Tuesday, September 18, 2012

iPhone 5 and Mobile Key


My first reaction is that I have been waiting for a front runner in the mobile key space.  I use mobile boarding passes for my flights, and complained when an airport didn't support it.  It seemed natural for me to want them for my hotel room key. 

Of course this is tempered quickly by a recent experience where the mobile ticket scanner at the TSA check was not working.  It cost me several minutes while they scrambled to figure out an alternative to me having to go back to ticketing to get a physical copy.  On my way out, the TSA agent said I should always have a physical copy just in case.  But if I subscribe to that, then why bother with the digital copy at all.

What are your thoughts?  How would you support this in your property?

The role of integration in the enterprise

" It takes thought, energy, and resources to understand business trends and prepare the appropriate strategies. But then, right while we are attempting to build the capabilities needed to respond, the trends can suddenly change direction! "

How many times have you heard that business and IT just don't align? To address this, people started talking about web services and reuse, and of course agile methodologies. Both of these are an important piece, but what seems to be missing is integration as a core competency. By focusing attention on identifying the core systems and how to enable flexible and deep integration with them, it becomes possible to leverage whatever is the best of breed available for that time period. In today's market, with the availability of the cloud and SaaS, you should be able to rent a series of capabilities that are relevant to the here and now. When they become obsolete, quickly and easily rent from someone else.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Who is BizTodd

Who am I, and what is this blog all about?  The easy answer is I am Todd Sussman, and this is a place for me to aggregate articles about hospitality and technology as well as express my thoughts on those topics.  BUT, as we all know, the easy answer is not always (read usually) the right answer.

So, then who is BizTodd?  Way back when, I was a BizTalk developer.  As a matter of fact, my first production deployment was on BTS 2002, shortly after it was released.  At the time, I was living in Israel and working for an HMO called Clalit Health Services.  My boss was a very progressive and forward thinker who embraced .Net, WCF, BizTalk, XML and the early concepts of SOA.  This of course led me down the path of  focusing on the middle tier and integration.  I worked at Clalit for a little over 3.5 years and during that time, we managed to integrate 8 hospitals, 1200+ clinics and hundreds of laboratories.  My daughter was born in December of 2003, and in December 2004, my wife and I decided to make the move back to The United States.  I had met some guys from a company called Neudesic and reached out to them to see if they had a position for a guy like me.  Shortly afterwards, my family and I were off for Phoenix and some new adventures.

Fast forward to March 2005 and I became Neudesic's first employee in Phoenix, as well as the first employee outside the state of California.  Those who have known me for a while, know that I love a good challenge, and helping grow a brand new office was an exciting opportunity.  One of the activities I took part in was as a member of a select group (originally I was 1 of 5) of BizTalk developers that Microsoft promoted as Virtual Technical Specialists.  Part of our charter was to support Microsoft in the field when they had a shortage of Internal BizTalk resources to support pre-sales.  Las Vegas was part of the Phoenix territory and in early 2006, I helped sell BizTalk 2006 to MGM and my new love affair with hospitality and gaming was born.  Phoenix was one of the better performing offices at Neudesic, and I had a new goal to chase, I was going to create a new revenue stream for Neudesic focused almost exclusively on hospitality.

Skipping the boring details, in 6 years, Neudesic has seen a revenue increase every year in the hospitality space.  I was able to pursue and work on projects ranging from CRM and profile management to helping design and build an entire PMS system.  I have worked with hotel chains with 3 star all the way up to the super luxury brands.  I helped manage integrations in the gaming space that no one else has yet to duplicate as well as fully embrace industry standards.

Fast forward once again to September 2012, I decided it was time to leave Neudesic and see what new adventures await me.  I absolutely want to stay focused on the hospitality and gaming and that is the driver behind this blog.  I hope you get as much out of this blog as I will.