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HTNG Announces Details and Speakers for European Hotel Technology Events

Tuesday, October 5, 2010  

CHICAGO (October 5, 2010) – Participants attending the annual European conference of the nonprofit trade association Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) will learn from top industry experts about a wide range of technology advances in hospitality. The association plans meetings of its member base to bring them together to collaborate, learn, network and determine how to capitalize on the latest advances in hospitality technology to improve their operations—whether as hoteliers or technology providers.

As an association whose direction is determined by a board that consists of many of the world’s leading hotel company CIOs, HTNG meeting content is truly the top-of-mind issues for hotel technologists. Key topics on the agenda planned for this year’s event in Berlin include: hotel data security, virtualisation, sustainability, CRM, cloud computing, and new services available through application programming interfaces (APIs). Presenters include a large number of hotel technologists who are sharing from their own experiences as well as leading industry experts. Hoteliers and technology provides alike will see practical examples of how to efficiently develop and deploy a variety of hospitality technologies.

Immediately preceding this year’s event will be the second annual Hotel IT Directors’ Roundtable. This exclusive collaborative event for senior level hotel technology leaders is available at no charge to these technologists, who together to share experiences and perspective on the greatest challenges facing their hotel IT teams. The Hotel IT Directors’ Roundtable convenes on Monday afternoon, 25 October, just prior to the HTNG Members’ Meeting, which runs from Monday evening through 27 October.

The agenda for the main Members’ Meeting includes sessions from some of the industry’s leading technology names from the hotel community, technology vendor community, and industry associations. These distinguished experts and some of their unique sessions include:

  •  Thinking Outside the Hotel Box, Anna Pollock, CEO of DestiCorp & Leon Benjamin, social media expert and author of Winning by Sharing At a time when all marketing is becoming social, when “push” is being replaced  by “pull” and customers’ trust is at an all time low, hospitality suppliers must find creative modes of differentiation. By acting as the vital coordinating hubs in what is, in fact, a complex, networked ecosystem of services, hotels can now offer a broader scope and level of care that builds loyalty and peer to peer referrals.
  • Virtualisation in a Small Hotel Company, Mark Rupert Read, IT Director, Firmdale Hotels Firmdale Hotels used virtualisation technology initially to reduce costs from suppliers for costly engineering days when migrating existing applications on to new servers. It then used the same technology to reduce physical hardware, energy costs, heat/noise generation in the hotels' back offices, and return much need space back to the hotel operation.
  • Why Cloud Computing in the Hotel and Services Industries, Jesper Stormholt, Territory Manager, Google Enterprpise The IT industry is in the progress of changing. The 25 year old Client-Server IT architecture is undergoing transformation due to pressures from the business to get more money out of every IT-dollar spent. Key requests are better: Availability, Performance, Mobility, End-user Experience, Accessibility and Prices. Utilizing the capabilities of the Public Cloud Computing vendors like Google, these needs are being addressed. This session will review why cloud computing is important to the hotel business, explain some examples of it being utilized today, and also review the challenges it raises.
  •  Sustainability Case Study: The Implementation and Management of NH Hoteles Sustainability Plan in Germany, Andreas Ecker, Environment & Engineering Manager, NH Hoteles Andreas Ecker's presentation will address the plan to save at least 20% of energy consumption. He will address which operational and technical measures he enforced to gain those objectives from a very different initial position for almost 60 hotels. He will also discuss how to deal with different types and generations of technical installations. His presentation will address the following questions: What are the demands on controls, building management, and energy management? How do you ensure the right investments and what do future-proof investments look like? The session shows practical experiences with innovative technical solutions, wireless, and open communication environments such as EnOcean, Bac-Net, and LON.
  •  A Changing European Hospitality Landscape: Customer Acquisition & Implications on Technology, Anton Hell, Managing Director, hit-CONSULT GmbH and Daniel Krisch, Director Client Services, h2c consulting   Using multiple distribution channels, customer relationship management (CRM) is a key factor for value creation. Social media goes hand-in-hand with CRM and increases customer awareness and interaction. How can hotel chains compete in a fragmented and mature market like Europe where 3rd party channels are predominantly using state-of-the-art technology? This session will explore some of those trends and discuss the implications for the technology roadmap for hotels who build or buy these systems, and for vendors who provide them.
  • Open APIs Enabling Application Innovation, Richard Pulliam, Head of Enterprise Business Development, Application Enablement, Alcatel-Lucent This talk will present the “art of the possible” through open innovation and application enablement from a convergence of the network with industry APIs. It will cover the trends of the “always on” and mobile application space and open API trends in different industries, which are now moving into the travel and hospitality industry. Scenarios discussed will include this convergence enabling everything from location-based services and communication, content delivery from living room to hotel, “connected traveler” apps and concierge services, mobile wallets and carrier billing, integration of social networking/media and much more.
  • Data Security. The final speaker set is still being finalised, but this session will focus on the critical issue of credit card security. Hotels have become one of the most attractive targets to professional credit card thieves. This session will include important perspectives of credit card companies, hotel companies, and forensic experts.
  • Cloud Computing and Virtualisation, Jerome Destors, Director Hotel IT, Amadeus Group S.A. These days, we hear a lot about “cloud computing”, but what exactly is it? Amadeus will bring its perspective, providing insight about what cloud computing means, how current implementations are set and the challenges faced. Good and bad recipes will be shared as food for thought. Amadeus will then share its vision for the next steps in virtualisation.

The association’s Executive Vice President & CEO, Douglas Rice, will also provide an update on the organisation’s most recent accomplishments in meeting the association’s purpose and share plans about the future direction of the association. In addition to all of these sessions, attendees will also receive real-life implementation examples demonstrating the many benefits of deploying standardized technologies across a wide range of hospitality systems already in place. Updates from HTNG’s workgroups will cover newly released specifications as well as highlight future workgroup goals, demonstrating their applicability for event attendees of all types.

In all, the meeting will provide hotel technology experts with leading-edge knowledge on technology best practices, improving the guest experience through faster and more robust deployment of technology, and a better understanding of gains to be made by upcoming enhancements in hospitality technology. For more details about the meeting, specifics on the sessions, the Hotel IT Director Roundtable, or registration for either event, visit the European Members' Meeting page.