Bernard Ellis, CHTP, CRME knows a lot about technology. He stewards technology initiatives from industry startup to industry standard. As a consultant with companies on the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure, he knows a lot about the industry, too. And he has earned and maintained his Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP®) professional designation through HFTP.
Ellis is now tackling a new role as official event guest blogger for the upcoming HFTP 2019 Annual Convention, taking place later this month (October 23–25) at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. He will report on his experiences there as a hospitality technology attendee: What he learns, what he sees, and what he ultimately takes away from the event back to his job.
Read more below from Ellis himself on what he has already learned from past HFTP Annual Conventions he has attended, and why technology professionals should get involved.
Written by: Bernard Ellis, CHTP, CRME — Official HFTP 2019 Annual Convention Guest Blogger
I always love it when I have the opportunity to attend the HFTP Annual Convention. It reminds me fondly of some aspects of HITEC before it got so massive: People have a bit more time for meaningful interaction with each other, and it is great exposure to the rest of the hard work that HFTP does for our industry. Sure, the focus tends to lean more towards finance — seemingly giving the technologists less reason to be there. Although if you check out this year’s schedule, there seems to be quite a balance of both. Regardless, it would be to a technologist’s advantage to listen in on the other side.
I have seen the IT professional do it so many times: Upon seeing that the next session covers, say, what is being contemplated for the next edition of USALI, they will look at their watches, put in a perfunctory appearance at the coffee break, then bolt for their rooms to spend quality time with their inboxes.
It’s a mistake.
Their finance colleagues need them to weigh in when a seemingly small change in accounting practices would require huge technology changes that could bear not only high costs, but also significant risks. Guess what? It turns out that accounting types care about costs and risks, so it’s not as if it will be that adversarial of a conversation. But, why all the drama? I mean, how bad could a few new accounting requirements really be?
New reports? Enhanced interfaces? User permissions? Audit trails? Compliance deadlines? Training issues? No — these things have never been known to botch an otherwise great technology implementation at the eleventh hour, have they?
If the technologists are absent, opting instead to wait until the requirements are handed to them a year later, then they will no longer be in the same position to guide priorities. By then, their constructive feedback will no longer serve to generate thoughtful debate with their friends in accounting. It will be too late. By then, they will be killing their laughter, wiping their tears, dashing their hopes, and, worst of all — confirming their fears.
It turns out theirs is not such a small world, after all. (Can you tell I’ve got Orlando on the brain? Hopefully you do, too!)
To all my fellow technologists: Go to Orlando. Go to sessions where you think you don’t belong. If nothing else, get the magic wand that everyone thinks you already have!
Bernard Ellis, CHTP, CRME is president of Lodgital Insights LLC and the official event guest blogger for the HFTP 2019 Annual Convention, taking place October 23–25 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida USA.