News Briefs

  • 9/22/2023

    Eaton Delivers Industry-First Software Platform to Help Data Center Operators Accelerate Their Digital Transformation Journey

    Eaton screenshot of its software in action - a data chart

    The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, virtualization and the energy transition has heightened the critical need for data center operators to effectively manage technology assets and resource consumption. Today, intelligent power management company Eaton announced it is helping these operators accelerate digital transformation with its new portfolio of digital solutions designed to further increase uptime, optimize performance and enhance sustainability. The platform, part of Eaton’s Brightlayer Data Centers suite, is the first in the industry to unite asset management, IT and operational technology (OT) device monitoring, power quality metrics and advanced electrical supervision in a single, native application.  

    “Point solutions are no longer sufficient to provide data center operators the visibility they need into their increasingly complex ecosystem of IT and OT assets,” said Mike Jackson, global director of product, data center and distributed IT software at Eaton. “This is especially the case as operations expand beyond the core data center to hyperscale, multi-tenant and various types of edge locations. The new solutions in our Brightlayer Data Centers suite leverage a single, native application to manage, monitor and control a wide range of infrastructure assets while providing seamless integration with other software and a simplified way to expand software capabilities as an operator’s needs grow.”  

    Data center operators are realizing new opportunities to use data to become more sustainable amid internal and external pressure to reduce carbon footprints. A full 40% of data center operators are seeking to leverage digitalization to lower their overall energy costs while more than a third see opportunities to reduce waste such as heat or materials, according to “The intersection of digital transformation and the energy transition,” a research report commissioned by Eaton and developed by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Additionally, when it comes to reporting sustainability metrics, 46% of operators are using or plan to use digital technology to track performance relative to their sustainability goals. 

    Eaton’s Brightlayer Data Centers suite provides a single application to manage, monitor and control critical site power management assets. These include uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), power distribution units (PDUs), switchgear, generators, cooling equipment, battery storage, solar equipment and more. The platform offers three solutions that can be used alone or together based on customer needs: 

    • Data Center Performance Management software: Monitors assets; provides trends, alerts and reports; and manages power, space, connectivity and cooling resources to maximize IT application uptime, all while minimizing capital and operating expenditures. 

    • Electrical Power Monitoring System software: Delivers real-time and historical visibility into a data center’s electrical power system to quickly resolve and identify the root cause of unexpected issues and understand a facility’s use of water, air, gas, electricity and steam to reduce operating costs and meet sustainability goals. 

    • Distributed IT Performance Management software: Manages and controls network-connected assets such as PDUs and UPSs, regardless of vendor or where they are located, and proactively identifies and automates actions to prevent IT equipment from going down. With cybersecurity protection built in, users can execute remote firmware upgrades and configuration changes to safeguard critical data from potential cyber threats. 

    As needs evolve after initial implementation, customers can add functionality, eliminating the need to migrate data or integrate multiple software platforms. The application can also be combined with third-party software, such as building management systems, configuration management database and IT service management applications, to gain even more improvements to efficiency, productivity, data accuracy, decision-making and cost. 

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 9/21/2023

    Agilysys Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Frank Pitsikalis Appointed to the Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) Vendor Advisory Council


    Agilysys, Inc., a global provider of hospitality software, solutions and services that deliver High Return Hospitality, announces that Frank Pitsikalis, senior vice president of product strategy, has been appointed to the Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) Vendor Advisory Council (VAC). HTNG is a council of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), whose more than 32,000 member properties represent every segment of the hotel and lodging business, including 80 percent of all franchised hotel properties in the United States covering more than 3.2 million rooms.

    As one of 24 council members, Pitsikalis will collaborate with industry leaders regarding challenges faced by the hospitality community and will advise members on ways technology can be utilized to overcome challenges and drive opportunities to shape the industry’s future. The VAC unifies understanding of technology advances among the vendor community, hoteliers and the AHLA.

    The global technology community within AHLA, HTNG facilitates the development of technology models for hospitality that foster innovation, improve the guest experience, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of hotels and create a healthy ecosystem for technology suppliers.

    The HTNG Vendor Advisory Council represents the collective interests of technology vendors supporting the hospitality industry. It provides a platform to gather cutting-edge technology vendors to tackle critical technology needs within the hospitality industry and ensures HTNG devotes efforts to those.

    “With nearly 25 years in the hospitality industry, including founding his own hospitality technology company, Frank will provide a wealth of knowledge, experience and insights that will help the VAC push forward HTNG’s mission to harness the collective wisdom of technology leaders to solve common hospitality challenges,” said Mike Blake, Chief Technology Officer, AHLA.

    In 2000, Pitsikalis founded ResortSuite and subsequently grew it into a leading provider of integrated, guest-centric, hospitality technologies. Agilysys acquired ResortSuite in January 2022, at which time Pitsikalis joined the Company’s executive team and was later promoted to senior vice president of product strategy.

    “The work this close-knit council does is critical to driving the hospitality industry forward – contributing to the creation of solution-oriented concepts that create technology priorities that ultimately help properties thrive,” said Pitsikalis. “It’s an honor being elected by my hotel-community peers and I look forward to advancing how the industry leverages technology innovation to better serve employees and guests while also improving margins and growth,” he added.

  • 9/20/2023

    Deloitte: Travel Leaders Embrace Automation and Tech as Workforce Challenges Continue to Weigh on Industry

    Key takeaways

    • Travel providers are leveraging next-gen technology to alleviate workforce constraints: Nearly all airports and half of hotels surveyed are adopting new technology to bridge the labor gap.
    • Despite increased reliance on automation, only one-third of those surveyed expect it to reduce the size of their staff in the next five years, and most expect technology to improve the work experience and create new opportunities for frontline workers.
    • Technology is creating demand to enhance and augment the frontline workforce with new skills and capabilities. Nearly half of all respondents cite reskilling workers for new technology as one of their top three workforce concerns.
    • The traveler’s experience may also be impacted by new technology. Many (74% of airport managers, 56% of hotel general managers) expect automation to boost the bottom line due to a better guest experience.

    Why this matters

    Although air travel passenger volumes and hotel occupancy rates continue to rebound from pandemic lows, the travel industry continues to face a shortage of frontline workers. At the same time, a shift toward greater automation and technology integration is set to fundamentally alter the travel experience and work environment. Deloitte’s new report, “Toward Travel’s Frictionless Frontline: Integrating Technology and Workforce,” examines how leaders across aviation and hospitality are evaluating investments in both technology and people to help make an immediate and lasting impact.

    Airline and hospitality leaders steer towards tech to navigate labor woes

    More than half (53%) of hotel respondents say they are at 25-74% of their pre-pandemic workforce and nearly two-thirds (62%) of aviation respondents say their workforce is half its pre-pandemic size or smaller. Leaders are turning to technology to address labor challenges. Looking ahead, many expect ongoing advancements in next-gen technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud to not only help address existing labor issues but improve performance within five years and create competitive differentiation.

    • While hotels and airports are confident staffing levels will keep climbing, most do not expect a return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon. Fewer than 1 in 10 expect to reach 2019 staffing levels by the end of 2023, and 38% of hotel managers and only 3% of airport executives expect to be there any time in 2024.
    • Many hope technology will ease labor challenges. Nearly all airports are adopting new technology (99%), upgrading existing technology (96%) or automating repetitive tasks (93%) to bridge the labor gap. Hotels are employing these strategies as well but at a lower rate, adopting new technology (50%), automating repetitive tasks (43%) or upgrading existing technology (39%).
    • Seven in 10 surveyed airports invested in at least three new technology types, compared to 57% of hotels, a differentiator likely due to the structure of the respective industries.
    • Some leaders do not feel current options are strong enough to address current needs: For the hospitality industry in particular, leading tech adopters surveyed were nearly twice as likely (54%) as others (29%) to say existing “technology is not advanced enough.”

    Opportunity for frontline workers still set to take off

    As technology proliferates, helping ensure workers have the skills to operate effectively is key — and challenging. While hotels largely struggle with a mismatch of needs with skills of available workers (51%), aviation executives are challenged with redesigning work for new technology (71%). Still, executives across the travel industry see these challenges ease with time and technology implementation, alongside added benefits such as cost reduction.

    • Nearly half of leading tech adopters among airport (57%) and hotel (43%) leaders expect automation to decrease labor costs.
    • Reskilling to address technology’s impact is top-of-mind, as about half of airport managers (48%) and 4 in 10 hotel general managers (GMs) place it among their top three workforce challenges.
    • Leaders are seeing technology enhance recruitment and training practices. Nearly all airports (94%) and almost two-thirds (62%) of hotels say they are increasing their use of virtual reality in training.
    • Overall, most survey respondents positively expect automation to create new opportunities for workers (95% of airports, 64% of hotels) and improve the work environment (88% of airports, 58% of hotels).

    Automation packs promise for the guest experience

    Staffing challenges impacted what it is like to be a traveler, just as much as it impacted being a travel industry employee. Just as solutions to the labor gap present opportunity to change the workday for the gate agent or hotel restaurant manager, leaders hope to see it enhance guest experiences as well.

    • Labor challenges affected the travel experience: 84% of airport respondents and 70% of hotel respondents reduced or eliminated amenities and services in response to staffing shortfalls.
    • Most airports (90%) are creating self-service offerings for guests, but only 36% of hotels are doing the same.
    • Leaders are encouraged by the expected impact of automation for guests and travelers. Seventy-two percent of airport leaders and 60% of hotel leaders expect automation to improve the guest experience.
    • AI stands out for its potential to improve guest experiences for airports in particular. Within five years, they expect to see it enhance guest processing (100%), strengthen personalized recommendations and services (100%), and improve the customer experience (98%).
    • Hotels, on the other hand, see most value coming from cloud computing in processing guests (29%), managing bookings (26%), and offering personalized recommendations and services (23%) in the next five years.

    Key quote

    “Travel leaders have been battling labor shortages and other frontline challenges for the past several years. The rapid ascension of automation and other emerging technologies presents an opportunity to address this disruption while still helping ensure the travel experience remains front-and-center. Companies who simultaneously invest in the technology and the people behind it — helping ensure employees are well-equipped and appropriately trained — should be well-positioned to navigate the shifting dynamics of the industry, while unlocking future growth and unprecedented opportunity.”

    —  Danielle Hawkinsprincipal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and hospitality, transportation and services human capital leader

    Toward A Frictionless Frontline” is based on a survey of 240 travel executives in the U.S. (120 airport managers and 120 hotel general managers), fielded from July 12 to Aug. 7, 2023. Interviews with executives from leading hotel brands and airlines further guided the study.

  • 9/20/2023

    Valor Hospitality Partners Announces Partnership with InnSight Advisory

    Valor Hospitality Partners (Valor), announced a partnership with InnSight Advisory –a hospitality advisory company with clients across Africa. Valor maintains an existing presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Dubai. In celebration of Valor’s 10th year in Africa, this collaboration will enable the brand to expand its top-tier services in the destination, the Middle East, and Indian Ocean islands.  

    Valor Hospitality is a globally recognized fully integrated management and operations solution, with expertise in hotel management, operations, development, and asset management. The partnership with InnSight Advisory will allow the two companies to leverage one another's complementary strengths to provide expanded and enhanced comprehensive hospitality services to clients. 

    "We are excited to welcome InnSight Advisory to the Valor family," said Euan McGlashan, CEO of Valor. "Their expertise and reputation in the African hospitality industry will be a great asset to our growing global team, and we look forward to collaborating with them to provide exceptional service to our clients. We are mutually driven to grow our footprint throughout Africa with renowned international hospitality companies and their respective brands, and InnSight will help provide that support.”  

    InnSight Advisory has rebranded to Valor Advisory and provide a full suite of advisory services to hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other hospitality sectors. The services will include turnkey development project management, asset management, operations consulting, strategic planning, branding and bespoke marketing services, sales representation, profit improvement plans, food and beverage consulting and conceptualization, and more. 

    "We are thrilled to partner with Valor Hospitality and take our company to the next level," said Mark Jakins, Executive Director of InnSight Advisory. "By combining our expertise with Valor’s global resources, we are able to offer a bespoke and comprehensive hospitality advisory service that will drive growth and profitability for all parties - as well as a strategic Valor business development division led by InnSight co-founder, Mike Devereux." 

    The partnership and rebranding will take place effective immediately. Clients can expect the same exceptional service and attention to detail they have come to expect from Valor Hospitality and InnSight Advisory, with the added benefit of an enhanced global network and resources. 

  • 9/20/2023

    North American Bancard Enables Tap to Pay on iPhone so Customers can Accept Contactless Payments

    North American Bancard, LLC, (NAB) a U.S.-based leader in fintech solutions, is now giving business owners another way to accept in-person contactless payments with the launch of Tap to Pay on iPhone, available now on its Payanywhere iOS app.

    Tap to Pay on iPhone allows business owners to accept in-person contactless payments right on their iPhone with no extra hardware needed. Tap to Pay on iPhone accepts all forms of contactless payments, including contactless credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and other digital wallets.

    At checkout, the merchant will simply prompt the customer to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay with Apple Pay, their contactless credit or debit card, or other digital wallet near the merchant’s iPhone, and the payment will be securely completed using NFC technology. Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhone technology uses the built-in features of iPhone to keep the business’ and customers’ data private and secure. When a payment is processed, Apple doesn’t store card numbers on the device or on Apple servers.

    This easy, secure, and private transaction simplifies in-person payments by removing the dependence on additional hardware while still allowing for customers to pay the way they want.

    “We are thrilled to add Tap to Pay on iPhone to our Payanywhere app features,” said Jim Parkinson, Chief Experience Officer at NAB. “The payments landscape is constantly evolving and we are proud to be at the forefront of change to ensure that we give businesses and their customers all the tools they need to pay efficiently and safely.”

    Following our recent pilot period, the integration of Tap to Pay on iPhone on the Payanywhere app will bring several key benefits to NAB customers.

    • Business owners are equipped with a simple solution for in-person payments that complements Apple Pay on iPhone and Apple Watch, digital wallet and payment services, and contactless debit and credit cards.

    • Customers who use this feature with their iPhones oftentimes experience a faster and more efficient checkout, leading to a better shopping journey overall.

    • Most business owners and consumers are given peace of mind during the checkout process, as all transactions are encrypted and data is protected and private. 

    Merchants are able to access these key benefits of Tap to Pay on iPhone through the Payanywhere iOS app, running the latest version of iOS. To get started, merchants can simply download the Payanywhere app from the Apple App Store and sign up to become an NAB customer to start accepting contactless payments within minutes right from their iPhone. 

    NAB is proud to offer a wide range of hardware and software options and notes that the addition of Tap to Pay on iPhone is an important step in equipping their merchants with the latest in payment technology, ensuring that payments can be accepted any way, anywhere. 

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