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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • 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.

The HITEC Europe Innovations Digest

Hospitality Net ·50m
Maastricht, The Netherlands - At the beginning of this month, Hospitality Net was present at HITEC Europe 2019 in Mallorca. The team visited various exhibitors to talk about their new and innovative products which were on display at the show. Here's a recap of what they have been talking about:A 360o solution for the telecommunications infrastructure in hotels. From design to network management.NETHITS is a global provider of advanced ICT solutions. Moreover, NETHITS has more than 13 years of experience as an agent at the telecommunications market, as a Broadband and Internet Service provider and also as a technology integrator specialized in hospitality.Our commitment to improve the customer experience and provide operational and economic efficiency to our hotel partners is based on a single platform that combines hardware and software intelligence (GPON, HOTSPOT, IPTV, VoIP, IPKEEPER), support services (Call Center, Bandwidth Management, Network Monitor and Management) and know-how at your disposal (Integration with Strategic Partners, Security Policies, Management and Support Tools, Integration with PMS and other customer systems).Increasing Guest Engagement and Streamlining Staff Management through Hospitality TechnologyINTELITY is the provider of a complete end-to-end enterprise guest engagement and staff management platform in hospitality. INTELITY is on a mission to provide its customers with the most direct and advanced connection to their guests, while also supporting back-of-house operations and business intelligence.INTELITY's platform is a multi-point solution to the common pain points experienced by hospitality industry workforces and offers the most comprehensive collection of certified, discrete integrations with PMS, POS, room controls, locks, spa management, loyalty programs, and ticketing systems. The platform is comprised of three key areas - INTELITY Guest, INTELITY Staff, and INTELITY Connect - providing management teams with the tools to better track and manage guest and staff activity through a single platform.Visit INTELITY's profile on Hospitality Net.Infor Completes Acquisition of ReServe InteractiveInfor announced the completed acquisition of Efficient Frontiers, Inc. dba ReServe Interactive. Headquartered in Livermore, Calif., ReServe Interactive is a leading provider of cloud-based sales and catering, restaurant reservations, and floor management software that serves the restaurant, sports and entertainment, event center, golf and country club, and hotel markets in the U.S. and Canada. ReServe Interactive's highly scalable, dynamic, and intuitive sales and catering solution will enable Infor to offer more functionality through Infor CloudSuite Hospitality, and increase Infor's presence in non-hotel hospitality venues such as entertainment centers, stadiums, wineries and conference and convention centers.Visit Infor's profile on Hospitality Net.Bonomi offers guest engangement through AI MessagingBy providing AI messaging assistants, Bonomi opens up a new direct channel for hotels to connect with their guests along the entire journey. Practical, intuitive, fun to use and easy to retrieve from their favourite messaging app, guests can turn to the hotel's own assistant for questions, booking, check-in, service orders, housekeeping requests or live chat with reception.Integrated in the hotel's website or PPC campaigns the assistant will increase direct bookings & build an opt-in database of subscribers for future marketing messages. Offering personalized guest alerts & recommendations will boost both guest satisfaction and ancillary revenues. With direct integrations to your Channel Manager / PMS / Service Optimization software, you can fully automate booking, check-in or service order processes, and thanks to our custom AI engine, your assistant will answer frequent questions automatically, reducing frontdesk workload.Interactive, self-service dashboardsDatavision offers a new self-service dashboards which transform data into stunning graphic visuals and share them with colleagues on any device. Collaborate and share dashboards with your colleagues. Datavision has provides self service report building since the company began over 24 years ago.Datavision since creating an integrated database with data from virtually every system on property or in the cloud. Datavision integrates information from all your key systems (PMS, POS, Spa, Golf, Labor, Sales & Catering, Google Analytics, Comment cards, GL etc.) and delivers actionable business intelligence.Visit Datavision's profile on Hospitality Net.Keystep Launches into EuropeKeystep Solutions are a market leader and innovator in the electronic door locking l sector. Opendoor replaces traditional electronic door locking systems that can expensive to maintain; magnetic strips wear out, cards need replacing, and replacement locks are costly. Opendoor offers greater functionality at a fraction of the cost by introducing a lock that offers both RFID and Mobile access in one. With a Bluetooth board fitted as standard you are future proofing your investment. All the locks come with a 3 year warranty and are CE marked and pass all the EU fire regulations.Having successfully delivered Opendoor to many leading hotel brands in the UK, including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Red Carnation and Elite Hotels, to name a few, Keystep are now expanding their reach into Europe. The launch was kick started by exhibiting at HITEC 2019 in Mallorca. Andrew Evans, Chief Executive Officer comments "We are very excited to launch our solution to mainland Europe. HITEC was a perfect platform and we've had some really great meetings with hoteliers not just in Europe, but also further afield. We look forward to following up on those discussions to see how we can help them resolve their guest access requirements".hotelkit - hotel operations & communication softwareBy a hotelier for hoteliershotelkit is an award-winning global software designed to simplify and enhance hotel operations and internal communication by connecting employees together on a single platform. The idea was born when hotelier, Marius Donhauser, took over the 4 star boutique hotel in Salzburg in 2011. Today the software is used by 40.000 employees across more than 800 hotels of all categories, sizes & types worldwide. Among them are the Le Meridien, moxy Hotels, Intercontinental Vienna, Hard Rock Hotels, prizeotel, Kempinski and many more.hotelkit is the central hub of communication and contains all important information about SOPs for every department of a hotel. It helps to document knowledge in a more transparent and sustainable way and to process daily tasks, checklists and repairs more efficiently. Employees can use hotelkit via PC, tablet and smartphone any time. For hotel chains or groups, the multi-property solution hotelkit Connect is offered.Quore adds award-winning, Housekeeping module to its Hotel Management platformQuore's award-winning housekeeping solution, Cleanings Plus, empowers your team to manage everything from room notices and cleaning projects to work orders. A centralized view of all issues by room means housekeepers can address all room needs at once without having to run all over your property to track down the information they need. The Cleanings Plus feature takes the guesswork out of identifying rooms that need to be cleaned, speeding up the process and ultimately saving the property time and money.Using real-time, cloud-based technology, Cleanings Plus automatically signals rooms that are ready to be cleaned through staff mobile devices, tracks cleaning performance in detail and notifies supervisors when room cleanings are complete, reducing delays for spotless, guest-ready rooms. Digital breakouts and push notification alerts increase team efficiency, and a management overview provides live insights into daily department operations--so your team stays connected at every level, from anywhere.Visit Quore's profile on Hospitality Net.VENZA's suite of resources protect data and demonstrate commitment to privacy, from corporate to on-premis, tech stack to cultureSince 2008, VENZA has helped hotel groups. We focus on taking measures to secure data and preserve confidentiality. As the industry's guide in an evermore treacherous journey toward data protection, our organization strives to provide up-to-date expertise and tools to achieve, assess, track and document progress. For example, during VENZA's central involvement in HTNG's GDPR for Hospitality work group, close attention was given to the unique needs that hotel groups have with regards to privacy regulations (i.e. GDPR, CCPA). As a result, VENZA launched a program that includes access to a privacy management system with multiple functionalities to facilitate compliance (e.g. Data Registration, Data Subject Request Management, Incident & Breach Management, 3rd Party Management). The system is equipped with templates for hotel systems and processings. These templates, along with the always-welcome assistance of VENZA's on-staff Privacy Engineers, ensure maximum meaningful application of the system.In another example of innovative change, our organization now delivers a full suite of the tools and resources (e.g. DR Back Up, RMM, Mail Protection/Archiving) to ensure that your network is properly monitored and managed. However, VENZA knows that central to all intelligent IT initiatives in hospitality today is a commitment to security. Therefore, our logging, monitoring and incident response program focuses on keeping data secure while satisfying standards (ICO27001) and compliance requirements (PCI DSS, GDPR).Visit VENZA's profile on Hospitality Net."Sertifi is already looking forward to next year."Sertifi showcased their closing technology, including eSignatures, ePayments, and eAuthorizations, which enhances security, guest and employee convenience, and speed. With more and more international organizations like Hyatt and Hilton using Sertifi, they're elated to eliminate inefficient and wasteful paper-based processes and help more hospitality organizations around the globe reach their fullest potential.Visit Sertifi's profile on Hospitality Net.Entrepreneur 20XCONGRATULATIONS to HOTELWAY for winning the E20X Judge's Choice Award!CONGRATULATIONS to Oaky for winning the E20X People's Choice Award!THANK YOU to all the other start ups for participating!

Starwood data breach: Lessons for the hotel industry

HotelNewsNow ·15 April 2019
Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee in early March, providing some insight into the data breach of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide legacy reservation system.In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in March, Sorenson laid out the timeline of the discovery of the breach and how his company responded.

HFTP's Third HITEC Europe Builds Momentum for Hospitality Technology Gathering

HFTP ·11 April 2019
Hospitality industry professionals from across Europe and beyond, representing 34 countries, came together in Palma, Mallorca, Spain this week to explore the industry's best practices and latest innovations at HITEC Europe. Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is building momentum for its annual event with its third successful European counterpart to its recognized, 47-year-old North American event. HITEC Europe was held from April 9-11, 2019 at the Palau de Congressos Palma.The beautiful locale was a highlight to the event and delegates were honored with a greeting from Spanish officials -- Spain's Secretary of State for Tourism Isabel Oliver and President of the Government of Balearic Islands Francina Armengol. Based on this year's successful show and welcoming location, HFTP has already scheduled HITEC Europe 2020 for April 21-23 in the same place.The conference served as a concentrated forum to discuss the ins-and-outs of hospitality technology via networking, education and exhibits. HITEC Europe's educational program featured 30+ speakers, including a keynote presentation on the first day by award-winning futurist Rohit Talwar and a CIO panel discussing "The Next Industry Threat."The education program addressed trending topics such as: GDPR, integration, InfoSec, employee technology, IoT and more. Delegates also had access to an exhibition hall that was home to 60+ exhibit booths showcasing the latest in hospitality technology products and services."Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make HFTP's HITEC Europe an overwhelming success," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "In its third year, the event has become a central forum for exploring the technological nuances that are essential to the success of a hospitality business."Before the official start to HITEC Europe, HFTP hosted two pre-conference programs on April 9: the CIO/CFO Round Table Event and Entrepreneur 20X. The CIO/CFO Round Table Event was an invitation-only gathering for c-level executives to have high-level discussions on pressing industry issues. The half-day meeting was sponsored by FourteenIP, Chargifi and vtech.Expanding on industry innovation, HITEC Europe also offered attendees the chance to witness HFTP's thrilling Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) innovation competition for hospitality startups. This year eight companies competed, and the contestant Hotelway won the Judges' Choice Award, including a cash prize. Oaky won the Peoples' Choice Award, presented at the conclusion of HITEC Europe and decided by vote via the HITEC Event app. This year's E20X Europe was exclusively sponsored by Datavision Technologies.HITEC Europe was the first of three HITECs that HFTP will produce this year. Next up, the larger HITEC Minneapolis is slated for June 17-20, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Centre in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Ending the year is HITEC Dubai - a Middle Eastern counterpart - will take place November 12-13 at the Festival Arena by Intercontinental in Festival City Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba.View the event photo gallery. Follow HFTP/HITEC on HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@HFTP) and Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). For more information about HITEC, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org or +1 (512) 249-5333.
Article by Christopher Boinet & Anne Epinat & Christian Bardet

Five Essential Checkpoints For Successful Buy-Side Due Diligence

In Extenso Avocats, a subsidiary of the DELOITTE Group · 3 April 2019
A proverb states that prudence does not avoid all misfortune, but a lack of prudence never fails to attract it. This is why due diligence is a vital step in buying a hotel. In a hotel acquisition context, the term "due diligence" refers to the investigations carried out by the prospective buyer. These investigations focus both on the hotel assets (i.e. the operating building as a whole) and the company that owns these assets or operates the hotel. Due diligence must also enable the buyer to fully appreciate the hotel's business, understand its structure, environment and market, and analyse the long-term viability of their project.Due diligence is often carried out further to the drafting of a letter of intent and a non-disclosure and exclusivity agreement that define the key points of the transaction. Any letter of intent protecting the parties' interests should stipulate that the results of the limited investigations undertaken were satisfactory, and in particular, did not reveal any material misstatement or departure from the information provided by the seller.It should not be assumed that the seller's warranty [or legal guarantees] will protect the buyer as much as effective due diligence would. Buyers are advised to scrupulously perform due diligence (as if the seller had not issued a warranty). Since the contractual indemnities due by the seller under the seller's warranty are limited in time and amount, they will never replace successful independent due diligence conducted by the potential buyer.We have reviewed the five essential checkpoints to be examined by the potential buyer of a hotel (or group of hotels) below:1 Legal due diligenceThe potential buyer will ensure that the hotel operation complies with the regulations in force by examining current operating contracts (franchises, management contracts, service provision contracts, commercial leases, etc.), as well as contracts in place with suppliers, licences, potential brands or agreements concluded with financial institutions. In particular, due diligence must identify all contracts whose continuation is likely to be affected by the proposed transaction, taking into account an intuitu personae clause.The risk of immediate repayment of the company's financing (leasing contracts in particular) in the event of disposal of the shares and ownership interests of the hotel operating company or owner of the premises must also be carefully examined and dealt with before a promise to sell agreement is signed.A legal audit of the company that owns and operates the business is required, as is an investigation into the owner of the hotel premises, if applicable, in order to verify the seller's ownership rights and capacity to sell. Legal due diligence will also uncover any disputes initiated by or filed against the hotel, and the commercial and financial consequences thereof that may impact the final price or the seller's warranty.In addition to these habitual legal checks, a new subject has also recently arisen: protecting the personal data of guests and staff under the GDPR[1] which came into force on the 25th May 2018. Due diligence should cover all the procedures implemented within the hotel and actually used, hotel and staff management software, contracts involving confidential data processing such as those negotiated with OTAs, supplier contracts and hotel management agreements[2]. In addition, data processing management must also examine the compliance of those entities that process data on behalf of the hotel, in particular through SaaS software, i.e. software hosted by suppliers and accessed via the Internet.To be monitored: the current franchise contract or hotel management agreement.When a hotel operating company has entered into a management agreement with a hotel brand, the buyer should carefully review the history of the relationship with the brand and the investments made. There are often clauses requiring the prior agreement of the hotel group with regard to the transfer of control of the company/ business or premises. Lastly, if the potential buyer wishes to terminate the contract early, the cost of such and the contract terms will have to be assessed. A lawyer can advise the buyer on the most practical way to approach the hotel group in this respect - a direct approach is often best. The same considerations apply to hotel franchise contracts or hotel consortia membership agreements.To be foreseen: the commercial hotel lease and its renewal with a capped rent.Instructing a legal expert and a lawyer experienced in valuing rent can be judicious. Capex (if possible) and the lease should be carefully examined, taking into account the regulations in force[3] in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises with regard to the financial conditions of renewing the hotel lease that arise from the property's single use status and its capped rent. If the difference between the current indexed rent and the rent under the renewed lease is too significant, the hotel's profitability can be affected, as can the negotiations surrounding the sales price.2 The operational component of the hotelThe potential buyer will have to understand all the operational characteristics of the hotel and its positioning on the market. The buyer will focus investigations not only on the characteristics of the existing client base, but also on its resilience, the contribution of each segment (leisure, corporate, individual, group) and the weight/ cost of each distribution channel in the marketing of rooms and the revenue structure. A detailed understanding of the yield management strategy employed, the IT systems used (CRM, database, POS) and the professionalism of the management in place should make it possible to identify areas for improvement in order to boost the property's competitiveness vis-a-vis its competitors. It may be advisable to seek the advice of a consultant specialised in benchmarking in order to verify the hotel's positioning and performance (OR, ADR, RevPAR) with regard to its competitive set.Similarly, the analysis of each expense item and the comparison of expenditure levels with industry norms or averages is a source of valuable information. This will reveal the business model (subcontracting or in-house management of maintenance, cleaning, security, etc.), growth drivers (improvements in management), and even internal control procedures that call into question the proper functioning of the establishment.These operational investigations can be completed by an estimation of the property's "as-is" value. Taking into account potential improvements, the future value of the property can also be determined for the buyer, once the identified efforts (management, Capex, marketing, etc.) have been instigated.3 Technical inspection of the hotel building and its equipmentThis is one of the points that hotel neophytes often fear the most. The potential buyer's technical consultants and lawyers will carry out a detailed document and on-the-spot study of all the physical elements of the hotel building and associated reports. This includes installations and equipment such as electrics, plumbing, building structural aspects, IT systems, decorative elements and hotel material.A close examination will be carried out to ensure that the hotel, which falls under the category of public-access buildings, complies with fire safety and health standards. Particular care will be taken to ensure compliance with the recommendations indicated by the Health & Safety Commission and the various control authorities as part of their mandatory periodic checks. Lastly, due diligence can make it possible to verify, prior to the transaction, whether or not rooms can renovated or capacity increased in accordance with current urban planning rules.If the due diligence reveals that regulatory compliance work has to be carried out - in particular with regard to disabled access - the financial cost will in principle be borne by the seller [point to be negotiated]. Yet the question of which party is responsible and when the works should start does remain: if it is the seller, this may result in a further delay in signing the final sales act.4 Hotel tax, finance and accounting issuesDue diligence enables the buyer to check whether the hotel is up to date with its tax obligations and to assess the tax risks of the previous hotel operation by examining the various mandatory reporting that has been carried out. A tax and accounting audit of the hotel and/ or the operating company or the hotel operating group will help determine in particular the amount of the seller's warranty, the acquisition plan and the timing and structuring of the transaction (business or shares of the operating company).This part of the due diligence process requires a detailed study, notably an examination of the business' accounting documents and tax returns, as well as all legal documentation in order to assess financial coherence. In this respect, the verification of revenues and declared results makes it possible to check that there is no risk of a tax adjustment for VAT or corporate income tax purposes. Due diligence will also assure the buyer that the accounts are true and that the hotel is not in a precarious financial situation. In addition, it guarantees that the sale will not be called into question in the context of the fight against money laundering. Further, the potential buyer will examine operating expenses and their relevance in relation to the standard hotel industry ratios, which also provides a good indicator of how well the property is being managed.Lastly, accounting and financial due diligence is essential to evaluate the coherence of the proposed sales price in relation to the book value of the assets or shares acquired. In this respect, care must be taken with regard to the cut-off date, if set. Indeed, forgetting to rigorously account for accounts receivable or inventories can have consequences that are all the more significant since the hotel being sold is substantial. Provisions must also be verified. The proposed buyer must be able to identify all the risks related to the operation and then measure the repercussions on the accounts. They must also check that there are no fictitious assets recorded, such as non-existent inventories or receivables with a long history. 5 Hotel human resources and social aspectsDue diligence lists are generally exhaustive with regard to human resource issues. Legal due diligence will ensure compliance with labour law regulations and verify the hotel's HR management. It is therefore advisable to obtain information on employment contracts, the list of employees with an indication of seniority, the amount of salaries and the various benefits granted to staff collectively or individually.With regard to HR issues, it is the risk of litigation brought before the Industrial Tribunal by a former employee that is the most frequently observed. Human resources due diligence will make it possible both to assess the buyer's HR obligations and to evaluate any necessary reorganisation and restructuring with regard to the collective Hotels - Cafes - Restaurants labour agreement (in principle) and the company's agreements in place.In addition, it is crucial for the buyer to be able to anticipate future costs given the age pyramid of the staff and the existing skills versus the skills required in the future for the successful development of the hotel, after having identified key employees. The potential buyer is invited to examine the positioning of jobs in the classification of the labour agreement in place, gender equality, subcontracting contracts (housekeeping, for example), the frequency of use of fixed-term contracts (casual staff) and the risks of requalification. This is definitely not about conducting a Prevert-style inventory, but rather about identifying risks (financial and legal, not to mention the seller's reputation amongst staff).Perhaps a sixth condition for successful due diligence is related to the due diligence method itself. For example, properly coordinating the team of due diligence consultants, meeting deadlines and preparing the due diligence checklist in advance so it can be carried out within the specified timeframe.The potential buyer will have to conduct hotel due diligence in accordance with an often tight schedule, while rapidly identifying the key priority points to be covered. Effective due diligence is based on the proper coordination of the various parties involved and the exchanges between the various consultants and experienced lawyers (generally organised by the law firm, which already has its specialised lawyers and tax specialists).No checklist has been annexed to this article, since no standard list exists - the list must be adapted to each transaction. Indeed, we sometimes come across hotel due diligence checklists that are not necessarily appropriate for the hotel transaction in question. Some are too short or generic. Others result in the creation of voluminous data rooms which are time consuming to process on the buyer's side (and thus unnecessarily costly) - these create delays and are counterproductive since they fail to get to the heart of the matter. In short, let us not forget, "Hell is truth seen too late" (Thomas Hobbes).[1] General Data Protection Regulation on data privacy - European regulation ndeg2016/679 and law ndeg78-17 - French Data Protection Act, modified on the 20th June 2018[2] Reference: our article published in Deloitte - In Extenso's 2019 Tourism and Hospitality Trends publication : Personnal data processing and the hotel industry in France: hotel management agreements will need to be revised and currently found at https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4089147.html[3] Reference: our article published in Deloitte - In Extenso's 2017 Tourism and hospitality trends publication: French hotel, tourist residence and apart-hotel leases are evolving and currently found at https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4084138.html

HSMAI: Cornell University - Coming to Europe!

HSMAI Europe ·19 March 2019
A great idea, initiated by the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory Board and supported with a lot of enthusiasm by the other Advisory Boards, is now a reality! We are proud to present you the HSMAI Region Europe COMMERCIAL SUMMER CAMP 2019 - 4th - 9th of August 2019, AmsterdamThe kick off will be on Sunday and the program will last until Friday evening. The program includes a two day 'Executive Development' training focused on Leadership skills, by Cornell University!You will have access to industry peers across departments, countries and companies.Potential candidate profileThe Commercial Summer Camp focuses on developing cross-functional strategic thinking and leadership skills, to enable tomorrow's commercial leaders in the hospitality industry. The ideal candidate is already a sales, marketing, or revenue management expert or a property leader with the ambition and desire to understand all of the specific disciplines and what it takes to keep them all running smoothly together.Cornell University coming to Europe in AugustAs part of HSMAI Region Europe Commercial Summer Camp 2019 Professor Cathy Enz is confirmed for the Essentials Skills for Leadership program. That means you will get a certificate from Cornell for 2 of the days in addition to the certificate from HSMAI.About the two days Executive Development program by Cornell University:Essential Skills for Successful LeadershipExplore what defines leadership successFocus on your own leadership style, cultural intelligence, and motivational skillsUnderstand how to inspire high levels of performance from all types of individualsBeing a leader - Keys to successA framework for understanding others: Johari windowLeadership bias and thinking traps: Cognitive shortcuts, Attribution theory, Unconscious bias, self fulfilling prophecyEmotional intelligence and motivationLeadership process vs management processSkills required for success as a leaderYour cultural intelligence assessedCreating a culture of excellenceYour leadership brand and personal strategyDeveloping tomorrow's leadersAbout the 3 following days:You will be able to develop an overall Commercial Plan. This will expose you to certain elements that is very important for you to understand as a leader and that you do not come across often in other programs.Topics include:Distribution strategy - which channels and why? Cost implications, branding implications, marketing implications, revenue implications.Commercial Technology strategy - what choices to make to PMS, RMS, CRS, Channel Manager, cost implications, training implications, integration implications and more.Branding strategy - join a chain, stay independent, what type of chain and why? (global, regional or local).Building commercial teams - on-property, central, clustered, more sales people, less sales people, digital marketing person, revenue manager(s), training and education costs, outsourcing and more.Customer Centricity. About delivering the promises made, managing the perception and trust of the brand on social and digital media through the experiences delivered.Data and CRM strategy - GDPR, personalization, loyalty programs and guest recognition.Calculating ROI on marketing and sales activities / spend and how to communicate to the businessSales Theory, Sales Strategy, Sales Leadership and Hands-on tips.Breakfast, lunch and dinner sessions with the "experts" would allow you to fine-tune your plan and get more information on what you are missing or guidance and recommendation to strengthen your business plans.At the HSMAI Commercial Summer Camp you will be forced to think about all the pros and cons and why decisions are being made and the strategies behind this. This allows you after your return from the summer camp to have genuine discussions with your boss and Senior Management about these types of strategies and you can play a much larger and important role within your company.Already during the Spring, as soon as you have signed up for the Summer Camp, you will get access to some of the experts that will give you some homework so are well prepared in August.You will also get access to our digital platform where you can communicate with other attendees.Price for HSMAI Region Europe members per person:2900 Euro ex VAT including full day program, material, coffee, lunch and dinner.Price for Non members per person:5900 Euro ex VAT including full day program, material, coffee, lunch and dinner.Secure space for you and/or your best team members already now! Please contact us at postbox@hsmai.euTask force:It will be an inspiring and insightful week. The development of the content will be supported by a special task force representing the six HSMAI Region Europe Advisory Boards:Anant Vithlani - Vice President Sales - Nordic Choice Hotels & chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Advisory BoardFrederic Toitot - Vice President Learning & Development - Accor Hotels & member of the HSMAI Region Europe People & Culture Advisory BoardGil Mulders - Head of Learning Europe - Intercontinental Hotel Group & Chair of the HSMAI Region Europe People & Culture Advisory BoardJosje van Dongen - Head of Innovation - Hotel Management School Maastricht & Chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Innovation Advisory BoardGeoff Maree - Sr. Lecturer - Breda University & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Innovation Advisory BoardJoanna Schroder - Vice President Revenue Management - Deutsche Hospitality & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory BoardNiklas Schlappkohl - Global Senior Director - Digital Travel Solutions & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Marketing Advisory BoardNina Nieminen - Director of Revenue Management and Distribution, Sokos Hotels - SOK Travel and Hospitality Industry Chain Management & chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Distribution Advisory BoardScott Dahl - Senior Lecturer - Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Revenue Optimization Advisory BoardThomas Reinsborg - Head of Sales Norway - Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) & member of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Advisory Board

Guest recognition: Leveraging technology to deliver enhanced personalized service - HITEC Europe Preview

Hospitality Net ·14 March 2019
"As a hotel, we're not recognizing all of our guests, although we try," says Barry Thomas, Corporate Director of Information Technology at Rosewood Hotel Group and HITEC Advisory Board member. "A lot of hotels emphasize guest name usage but it's very tricky to do, especially in city hotels. If you've got a 300-bedroom hotel and the average length of stay is two nights, given the amount of traffic passing through the lobby and F&B outlets, it's very difficult to recognize and use the names of our guests unless they're very, very regular."Thomas, who will be moderating a panel discussion on guest recognition at HITEC Europe, has been looking into the ways companies from other sectors approach this challenge. Citing Uber, the tech and transportation firm, Thomas says that when an Uber pulls up at your door, the first thing they do is confirm your identity by using your name."I can order an Uber and within two minutes it's there and they know my name. Why then is it - when I've gone through the whole booking process and provided details such as preferences, likes and dislikes - I turn up at a hotel where I may spend thousands of pounds, instead of 10-20 pounds for a journey, yet the hotel doesn't know who I am when I arrive?""We invest a lot in recognizing our guests' return on their digital journey during the booking process," he says, "but what we're trying to change is how we do that at the property."Currently hotels tend to rely on the doorman or drivers to pass on messages about guests arriving. "We're doing things traditionally, using radios and taking the guest's name." Clearly though there's room for improvement."Every stay, you receive a pre-arrival survey. If that survey keeps asking you the same questions time and time again though, why as a guest are you going to complete it? As a hotel, we should know we've previously collected your preferences and just ask you to update them, rather than you telling me each time you like jazz, strawberries and foam pillows.""It's recognizing that you're an existing guest of ours. It's that recognition journey to make you feel valued because obviously we're competing for your business as a guest. So, we want to make your journey as seamless and as easy as possible. And we don't want to be constantly asking our guests to repeat themselves as there's nothing more annoying."CCTV is already being used in hotels, but reactively, in response to an incident. What other technologies then could be used to enhance guest recognition and yet be unobtrusive?Thomas points to a couple of examples. At Disneyland, visitors wear so-called MagicBands based on radio frequency technology which can be used to make payments at outlets and gain fast track access at rides.But would hotel guests be willing to embrace this type of technology? "I don't know about using these bands in a city hotel but in a big resort hotel, yes. A lot of luxury guests wouldn't wear a band around the property, but can we utilize other devices such as a mobile phone or (RF) room key?"Airlines provide another good example of using advanced technology. When at Los Angeles airport recently, Thomas (pictured right) was impressed by automated gates which allow passengers to board the plane through facial recognition. "It was a very quick process. So, I think we need to look at what other industries are doing to see how we can do this in our hotels."Privacy though remains a major concern as many guests may not be willing to be effectively tracked while on a hotel property."What level of privacy are our guests willing to give up for enhanced service? I personally would be willing to give up some level of privacy if it means better service. But that's not every guest though.""I'm not saying we should be putting wristbands on guests but how can we do this? Can we utilize beacon technology (that is, using signals from beacons) when guests use the Wi-Fi? Can we then start to locate them in order to recognize them?""We need to be one step ahead of the guest to deliver enhance service (such as a copy of a particular newspaper over breakfast)." If it can be done seamlessly, he says, staff will be able to tailor the service they deliver based on the guest's profile.Another major advantage, of course, would be enhanced security. "If we know who's in our building, at what time, that's a big plus for us." It would allow hoteliers to know, for instance, whether someone on the property has been banned from the hotel or is on a watch list.In short, advanced technology could allow hoteliers to be more proactive. "If a guest comes curbside, walks in, and the reception knows who that person is, we can pre-prepare their room keys for them. We can already be prepared so the guests meet the butlers who escort them to their rooms and make it a seamless journey.""Would they like this enhanced service? I honestly believe that people are willing to give up a level of their information for the benefits of it. But the question is, for the people who do not want it, who truly want to be incognito, how do we turn off these technologies that we're putting in place for the majority?"Clearly a great deal of research still needs to be done and Thomas acknowledges the hotel industry faces challenges, especially following the introduction last year of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which gives individuals more control over their personal data."I think people are a lot more aware about their own privacy and their rights to it," Thomas says. "Hotels have been recording CCTV for many years, so it's just how we're using that data."'Education is key' at HITEC EuropeFor Thomas, education is the main driver why he attends HITEC Europe. "Budgets are always tight within hospitality, so to be able to make a trip like this and get something from it, education is a massive part of why I attend HITEC Europe."As a certified hospitality technology professional (CHTP), Thomas says he needs to maintain his education credits "and this is a great way of doing that in one location and learn about what the industry is doing.""I've just moved into a new corporate role, at a time where Rosewood is going through a big expansion process. We've got more than 20 hotels in the pipeline and for us to scale at this rate, I'm going to need vendors and partners to work with. So, to be able to meet them in one place rather than have meetings over the course of three or more months, I can really condense this process and get some worthwhile face time with them."Barry Thomas, CHTP, is Corporate Director of Information Technology at Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, and is a member of the HITEC Europe Advisory Council. He will be moderating a panel discussion on 'Guest Recognition in an Uber-esque Way While in Property' at HITEC Europe which takes place in Mallorca, Spain, April 9-11.

Sabre breach 'a wake-up call', ITB hears

travelweekly.co.uk ·11 March 2019
Travel industry leaders have insisted consumers can have "confidence in how their data is stored" despite growing concern about cyber security and after Google was fined EUR50 million under Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).However, Sabre Hospitality Solutions president Clinton Anderson said the data breach revealed at the travel technology company in 2017 was "a day of awakening".Sabre's SynXis hotel reservations system suffered a breach in 2016-17 which saw unauthorised access to credit card details, including card security codes.Speaking at German travel trade show ITB in Berlin, Anderson said: "We had a data breach 24 months ago. It was a day of awakening for us."

Four takeaways for CMOs from Mobile World Congress 2019

clickz.com· 7 March 2019
Nearly 110,000 people attended last week's huge event in Barcelona. 5G prototypes, D2C tech brands, and GDPR were just a few of the main takeaways.
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protel announces industry-leading integration with Serenata CRM

protel · 6 March 2019
Dortmund/Germany - Serenata CRM, the specialist for customer relationship management (CRM) and digital marketing, and protel hotelsoftware GmbH, which offers cloud-based advanced property management systems (PMS), today announced the industry's most advanced 2-way integration between protel On-Premise and protel Air. Established in 2018, the technology partnership between Serenata CRM and protel has resulted in a robust, fully integrated, and standardized solution for the hospitality industry.Unlike conventional systems, the deep 2-way integration with protel.I/O lays the groundwork for specific recommendations and guidance on what measures hotel staff should implement in a given situation, thus ensuring personalized customer service for every guest.Serenata CRM is a leading provider of cloud-based guest communication and CRM solutions for hotels worldwide. By integrating guest data from the property management system (PMS), from central reservation systems (CRS), and combining this with website visitors' intent and interests in real-time, Serenata CRM is able to create a 360deg view of the guest unlike anything seen before in the market. Serenata CRM enables hotels to communicate with guests in an exactly tailored, targeted and relevant way using both historic guest information and real-time intent data before, during and after a stay. The goal is to strengthen the ties between guests and their chosen hotels by enhancing customer satisfaction.Serenata's technology partner protel offers, among other things, entirely cloud-based or locally-installed PMS solutions as well as scalable hybrid solutions. This smart integration works both with the cloud-based and with the server-based (on-premise) version, thus protecting customers' future and investment. Various versions are tailored to meet specific client needs and can be used by a wide range of customers - from small independent companies to multinational hotel chains.The seamless integration of both systems allows a wealth of different functions via a standardized interface. This technology integration enables a comprehensive exchange of data between both systems and the transformation of data into usable knowledge for personalized CRM and guest services. The partnership with Serenata CRM has already proved successful with several prestigious hotel chains in the GAS, UAE and APAC regions, both for the cloud-based and for the on-premise versions."Together with protel, we have built an integration that allows our joint customers to truly benefit from the synergies of protel's leading PMS and our next-generation CRM. The future lies in intelligent systems that are helping hoteliers to offer every guest a unique experience based on personal preferences and tastes, thus helping to achieve a lasting increase in revenues and customer satisfaction," said Dieter Dirnberger, CEO of Serenata CRM."Our new integration with Serenata CRM supports our best of breed integration approach. The recent in-depth analyses and tests - crucial for a successful certification process - clearly demonstrate that Serenata CRM is a leader in this competitive field. Our on-going collaboration will continue to drive innovations in hotel solutions, bringing guest-preference data to the forefront of daily operations," said Jeremy Armes, Marketing Director at protel.About Serenata CRMSerenata CRM is a worldwide leading provider of guest communication and CRM solutions for the hotel industry. Founded in 1996, Serenata CRM has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality business and is part of the NextGuest Technologies Group which also includes HEBS Digital as a specialist in digital marketing. Serenata CRM offers the first fully-integrated guest engagement, acquisition, and marketing platform for the hotel industry that combines historical guest data with real-time intent data allowing hoteliers to tailor a personalized experience second to none. Serenata CRM integrates with leading Property Management Systems, Central Reservation Systems, Online Reputation Management Systems, websites and other systems. Serenata CRM is continuously nurturing these data sources with real-time intent and digital behavior information of guests and potential guests on websites to build a 360deg view of all guest data. The guest profiles are used for enhancing the guest experience online, offline and for e-marketing communication.By tracking and scoring website visitors' interests and intentions, hoteliers can tailor the messaging, content and offers on the website and in the booking engine. Personalized newsletter invitation and offers help hoteliers to increase the number of marketable profiles using Serenata CRM by over 600%. This has become inevitable for many hotels after recent introductions of privacy regulations like GDPR that eliminated a large part of the hotel's marketable profiles due to lack of marketing consents.With Serenata CRM Suite, guest communication becomes targeted, dynamic and kept relevant before, during and after the guest stay with the aim of a satisfying experience building long-term guest loyalty.About NextGuest TechnologiesNextGuest Technologies is an integrated hospitality technology and digital marketing company comprised of HEBS Digital and Serenata CRM. Combining our leading technology with innovative strategy, design, and digital marketing solutions, we are closing the loop on the customer journey with the first fully-integrated guest engagement, acquisition, and marketing platform. NextGuest Technologies helps hoteliers to increase direct bookings and revenue, lower distribution costs, and increase the lifetime value of guests by combining the power of CRM with guest acquisition marketing. Its diverse client portfolio spans the globe and consists of top luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts, casinos, franchised properties, hotel management companies, and DMO and tourist offices. NextGuest's mission is to continue to build a portfolio of innovative technology companies that are paving the way in the industry - exclusively focusing on companies that are the best at what they do in the hospitality space.About protelprotel offers technology and service solutions specifically and exclusively for the hospitality industry. The consistent focus on the needs of a single industry makes us one of the most experienced and successful providers of advanced property management systems (PMS). Whatever the requirements, whether installed on-site, web-based in the Cloud, or as a hybrid solution, our flexible and scalable software solutions cover the full industry spectrum, from small independent hotels to multinational hotel chains. Founded in 1994, protel hotelsoftware GmbH operates under the leadership of managing partners Ingo Dignas and Manfred Osthues. With headquarters located in Dortmund, Germany, branch offices in Berlin, Vienna, Austria, and Atlanta, USA, plus a dense network of partner companies working in close cooperation, protel enjoys a worldwide presence. In over 93 countries, hotels and hotel management schools around the world attest to protel's high- level expertise and reliability, a third of them using protel Cloud Solutions.Contact:protelJeremy ArmesDirector of Marketing, protelPhone: +49 231 915 930Serenata CRMThomas HoeferManaging DirectorNeumarkter Strasse 1881673 MunichTel.: +49 89 929 003 - 0E-Mail: thomas.hoefer@serenata.com

Chinese travel, AI innovation and information security: The best of TTE

Triptease Blog· 4 March 2019
Being a hotelier is a busy job. Besides running a property, honing a killer conversion strategy and crafting creative marketing campaigns, it can be difficult to make sure you're keeping up with the industry buzz. In this article, we're bringing you the lowdown from Travel Technology Europe 2019, one of the region's leading travel tech events. Read on to get the latest on outbound Chinese travel, Expedia's take on Artificial Intelligence and what the industry has learned post-GDPR.

Data protection rules, one year on: Anticipating a second wave - HITEC Europe Preview

Hospitality Net · 4 March 2019
Over the past year, many of us have been bombarded with emails from companies virtually begging us to allow them to keep our personal details on file.That was due to the introduction of new regulations in Europe which imposed -- in theory at least -- substantial penalties on any firm breaching the rules. And the penalties were harsh -- up to four percent of annual global revenues or 20 million euros, whichever figure is greater.According to Timo Kettern, director of information technology at Event Hotels and a member of the HITEC Europe Advisory Council, although the constant bombardment proved somewhat annoying to consumers - Kettern uses a more forthright term - companies were running scared as they realized they did not have the consent needed to handle our personal data.Kettern was part of a HFTP working group preparing for the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and co-produced a couple of papers to help hoteliers come to terms with the GDPR rules, outlining the steps they would need to take in order to comply. The papers were presented at HITEC Amsterdam a year ago, and this year the conference on the Spanish island of Mallorca will review the progress made.Speaking specifically about the German market, Kettern says that since May last year, authorities have focused on educating businesses and the consumer about data protection rather than enforcement. Consequently, the impact so far has not been as severe as had been anticipated."I've not seen any fines for larger organizations," he says, adding that several smaller firms had been fined around 20-25,000 euros. Nevertheless, he is now expecting the data protection authorities in Germany to begin looking into complaints.Kettern says that in his own organization, he had previously struggled to convince the leadership team of the importance of data protection or of the need to increase training budgets. "GDPR has changed that. Data protection now has visibility at the C-level and GDPR has helped people like myself to get budgets approved and get working parties started, together with HR for training and for the practical changes we had to make in our operations. So that, for me, was the biggest impact."Had companies overreacted to the introduction of the new digital privacy rules? Although there may be certain parallels with the way in which companies had handled the Y2K 'non-event' nearly two decades ago, Kettern does not believe companies had overreacted, saying that the GDPR had raised awareness in the industry and given professionals like him "the budgets, the freedom and the support needed to deal with the issue because at the end of the day, it's kind of a risk exercise. How much are you prepared to spend to minimize the risk?"As to the action hoteliers should be taking now, Kettern advises they should make staff training a priority, in addition to making sure they update passwords and have firewalls in place. "It's one thing to have the procedures documented and your systems in place, but it's people who need to make those processes work.""It's very simple for someone at the reception desk to leave a guest registration card lying around or spin the (computer) monitor around so that someone else can see the data."'So, what we're doing, we're attacking this on several levels. First of all, data protection is part of the employment contract. It's also about the consent that we, as an employer, can hold the data." Staff also need to acknowledge formally, as part of the employment contract, that they aware of the guidelines.One complication though is posed by the franchise model in the hospitality industry. This means franchisees have to conduct training and self-audits, in conjunction with a data protection officer who should be part of the HR team.Kettern (pictured right) says one of the major challenges faced in running franchises in Europe for major hotel chains in the US and Canada is that "by default we are exporting guest data to North America." In terms of the GDPR, he says, this is critical.As a hotel operator working with US-based hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton, "it's our obligation to make sure we get confirmation from the brands that they're dealing with the data in North America in the same way we deal with it in Europe. They're all giving us that (assurance) but we can't control that."As the tension rises again, a second wave will come"We've changed some - not all - of the processes because we always took data protection seriously.""We're in an acceptable position but I think we can still improve." For companies to know whether they are on the right path, they may, however, have to wait for the first court rulings with judges giving their interpretation of the regulations. These rulings will, Kettern says, "influence our future and how we're going to change things in the future for sure."The first wave of activity (and anxiety) has 'calmed down', Kettern says, but with the possibility of the authorities pursuing potential breaches, "the tension will increase again and there will come a second wave."'Networking, education and finding new things'On HITEC Europe, April 9-11 in Mallorca, Spain, Kettern says: "The networking aspect is very important as I'll be catching up with colleagues. So too are the educational sessions, to see what the trends are. There are lots of subjects around digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence, as well as to overcome one of the challenges we face in hotel operations which is finding appropriate staff."Kettern says he'll be taking a look at the new technologies on offer and will be meeting suppliers on the exhibition floor, and not just the central aisles as those on the edges can be interesting."So, it's networking, education and finding new things ... It's going to be fun."

The lowdown from Travel Technology Europe 2019

mycloud HOSPITALITY· 4 March 2019
Read on to get the latest on outbound Chinese travel, Expedia's take on Artificial Intelligence and what the industry has learned post-GDPR.

GDPR: Where Are We Now?

mycloud HOSPITALITY· 3 March 2019
On this episode of The Business of Travel, we take a look at GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect in the EU on May 25, 2018: The legislation has a goal of strengthening the collection, transfer and protection of data of EU citizens.

What You Need to Know About GDPR and Data Privacy: Lisa Loftis of SAS Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

MarketingProfs·Requires Registration ·28 February 2019
On May 25, 2018, the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) took effect. Some companies ignored it and now need to know how to proceed. Others worked quickly to come into compliance with GDPR's stringent rules about data collection and privacy; those companies are now finding ways to benefit from their status as GDPR-compliant. Whichever group you're in, you might be wondering how GDPR has changed our industry.
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dailypoint Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with OPERA

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·26 February 2019
To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. By achieving these requirements, the dailypoint two-way interface now allows hotels to have one central source of data for all key guest data points. dailypoint will structure guest data from dozens of sources, clean, match and remove duplicates, and creates one clean guest profile in Opera PMS."This integration gives Oracle customers the peace of mind that their data is accurate and guest profiles are complete and up-to-date. No more duplicate records, and no more inconsistencies. We are excited to partner with Oracle to provide hotels around the globe with a clean and secure way to understand their guest data," said Dr. Michael Toedt, founder and CEO of dailypoint."Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between dailypointTM and OPERA 5.5 is functionally sound and performs as tested," said David Hicks, Vice President, Worldwide ISVCloud Business Development and Marketing, Oracle. "For solutions deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner's integrated offering."dailypoint not only cleans data, but it also offers a fully-blown data management system that allows hotels to manage their CRM efforts, comply with GDPR, and connect a variety of apps through the dailypoint Marketplace.If you want to learn more about dailypoint or its partnership with Oracle, schedule a meeting at ITB.About Oracle Validated IntegrationOracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of a complementary partner software product with an Oracle "on-premises" Application has been validated and the products work together as designed. This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations and partners who successfully complete the program are authorized to use the "Oracle Validated Integration" logo. For more information, please visit Oracle.com athttps://solutions.oracle.com/scwar/scr/AboutPartners/validated-integration/index.htmlAbout Oracle PartnerNetworkOracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit http://www.oracle.com/partners.Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.Oracle Validated Integration, available through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), gives customers confidence that the integration of a complementary partner software product with an Oracle "on-premises" Application has been validated and the products work together as designed. This can help customers reduce risk, improve system implementation cycles, and provide for smoother upgrades and simpler maintenance. Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical process to review partner integrations and partners who successfully complete the program are authorized to use the "Oracle Validated Integration" logo. For more information, please visit Oracle.com athttps://solutions.oracle.com/scwar/scr/AboutPartners/validated-integration/index.htmlAbout Oracle PartnerNetworkOracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit http://www.oracle.com/partners.Trademarks Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
commercial

dailypoint Launches New Patent-Pending Data Cleansing Product

Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH ·19 February 2019
dailypoint's fully automated, AI-based process includes hundreds of steps, reviewing all key data points within the guest profile. It removes duplicate profiles, corrects mistakes made from human errors, corrects addresses for more than 240 countries and ultimately creates one single, accurate guest profile for each guest. This data is stored in dailypoint's central data management solution as well as pushed to the hotel's PMS so that data is accurate across all key sources."In an analysis of 4 million guest profiles and 4.5 million stays, we found that hotels have 2.3 profiles for their most loyal guests in the PMS alone. And, 14% of their guests had more than four profiles. With so many inaccuracies, it is nearly impossible for hotels to understand their business, market to their most loyal customers, and comply with GDPR regulations," said Dr. Michael Toedt, Chief Executive Officer, at dailypoint. "Our goal is to help hotels minimize these errors so that they can better run their businesses."More than 500 hotels are already using the service and have seen a 7% reduction in redundant guest profiles. The service pairs seamlessly with dailypoint's CRM, where, once the data is cleaned, dailypoint creates guest interests and preferences based on the consolidated data sources like PMS data, the hotel website, email newsletter, guest questionnaires and many others.Hotels interested in this service can get in touch for a demo here or can schedule a meeting to meet dailypoint at ITB by following this link.
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Are travel companies ready for the digital revolution?

EyeforTravel ·18 February 2019
According to the World Economic Forum, digitisation in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is expected to create up to USD305 billion in value through increased profitability up to 2025. This should make digitisation a key priority for the travel industry, however, achieving a strong platform to do so is proving difficult for travel brands. This is one of the findings from the new Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper from EyeforTravel and Datumize, which is free to download now.In a major survey of the industry featured in the white paper, travel suppliers (accommodation, car hire, cruise, ground transport, airlines & tour operators) said that their greatest internal issue is digital transformation (34.4% of respondents). This is followed by technological alignment (30.5%) and the perennial concern of data siloes and internal data quality (29%), both of which are critical to achieving a digital brand fit for the 21st Century."Our data and the industry interviews conducted for this white paper suggests that a significant proportion of the travel industry is struggling to construct the necessary infrastructure to create strong digital brands," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research for EyeforTravel. "Stringent data practices increasingly underpin the modern travel sector, which is emphasised by our finding that the most important trend for travel suppliers right now is GDPR and cyber security, followed by big data and analytics. There is huge value to be unlocked but brands need to get the basics right first by complying with regulations, creating secure, structured and accessible databases and measuring the right metrics."The research recommends that brands move data into the cloud and focus on getting a picture of total demand. This is the approach of hotel giant IHG: "Before we had a big data platform, we weren't able to store and analyze our availability requests," said Jeff Garber, vice president of revenue management systems at IHG during the EyeforTravel 2018 Digital Data Europe conference. "We had a lot of information about reservations, and customers that had made reservations. As we bring more data into that big data platform, we can really understand the choice model. Our next step is merchandising and being smarter about what people aren't buying so that we can reduce the clutter we are showing to them."Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands' capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, download the Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper now! It includes:Real-world examples and case studiesIndustry survey dataData-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediatelyExpert insight.This white paper features insights from:EuropcarIHGThe Travel CorporationThomas Cook Hotels & ResortsVuelingClick here to download your copy of the white paper for free!

GDPRapp Solves GDPR Risk Exposure for Hospitality

Hotel F&B· 1 February 2019
dramds.com ltd., a British technology company, said it offers same-day deployments and immediate GDPR compliance with its GDPRapp. GDPRapp is a new solution of mobile apps that work on all mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Deployment across a corporate network can take as little as three (3) hours depending only on whether the customer has a bespoke list of risk and controls.

The Top 7 Hospitality Trends Every Hotelier Should Watch in 2019

The Rainmaker Group ·30 January 2019
Last year proved to be a strong one for the U.S. hotel industry, with occupancy, average daily rate (ADR), and revenue per available room (RevPAR) all trending positively. For 2019, STR and Tourism Economics1 optimistically project another year of growth. Changes in supply, however, will impact local market occupancy levels and hoteliers' pricing power, with many hotels experiencing more intense competition among key guest segments. To maintain profit margins, and stay ahead of the curve, consider your business in light of these top seven hospitality trends.Appealing to Next-Gen Travelers In 2019, we'll see increasing focus on Millennial (Generation Y) travel trends, as Millennials overtake Boomers2 in population this year. Historically, the travel industry has treated business and leisure travelers as two distinct entities. But Millennials - who are expected to account for nearly half of all business travel spending by 20203 - are more likely to extend a business trip into a leisure vacation (bleisure). And adventure-seeking Millennials have championed the burgeoning "experience economy," valuing unique, cultural experiences over material possessions.4Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2000 depending on which source you use) are coming up hot on the Millennial's heels when it comes to desire for changes in travel. While both generations share many similarities, one key difference between Gen Zers and Millennials is their desire for security. Having grown up during the Great Recession, Generation Z tends to be more pragmatic and fiscally responsible when it comes to travel.Hotels can attract more Generation Y and Z customers in 2019 by offering off-the-beaten-path activities and opportunities to interact with locals, all the while incorporating incentives and discounts that appeal to their budgets. When it comes to F&B,5 both generations favor communal dining tables and organic, locally sourced dishes over fancy fare. And they're connected 24/7, with technology influencing how they shop and pay for travel. So, conveniences like mobile check-in and chatbots that provide instant answers to questions are increasingly important. Personalization 2.0In a move that mirrors the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), last summer the California legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)8 which goes into effect at the start of 2020. The new law will affect the state's privacy landscape in terms of personal data collection. And is likely to create an impact that will spread across the entire country.Despite this however, the demand for greater personalization, or hyper-personalization, is increasing. With the vast majority of travelers willing to share personal information and preferences in return for greater convenience and personal touches. And many are willing to pay a premium10 for those personalized services. A survey by IBM Global Business Services9 revealed that more than 70 percent of hotel guests report positive experiences with personalization.To achieve hyper-personalization, hotels must devote resources to harnessing the power of data, collecting and analyzing information at every customer touchpoint from your proprietary website to social media. Cloud-based solutions unify that information across technology platforms, giving you actionable insights into ways you can tailor individual guest experiences that will drive repeat business and increase revenues. As an example, perhaps a repeat business traveler routinely declines your parking option. Advanced systems can detect this behavior pattern and replace it with a more relevant offer, such as round-trip shuttle service or a drink voucher in the hotel lounge.Reinvented Loyalty ProgramsLoyalty programs are popular with Millennial6 and non-Millennial travelers alike, with about half of all U.S. leisure travelers7 now belonging to one. Today's travelers are demanding more flexibility in their loyalty program experience. Not everyone wants a discount or complimentary night's stay as a reward. A change we'll see in 2019 is a move away from the points-only reward system.You can increase guest satisfaction and on-property spend by making points liquid and spendable anywhere within your brand experience. This may include guests using points for a spa treatment, restaurant meal, or in the gift shop. Reimagined programs are also offering experiential rewards, such as tickets to live events, wine tastings, or exclusive activities. A deep understanding of your customers will help you determine which rewards speak most effectively to them, allowing you to forge deeper connections and adding greater value to their stays.Integration over IsolationIn the past, revenue strategy, sales, and marketing have functioned in isolation. Each with their own goals, technology solutions, and customer databases. Their efforts were rarely aligned, with each using different data sets to develop marketing strategies and make key pricing decisions. The result was missed revenue opportunities, less effective direct marketing, and lower profitability.Throughout 2019, we'll see a convergence of revenue strategy, sales, and marketing into one cohesive revenue-generation team, working in coordination to acquire, engage, and retain guests. Integrated technology solutions, particularly those utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze Big Data, will help increase hotel profitability by enabling cross-functional alignment and generating a single customer profile. One that takes into account detailed information like past preferences, reason for travel, length of stay, and booking behavior.Total Revenue OptimizationAnother trend that's emerging, is total revenue optimization that takes the full lifetime value of guests into account. Hotels are applying revenue optimization strategies to all hotel profit centers, going beyond a pure rooms focus to include F&B outlets, ancillary revenue sources, and conferencing spaces. In addition, hotels are becoming more strategic with group bookings. New tools have emerged that allow sales to quickly and accurately evaluate group business. Systems instantly generate optimized pricing, allowing hotels to close more deals while maximizing groups and meetings total revenue.Social Media Matters In the evolving world of digital marketing, hoteliers cannot afford to ignore the tweets, Instagram pictures, and Facebook posts that now define the social media domain. Millennials in particular are extremely active on social media, with 91 percent trusting online reviews11 as much as they would a personal recommendation.Reputation management and having an active social media presence are crucial for your business success in 2019, with 49 percent of leisure guests, and 43 percent of business guests,12 regularly sharing views about their most recent travel experiences on social media. Hotels can engage with guests on social media, obtaining a gold mine of guest preference information and post-trip feedback. In addition, effective and free advertising in the form of user-generated content (UGC) will continue to grow. Hotels are even creating "Instagram-worthy" scenes on property to encourage photographs.Sharing Economy Impact Disruption caused by the rise of the "sharing economy," has reshaped the behavior of travelers. Guests appreciate platforms like Airbnb for their personalized approach, authenticity, and uniqueness. And with 68 percent of travelers13 seeing no noticeable difference between hotel chains, hoteliers have their work cut out for them.Brands seeking to compete effectively with alternative accommodation sites are updating room decor with distinctive, local touches. And transforming lobbies into relaxing coffee shop-style settings that speak to the desires of today's travelers for combination co-working/socializing spaces. Furthermore, on the revenue strategy side, hotel managers are capturing more market share by accessing granular data and leveraging analytics in order to understand market penetration, pricing, and the dynamics around elasticity associated with these platforms.This year is poised to be an action-packed one for the hotel industry, filled with new challenges and changes. By understanding and embracing these trends that are steadily transforming the industry - and putting the right tools and systems in place - you'll improve guest experiences, enhance your reputation, and optimize your revenue in 2019 and beyond.

Current Hotel CRMs May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·24 January 2019
Hotels worldwide are looking for technological advances to thrive in this competitive environment. As a result, many are turning to CRM systems to gain an advantage. Hotels are pouring millions of dollars into driving loyalty through guest engagement, but without reliable data and technology, many initiatives fail to deliver. While CRM can, at its core, represent so many things, CRM technology is the system hotels have in place to manage interactions with current and potential guests. The prioritization of building relationships is nothing new to the hospitality landscape. Hotel CRM technologies have taken many forms over the years as they evolved to meet modern demands of businesses and consumers alike.In industries where the customer is king (which is every industry), CRM acts as the integral connective tissue between brands and their consumers. Within the hospitality industry specifically, it seems we have been talking about and investing in creating a 360-degree view of the guest for decades. However, the unpleasant truth is that most of the legacy systems achieve the opposite impact. They create independent silos of data that hinder growth, rather than creating a cohesive and whole picture of the guest profile in an actionable way. Although CRM technology has the potential to positively transform your offering, it also has the capacity to harm your operational model if the tool fails to meet rising industry standards. Are current hotel CRMs doing more harm than good? The short answer is quite possibly, yes.While customer relationship management seems to be a simple concept, it's a complex process, particularly given the ever-evolving number of channels and systems that contribute to guest experience and data today. Relying on basic demographic data or guest history is no longer enough to connect to the modern traveler. With credit to social media, hoteliers have a new array of sources to obtain guest data from, and forge unique guest relationships. Social media platforms also act as preferred channels of expression, meaning they offer valuable insight into personal preferences and more (who each guest is, why they stay at a hotel, booking behaviors, social influence, reviews, etc.). This means a truly effective CRM technology must offer the capacity to access data from disparate and growing sources and make the insights available in a user-friendly way. When hoteliers learn about their guests, they should anticipate their guests' needs and fulfill them. Otherwise, hoteliers fall victim to incomplete/improper segmentation and lose the ability to properly understand guests that offer the most value to their hotel or provide relevant and personalized marketing and context. Effectively, by using most antiquated CRMs, hoteliers miss out on vital aspects of the guest experience and conversation.It is also important for CRM systems to consistently and automatically update information, to ensure hoteliers aren't relying on outdated data to inform their marketing efforts and reach guests. With accurate information at their disposal, hoteliers can then begin the process of attaching meaning to that information -- developing insight-driven strategies to effectively reach guests at the right time, through the right channel and with the right messaging. With the recent implementation of GDPR, privacy concerns are top of mind for hoteliers eager to stay within the industry's new, prescribed limitations. CRM databases cannot provide valuable data if that data is collected without explicit permissions - it's important for CRM technology to employ effective communication prompts for privacy requirements.In today's customer-centric world, one of the most essential aspects of your CRM should be its ability to integrate seamlessly with other systems, both existing and those yet to be developed. A hotel's operational model is much like an ecosystem and requires various moving parts (and technologies) to work together in alignment. If a hotelier is using their CRM platform as a standalone system, they're not only creating more work for themselves, but they aren't tapping into the potential of CRM. Data is useless without context, and the integration of other integral systems with a CRM platform provides that context and a complete picture of each guest. It's critical your CRM system can connect with your existing technology, whilst also offering a user-friendly process to ensure there is no barrier to adoption for new staff.The bottom line - CRM is a powerful piece of software for any hotel. You can use it to correctly segment your guests in order to market your property, upsell products and services, and engage with new and existing guests. Just make sure you choose to move past traditional CRM systems to a product that allows your property to holistically view the true portrait of a guest - across all channels - and to engage with them in the right place, at the right moment, to drive both connection and conversion.

Do US Consumers Want GDPR-Like Data Protection Rights?

Hotel Online·24 January 2019
Most consumers in the United States would welcome personal data protection rights similar to those established last year by the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to recent research from SAS.
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Vizergy Closes Out Record-Breaking Year With Numerous Platform Enhancements

Vizergy ·22 January 2019
Vizergy, the hospitality industry's leading provider in digital marketing software solutions, continues to invest in its best-in-class Vizergy Marketing System (VMS) platform.In 2018, Vizergy launched numerous upgrades to the functionality and connectivity of its marketing system, the VMS, to better position its client base for online success. The VMS is a robust client portal that allows a hotelier to access key data points and performance metrics to help them make better marketing decisions, understand competitive opportunities, and take timely action to capture more direct bookings. It is currently used by more than 1700 Vizergy clients and is the lifeblood of their digital marketing management efforts.The platform contains layered functionality that pulls together Vizergy's proprietary Content Management System with Adobe Analytics, Google My Business, IBM Watson, and several other platform integrations. The VMS platform allows a hospitality marketer to seamlessly access a variety of software solutions in one managerial environment, leveraging all of them to drive the very best online results.The Vizergy Marketing System makes it easy for its clients to outperform the competition and significantly improve direct bookings. Addams England, Vizergy's Vice President of IT says, "Our clients need reliable data and learnings to really understand their online performance. We have solicited feedback from dozens of users in 2018 and adjusted our VMS development roadmap to meet their needs. We've improved upon what was considered the first and best client portal in our competitive space and made it even better."Vizergy's Director of Client Marketing Services, Ross McAlpine, says, "having all of our client's information in one place, and having actionable insights to help them do what's most important: drive online bookings, is what sets Vizergy apart from its competitors. I have seen the VMS evolve and improve every year during my tenure here with Vizergy. It is a commitment to overall quality and our client's success."Each quarter, Vizergy has diligently worked to improve their platforms and technology to remain ahead of the competition and ensure they keep their title as the leading provider of digital marketing software for the hospitality industry. Take a look back at the platform improvements made over the last year.Q1Vizergy releases the TargetingHub data platformCampaign Detail - Lifetime ReportDistance from Location and Cookie Personalization RulesQ2TargetingHub Export Guest Feature EnhancementVMS - Reply to Google My Business ReviewsGeneral Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Embedded Google MapsCustom 404 PageADA Compliance OptimizationQ3TargetingHub ROI ReportingCanonical Tags Now Use Absolute URLsTwo-Factor AuthenticationNew Modal Popup Premium WidgetPassword Reset Process ImprovementsColors & Styles Feature & Site Cloning EnhancementQ4New Site Templates: Cosmos & EquinoxBrowser Scan Feature to scan websitesCalendar Widget UpdatesGoogle My Business EnhancementLeading into 2019, Vizergy is projected to focus their efforts on data platforms. To view full details on the VMS enhancements made in the past year, request a copy at results@vizergy.com.

9 Email Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

MDG Advertising ·21 January 2019
Email is amazing.While it doesn't tend to get the same buzz as channels such as social media, email quietly delivers extraordinarily impressive results for marketers year after year.Just how impressive?Email has a median ROI of 122%, more than four times higher than any other digital marketing format.Email is nearly 40 times more effective than social channels in helping brands acquire new customers.Marketers rank email as the channel that has the best combination of effectiveness and ease.Email marketing has been steadily effective for so long that an important fact about it is often overlooked: it's still evolving.From the platforms that power campaigns to the ways consumers consume messages, email is undergoing profound changes.What are some of these shifts? Which innovations and changes in behavior could have a big impact on the field in the next 12 months? Here are nine key email marketing trends we believe every brand should keep a close eye on in 2019:1. The Ever-Growing Importance of DesignEmail began as a purely text-based channel and that has often continued to be the primary focus. Traditionally, marketers have paid some attention to things like headers and images, but the bulk effort has gone towards developing good copy.Finally, that's starting to change. Brands have begun to realize that effective campaigns are as much about the visuals as the words, and they are starting to focus on design elements such as icons, illustrations, and button colors. Expect to see even more of this in the year ahead as marketers witness increased engagement from their design efforts.2. Mobile-First Becomes a MustWhat's behind the increased focus on design? In part, the same thing that's driving many of the current changes in email marketing: the shift from desktop/laptop computers to mobile devices.Some 55% of emails are already opened on mobile devices, up from just 29% in 2012, and that share is expected to steadily grow in the coming years. In other words, email is now mobile-first and every decision that marketers make in the next 12 months (the length of messages, how they are displayed, etc.) should take that into account.3. More Video Content in EmailsIn addition to the rise of mobile, there's another broad digital trend that is impacting email marketing: the rise of video.Video is expected to make up 80% of all Internet traffic by the end of 2019; 54% of consumers want to see more video content from marketers, and audiences say they are more likely to retain marketing messages delivered via video. Combine all that with the fact that email platforms are making it easier to deliver visual pieces in campaigns, and this could be the year that more video makes it into messages.4. True Email PersonalizationFor a while email personalization was mainly superficial; marketers would "individualize" messages by simply including something like the recipients name.Thanks to more powerful marketing platforms and richer data that has started to give way to true personalization. Brands are increasingly targeting highly specific content and offers to individuals based on past and predicted behavior.This approach already yields impressive results -- 82% of marketers reportincreased open rates with rich email personalization -- and is set to become even more effective in the year ahead as tools become more sophisticated.5. The Impact of Artificial IntelligenceWhy are email marketing platforms expected to become more sophisticated in 2019? Largely because of artificial intelligence.AI is no longer something out of science fiction: the technology is now being implemented across a wide-range of areas. Concerning email specifically, artificial intelligence can already help marketers develop effective content (topics, subject lines, etc), optimize send times/frequency, and predict audience actions.That's just the tip of the iceberg. AI is evolving rapidly and there should be many more real-world applications coming for email marketers in the year ahead.6. The Increased Use of Triggered EmailsTriggered emails -- messages delivered only when an individual has taken a certain action such as subscribing, abandoning a shopping cart, etc,. -- have a 71% higher average open rate and 102% higher average click-through rate compared with general newsletters.Those numbers are driven by the fact that marketers tend to have greater insight into intent when it comes to triggered emails (what the individual did/wants/etc.) and can deliver more relevant messaging. That effectiveness, and the fact that audiences tend to be less annoyed by triggered emails, is a strong argument for their increased use in 2019.7. More Interactivity in Email CampaignsHere's a simple fact that marketers often forget: emails can be interactive.All too often, campaigns are thought of as being static rather than dynamic. Today, though, marketing platforms make it possible to add a host of interactive elements to emails, such as image carousels, hamburger menus, clickable hotspots, and navigational anchor tags.There are also other more simple tactics marketers can utilize to enable audiences to engage with messages, such as including a 'reply to us' option for recipients. At minimum, brands should consider experimenting with this sort of basic interactivity to boost engagement in 2019.8. Respecting Privacy and Data Rights Will Remain CriticalThe biggest email story of the past year was the GDPR. The regulations adopted by the EU put in place strict controls on how marketers can collect/use data and gave consumers much more control over their personal information. Suddenly, many of the approaches brands had taken for years, such as buying email lists, became questionable.While the GDPR concerned European citizens, it was by no means an isolated event. Consumers across the world are deeply concerned about how brands are using their data and the issue is certain to remain at the forefront for years to come. Case in point: the California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect in 2020 and will impact US email marketers in similar ways to the GDPR.9. The Need for a Unique VoiceEvery day individuals and businesses send more than 293 billion emails, and that number is expected to increase to more than 333 billion by 2022.In other words, consumers' inboxes are flooded with messages.How do you break through that noise to get your campaigns opened and read? In part, through some of the approaches already discussed: utilizing personalization to deliver highly relevant content, sending messages based on triggered actions, and optimizing subject lines with AI.There's also another way to stand out: by having a unique voice. That may sound like a little thing, but it's hugely important. Developing a distinct tone gives marketers a big advantage when it comes to email; it makes messages different and instantly recognizable to audiences.Of course, the need for a unique voice is nothing new -- it's been important since the advent of marketing. That highlights yet another thing that makes email amazing: it's the perfect blend of old-school and new-school. Ultimately, it is the best of both worlds. It is a channel that remains very familiar to brands while also integrating the latest digital advances.

Major Trends to Watch for at HSMAI NY Conference

Go Moment ·17 January 2019
As I think about what to get excited about at HSMAI's Digital Marketing Strategy Conference 2019 taking place later this month in New York, the fast-evolving guest experience comes to mind. And, of course, hotel guest experience in 2019 will be enabled by more and better technologies. Here's what I see trending:The Impact of Voice-Enabled Intelligent AssistantsSmartphones already come with voice-activated assistance built-in. Amazon recently revealed it had sold over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices. Google announced that 1 Billion devices support its Assistant product. This news validates that people are not only getting used to giving voice commands to their phones but that they want to control everything with their voice. "By 2022, Juniper Research predicts that Americans will be using nearly 900 million voice-assistant-enabled devices across smartphones, tablets, PCs, speakers, TVs and cars, a 95% increase over today," writes NPR's CMO Meg Goldthwaite in Ad Age.Think about the implications of this. Consumer adoption of AI has finally reached a tipping point. People's behaviors and expectations of technology-enablement are changing once again, especially when the technology - voice-activation -- is so easy to use that it doesn't feel "techie" at all. Google's data shows that 70% of Google Assistant requests are expressed in natural language and that one in three people globally will use digital assistants to search for and book travel. In fact, just this week, Google announced that it had added hotel booking and flight check-in for U.S. users of Google Assistant. According to Phocuswright, as many as 35% of those age 18 - 34 and 28% of 35 - 54-year-olds are already using smartphone digital assistants to book their hotels.What guests are already doing with their smartphones and in-home devices, they also want to do in their hotel rooms. As early as 2016, Aloft hotels started integrating Siri voice-activation into their rooms. By May 2018, Microsoft's voice assistant Cortana had a working integration with Alexa-enabled devices, and in June 2018, Amazon launched Alexa for Hospitality with Marriott onboard -- guests can use their in-room Alexa to personalize their experiences and request hotel services. Hyatt and Google also just teamed up to bring Assistant to more hotel rooms. And at this month's massive CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, voice tech was everywhere: from trash disposals and other household appliances to cars, televisions, and shower systems to name a few. Voice is where it's at: when a trend proliferates at CES, we all better pay attention.Innovative Technologies Will Continue to Disrupt HospitalityWhen I think of hospitality disruption, my Top Three are artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), the Internet of Things, and voice. I just covered voice, so let's discuss the other two. I recently wrote a piece, "A Guest-Centric Future Powered by AI," in which I described how AI works and how it can be used to automate and simplify many of the rote volume tasks that hotels have to contend with every day. These days, guests value their experience above all else. AI can also be used to improve guest experiences by anticipating and delivering useful content, extracting useful guest feedback, and drastically expediting service.Because the programs informed by AI are capable of improving over time, they can continue to improve the speed, quality, and relevancy of guest communications. This learning power makes AI an incredible tool for accelerating predictive analysis and decision-making. Think of all the various decisions hotel management contends with on a routine basis. Decisions about pricing and revenue optimization, inventory management, marketing, staffing, guest services and more. Then imagine having the hard, predictive work already done. Management can make decisions faster, or, in some cases, have decisions fully automated and already put into action. AI even learns from and avoids the repeating of bad decisions, something that's sometimes hard to teach to its human counterparts.When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) and its application in hospitality, I've already referenced the emerging appearance of intelligent assistants in hotels. Connected devices guests already use at home and in their own lives -- smart thermostats and room lighting, smartwatches and fitness monitors, mobile-activated keyless entry, wireless headsets, smart TVs, even medical and safety alert devices - are also beginning to be offered at hotels. Hotels are also concepting useful IoT that guests might want but which they do not find at home -- things that will further surprise and delight them: A wall-length smart mirror in front of which they can do their morning core-toning regime and on which their vital signs appear. A projected keyboard that turns the in-room smart TV into a fully-functioning work station without the guest having to lug a laptop on vacation. A smart wine dispenser that pours a perfect glass of wine that's ready by the time the guest merely opens the door. This is the kind of enhanced hotel stay future we can expect with IoT.Advancing personalization while managing consumer trust and GDPR Personalization has been an elusive holy grail for the travel industry. What guest wouldn't want an experience that wasn't completely and perfectly customized for them, right? The problem is that this kind of perfect personalization is still nearly impossible to pull off. There are too many disparate data sources, too many duplicative guest records, and guests are not yet ready to willingly part with all of their data in order to get the kind of personalization that we all imagine they want. Layer on top of this the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and very public data breaches like the one Marriott revealed late last year and delivering this kind of optimized personalization becomes even more of a challenge. The industry has to contend with both technical and consumer trust issues. Look for this to be a hot topic for both marketing and hotel operations.As we look at the year ahead, it's clear to see that the mounting pressure to provide extraordinary guest experiences will continue to force hospitality marketing and operations closer and closer together. As hoteliers continue to adopt and adapt to new technologies, they'll be challenged to do so at an ever-faster pace. It makes for an interesting landscape, with a select few players having actually elevated the guest experience for tens of millions of guests. The interesting question to ponder at HSMAI may be, who will deliver a fully-connected and seamless guest experience to one billion guests first?
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Milestone to Present at 3 Free Workshop Sessions at HSMAI New York

Milestone Internet Marketing ·17 January 2019
Silicon Valley, CA - Milestone, Inc. announced today that it will be hosting three free digital marketing-focused workshops for hotels at the upcoming HSMAI Digital Marketing Conference in New York. The sessions will be held Tuesday, January 22 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Interested Hoteliers can register by visiting the dedicated site at https://www.hsmai.org/DigitalPreCon.Milestone will provide in-depth training on three critical topics that are of high interest to digital marketers in 2019:Digital Competitive Benchmarking: Using digital competitive analysis and data analytics to develop your marketing plans This session will provide insights into how to optimize your hotel keyword strategy for both organic and paid marketing, and how to leverage the latest technology to put your keyword strategy in the larger context of your marketing strategy by analyzing your keyword performance against top local competitors.In this workshop Milestone will provide you with direct actionable ideas on how to benchmark your digital marketing performance against top local competitors in order to grow your direct business and win market share:What digital benchmarking is and why it matters to your HotelWhat the key areas of digital marketing are that you need to benchmarkKPIs that you should track and manageOmnichannel Messaging: What does the future of content creation & distribution look like?In this session, Milestone will discuss how you can create a unified content distribution strategy by leveraging the latest technology available to digital marketers.In this workshop, Milestone will cover the definition of omnichannel messaging, share insights into how digital marketers work with omni channel messaging and discuss strategies and tools you can use to manage your digital marketing messaging:Learn about digital marketing messaging and the challenges faced by marketersSee strategies that can be implementedLearn about new tools that can help consolidate your digital marketing messagingYour Website on Steroids: Next generation website technologies for 2019 and beyondWhat are the next big shifts in website technology? How does voice-search impact how you build your website? How will your website content be impacted by these new technologies? And how do you ensure that all the new technologies that are becoming critical keep you in check with compliance issues like ADA and GDPR? Join Milestone as we discuss the shifts in website technology that we see in 2019 - and beyond - and how they will fit into the larger ecosystem of your modern website.In this workshop, co-presented by Anne Stingle, VP of Sales & Marketing at Triumph Hotels, you will get insights into the technologies that you need to drive direct bookings and see how they were implemented in a real-life example:Learn about the impact of voice search on your business and what you can do to prepareUnderstand the role of ADA & GDPR in your website strategySee a case study about website design & technology and how it impacted the hotelRegister for free now: https://www.hsmai.org/DigitalPreConAbout MilestoneFor over 20 years, Milestone has been a leading provider of digital marketing software and services for location-based businesses. Over 2,000 companies in Hospitality, Retail, Financial Services and Automotive industries rely on Milestone to power their digital marketing strategies. Milestone has garnered over 500 awards, has been short listed 3 consecutive years for the US Search awards and won Search Engine Land's prestigious "Best overall SEO-SEM campaign" in 2018. Milestone has gained a reputation for blending outstanding digital marketing expertise with advanced technological capabilities and is one of Silicon Valley Business Journal's fastest growing companies and an Inc. 5,000 company.
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Revinate Ends 2018 with Strong Company Growth and Innovation

Revinate, Inc. · 3 January 2019
In 2018, Revinate made significant investments in product and engineering, hiring Jason Standiford as VP of Engineering and promoting Dan Hang from Chief Product Officer to President and Chief Operating Officer. The team hit a major milestone by moving all its products to Amazon Web Services, bringing exceptional global performance, security, scalability, and pace of innovation. The company also made an early and strong commitment to the GDPR, building the necessary tools into its products and educating customers on the new policies.Major updates were made to Revinate Guest Feedback, including Department Scores, Segmented Surveys, Survey Sentiment Analysis, and a refreshed mobile app to help hoteliers on the go. Enhancements to Revinate Marketing included the release of Database Insights, the Image Library, Guest Preferences, Advanced Upsell Reporting, and Benchmark Reporting. Finally, Revinate launched a full suite of group-level functionalities, empowering corporate marketing leaders to easily manage, measure, and optimize performance.In 2018, Revinate announced a partnership with Duetto to enhance the power of Revinate Marketing. Now, joint customers can use Duetto's platform and its Open Pricing application, GameChanger, to dynamically price upsells and upgrades driven through Revinate Marketing. The real-time pricing solution enables personalized offers to maximize conversion and revenue.Finally, the company made executive leadership changes this year to recognize strong performance and better align the team with strategic objectives for 2019. In addition to the hiring of Standiford and promotion of Hang, Karen Stephens was promoted from VP of Customer Success to Chief Revenue Officer and Rani Croshal was promoted from Senior Director of Customer Success to VP of Customer Success. In addition, Kelly Robb was promoted from Senior Director of Marketing & Growth to VP of Marketing & Growth.Revinate's Co-Founder and CEO Marc Heyneker says, "In 2018, we continued to deliver on our promise of being first in the industry for innovation and customer service. I am thrilled with how we ended the year and am looking forward to another record-breaking year in 2019."Today, hoteliers in more than 135 countries use Revinate to manage guest feedback and guest marketing. They are supported by a global Customer Success team that provides 24/7 service and speaks more than 20 languages to provide the best support in the industry. Customers rank Revinate as the #1 CRM and Email Marketing Solution on Hotel Tech Report.

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