TESTBED’s Top Reading – June 2019

Not too much time for reading in June as we traveled and evented, marked by the Audio Visual community event, InfoComm, Hospitality Technology tradeshow, HITEC and then homegrown events with Testbed Vegas’ Hospitality Technology Hacks & Pundits Summer Dinner and our 1st Birthday Celebration for Vegas Travel & Hospitality Tech.

But with all that time on planes we still managed to squeeze a few things in. Here’s what caught our eye in June.

Big Tech makes a home in Southern Nevada

Those with an ear to the ground may have heard rumblings of Blue Chip tech looking to establish a presence in Southern Nevada. Often the flavor of the month in Northern Nevada, Google has chosen the city of Henderson to establish one of their global data center locations. This is welcome news for Southern Nevada, showing that the big end of technology also likes what they find here in the Valley. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported on the public announcement.

Google Datacenter site in Henderson

In the news for other reasons, Google also looks to again be on the radar of government with more impetus for a review of Google and parent company Alphabet with this Skift article discussing the likelihood of another antitrust investigation by the Justice Department.

The next major players in the Travel tech space

The dialogue has been ongoing since late 2018 in relation to the apparent entry of major technology company’s Google and Amazon playing a larger role in the travel technology ecosystem. The latest developments follow on from TRAVHOTECH predictions on the steps Google may take to improve travel for the consumer.

Google and Amazon facing off in Travel technology

Amazon also has a part to play, although as powerful a retailing platform as they provide, they still don’t have a search engine. It will be interesting to see how the Amazon Prime membership can be leveraged in travel. Although Google still remains so ubiquitous and central to peoples everyday lives it seems difficult to imagine an equal level of capability and competition between the tech giants.

It’s going to be an interesting ride! Forbes provides their overview with a selection of industry colleagues chiming in.

The challenge of securing information

As things go, over time we come to appreciate the greater impacts of our behavior. Such is the case with personal information and the security of the data. The world of travel & hospitality is becoming ever more connected through various technology platforms and the additional connectivity is creating new ways for data thieves to exploit weaknesses in technology environments.

Data Security – An ongoing and growing challenge

This month at Vegas Travel & Hospitality Tech we tackle the topic of information security in travel and hospitality. We read two great articles this month with different perspectives on the situation. One from Bloomberg discussing the emerging technology in the hospitality guestroom and then another from the World Economic Forum discussing the major changes in infrastructure technology that will also impact the information security environment.

Great fodder for our discussion on the 28th of July.

People – The future of Luxury

As a business technologist one of my enduring quests has been the use of technology to improve the human experience. It is my very firm view that hospitality is delivered by people. A human condition.

It has also been my view that once the thrill of digital tech wears off in society we will eventually realize that people looking after people really isn’t such a terrible thing. In this article from Forbes they discuss the new luxury – people. I would argue there is nothing new about it!

The Peninsula Hong Kong

In support of that article we also read a piece from Skift on Peninsula Hotels and their approach to technology and personalisation. Several years ago The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, owner of Peninsula Hotels were a client. I was fortunate to assist them in the adoption of across group customer information platforms that allow some of the best hotels in the world to discreetly provide a level of guest recognition that doesn’t require points and status.

A great example of thoughtful deployment of technology behind the scenes.

Celebrating Bourdain

Time flies. It has already been a year since the passing of traveler, food lover and raconteur, Anthony Bourdain.

As a person and a traveler Bourdain had a marked impact on people all over the world. Particularly for his sense of adventure and willingness to embrace the environment that he found in far flung locations, exposing this to the less intrepid. Testbed Vegas were fans of Bourdain and we reviewed an article from Afar on his legacy and impact on travel.

Anthony Bourdain – gone too soon

Cheyne and I were in San Francisco at Travel Tech Con last year when the news broke as we launched Testbed Vegas and TRAVHOTECH. It was a long night. A Bourdain night. He is missed.

The trouble with tech!

The hospitality technology environment is a challenging one. Largely as a result of a business that comprises of so many small businesses within a business, having to come together to produce a cohesive product and service for the guest.

HITEC Minneapolis and the trouble with tech

As a result we have disparate technology and not always connected to each other. It amounts to challenging work environments for staff and frustration for the guest. At the recent Hospitality Information Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) in Minneapolis a number of industry personalities were asked to share their frustrations in these vignettes from HospitalityNET.

You may see some familiar faces!

Travel inspiration?

It’s Summer in the USA. That means kids have lots of time off. Looking for some travel inspiration? Perhaps a jump across the Pacific to discover Asia. Here’s something to whet the appetite from Travel & Leisure.

It’s great to be home from what was a major month for Testbed Vegas. Summer is here and the time is right for Dancing in the Street. Well, it’s a good song. Enjoy the Summer Desert experience and we will see you on the 28th of July.

Happy Reading!