Visit www.springermiller.com for more information.

Championing the value of independent data

Hotel Yearbook ·18 June 2018
In April of this year, Carson Booth was named CEO of Berlin-based SnapShot GmbH. Previously the Global VP for Property Technology at Starwood, then Marriott, he brings a wealth of relevant experience to his new assignment at the helm of this six-year old company, already one of the largest hospitality data processors in the world. We talked to Carson about his vision for the company and the challenges ahead.Hotel Yearbook: First of all, Carson, congratulations on being named Chief Executive of this dynamic young company. For our readers who don't know the firm, can you give us a brief snapshot of SnapShot?Carson Booth: Thanks, Woody. I'm proud and excited to take on this new role. As for the company, it started out in 2012 with a vision to address the industry need for a different kind of access to hospitality data - one that would be independent of software providers and give access and control back to the organizations that needed access to the data.This began as a data aggregation and retrieval system to address the data silos. From there, we rapidly realized that the same types of systems had different ways to process and store equivalent data. With the support of new investors over the following years, we evolved into an extensive data platform with the capability to collect data from hotels, harmonize the data, and then make it available back to the business in much more accessible and customized formats.And it's not just the customer's data - we also bring in external relevant data, like guest reviews, OTA or competitive set data, to support management decisions and benchmarking capabilities to our customers.Furthermore, we run our "Marketplace" where developers can build applications against our data sets and sell innovative apps back to our customers. With this combination of a data platform, data harmonization and analytics and Marketplace, we are absolutely unique.HYB: How big are you?Booth: In terms of staff, we have 75 employees in seven offices around the world. As for the number of hotels we work with, at present we have over 5,000 PMS-connected hotels sending us data three times a day, as well as several industry data suppliers. Our intention is to grow this hotel number substantially, and in parallel, leverage our platform and capabilities to not only extend our data sets for hotels, but more broadly in the hospitality industry, like restaurants, to provide similar solutions.HYB: Why is data so important?Booth: That's a very fundamental question, but it can't be emphasized enough: Data is what allows a hotel or restaurant, first, to know its guests in order to deliver an enhanced guest experience on an individual basis, and, second, to know the operation, how it is performing internally as well as against external metrics. The challenge for the hospitality industry is its very decentralized nature of a brick-and-mortar business and our traditionally low technology investment ratios compared with other industries. Over the last few years, the industry has begun to realize the importance of data, and our technology suppliers have started responding with more mature solutions, for example cloud-based options, and so on. However, no single magic system exists to meet all the unique complexities for each hotel and operation, and therefore, data silos remain.Hotels and management companies spend an incredible amount of time and energy - and therefore money - trying to cobble together relevant data and transform this into actionable information to understand operations and glean insights. This data emancipation, harmonization and visualization is core to what we do.HYB: You've emphasized also the independence of the data you work with. What do you mean by that? Why is it important?Booth: You need to think of data as an asset, possibly even the most valuable asset you own. Why? Because by understanding your data, you can gain extremely valuable insights into your customers, your competition, and of course your own performance - and those insights will form the basis for most of the decisions you make, major and minor, about running your business, staying competitive, and ultimately, thriving.However, considering how most data is generated and stored, the problem is that it's not freely accessible. That's because so much of it is enmeshed - you could even say "trapped" - within systems that are not built to share data openly. This data must be emancipated so that you can use it as you need and wish, as its rightful beneficiary. This is what I mean by "independent data". You want all this data to be free and portable so that you can more quickly integrate it into the analytical tools of your choice and reuse it for your own purposes, no matter what your needs are.Here are two examples of how independent data can greatly simplify the complexities of moving the data or transforming it as you need: Our industry continues to see very active mergers and acquisitions of brand management companies; the portability of independent data for access or consolidation significantly reduces the immediate need to undertake a major technology change in the field. Independent data also addresses an ownership group's need for insight into how their business is performing - without complexities of trying to consolidate multi-management company reports and processes. This independent data can be exposed on the transaction-by-hotel level and easily consolidated since the data is already harmonized.HYB: Is this emphasis on the value of data a recent thing?Booth: Certainly in the past few years, there has been an increasing awareness of the value of the vast and diverse store of data that a company generates through its many business activities. At the same time, though, there has been a corresponding increase in the restrictions that managing this data is subject to. You only have to think of the European GDPR rules and its global impacts to understand what I mean. So from a very practical point of view, the question a company has to ask itself is, what are we going to do with all this data we have? How are we going to use it to innovate and grow?SnapShot is uniquely positioned to help a hotel or management group come to grips with these challenges, because of our three pillars of products and services that unlock the value of a property's data. First, we can collect the data and ensure that the data is harmonized. Second, we add relevant external data sets for a combined ability to visualize the information with analytics for understanding it. And third, we continue to build our unique Marketplace where developers build and deliver innovative hospitality apps. We see ourselves as directly addressing the needs of the hospitality industry as well as brining new value to the data itself.HYB: You've been on the job for a few weeks now. What can you tell us about your plans for the company?Booth: SnapShot has an amazing data platform that is capable of scaling significantly. Leveraging this platform is core to our plans and includes several paths. Firstly, extending our data set capabilities beyond PMS, POS and external data today, to include financial and procurement data for example, and then extending this data to our Marketplace community for innovative app development. Secondly, working with large and enterprise-class groups on off-the-shelf and custom data solutions. Thirdly, we will expand our industry education and awareness programs to continue to champion our belief in the value of independent data.HYB: It all sounds very intriguing, Carson, and we hope you'll keep us posted on your progress. Thanks for the interesting conversation!Booth: Thank you, too!About SnapShotFounded in 2012 with the vision to build the hospitality's premier data platform independent of any brand or software provider, SnapShot is now one of the largest hospitality data processors in the world, managing transactional data of over 6,000 independent and branded hotels worldwide, with over 45 different connected PMS systems, and growing. With the release of the Hospitality Data Platform, SnapShot enters its third phase, which brings forward its founding vision: a secure data platform, visualization capabilities, and marketplace. To find out more, please visit snapshot.travel.
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ASSA ABLOY Hospitality to Showcase Future-Proof Innovations in Hotel Security Technology at HITEC 2018

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality ·18 June 2018
Stockholm -- ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, provider of advanced security solutions for the hospitality industry, will introduce a series of new innovations at HITEC 2018, taking place June 19-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Continuous demonstrations of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's recently unveiled Vostio and Bluvision solutions will be held at booth #901, along with information provided on enhancements made to RFID door lock security via MIFARE Plus EV1 IC technology.ASSA ABLOY Hospitality will also take part in HITEC Houston's Technology Showcase on Tuesday, June 19, in room 370-A from 4 to 5 p.m., where they will demonstrate how the Bluvision solution uses location-based beacon technology to enhance safety, while maximizing guest satisfaction and property efficiency. A Bluetooth Low Energy and cloud-based platform, Bluvision beacons can be used to detect movement in areas that are off limits, while providing the ability to create access badges that provide entry authorization. A platform that also focuses on empowering IoT-based services, Bluvision can further be used to provide guests with personalized offers based on their unique interests and specific location within a property. Staff members can use Bluvision's asset management functionality to track the location of inventory, and its sensors can be used to monitor temperature conditions in cold rooms."As a recognized leader in hotel security technology worldwide, we always look to present HITEC attendees with the latest technological advancements available to ensure their ability to safeguard guests while providing them with experiences that are memorable and fully satisfying," Christophe Sut, Executive Vice President and Head of the Global Technologies business unit for ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. "For this year's North American show, we're excited to be presenting key decision makers with new and innovative technologies that are expected to re-shape the industry and equip hoteliers with the industry's highest standard in security."ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's latest innovation, Vostio, is the first maintenance free, cloud-based management system designed to maximize operational efficiency and enhance guest convenience. Accessed through the cloud, Vostio can be managed from virtually anywhere in the world, since local servers are not required. Vostio is GDPR-ready and built on the latest industry standards, ensuring total data confidentiality, integrity and traceability through the use of its encrypted system. As a cloud-based platform, Vostio also receives automatic software updates to ensure that properties are always fully protected against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Because Vostio does not require on-site servers, hoteliers can avoid time-consuming maintenance issues and eliminate the need for expensive hardware.During HITEC, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality will also demonstrate MIFARE Plus EV1 IC technology, as well as the latest advancements in RFID-based door lock security. The industry leading platform provides hoteliers with banking grade security features and enhanced usability, while also offering a seamless and cost-effective upgrade path. Other company solutions to be exhibited during HITEC include ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, VingCard Essence and VingCard Allure door locks, as well as Elsafe electronic safes.For more information about ASSA ABLOY Hospitality and its comprehensive line of security solutions, please visit www.assaabloyhospitality.com.

What hoteliers can do when crises strike

R. A. Rauch & Associates, Inc. ·18 June 2018
The U.S. has been hit with the longest streak of crises--mass shootings, natural disasters and security breaches--in the past decade. Hoteliers need to better prepare and develop plans for not if, but when crises strike.Crisis management will gain importance as active shooter training is added to a hotel's playbook and cybercrime continues to increase dramatically."Run. Hide. Fight" training and a technology expert at each company is now required. It is paramount to our future liability that we train our staff and have procedures in place for all potential crises.As to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this has come up quickly and applies to all hotels, especially those that pursue European travelers. Hotels need traveler consent to store any data related to a European traveler, and it is recommended that we start doing that for all guests.Active shooters and disastersHigh school shootings have occurred far too often. The Santa Fe High School shooting could have been far more traumatic and caused the loss of many more lives if the school hadn't had both security and "active shooter" training in place. The training is now required for all hotels. The FBI, your local police department and Homeland Security have comprehensive materials on this subject that will provide as resources for hoteliers. Being prepared for any terror event or natural disaster is critical to both saving lives and minimizing negative impacts.Rapid hotel evacuation is key to a crisis plan, and all team members must know the evacuation route. Rapid lock down of the hotel or areas of the hotel will limit a shooter's movements. It is vital that hotel staff become acquainted with Homeland Security's detailed guides on this type of training activity. Developing a first-responder pack that includes detailed hotel plans and critical infrastructure would be paramount to a crisis plan as well. Cellphone numbers of all team members must be available to ensure safety and enable crisis communication.The same protocols regarding evacuation should be established for natural disasters. Just recently, a fast-moving lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano led local officials to close a highway on short notice. They needed to communicate to all travelers that thin strands of glass fibers carried in the wind could injure eyes and lungs. There must be real training and tangible procedures in place as we must never assume all will be calm tomorrow. I just scheduled our 2018 training with our local police departments for our teams, and I encourage all of you to do the same.CybersecurityCompanies should ensure that the property management system is on a different network than public Wi-Fi and that all networking devices have default account passwords changed. All software and operating systems in use must be up to date with the latest patches and versions, and employees must be trained to recognize harmful forms of cyberattacks to ensure the protection of guests.All passwords should be reset when an employee leaves the company. Each front-desk employee should have a unique PMS password as well as a secure computer password. Passwords should not be visible to guests. To ensure the security of computer systems, team members should be trained to lock any front-desk operating systems when they step away from the desk, and to never leave portable devices unattended.Companies need to have internal and external access to IT expert resources 24/7. Protocols should be put in place to prevent hotel staff from using hotel property for personal purposes. Periodic audits of employees and their activities should be enacted to ensure security. This merely touches the basic needs in this area of potential cybercrime.GDPRThe GDPR took effect on 25 May. The impact on almost all U.S. businesses is massive. While this is a European regulation, it will significantly impact the global lodging industry. Further, in the event of a cybersecurity attack or data breach, companies only have 72 hours to report the situation or there are financial consequences.Hotels that actively seek European guests will be required to be compliant with GDPR. This means that hotel guests can insist their data be erased. Sensitive data is personal information about an individual that could be used to discover their identity and gain access to their accounts.GDPR requires us to designate a data protection officer within our organizations. Companies must gauge whether or not any activity outside of the European Union will require communication with a person in the EU after the initial gathering of information. A risk assessment will review the data gathered and allow EU citizens to make updates to their personal data.Put your plans together and go out and have a great summer!
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SpaSoft Integrates New Security Enhancements to Latest Release

PAR Springer-Miller ·18 June 2018
STOWE, VT -- Springer-Miller Systems (SMS), the leading provider of guest-centric hospitality and spa management systems, announces the availability of version 7.0 of the SpaSoft Spa and Activity Management Solution.SpaSoft version 7.0 features focus on:GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Enhancements,Secure Payment Solutions Extensions with PXP EMV,Central Configuration Standardization, andMicrosoft SQL Server Database Support.SpaSoft version 7.0 offers an updated system with a series of features that will assist spas to comply with the GDPR regulations and provide methods to enhance overall guest data security. In an effort to attain our goal of being completely database agnostic, the SpaSoft system has expanded its database support to include Microsoft SQL Server, providing more options for our customers.SpaSoft now offers an additional secure payment solution with our proud partner PXP, which supports our mission of being out of PA-DSS Scope with respect to the Payment Card Industry security requirements. PXP adds to the already extensive list of partners that SpaSoft securely interfaces with to ensure optimal operations."We couldn't be more excited about our partnership with PXP. Our SpaSoft customers are comforted knowing that their data is protected as a result of our extensive security measures. Adding integration with PXP allows us to extend that peace of mind to our SpaSoft customers around the globe." commented Michelle Young, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for SpaSoft.Franco Del Basso, Board Director and Head of Business Development for PXP commented "We are delighted that the integration between SpaSoft and our ANYpay applications was achieved. Our relationship with Springer-Miller Systems spans many years with mutual Customer relationships across Europe. This latest integration with our PCI P2Pe approved applications will ensure customers benefit from both systems robust security features and will help cement further growth across our mutual territories."The latest additions to the SpaSoft Enterprise module, released last year focused on the ability to set central configurations for spas. SpaSoft Enterprise leverages the benefits of SpaSoft Hosting Services or a customer-managed hosting environment, to connect individual spas in the cloud. Spa groups, chains and management companies that choose to utilize SpaSoft Enterprise gain the ability to see and access valuable information in real time from a single location.The Central Configuration Standardization enhancement enables more efficient and controlled standardization at the enterprise level. Configurations can be "locked down" and only changed at the enterprise level, if desired, or controlled with user clearance. This feature also allows spas to easily enter basic configurations to help accelerate the onboarding process. This enhancement allows for reductions in system training time and increases efficiencies in the spa.Finally, in v.7.0 SpaSoft has added the Microsoft SQL Server database system as a new data storage option. From a user perspective, there is no operational difference. This addition allows customers who use SQL Server today to extend that database to operate SpaSoft also. SpaSoft is now one-step closer to being database agnostic. Penka Sevova, SpaSoft General Manager commented, "As we move towards the future, SpaSoft will continue to open up the platform and offer our customers a variety of operational choices. This includes hosting, enterprise, relational databases, reporting and much more."About SpaSoft and Springer-Miller SystemsSpringer-Miller Systems provides premier software solutions for the finest hotels, resorts and spas worldwide. Springer-Miller Systems offers the SMS|Host Hospitality Management System, the truly guest-centric and fully-integrated property management system, and SpaSoft, a dynamic activities management and scheduling software solution for luxury spas.Visit www.springermiller.com for more information.About PXPPXP are experts in integrated payment technologies with PMS and POS systems including on-line payment channels and tokenization services. These added value offerings streamline a merchant's operations, save time and therefore costs, increasing revenue and enhancing the customer experience. PXP has a rich heritage of providing the hospitality, cruise and retail industries with payment solutions that complement the unique requirements of their business.PXP offers a wide variety of security and fraud & risk tools so merchants can accept payments securely including PCI certified applications and solutions for point to point encryption.
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GDPR - 5 Last Minute Things That You Need To Do

TrustYou brainTRUST Blog·18 June 2018
You probably know by now that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new implementation, meant to reinforce the protection of customer data and online safety, as well as increasing the transparency of data exchange between customers and businesses. Having our headquarter in Munich, we’re proud to say that TrustYou is GDPR compliant and we have thoroughly researched the topic and adopted the new regulations.

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