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Teneo Hospitality Group Polls Leading Meeting Planners On Emerging Trends in 2018

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

GDPR - a blessing in disguise for the hotel industry!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Women in Technology Luncheon Announced for HITEC 2019 Minneapolis

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

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

Championing the value of independent data

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

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

What hoteliers can do when crises strike

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

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

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

hotelmarketing.com·18 June 2018
Google’s and Facebook’s preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation have caused a headache for marketers that relied on the platforms for ad targeting.

HFTP Responds, Makes Changes to HITEC Europe 2019

HFTP ·17 June 2018
From the conference perspective, HITEC Europe's education program has received superior feedback each year. To accommodate for an overall modification of the event, there will be adjustments across all elements. This includes a reworking of the conference schedule to allow exclusive education hours and exclusive exhibit stand hours. As education is a key element to an event like HITEC Europe, the program planners will also provide access where possible to exhibitors and their staff, a frequent request made by exhibitors. Also, to provide the high-level networking and education opportunities for CIO/CFO delegates, invitation-only sessions during the conference and a private networking dinner will be incorporated into the schedule for this group.To build on the event, making it a hub of hospitality education and innovation, HFTP will continue to host co-located partner events at the Palau de Congressos, including HSMAI Region Europe and Entrepreneur 20X, a start-up pitch competition."One thing that was very clear from our evaluations, is that attendees want to make sure that HFTP continues to maintain the superior level of education offered and that we do not change our philosophy to a for-profit, 'pay to play' model," said Frank Wolfe, HFTP CEO. "As a not-for-profit organization, HITEC Europe has a dedicated group of industry experts who donate their time to both create and vet the education quality and HITEC Europe will continue that system."From the exhibition perspective, HFTP will make several logistical changes. These include requiring a higher service level from those who service stands, more food and beverage inside the exhibition, an easier registration processes and allowing exhibitors increased access to their stands for private appointments. Exhibition stand selection for HITEC Europe 2019 will be held in the same order as it occurred during the Amsterdam selection process.From a location prospective, evaluations indicated that attendees wanted the event to move around Europe. After consulting with HFTP partners, HSMAI, it was decided to locate the events at Palau de Congressos in Palma (Mallorca) Spain, the two year old center managed by Melia Hotels and located in one of the most beautiful resort areas in Europe. https://www.melia.com/es/palau-de-congressos/home.htmlhttps://www.melia.com/es/palau-de-congressos/home.htmlFor more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.
Article by Sarah McCay Tams

Blockchain: Loyalty And The Next Generation Of Traveller

Duetto ·15 June 2018
Blockchain is the next major disruptor to the travel industry, according to industry experts talking at the Blockchain Demystified - How will it change your business? panel discussion at last week's EyeforTravel Europe Summit.According to a recent survey by the World Economic Forum, 58% of executives anticipate that 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchain before 2025. Hoteliers need to pay attention to this new, technological revolution.Talking at the EyeforTravel Europe Summit, Simon Talling-Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, Voy - a cryptocurrency and loyalty programme, tackled the issue of how blockchain and cryptocurrency could be used in travel loyalty programmes.He highlighted the current state of the loyalty market, in which 80% of users don't have enough points to redeem or can't log in or have forgotten their password. He said blockchain offered a perfect opportunity to fix some of the ills associated with loyalty."You need to motivate your customer. Give them something they can keep spending. There is a direct correlation between spend rate and engagement with product," he said.Talling-Smith explained how loyalty programmes are not just about providing a currency, but about tracking traveller habits. It's about personal data. However, the roll out of GDPR is changing all this. "Your power over your data is now more powerful than anyone thought it would be," he said.Using blockchain, users retain control of their personal data."You can permit access to a standard profile and choose whether or not to share your whole travel history. What incentives would companies put in place to allow them full view of your entire travel history? Imaging if you knew the entire travel history of your customers?" he asked.By giving the data control to the consumer, blockchain allows companies to track people with complete compliance.David D. Brillembourg, CEO, Brillembourg, provided a compelling overview of the future of blockchain. In his presentation, he pointed out that $1 trillion worth of travel will be in the blockchain in the next 10 years.He talked about his STEP travel ecosystem, which is powered by blockchain and cryptocurrency, and aims to provide a cost-effective solution for travellers and hotel owners. He explained how blockchain will provide an alternative distribution channel to the OTAs, via new blockchain distribution ecosystems.Brillembourg also highlighted how the consumer has changed and how they will change further."The change behaviourally has already happened; people are living in a virtual world. They already use virtual currency in their lives, for example, through video games," he pointed out.Millennials and Gen Z are set to inherit $30 trillion, according to Brillembourg. These generations were born with mobile, social media, the sharing economy and cryptocurrencies. With a strong send of wanting to belong, and susceptibility to FOMO and YOLO, this market was born to travel."Crypto economics allow us for the first time to empower the traveller, putting the digitally native traveller at the centre using the wallet and coins," Brillembourg said.Ilya Khanykov CEO, Bartini, Inc, wrapped up the session with a quick presentation on how blockchain could reduce transactional costs. Bartini is prototyping flying cars. According to Khanykov, blockchain reduces the barriers to entry, and will be used to manage the product's back office and make sure the system is safe and secure.He said blockchain provided a: "transparent playground for everyone to find their place, growing ecosystems far beyond what we thought."RELATED HOTEL REVENUE STRATEGY ARTICLESCreativity And Innovation Fuel EMEA GrowthThe Definitive Guide To Hotel Blockchain TechnologyThe Blueprint for Taking Business Back from OTAs

Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

15 June 2018
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. Excerpt from the 2018 HITEC Bytes Special Report.

HFTP Announces Entrepreneur 20X Sponsorship Agreement with Amadeus at HITEC Houston

HFTP ·15 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), is pleased to announce its Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) sponsorship agreement with Amadeus for HITEC Houston. The successful E20X pitch competition, featuring hospitality technology startups, will take place at HITEC Houston in the afternoon on June 18, 2018. HITEC Houston will take place from June 18-21, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas USA.HFTP's Entrepreneur 20X program is a pitch competition that provides hospitality technology start-ups a career-boosting opportunity with exposure to top industry mentors, investors, leaders and executives. The startups compete for a cash prize, two separate awards and much more in this thrilling competition series. HITEC Houston attendees may visit startups following the competition in the HITEC Houston exhibit hall at the Innovation Lab."HFTP is excited for our partnership with Amadeus for this year's Entrepreneur 20X at HITEC Houston," said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "Entrepreneurship plays an important role in fueling evolution to industries, and Amadeus supports this innovative spirit in the hospitality technology market by providing hospitality solutions for every stage of the consumer journey.""We are thrilled to support the competitors at E20X and see the newest ideas that can help shape the future of hospitality," said Hazem Hussein, Hospitality Division CEO at Amadeus. "Through our Amadeus Ventures Program, we have assisted over 1,200 early stage startups. By creating these mutually beneficial relationships, we bring innovate solutions to the industry."Amadeus develops open, cloud-native technology solutions for global hospitality organizations. From search and booking to check-in and departure, Amadeus's offerings help consumers improve efficiency, deliver exceptional experiences and exceed brand promise. Amadeus works with leading referral and reseller partners, technology companies, channel and lead generation organizations, as well as hospitality and academic institutions with one goal: to put customer needs first.For more information about E20X, email e20x@hftp.org. In addition to HITEC Houston, HFTP has several other events upcoming in 2018. HFTP Annual Convention will October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About AmadeusAmadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies). The Amadeus group employs around 15,000 people worldwide and does business in more than 190 countries. The company has central sites in Spain (corporate headquarters), France (development) and Germany (operations), and offices in 70 countries around the world. The group operates a transaction-based business model. Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMS.MC" and is a component of the IBEX 35 index. Learn more here.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org. Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout the United States, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside the annual North American event: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org. Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

HITEC Houston Tuesday General Session Announced: "Technology and the Power of the C-Suite"

HFTP ·14 June 2018
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) added a new general session - "Technology and the Power of the C-Suite" - to the HITEC Houston education program. The session features C-level hospitality executives from brands, ownership groups and technology companies who will debate the future of emerging technology trends, funding for IT development and the nature of competition in a digital marketplace. The general session will take place from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Immediately before the session, Tammy Farley and Jing Zhu will be inducted into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame - HFTP's highest level of recognition in the area of technology.The session will be moderated by HFTP Global Treasurer Michael Levie, CHTP, COO at citizenM, and include the following c-level hospitality executives:Cindy Estis Green, co-founder and CEO, Kalibri Labs, LLCBarry Goldstein, EVP and chief commercial officer, WyndhamAsh Kapur, SVP, hotel asset management and chief revenue officer, Starwood Capital Group"From guest experience to business infrastructure, will hoteliers move outside of their core businesses to transform traditional brand models? Or, will third parties in the travel sector evolve to dominate the booking and stay experience for hotel guests?" asks HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. "This new general session will explore the gap in the valuation multiples of public companies in travel, and discuss limits of loyalty, power of data, new economics in customer acquisition and how technology investments may play a role in establishing the winners in a dynamic new environment."In addition to HITEC Houston, HFTP has several other events upcoming in 2018. HFTP Annual Convention will October 24-26 at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky USA. HITEC Dubai will take place December 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org.Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org.Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###
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ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Brings Cloud-Based Security to the Hotel Market with New Vostio Access Management System

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality ·13 June 2018
Stockholm - June 13, 2018 - ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, provider of advanced security technologies for the hospitality industry, announces the launch of its cloud-based access management system, Vostio. The first cloud-based system of its kind designed for the hotel space, Vostio is a maintenance-free and universally accessible system that requires no local servers, providing staff with a user-friendly solution that allows them to efficiently manage all areas of a property from any location.Designed to maximize operational efficiency and enhance the guest experience, Vostio works to ensure that all properties across a hotel chain are equipped with the same high standard functionality and that all corporate guidelines are uniformly followed. With a focus on enhanced security and data privacy, Vostio is GDPR-ready and built on the latest industry standards, ensuring total data confidentiality, integrity and traceability through the use of its encrypted system. As a cloud-based platform, Vostio also receives automatic software updates to ensure that properties are always fully protected against the latest threats and vulnerabilities."We're in a new era of security technology, with hotels and businesses in general moving away from traditional hardware to incorporate cloud-based solutions to streamline operations and increase property and data security," says Christophe Sut, Executive Vice President and Head of the Global Technologies business unit for ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. "With this in mind, we knew that, to continue the evolution of security technology, that we needed to develop a new groundbreaking solution that still offered the traditional services we are known for, while creating an entirely new experience that ensures security and peace of mind for everyone."Since Vostio is accessed through the cloud, hoteliers can now leverage the ability to securely oversee and manage their access management operations from anywhere in the world, with features that include:Control staff and guest accessInstant activation or deactivation of mobile keysCoding of RFID keycards when used in conjunction with an encoderRevocation of room access to ensure onsite securityMonitoring of system healthReviewing events such as access attempts and keycard creationWith no need for on-site servers, hoteliers using Vostio can also avoid both costly hardware expenses and time-consuming maintenance issues. Further reducing costs, Vostio's also offers standardized monthly license subscriptions. Developed as a future-proof system, Vostio is equipped to seamlessly integrate with new property upgrades and is also compatible with existing door hardware. Vostio's scalable platform allows it to meet the needs of any property, regardless of type or size, and can integrate with other cloud-based solutions to additionally improve efficiency and reduce costs.Hoteliers will get a first look at Vostio and its capabilities at HITEC Houston, taking place June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. To schedule a demo during HITEC at ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's booth #901, please click here to fill out an online request form.For more information about Vostio and its advanced access management abilities, please visit www.assaabloyhospitality.com/vostio.
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Intelity Cites 5 Things to Consider When Buying Mobile- and In-Room Technology

Intelity ·12 June 2018
Orlando, Fla. -- Hoteliers will be flocking to Houston next week to attend HITEC, the world's largest hospitality technology show. Top of mind for many hoteliers is seeing the latest mobile and in-room technologies on display at this event, to be held June 18 to 21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Before shopping the tradeshow floor, Intelity - the 2018 "Official Mobile and In-Room Technology Provider of the Forbes Travel Guide" - is making available to attendees an "In-Room Solutions Checklist" and a "Mobile Solutions Checklist" that will equip them with a side-by-side, feature-set comparison to aide in their quests. To download the Checklists, click here."We anticipate there will be more mobile- and in-room solution providers at HITEC 2018 than ever before," said Intelity Chief Technology Officer Chris Grey. "Seeing at a glance who is (and is not) offering Brand Customization, Real-Time Curated Content, In-Room Dining (integrated to POS), Integrated Room Controls (lights, HVAC, drapes, TV), In-App Chat, Guest SMS & Facebook Messaging, Reservation Look-up, Loyalty Points Lookup & Status, Integrated Check-In and Mobile Key (to name just a few in-demand features) will help attendees make far better buying decisions."Intelity not only has longevity in the industry - we made our debut at HITEC 9 years ago - but we are the confident choice for hoteliers concerned with security and privacy issues and those requiring integration to existing solutions," he said. "Intelity is GDPR compliant, and no matter where in the world a hotel is located, we've established 70+ integrations to all major hotel back-end management systems (POS, PMS, Ticketing, Spa and Room Controls) that include privacy regulations. We encourage all HITEC attendees who are looking for mobile- and in-room solutions to download these two Checklists so they can see instantly why Intelity is the only choice for centralized guest-engagement solutions."5 Things to Consider When Buying Mobile and In-Room TechnologyTo help hoteliers make smarter technology buying decisions at HITEC, Intelity is presenting these five tips:Consider Guest Wants - Flexibility is key to guest satisfaction. A solution that makes guest-to-staff communication easy and convenient using a variety of mobile channels will increase their engagement and drive revenues as well as satisfaction scores. Before selecting a mobile guest-service platform, make sure that it can be accessed by any mobile device and that it supports all chat channels.Consider Staff Needs - The more flexibility guests have, the harder it is for staff to manage their expectations. Ensure that the guest-service platform your hotel selects has tools for controlling that flexibility and ensuring an efficient and streamlined operation. Technology can only enhance a hotel product and make it special or unique when flexibility can be appropriately managed.Choose the Right Hardware - Security and privacy are top of mind for hoteliers, especially with GDPR Regulations now in effect. Not every vendor takes security and privacy as seriously as they should, but it must be the focal point of every solution being developed. One of the best ways to ensure guest data security is to use highly-secure Apple products.Look for Seamless Integrations - Integration is a key differentiator when forming a vendor partnership. Regardless of what technology a hotelier is looking for, the supplier should be able to mesh it seamlessly into the hotel's current technology stack without further development.Request Marketing Support - Communicating the technology options available to guests before, during and after their stay can be challenging. Be sure to select a technology provider that offers guidance on how to market your new mobile or in-room solution. You can't throw technology at guests and expect them to know how to use it. Choose a vendor with years of industry experience and a solution that is usable and engaging."Shopping HITEC for new technology solutions can be easy - and even fun - if you have the right resources," Grey said. "We encourage anyone looking for mobile- and in-room technology solutions to download our Checklists prior to the show and see how other providers stack up next to Intelity. We will be standing by in Booth 2127 to discuss your findings and show you why Intelity has been the leading hospitality guest-service platform for a decade."For more information about Intelity's solutions for the hospitality industry, click here.
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Beekeeper Achieves ISO Certification to Protect Hotels' Data

Beekeeper ·12 June 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- With the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now in effect, Beekeeper is pleased to announce that it is now ISO 27001 Certified in addition to being GDPR compliant. Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the ISO standard is protecting intellectual property, employee details, and information entrusted to Beekeeper by third parties. As a SaaS offering and recognized data processor, Beekeeper has completed all necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure that its product and services will reduce its customers' risk significantly in the digital workplace."The ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that Beekeeper is actively managing its data security in line with international best practices, including GDPR," said Dr. Amir Ameri, Beekeeper Chief Data Officer. "This is the best international practice standard for information security, and it covers people, processes and technology. By protecting information and reducing risk using this three-pronged approach, Beekeeper is defending itself from technology-based risks and other common threats, such as poorly informed staff or ineffective procedures. Now that we have ISO certification in place, hoteliers can rest easy knowing that the information they share using our platform is safe."GDPR requires:The pseudonymization and encryption of personal data;The ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;The ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;A process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating risk and the effectiveness of technical and organizational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.ISO 27001 certification enables Beekeeper to:Reduce information security risks through data encryption. With ISO Certification, Beekeeper can identify which assets are at risk and require encryption to adequately protect them.Ensure ongoing confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. If the data is available but in a format that is not usable because of a system disruption, then the integrity of that data has been compromised; if the data is protected but inaccessible to those who need to use it as part of their jobs, then the availability of that data has been compromised.Mandate risk assessment by identifying threats and vulnerabilities that can affect its information assets. It also provides steps to assure the confidentiality, availability and integrity (CIA) of that data.Address the importance of business continuity management. It provides a set of controls that will protect the availability of information in case of an incident and protect critical business processes from the effects of major disasters to ensure their timely resumption.Undergo independent assessment and audits by an accredited certification body to ensure that it is meeting the requirements of the Standard."Beekeeper has undertaken this rigorous certification process to ensure that data breaches can't happen to us or our customers," Ameri said. "Helping hotels of all sizes to keep their information assets secure is our top priority. Beekeeper will reduce risk for hoteliers significantly in the digital workplace."Breakfast with Beekeeper at HITECBeekeeper is inviting hoteliers to attend a private educational breakfast at HITEC on Wednesday, June 20th, at 7:00 a.m., at the Audi Sports Club at the BBVA Compass Stadium (just 2.5 blocks from the Convention Center). During the event, Sixty Hotels will discuss the digitization of their workforce, share property updates and best practices, both of which are protected by GDPR and ISO compliance.To register for the Beekeeper Breakfast event, click here.

HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees Announced

HFTP ·11 June 2018
The International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame is HFTP's highest level of recognition in the area of technology. Since 1989, 44 individuals have received this award as a reflection of their contributions to the hospitality industry. Farley and Zhu were nominated and selected by their peers for representing the best in innovation and application, and for being leaders in their profession.Tammy Farley, co-founder and president of The Rainmaker Group, was selected for influencing the evolution of revenue optimization to meet the needs of today's global hospitality market. Since co-founding Rainmaker in 1998, she has been credited for her leading role in securing the company's impressive growth. Her natural abilities in entrepreneurship have proven vital in identifying opportunities that have helped Rainmaker to enhance and expand its industry leading portfolio of hospitality and gaming technology solutions. Over the past two decades, Farley has maintained her dedication to ensuring that more and more properties have the ability to leverage the latest advancements in revenue management technology."I am so very honored to be inducted into this prestigious group of hospitality professionals," says Farley. "Advancing the way hospitality revenue managers utilize technology has been both my personal objective as well as Rainmaker's corporate mission for over 20 years and it means a great deal to have our efforts recognized."Jing Zhu, founder and chairperson of the China Hospitality Technology Alliance (CHTA), was selected for establishing the Chinese hospitality technology network. CHTA aims to build industry innovation best practices and future platforms through talents in China and worldwide, and to connect ecosystems with leading-edge technologies to make travel and hospitality a better and fun space. Zhu is also CEO of 3D Networks a hospitality technology business where her emphasis on leading-edge hospitality technologies has resulted in a significant transformation for the business. She has more than 18 years of extensive experience in the IT/Telco industry."I am so honored and very humbled to receive such a significant award," said Zhu. "CHTA with a mission will continue striving for connecting East and West from innovation and technology perspectives."HITEC Houston will take place from June 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston, Texas USA. Also this year is HITEC Dubai, which will take place from December 5-7 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE in partnership with Naseba. For more information about HFTP's international events, visit www.hftp.org and www.hitec.org or contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at education@hftp.org.About HFTPHospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, Texas USA with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with an international network of members and stakeholders. HFTP uniquely understands the industry's pressing issues, and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. HFTP offers expert networks, educational resources, career development programs, research, leadership opportunities and conferences and events. HFTP produces international events throughout the year, including the world's largest hospitality technology tradeshow and conference brand: HITEC. The association also owns the world's only hospitality-specific search engine: PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, visit www.hftp.org.For the latest news, visit the HFTP News page at news.hftp.org and the HFTP Connect blog at blog.hftp.org. Follow HFTP on social media: Facebook (@HFTPGlobal); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Stay tuned to HFTP's industry-specific, informational news sites: HFTP News, HITEC Bytes, HFTP Club Bytes, HFTP Finance Bytes, HFTP GDPR Bytes and HFTP FB Bytes. HFTP event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.About HITECHospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world's largest and oldest hospitality technology exposition and conference brand. HITEC offers a unique combination of top-notch education, and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. The unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. Combined with the intimate opportunities to connect with fellow professionals, HITEC has everything to enhance your career.Historically hosted annually in a different city throughout North America, HFTP expanded HITEC in 2017 with two additional events outside: one in Europe and the other in Dubai. For more information about HITEC, visit www.hitec.org. Follow HITEC on social media: Facebook (@HITECconference); LinkedIn; Twitter (@HFTP); Instagram (@HFTP_HITEC). Find updates on the HFTP News page, and exhibitor news on the HITEC Bytes site. HITEC event photos are available on Flickr, and HFTP event videos are available on YouTube.###

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