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Press Releases: Press Releases

Leading Hotel Technology Event Announces Stellar List of Speakers for March Event

Tuesday, February 23, 2010  

CHICAGO (February 23, 2010) - Hospitality technology leaders will soon receive the benefit of a very powerful collection of speakers at Hotel Technology Next Generation's (HTNG) 6th annual North American meeting. The final session and speaker list for its upcoming Members' Meeting in Orlando Florida boasts internationally recognized authors, leading hospitality technologists, and other industry experts that will engage and empower every attendee with a wealth of new understanding while attendees will also benefit from unparalleled opportunities to develop industry partnerships.

Some of the key sessions and speakers on the agenda include:

  • Y-Size Your Business: Making Gen Y a Strategic Advantage as Employees and Customers - Jason Ryan Dorsey is a bestselling author, acclaimed speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. Often referred to as the "Gen Y Guy," he has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, NBC's Today Show, ABC's The View, NPR's On Point, and in The Wall Street Journal and Fortune Magazine. His presentations have impacted diverse audiences across the United States and across the globe. Jason has extensively researched the almost 80 million strong, 18-32 year old demographic that is the powerful and unique Generation Y. Along with a new definition of "business casual," and a need for instant gratification that makes text messaging outdated, Gen Y will be a growing challenge or a competitive advantage depending entirely on how business leaders respond. Jason will go "behind-the-scenes" to explain Gen Y's workplace and consumer mindset.
  • Evidence-Based IT and 5 Years of Data Breach Investigations - An information security pioneer, Dr. Peter Tippett has led the computer security industry for more than 20 years, initially as a vendor of security products and, over the past 16 years, as a key strategist. He is widely credited with creating the first commercial anti-virus product, which later became Norton Antivirus. Dr. Tippett, who is now VP of Technology & Innovation for Verizon Business, will show how economics, diminishing-returns and risk-based models can be used to significantly improve IT decision-making. Tippett will use actuarial data from numerous Verizon studies including the six year data sets from Verizon's ongoing Data Breach Investigations Report series. This session will be an in-depth discussion of critical trends in IT leadership, decision making, compliance and security and how they affect organizations today.
  • Clouds Are Looming: Are You Ready? - Bill Peer, Vice President and Chief Enterprise Architect at Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), will identify what vendors must think about if their technology is going to exist in the future hotel landscape. In his usual irreverent manner, using elements of IHG's Cloud Computing and Virtualization strategy, Bill will highlight the minimums that technology providers must achieve to be a part of IHG's roadmap and identify important considerations vendors must make now. As author of IHG's 1, 3, and 5 year strategic technology roadmaps, he'll also offer suggestions to companies that want to be a part of this inevitable evolution of hospitality technology.
  • Virtually There - Nick Price, CIO/CTO, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, will speak on the business drivers behind his company's strategy to virtualize all applications, including those from third parties. At Mandarin Oriental, Nick is responsible for a broad range of digital, or soon-to-be digital technologies and services, including traditional hotel IT, enterprise networks and infrastructure, Internet presence, telephony, networks, in-room technologies, and audio visual systems. Based on lab testing, and with the eye of the hotel technologist, Nick will highlight measurable benefits of virtualization to IT organizations and especially to hotels, and discuss some of the fears and challenges faced by vendors considering virtualization.
  • Legal Eagles of Technology - In this session we will seek to demystify some of the many issues involved in developing contracts for IT products and services and the issues and risks that need to be addressed by hotels buying technology, and by vendors selling them. This lively session, moderated by industry veteran Robert Bennett, will provide perspective from both sides that can lead to more successful contracts and long-term buyer-supplier relationships. Panelists will include John Krieger representing the vendor perspective; Krieger is a partner with Lewis & Roca's Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. Representing the buyer perspective will be Harvey Kellman, Vice President and Senior Council, Information Resources & eBusiness at Marriott International.
  • Social Media - When guests consider a property, a friend's recommendation is more convincing than any travel agent proposal and user generated content is better than brochures. Customer reviews can be more effective than advertising, but all of these mean that hoteliers are no longer in control of the reputation of their service. The travel industry has to deal with Social Media, and deploy consistent strategies in marketing and technologyLéon Benjamin, Social media and web 2.0 practitioner and author of Winning by Sharing, will apply his vast knowledge of social media to help hospitality strengthen its approach in this session that we've brought over from our European meeting where is was a strong attendee favorite.
  • Is it Time to Pick a Fight with your GUI? - Geoff Cairns, Worldwide Managing Director for Hospitality at Microsoft, will discuss trends of younger, more technology dependent generations, and how their expectations for interacting with their devices are changing. With the commercialization of the GUI about 25 years ago, the mouse, touchpad, and trackball joined the keyboard as primary interface devices. How much longer will it be before the GUI is dethroned in favor of easier, more intuitive interfaces which use natural interactions like speech, gestures, object recognition and intent? Many of these control techniques exist today, but how long will it be until they become a part of everyday devices and how will these controls change operations with smaller form factors? Attendees will learn to identify architectures and patterns to help make decisions today that will be relevant tomorrow.

Registration is still open for Hotel technology professionals who are interested in learning more about these topics as well as the work of the nearly 120 industry volunteers who are collaboratively redefining systems interoperability for hospitality. The meeting starts the evening of March 1 and continues through March 3 and will also feature the awarding of the first ever Most Innovative Hospitality Technology Award. For more information visit the North American Members' Meeting web site

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About Hotel Technology Next Generation

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts. HTNG's members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards. Where necessary, it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others. Currently, more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including most of the world's leading hotel companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants. HTNG's Board of Directors alone represents more than 2.3 million guest rooms - with the total rooms impacted by all of HTNG's hotelier members surpasses 4.3 millions rooms worldwide. Workgroup proceedings, drafts, and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. Specifications are released to the public domain as they are ratified by the workgroup. For more information, visit