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    Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference

    November 14–15, 2017
    Conrad Dubai
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Attracting the frictionless consumer

Infor By Michael Schubach
For hoteliers, the rapid ascent of OTAs and sharing economy models threaten to dilute even the strongest brands. But the rapid technology evolution doesn't have to leave brand loyalty behind, writes Infor's Michael Schubach. One need only look at the immediacy and convenience of making an Amazon purchase to see why today's consumers are expecting that same personalized experience from all of their buying transactions. By embracing digital disruption, he says, hoteliers can lead the way, even in the age of Amazon.

Fifteen questions to zero in on the "room of the future"

Caesars By Xavier Etcheberrigaray
Technology is necessary and useful, says Xavier Etcheberrigaray, but it's not the only component to building the future. Here he describes fifteen perspectives he and his colleagues thought about when tasked with the job of imagining the room of the future.

Is your property's technology ready for the guest service convergence?

Kaba Hospitality By Joey Yanire
Hotel guests want a personalized guest experience. When guests feel welcome, they value their stay, become loyal clients, and generate additional revenue. As dormakaba's Joey Yanire explains, most properties have the ability to provide a personalized experience if they simply unify the data at their fingertips and put it to work. "Guest service convergence" is the process of unifying data from emerging and existing technologies into actionable insights that enable hoteliers to provide guests with a memorable, highly personal property experience. How prepared is your property for tomorrow's guest service convergence?

Blockchain: The current reality

The Student Hotel By Lyle Worthington
Has any technology concept been as hyped as Blockchain? (Well, yes, but probably not this year.) What is Blockchain, how does it work, why will it be such a good thing - and can it possibly live up to all this hype? More to the point: How, and when, will we start seeing Blockchain in the hotel industry? Lyle Worthington shares his thoughts on this fascinating technological solution.

Why payment strategy is so important in the hotel industry

Worldpay By Diederik van Gool
As consumers become increasingly used to a slick purchasing experience for retail and digital goods, it has become an expectation for travel bookings, too. The hotel industry is lagging behind, however - and as Diederik van Gool explains, it all comes down to payments.

Winter is coming: Preparing for the next season of channel management

IDeaS By Mike Chuma
Data is the core of an intelligent business strategy, writes Mike Chuma, and it drives the decision-making process. Hotel organizations need to prioritize data that provides meaningful insights and action. The ability to understand, organize and track this data is essential, he says.

Connecting the dots to improve your hotel operations

Novility By Samantha Noll and Ines de Castro Fernandes
In a hotel, providing service to guests can be a physically strenuous job. There's a lot of bending over, stretching, lifting, picking things up, carrying things, rushing around... any of which, with just a little bad luck, could cause an injury, not to mention lower back pain and a host of other maladies. Novility's Samantha Noll and Ines de Castro Fernandes explain how some of this can be mitigated, through ergonomics.

Not your father's ERP

citizenM Hotels By Nick Price
Hotel companies have been stuck for too long with an information systems architecture conceived well into the last century, and built around a notion of a Property Management System (PMS) at the center of everything that a hotel does or will do, writes NetSys Technology's Nick Price. Building on his ground-breaking article in last year's edition of the Hotel Yearbook, Nick further refines the Hotel OS architecture concept he described in 2017 by revisiting another legacy concept whose time has come: Enterprise Resource Planning.

Harnessing technology for a competitive advantage

HFTP By Neil Foster
The role of the hotel IT manager is evolving, writes Neil Foster. Today he or she is as an internal consultant and educator who makes sense of the "noise", a connector who seeks to understand the needs of the people and processes involved. Central to the hotel operation in terms of influence, the new role is more business analyst operating at the forefront, less technician working behind the scenes.

Our journey to hospitality technology Nirvana

protel By Pete Simpson
Hotel technology has seen some amazing progress - though it may seem to be in a state of chaos at the moment, writes Pete Simpson. In this article, he makes a compelling case for coming together to build an "Enterprise Hospitality Framework" that would allow the industry to extend the hospitality eco-system beyond the confines of the hotel, and deliver amazing, targeted, data-driven recommendations and offers to customers. To make this happen, he says, it will require fearless vendors and the combined voice of the hotel chains.

All around the room

The Conceptual Group By Fraser Hickox
In the hotel room, guests face a dizzying number of different touch points where they come into contact with technology. And in terms of how easy these human-tech interfaces are to find, then understand, and ultimately use, nearly all of them can be said to have room for improvement. Hong Kong-based Fraser Hickox takes us on a tour of the guest room, sharing his observations and insights.

Innovation Hub @ EAHM: Bringing research and educational benefits to hospitality stakeholders

Emirates Academy By Sanjay Nadkarni
An exciting project is underway at the Dubai-based Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, as a digital innovation hub is set up on campus to give technology vendors an opportunity to showcase new concepts and test ideas and applications. Sanjay Nadkarni, the school's Director of Research & Innovation, walks us through the project.

Bridge on the River Data: Reinforcements are on the way

Hotelschool The Hague By Peter Starks
A bridge has been long needed to connect analytics and analysts, one that serves students who wish to be analysts and active professionals who want to be students. Whether centralized or decentralized, there is a new wave of talent coming, writes Peter Starks, CEO of REDGlobal and educator-at-large. It is armed with new business simulation experience that can help you accelerate market and profit share. If they are under your radar, he says, take heed.

How to deal with consultants effectively: A view from the other side

E Horner & Associates Pty Ltd By Ted Horner
Ted Horner has almost 30 year's experience as an IT consultant in the hotel industry. We asked him for advice on how a company can get the most out of working with a consultant. Here are his eminently reasonable guidelines.

The business of housekeeping: Is technology in housekeeping an option or a prerequisite?

FCS Computer Systems By Eric Rogers
Technology has the potential to enhance the guest experience in many ways. One of them, perhaps not immediately recognized by hoteliers, is to automate housekeeping operations, which will not only streamline processes and increase productivity, but give housekeeping staff greater opportunities to interact with guests. Eric Rogers, Vice President EMEA of FCS Computer Systems, explains.

Hospitality industry expansion is being fueled by alternatives

HFTP By Prakash Shukla
The hospitality industry is undergoing seismic changes with consolidation and disruption. Prakash Shukla believes the industry is at a crossroads of significant disruptive changes, being driven by new business models and technology. He outlines the macro environment driving the industry, some recent transactions and then possible opportunities particularly in hospitality space. Clearly, before asset allocation, one needs to have deep domain expertise, he believes. It is only then that one can identify opportunities where new processes, models, technologies can be used to access new markets, inculcate efficiencies, or create a complete new paradigm shifts.

As the bartender buzzed and whirred, the martini was shaken, not stirred

HTNG By David Sjolander
Robots taking over certain roles in the hospitality industry is not a question of "if", writes David Sjolander of HTNG, but of "how" and "when". But they will interfere with the human interaction we foster with guests, many hoteliers argue. Then the logical entry point will be in back-of-house functions - but they won't stop there.

The end of the PBX as we know it

GrayMatter Networks By David Maayani
Times were good for the PBX department, recalls GrayMatter Networks' David Maayani. "We were the darlings of the IT crowd. Guests made phone calls, we generated healthy revenue margins while covering our costs - life was good!" Then the cell phone happened. Literally overnight, our revenue from guest calls disappeared. Left in the dust were the monthly costs for circuits, maintenance and staff. Boom to bust overnight: the only calls guests now make are for a towel, a hamburger... or to complain.

The human side of change

Abercrombie Training and Management Consultancy By Colin Abercrombie
Managing change is hard. And thanks to the fact that technology evolves and improves so rapidly, IT managers can find themselves in the middle of large, complex change projects much more frequently than their colleagues working in other areas of a hotel group. Colin Abercrombie, a Dubai-based coach specializing in such projects, reminds us that managing the human side of change is vital to a project's success - and this means managing the emotions of those who have to lead it.

Hotel Technology Next Generation: The way forward

HTNG By Monika Nerger
Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) was founded in 2002 as a non-profit industry association with a mission to foster collaboration and partnership, in the development of next-generation systems and solutions to enable hoteliers and their technology vendors to do business globally in the 21st century. One of the key industry issues HTNG initially set out to solve was the complex nature of integration between systems. As Monika Nerger explains, the hospitality industry has changed considerably since then, and HTNG is creating a vision for the next decade to support the ever-changing demands of our industry.

So much more than "fixers"

Right By Brenda O'Neil
One of the most common concerns expressed by IT teams is that they are seen as "the people you call when the printer stops working". Changing the perceptions of IT - from fixer to strategic business partner - demands that communication is not an afterthought, but an integral part of every project from the get-go. Brenda O'Neil, head of the Dubai-based Right Consultancy FZE, explains how to improve this vital connection.

How IoT technology is re-imagining the guest experience

Agilysys By Suman Pal
By 2020, billions of devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), providing huge improvements in efficiencies and cost savings, writes Suman Pal, Principal Product Manager at Agilysys. In the hospitality landscape, the applications are limitless - especially those that enhance the guest experience.

Envisaging the hotel of the future

James Law Cybertecture By James Law
If the 20th century was an era of conventional hotel design, the beginning of the 21st century has seen the arrival of new forms of hotel design. The growth in urban hotels, boutique hotels, resort hotels, and other permutations of the typical hotel model has yielded a great variety of hotel designs around the world. However, as architect James Law of the Hong Kong-based firm James Law Cybertecture writes, what may set the 21st Century era hotel design from its predecessors is the rapid innovation in everything. Raised design-consciousness and the rapid adoption of technology will yield a new generation of hotels that will be systemically different from before. "They will be different," he says, "because the people who stay in them will stay there for new reasons, with new personalities, and with new lifestyles that never even existed before."

Realistic visions on the virtual world of hospitality

No Dutch No Glory By Guy-Georges Trigallez
Virtual reality holds enormous potential to help hospitality businesses grow, says Guy-Georges Trigallez of Amsterdam-based No Dutch No Glory. By giving potential customers a more realistic sample of the real thing they will experience on-site, hotels can depict what their brand stands for while drawing guests further into a sales funnel.

Hotel apps: What's next?

NEORCHA sarl By Roger El Khoury
In an increasingly competitive environment, with mounting pressure on profitability, hoteliers continually look for ways to make their operations more efficient while ensuring an enhanced guest experience. Not an easy feat, writes Roger El Khoury, Managing Partner of NEORCHA, but one where mobile applications have a big role to play. Here's how.

Boosting innovation in the HoReCa business

Metro AG By Olaf Koch
There are historically valid reasons why so few technology-based innovations were adopted by the hospitality business, writes Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro AG. But these reasons no longer hold water, and that is why his company goes to such lengths to help hospitality innovators develop their ideas and bring them to market.

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