Press Releases: Press Releases

Hotel Technology Event to Feature Top Speakers and Issues

Tuesday, February 8, 2011  

CHICAGO (February 8, 2011) - Hundreds of the hospitality industry's top technology executives will gather for a week of meetings designed to stimulate thought leadership, collaboration on new technology solutions, and networking. Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a trade association dedicated to fostering the development of better technology for hospitality, is holding its seventh annual North American Members' Meeting in San Diego, and numerous more focused meetings, the week of February 28 through March 4.

As an organization run by hotel CIOs for the benefit of hotels, HTNG understands the issues that face hotel IT executives. This year's planned agenda provides thought leadership presentations and panel sessions on important hospitality technology issues-future trends, hotel data security, social media/networking, sustainability, designing secure software, systems integration, and cloud computing. There will also be sessions on new HTNG developments that can be deployed by hotels and vendors and an always-popular hotel CIO panel.

HTNG's members' meetings are for members only, but in order to help hoteliers learn more about how this dynamic organization can help them, HTNG is making a special offer this year for hoteliers who are not members and who have never attended this event before. For just the cost of an individual one-year membership ($325), they can get a free registration for the annual meeting, and can also attend any forum and workgroup meetings. Vendors who are not yet HTNG members but who wish to attend can do so at a discount by joining HTNG and enjoying early-bird registration rates and exhibit space incentives, which have been extended exclusively for new members.

A few of the sessions are yet to be announced, but those confirmed to date include:

  •  Twenty Years of Hotel Technology: A Look Back to the Future - The hotel technology landscape has changed significantly since visionary leader Nick Price joined the industry as CIO/CTO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in 2000. Price, who was last year's inductee into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, will discuss the nature of industry change and innovation over the past decade. Turning to the next decade, he will offer his insights and predictions for how the last ten years in our industry will combine with underlying technology trends to shape the future of technology in hotels over the next ten years.
  •  CIO Panel - What are the hottest topics on the mind of hotel CIOs in 2011? From data security to bandwidth to distribution to guest-room systems, this is the session for you to find out. The panel will be moderated by Mark Hoare, Principal for The Prism Partnership, and will include Ken Barnes, VP of Information Technology, White Lodging; Mike Blake, CIO, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Floor Bleeker, VP of Information Technology, Jumeirah Group; Anand Rao, CIO, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts; and Todd Thompson, Chief Information Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
  •  How Do I Secure My Software? - With PCI and data privacy foremost on the minds of CIOs, it is imperative to that the software they are building or buying is secure. This session, led by one of the world's leading consultants and authors on software security, Gary McGraw, CTO of Cigital, Inc., will help attendees understand how to create and procure secure software-based on data collected about the practices of some of the largest and most successful companies in the world. He will talk about an open and freely licensable effort called BSIMM (Building Security In Maturity Model), which analyzes real-world data from thirty leading software security initiatives. BSIMM can help you determine how your organization compares to other real-world software security initiatives and what steps can be taken to make your approach more effective.
  •  Creating the IT-Free Hotel - This session will discuss La Quinta's initiative to move virtually all property-based systems above property, using cloud, SaaS and ASP models. The session will be presented by one of the many hotel CIO speakers at the event, Vivek Shaiva, CIO, La Quinta Inns & Suites.
  •  Messaging In the Cloud - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is implementing a replacement for its corporate messaging platform with a cloud-based solution based on Microsoft's Office 365 suite. In addition to cost savings gained while providing email to all employees, Hyatt will gain reliability, agility, and eliminate the cost and support burden of software upgrades and mail servers. Hyatt CIO Mike Blake and Trevor Strawhecker from Microsoft will co-present about the Microsoft cloud solution; how it suited the Hyatt environment; and the opportunities uncovered and lessons learned through the implementation process.
  •  The Changing Face of Hotel Credit Card Breaches - It's no secret that hotels have been a prime target of professional credit card thieves in recent years. But as hotels have beefed up their security efforts, so too have the thieves evolved their methods to beat them. Three of the top experts in the field, with deep forensic data on hundreds of hotel breaches, will discuss the latest data, the trends they are seeing in breaches generally and in hotels specifically, the anatomy of breaches, and how hotels can protect their data - and their reputation. They will also address the difficult issue of enforcing compliance through franchise networks. Speakers for this session include Jennifer Fischer, Director, Payment System Risk & Compliance, Visa USA; Colin Sheppard, Director of Incident Response, Trustwave; and Steve Surdu, VP of Professional Services, Mandiant.
  •  The Sustainable Hotel: Why and How - Every major hotel company has recognized the need for a sustainability program, and hotels that have adopted sustainability programs are recognizing cost savings, revenue benefits, and image improvements that result from socially responsible behavior. Technology is a key enabler for the majority of sustainability programs. Chuck Marratt, VP Technology for MTM Luxury Lodging, will explore how technology can be applied to achieve business benefits through sustainability. It will also discuss HTNG's ongoing role in fostering the development of cost-effective, sustainable technologies - and in making them work. This session is still evolving and additional speaker(s) may be added.
  •  Case Studies of HTNG Implementations - With a number of HTNG specifications now reaching full maturity and widespread adoption, hotel companies are now building hotels with more and more HTNG-designed capabilities built in. What have the challenges been, and what are the benefits to the hotels and their preferred vendors? This session will highlight some implementations with perspectives from both hoteliers and vendors. The session will be led by Jim Peterson, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Architecture for Marriott International, and will include participation from a number of vendors who have participated in high-profile projects.

The event will be held at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, CA. The main meeting starts Tuesday evening, March 1 with a welcome reception for all attendees, and continues through Thursday with general sessions. For details, review this list of speakers and the general session agenda on HTNG's website.

On Monday and Tuesday, HTNG's Infrastructure and Device Forum, its Software Forum, and about ten separate working groups, will hold face-to-face meetings to further their collaborative efforts on topics as diverse as entertainment system content, back office system integration, cellular coverage, network infrastructure, telephony, distribution, guest device connectivity, and other topics.

The second awarding of the Innovation Award will be announced on Thursday afternoon. Eighteen contenders are vying for the title this year, to be voted on by HTNG's hotelier and consultant members. A fun golf outing will wrap up the week on Friday morning.