News for the Hospitality Executive
HTNG Annual Conference Highlights Major Progress
in Systems Interoperability
Three Individuals Recognized for Leadership from the the Hotel and Vendor Community
|SEATTLE (February 29, 2008) – Progress in systems integration
and interoperability was the dominant theme this week at the fourth annual
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) Members’ Meeting and Conference.
More than 350 senior technology executives from hotels, vendors, and consulting
groups travelled from 18 countries across four continents to gather at
the Westin Seattle Hotel for the two-day conference.
Recapping the event at the closing ceremony, HTNG President Barry Shuler, who also serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Marriott International and Chief Information Officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, commented on HTNG’s increased maturity, noting that this year’s conference “had a real sense of collegial cooperation and collaboration, with just an incredible amount of goodwill going back and forth between industry partners and hoteliers, coming together at a meeting place to try to make things happen for our industry.” Shuler also noted that this year’s conference showcased much more maturity from HTNG’s workgroup efforts, with “more progress and more concrete deliverables then we have ever had before, with an incredible amount of progress in the last year.”
Conference sessions highlighted the progress of HTNG’s six workgroups, in which more than 400 industry leaders and specialists are now participating on an ongoing basis. HTNG’s workgroups identify practical problems facing hotels, which can be solved through cooperative design, open standards, and vendor commitment to implementation. Just a few of the workgroups’ accomplishments that were cited from the past year include:
The conference kicked off with a keynote presentation from David Margulius, Principal Analyst with Enterprise Insight, who frequently moderates CIO roundtables and is a regular contributor to InfoWorld. Margulius shared his insights on the thinking of CIOs from across the spectrum of the technology world, and focused on what hotel technologists could learn from disruptive innovators and consumers.
Two thought leadership presentations also highlighted practical examples of common deployment and management of complex systems provided by multiple vendors. One session, led by Gustaaf Schrils, Vice President of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and Raul Arce, Vice President of Travel & Transportation for IBM Corporation, described the “Hotel-in-a-Box” program that IHG and IBM are deploying in limited-service IHG properties in North America, where one vendor provides total support for deployment, configuration, training, and management of all of the critical systems needed to run a hotel.
The second session on this theme, led by Edward Goldman, Vice President of IT Strategy for Marriott International, with the participation of a Marriott franchisee and four vendors, described three distinct approaches to coordinated management of network services being used in various Marriott hotels in the United States and Asia. The session highlighted the challenges of ensuring that all network users within a hotel – staff, guests, internal systems, guestroom systems, and transient visitors – get the bandwidth they should, while ensuring appropriate authentication, network security, and regulatory compliance.
Yet another thought leadership session highlighted the emerging world of unified communications, with a presentation by Eric Swift, senior director of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft, on the evolution and future of unified communications and implications for hotel staff and guests.
Rosemary Jay, who is one of the world’s most recognized experts on data privacy law, presented an overview of data privacy requirements and the ways in which hotels can ensure that sensitive guest data is used in ways that are consistent with the evolving legal standards around the world. Jay is Partner and head of the Information Law group at UK-based Pinsent Masons law firm.
HTNG also recognized the leadership of key individuals from the hotel and vendor community, who have been instrumental in the progress of HTNG’s working groups. Top honors went to three individuals who received the Directors’ Leadership Award, in recognition of outstanding contribution to the success of HTNG and to the entire hotel technology industry. The Directors’ Leadership Award is bestowed annually based on a vote of the Directors of HTNG, who are comprised of CIOs, CTOs, and other senior technology officers from a dozen recognized hotel companies. It is awarded to one hotelier and one person from the vendor community. For 2007, the vote for the hotelier ended in a tie, resulting in three individuals receiving the Award:
The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards. Where necessary, it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry.
Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others. Currently nearly 375 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including most of the world’s leading hotel companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants. Workgroup proceedings, drafts, and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are released to the public domain as they are ratified by the workgroup. For more information, visit www.htng.org.
Hotel Technology Next Generation
|Also See:||Accomplishment Wrap-up - HTNG's Third Annual Members' Meeting; Marriott International's CTO Barry Shuler To Succeed Nick Price as HTNG President / March 2007|
|Hotel Technology Next Generation 2nd Annual Conference Draws 250 Hotel Technology Leaders; Six Individuals Win Leadership Awards / March 2006|
|HTNG Draws 160+ Attendees to First Annual Conference; Luke Mellors, Director of IT (CIO) at The Dorchester Group, Elected as HTNG Director / May 2005|