September 3, 2021
Maybe my age is showing, but I miss the times where Walter Cronkite (OK, that was actually before my time), Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw gave us the news we needed every night. Today, thanks to the rapidly changing world of social media, news comes from thousands of sources and probably half of it is made up. I bring this up because recently a few people reached out to me asking if HITEC was canceled. Of course, no one could explain specifically where they had heard this information, but it made me laugh. I guaranteed them that HITEC will not cancel. There are thousands of people in the industry from vendors to hoteliers, who are planning on attending. But these are the days of the delta variant, so you can’t be sure of the crowd. However, if there are a couple thousand or more people there this year, I will think it will be great. We have been invited to numerous parties and that is another positive. Kudos to HFTP for promoting its safety plans to create a comfort level for those attending. I might think a little different, but I think it is going to be great to connect with people again after a couple of years of not seeing them and trying to figure out who they are behind their masks. Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online will be at HITEC in full force (booth 3505). We hope to see you there.
Speaking of events, next week is our 19th CIO Summit. Typically, we have between 50-55 attendees, and we are so thankful and a bit proud that we have 51 registered attendees for next week’s event in Atlanta. It is a bit easier doing an invitation-only and what many refer to as an intimate event, than events trying to draw hundreds or even thousands of attendees. Isn’t it wild how the industry is trying to cram 6 months of postponed events into a three-month window between now and the end of the year? These are strange times we are all living in.
I had to laugh when I received Doug Rice’s “Definitely Doug” column this week. Anybody who brings up AC/DC, I think right away is referring to the band. I loved Highway to Hell! But with Doug it is all about hotels that are wasting money on their electricity. Technology expert or not, everyone should read it. You will learn something. Great title to the column this week – Not Your Father’s Power Socket!
It is now September, and we are in the home stretch of our second wacky year. I wonder what is in store for us as we look ahead. It seems everybody has an opinion. The only suggestion I will make is create your own opinion based on facts, not what you see or hear on social media. I will see you after the news with this week’s attempt at you-know-what…let me see if I can switch highways!
Not Your Father’s Power Socket
In the hotel industry, technologists usually leave basic infrastructure elements, like electricity, water, and ventilation, to the engineers. But digital convergence has brought this into question in recent years. While technology and engineering may be separate departments in the hotel, no longer are they independent. Technologists and engineers alike need to expand their horizons.
For many years now, a disconnect has been developing in how buildings distribute power. Hotels engineers may not already see this, but technologists can.
When I was young, virtually everything that needed wired electricity ran on alternating current (AC) power, so it made sense that building power backbones were built around AC. Today, that is no longer the case. Most electronic devices use direct current (DC); unless they run on batteries, that power must be transformed from AC. LED lighting, now the norm, also uses DC power. Because most buildings have AC power, LED drivers were provided with LED lights to convert higher-voltage AC to lower-voltage DC. The driver was either a separate device upstream of the light, or it was incorporated into the LED bulb for compatibility with conventional light sockets.
The AC-to-DC transformation, now performed for most powered devices in hotels, wastes 9% to 15% of the power. It also creates heat, and potentially the need for additional air conditioning to remove it.
DC power options have expanded dramatically in recent years. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, which carries power over an Ethernet cable, has been around for nearly 20 years, but during that time the maximum output has grown from an initial 17 watts to 90 watts today, enough to power most LED lights as well as most devices used in hotel guest rooms. Similarly, USB power started out with only 5 watts of DC power but was recently approved to provide up to 220 watts for laptops, phones, and monitors. Battery technology has improved and scaled dramatically, making it practical to store large amounts of power for load balancing or emergency backup purposes. And in just the past few years we have seen the emergence of digital power, which can overcome many of the limitations of PoE.
Most hotels today are built with AC-only power backbones, but the reasons are now mostly obsolete. As a result, we are now seeing the first hotels built with hybrid power, using AC where necessary but DC elsewhere. It is still the early days for DC power backbones, but there are many good reasons for them: construction cost, operating cost, energy cost, sustainability, safety, and the ability to inexpensively control each device centrally to achieve an intelligent building. The experts think it will soon (maybe in one to two years) be feasible to build hotels with entirely DC power distribution. The technical barriers appear to be well understood and solvable with current technologies.
Indeed, California just this week announced plans to update its building code effective in January, 2023 to require new homes and commercial buildings, including hotels, to include solar panels and batteries – meaning DC power.
Recent Technology News, from Hospitality Upgrade and Hotel Online
– Shiji Group Establishes Shiji Canada, Continuing Growth in the Americas
Shiji Group, a leading provider of hospitality technology solutions, has announced its further expansion in the Americas market, with the addition of a new leader and operating unit in Canada.
– IDeaS Wins Two Coveted Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management Excellence Awards
IDeaS, a world leading provider of revenue management software and services, won two of the coveted Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence Awards for its client enablement efforts.
– ProfitSword Establishes New Headquarters Following Rapid Market Growth and Increased Demand for Business Intelligence Solutions
ProfitSword, a premier developer of business intelligence and data integration software, is proud to announce the relocation of its corporate headquarters to a spacious new facility in Alpharetta, Georgia.
People on The Move
– Groups360 Onboards New Technology and Information Security Members
Manohar Arumbur, VP of information technology and operations, and William Hanning, chief information security officer, have joined the Groups360’s leadership team.
– TraknProtect Appoints Larry Birnbaum to Board of Advisors
TraknProtect, a leading employee safety button provider for several major hotel brands, is honored to announce the appointment of Larry Birnbaum to the company’s Board of Advisors.
– HFTP Announces 2021 Inductees to the Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame: Mark G. Haley and Raman (R.P.) Rama
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is pleased to announce two champions of hospitality technology: Mark G. Haley, CHTP+ and Raman (R.P.) Rama, B.Com, CHA Emeritus, CHTP+, CHAE as the 2021 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductees, both recognized for their experience and leadership in promoting hospitality innovation and technology, and knowledge sharing.
Guest Management Systems
– Rise Uptown Hotel Implements Agilysys Cloud-Native SaaS Property Management Solution
Agilysys, Inc., a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, today announced that the Rise Uptown Hotel in Phoenix, AZ has implemented Agilysys’ cloud-native SaaS PMS solution Agilysys Stay.
– Adrift Hospitality Streamlines Guest & Staff Experience at 6 Boutique Hotels With StayNTouch Guest-Centric Cloud PMS
Adrift Hospitality, a collection of socially-conscious coastal boutique hotels located in the Pacific Northwest, partners with StayNTouch, a global leader in guest-centric technology and cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) to streamline the guest and staff experience at their 6 independent properties across Washington state and Oregon.
Reservations & Distribution
– Amadeus Launches Agency360+ to Expand Hotelier Access to Leisure and Business Travel Insights
Understanding the need for greater business travel insights, Amadeus has innovated to expand visibility into leisure and business travel performance with the launch of Agency360+. The solution helps hoteliers build the most effective leisure and corporate strategies with the widest and most detailed array of business intelligence data beyond GDS channels.
– Travel Outlook Launches ExpressRez®, an Innovative and Affordable Call Center for Inns and B&Bs
Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center (“Travel Outlook”) announces the launch of ExpressRez®, an affordable voice reservations service for inns, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rental management companies.
Revenue Management & Analytics
– OTA Insight Furthers Growth With RMS Cloud Partnership
OTA Insight, the cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, today unveiled the incorporation of RMS Cloud’s property management system into Revenue Insight, the leading business intelligence solution in the industry.
– Nayara Resorts Partners With IDeaS to Bring Revenue Science to Its Growing Portfolio
IDeaS, a SAS company, a world leading provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced today its new partnership with Nayara Resorts, beginning with the implementation of IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) at two of the hotel group’s boutique resorts: Nayara Gardens and Nayara Springs by Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park.
– Duetto & Agilysys Announce New Two-Way Solution Integration With Agilysys Stay PMS
Duetto, hospitality’s innovative software as a service provider of revenue strategy solutions, and Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation cloud-native SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, today announced the expansion of their relationship with the general availability of a seamless two-way integration between Agilysys Stay PMS and Duetto.
Guest Facing Technology
– Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong Adopts BeyondTV GuestCast for Enhanced and Secure Guestroom Entertainment Personalization
BeyondTV, a full-service provider of guestroom entertainment solutions for the hospitality industry, has together with regional supplier and internet services provider, Liveport, been credited with enhancing the guestroom entertainment abilities of Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong with the implementation of BeyondTV GuestCast.
– Zoox Smart Data Customers Experience 550 Percent Ad Revenue Increase Using Zoox Media
Zoox Smart Data (“Zoox”), an international provider of technological solutions that harnesses big data to build customer profiles from existing Wi-Fi networks, is pleased to announce the impressive revenue-increasing results that its Zoox Media solution has achieved for hotel businesses around the world.
– Bally’s Corporation Selects Vizergy® to Build Digital Footprint
Vizergy® Digital Marketing, the leading provider of digital marketing and sales for the hospitality industry, is proud to announce the addition of a new client, Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY).
Sales & Catering, Groups & Meetings
– Groups360 to Partner With PCI Security Standards Council to Help Secure Payment Data Worldwide
Groups360, the leading online marketplace for meetings and events, announced today that it has joined the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) as a new Participating Organization. Groups360 will work with the PCI SSC to help secure payment data worldwide through the ongoing development and adoption of the PCI Security Standards.
– HEI Properties Identify Over $150k in Group Business Opportunities for 2021 and 2022 After Two Weeks of Using Knowland
Today Knowland, the world’s leading provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced the completion of a project with HEI Hotels & Resorts designed specifically to help select properties reinvigorate sales teams and prepare them for the next phase of recovery. Using the Knowland platform, HEI properties in Boston and Atlanta collectively identified $165k in opportunities during COVID in just two weeks of prospecting.
– Amadeus and Cvent Expand Partnership to Increase Bookings for Small Meetings & Events
Historically, booking a small meeting or event can be time consuming and inefficient, often requiring a lengthy request for proposal (RFP) and negotiation process. In today’s digital-first environment, planners expect to search, source, and book small meetings and events online, and hoteliers want to automate their processes and grow this important segment of their group business revenue.
Food & Beverage
– Oakland Marriott City Center Rolls Out Clear Sky’s Food Inventory System
Clear Sky Software, Inc.® announced today that The Oakland Marriott City Center has expanded its use of Clear Sky’s inventory control systems. This California hotel has been a customer of Clear Sky Software for many years utilizing the company’s perpetual inventory system in the beverage department.
– JW Marriott Camelback Inn Expands Clear Sky Software’s Inventory Solution to the Culinary Department
This bar code-based software, hardware, and services combination is helping The JW Marriott Camelback Inn gain better control over their food and beverage inventory while maintaining low food and beverage costs.
– Hotel Effectiveness Doubles Down on Support for the Hospitality Industry
Hotel Effectiveness, an industry leader for hotel labor optimization, is increasing its investment in the industry via strategic partnerships and unique sponsorships, illustrating the importance of industry alliances.
– React Mobile Enlists Best Buy Business for Hospitality to Aid in Deployment of Panic Buttons and Beacons at Hotels Nationwide
React Mobile has enlisted Best Buy Business to dispatch its Geek Squad® agents for installation assistance of React Mobile’s Employee Safety Device (ESD) solution. With Best Buy locations within 20 miles of most hotels in the U.S., React Mobile can scale installations more quickly to ensure each property is up to date on safety compliance policies.
Hospitality Events and Association News
– HFTP Implements Extra Health Safety Measures for September In-Person Events: HITEC and HFTP Annual Convention; Suggests Vaccines for All Participants
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) announced additional steps to increase attendees’ comfort level at its upcoming meetings. Co-located are the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) North America and the HFTP Annual Convention, September 27-30, 2021 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas USA.
– New Sojern Report Shows Travel Marketers’ 2021 Plans for Digital Advertising
Sojern, a leading provider of digital travel marketing solutions, today published a new report titled, “How Travel Marketers Are Activating Digital Advertising in 2021.” Worldwide Business Research (WBR) Insights surveyed senior decision makers in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and Middle East and Africa who own the marketing budget for a hotel, attraction or tourism brand.
– New Research by SiteMinder Reveals Mexican Travelers Are More Enthusiastic Yet Discerning
Mexican travelers are now considerably more enthusiastic yet discerning about travel than before the pandemic, and local accommodation providers will have to do more to meet their expectations, new research by SiteMinder, one of the world’s largest open hotel commerce platform, shows.
Piqued Our Interest
And now for you-know-what.…