Industry 1st: Vendor Summit Draws Technology Leaders for Education, Networking

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Hospitality Upgrade, Bearing Point, IBM, HFTP Sponsor Event that Covered Â?Big PictureÂ? to Operational Strategy

Over 50 executives from hospitality technology vendor companies gathered to cover a range of operational topics crucial to their businesses during two days at the industry’s first Vendor Summit, April 5 and 6, in Lansdowne, Virginia. Competitors and partners alike gained up-to-date facts on the importance of Non-Disclosure Agreements for partners and employees, and attended seminars on security, wireless advances, and the anywhere-communications on the three- to five-year horizon. The event was sponsored by Hospitality Upgrade Magazine, BearingPoint, IBM and HFTP.

“Our industry is based on competition, partnering, and relationships. Last year I was invited to a vendor’s Users Group and could not believe how many other vendors were there,” said Richard Siegel, president and publisher of Atlanta-based Hospitality Upgrade Magazine and owner of parent company Siegel Communications, Inc. “It showed me that a lot of companies in our industry partner with each other. We need each other to be successful; that inspired me to develop the idea of a hospitality Vendor Summit, and BearingPoint, IBM and HFTP supported the concept.” Siegel noted that “relationships were re-energized, or established for the first time” at the Vendor Summit and predicted the event, like its predecessor the CIO Summit, will become an annual occurrence.

Big Picture perspectives discussed during the meeting included:

• Security encryption of copied information; wireless, and Web-enabled applications for anywhere-communication within three to five years;

• Enterprise strategies for scalability. With hotel operators getting bigger through Mergers and Acquisitions, enterprise applications are needed for tying hotels together;

• Interoperability, and cooperation among vendors, is key;

• The importance of guest services, including HDTV content and check-In kiosks.

A CIO panel comprised of Douglas Clark, Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group; Carol Campbell Beggs, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Michael Schubach, Pinehurst Company, and Jules Sieburgh also profiled the perfect vendor and cautioned the audience that partnering ‘may be an option today, but a necessity in the future.’

At the beginning of the Vendor Summit Sally Kelly with BearingPoint outlined anti-trust guidelines including that no collusion would be allowed in the nature of price fixing, etc., during the event. Other speakers discussed off-shoring or outsourcing services and showed which countries are best; help desk and development; how to secure – and live with – outside Venture Capital funding; the Request For Proposal process; and the realization that guest driven technology is easier to sell to owners.

“There was a lot of energy,” Siegel said. “It was very, very lively.”

About Siegel Communications

Siegel Communications, Inc is a media company based in Atlanta, Ga. SCI's main business is publishing the magazine Hospitality Upgrade (formerly the Hotel and Restaurant Technology UPDATE). Rich Siegel is the sole owner of SCI; he was inducted into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame in 2003. SCI also operates the Web site. Siegel also has a 50 percent interest in Hospitality Internet Media LLC, the parent company of, the hotel industry's #1 news Web site, which produces a daily worldwide e-mail of hospitality-related headlines.

About Hospitality Upgrade

Hospitality Upgrade is published for hotel, travel and foodservice professionals including management, independent operators, executives and chains. Each publication educates hospitality professionals on the latest technology software and hardware solutions. Regular coverage focuses on new industry trends and products, in-depth analyses by leading hospitality consultants, insider news and gossip, interviews with top industry executives, and profiles from many of the industries’ solution providers. Specific topics include purchasing and maintenance of the following hospitality systems: point-of-sale, property management, back office, sales and marketing, Internet, in-room, restaurant management, central reservations, guest response, handheld/wireless technologies, executive information and more.

For More Information Contact:

Hospitality Upgrade

Geneva Rinehart

2475 Northwinds Pkwy, Suite 325

Alpharetta, GA 30004

Phone: (678) 802-5300 ext. 302

Fax: (678) 802.5309


Media Contact:

Julie Keyser-Squires

Softscribe Inc.

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Geneva Rinehart