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Session Descriptions - Insight Summit

Keynote Address

Tuesday, September 26

9:15 am - 9:45 am

Governor George Allen will present keynote remarks on innovation in technology and the importance of encouraging early adoption and implementation of the IoT with GPON as the platform. He will discuss the benefits of moving beyond the "now" and embracing the future. Governor Allen will refer to tax, regulations, energy and broadband policies that will positively impact the hospitality industry.


Forming Strategic Pillars

Tuesday, September 26

9:45 am - 10:30 am

As technology is ever-evolving, so are the challenges and opportunities we face. To ensure HTNG is addressing the current and next generation priorities, this session will lead attendees through an interactive brainstorming session to prepare the industry for tomorrow by identifying the strategic pillars our industry must build upon today for success tomorrow.


Building the Digital Ceiling

Tuesday, September 26

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Upgrading hotel infrastructure is one of the industry's greatest challenges. Farukh Aslam is one hotel owner developer who is breaking through, by building Digital Ceilings of single converged IP networks for voice, data, CCTV, and BMS with PoE powered lighting and fiber to the room. Aslam is also exploring digital electricity, which he deployed at a historic building in Ft. Worth, TX to reduce cost, increase speed, power, distance, and efficiency. The pioneering technology leader will highlight how he takes an innovative approach to technology infrastructure, for the sake of improving guest experience.


Insights from HTNG Software Workgroups

Tuesday, September 26

11:45 am - 12:30 pm

  • John Bell, Ajontech LLC
  • Marshall Knauf, Cloudbeds
  • Dmitry Koltunov, Alice
  • Iris Steinmetz, Snapshot GmBH
  • David Velasquez, Links Development Solutions
  • Martin Zam, Impulsify

HTNG workgroups provide members the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience, while enhancing their relationships across the industry. This session will share insights from Workgroup Chairs to bring the audience up-to-speed with each group's ongoing works. Whether you're looking to get involved, or just learn more about HTNG workgroups, this session will be informative and beneficial to anyone in the industry. The speakers will discuss their respective workgroups: Next Generation Distribution Messaging, API Registry, Payments, and Business Analytics Transactional Extract.


Building Blockchain for Hospitality

Tuesday, September 26

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Every couple of years another technology comes along that is hyped as a "game changer" but rarely do they live up to the claims made by the marketing engines. In this session, Pedro Anderson, Co-Founder and COO of Winding Tree, will cover the basics of blockchain, uses outside of payments. We'll also discuss the advantages of decentralization over centralized systems, and touch on one example of blockchain applied to travel.


Insights from HTNG Infrastructure Workgroups

Tuesday, September 26

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

  • Jai Govindani, Red Planet Hotels
  • Chris Headings, Sunray
  • Ken Isakson, Wyndham Hotel Group LLC
  • Neal Medjes, Engineering Plus LLC
  • Eric Sullender, Eleven
  • Dick Wagner, Marriott International

Building on the previous insights from the HTNG Software Workgroups, the HTNG Infrastructure Workgroups will now do the same. These workgroups chairs will provide the audience updates regarding the deployment of new and existing infrastructure technologies within hospitality, as well as best practices and the ongoing evaluation of these technologies. The speakers will discuss their respective workgroups: Hotel Systems Dashboards, Hotel Technology Renovations Project Management, and Centralized Authentication. 


Startups, The Next Generation

Tuesday, September 26

3:45 pm - 4:50 pm

Close out your day by boldly going were no one has gone before, at least not in hospitality. Join Captain Blake and the crew of Starship HTNG for a quick, lively session from some of the industry's most creative, new companies. Each HTNG Startup Member will do their four minute pitch followed by four minutes of audience Q&A.


Hospitality and the Wireless Broadband Alliance

Tuesday, September 26

4:50 pm - 5:00 pm

Wi-Fi demands may be somewhat unique to the hospitality industry, but the technology is not designed or deployed exclusively for our purposes. Therefore it is important for HTNG to partner with an association like the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) that counts some of the Globe's Major Network Operators and Solution Providers as their members. Collaborating with the WBA will ensure our needs are top of mind as the Next Generation HotSpot and CBRS are designed and deployed.


Redefining All-Inclusive: Focus on Hospitality Technology Innovation

Wednesday, September 27

9:00 am - 9:45 am

Larry Birnbaum, Vice President of Hospitality, will provide real-world case examples of how fiber optics are changing the game how VT Group's collaborative team is deciphering the technology challenges with pioneering solutions.


Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is in the Air

Wednesday, September 27

9:45 am - 10:45 am

Given the vast proliferation of devices, applications and operating systems, it is difficult to guarantee guests a specific Wi-Fi level of service. It also tends to be both time-consuming and expensive to identify and fix wireless problems after they are reported. This causes wireless to be on of the ongoing biggest IT challenges for many hospitality environments. However, at the same time, wireless creates one of the largest opportunities for hotels and venues. With new technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the wireless infrastructure is now a strategic medium for engaging with guests. In this session, Bob Friday, CTO and Co-Founder of Mist, will discuss how to use the latest wireless, Cloud, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to address the current wireless trends in hospitality. 


The Role of Machine Learning in Developing AI-based Automation

Wednesday, September 27

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

When people talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), they use these terms interchangeably. ML is one approach to achieve weak-AI, and it is very useful when developing applications, specifically AI-based automation. The current success of intelligent personal assistants may lead to developing applications in AI-based automation; however, deep learning and a ML approach is very much needed to understand the current behavior of hospitality guests and to influence their future decisions. This interactive session will offer key insights from Dr. Aluri's research about the role of ML in developing AI-based automation.


Wireless Power & Hospitality

Wednesday, September 27

1:30 pm - 2:10 pm

New applications including medium power and kitchen are being introduced to expand the market for wireless charging in hospitality. The Wireless Power Consortium will give an overview on the role they play in wireless charging and deliver the participants industry growth statistics, an adoption curve (in relation to other standards) as well as consumer awareness and adoption trends. The audience will also learn where consumers want wireless charging, where hotels fit, what usage data has been used in hospitality and specific hospitality installations/examples.


IoT for Hospitality

Wednesday, September 27

2:10 pm - 2:40 pm

This presentation will showcase what this emerging concept means for the hospitality industry. This will include why IoT is so important, how it should be implemented, its requirements, and the costs and benefits associated for each role in the industry.

With privacy, security, cost and infrastructure concerns in mind, co-chairs Ted Harrington and Florian Gallini will go over many of the use-cases all vendors and hoteliers need to keep in mind to enter this space successfully.


IoT: Adopt the Good, Prevent the Bad

Wednesday, September 27

2:40 pm - 3:40 pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) drives adoption to the hotel industry with cost savings, revenue generation and improved experience. Along with these possibilities, the security implications for each need to be realized and worked on being prevented as well. Rob Shein will walk the audience through a simulated IoT-enabled property to illustrate how an environment is seen by a malicious individual. Shein will demonstrate how the simplest systems can be leveraged to perform an attack and then deliver the best security practices to use to protect the environment.