HFTP Connect – Hospitality Blog

Archive for Category - Technology

E-cigarettes: Is it time for hoteliers to butt in or butt out?

Written by: Frank Wolfe, CAE

Editors Note: Since the publication of this article, movement to regulate e-cigarettes by the FDA has progressed. On the local government level and in other countries e-cigarettes have been banned in public places or banned all together. Recently, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as medical devices.

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) boasted the largest show floor in its history featuring more than 3,200 exhibitors. It was a sight to see, with a lot of improvements on things we have been hearing about in the industry for quite a while.

One trend that really stood out to me was the proliferation of e-cigarette vendors and users. The growth in sales of the e-cigarette will likely make it a habit that’s here to stay. Many large tobacco companies seem to think so, including R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Altria (think Marlboro).

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New Momentum for CHTP

Written by: Mick Nissen, CHAE, CHTP


Over the past few years, the Certification Advisory Council (CAC) and the HFTP Board of Directors have been discussing the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) Program. The question of how do we keep a technology certification relevant, is obviously one of the biggest questions we are faced with every time we meet.

As we all know, technology is evolving rapidly these days. The evolution and innovation of technology has also impacted the hospitality industry as well as the CHTP certification program. HFTP was aware that the CHTP exam was dated in some of the sub-section content areas that were tested on the exam. The study materials reflected this information as well. The perception of the CHTP program, from the industry’s point of view, is simply that the exam has some issues that needed to be addressed. HFTP is on a mission to fix these issues and the industry’s perception of the certification program as a whole. At our best efforts, HFTP has removed dated and subjective questions that were on the current CHTP exam.

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Passwords, it’s as easy as 123

Written by: Bob Russo


Are you still using the default password that came with your point of sale (POS) or payment system? Or, using 12345 or password1? If so, you need to change it right away to help protect card holder data. Passwords are one of the easiest ways for criminals to sneak in to access information if not updated from the default or, if passwords are too simple, it can also make it easy for data thieves to break in. And we all know the low hanging fruit always gets tapped first. Read More »

HFTP Remembers Joyce Christmas

Written by: By Frank Wolfe

Last week on October 7, valuable, long-time HFTP member Joyce Christmas passed away. Joyce was instrumental to IAHA’s (now HFTP) expansion into hospitality technology. Joyce was vice president of Chervenak, Keane and Co. a hospitality technology consulting firm based in New York City.

“Joyce Christmas was a longtime friend of mine and HFTP (IAHA),” said Frank Santos, CHA, CHAE, HFTP Global Past President and CFO for Rosen Hotels & Resorts. “Joyce was instrumental in getting HFTP’s first computer system donated and worked countless hours on the educational program for HITEC. Joyce will be missed by many people in the hospitality industry.”

In 2007, Joyce was recognized with the HFTP Hospitality Technology Award of Merit for her three decades of coverage and promotion of hospitality technology via the industry newsletter, The CKC Report. Awarded every five years, recipients are selected by members of HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame as individuals who have made a significant innovation or breakthrough that established a path for others in hospitality technology. Read More »

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Your Education

Written by: Steven Stout, CAE

One of the many benefits offered as part of being an HFTP member is access to the ProLinks Webinar Archives. Here members can select from a long list of hot topics offering over 75 hours of education.

Not able to join us at a face-to-face meeting? Or are the regular scheduled webinars offered at an inconvenient time for your individual schedule? HFTP members can access ALL webinars HFTP has ever offered whenever and wherever works for them.

How do I get to the Archives? Simply visit www.hftp.org then log-in. Visit the Webinars page and look for the HFTP ProLinks Webinar Archive link at the bottom of the page. Current HFTP members will find an an entire list of recordings and accompanying handouts to choose from.

With topics ranging from PCI Compliance to Club Technology Issues – members can seek out the topic that is on their radar and watch these quick one hour sessions.

There are even opportunities to see various perspectives on certain “hotter” topics which may have been offered one or more times during the creation of ProLinks Webinars. Read More »

Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You!

Written by: Jody Urquhart

I recently had the opportunity to present the opening keynote session at the HFTP Club and Hotel Controllers Conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

As another benefit to HFTP members I will be presenting the webinar, “Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You — How to Lead a Multigenerational Workforce.”

The hospitality industry attracts all generations and for different reasons. Many leaders struggle to understand how to communicate and inspire different generations.

Different age groups bring unique qualities to the table, understanding those qualities and altering your leadership approach goes a long way to attracting and retaining what can be a very transient and often seasonal workforce. Read More »

HITEC 41: Mobile and Real-Time Data

Written by: Neil Foster

It’s taken a few days for it all to sink in.

I left HITEC sensing mobile and the resulting real-time communication was a dominant theme this year and the future of our business, but barely scratching the surface of overall impact. With the lightening pace of change, the role of the IT manager has never been more difficult; opening the mind to embrace new high-impact technology, while continuing to protect against constantly emerging threats (PCI, malware, phishing, and other malevolent activity).  It’s not an easy balance to achieve, but some organizations have been aligning a few technology resources with marketing to ensure new market realities are quickly leveraged by current technologies. Read More »

Employees Untethered

Written by: Warren Markwart

This is the year of the tablet. Try and find a vendor, that doesn’t have a tablet as part of their product.

In two years we will have forgotten that there was actually a “year of the tablet.” As mobile, hand held computing will become so ubiquitous in the operation of our business.

Tablet productivity will come from two sources. The guest and the hotel employee.

The guest becomes another user on your system without the training you would normally give to your staff. They make reservations, will check themselves into your hotel, order room service, request towels, all with no training.

Now just think of the effect tablets in the hands of your employees will have. They will be mobile, but more importantly, training times will be greatly reduced. You will even be able to train a general manager or director of sales to check a guest into the hotel. Read More »

It’s Going to Change Bigtime

Written by: Warren Markwart

The REALLY Big Show

“The Rise of the Metamediaries” sounds like a science fiction horror show.

The “rise” occurred on Tuesday afternoon and It was a REALLY big show starring senior people from Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor and Room 77. The stage was groaning with all these heavyweights in one place. Cindy Estis-Green did a great job in getting each to discuss their strategies of:

  • Dreaming
  • Planning
  • Booking
  • Experience
  • Sharing

She had two pundits that started the Q&A into a frank and lively discussion. Read More »

Even With All the Gizmos, People are Still Required

Written by: By Patty O'Brien

Today, the exhibit hall opened for attendees to explore the many products and services being offered to hotels for their technology savvy guests.  It seems you can book a room using your smart phone.  There are programs that can find hotel rooms for using your personal preferences, current G.P.S. location and even get a fair price, which you may pay using yet another useful app.  You can check in before you arrive and even have a key code downloaded to the phone and wave it in front of the door and it will electronically unlock and let you in.  You can do all of this without ever having to actually talk to another human. In the lobby or privacy of your room you can access a digital concierge and it will let you know whatever you want to know about local weather, restaurants, parks and rental cars and well, anything… Read More »

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