- Tech Talk 01 Get ready for a new release of GroupWise. Wanna busy search a client's calendar? Go for it. Want more panels on your home view? Track a couple of Web sites in your home view too. Take your pick of these and many more new features in the next release of GroupWise.
- Tech Talk 02 Upgrading from NetWare to the next generation of technology doesn't have to be painful—or costly. Take advantage of all the benefits Open Enterprise Server 2 offers for less and without the pain of retraining your staff. See how this migration path stacks up against moving to the big unknown—Windows Server 2008.
- Tech Talk 03 Try it just once and it'll be the last time you'll want to call support. It's faster, cheaper and unlimited. See how this new support option is going to change the way you want support from Novell.
- Tech Talk 04 Does your enterprise have legacy systems that won't talk to other computers? The hotel industry had that problem-until Novell stepped in. Now, using code that Novell open sourced, the hotel industry can use identity management solutions-on their legacy systems! See how you can teach your old systems to talk.
- Tech Talk 05 The word spin can have a negative connotation—unless it's PlateSpin. Read how Novell's acquisition of Toronto-based PlateSpin is going to give your data center several positive benefits. If you want your data center tasks to manage themselves, welcome to the new Novell technology from PlateSpin.
- Tech Talk 06 For beginners, databases can be frightening. But with a little help in building effective forms, you'll be on your way to populating a database that can almost take care of itself. See how here in our OpenOffice.org series cover the database application included in the free office suite.
- Tech Talk 07 If you're like most companies, your end users' teams are comprised of people across the globe. Yet they want to feel like their teammates are just down the hall. Enter Sitescape. It's now a part of Novell and provides the engine to the new Novell Teaming + Conferencing products. Find out how this recent acquisition benefits you.
- Connection Magazine March full .pdf
- Proof Point Toll Brothers, the leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S., had issues. One was managing desktops across 300 locations, including construction site trailers across 22 states. Keeping them in standard, working order was quite a problem. See how Novell automated that, increased the security of sensitive financial data, and much more.
- Trend Talk Are you up on your backups? Are you a synthetic backer upper? What about your recovery objectives? How will you recover after the crisis strikes? Learn what types of backup and recovery procedures are available, so when the crisis strikes, you'll be up on your backups and know just how to recover.
- Laura Chappell Analysis Session: TCP Connection Loss
The Next Generation of Hotel Technology
Tech Talk 4
by Carolyn Ford and Jim Sermersheim
My favorite hotel is in Seattle, discovered years ago during one of my many business trips. It isn’t my favorite because it has gold gilded toilet seats or anything like that; it is my favorite because of their attention to detail, such as Mathew, the front desk guy, makes sure there is bottled water and strawberries—my favorite, waiting in my room for me when I arrive. This personal touch I associate with hotels in general is the reason I found it slightly odd when I first heard of Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the hotel industry standards group. I found this amusing because, as usual, I was thinking of the hotel business as it revolves around ME. I like to believe that “personal touch” is just for me and applied to me because I am so memorable not because information about me is kept in a cold database somewhere.
My rose-colored glasses recently got a bit of a polishing while attending the HTNG Conference in Seattle. While there, I was surprised to realize hotels have “systems,” not just “Mathews.” And hotels face the same challenges as every other organization. They have, disparate systems, sometimes as many as 100, all with different management interfaces, all required to meet compliance mandates such as PCI and Sarbanes Oxley.
Hotels have systems such as payment, heating and cooling, phones, and that magical channel on the TV that always knows my name. I always envisioned someone going to my room prior to my arrival and manually programming my TV for that extra special touch. After listening to some sessions at the HTNG conference, I think I was not far off, manually programming my TV may be just the tip of the iceberg as far as manual processes go for hotels.
Wouldn’t it be cool for my favorite hotel if, when I make a reservation, details for my comfort are set into motion? All my personal favorites transmitted to all those disparate systems, right down to what temperature I like my room and it just magically happens?
Imagine, I make my reservation online, my TV welcomes me by name, with information relevant to my stay, such as upselling the hotel’s services and the surrounding area’s offerings. The billing system prepares an estimate of my stay for me. Mathew gets an e-mail alert regarding my arrival date so my room can be prepared with fresh linens that smell like an ocean breeze and a nice Pinot Grigio with strawberries and cheese. Everything is orchestrated, waiting for my arrival. Ahhh, just thinking of it reminds me of my childhood nickname “Queenie.” Of course, now I prefer “Queen Carolyn.”
It may sound a little George Jetson, but system-wide integration with an identity management solution, creating a common administrative interface could make all this happen. Not only that, it would also make it possible to actually monitor systems and ensure everything is within business policy and meeting government regulations. The problem is, many of those systems are just plain old and weren’t engineered to
interface with anything. They require high overhead manual administration and have been impossible to keep current with business policy and government mandates. Some of them are simply unreachable.
That is, until now. The Novell Bandit team has proven these systems are NOT unreachable. Using open source, Bandit developers created reference code that builds on existing HTNG standards, extending them with an open message set for identity compliance. This code cost-effectively connects disparate systems to streamline administration, comply with regulatory requirements and, most significantly MY DESIRES!
The code bridges various systems and platforms in an enterprise, including legacy systems, with commercially available identity management software. The first implementation of the code is currently being initiated by Delaware North Companies, a global hospitality and food service provider. In short, the manual processes that have been a royal pain for hotels, and companies in general, can be automated through integration with an identity management solution, making me (OK, all customers) royalty!
Some might argue that “this is only four little pieces of code” and I am making a bigger deal of it than it is. But, allow me to remind you, it was only five little letters Helen Keller finally understood to spell “water”—just one word. One word that opened up a whole world to her, one word gave a, once “unreachable” little girl the power to communicate. Four pieces of code did precisely the same thing for deaf and dumb legacy systems.
I admit: the Helen Keller comparison may be a little dramatic, but you get the idea. The Bandit code makes it possible for these once unreachable systems to integrate with a central identity management solution; that code is the on-ramp to identity! They are the on-ramp to making my hotel stay that much more delightful. I have been focusing on hotels because Delaware North is the first company to use the open source code this way; but the truth is, every company faces similar challenges. They either have legacy or home-grown systems that have to be managed manually that have been considered a burden necessary to bare.
Using open source creates a foundation that is vendor- and to a great extent, system-agnostic. This code can be leveraged by any company with legacy system challenges, by a simple download. The code Bandit developed for Delaware North probably won’t be an exact fit for your company’s challenges, but the really cool thing about open source is that it has a massive community that is eager to make the code a perfect fit for whatever need you have. And, of course, that need will be to make my experience with your company, hotel, bank, or whatever that much better! I like dark chocolate and pink Champaign.