Articles

I have written many articles on hotel technology over the last twelve years, and have either written or contributed to the publications shown below.

Publications

I have written three booklets, one as an Introduction to Hotel Systems, one on the issues surrounding Systems Security and one as an Introduction to F&B Systems. These are published by the AH&LA Technology Committee as three in a series of introductory primers on hospitality technology. Copies can be ordered from the AH&LA’s Educational Institute (tel: 202-289-3100); alternatively, they may be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format directly from the AH&LA-EI Web site. I have also contributed chapters on Hotel Technology to the Third, Fourth and Fifth Editions of “Hotel Investments: Issues & Perspectives”, published by the AH&LA Educational Institute.

Periodicals

The articles below appeared over the last several years in the referenced issues of Hospitality Upgrade magazine (www.hospitalityupgrade.com) and its predecessors. Earlier articles are listed under the Article Archives button to the left. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss any issues associated with any of these, or would like reprints.

The CIO as GatekeeperFall 2014

In addition to keeping the systems running, current and safe, and to introducing new technology to help the operation, CIOs now have a new role – Gatekeeper. Given the consequences of inadequate data security,both financial and legal, the CIO’s new role may actually help her keep things running smoothly.

Tech Experts’ Round TableSummer 2014

Three consultants in hospitality technology – Jon Inge, John Burns and Jeremy Rock – discuss the state of technology in hotels and highlight trends to keep an eye on. What’s being used well? What are hotels often missing? What do we do about security and privacy?

The ‘Puter Path – Still PerilousSummer 2014

In a follow-up to his article on the perils and pitfalls surrounding computer system selection and implementation, Jon reviews what has changed over the last 14 years – and what hasn’t.

Why are Hotels so Reluctant to Adopt Innovative Technology?Spring 2014

It’s a truism that hotels don’t like to replace systems until smoke starts coming out of them, but that habit isn’t restricted to the hospitality industry. Nevertheless, the significant installed base of obsolete systems that don’t communicate very well with each other is a real handicap to hotel operating efficiency and good guest service. How can we overcome this?

Am I Making Myself Clear?Fall 2013

Having a clear, truly user-focused approach to both screen design and functionality is essential for any new software program for it to stand out from the crowd and to be accepted enthusiastically by its users. But how about vendor documents such as bids and proposals?  How does a document’s “user interface” impact it’s value?

How Much PMS Do You Need?Summer 2013

Several vendors are developing new PMSs to replace their existing, and very comprehensive, products. At the same time, other systems that form part of a hotel’s core set, such as CRS and CMS, are increasing in functionality and interoperability. Can a simpler PMS work in conjunction with these to be a viable replacement for an older, fully-integrated product?

Failure to CommunicateSpring 2013

Most properties like to offer guests some form of self-service, both during booking to make sure their profile information is current, and during their stay to encourage them to book other activities or services they’d like to use. But what happens when the self-service apps presented to the guest are confusing, or the message doesn’t get through to the hotel staff?

Shifting SandsFall 2012

Technology developments are coming in a steady stream, to keep up both with the consumerization of IT and with increasingly dynamic shifts in marketing and management priorities. This makes long-term planning for technology very difficult, but capital funds must nevertheless be allocated on a regular basis even if their specific allocation is hard to define in advance. What factors lead to this volatility?

Best-of-Breed or Fully-Integrated?Summer 2012

This question is becoming increasingly important with the introduction of several completely integrated, end-to-end hospitality enterprise systems. However, the real world often forces compromises, and three other questions may actually be more important when selecting systems.

Do IT Now – Why Now is a Good Time to Invest in Your IT ToolsFall 2011

Actually, you aren’t investing in IT; what you must do is invest in ways to generate new sales, reduce costs and mitigate risk. These will probably require IT tools to generate effective results, and this article describes the many ways you can achieve good ROIs from their use.

Winds of Change – Guest Management Systems Re-Focus on UsabilitySummer 2011

Guest Management Systems (formerly known as property management systems) have developed remarkably complex functionality, but too often that’s made them hard to use and difficult to enhance quickly without introducing errors. A new generation of systems is starting from a clean slate to focus on usability, speed of development and the cloud; how are they coming along?

Data Surfing For Fun and Profit – Revenue Management Joins Analytics with MarketingSpring 2011

Revenue management has become so complex that faster and more powerful tools are essential, but it must now also have a much stronger marketing focus. What tools are available to help hotels combine these functions successfully?

Coming Soon to a Phone Near You – Mobile Technology in HospitalityFall 2010

It’s all about mobile these days, and the number of apps targeted at travelers and at hoteliers is soaring. Where are they finding the most use, and what are the implications for hotels?

Hospitality Management Systems Head for the CloudsSummer 2010

Hospitality management systems have expanded their capabilities far beyond their property-focused roots, and the combination of cloud architecture and on-demand data links between systems is changing the way we select and use them. What’s this all about, and what are it’s implications?

Guestroom Technology Balancing ActSpring 2010

Guests have high expectations of guestroom services, wanting both great functionality and intuitive ease of use, preferably at no charge. Both the issues and the technology are complex; how can hotels keep guests satisfied and still stay within budget?

Sell! Sell! Sell!Fall 2009

Survival today depends more on marketing than ever before, but when everyone’s trying to do that what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Two approaches are essential to success, and it’s no surprise that they both require technology.

Getting It Together – Technology TrendsSummer 2009

There’s nothing more important these days than getting your systems to work together as seamlessly as possible and making them available to mobile users. Here’s a look at the technology trends that are helping vendors and hotels to get their act together and take it on the road.

Riders on the StormSpring 2009

To survive the current economic challenges and position ourselves well for the recovery we need to focus on improving sales, trimming costs and generally making every part of our operations as efficient as possible. Here’s a comprehensive look at how technology can help.

Following the Yellow Brick RoadFall 2008

New system selection and implementation is a complex, multi-departmental process, and finding a smooth, well-signposted way through often seems impossible. Unexpected companions and new requirements can easily divert you from the right path. What’s the secret to getting to Oz? (11 MB)

Customer Relationship ManagementSummer 2008

Loyalty is a fickle concept when many travelers belong to several frequent guest programs and expect good service wherever they stay. What tools are hotels using to contact guests before and after their stay without being intrusive, and to ensure that their preferences are met and their stay is memorably good? (2.8 MB)

Business IntelligenceSpring 2008

Even the simplest property now generates far more data about its guests and operations than can be quickly grasped by managers. Complex resorts and multi-property, multi-brand chains have exponentially greater challenges in analyzing their operations and spotting key trends. What tools are available to help them, and how do they ensure that the data they’re working with is real? (7.9 MB)

Resort SystemsFall 2007

The tantalizing search for the all-encompassing resort system has been going on for many years. The vendors are getting closer, but resorts continue to expand their goals as operations become ever more complex. Will we ever reach Shangri-La? (1.1 MB)

Future TechnologySummer 2007

The recent gathering of vendor company CEOs at the Vendor Summit provided a unique opportunity to talk about the future of hospitality technology. What better source of information and ideas than the people who are building the future? This article reports on the trends being both followed and created by the leaders of the industry. (324 K)

Casino Systems – Spring 2007

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries around. Are you feeling lucky? Casinos put a great deal of effort into making you just lucky enough to keep coming back. Here’s a look at how they use technology to do that – and much more. (3.6 MB)

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