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2016 European Conference Sessions Descriptions



A CRM-Centric Approach to Digital Strategy 

  Bryan Steele, Jireh-Tek Limited

This session will review the digital guest journey and share some of the learnings from HTNG's Insight Summit held in Amsterdam earlier in the year. We will look at the implications for a hotelier's applications and data architecture and consider whether there is a need to move from a traditional hotel systems landscape to a CRM-centric approach. This session will also review the work of HTNG's CRM Workgroup, for which Bryan is co-chair, and why it was established following the Insight Summit. 



Dark Patterns: User Interfaces Designed to Trick People 

  Dr. Harry Brignull, Clearleft Ltd

In recent years, online businesses have realised they can combine their understanding of human psychology with user interface design in order to come up with new ways to influence customer behaviour. This talk explores the concept of “Dark Patterns”, where persuasion crosses the line into trickery and manipulation. 



Delighting Your Guests & Your Marketing Team Through Guest Device Auto-Authentication

   Dayna Kully, 5thGenWireless (Moderator)

   Charlotta Brändström, Aptilo Networks

   Christopher Spencer, GlobalReach Technology

   Eric Sullender, Eleven

   Dick Wagner, Marriott International

When you landed in Barcelona, your phone connected to the cellular network on its own; no login was required. Why doesn’t this happen with Wi-Fi in the guestroom? HTNG members are starting to explore how this can change, and this panel of experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities to create secure, more frictionless guest Wi-Fi and a richer loyalty experience.



Demystifying the Digital Marketplace 

  Cindy Estis Green, Kalibri Labs

Third party intermediaries are prominent competitors in the hotel digital market. New technology-driven models are coming from corporate rate shoppers like TripBam to hybrid social/search legacy sites like TripAdvisor and Google Hotel Finder, to large players in the sharing economy like AirBnB. During this period of dynamic change, the hospitality industry actively seeks techniques to manage distribution costs and methods to improve hotel profit. Cindy Estis Green, co-author of Demystifying the Digital Marketplace, discusses how the industry is tackling these critical issues and the implications for hotels as the digital market evolves. 



The Future of Hotel Meeting Space Technology 

  Ram Parimi, Social Tables

Learn about global trends and predictions for travel, meeting spaces and the hospitality industry and how tech impacts them all. Discover how properties and planners alike are experiencing a paradigm shift, from customization to the new tech renaissance and what you can do to make sure you're ready when these trends do take shape. 



The Future of Travel and Digital 

  Miquel Moyà Porcel, Google

Technology is changing the travel experience. This session will explore the new alternatives consumerhave when they travel and the changing ways they interact with their environment while traveling. Miquel Moyà Porcel, Google Sector Lead for Travel and Retail, will also explore how personal assistants can change and enhance the travel journey – from awareness to consideration, purchase, experience, and sharing. 



Hotel Hackers – The Uninvited Guest 

   David Holman, Trustwave

Every day hotels open their doors to their guests, inviting them in to enjoy a comfortable, luxurious environment and a memorable guest journey. But what about the guests you don't see? Right now a complex network of cybercriminals are targeting hotels, seeking to enter your environment to obtain your sensitive data and that of your guests. Why? Because it’s just so easy. In this presentation, Trustwave will show you some examples to demonstrate just why hotels are such a prime target for hackers and what you can do about it. 



Hotel Systems Dashboards 

  Dick Wagner, Marriott International

Dozens of software and infrastructure systems, all interconnected, define the complicated architecture of a modern hotel. While hotel IT professionals keep track of all of these systems, hotel business and operational staff need summarized, real-time information to understand these systems, the impact of outages, and trending information to plan investments for the future. 



How to Drive Game-Changing Innovation in an Age of Perpetual Change 

  Jonathan MacDonald, Thought Expansion Network (TEN)

It is safe to say that all IT professional struggle with the pace of change. Business leaders want IT to move faster than budgets and legacy systems allow, while users struggle with the rapid change forced on them by IT. Although this increases risk, it also brings about opportunity. Jonathan MacDonald, international author, speaker, and consultant, will help you sort through the noise and focus on what really matters as rapid, disruptive change invades hospitality. 



Industry Consolidation: What Does it Mean for Me? 

  Larry Hall, Trillium Services Group, LLC (Moderator)

  Chécar Durán, Amadeus IT Group

  Vanguelis Panayotis, MKG Group
  Jan Tissera, TravelClick

  Mike Wrigley, BOSS IT Consulting

A wave of mergers & acquisitions has descended upon the global hotel industry. Hotel companies continue to merge and technology providers combine forces, raise money, and consolidate at an ever-accelerating pace. What does this mean to innovation, agility, valuations, product price points, service levels, collaboration, operations, and the brands? Join a highly distinguished and experienced panel of investment professionals, travel analysts, operators, entrepreneurs, and innovators to explore these topics and questions in a high-energy, engaging discussion. 



Infrastructure and Software Resource Team

  John Bell, Ajontech LLC

  Dayna Kully, 5thGenWireless

  Albert Maes, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

  Marcos Pomar, Meliá Hotels International
  Bryan Steele, Jireh-Tek Limited
  Dick Wagner, Marriott International

HTNG’s resource teams are the birthplace of many workgroups, and the place to discuss and evaluate new technologies, trends, and cutting edge research. Join this session to learn more about HTNG’s many efforts, and how companies are using HTNG standards, best practices, and documentation to advance their business goals. This is your opportunity to set direction and talk about the future of hotel technology – don’t miss out. 



Managing Technology During Mergers & Acquisitions 

  Micah Friedman, Cognizant (Moderator)
  Laurent Idrac, AccorHotels

  Luis Segredo, Amadeus Hospitality
  John Tattersfield, Marriott International

Our industry is experiencing an unprecedented pace of consolidation, both with hotel companies and technology providers. When these deals are being negotiated, managing the technology transition is usually not the first consideration. But it will be for you. HTNG Vendor Advisory Council Co-Chair Micah Friedman moderates a panel of battle-worn executives who have been to the consolidation front and survived the experience. 



The Payment Landscape in Hospitality 

  John Bell, Ajontech LLC

There are no technology shortages when it comes to changing the way we think about payment. New technology offers concepts such as using phones or bits to bring payments into the mainstream. Having multiple, flexible ways for guests to pay is a good thing, but it should not come at the cost of convenience, higher fees, or security.



PII – Protecting Information of the Guest and Employee 

  John Bell, Ajontech LLC

Hotels collect an abundance of sensitive information regarding reservation, loyalty and government data. This information includes customer home and email addresses, credit/debit car numbers, passports, medical data and more. In addition, hotels like other businesses, hold highly sensitive information about employees, interns and job applicants. This data is often kept over many years and dispersed across multiple systems and locations. This session will explore the steps for safely accessing, transmitting and disposing of this highly sensitive, personal information. 



Turning Points in Modern Hotel Infrastructure 

   Dick Wagner, Marriott International (Moderator)

   Stéphane Bourgeois, Belden

   Greg Dawes, VT Group

   Albert Maes, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Copper, edge and core switching, and the router have all been building blocks to hotel infrastructure for years. But, as more services move to the cloud and costs of copper continue to rise, there are many reasons to consider next generation infrastructure. New technologies, including fiber optics and software-defined networking can merge all guest and staff services to the same core infrastructure. Are we at the turning point? 



Wi-Fi & Cellular Convergence: Fait Accompli?

  Dayna Kully, 5thGenWireless (Moderator)

  Andrea Coppini, Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

  Marjorie Leonidas, GlobalReach Technology
  Christian Wagner, Kathrein Werke KG

Wi-Fi and cellular networks are converging, and with a soon-to-be shared spectrum, both services require significant infrastructure in order to support a seamless guest experience. This panel will explore the future in cellular and Wi-Fi, the state of converged services, and help hoteliers plan their investments. 



Will Robots Become Commonplace in Hotels?

  Yves Lacheret, AccorHotels (Moderator)

  Steve Cousins, Savioke

  Renaud Didier, Awabot
  Micah Green, Maidbot
  Dr. Emanuele Rossetti, Makr Shakr

Robots are widely used by manufacturers, police forces and space agencies.  They have even found their way into homes as vacuum cleaners and cat toys.  But is there a place for robots in hotels?  This session's panelists believe so and will demonstrate available robots in use today.