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News Briefs

  • 4/23/2023

    Breezeway Launches Assist AI

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    Breezeway announced its next evolution of automation, incorporating generative AI into the Breezeway platform with the launch of Assist AI.

    Assist AI is a new series of automation features within the Breezeway platform that combines deep property profiles with the generative AI power of ChatGPT. The first of these Assist AI features is Suggested Replies which launches today.

    ChatGPT will read Breezeway property profile, reservation, and Breezeway Guide data, along with context from guest messages, to create suggested replies to guests within the Breezeway messaging product, saving property owners and managers crucial time and reducing repetitive work. 

    Data includes WiFi instructions, house rules, property manager standards, directions, local restaurant recommendations, parking availability, and anything related to the millions of tasks completed on the Breezeway platform. 

    Property managers can access Assist AI Suggested Replies within the Breezeway guest messaging tool. It slashes managers’ time responding to guests by allowing them to reply with accurate, helpful, and timely responses. Users can generate suggested responses, edit the answers if needed, and hit send.

    As rising guest expectations increase the workload faced by short-term and vacation rental operators, data-driven automation is critical to achieving efficiencies while still providing guests with the personal service they value. Despite this operational pressure, hospitality service should feel personal and match the standards of the manager and host. Breezeway is building this personalization into each Assist AI feature.

    Managers can set their tone and professional style to match their brand and audience. From formal to friendly and anything in between, short-term rental companies add their own voice to Assist AI and create brand consistency across guest interactions.  

    Breezeway is one of the first in the short-term rental space to use AI to enhance its product offering and build additional solutions for property managers. 

    Breezeway customers can turn on Assist AI Suggested replies within their Breezeway Labs settings, where customers access all the latest features and updates.

     

    Jeremy Gall, CEO and Founder of Breezeway, said: “We’re thrilled to announce our first AI enhancement and excited by its potential to improve not only the day-to-day lives of our customers and their guests but also the properties they service. Our goal has always been to streamline the experience for both the property manager and the guest. A notoriously time-consuming aspect of vacation rental property management is accounting for the unique nature of each home and then communicating back and forth with guests.

     

    “Using AI combined with property profile data and task history will greatly reduce the time spent crafting messages and replies, freeing up managers' time to focus on other areas of business. As a result, guests can expect quicker and more accurate replies.” 

  • 4/1/2023

    QSR Automations Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service

    QSR Automations customer service team

    QSR Automations earned recognition for excellence in customer service and support.

    At MURTEC, QSR Automations’ VP of Hardware Solutions and Support, Kathi Klein, received fHospitality Technology ’s 2023 Top Women in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award. 

    During her more than 30 years in the restaurant technology industry – half of those at QSR Automations–Klein has amassed incomparable knowledge in understanding and troubleshooting kitchen display, front-of-house, and the associated hardware and networking platforms needed to run them. 

    But what truly sets Klein apart is her natural ability to nurture relationships and foster talent, which has made her an effective leader in QSR Automations’ Support Services Team. During her long tenure at QSR Automations, Klein has built one of the industry’s strongest and most effective support teams. In fact, under Klein’s guidance, the team has received a 99 percent satisfaction rate from customers in 2021, and last year handled more than 16,000 inbound and outbound calls, which earned them a bronze award for Excellence in Customer Service from the 2022 Stevie Awards. 

    This was the third bronze Stevie award for the team, as last fall, Klein accepted two additional bronze awards from the Stevie Women in Business Awards on behalf of QSR Automations–one for excellence in customer service, and the other for growth. QSR Automations was selected for these honors from more than 1,500 nominations from around the world.

    “Just as our technology is the heart of a restaurant kitchen, our people are truly the heart of this business,” said Angela Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “My colleagues are passionate about innovation both in and out of the office, and it’s immensely gratifying to see them recognized for these achievements.”

    QSR Automations, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., with offices in the United Kingdom, is a global industry leader in kitchen automation and guest management services.

  • 4/23/2023

    accesso Acquires Ski Technology Provider Paradocs

    accesso logo teaser

    accesso Technology Group, a technology solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide, announced its acquisition of Paradocs Mountain Software (“Paradocs”) – a Canadian-based provider of software solutions specifically for the ski industry. Paradocs’ all-in-one mountain management solution – MtnOS – is now accesso Paradox, adding to accesso’s portfolio of technology.

    Paradocs was established in 2001 to help operators maximize the mountain experience for their visitors. The hosted, all-in-one mountain management solution, MtnOS – now accesso Paradox – is considered one of the most powerful ski-specific operating systems on the market, currently leveraged by 48 Canadian and 2 U.S.-based resorts to optimize both operations and the guest experience. The flexible, integrated solution empowers ski areas to take full control of their operations across ticketing and passes, snow school, retail and equipment rental, food & beverage, administration and online sales.

    “Accesso is passionate about serving the ski industry, and incorporating Paradocs’ specific expertise and experience into our offering is a powerful step forward in addressing the unique and evolving technology demands of the burgeoning ski market,” said Steve Brown, accesso CEO. “Adding this contemporary and powerful solution to our offering supports Accesso’s long-standing commitment to serving as the industry’s premier ski solutions provider.”

    This acquisition demonstrates accesso’s longstanding commitment to ski and snowsports by unlocking an even more powerful, flexible and innovative array of available technology options for operators worldwide to enhance the guest experience.

    “We are thrilled to join forces with Accesso – a truly like-minded innovator that shares Paradocs’ dedication to ski and snowsports with a customer-first approach,” said Paradocs CEO and Founder Nicolas Dubé. “Our team at Paradocs is excited to play an expanded role in the overall advancement of our beloved industry, and we look forward to continued success with Accesso.”

    “We greatly admire the Paradocs team’s approach to partnership and their development of a solution that directly addresses the unique needs of the ski industry,” said Andrew Jacobs, accesso CCO. “We’re excited to further expand the reach of Accesso Paradox across the ski industry and to help our clients truly maximize the solution’s potential.”

    Under the terms of the deal, Paradocs’ 38-person team of ski technology professionals will continue working under the accesso umbrella. Dubé will remain available to the accesso team in a consultative capacity.

  • 4/23/2023

    AHLA Announces Technology Acceleration Award

    The American Hotel & Lodging Association and its technology committee, HTNG, announced the inaugural AHLA Technology Acceleration Award, a new program to recognize companies that are advancing innovation in hospitality technology.

    The award program will be held annually, and winners of this year’s event will be announced at The Hospitality Show, which takes place June 27-29 at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

    Each year, the AHLA Technology Acceleration Award will recognize companies that have taken specific steps to further advance innovation in hospitality. This year, the award will showcase companies that have adopted HTNG Express, a new solution that shortens the process for post-booking hotel property management system integrations from months to just days.

    To qualify for the award, companies must implement HTNG Express, submit an award application by June 1, and provide a virtual demonstration. Those interested in submitting an application may do so here.

    “AHLA’s Technology Acceleration Award will do more than just recognize and celebrate hospitality innovation. The award will help drive industry advancement year after year,” said AHLA Chief Technology Officer Mike Blake. “Given that The Hospitality Show is our industry’s premier technology and operations event, there is no better forum in which to recognize this year’s winners.”

  • 4/23/2023

    Cisco Unveils New Solution to Rapidly Detect Advanced Cyber Threats and Automate Response

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    Cisco. a provider of enterprise networking and security, unveiled the latest progress towards its vision of the Cisco Security Cloud, a unified, AI-driven, cross-domain security platform. Cisco's new XDR solution and the release of advanced features for Duo MFA will help organizations better protect the integrity of their entire IT ecosystem.

    Threat Detection and Response

    Cisco's XDR strategy converges its deep expertise and visibility across the network and endpoints into one turnkey, risk-based solution. Now in Beta with General Availability coming in July 2023, Cisco XDR simplifies investigating incidents and enables security operations centers (SOCs) to immediately remediate threats. The cloud-first solution applies analytics to prioritize detections and moves the focus from endless investigations to remediating the highest priority incidents with evidence-backed automation.

    "The threat landscape is complex and evolving. Detection without response is insufficient, while response without detection is impossible. With Cisco XDR, security operations teams can respond and remediate threats before they have a chance to cause significant damage," said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. "Cisco continues to ensure that 'if it's connected, you're also protected.' We are uniquely positioned to deliver integrated solutions that simplify securing today's increasingly complex, hybrid multi-cloud environments without compromising user experience."

    While traditional Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technology provides management for log-centric data and measures outcomes in days, Cisco XDR focuses on telemetry-centric data and delivers outcomes in minutes. It natively analyzes and correlates the six telemetry sources that Security Operations Center (SOC) operators say are critical for an XDR solution: endpoint, network, firewall, email, identity, and DNS. On the endpoint specifically, Cisco XDR leverages insight from 200 million endpoints with Cisco Secure Client, formerly AnyConnect, to provide process-level visibility of where the endpoint meets the network.

    "The true measure of XDR is its ability to deliver actual security outcomes, real and measurable benefit to organizations — early detection, impact prioritization, and effective and efficient response," said Frank Dickson, Group Vice President, Security & Trust, IDC. "True results need to be quantifiable numerically and not just qualitatively described with words. Cisco XDR delivers a clear framework for enabling organizations to achieve such tangible outcomes."

    In addition to Cisco's native telemetry, Cisco XDR integrates with leading third-party vendors to share telemetry, increase interoperability, and deliver consistent outcomes regardless of vendor or technology. The initial set of out-of-the-box integrations at general availability include:

    • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): CrowdStrike Falcon Insight XDR, Cybereason Endpoint Detection and Response, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR, SentinelOne Singularity, Trend Vision One
    • Email Threat Defense: Microsoft Defender for Office, Proofpoint Email Protection
    • Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW): Check Point Quantum, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall
    • Network Detection and Response (NDR): Darktrace DETECT™ and Darktrace RESPOND™,  ExtraHop Reveal(x)
    • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): Microsoft Sentinel

    "Throughout Logicalis' decades-long pursuit to becoming a world class integrator; we have recognized the impact extensibility can have on the viability and efficacy of any solution," said Brad Davenport, Vice President of Technical Architecture, Logicalis. "With the launch of Cisco XDR, we can finally provide our customers with XDR outcomes as a solution or managed offering. We see this as a natural progression for us along the security maturity journey. Logicalis is very excited to put our combined expertise to work for our clients and offer Cisco XDR to help them achieve their business outcomes."

    Zero Trust and Access Management

    As attackers increasingly target gaps in weaker multi-factor authentication (MFA) implementations, Cisco is redefining what is essential for access management. Every business needs three key pillars for its access management strategy: enforcing strong authentication, verifying devices, and reducing the number of passwords in use. This is why, beginning on May 1st, Cisco is adding Trusted Endpoints to all its paid Duo Editions. Previously just available in Duo's highest tier, Trusted Endpoints allows only registered or managed devices to access resources. By delivering Trusted Endpoints alongside Single Sign On, MFA, Passwordless, and Verified Push within the entry-level Duo Essentials edition, Cisco is delivering the most secure, cost-effective, and user-friendly access management solution on the market.

    To learn more, visit Cisco.com/go/security.   

    Supporting Quotes

    "Darktrace DETECT and RESPOND, parts of the Darktrace Cyber AI Loop, can quickly contain and disarm threats, whether known or unknown, and with a high degree of fidelity. Our collaboration with Cisco will provide our mutual customers with added visibility into security incidents and actions across cloud, network and OT," said Mattheus Bovbjerg, Vice President of Integrations, Darktrace. We look forward to expanding this collaboration to additional coverage areas including email and SaaS applications in the future."

    "As organizations embrace the network as the essential source for cybertruth, our partnership with Cisco offers enterprises the ability to integrate ExtraHop with best-of-breed products for a more comprehensive view of their IT environments," said Jesse Rothstein, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, ExtraHop. "Joint customers will benefit from ExtraHop's enterprise-grade, high–fidelity detections with network decryption and support for more than 80+ protocols, while also seamlessly integrating with log and endpoint solutions to achieve more streamlined investigations."

    "SentinelOne is excited to team with Cisco to deliver market-leading solutions that allow our joint customers to push the boundaries of security," said Akhil Kapoor, Vice President of Technology Partnerships and Business Development, SentinelOne. "We look forward to integrating our EDR and Cloud Workload Protection (CWPP) solutions with Cisco to help organizations of all sizes secure tomorrow today."

    "Our vision for XDR is to provide customers with a comprehensive, consolidated view of their security posture, enabling them to respond to threats quickly and effectively," said Mike Gibson, Senior Vice President of Global Services and Customer Success, Trend Micro. "The integration with Cisco XDR is a significant step forward in the evolution of cybersecurity. By leveraging the strength of both solutions, we are able to offer our customers a unified solution that expands telemetry insights to gain a greater perspective of their security environment enabling them to detect threats faster and respond more effectively."

    Additional Resources

  • 2/6/2023

    Salad and Go Expands in Texas

    Salad and Go  salad and iced tea

    Up and coming QSR  Salad and Go  is expanding in Texas with three new locations opening in February in the Houston markets of Katy, Richmond and League City.

    The Katy store located opened February 1, the Richmond location at  is set to open February 17, and the League City store plans to open its doors on February 22. These new locations will mark the start of rapid brand expansion across the Greater Houston area.

    These suburbs were strategically selected as ideal markets for Salad and Go as some of the fastest growing communities in the region. Conveniently located in some of Houston's most popular suburbs, the new locations will provide fresh, high-quality meals with quick and easy convenience at an affordable price.

    As Salad and Go continues growing its national presence with a strong focus on Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, the brand's expansive growth has it on a positive trajectory to provide fresh and affordable food to communities in more than 125 locations by the end of 2023. Houston is the next step in the brand's expansion across Texas with plans to open additional stores in the market throughout the new year.

    Salad and Go's chef-curated menu provides guests with food for any time of the day by offering a variety of delicious and healthy items including salads, wraps, breakfast burritos and soup as well as beverages including hand-crafted lemonades, teas and cold brew coffees.

    Salad and Go ensures each meal contains fresh, quality ingredients while keeping prices low by vertically integrating operations and distribution, and sourcing ingredients directly from high-quality local farmers and suppliers whenever possible. The brand's mission to make fresh, nutritious food convenient and affordable for ALL extends beyond its stores and is demonstrated in the work the brand does to donate 4,000 meals every week to those in need, as well as in partnerships with nonprofits to support and fundraise for various worthy causes.

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