A2040-407 exam Dumps Source : Assessment: IBM Notes and Domino 9.0 sociable Edition System Administration B
Test Code : A2040-407
Test title : Assessment: IBM Notes and Domino 9.0 sociable Edition System Administration B
Vendor title : IBM
: 118 real Questions
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they relate decent things approach to people who wait. The IBM i group has waited over 10 years for a modern unlock of Domino and Notes, and that they maintain been rewarded closing week when IBM announced version 10 is now obtainable on IBM i.
Domino and Notes 10 is the first fundamental unlock of the server fraction of the business collaboration platform seeing that Domino eight.5 changed into launched way back in 2008 (edition 9 was a minor unencumber). The future of the platform turned into up within the air for a long time, and a lot of individuals who maintain dedicated a chunk of their careers to engaged on it maintain been in doubt even if IBM would proceed to improve it.
At one component in the early 2000s, the iSeries changed into the 2d greatest server platform for Domino (the server component of what become the Notes-Domino platform, and which now IBM is asking the Domino and Notes Platform), trailing handiest windows NT. loads of IBM i stores ran their email servers on the Notes and Domino software, specifically after IBM nixed OfficeVision/four hundred. the primary committed AS/four hundred computing device, you'll bear in mind, became the yellow-striped “Bumblebee” providing, which was a success satisfactory for IBM to proffer further dedicated servers.
As Domino and Notes gained modern performance – together with sociable media, mobile interfaces, and swift utility structure capabilities – many IBM i stores stayed with it, besides the fact that they didn’t utilize the modern features. while the numbers are surely down from their early 2000s top, anecdotal facts says there’s still a considerable achieve in ground of Domino on IBM i clients.
Domino’s route to redemption started within the Fall of 2017, when IBM enlisted the aid of HCL technologies to co-boost Domino, Notes, and linked items, comparable to Sametime, tourist, and Verse. The groups hosted the Domino2025 Jam event to generate interest amongst loyal customers and solicit fresh concepts for brand modern points in a drawing nearby version 10 liberate.
That edition 10 release shipped for windows, Linux, and other mainstream OSes in 2018, bringing a bunch of latest elements, comparable to capitalize for Node.js for creating modern Domino/Notes apps, removing the deserve to be taught Xpages, and modern self-curative capabilities for clustered deployments, among different aspects.
while the more suitable Domino community was popping champagne to celebrate the birth of Domino and Notes 10, the IBM i press was left striking for a bit. The way forward for Domino and Notes on IBM i – which traditionally has constituted a huge percentage of the Domino and Notes installed ground – nonetheless turned into no longer cemented in belt with a start date.
The suspense become popped remaining week when IBM introduced that Domino 10.0.1 and visitor 10.0.1.1 on IBM i edition 7.2 and 7.3 grew to be available on February 5. The news become welcomed via Kim Greene, who has made a career as a Domino on IBM i developer and consultant at Kim Greene Consulting.
“i hope you're as excited as i'm to procure this exceptional, characteristic prosperous, self-curative unlock purchasable on the hardware platform this is most synonymous with Domino, the IBM i,” she wrote on her Domino Diva blog remaining week. “It’s integrated, comfy, scalable, and totally purchasable.”
The undeniable fact that IBM i 7.2 became supported together with IBM i 7.3 become a particularly first rate piece of information, Greene wrote. “The releases supported are: 7.2, 7.3, and seven.four (when it turns into obtainable),” she wrote. “The large relief is that 7.2 is supported, whew!”
there were a number of IBM i-certain enhancements delivered with Domino 10.0.1, in response to Greene, together with a modern duty to simplify the administration of sunlight hours reductions Time. With this unencumber, Domino will default to *TIMEZONE for those who configure a brand modern server, she says. up to now, it turned into commonplace for administrators to misconfigure the equipment. It’s “long late,” she writes.
another configuration gotcha that has been smoothed over with the brand modern liberate has to upshot with changing the JVM configuration. The default JVM is the 32-bit JVM 8, but some Domino on IBM i clients might too exigency to employ the 64-bit JVM 8 unlock as a substitute. because of modern variables introduced to the setup, it’s now less difficult to circulation between 32-bit and 64-bit JVMs, based on Greene. Domino 10.0.1 will too now turns MEMCHECK on by way of default, so that it will assist when admins are debugging courses.
There are too changes to the default library where the licensed application executables deploy. “With libraries having a maximum length of ten characters, the nomenclature of QDOMINO8xx and QDOMINO9xx no longer works with edition 10.x,” writes Greene, who’s the considerable at Kim Greene Consulting. “hence the library structure alterations to QDOM100001 for edition 10.0.1.”
Domino 10.0.1 is available in English. a bunch 1 language pack is available that brings steer for
German, Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, japanese, Korean, simplified chinese language, and measure chinese language. IBM has additionally achieve together a webpage explaining what’s modern in Domino 10.0.1 for IBM i.connected studies
Domino On IBM i Poised For A Comeback
Domino users: are you able to Hear Me Now?
Indian enterprise Takes Over Notes/Domino construction
HCL technologies (HCL), a world know-how business, today introduced a collaboration with IBM (NYSE: IBM) designed to aid strengthen the hybrid cloud journeys of agencies international.
HCL nowadays introduced modern re-platforming and refactoring capabilities to permit firms to construct and migrate purposes to IBM Cloud private from within the company’s HCL Cloud autochthonous Labs. The capabilities should be orchestrated and available from HCL’s Cloud autochthonous Labs in London, long island, and Noida, later this yr.
HCL choices encompass cloud method planning, application transformation, cloud-native cultural transformation, proof of concept constructing, and subsequent-era cloud autochthonous application structure functions – everything of which are being prolonged to encompass the IBM Cloud choices.
additionally, HCL will present services to capitalize migrate ISV options to IBM Cloud. ultimately, HCL and IBM arrangement to collaborate to assist customers in structure joint solutions that consist of IBM AI capabilities.
“HCL will give the essential capabilities to enable a customer’s cloud autochthonous event overlaying portfolio assessment, platform design / construct, purposes transformation, software engineering, and platform operations, which makes this collaboration massive,” mentioned Kalyan Kumar, HCL corporate vp and CTO. “The HCL teams will now capitalize customers to maintain in intellect the knack of the viable, and see where ICP / IBM hybrid cloud can permit their cloud autochthonous journey. The HCL Cloud autochthonous Labs would become a sole region where the finished IBM tooling and methodologies approach together and proffer the client a unified cloud enablement flavor based on the total set of IBM capabilities.”
“application & Platform Transformation is a essential entry aspect for groups on their hybrid cloud event, yet they see that best few enterprise workloads had been modernized thus far,” illustrious Denis Kennelly, widely wide-spread manager for IBM Hybrid Cloud Integration. “Our IBM hybrid cloud options combined with the advantage HCL will simplify this for customers and accelerate their adventure to the cloud enabled by way of their Cloud autochthonous Labs. they are excited to drudgery with HCL to accommodate actual transformation for shoppers global.”
About HCL technologies
HCL applied sciences (HCL) is a number one international expertise business that helps global firms re–imagine and transform their agencies via Digital technology transformation. HCL operates out of 44 countries and has consolidated revenues of US$ 8.4 billion, for 365 days ended thirty first December, 2018. HCL makes a speciality of providing an integrated portfolio of capabilities underlined by its Mode 1–2–three multiply approach. Mode 1 encompasses the core services in the areas of functions, Infrastructure, BPO and Engineering & R&D capabilities, leveraging DRYiCE™Autonomics to seriously change customers' enterprise and IT panorama, making them 'lean' and 'agile'. Mode 2 makes a speciality of adventure–centric and result–oriented built-in offerings of Digital & Analytics, IoT WoRKS™, Cloud autochthonous capabilities and Cybersecurity & GRC functions to power enterprise consequences and allow enterprise digitalization. Mode 3 approach is ecosystem–driven, growing imaginative IP–partnerships to construct items and systems company. HCL leverages its world network of integrated co-innovation labs and international birth capabilities to deliver holistic multi–service start in key business verticals together with economic features, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Media, Publishing, leisure, Retail & CPG, lifestyles Sciences & Healthcare, Oil & fuel, energy & Utilities, trip, Transportation & Logistics and govt. With 132,328 experts from separate nationalities, HCL makes a speciality of creating precise cost for shoppers with the aid of taking 'Relationships past the Contract'. For greater tips, gratify visitwww.hcltech.com.
View supply version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/information/home/20190214005768/en/
source: HCL applied sciences"> <Property FormalName="PrimaryTwitterHandle" value="@hcltech
Media Contact:Anne CoyleHCL TechnologiesAnne.Coyle@HCL.com
Copyright enterprise Wire 2019
equipment and capabilities designed to capitalize businesses installation modern purposes across hybrid cloud environments with protection and effectivity
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM believe -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced modern hybrid cloud choices to advocate groups migrate, combine and manage applications and workloads seamlessly and with safety throughout any public or private cloud and on-premises IT environment.
IBM supplier logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)greater
The IBM Institute for enterprise cost estimates that by 2021, 98 % of agencies surveyed arrangement to undertake hybrid architectures, but just 38 % can maintain the approaches and apparatus they deserve to duty that environment1. The method nowadays is difficult since it is largely steer with most considerable security implications and an absence of consistent administration and integration tools.
As fraction of trendy news, IBM is launching modern hybrid cloud tools and functions designed to aid organisations navigate the complexities of this modern landscape:
"At Aetna, a CVS health business, they see hybrid cloud as an essential component of their transformation journey," observed Claus Torp Jensen, Chief expertise Officer, Aetna. "We wish to employ the highest quality capabilities from a number of cloud providers to create a seamless consumer adventure and digitalize underlying business procedures. For that, we're taking an API-centric approach to integration and making positive that everything of their APIs are readily accessible throughout their hybrid cloud ecosystem."
New Cloud Integration Platform Designed to Dramatically carve back Coding Time, Complexity
The IBM Cloud Integration Platform is designed to soundly link functions, utility and services from any dealer inspite of no matter if these methods are on-premises, in a public cloud or a non-public cloud. The platform brings collectively a finished set of integration tools in a sole structure environment. it will possibly capitalize multiply productivity as a result of integration experts can write, examine and comfy code as soon as, retain it in the platform and reuse it – an exhausting job that once monopolized their time. this may assist organizations reduce the time and charge of integration by using 1/3, while staying within their pleasing necessities for protection and compliance2.
Integration is vital as firms optimize business processes and create extra personalized consumer experiences. despite the fact, integration is fitting more and more complicated as a result of many enterprises surveyed are already the usage of between two to 15 diverse clouds and wish to deploy modern cloud capabilities such as AI, analytics and blockchain to reside ahead of the competition3.
With the IBM Cloud Integration Platform, businesses can birthright away convey to market modern capabilities whereas liberating up integration consultants to center of attention on the greater complex, system-degree integrations.
"Most mammoth corporations maintain facts and workloads unfold throughout separate public and private clouds, SaaS and on-premises environments – occasionally on account of their business system infrastructure, but additionally for compliance, regulatory and statistics privacy factors," observed Denis Kennelly, everyday manager, cloud integration, IBM. "The problem in this ambiance is to overcome statistics and expertise siloes to birthright now deploy modern company services and purposes with protection. these days, we're launching modern capabilities designed to advocate unleash the plenary vigour of the hybrid cloud."
gain learning of greater about the modern IBM Cloud Integration Platform by means of journeying: www.ibm.com/cloud/integration/platform
New end-To-conclusion IBM Hybrid Cloud capabilities
IBM is launching modern IBM capabilities for Cloud strategy and Design, a comprehensive set of services designed to submit shoppers on a way to architect the preempt holistic cloud method from design, migration, integration, street mapping and architectural capabilities to navigating their adventure to cloud. IBM features is establishing committed teams of consultants who are certified specialists within the newest functions and technologies across dissimilar cloud structures. groups will employ open and at ease multicloud recommendations, drawing upon IBM's flavor in IT transformation and collaboration with an ecosystem of cloud companions. the modern capabilities leverage IBM's business-leading Cloud Innovate components, automated resolution accelerators and IBM Cloud storage approach to assist valued clientele with co-introduction and scaled innovation in software construction, migration, modernization and management.
building off of a coincident partnership expansion announcement with ServiceNow, IBM is too introducing modern IBM services for Multicloud management to give a sole gadget to aid businesses simplify the management of their IT supplies across separate cloud providers, on-premises environments and private clouds.
The birth of IBM capabilities for Multicloud administration includes three layers designed to provide a sole management and operations system:
additionally, it contains a unified, self-service flavor to clients to facilitate sooner and less difficult access to cloud capabilities by means of an atmosphere built-in with the ServiceNow Portal to configure and buy cloud functions and options from dissimilar cloud suppliers. It too provides performance management features and offers the means to monitor and manipulate the fitness of the cloud.
"As they develop their digital business, stirring their functions to the cloud is vital to assist modernize their processes and deliver even more advantageous experiences for their valued clientele. Adopting the birthright approach and migration approach to cloud needs to be seamless and requires an figuring out of their IT landscape," talked about Sarp Uzkan, vice president, IT, Tribune Publishing. "IBM cloud advisory functions and apparatus provided a circumstantial assessment that decided no longer most efficacious which purposes can be most efficient to movement to the cloud however a powerful company case that would meet their needs and enabling us to explore the surest approach for stirring to the cloud."
be taught extra in regards to the modern IBM features via traveling: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2019/02/12/new-ibm-functions-multicloud-world/
industry-leading security for statistics and functions in the Public Cloud
security continues to be a accurate concern throughout everything industries and markets when deploying apps and facts in hybrid cloud environments. to be able to minimize threats, companies should the potential to proffer protection to statistics at every stage of its journey, quite simply control access and identity and profit visibility into the security carriage for everything of their functions.
IBM is launching the IBM Cloud Hyper proffer protection to Crypto carrier, which is designed to give business-main protection on the general public cloud and is made feasible with the aid of bringing IBM LinuxONE into IBM's world cloud statistics facilities. This carrier will supply encryption key administration with a dedicated cloud hardware protection module (HSM) built on the handiest FIPS one hundred forty-2 stage four-based mostly know-how offered by using a public cloud provider4.
here's fraction of the IBM Cloud Hyper proffer protection to household of features, which is already providing businesses fancy DACS and Solitaire Interglobal with business-leading safety and resiliency for his or her functions. To supply elevated degrees of security across each public and personal clouds, IBM is additionally asserting stupendous enhancements to IBM Cloud deepest on Z.
learn more about IBM's modern capabilities in cloud safety by using touring: https://ibm.com/blogs/bluemix/2019/02/cloud-safety-appropriate/
About IBM suppose:At regard 2019, IBM will contour modern choices, client engagements, partnerships, expertise breakthroughs and developer tools that underscore how IBM and companions are changing the way the realm works. For extra assistance, consult with the IBM assume 2019 Newsroom: https://newsroom.ibm.com/believe. follow the convention on Twitter at #think2019 and @ibmlive, and depart to https://www.ibm.com/pursuits/feel/ for the total time table and are live streaming agenda.
IBM's statements related to its plans, directions, and intent are discipline to exchange or withdrawal without word at IBM's sole discretion. suggestions regarding talents future products is meant to define their celebrated product path and it will now not be relied on in making a deciding to buy resolution. The information mentioned involving skills future products isn't a commitment, promise, or legal responsibility to convey any material, code or performance. suggestions about capabilities future products might too not be integrated into any contract. The building, liberate, and timing of any future aspects or performance described for their items is still at their sole discretion.
Footnotes1. IBM Institute for company cost: Assembling Your Cloud Orchestra, October 20182. according to client event and complete economic maintain an impact on methodology developed through Forrester analysis, Inc. (the gross financial strike of an API management answer, February 2017)3. IBM Institute for company cost: Assembling Your Cloud Orchestra, October 20184. presently attainable in beta, planned for widely wide-spread availability March 2019
Media Contact:Sarah MurphyIBM Media family members email@example.com
View fashioned content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/information-releases/ibm-unveils-new-choices-for-faster-and-greater-secured-course-to-hybrid-cloud-300794061.html
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A group of U.S. intelligence veterans urges President Trump to halt his administration’s False claims about Iran being the leading status sponsor of terrorism when U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia, are clearly much guiltier.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Is Iran the “World’s Leading Sponsor of Terrorism?”
We are concerned by recent strident and stark public statements from key members of your Administration that paint Iran in very alarmist terms. The average American, without the capitalize of history, could easily be persuaded that Iran poses an imminent threat and that there is no alternative for us but military conflict.
We find this uncomfortably familiar territory. Ten years ago former President George W. Bush was contemplating a war with Iran when, in November of 2007, intelligence analysts issued a formal National Intelligence assay (NIE) debunking the current conventional wisdom; namely, that Iran was on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon. The NIE concluded that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.
Recalling this second in his memoir, conclusion Points, President Bush illustrious that the NIE’s “eye-popping” intelligence findings stayed his hand. He added this rhetorical question: “How could I possibly justify using the military to execute the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no energetic nuclear weapons program?”
We believe that you are facing a similar situation today. But instead of an inaccurate pretension that Iran has nuclear weapons, the modern canard to justify war with Iran is the pretension that Iran remains the “world’s leading status sponsor of terrorism.” This is incorrect, as they justify below.
* * *
One of the recurring mammoth bipartisan lies being pushed on the public with the enthusiastic capitalize of a largely pliant media is that Iran is the prime sponsor of terrorism in the world today.
In the recent presentation of your administration’s National Security Strategy for 2018, the point is made that:
“Iran, the world’s leading status sponsor of terrorism, has taken advantage of instability to expand its influence through partners and proxies, weapon proliferation, and funding. . . . Iran continues to perpetuate the cycle of violence in the region, causing grievous harm to civilian populations.”
Those sentiments are echoed by several other countries of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s alien Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, for example, declared in October 2015 that: Iran “is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it is working on destabilizing the region.”
The Saudi alien minister conveniently declined to mention that 15 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes and attacked America on 11 September 2001 were Saudis, not Iranians. And, while Iran was an energetic promoter of terrorism two decades ago, it is no longer in the forefront of global terrorism. Ironically, that dubious distinction now goes to Iran’s accusers — first and foremost, Saudi Arabia.
The depiction of Iran as “the world’s leading status sponsor of terrorism” is not supported by the facts. While Iran is guilty of having used terrorism as a national policy tool, the Iran of 2017 is not the Iran of 1981. In the early days of the Islamic Republic, Iranian operatives routinely carried out car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of dissidents and of American citizens. That has not been the case for many years. Despite frequent claims by U.S. officials that Iran is engaged in terrorism, they simply note that the incidents recorded annually in the U.S. Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism rarely identifies a terrorist incident as an act by or on behalf of Iran.
Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah too has evolved radically. In the early years of the Islamic Republic, Hezbollah was often a proxy and sub-contractor for Iran. But during the last 20 years Hezbollah has become an entity and political accommodate in its own right. It fought Israel to a standstill in 2006 in southern Lebanon, which was a watershed second in establishing Hezbollah’s transformation into a conventional army. In the intervening years, Hezbollah, which is now fraction of the Lebanese government, too has turned away from the radical, sanctimonious driven violence that is the hallmark of the Sunni extremists, fancy ISIS.
Iran’s Asymmetrical Response
After Iran fell under the rule of the Ayatollah in 1979 terrorism, its role in elevated profile terrorist attacks, such as the taking of U.S. hostages and the bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the Marine barracks in Lebanon, fed understandable U.S. animosity towards Iran. But Iran’s actions were not driven primarily by blind hatred or radical sanctimonious views. For Iran terrorism was a way to punch back against more powerful foes, principally the United States, which was providing military and intelligence advocate to Iran’s neighbor and enemy, Iraq.
The Iranians were too pragmatic and had direct dealings with Israel. During the early days of the Iranian revolution the Mullahs, despite publicly denouncing Israel, happily accepted clandestine military advocate from the Israelis. Israel was equally pragmatic. The Israeli leaders ignored the Mullahs and gave the advocate as a means of helping counter the threat posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. A classic case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
The public image of Iran as a hotbed of fanatical terrorists has been usurped since the August 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in east Africa by Al Qaeda and other radical Sunni entities. The U.S. Government’s own list of terrorist attacks since 2001 shows a theatrical drop in the violence carried out by Iran and an accompanying surge in horrific acts by radical Sunni Muslims who are not aligned with Iran. The latest edition of the Global Terrorism Index, a project of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, shows that four groups accounted for 74 percent of everything fatalities from terrorism in 2015 — Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS.
Thirteen of the 14 Muslim Groups identified by the U.S. intelligence community as actively hostile to the US are Sunni, not Shia, and are not supported by Iran:
– ISIS (Sunni)
– The Al-Nusra Front (Sunni)
– Al-Qa’ida Central (Sunni)
– Al-Qa’ida in Magheb (Sunni)
– Al-Qa’ida in Arabian Peninsula (Sunni)
– Boku Haram (Sunni)
– Al-Shabbab (Sunni)
– Khorassan Group (Sunni)
– Society of the Muslim Brothers (Sunni)
– Sayyaf Group in the Philippines (Sunni)
– Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Sunni)
– Lashgar i Taiba (Sunni)
– Jemaa Islamiya (Sunni)
– Houthis (Shia)
The last major terrorist beset causing casualties that is linked to Iran was the July 2012 bombing of a bus with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. That departure from Iran’s more recent policy on terrorism was retaliation for what Iran perceived to be Israel’s role in assassinating five Iranian scientists involved with Iran’s Nuclear program, between January 2010 and January 2012 (the dates and names of those attacked are appended).
One can easily imagine the outrage and lust for revenge that would sweep the U.S., if Americans believed a alien country sent operatives into the United States who in eddy murdered engineers and scientists working on sensitive U.S. defense projects.
There maintain been other terrorist attacks inside Iran mien the handprint of advocate from the United States. Author Sean Naylor, Relentless Strike, which details the history of operations carried out by U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) over the past 30 years, sheds light on this uncomfortable truth:
“JSOC personnel too worked with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), a militant Iranian exile group that had based itself in Iraq after falling afoul of the ayatollahs’ regime in Tehran. The status Department had placed the MEK on its list of designated terrorist organizations, but that didn’t halt JSOC from taking an attitude of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” toward the group. “They were a group of folks that could transit the border, and they were willing to capitalize us out on what they wanted to upshot with Iran,” said a special operations officer.”
The MEK were classified as a terrorist group, until the United States decided that as long as the MEK would capitalize execute Iranians rather than Americans, that they were no longer terrorists. The MEK’s history of terrorism is quite clear. Among more than a dozen examples over the last four decades these four are illustrative:
Despite this history, a bipartisan parade of prominent U.S. political and military leaders has lobbied on behalf of MEK and has been well compensated in return.
Benighted Policy So Far
In the ultimate ironic turn, the U.S.-led 2003 war in Iraq played a critical role in Iran’s resurgence as a regional power. Saddam Hussein was replaced by Shia muslims who had received sanctuary in Iran for many years and Baathist institutions, including the Army, were taken over by Iraqis sympathetic to Tehran.
Iran has approach out ahead in Iraq and, with the 2015 nuclear agreement in place, Iran’s commercial and other ties maintain improved with key NATO allies and the other major world players—Russia and China in particular.
Official pronouncements on critical national security matters exigency to be based on facts. Hyperbole in describing Iran’s terrorist activities can be counterproductive. For this reason, they convoke attention to Ambassador Nikki Haley’s recent statement that it is difficult to find a “terrorist group in the Middle East that does not maintain Iran’s fingerprints everything over it.” The veracity is quite different. The majority of terrorist groups in the region are neither creatures nor puppets of Iran. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra are three of the more prominent that approach to mind.
You maintain presented yourself as someone willing to converse difficult truths in the kisser of establishment pressure and not to accept the status quo. You spoke out during the propel against the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a historic mistake of epic proportions. You too correctly captured the mood of many Americans fatigued from constant war in far away lands. Yet the torrent of warnings from Washington about the dangers supposedly posed by Iran and the exigency to confront them are being widely perceived as steps toward reversing your pledge not to procure embroiled in modern wars.
We hearten you to reflect on the warning they raised with President George W. Bush almost 15 years ago, at a similar historic juncture:
“after watching Secretary Powell today, they are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the coterie of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which they see no compelling judgement and from which they believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
LIST OF IRANIAN SCIENTISTS ASSASSINATED IN IRAN
January 12, 2010: Masoud Alimohammadi, Iranian Physicist:
Killed by a car bomb. The perpetrator reportedly confessed to having been recruited by Israeli intelligence to carry out the assassination.
November 29, 2010: Majid Shahriari, Iranian nuclear scientist:
Killed by a car bomb. According to German media, Israel was the sponsor.
November 29, 2010: Assassination attempt on Fereydoon Abbasi Iranian nuclear scientist:
Wounded by a car bomb.
July 23, 2011: Darioush Rezaeinejad, Iranian electrical engineer, unclear scientist
Killed by unknown gunmen on motorcycle. Specialist on high-voltage switches — a key component of nuclear warheads. Assassinated by Israeli intelligence, according to the German press.
January 11, 2012: Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, Iranian nuclear scientist
Killed at Natanz uranium enrichment facility by a magnetic bomb of the very benign used in earlier assassinations of Iranian scientists.
Richard Beske, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center
Marshall Carter-Tripp, alien Service Officer (ret.) and Division Director, status Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and status Department Counter Terrorism officer
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate alien Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air accommodate (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East, CIA and National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Torin Nelson, former Intelligence Officer/Interrogator (GG-12) HQ, Department of the Army
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army arbiter Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Greg Thielmann — Former director of the Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs Office of the status Department’s intelligence bureau (INR) and former senior staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee
Kirk Wiebe — former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary (associate VIPS)
Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (Retired)/DIA, (Retired)
Robert Wing — former alien Service Officer (associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); alien Service Officer (who resigned in opposition to the war on Iraq)
By Tyler Titherington
I am a restaurateur. I’m behind schedule. Again. Not because I am disorganized or maintain too much to do, more so because I maintain a hierarchy of tasks that are addressed based on priority. Guest needs are my first priority, staff needs are a nearby second and everything else last. There is a tertiary hierarchy in the last basket as well. Some tasks with a lower priority Fall through the cracks. Not because they are unimportant, but rather there just was not enough time. The veracity is that I am obsessively organized. I esteem “To Do” lists, calendars, rush charts and the accomplishment of tasks. I eat projects for breakfast, while live on the edge of chaos and complete catastrophe. Short staffed? Yawn. Drains flooding? Been there, done that. POS system crash during service on a weekend? Bring it. I am the duck – aloof above water and feet stirring nonstop below. However, how upshot I manage everything the curveballs and still manage to gain time without compromising any of my other priorities? It is very simple – conform and embrace technology wherever possible, specifically, cloud-based computing solutions that allow one to be in many places at one time. These applications simplify daily tasks for management teams and staff, which will ultimately leverage senior management down to focus on the bigger picture. Maybe even procure a day off…
Over the last 10 years or so, the increased availability of cloud-based computing solutions (using network computers over the internet rather than property-based difficult drives) has been a major paradigm shift for many industries. However, as with most technological advances, the restaurant industry has been very tedious to adapt. taut margins, resistance to change, and horror of unknown outcomes maintain long driven the restaurateur’s decision-making process. However, with increased options, cheaper costs, and ease of use, that mindset is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Restaurant operators are nascence to embrace cloud-based solutions for everything from Point of Sale and Tableside Payment to Menu Design and Scheduling.
Our foray into cloud computing began with an hapless set of circumstances that the entire industry was facing. The year was 2010 and the impending doom of PCI Compliance was upon us. At best, their network infrastructure was dated and they needed to act quickly to procure it into compliance. fancy most operators, their hand was forced and they had no choice. What is PCI Compliance? The confess depends on who you ask.
Your guests maintain never heard of it and maintain no credence what it is. Most restaurant operators will explain you that PCI Compliance is an almost unachievable set of network security standards designed to protect the credit card giants, who already imbue them way too much for credit card processing and continually squeeze them with a plethora of monthly fees. The definition of PCI Compliance is below, according to PCI ComplianceGuide.org
“The Payment Card Industry Data Security measure (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that everything companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. The PCI Security Council Card focuses on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. It is an independent corpse that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, ascertain and JCB.).”[i]
PCI DSS is mandatory for any and everything businesses that accept credit cards. It involves a process of assessment, remediation and reporting. Operators must identify network vulnerabilities, physical vulnerabilities, and operational vulnerabilities that could result in a credit card transgression and fix them. In summary, it is a painfully tedious, extremely time consuming, and potentially expensive process.
It is extremely considerable for the security of their guest’s payment information, both for ensuring faith with their customers and limiting legal liabilities. In 2017-8, major retail stores including Home Depot, Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy and Lord & Taylor made headlines across the country for data breaches possibly compromising customer’s credit card personal information. The restaurant industry is too plagued with security breaches, including large chains such as Darden (Cheddar’s), Panera Bread, Sonic and Arby’s. The number of customers whose credit card information may be compromised totals into the millions.[ii]
At Grafton Group, the process of obtaining Credit card security involved working directly with their IT vendor and POS vendor to achieve PCI compliance. The first order of business was to procure their network infrastructure in order. Some of the major network upgrades that they undertook were upgrading wiring, locking down patch panels, securitizing external ports, adding wireless access points (WAPs), and replacing firewalls. The WAPs and modern firewalls were the heart of the upgrades and would ultimately allow us to operate unencumbered in the cloud. The modern access points give their guests their own network and forestall them from accessing ours. The security firewalls forestall intrusions and too allow their IT vendor remote access so they can get changes without actually being in the restaurant. What used to be a scheduled visit from their IT vendor that may maintain taken weeks, is now a simple email and can often be addressed online in minutes. In a nutshell, PCI DSS forced us to upgrade their network, which ultimately allowed us to operate in the cloud. This unintended outcome to a painful requirement was truly a blessing in disguise and it pushed us into modern territory – the cloud! Being in the cloud has allowed us access to exciting applications and services that would otherwise be unavailable to us.
IBM defines cloud computing as “the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.”[iii] For their purposes, these on claim computing resources primarily consist of “SaaS” or Software as a Service. Here are some of the areas where cloud computing can streamline their operation.Point of Sale
POS systems are the most involving belt of cloud-based solutions for restaurant operators. Legacy systems such as Positouch, Micros, and Aloha are bulkier, more expensive, and much harder to program and implement. There are quite a few cloud-based POS options, most notably Boston-based Toast. Toast has done a considerable job streamlining and simplifying the interface for both front and back nearby users. Management can access the system remotely for screen programming, troubleshooting or reviewing sales. It is extremely intuitive, fancy using a smartphone, thus needing very dinky training. As wireless POS solutions evolve, legacy systems will eventually be phased out. It is only a matter of time.Tableside Payment
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is another set of regulations that are coming to the restaurant industry. “EMV is a global measure for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.”[iv] Used in Europe for years, the credit card never leaves the customer and everything transactions are processed tableside with a handheld device. One instance of an EMV compliant, cloud-based device for tableside payments that they at Grafton Group are currently analyzing and arrangement on implementing is Pay My Tab. Pay My Tab will fully integrate with their POS system and eliminates many bulky PCI DSS requirements. Many similar systems are already in employ at quick service operations, where guests and staff maintain easily adapted to them. In addition to tougher security, the implementation should reduce payment time, liquidate paper receipts (emailed instead) and simplify the process for management to search for specific receipts.
Reservations and Floor Management
There are a variety of solutions for reservations and floor management systems. Their solid has been using OpenTable for over 15 years, so when they rolled out their cloud-based system, GuestCenter, they were early adopters. This has been one of the sole best applications in terms of roll out, ease of use, and seamless integration. It is iPad-based and eliminates everything the wiring and host stand real estate. It is compatible to smart phones that allows for remote access, allowing management to check rush of service, identify unique reservations, and get positive that waitlists are being managed appropriately. Soon to approach is an interface with POS systems that automatically applies any “guest notes” from GuestCenter to the server’s check, such as special occasions, etc. Most importantly, due to its intuitive design, their millennial hosts employ the system seamlessly.Private Event Management
Private events are the foundation of most plenary service restaurant operations. They are the incompatibility between a marvelous week and a considerable week. However, it can be a very confusing process with everything of the stirring parts. In order to wait organized, they employ TripleSeat to manage leads, create BEOs and track their events calendar. The cloud-based event management system allows their Private Event Coordinators to respond at any given time from anywhere, giving them a leg up on the competition, giving them the opening to rate fees for each event. Since their coordinators receive an administrative fee for each event, they savor responding when available off-site; marvelous communication is key for making positive work-life balance is maintained.Bar at the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Inventory
An belt which the cloud has really saved their restaurants time is with food & beverage inventories. No more paper and no more transposing paper to spreadsheet. Inventories can be uploaded in real time using a tablet, laptop or even a smart phone. BevSpot is used for both their food and beverage inventories. They maintain too given access to their accounting firm, in order to reduce bulky invoice scans and uploads. everything information can be entered into the cloud and accessed by everything of their approved users. It too allows for multiple people to remove inventory simultaneously. One person can be on the bar, another in the walk in fridge, and another in the liquor room, everything at the very time. In addition to being a major time saver, it has helped Grafton Group to reduce sitting inventory by a significant amount across everything properties.Scheduling
Staff scheduling is a weekly administrative headache for managers, but there are cloud-based scheduling applications that lessen the pain. They maintain organize HotSchedules to appropriate their needs as it interfaces with their POS system and allows their solid to upshot some creative reporting in regards to budgeting and forecasting, as well as taking employees requests and requirements into consideration.Email and File Sharing
Grafton Group has approach a long way from sharing access to a desktop version of Outlook and toggling between accounts. They were able to liquidate their main server entirely and now they employ Office 365 for their email and file sharing needs. Not only is this highly securitized, it has redundancy so their information is always backed up. They access both their email and files from anywhere in the world. This has greatly improved productivity and allowed their management teams to communicate in real time.Grafton Street in Cambridge, MA. Photo: graftongrouphospitality.com Computer Hardware
Our office hardware now consists of much less expensive “Network Computers”, which upshot not require expanded reminiscence for giant programs, CD drives for downloading drivers, or expansion slots for extraneous drives. They can purchase more computers at a reduced cost and their managers no longer maintain to participate computer access in the office.Menu Design
For their menu design need, they maintain organize InDesign to be the most efficient program, which is fraction of the Adobe Creative Cloud. This program can now be selected a la carte from Adobe’s menu of programs and paid for on a month to month basis for under $20. This is much more palatable than paying $600 for the entire Adobe suite.
These are just a handful examples of how cloud computing has impacted their operations and ultimately saved time for their management team and staff. Ten seconds here, 5 minutes there, an hour tomorrow – it adds up to impactful chunks of time that can be better spent elsewhere. They maintain only scratched the surface as an industry – they will see more and more options for cloud-based solutions to real world restaurant problems. Although the solutions highlighted above create efficiency and rescue time, they upshot not serve guests and they don’t understand the knack of hospitality. It is imperative that as restaurateurs they continue to create a positive environment, embrace innovation, and engage and train their employees in the knack and skill of hospitality.
There are some things you will never maintain time for in the restaurant industry, regardless of cloud-based advancements. “Lunch”, for example, I maintain heard is a meal that takes Place in the middle of the day. For me, “lunch” is the sandwich that I eat in 30 seconds somewhere between 2pm and 6pm standing over a trash can in the back of the kitchen. There is no technology for that…
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] “PCI Compliance steer FAQ.” PCIComplianceGuide.Org. September, 2018. https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/faq/#1. [ii] Green, D. and Hanbury, M. (Aug. 22, 2018). “If you shopped at these 16 stores in the last year, your data might maintain been stolen.” https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4 [iii] “What Is Cloud Computing?” IBM.com. September, 2018. https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-cloud-computing. [iv] Kossman, Sienna. ” 8 FAQs about EMV credit cards.” CreditCards.com. August 29, 2017. https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php. Tyler was born and raised in Portland, Maine and has lived in the Boston belt since attending Boston University. After graduating from the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Mr. Titherington operated a handful of bars and restaurants in Boston. He has been with Grafton Group since October 2007.
By Christopher Muller
In fraction 1 of this analysis of the restaurant delivery system they looked at the owner/operator models which still proffer some measure of control over charge and quality. This is swift becoming an issue with the ascend of the Ghost Kitchen where the ODP is an integral fraction of the equation. Here they present the larger challenges from the preeminent ODP control of the marketplace. It is marvelous to bethink that most of the ODPs themselves are still looking to find profits in what they do, a suggestion that those profits will exigency to approach at the expense of the restaurant providers in one way or another.5. The Aggregator or On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) – No Driver Fleet
If someone were to say, “Let me remove care of everything of your delivery problems for a miniature carve of your revenues” many restaurant operators, especially those interested to procure into the market with the least amount of upfront investment, would jump at the chance. Enter the On-Line Delivery Provider with a business model built upon a brand title customer-facing APP, website or phone number and an stupendous amount of back office computing power to drive order volume.
At its core, to be successful the Aggregator needs to be a world-class matchmaker for food orders, with both a large customer database of users and a broad assortment of restaurant menus offered in major cities. fancy many of what MIT’s Bill Aulet calls an Innovation Driven Enterprise (IDE) the cost of customer acquisition is the key hurdle in entering this distribution channel. What it doesn’t exigency is its own fleet of employee delivery drivers. Capitalizing on the DIY gig economy, drivers are hired on a contractual basis, working as independent delivery agents with their own vehicles.
The barrier to lowering this elevated cost of entry has favored early market entrants and large well-funded digital innovators. Worldwide, the fastest growing ODP is Uber Eats, the natural extension of car service provider, Uber, with its existing stupendous data ground of users, an ever expanding fleet of drivers, and the understanding for a driver that delivering food with an APP-based pre-payment system is considerably faster and easier than dealing with human passengers.
The upside for restaurant companies using an ODP such as Uber Eats, from those as preeminent as McDonalds or as miniature as the local pizzeria, is that there is no exigency to hire and train non-core employees. As touted by Uber Eats delivery service can launch almost immediately upon signing up. The downside, that has a potential for long term impact, is two-fold. The fee structure for traditionally low margin restaurants can be between 20-30% of a menu detail price, leaving dinky to cover remaining expenses. Worse though is that the restaurant gives away its brand and trade dress image to the company making the delivery to the front door. McDonalds hamburgers may be in the bag, but the title on the ordering APP and the uniform on the person handing it to the customer says Uber Eats.
6. The Consolidator – Bulk “Bus Stop”
As noted, the most expensive sole piece of the delivery puzzle is getting food from the restaurant to the front door, what is called “the last mile.” One proven way to minimize that expense is to maintain the customer meet the food delivery at a central drop-off spot (see: Amazon ). A start-up, Yun Ban Bao, in modern York City is taking advantage of ethnic Chinese food deserts through direct targeted marketing using the preeminent Chinese online service provider, WeChat. By doing so it is creating a captive delivery market with the advantage of pre-ordering and payment.
Taking online requests for delivery on the next business day, then consolidating orders using a bulk delivery model, Yun Ban Bao is lowering the cost of delivery while maintaining control with its own fleet of drivers. It advertises a data analytics service for smaller restaurants as well as being a revenue growth accelerator for restaurants in suburban locations which otherwise could not find modern or broader market opportunities.
Using a pre-arranged group delivery network, often outside parks, office towers or apartment buildings, the system mirrors a bus route, not the more traditional taxi route model of one-on-one delivery. This too affords the network of restaurants a way to lower operating costs by controlling the production process in advance.7. The Aggregator ODP – Owned Fleet
Some of the largest ODP players started in the delivery business by controlling their own fleets of employee managed delivery drivers. The global leader, Just Eat, has used this model throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. But it too has worked directly with restaurants who maintain their own in-house deliver fleets to create a broad partnership. Just eat acts as the online ordering platform, but then allows the local branded company to be the kisser at the door.
The aptitude to present a standardized customer facing brand identity means that faith may be established with the customer directly. While this can approach at the risk of the restaurant losing its direct brand relationship, what Just eat has been able to master is the collection of a vast customer database of its users. It has created a relationship with many of its restaurant partners to assist them in finding ideal store locations, menu detail design and creative targeted pricing and promotions programs which would not otherwise be affordable or even available to smaller companies.
For these ODP companies, the costs for maintaining their own fleets or working as a hybrid with a local restaurant creates a higher operating expense, but these are often offset with a higher fee participate from both the restaurant and the consumer. It too creates a competitive advantage by structure a broader network of restaurants to elect from for the customer, which builds long term loyalty and habitual purchase behaviors.
8. The ODP Aggregator – unlit Kitchens
One of the greatest threats to the bricks and mortar restaurant delivery partners is the emerging concept of a unlit Kitchen. This is a space created by an OPD to facilitate the lowest cost per delivery mile from restaurant kitchen to the highest density of users. While this is similar to the Cloud Kitchen model, in this case the OPD establishes a cluster of miniature dedicated but competitive restaurant kitchens in a sole site. A unlit Kitchen is too similar to the trending food hall concept, but comes with no direct customer interaction—no walk-in guest visits these production facilities. In the UK this was pioneered by Deliveroo with its urban RooBox or Editions concepts. confederate restaurants rent portable kitchen space from the delivery service and pay a larger percentage fee to cover the build-out costs for their space. Restaurants staff the kitchens at their own expense, as well.
Earlier this year, Grubhub invested $1 million in Green climax Group (see Ghost Kitchen in fraction I), a startup with nine virtual restaurants operating from a sole kitchen. DoorDash is renting extra space from the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., and making it available to foodservice operators who want to create delivery-only options. In Los Angeles, Postmates leased a commissary kitchen space so its restaurants can gain modern customers. And UberEATS is exploring the concept with Poke Café in Chicago — a virtual restaurant serving Hawaiian poke bowls.
“We can drudgery with existing restaurant partners to create delivery-only menus. (They would) issue as entirely modern restaurants on the UberEats app,” Ambika Krishnamachar, UberEats product manager, said in an article on Mashable.
And again, while on its kisser this appears to be a positive opening for independent or chain restaurants to lower costs or disaggregate the dine-in from the delivery production process, it is not cost free. In fact, as a ratiocinative progression would suggest, the OPD Deliveroo service has realized that the actual local restaurant in this amalgamate is not a necessity for success. Instead by using its own “innovation fund” it will to depart directly into the restaurant business itself, creating “from scratch” concepts by working with personage chefs and data mining information from its stupendous customer data base. 
As more of the OPDs eye to find profits to pass along to the aggressive investors who maintain funded rapid growth, they will inevitably eye to carve out the middleman and provide meals themselves to multiply margins. The kitchen that may actually depart “dark” is the local one on the corner down the street in an independent restaurant.
This is undoubtedly both an involving and a challenging time for the restaurant industry and the Online Delivery Providers who are feeding from it. Neither side seems to maintain figured out how to get the modern consumer claim for off-site delivery drudgery to their complete advantage.
It is impossible to believe that any restaurant can survive if it gives away up to 30% of its top line revenues when the average net profit is less than 10%. No amount of increased volume in sales will get up for that. As Cameron Keng wrote in his column “Why Uber Eats Will eat You Into Bankruptcy” in March, 2018:
Based on the average profit margins above, every restaurant that engages Uber Eats will lose money on every order they take. The more orders coming from Uber Eats, the more money a restaurant would lose.
At the very time, while it is difficult to procure exact information, it appears that almost no fraction of the largest On-Line Delivery Providers, in any of the described segments is actually showing a profit. Uber Eats is only profitable in 27 of its more than 100 urban markets, and while Deliveroo’s sales rose in 2017 to £277 million ($356 million), the company lost an astounding £185 million ($237 million). Yet Uber Eats is offering over $2 billion to purchase/merge with Deliveroo.
Finally, as Jonathan Maze wrote in his Bottom Line column in early October the restaurant industry is simply unprepared for what appears to be a tectonic shift in traditional restaurant segments, consumer behavior, labor utilization, real Estate valuation and investor interest.
If delivery is the future of the restaurant business, the restaurant business as it is currently constructed is in trouble.
The service is growing rapidly. But it’s increasingly replacing existing restaurant business rather than taking business away from grocers or other food retailers. 
As they illustrious in the beginning, it took the lodging industry almost 20 years to launch to get this benign of tectonic change and it is nowhere near complete. A few very large hotel companies, through merger and acquisition, maintain consolidated enough power to start the trot away from handing over everything of their pricing to the OTA’s. In economic terms, hotel companies are trying to depart from being charge Takers to charge Setters.
At this early stage of the restaurant OPD’s domination of the delivery cycle, it is not transparent that any restaurant organization is large enough to atomize the fever, especially now that McDonald’s is partnering with Uber Eats. While it may issue that the On-line Delivery Provider is a restaurant’s partner, friend or even savior, it is no fraction of those. In fact, in order to become profitable the OPD is looking to become a direct competitor.
What is certain is that few restaurant companies, and certainly no independent operations, can survive the next two decades letting third parties ordain what convenience and charge mean. In fact, this might be a marvelous time to procure out of the house and depart visit your favorite local restaurant. Sacrificing some convenience for a considerable flavor is a marvelous value and that restaurant may not be around the next time you want to note up.
PDF Version Available HereReferences  see Bill Aulet, Disciplined Entrepreneurship,  The Financial, October 25, 2018, https://www.finchannel.com/~finchannel/business/76317-amazon-expands-grocery-delivery-and-pickup  Menqi Sun, WSJ, September 9, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-get-food-delivered-from-your-favorite-faraway-restaurant-1536516000  See https://www.just-eat.com/  James Cook, business Insider, April 5, 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com/deliveroo-editions-pop-up-restaurants-roobox-2017-4  Tim York, The Packer, March 23, 2018, https://www.thepacker.com/article/rise-virtual-restaurant Sophie Witts, mammoth Hospitality, May 21, 2018, https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2018/05/21/Deliveroo-to-create-own-restaurant-brands-using-5m-fund#  Cameron Keng, Forbes, March 26, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2018/03/26/why-uber-eats-will-eat-you-into-bankruptcy/#778a3b0621f6  Ibid., DealBook, September 21, 2018  BBC News, October 1, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45707700  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant business Online, October 17, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/delivery-could-force-changes-restaurant-business-model Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the drill of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Christopher Muller
The entire restaurant industry, from the simplest quick service joint to the most knotty fine dining jewel, is caught in a veritable frenzy of delivery. It may be, unfortunately, a very risky path to travel for the uninitiated restaurant operation, but delivery is driving the investment community to a fever pitch.  They maintain entered into the time of the restaurant On-Line Delivery Provider (ODP) which mirrors in many ways the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) which has so disrupted the lodging industry.
In two complimentary BHR articles here, they present a eye at the 8 different models of restaurant delivery and how they are affecting both senior management and customer choices.
A Quick Lesson From Pricing History
For observers of the global Hospitality Industry this should transmit up warning flags. In a galaxy far, far away, the Lodging industry managed revenues by using simple seasonal or assign pricing models (On-, Shoulder- and Off-Peak rates, or premiums for “A play With A View”) and sold some limited excess inventory through a network of independent Travel Agents (at an onerous 10% commission!).
Then, as the Internet expanded, and the travel market imploded after the 9-11 tragedy, a modern and exciting model emerged – the On-Line Travel Agent (OTA) acting as a third party aggregator appeared. Hotel companies willingly gave open access to everything of their unsold play inventory to the OTAs (Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, etc.) to sell directly at profound discounts, often between 25 and 30% off posted Rack Rates. Occupancies rose, but average Daily Rates plummeted, and profits quickly diminished. Hotels, relying on the customary pricing models were caught competing “with themselves” and watched as formerly loyal customers switched their buying habits and loyalties to the OTA that gave them the best rate. Customers could scroll through pages of prices, often for the exact very play in the very hotel, searching for the cheapest rate. Hotel rooms, instead of being unique destinations became interchangeable commodities.
It has taken almost twenty years, but through brand consolidation and a total system-wide transformation into a Revenue Management based pricing model, the hotel business has been transformed and the OTAs are being aggressively challenged for dominance. This should be a lesson for the restaurant owner/operator, the OTAs drove nothing but charge as a conclusion attribute, the ODPs are poised to upshot the very thing with both charge and convenience, unfortunately restaurants probably won’t maintain decades to recover.
Today’s Restaurant Delivery Frenzy –The ascend of the ODP
Whether it’s the savvy but shape-shifting Millennial, the rapidly aging Baby Boomer, or the rising youthful digital autochthonous from the i-Generation, it seems that customers in everything shapes and sizes just want to maintain their meals brought to them at home, the office, or somewhere in between. Breaking the code of the delivery model—becoming the customer’s selection of who serves up breakfast, lunch or dinner at home, drudgery or play—has emerged as the Holy Grail of the foodservice business. But it may be more fancy the other mythic unlit Ages metaphor, the Plague, potentially killing upwards of 30% of existing restaurant units.
So, what exactly is “delivery” today, how did it evolve into such a big, expanding component of the restaurant offering and what are the implications going forward for the industry? Just how upshot the On-Line Delivery Providers, the ODP, dominate the market?
We can launch by agreeing that delivery is a separate and rapidly growing distribution channel, although it has been around in one figure or another for a very long time. And while not exactly a modern technology, nor necessarily a profitable one, the exploding market for the delivery of food is poised for an inevitable shudder out as it quickly approaches a ripen angle consolidation.
In late 2018 delivery is everything about instant gratification, not just for the diner but some would suggest for the restaurant as well. At first glance, it everything feels so simple and easy. But fancy so much in restaurant management, there is more than one way to procure something done, even the simplest of things.
Emerging Key Success Factors
Like so many emerging business models in the on-line digital age, food delivery is developing its own metrics and factors to be considered and mastered. While still evolving, among these now are:
Delivery of food, especially from a restaurant to a consumer, has become a multi-billion dollar segment of the industry. Some are predicting that it will overtake the traditional dine-in segment completely within a decade, although the complexity of getting it birthright and turning a profit while doing so, can still be elusive even for the largest players. And of course, no one should forget that Amazon is over in the corner waiting to see how things evolve in an online delivery world they basically invented.
Traditional and Controlled
As noted, the delivery of food from a restaurant directly to a local customer is not a modern credence although traditionally the customer came to the restaurant and picked up or carried out their food order. Both delivery and carry-out were best suited to a restaurant with a simple, easily transported menu. Where a significant amount of the value of the meal was the dining flavor and table service, meals to depart were often comprised of a package of leftovers or the long gone term “doggie bags.”
Here is a eye at four models with some measure of control for restaurant owners and operators over the quality and profitability of their offerings.
1. The Independent – One Shot
As a service provider a restaurant may resolve that in order to meet the needs of its local customer ground it should provide a delivery option. At one time, only a few restaurants in an urban core would maintain delivery offers and these might typically be delicatessens or Chinese restaurants with few seats and a very strong focus on offering takeout options. The food can be cooked, boxed, wrapped and brought quickly to an office or apartment within a few blocks on foot or by bicycle.
This model is the most basic – a caller, the kitchen, and an employee bringing sizzling food directly to the customer. The restaurant controls the quality, manages the relationship with the diner and absorbs the plenary cost and everything the revenues. It typically comes with higher operating costs for labor (primarily from an in-house paid delivery driver fleet) and with premium rent from the exigency for an attractive customer-facing retail space. On the plus side, everything local customer information may be controlled by the restaurant and there are no fees to participate with an outside third-party service.
But as the independent operator reaches for the brass ring on the delivery merry-go-round, they too exigency to be careful not to lose their grip on their existing ride. A modern distribution channel can be much more challenging that just taking a customer order. As illustrious by Jennifer Marston:
…restaurants are under pressure to adapt…More and more, that means altering the physical restaurant space so it can better accommodate this influx of modern orders. Extra meals require extra bodies to cook and package the food, after all, not to mention extra space for third-party devices, and somewhere to achieve completed orders waiting to be picked up by a delivery driver.
An involving twist on this sole restaurant model of trying to find a way to both control and expand the delivery system while maintaining some measure of profitability is one recently proposed in the restaurant trade magazine Restaurant business Online:
He (CMO Nabeel Alamgir) explained that Bareburger is already striving to transmogrify customers ordering through third parties’ apps into users of the chain’s own channels. Patrons of an Uber Eats or Postmates might be offered a 10% discount on their next order if it’s placed through Bareburger’s website. The chain can afford a discount that profound because the financial impact is still less than the 20% or 30% discount an outside service typically charges.
Alamgir illustrious at the start of the panel’s presentation that a service started by restaurants for restaurants would maintain been an attractive alternative to some of the third-party giants. “Let’s get their own platform. Let’s get their own Grubhub,” he said.
2. The Cloud Kitchen – A Hub & Spoke System
It can be argued that today’s focused delivery channel began in earnest when Domino’s offered up a “30 Minute or Free” guarantee in 1973. In order to get this guarantee effective, the company created a hub and spoke system, in upshot structure a sequence of franchised units in low cost locations. They were characterized by being geographically market-centered but with no exigency for a “High Street” customer facing address. This was directly in contrast to the overwhelming market advantage owned by Pizza Hut and its network of “Red Roof” plenary service pizzerias with their focus on dine-in and takeout service. But the competitive advantage that came from having units with no dine-in, limited customer carry-out, and which were serviced by a central commissary set in motion the shift away from the traditional eat-in model.
“The reality is, when the red roof restaurant was created, the credence of delivery wasn’t fraction of the concept,” said Pizza Hut chief executive David Gibbs, a 26-year veteran at parent company Yum Brands…”so in many cases, their business has outgrown the capabilities of those restaurants…”
Now, four decades later Domino’s is the world leader in delivery, pizza or otherwise. It has done this by controlling the entire process or what is called the “full stack” in the delivery cycle. Now describing itself as an IT and logistics company that sells pizza, the backbone of the system is that they control the customer ordering process, the production quality process, and through a vast franchise network the delivery process.
Next to come, using modern GPS and AI technologies, Domino’s predicts that it will be able to get deliveries not just to a formal structure address, but to anywhere a customer can be located by tracking their cellphone, even if that is a park bench or a blanket on the beach.
But Domino’s is not the only leader to be expanding its Cloud Kitchen delivery system. Already designed on a commissary production system model, giant swift casual leader, Panera Bread, tested delivery in Boston and then announced an expansion across the United States in early May, 2018 with a system based upon using its own delivery drivers.  Following the trend in October the largest chicken sandwich chain, Chick-fil-A, announced it was nascence to test the hub and spoke model of delivery in Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY.
Chick-fil-A is opening two modern restaurants that don’t maintain something you commonly associate with the chain: seats.
Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based chicken sandwich chain, is testing catering and delivery locations in Nashville and Louisville, Ky., that will open this month.
The locations, according to an announcement on the chain’s website, maintain no dining rooms or drive thru’s and are designed to be hubs for catering and delivery orders. The restaurants will not accept cash, either.
The Cloud Kitchen model can be very efficacious for restaurant companies with large enough scale, whether in a sole city or across a region, to remove advantage of a sole production kitchen site with remote staging kitchens. Ultimately the “full stack” control from order to front door can approach from as few as three restaurants or as many as 3000. This too means that the foundation is laid for vast proprietary customer data collection and eventually data mining by the most forward-looking operators.
It can be argued that the Food Truck movement of the past decade is a subset of the Cloud Kitchen model. By most local health code laws, food trucks must maintain a “home kitchen” or commissary for their bulk production that meets everything health and sanitation code requirements. In many urban centers, to be successful a food truck company needs to maintain multiple trucks on the road acting as a distribution network. While this is too a classic Hub & Spoke model, it comes with similarities to a model in the next article, #6 The Consolidator, with distribution on a bus halt route and not a one-to-one last mile taxi route.
3. The Ghost Kitchen
One further refinement of the Cloud Kitchen is the Ghost Kitchen. As delivery becomes more of a threat to the traditional dine-in restaurant option, some suggest that this model, in fact, is the future of restaurants—basically a highly efficient hybrid of menu concepts, specialized production and logistics, and low labor cost with no eat-in customers.
In that way, this model is identified by three key components.
First, it removes the dining play or takeout from the restaurant completely, working out of a kitchen whose location is based on nearness to its core customer market yet in a typically low rent out-of-the-way space.
Second, it does not hire any paid employees to deliver, instead making employ (through partnership or agreement) of the many third-party delivery companies fancy GrubHub, Postmates or Doordash.
Third, and possibly the most important, because of the flexibility of only needing an APP, website or traditional telephone ordering system, more than one cuisine can be produced in the very kitchen space. effortless to prepare, cook and deliver foods such as salads, sandwiches, Asian and other ethnic dishes, or gourmet pizza can everything be offered while cross-utilizing similar ingredients in creative menu offerings.
This can best be described as an “order only” restaurant. The most prominent or well-known of these Ghost Kitchens would be Green climax (see transition to #8 unlit Kitchen in fraction 2). While garnering a marvelous amount of press, the personage chef David Chang’s Maple, closed its operation in 2017 with some assets stirring to London and the delivery company Deliveroo. Chef Chang sold the physical kitchen space, Ando, to Uber Eats after ceasing operations in January, 2018. 
Because no customer ever sets foot through the front door the owners can achieve everything of their investment in kitchen apparatus and the technology of ordering. A Ghost Kitchen offers customers large menu choices, and just as its cousin the Cloud Kitchen, has the option to retain track of its own proprietary customer data set through the direct ordering process. The tradeoff is that ownership sacrifices the customer interface at delivery of the Cloud Kitchen model. Operating and start-up costs are low and efficiency can be very high. The risk is that a large portion of the margin (sometimes up to 30%) from market-driven menu prices is taken by the delivery partnership, who too control the brand image when customers receive their orders off-site.4. Virtual Restaurants
Along with disrupting the taxi business, Uber Eats is about to globally disrupt the restaurant delivery business. As of October, 2018, Uber Eats had over 1600 “virtual restaurants” around the globe, with almost 1000 in its US partnership portfolio. The majority of these are not the Cloud or unlit Kitchen models mentioned above, but are existing restaurants with modern brands that only exist through Uber Eats. This model, while charging very elevated fees to the restaurant, allows them to technically not compete with themselves in the home delivery marketplace. Uber Eats gains more menus to offer, and limits any exigency for an investment in a commissary space.
For SushiYaa, Kim says the virtual restaurant concept has been transformative. “Because this concept worked so well for us, they actually changed one of their restaurants from a sushi buffet concept to a regular restaurant with 8 different virtual restaurant brands inside it. The buffet sales weren’t doing so well and the delivery side was doing better, so they thought — let’s change it completely so we’re focused more on delivery.” From a sales standpoint, he says it’s “almost as if they maintain another restaurant without paying additional rent and labor, even though [Uber Eats] takes about 30 percent.”
One other nature of Virtual Kitchen involves the licensing of existing restaurant recipes and menu items in a curated virtual model. The start-up concept marvelous Uncle is using this to compete in the university meal arrangement segment, offering a sweep of pricing options for higher quality prepared meals, delivered by their own delivery fleet using the bus halt common drop off method. This is a limited menu, limited target market, which benefits from a direct marketing approach, lower operating costs, and uses both a subscription and premium fee based pricing system. It is a Virtual Kitchen because there is no restaurant or other customer facing facility, it exists only online.
Part One – Conclusions
Delivery models, some traditional, some evolving, proffer many opportunities for restaurant operators, especially those in the QSR and swift Casual segments, where hasten and charge and convenience are the drivers of consumer choice.
The challenge in today’s delivery market is how owners and operators can maintain both elevated quality and long-term profitability in the products/services they offer. For many meals, the time and distance from kitchen to table can be more than 30 minutes or multiple miles. quality of presentation and flavor may quickly diminish. More importantly, where the medium annual profitability for restaurants across everything segments in the USA is considerably less than 10%, losing up to 30% of top line revenues is not a path to a successful future, (even if total sales multiply by 20%).
PDF Version Available HereReferences  Heather Haddon and Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal online, October 24, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-are-craving-food-delivery-companies-1540375578?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=contextual&cx_artPos=4#cxrecs_s  Liam Proud, DealBook, NYTimes, September 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/business/dealbook/uber-eats-deliveroo.html  Jennifer Marston, The Spoon, July 31, 2018, https://thespoon.tech/delivery-is-making-these-restaurants-literally-redesign-the-way-they-do-business/  Peter Romeo, Restaurant business Online, Oct. 19, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/3-big-changes-looming-restaurants  Karen Robinson-Jabos, Dallas News, Jan 6, 2016. https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2016/01/06/pizza-hut-is-ditching-the-iconic-red-roof-for-a-more-modern-look  Janelle Nanos, Boston Globe, May 7, 2018, https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/05/07/panera-expanding-its-delivery-service-cities/sZg4pO0yTw9cEdYpv514tL/story.html?event=event12  Jonathan Maze, Restaurant business Online, Oct. 09, 2018 https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/chick-fil-opening-new-delivery-focused-prototype  Neal Ungerleider, 01.20.17 swift Company https://www.fastcompany.com/3064075/hold-the-storefront-how-delivery-only-ghost-restaurants-are-changing-take-out  Closing announcement from Maple, May 8, 2017 https://maple.com/letter/  Whitney Filloon, Eater, October 24, 2018, www.eater.com/2018/10/24/18018334/uber-eats-virtual-restaurants  see the online Audiopedia site https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKO5JFbqKTA  Ibid, Eater, October 24, 2018  see https://www.gooduncle.com/ Christopher C. Muller is Professor of the drill of Hospitality Administration and former Dean of the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. Each year, he moderates the European Food Service Summit, a major conference for restaurant and supply executives. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and two graduate degrees from Cornell University, including a Ph.D. in hospitality administration. Email: email@example.com
By Makarand Mody and Monica Gomez
For a long time, the hotel industry did not regard Airbnb a threat. Both the industry and Airbnb claimed they were serving different markets and had different underlying business models. Over the years, as Airbnb become more successful and grown to being larger than the companies in the hotel industry, the rhetoric has changed. The hotel industry began to realize they had something to worry about.
A stage of denial was followed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) attacking Airbnb by sponsoring research to demonstrate its negative impacts on the economy and lobbying governments to impose taxes and regulations on homesharing. The association is arguing for a plane playing bailiwick between homesharing and hotels (and rightly so). The next stage of this battle involves competition and integration. Not only are hotels looking to add homesharing-like attributes and experiences to their properties, to more effectively compete with Airbnb, but are too looking to tap into the platform-based business model that underlies Airbnb’s success.
The Past: How does Airbnb impact the hotel industry?
Airbnb’s disruption of the hotel industry is significant, both existentially and economically. A recent study by Dogru, Mody, and Suess (2018) organize that a 1% growth in Airbnb supply across 10 key hotel markets in the U.S. between 2008 and 2017 caused hotel RevPAR to decease 0.02% across everything segments. While these numbers may not issue substantial at first, given that Airbnb supply grew by over 100% year-on-year over this ten year era means that the “real” reduce in RevPAR was 2%, across hotel segments. Surprisingly, it was not just the economy but too the extravagance hotel segment that was difficult hit by Airbnb supply increases, experiencing a 4% real decline in RevPAR. The impact of Airbnb on ADR and occupancy was less severe. In Boston, RevPAR has decreased 2.5%, on average, over the last ten years due to Airbnb supply increases. In 2016 alone, this 2.5% reduce in RevPAR amounted to $5.8 million in revenue lost by hotels to Airbnb. Brands that felt the impact the most were those in the midscale and extravagance segments, with a reduce in RevPAR of 4.3% and 2.3% respectively. These supply increases are too fueling Airbnb taking an increasing participate of the accommodation market pie. For example, in modern York City, Airbnb comprised 9.7% of accommodation demand, equaling approximately 8,000 rooms per night in Q1 2016 (Lane & Woodworth, 2016). As a whole, Airbnb’s accommodated claim made up nearly 3% of everything traditional hotel claim in Q12016.
Buoyed by a growth rate of over 100% year on year, Airbnb now has over 4 million listings, with the U.S. being its largest market. The company too has significant play to grow in other countries, particularly emerging markets in Africa and India. The company has flee into some competition in China, with local rivals Tujia and Xiaozhu. Also, within the U.S., the marvelous news is that Airbnb will not grow at 100% indefinitely and will eventually plateau as it reaches a saturation point (Ting, 2017a). In view of this, the company has turned to alternative strategies to continue to multiply supply. It is now targeting property developers to eddy entire buildings into potential Airbnb units, through its newest hotel-like brand, Niido. Currently, there are two Airbnb branded Niido buildings in Nashville, TN and Orlando, FL with over 300 units each and Airbnb plans to maintain as many as 14 home-sharing properties by 2020 (Zaleski, 2018). Niido works by encouraging tenants to list their units on Airbnb, with Airbnb and Niido taking 25% of the revenue generated. Airbnb has too clearly evolved from its original premise of “targeting a different market” to attracting segments traditionally targeted by hotels, such as the leisure family market, business travelers, and the upscale traveler, as evidenced through its latest offering, Airbnb Plus. These homes maintain been verified for quality, comfort, design, maintenance, and the amenities they offer. They too maintain effortless check in, premium internet access, and fully equipped kitchens. Their hosts are typically rated 4.8+, and depart above and beyond for their guests. Through Airbnb Experiences, travelers can partake in everything from the considerable outdoors—hiking and surfing—to “hidden” concerts and food and wine tours. In addition to these products, Airbnb has too “created” its own segments of travelers: novelty and flavor seekers who are looking for unique and unconventional accommodation fancy yurts, treehouses, and boats, everything things that a traditional hotel company cannot provide.
The Present: Understanding what consumers want lies at the heart of the battle between hotels and Airbnb
There are larger societal trends that are impacting what consumers quest travel, and they assume this has implications for the Airbnb and hotel dynamic. These trends include:
What upshot these trends mean? They require marketers and flavor designers to re-think what the travel flavor means to the customer. The notion of the flavor economy was created by Pine and Gilmore in 1998, and included four dimensions: escapism, education, entertainment, and esthetic. Leveraging one, or ideally, more of these dimensions creates memorable experiences for customers, which in eddy results in brand loyalty. This dynamic has been fairly well-established in the academic literature. However, Airbnb has changed the game for the flavor economy by emphasizing the sharing lifestyle and a sense of community, cleverly incorporating the above highlighted trends into its communications with customers. Because of Airbnb popularity and success, six modern dimensions maintain been incorporated into the flavor economy, in the context of the travel experience: personalization, communitas, localness, hospitableness, serendipity, and ethical consumerism, as was presented by Mody in 2016.
Interestingly, in a recent study by Mody and colleagues (Mody, Suess, & Lehto, 2017), the researchers organize that Airbnb outperformed hotels on everything the dimensions of this new, expanded, accommodation experiencescape. Airbnb outperforms hotels in the personalization dimension because of its wide array of homes and locations, enabling genuine micro-segmentation and the “perfect match” between guest and host (Dolnicar, 2018). Moreover, no one home is similar to another, giving customers a unique flavor every time, enhancing the serendipity associated with an Airbnb stay. Airbnb elevates the sense of community that consumers seek, particularly when sharing space with other travelers and/or with the host, and allows consumers unparalleled access to “the local”—that café or cute dinky store that only locals know about. However, there are areas where hotels hold their own. For example, the pathways between these dimensions and memorability were just as strong for hotels as for Airbnb, emphasizing the exigency for hotels to engage customers by leveraging the “right” dimensions for the brand—dimensions that align with the brand’s mission, story, and personality.
One such dimension where hotels accomplish just as well as Airbnb is hospitableness, as confirmed in a study by Mody, Suess, and Lehto (2018). More “investor units” on the Airbnb platform means that the host is often not present when guests arrive to the home; moreover, everything communication is done electronically and with someone who “manages” the Airbnb unit and doesn’t necessarily own or live in it. In turn, hotels that leverage the human factor—the welcome of a friendly check-in agent, the helpfulness of the concierge, the warm greeting and genuine interaction between guest and food and beverage staff—create more positive emotions, which subsequently lead to higher brand loyalty. It is imperative that hotel brands really assume about the high-tech, elevated finger flavor they are looking to provide, particularly in the golden age of brand proliferation that they live in.
From a non-experience standpoint, regulation is another bone of contention that merits nearby inspection. After years of denying that Airbnb was a competitor, in 2016, the American Hotel & Lodging Association first began an extensive lobbying pains for the imposition of taxes and regulations on Airbnb that plane the playing field. Over the last yoke of years, the voices of the hotel lobby and other community groups maintain translated into governments taking some action, in the U.S. and abroad. However, in a study of regulation across 12 European and American cities, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) organize that governments maintain been fairly lenient towards short-term rentals with dinky to no (meaningful) regulations thus far. Moreover, regulations maintain been designed to alleviate the negative externalities of Airbnb on neighborhoods and communities rather than to plane the playing bailiwick between Airbnb and hotels. Another challenge with regulating the peer to peer economy has been enforcement. In modern York City, under the Multiple Dwelling law, it is illegal for a unit to be rented out for less than 30 days unless the owner is present in the unit at the time the guest is renting. However, it is still workable to find “entire homes” on Airbnb in modern York City, even though, in principle, these typically include homes where the host is not present during the guest’s stay. Moreover, Nieuwland and van Melik (2018) and Hajibaba and Dolnicar (2017) maintain organize that regulations attend to be very similar across cities, without accounting for the specificities of a particular location, which makes the process perfunctory and superficial. There too remains the danger of over-regulating Airbnb, given that there is still very dinky learning about efficacious ways of regulating these innovations in the sharing economy, thus stifling their potential. Avoid over-regulation is critical, since Airbnb has significant welfare effects in the economy. In addition to stimulating travel to previously inaccessible markets, Airbnb too creates customer surplus (Farronato & Fradkin, 2018), an considerable economic value measure. Moreover, other research has suggested that the average resident is not as negative towards the Airbnb as media rhetoric might suggest (Mody, Suess, & Dogru, 2018). The exigency for a data-driven approach to Airbnb regulation remains paramount.
The Future: Competing with the sharing economy requires re-thinking the brand and the experience
While regulation is outside the control of the hotel industry, the brand and the customer flavor are not. They contend that these are the areas where hotel companies’ efforts exigency to be focused. Hotels exigency to re-think the brand promise, both for the parent brand as well as individual brands in the portfolio, and how it defines and shapes the guest experience. Recent research by Mody and Hanks (2018) indicates that while Airbnb leverages the authenticity of the travel experience—by enabling local experiences that provide a sense of self and sense of place, hotel brands that are perceived as being authentic—original, genuine, and sincere—can generate higher brand loyalty. Thus, while it’s difficult to compete with homesharing in terms of experiential authenticity, brand authenticity is a pillar on which hotels can build a strong foundation for loyal brand relationships. This is particularly considerable because while Airbnb promotes experiential authenticity as a key judgement to employ the brand, most travelers attend to wait with the brand for much more functional requirements, such as space and charge (Chen & Xie, 2017; Dogru & Pekin, 2017)
There is no one definition for or manifestation of an “authentic” brand. It’s a perception, a fire that consumers maintain about what you stand for. An undoubted brand has at its core the brand promise, an undoubted value proposition that gives consumers a raison d’etre for associating with the brand. However, what an undoubted brand does require is efficacious storytelling. A brand is perceived to be authentic, if it has an undoubted narrative that feeds it. Brand stories can approach from many sources: a brand’s values, personality, heritage, uniqueness, or its quest and purpose. What is considerable is telling compelling and coherent stories across the brand’s various touchpoints to engage consumers at a visceral, emotional level. Taking off industry blinders, and looking for inspiration outside the hotel industry, is critical. Tom’s Shoes is an excellent instance of leveraging its quest—One for One—in creating a compelling brand story. As another example, in an industry typically focused on the in-store, “physical” experience, Burberry has set the gold measure for authentic, digitally-led and emotive storytelling, by looking within and leveraging over 150 years of history (Watch the YouTube Video here). In this vein, they assume that Fairfield Inn and Suites’ revert to “where it everything began”—the Marriott family’s Fairfield Farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia— to craft the brand flavor of the future, from a design and communications standpoint, is an excellent instance of leveraging authenticity and crafting a compelling brand vow (Ting, 2017b).
Another credence that lies at the heat of the brand vow is what they convoke the experiential value proposition, or EVP. For the longest time, hotel marketers maintain relied on the guest play as the primary source of value for the guest. But assume about the last time you traveled. Was it the prospect of the hotel play that got you excited about your trip? Or was it everything that the hotel enables you to upshot – the flavor outside the guestroom? From experiencing knack and music in the lobby to its proximity to the must-do craft beer garden, hotel marketers must realize that it’s the complete package—what’s inside and outside the room—that customers employ as cues for making their conclusion to elect an accommodation. They convoke this proposition offered by the hotel—what’s inside and outside the guest room, enclosed within an flavor of hospitableness and a connection to humanity—its EVP. They present the EVP in pattern 1. The EVP mirrors the value paradigm of the modern traveler, something that must be reflected in the hotel brand’s sales, marketing and pricing and revenue management efforts. Thinking about a brand through the lens of the EVP paradigm has the power to re-orient the customer’s mindset from one of price-shopping to experience-shopping.
Figure 1. The Experiential Value Proposition Framework
How does a hotel marketer apply the EVP paradigm? Its application can open up many avenues. Hotels can start by rethinking the design of their primary digital channels, led by the website by adding more rich, vivid content that goes beyond the guestroom, in order to better integrate aspects of the wider hotel and local experience. The measure Hotels serves as an excellent instance (http://www.standardhotels.com/) Its website feels more fancy a local lifestyle and culture magazine than a digital media property “selling” a hotel room. The website’s affluent images and stories draw the visitor into wanting to learn more about what the brand has to offer. While not every hotel can or would want to depart the measure way, since the brand has its own separate voice and personality, there is a case to be made for going beyond static images of beds in guestrooms, which attend to blend into one indistinguishable gross after a point, particularly on OTA websites. When was the last time the image of a hotel bed excited you to want to wait there? Yet, when you eye at the imagery achieve out by most hotels, this is what marketers still focus on.
Placing an emphasis on humanity and providing a sense of hospitableness can too enhance a brand’s EVP. Instead of technology replacing the human connection, the industry needs to eye for ways in which technology can actually free up employees so that they can disburse their time crafting more personal and unique experiences, delighting guests instead of performing routine transactions. Moreover, if the human connection is what people quest out when traveling with Airbnb, why is it that hotel confirmation emails still procure sent out by automated systems that highlight the “facelessness” of the hotel entity. Why not employ that as an opening to truly welcome the guest; a simple finger such as a welcome missive from the GM with his/her photo, or that of an employee who is “assigned” as “your personal host” during your wait can depart a long way in emulating the human connection that the sharing economy enables.
The design of the hotel’s public spaces can be used to enhance the guest’s flavor of “communitas”. Ian Schrager would harmonize (Schaal, 2017). After all, with much of Airbnb’s supply being dominated by investor units that provide dinky or no host contact, what better an opening for hotel brands to note that they are the original connectors of human beings? Sheraton has been judicious in incorporating some of these communal elements into its brand makeover by introducing productivity tables and studio spaces and a day-time coffee bar that transforms into a bar at night. In terms of another design element, Airbnb’s attractiveness to family and group travelers can be offset by offering connecting and/or multiple rooms for one price, with other flavor value-adds thrown in (as with the Marriott family play connecting rooms package.
Finally, the role of the loyalty program cannot be emphasized enough. Loyalty programs must trot beyond programmatic levels to being able to leverage data from guest history, sociable media, and other marketing data sources, powered by predictive analytics, to personalize and individualize the guest flavor of the brand. In an age of instant gratification, the loyalty program has to be gamified to unlock value-adds and proffer creative bundling.
At the plane of the hotel company, beyond the individual brand, the hotel industry has started participating in the home sharing business and is increasingly looking to integrate these platform business models. For example, while Accor purchased Onefinestay, Marriott has teamed up with Hostmaker to create Tribute Portfolio Homes, a partnership that was recently expanded to four European cities (Fox, 2018). From an organic brand progress standpoint, Accor’s newest Jo & Joe brand mimics the sharing economy within the confines of a traditional hotel space. Other, more innovative and bold ways of integrating the sharing economy ethos into a hotel could include offering an “Airbnb floor”, an antithesis to the club floor, one that would not proffer housekeeping and other hotel services and thus be offered at a lower price. With hotel brands becoming “branded marketplaces” for accommodation and not just hotel rooms, perhaps there is merit in listing hotel rooms on alternative accommodation platforms. HomeAway is already adding hotels to its platform through the Expedia Affiliate Network, while Airbnb is making a propel for bed-and-breakfasts and boutique hotels. Homesharing providers hope that by adding these options to their listings, they will fulfill their goal of being “for everyone”, while allowing independent and boutique hotels to reap the benefits of branded distribution at a lower cost than traditional OTA brands.
In sum, hotels must adopt a sales, marketing, and revenue management approach that is both strategic and tactical.
At a strategic level, hotel brands exigency to re-think their story, and how they portray and fulfill their authenticity and brand promises. At a tactical level, it’s the flavor and value beyond the guestroom that must be factored into what is presented to current and potential guests, what they are charged for it, and how it is leverage to create “memorable memories” that lead to higher net promotor scores and brand loyalty. They present a graphical summary of the past, present, and future of Airbnb vs. hotels in pattern 2.
Figure 2. Summarizing the past, present and future of Airbnb vs. hotels
PDF Version Available HereReferences Chen, Y., & Xie, K. (2017). Consumer valuation of Airbnb listings: a hedonic pricing approach. International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2405–2424. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2016-0606 Dogru, T., Mody, M., & Suess, C. (2018). Adding evidence to the debate: Quantifying Airbnb’s disruptive impact on ten key hotel markets. Dogru, T., & Pekin, O. (2017). What upshot guests value most in Airbnb accommodations? An application of the hedonic pricing approach. Boston Hospitality Review. Dolnicar, S. (2018). Unique Features of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 1–14). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Farronato, C., & Fradkin, A. (2018). The Welfare Effects of Peer Entry in the Accommodation Market: The Case of Airbnb. Fox, J. (2018). Marriott expands homesharing program in Europe. Hotel Management. Retrieved from https://www.hotelmanagement.net/own/marriott-expands-homesharing-program-to-3-european-cities Hajibaba, H., & Dolnicar, S. (2017). Regulatory Reactions Around the World. In S. Dolnicar (Ed.), Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Networks: Pushing the boundaries (pp. 120–136). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Lane, J., & Woodworth, M. (2016). The Sharing Economy Checks In: An Analysis of Airbnb in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.cbrehotels.com/EN/Research/Pages/An-Analysis-of-Airbnb-in-the-United-States.aspx Mody, M. A., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2017). The accommodation experiencescape: a comparative assessment of hotels and Airbnb. International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2377–2404. http://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2016-0501 Mody, M., & Hanks, L. (2018). Parallel pathways to brand loyalty: Mapping the consequences of undoubted consumption experiences for hotels and Airbnb. Mody, M., Suess, C., & Dogru, T. (2018). Not in my backyard? Is the anti-Airbnb discourse truly warranted? Annals of Tourism Research. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2018.05.004 Mody, M., Suess, C., & Lehto, X. (2018). Going back to its roots : Can hospitableness provide hotels competitive advantage over the sharing economy ? International Journal of Hospitality Management. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2018.05.017 Nieuwland, S., & van Melik, R. (2018). Regulating Airbnb: how cities deal with perceived negative externalities of short-term rentals. Current Issues in Tourism, 0(0), 1–15. http://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2018.1504899 Schaal, D. (2017). Ian Schrager Calls Out Hotel Industry’s Airbnb Strategy as Misguided. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/12/08/ian-schrager-calls-out-hotel-industrys-airbnb-strategy-as-misguided/ Ting, D. (2017a). Airbnb Growth narrative Has a Plot Twist — A Saturation Point. Skift. Retrieved from https://skift.com/2017/11/15/airbnb-growth-story-has-a-plot-twist-a-saturation-point/ Ting, D. (2017b). Marriott and selection remove Varied Approaches to Reviving Classic Midscale Brands. Skift. Zaleski, O. (2018). Airbnb and Niido to Open as Many as 14 Home-Sharing Apartment Complexes by 2020. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-14/airbnb-and-niido-to-open-as-many-as-14-home-sharing-apartment-complexes-by-2020 Makarand Mody, Ph.D. has a varied industry background. He has worked with Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Mumbai as a Trainer and as a quality Analyst with India’s erstwhile premier airline, Kingfisher Airlines. His most recent experience has been in the market research industry, where he worked as a qualitative research specialist with India’s leading provider of market research and insights, IMRB International. Makarand’s research is based on different aspects of marketing and consumer conduct within the hospitality and tourism industries. He is published in leading journals in the field, including the International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, Tourism Analysis and the International Journal of Tourism Anthropology. His drudgery involves the extensive employ of inter and cross-disciplinary perspectives to understand hospitality and tourism phenomena. Makarand too serves as reviewer for several leading journals in the field. In Fall 2015, he joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (SHA). He received his Ph.D. in Hospitality Management from Purdue University, and too holds a Master’s degree from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Monica Gomez is a graduate student in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management from the University of Florida and has held previous internship positions in hotel operations and event management. She is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International Association and is interested in hotel revenue management.
By Christian E. Hardigree, J.D.
Today’s hospitality conversations are rife with dialogue about sustainability, initiatives ranging from linen reuse programs, to donating toiletries, to auto dimming lights, to food sourcing, etc. Hospitality practitioners’ quest to define the ROI (return on investment) is often at foiled by a concept that includes intangible metrics and differing definitions of what “sustainability” really means. The oft-used “Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet, Profit” embodies the commonly agreed upon themes of sustainability, which include ensuring a vigorous environment, improving economic prosperity, and implementing sociable justice initiatives that ensure the well-being and quality of life for current and future generations.
Companies struggle to determine what role they play in advancing and addressing sociable and global challenges while enhancing their brand, ensuring consumer loyalty, and expanding their market share. Many companies evaluate and refine their efforts for engaged brand activism, particularly through marketing, which they balance with efforts to implement higher standards for suppliers, improve equality among workers, and retain pricing competitive – falling in line with the general categories of most corporate sociable responsibility efforts: 1) environmental efforts; 2) philanthropy; 3) ethical labor practices; and 4) volunteering.The “Arms Race” of Corporate sociable Responsibility Reporting
For many companies, particularly in hospitality, corporate sociable responsibility (CSR) reporting has emerged as a key business approach to articulate the benefits to the company’s stakeholders through strategic initiatives. According to the Governance and Accountability Institute, sustainability reporting by S&P 500 companies increased from 19% in 2011 to 85% in 2017.[i]
Companies now esteem the marketing value of CSR reporting, particularly as a mechanism to attract and retain customers. Increased societal pressure for greater regulation and transparency, coupled with research showing that consumers demonstrate a preference toward companies they perceive are more responsible, maintain resulted in a modern “arms race” with companies are making operational decisions that are more tightly linked to ethical values, environmental stewardship, and respect for the human equity. They want to ensure those efforts are known to their stockholders, investors, and the public.
While many CSR disclosures are currently willful in the United States, there are increasing requirements mandated by various statutes. Such mandates, commonplace in the European Union, are increasingly required in the United States. In particular, there is growing market claim for a more responsible and transparent corporate supply chain. Current statutory requirements sweep from the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases rule for large emitters of greenhouse gases to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 to ensure that large retailers and manufacturers provide consumers with information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains.[ii] The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which impacted virtually every fraction of the US financial services industry too includes provisions for certain reporting on their exercise of due diligence in the source and chain of custody of certain minerals that are associated with armed conflicts in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, minerals that are associated with the manufacturing of devices such as cell phones, computers, and digital cameras.[iii] Most recently, the European Union’s sweeping Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into upshot May 25, 2018. Intended to give EU citizens greater control of their own, widely-define personal data, GDPR has far reaching implications for any company doing business with citizens of the EU. For the hospitality industry, modern processes are required to be implemented to protect things fancy IP addresses and cookie data, similar to the protections currently provided to ensure privacy for addresses and sociable security numbers. In the three months prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that 79% of companies were unprepared.[iv] The mandatory disclosure landscape is changing fast, and hospitality is challenged to retain up.Not everything Changes Are Mandated
As consumers are holding corporations accountable for effecting sociable change in their business practices and beliefs, ultimately impacting the bottom line, companies refine their sustainability initiatives as a result of public advocacy, stockholder proposals, or consumer feedback. A 2017 study by Cone Communications illustrated some key elements, including:[v]
To illustrate, on February 6, 2018, in a commitment associated with improved packaging in betterment of the planet, Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would angle out the employ of polystyrene foam cups by 2020 and supplant them with double-walled paper cups, estimated to maintain a net impact of eliminating over a billion cups annually from the fritter stream.[vi] This was on the heels of McDonald’s announcing in January that it would angle out the employ of foam packaging in everything global markets by the nearby of 2018.[vii] Straws and stirrers get up over 7% of plastic organize in the environment, an issue initially addressed (and banished) by George McKerrow, co-founder of the restaurant chain Ted’s Montana Grill, that has gained widespread attention as consumers are reminded that they employ 500 million straws a day, a wont that widely impacts wildlife and the oceans.[viii] Just this month, Bon Appétit announced they were banning plastic straws from their over 1000 café locations in 33 states.[ix] As cities fancy Miami and Malibu maintain banned sole employ straws (and in Malibu, banned everything sole employ plastic utensils and stirrers), they find some municipalities are forcing hospitality businesses to incorporate sustainable practices.Avoid Greenwashing
As hospitality companies quest to out-promote each other, they would be well-advised to avoid greenwashing – today’s version of “snake oil”, more akin to “eco-fraud” – when a company holds itself out as more environmentally friendly than it actually is in practice. Clearly consumer preferences demonstrate an increasing trend for purchasing products and services that are sustainable – for their impact on the environment, in how they are manufactured, and/or how the workers are treated. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of “greener” products increased by 73%.[x] In order to capitalize on this trend, many brands are trying to competitively out-do each other with their eco-credentials – exaggerating their claims, or at times, completely manufacturing them. In legalese, greenwashing may amount to deceptive marketing, misrepresentation, and/or fraud.
In the “sins” of greenwashing, hospitality entities would be judicious to avoid vague, over-reaching, or unverifiable assertions. Hotels increasingly hearten their guests to embrace green practices – shut off lights, reuse towels, avoid changing the linen as frequently, etc. Research by faculty at Washington status University organize that a perceived ulterior motive of a hotels’ environmental claims evoked consumer skepticism, which negatively influenced consumer’s purpose to participate in the linen reuse program, as well as negatively effecting the consumers’ purpose to revisit the hotel.[xi] At a time when as many as 79% of travelers harmonize that eco-friendly practices is an considerable factor in their selection of lodging, companies risk losing valuable repeat customers if their motives are self-serving. As a result, to avoid the negative aspects, hoteliers are cautioned to install comprehensive green programs, train their staff to implement practices, and ensure their green claims are accurate and not overreaching, perhaps through third party certification.For Goodness Sakes, Don’t Greenwash the Food
Greenwashing is of particular concern in today’s environment, particularly in the context of food. For example, in 2016, organic food sales jumped 8.4%, to over $43 billion, while overall food sales only increased 0.6%.[xii] Similarly, organic non-food items jumped 88% to $3.9 billion in sales. As restaurants and hotels are asked questions by their customers about the source of their products, facilities exigency to be vigilant of the claims they are making to ensure they are not overreaching or deceptive, as greenwashing has become the “flavor of the month” in consumer class litigation. Claims challenging products advertised as “natural” are the most frequent suits encountered.
While no definition of “natural” is provided by the FDA, food products in the US labeled as “natural” get up roughly $40 billion in sales, and are growing by an average of 6.6% annually. According to Food Navigator, there were 20 food labeling class actions pending in federal court in 2008 – a number that rose to 425 by 2016. Cases that specifically focus on “natural” claims increased by 22% from 2016 to 2017, notably with suits against general Mills’ Nature Valley bars and Dr. Pepper Snapple’s Mott’s Apple Sauce. Of particular note is that three quarters of federal court food class actions are in four states: California (36%), modern York (22%), Florida (12%), and Illinois (7%).[xiii] Many of the suits are rooted in claims that items such as elevated fructose corn syrup, elevated maltose corn syrup, soy flour, soy lecithin, and GMA yellow corn flour, as well as synthetically derived vitamins, are not “natural”, and thus such claims are fraudulent.[xiv] Overreaching statements can be a source of eroding consumer confidence, destroying customer loyalty, and/or litigation.Conclusion
Sustainability initiatives will continue to be an imperative fraction of a hospitality entities’ brand, evaluated by everything stakeholders. In order to ensure consumer confidence, it is imperative that those initiatives be undoubted in their implementation, supported by third party verification, and in alignment with the legal requirements of the jurisdiction. In doing so, their efforts in supporting the three E’s – environment, economic, and equity – their industry will collectively ascend in to improve the future for ourselves and for future generations.
PDF Version Available HereReferences [i] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.ga-institute.com/press-releases/article/flash-report-85-of-sp-500-indexR-companies-publish-sustainability-reports-in-2017.html [ii] 40 CFR fraction 9; and California Civil Code §1714.43 [iii] https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/pdf/PLAW-111publ203.pdf [iv] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/03/27/u-s-businesses-cant-hide-from-gdpr/#33b76ef052c8 [v] Retrieved April 6, 2018 from http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2017-csr-study [vi] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://news.dunkindonuts.com/news/dunkin-donuts-to-eliminate-foam-cups-worldwide-in-2020 [vii] Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2018/01/10/mcdonalds-phasing-out-foam-packaging-this-year.html [viii] Retrieved May 30, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/megykarydes/2018/05/23/the-future-of-take-out-exhibit-how-we-can-eliminate-packaging-waste/#37a1213c7580 [ix] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/05/31/615580695/last-straw-for-plastic-straws-cities-restaurants-move-to-toss-these-sippers [x] Retrieved April 6, 2018 figure http://sinsofgreenwashing.com/index5349.pdf [xi] Rahman, I., Park, J., & Geng-qing Chi, C. (2015). “Consequences of “greenwashing”: Consumers’ reactions to hotels’ green initiatives”, International Journal of coincident Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 Issue: 6, pp.1054-1081, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2014-0202 [xii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/9394-u-s-organic-food-sales-jump-more-than-8 [xiii] Retrieved May 31, 2018 from http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/uploads/sites/1/TheFoodCourtPaper_Pages.pdf [xiv] Examples include Janney et al. v. general Mills, 3:12-cv-03919, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Rojas v. general Mills, Inc. 3:12-cv-05099, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Bohac v. general Mills, Inc., 3:12-cv-05280, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Van Atta v. general Mills, 1:12-cv-02815, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
As Founding Director and Professor of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw status University, Dr. Hardigree oversees the Bachelor of Science degree program which houses over 260 majors and services over 1500 students enrolled in classes each semester. Addressing both “sustainability on the plate” as well as “sustainability beyond the plate” in terms of water, fritter and energy efficiencies, this highly material management program provides a competitive advantage and discernible point of differentiation as the epicenter for teaching, research and best practices in sustainable culinary and hospitality management. The flexibility of the program’s curriculum allows students to emphasize careers in beverage management, event planning, specialized cuisines, and the hotel industry. Christian conducts research and presents nationally at industry conferences as related to her areas of expertise, including food safety, risk management, sustainability, workplace violence and employment/management issues. She is a national expert on bed bug litigation, speaking across the country on the subject. After obtaining her B.S., cum laude, from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV, Christian obtained her Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, focusing on employment discrimination, arbitration/mediation, and labor management relations. She is of counsel with the law solid of Parnell & Associates. Christian serves on a variety of committees and advisory boards, including the ConServe Sustainability Advisory Council for the National Restaurant Association, the KSU Brian Jordan center for Excellence and Professional progress at LakePoint Sporting Community, and formerly on the Women in Lodging Advisory Council for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
By Martin Zsarnoczky
Digitalization is among the most considerable changes in their rapidly evolving world. Digital innovations and technological novelties are engines of progress and note their impact everywhere, especially in the bailiwick of manufacturing, ICT and other service industries. Given the fact that tourism is based on the cooperation between a wide sweep of services and products, the benefits of the digital revolution in the sector are quite obvious.
Our live environment is a combination of online and offline spaces that co-exist together, defining their everyday habitat. In tourism, the special employ of spaces has always been a unique feature of the industry, and as of today, the spaces of the digital world maintain become fraction of it. The rapid progress of the digital world brings novel and innovative solutions into the digital tourism spaces by the day. Peer-to-peer communication is outstandingly considerable in the technological environment of tourism. This nature of communication, together with the spreading of smart devices maintain revolutionized scheduling, administration and finances, and too opened modern horizons for the introduction of innovative sales and marketing technologies in the gross tourism industry. As a result of the digital revolution, the international progress trends in tourism maintain opened the way for novel solutions fancy cloud-based booking sites or information and flavor sharing via digital platforms.
In line with the modern trends of travelling, there is a dynamically growing claim for special tailor-made offers beyond mass tourism, as conscious consumers expect personalized solutions that confess their individual needs. As of today, the vast majority of tourism market stakeholders maintain access to circumstantial information on their consumers and can closely follow and track consumer conduct and its changes. These novel systems of personalized products and services are available thanks to various springy follow-up techniques fancy CRM client databases. The cloud-based CRM client database systems – ones that create offers by analyzing previous sales records and demographic data – maintain evolved rapidly. As of today, they can resolve huge datasets by mammoth data analysis and scaling methods in a cost efficacious and anonymous way, searching for significant event points. Although mammoth data research is based on working with large samples, it is the most efficient method to divulge individual personal preferences (Stadler, 2015).How did sharing economy pave the way to personalized tourism services?
In previous decades, the results of digital progress maintain opened the door for the real life implementation of shared economy theories. It was almost ten years ago that Chris Anderson (2009) introduced his pricing theory in digitalization, basically suggesting giving away products for free, based on the principle of shared goods and resources. Although at the time Anderson’s theory was considered as a technological solution, the principle of digital sharing maintain induced sedate sociable changes as well. One of the most considerable positive messages of shared economy is the maximum employ of resource capacities for the purpose of sociable well-being (Sundararajan, 2014). sociable well-being is too a key priority in tourism, because a well-managed tourism industry brings profit not only for the business operators but too for the local communities.
In the sharing economy model, the stakeholders – who are too consumers at the very time – proffer their excess capacities for collective employ in order to maximize the exploitation of their goods and resources. These economic processes consist of so-called hybrid transactions with maximum capacity employ (Hyde, 2007), for both commercial and sociable purposes. An considerable drive in the evolution of collaborative consumption theory was the realization of the fact that using or possessing the very consumer goods can result in different advantages. The core component of the model is that sellers proffer their excess capacities, while the consumers in exigency employ them in revert for payment. In the sharing economy (based on the aforementioned primary idea), more and more industrial, commercial and service providers proffer innovative solutions.
The principle of sharing is not a modern credence in the tourism industry. In the case of some accommodation services, seasonal charge reduction has always been a practice. Hostels and youth hotels maintain always been celebrated – these facilities are often used as dormitories throughout the academic year and lease their rooms for backpackers in the summer season, when the students are away. Of course, these seasonal options would not maintain been enough for creating a modern market sector; the dawn of the modern business era was marked with the emergence of wide platform solutions fancy Airbnb, Booking.com, Agoda, etc.
In the strategy of digital platform tourism businesses, consumers are considered as partners in the business activities. This shared operation can be best defined as a postmodern business model. Although the knotty credence of postmodernism is quite difficult to describe, its main characteristics – shared participation and the subjective fire of each contributor – can lead closer to understand the phenomenon. It is transparent that postmodernism will change some processes of the classic market laws in the near future. While “shared experience” has become a key marketing term for selling goods and services, specialized offers inevitably lead to a market fragmentation that will result in the fragmentation of users as well. In a disintegrated market, consumers will behave differently in fragmented times and spaces, paving the way for personalized services and tailor-made solutions. At the very time, individualism has become the key characteristics of the younger generations (McCrindle et al., 2009); a phenomenon that will maintain to be taken into account whilst creating business strategies. Due to the emergence of individualism, more and more youthful people are trying to create something unique that can serve the long-term capitalize of the community. Their drive for creating businesses based on their own ideas and flavor accounts for the increasing popularity of start-up businesses. These aspects of uniqueness, community thinking and experience-centered approach hold a huge opening for the future of the tourism industry.The Future: AI, VR/AR, Blockchain
While looking through their photos, tourists usually maintain a positive flavor remembering their travels, experiences and the destination they had visited. Some specialized digital technologies can proffer this assumed positive flavor in a searchable and changeable form. With regards to real life objects, their connections and relations, there is only a limited amount of information available in a format that could be handled by computers. The main problem is that computers exigency sufficient coding solutions created by artificial intelligence to be able to store, ply and organize information. The methods of coding for tourism flavor purposes strike the speed, efficiency and knowledge/experience-based computing abilities of today’s computers.
According to the forecasts of product progress strategies in various industries, almost everything of their everyday objects and apparatus will be accessible through the internet in the future. As a result, everything devices that are capable of two-way communication will belong in the framework of IoT (Internet of Things). The devices of the future, unlike the devices of today, will communicate in a bidirectional way, where robust safe data handling, personalized differentiation and sufficient conclusion management will be fraction of the user experience. As a result of the continuous data collection during the employ of these devices, everything material information will eventually nearby up in a final centralized system at the top of the dataset.
Previously, tourism used to be an industry based on personal relations and connections, where the trends – and therefore travelers’ decisions – were set out by a limited number of large international tourism and travel enterprises. As a result of the digital revolution, the transparency of “hidden markets” had been revealed and numerous other factors maintain to be taken into account (Fig.1.).
The early progress of ICT resulted not only in the better capacity utilization of airlines, but too on the compatibility of the prices; and soon, the emergence of the discount airlines had led to the innovation of the gross industry and forced out efficiency in everything segments. The novel travel recommendation sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, etc.) were created with the plane to get travelers’ decisions easier; however at the very time, a lot of tourism service providers who could not retain up with the modern challenges were forced out of the market. Although the modern trends fancy travel packages (including car rental) or taking into account the reviews of previous travelers (Lonely Planet) were from many aspects antithetical to the former business models, the rapidly increasing popularity of online offers required quick and user-friendly tourism product progress from the industry.
With the arrival of Google, which was able to rank the sites’ appearance in internet searches, a fierce competition begun between blogs, tourism recommendation sites and price-comparing OTA systems. The bidirectional communication started with the employ of cookies 2.0; since then, consumers maintain become an integral fraction of the business models, because businesses who quest to be successful in the long run, exigency to know their customers’ demands in detail. The progress of digital services require the identification of the user, information on their individual preferences and a decision-based calibration (by AI). In AI-based conclusion making solutions, the former definitive factors are replaced by a virtual personal assistant, which is able to map the consumer’s preferences based on their digital footprint, and create an optimal personalized proffer from the available mammoth data systems (Fig. 2.)
The technological progress cannot be stopped; however, with sufficient flexibility and openness, tourism businesses can prepare for the upcoming challenges. In the tourism of the future, the modern consumers will bring forth modern priorities and modern demands. As a revolutionary approach, the members of the IoP (Internet of People) community proffer their free time in order to gain joint IT/industrial goals, where frameworks are created in line with the preferences of other people, for a yet not specified consumer segment (Miranda et al., 2015). Beyond innovative technologies, gross modern spaces maintain opened in tourism, completely different from the usual destinations. University researchers maintain been carried out to study the possibilities of online tourism spaces and their opportunities for the tourism and hospitality industry. In virtual reality, with a special “glass”, the user can eye into an optional tourism space, from which the real world is completely shut out. The Augmented reality is a different technological solution, where digital elements are projected into a real life space.
The newest technological developments and the innovation in the employ of live spaces are everything connected to the alternative payment options that can be used in tourism as well. The emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to the creation of a novel payment system. The Blockchain payment system is a shared database, which records a continuously growing list of data blocks, preventing any counterfeiting or alteration of the data. One block consist of a list of transactions and the results of computations made by the stored programs. For example, if a customer buys some cryptocurrency or any other benign of currency, and then transfers it to anywhere in the world to another partner, who exchanges it instantly, both partners can avoid any loss caused by exchange rate fluctuations; furthermore, the gross transaction takes only minutes instead of the usual yoke of business days. This solution can intend a revolutionary innovative payment option for everyone in the tourism industry.
The applicability of the blockchain system is independent from currency rates. In the case of cryptocurrencies, it is not the exchange rate that really matters – instead, the exact value of the currency lies in the safety of the blockchain technology and in the authentic, transparent, unalterable and decentralized recording system (Pilkington, 2016). This payment system offers a modern plane of encryption safety and intervention-free operation, and the data handled in the system cannot be modified in any way. Another huge capitalize of the system is that the transactions are realized without any intermediate agents, thus eliminating any additional transaction costs. By the time of the “maturity” of blockchain payment solutions, today’s large service intermediators fancy Airbnb, Booking.com, Agora, etc. are foreseen to lose some of their market positions, as consumers and service providers will probably deal with their transactions directly.Will artificial Food be the next meal on the table?
With the worldwide population boom, the claim for food is too increasing. To meet this growing exigency for food, the extension of agricultural areas is required for food material production, and at the very time, sufficient land management is needed for animal husbandry. The greatest challenge of sustainable agriculture lies in the fact that the agricultural areas can only be further expanded at the expense of forested lands. In addition, the current changes in the environment has too led to the reduce of fishing possibilities, another vicissitude in the availability of food materials.
The decreasing resources of food materials will accommodate the food production industry to re-think their former concepts. modern technologies fancy 3D food printers can even bring the swift food era to an end. The novel inventions of food production and food engineering – fancy artificially flavored drinks, chocolates and dairy products – maintain been on the market of more than a decade now, and so far, they maintain not had a negative upshot on the common flavor of consumers.
In the concept of 3D food printing, popular sweets and delicacies are synthesized by a layered printing technology, using the various pre-mixed powders, flavorings, fixers and oils that are stored in the “toners” of the printer. These artificial foods are already available: specialized franchise restaurants fancy the Food Ink chain proffer a wide variety of printed meals for consumers who are inquisitive about the future of gastronomy. It is too likely that with the next generation of the food printers, they will be able to calibrate the nutritional values and energy content of the meals.
The 3D food printing technology is not only considerable for HoReCa businesses, but holds a considerable opening for the health industry, too, especially in the bailiwick of special diets and medication. Using 3D food printing for these purposes can multiply cost-effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, thus supporting the food industry and hospitality and tourism businesses alike.
The option of personalized 3D food printing is just one of the innovative technological solutions in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Henn-na Hotel  in Huis Ten Bosch, Japan is the first hotel in the world, where customers are served exclusively by robots. At another Asian location in China, there are 24/7 cafés that follow the no-staff business model of Amazon Go. As for the restaurant market, the Chinese food brand Wufangzhai has recently opened the first unmanned restaurant in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province.
The question is: how long will it remove until food production and consumption will exigency no human resources at all?Summary
For innovative enterprises, the efficiency of interactivity is of key weight for the success of their business. The rapid progress of ICT solutions has brought immense changes in the tourism industry. Previously, consumers’ conclusion making was mainly affected by the industrial environment. The era of digital tourism spaces – preceded by theme parks and thematic destinations – started with the emergence of information websites; however, this targeted information rush used to be one-directional with narrow choices. In today’s digital era, the modern generation of commercial activities remove Place in VR or AR spaces, and the instant analysis of the customer’s reactions and conduct advocate the enhancement of their buying willingness. The traditional conclusion making processes are gradually being replaced with personalized offers, further increasing the weight of AI.
With the progress of shared economy, greater emphasis is achieve on sociable well-being, as user flavor slowly becomes more considerable than ownership. This modern approach is too expressed in novel forms of payment, which can seriously reduce the profits of intermediate activities. The modern trends upshot not look to be problematic in the tourism industry, mostly because in this sector, the exact costs and incomes are not clearly visible yet. On the other hand, the quality progress of the 3D printing technology holds a considerable opening for the tourism and hospitality sector. The progress of digitalization has finally reached a plane where it can truly advocate the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of industrial food production, paving the way to the future of tourism and hospitality businesses.
PDF Version Available HereReferences Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Hyperion, modern York. Hyde, L. (2007). The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. modern York: Random House Inc. McCrindle, M. – Wolfinger, E. (2009). The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations, University of modern South Wales Press, Sidney. pp. 1-22. Miranda, J. – Mäkitalo, N. – Garcia-Alonso, J. – Beroccal, J. – Mikkonen, T. – Canal, C. – Murillo, M. J. (2015) From the Internet of Things to the Internet of People. IEEE Internet Computing, 19 (2): 40-47. Stadler, G. (2015). mammoth data – tömeges adatelemzés gyorsan. HTE Medianet 2015, Kecskemét. LLX. pp. 44-48 Pilkington, M. (2016). Blockchain technology: priciples and applications. Research Handbook on Digital Transformation. Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA. pp. 225-253. Sundararajan, A. (2014). Peer-to-Peer Businesses and the Sharing (Collaborative) Economy: Overview, Economic Effects and Regulatory Issues. NYU center for Urban Science and Progress, modern York. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017a). How does artificial Intelligence strike the Tourism Industry? Vadyba Journal of Management 31 (2): 85-90. Zsarnoczky, M. (2017b). The future of sustainable rustic tourism development: the impacts of climate change. Annals of the Polish Association of Agricultural and Agribusiness Economists. XIX. (3): 337-344. Martin Zsarnoczky, Ph.D. has several years of flavor in the huge tourism and hospitality industry. He has worked with P&O Princess Cruises, Intercontinental and Marriott Hotels in Budapest. Between 2005 and 2015, he was the founder, developer and CEO of Casa de la Musica Hostel and Event’s Hall, one of the largest multifunctional private tourism & hospitality businesses in Budapest downtown. He holds a BSc degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the Budapest business School, and graduated at MSc/Med plane as Teacher of Economics in Tourism and Hospitality. During his studies, he had spent short a term mobility era at Utwente University in the Netherlands, and later earned his Ph.D. in Regional Sciences at Szent Istvan University. At the moment, he is still very energetic as an entrepreneur and is actively involved in community development. He is too a board member of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and works as a mentor for the youthful Entrepreneurs Association Hungary. With regards to his academic career, he is a plenary time assistant professor at the Institute of Marketing and Media at the Tourism Department of Corvinus University of Budapest.
By Leora Lanz and Namrata Sridhar
In the Winter 2018 edition of the Boston Hospitality Review, they brought forth suggestions for the 10 Best Practices for Organic Visibility —ways to improve search results through organic search, or upshot not cost the company a monetary investment. Rather, these rankings were based on elements such as keywords, location, and mobile friendliness. Suggestions for improving a company’s organic search include utilization of backlinks, hyperlinks between websites, and content enhancement in relation to local listings such as ensuring quick website load speed, elevated quality imagery, and conspicuous links to sociable media channels.
This second installation of a two-part sequence will converse to the theme of search engine functionalities as a result of paid queries. For independent or smaller companies, this brief but powerful set of tips obtained from industry experts can enable a business to become more “searchable” for optimal revert on investment.Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Best Practices: 1. Understand the Paid Media Landscape:
According to the Associate Director for Organic Search and Content Strategy at Boston-based Connelly Partners, Dan Hurley, the most considerable fraction of SEM is to comprehend the paid media landscape. It is critical to know who one’s competitors truly are and understand how they are marketing, from a tactical standpoint.1 It is too considerable to research the types of ad propel structures that are surfacing in the category of interest, on both desktop and mobile devices. Then one must adopt those that issue efficacious and appropriate business goals appropriately. For restaurants and hotel-related queries, “this strategy is especially pertinent because these searches generally transmogrify very quickly; mobile searchers will likely patronize a restaurant within a few hours.”
In order to be the most efficient with a company’s paid advertisements, Todd Philie, president of Southcoast Marketing Group in Wareham, MA, too encourages companies to ascertain how consumers are searching for them on the Internet. For example, “utilize the query search implement via the Google AdWords™ platform to ascertain what terms and phrases are used to gain your own site and then pomp your ads.”
Additionally, Kym Parker, associate search marketing director at Connelly Partners, emphasizes the weight of using the company’s brand to ensure a strong search presence. By utilizing paid search bids, a hotel or restaurant can be the first result a web surfer sees when conducting a search.2
“Sometimes, competitors will bid on your brand terms – which means that if someone searches for your company name, for example, the competitor could note up ahead of you in the search results,” Parker notes. “You can forestall this by ‘protecting’ your brand terms. Always be bidding on them, at least a dinky bit, to ensure that you maintain a better random of staying on top of the results when someone searches your title and other brand terms.”2: employ of Google AdWords™:
The major player in the world wide web is Google, which has created various platforms to optimize searching. Using keywords, Google users can pay to promote their advertisements for a set budget. This Google functionality allows a company (hotel or restaurant) to understand how it ranks in comparison to direct competitors.
Also retain ‘negative keywords’ in mind, adds Philie. “Negative terms generally means terms that you are not specifically telling AdWords™ that you upshot not want to issue in specific results for other searches. For example, suppose you are marketing a seafood restaurant that does not proffer steak on its menu. You want to bid on the phrase ‘best restaurant in Boston’ but you upshot not want to fritter money on clicks from customers who want steak. You might set ‘steak’ and ‘steakhouse’ as negative terms so that if someone searched ‘best steak restaurants in Boston” you upshot not note up in that search.
The Google AdWords™ functionality too offers companies the random to enhance the listing. An incredibly important, yet often overlooked, input is the “click to call” functionality and its presence on a mobile site, too known as the convoke extension. “These additional factual details, known as “ad extensions” too include location, information from different pages on your website, and even testimonial reviews,” adds Seth Cargiuolo, director of communication strategy at Chestnut Hill, MA-based D50 Media. “Making employ of ad extensions is essential because it helps the customer learn more about the business with a quick glance pre-click, and can capitalize differentiate a hotel or restaurant (or any product) against its competitors.” Ad extensions too multiply the visual footprint of an ad, which can propel competitors’ ads and organic listings down the page and out of view, particularly on mobile devices.
For marketers just starting to utilize SEM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords™ too offers free tutorials and trainings. Zachary Azar, D50 Media’s senior manager of paid search notes, “These tutorials provide clients with the opening to procure the most out of the program and create efficacious campaigns.”
To properly manage an efficacious AdWords campaign, Google Analytics can be a helpful implement as it reveals which content on a website is most useful and involving to customers. This will capitalize in the creation of resonating ad copy and can too be a steer for aligning keyword selection and website copy to multiply the “Quality Score” of an ad campaign.
However, Philie too cautions individuals not to be completely reliant on Google’s suggestions for keywords. “Often times, these keywords are pluralized and can occasions companies to disburse more or not be as effective.” He warns companies to elect how to achieve their key words “out there” when bidding. Companies must elect best matched keywords for their ads and elect between “exact match,” “phrase match,” “broad search” and “modified broad search” – everything of which will relent varied returns. Campaigns should utilize a balance of everything match types, but should “skew more heavily towards exact and phrase, utilizing broad match only for keyword prospecting and expansion opportunities.”3. Always Start with Non-Paid Efforts or SEO
When optimizing a company’s searches, Cargiuolo and Azar suggest the first thing that the company should focus on is actually the SEO. First and foremost, it is considerable to ensure that a website is user- and mobile-friendly. Another considerable factor is a quick load speed. “Google has organize that sites that remove longer than three seconds to load lose 40% of their traffic, and for mobile traffic, that jumps to 53%,” reports Azar. This is considerable for paid search as well; Cargiuolo adds, “It’d be wrong enough for a user to abandon your page when it’s an organic search – but now imagine if you’d paid for that click and those dollars were totally wasted.”
In order to reduce the load speed, it is considerable to not maintain “big” images—think kilobytes, not megabytes. Web copy should be concise and “bandwidth-hogging” scripts and plugins minimized. “Additionally, given that over half of web traffic is on mobile devices, ensure that pdfs (which you want to avoid anyway) eye acceptable on a smart phone too,” Cargiuolo says.
Kristin Metzler, Print and Web Marketing Coordinator of Frasca Design Group, too echoes that mastery of SEO is the first step in a successful digital marketing campaign. Websites built with a strong attention to keywords and content will minimize spending on pay-per-click campaigns.4. Don’t disburse on Paid Search if You Can’t Afford It
Hurley cautions that one exigency not disburse money on advertising to procure traffic. Because so much information is provided in the search results, there may not be any clicks on your page during the search process. Companies should never achieve any money into paid search, pomp advertising or paid sociable that the company cannot afford to lose.3
Cargiuolo emphasizes that when a company starts advertising, it should not expect an immediate return,4 which is oftentimes an assumption that businesses make. Initially, many may not be familiar with the bidding process; keywords; or how to build, optimize, and manage an efficacious campaign. be cautious not to disburse money needed for other resources. Start tedious and disburse time learning before committing mammoth budgets.
One final word of caution: There are easily incurred expenses that can approach from paid search marketing, such as additional costs from agencies that remove a portion of a monthly budget. Being conscious of your daily budget is critical in avoiding overspending.
When taking the steps to build a search campaign, it is critical to upshot research and trot slowly at the beginning. Understand how the market is reflected in consumer searches and what keywords are being utilized. Before jumping into methods that require payment, a company should ensure that its website is optimized for searches and never disburse more than what can be budgeted, as it will remove time to see a revert on investment.
As Cargiuolo reminds, businesses must bethink that Google serves the user first. Thus as the marketer, one must assume as a user would when structure a paid search campaign. People approach to Google with questions. The marketer that best answers the user’s questions, both pre-click and post-click, is going to be one that is most successful.
PDF Version Available Here1 Inc. Staff. “How to Conduct Competitive Research.” Inc. Magazine. May 2010 2 Ratcliff, Christopher. “What is PPC and Why upshot You exigency it?” Econsultancy. 13 November 2013. 3 Kumar, A.J. “SEO vs PPC: Knowing Which is Better for Your Website.” Entrepreneur. Editorial. 21 May 2012 4 Steimle, Josh. “How Long Does SEO remove to Start Working?” Editorial. Forbes. 7 February 2015. Namrata Sridhar is a marketing communications coordinator at LHL Communications and a rising senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA). She has too previously worked in marketing communications capacities at RealFood Consulting where she helped design an internal marketing arrangement to rebrand their company. Namrata too serves as the President of the Student Government of BU SHA. She is an energetic member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is too a plenary time faculty member at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Sarah AndersenAfter completing the senior capstone Hospitality Leadership course at Boston University, I had the random to reflect on the class topics and apply the teachings to my personal life. The course explored several different levels of leadership, from the head of a major corporation role to developing self-leadership. I erudite the weight of a mission, vision, and values in an organization, better understood the components of change management, and worked with a group throughout the semester to develop my teamwork skills. I was able to critically resolve concepts and models presented in leadership literature as well as improve my own leadership skills. I then interviewed three prominent leaders in hospitality and organize connections between their industry insights and my leadership class discussions. Dan Donahue, President of Saunders Hotel Group, Len Wolman, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Hotel Group, and Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group kindly shared their experiences and explained their personal values and company’s culture, revealing the five keys to successful leadership.
“Leadership is the capacity totranslate vision into reality.”
-Warren G. BennisEstablishing Shared Beliefs, Values, and Goals
When an organization wants to achieve its goals, it needs a vision. Effective leadership starts with the aptitude to recognize and contour those goals and inspire others to follow. Leaders paint a picture of how that vision will strike the company as a whole, as well as each individual. A leader’s aptitude to articulate that vision into a mission statement corresponds to the energetic implementation of goals and the company’s bottom line success. A productive vision goes beyond a written organizational mission statement, but instead permeates throughout everything levels of a company and manifests into actions and beliefs. John P. Kotter, author of business Leadership, writes, “A vision says something that helps clarify the direction in which an organization wants to trot [and] is relatively effortless to communicate, appealing to customers, stockholders, and employees.”1 It is therefore up to hospitality leaders to set and clearly communicate a vision, and to inspire those around them to participate and implement it.
A vision does not belong only to a leader. It must be a shared vision that attracts everyone to sustain elevated levels of motivation and withstand challenges. According to The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, leaders can envision the future by imagining the possibilities and finding a common purpose.2 In addition, leaders must spark a sense of significance and purpose in those around them. Dan Donahue agrees that, “My job, as someone who has the vision, is to procure you inspired and committed to sharing that vision and sharing that creativity to the point where you maintain buy-in.”
After seven years of rigorous research, a landmark study of the observations from more than 100 CEOs and over 8,000 employees organize that “leaders who were transparent about their values delivered as much as five times greater returns for their organizations as did leaders of weak character.”3
So how upshot illustrious CEOs and successful leaders in their industry shape the parameters for success through a shared vision for a future? How upshot they empower and inspire those around them to get decisions and drudgery towards their goals?
Balancing Accountability and Autonomy
When asked what his core values were, Len Wolman responded, “First and foremost, their organization has been built on integrity and transparency. They maintain four core values that they live by on a daily basis which are to (1) to wow the customer, (2) to continuously improve, (3) to be a passionate and committed team, and (4) to participate and sustain their bottom line success.”
Dan Donahue, established that, “Our values are simple. Their values are people. They allow them the flexibility and latitude to upshot their jobs under the steer of taking care of the guest, but too taking care of themselves as well.” To strengthen others, exemplary leaders multiply people’s credence in their aptitude to get a difference. They trot from being in control to giving over control. Developing associates into leaders and enhancing self-determination creates a culture of empowerment and confidence. Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “In terms of motivating others, it is letting them get decisions. It’s not micromanaging, but rather letting them approach up with the solutions.”
Geoff Ballotti continues, “Our core value statement is three words, ‘Count On Me,’ which is everything about accountability. It is about people being able to be counted on at any time, for any issue, any question, any decision, and any advocate that their owners, franchisees, and associates need. It is built on the principal of integrity in terms of taking personal responsibility for your actions.” Accountability is considerable because it results in an extremely efficient and productive team. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, accountability in the workplace is linked to higher performance and increases in commitment to drudgery and employee morale.4
Dan Donahue, states, “A vision has to be fluid. To procure to an achievable goal and vision, whether short term or long term, you exigency to be present, you exigency to understand that if you want it to be successful you exigency to be there, you exigency to be accountable to it, and you exigency to be accountable to the people that want to participate that.” When accountability becomes embedded into culture, company’s are able to set meaningful goals, develop team buy-in, build faith through advocate and encouragement, and celebrate successes together. Accountability is about creating a culture where people value responsibility. When associates understand that accountability involves a certain degree of autonomy, mutual respect develops between everything levels of an organization.
Mr. Ballotti adds, “The third leg of their values is everything about respect. Respecting everyone everywhere both on their ownership side and the community side.” When leaders develop mutual respect, associates are more likely to drudgery harder to accomplish shared goals. Harvard business Review examined employee needs and determined through a query of more than 19,000 workers that most employees covet renewal, value, focus and purpose.5 fire a sense of value and respect can instill an employee with self-possession and motivation. Len Wolman adds that, “I’ve been in the industry for many years, I was educated in the industry and then worked my way up through the industry, so I’m fortunate in that I maintain the perspective of having worked in various positions. So I maintain empathy, understanding, and respect for each position. Everyone needs to be treated with mutual respect and understanding.”
Modeling by Example
An considerable fraction of being an efficacious leader is educating others on what the organization stands for and why it matters. When leaders sincerely express a commitment to their core values, they’re too making a commitment on behalf of the entire organization. Therefore, leaders must get positive there is collective agreement on the shared values amongst everyone they lead.So how upshot leaders become a role model for what the organization stands for?
The confess is pretty simple. They set the instance for others to follow. Holding others accountable to values and standards means leaders must live the values themselves. Dan Donahue responds, “I would never query an employee to upshot something I wouldn’t upshot myself.” Len Wolman agrees adding, “You always want to set an instance and never want to expect anyone to upshot anything that you wouldn’t upshot yourself.” Researcher on behavioral integrity demonstrates that the alignment between a leader’s words and actions has a powerful impact on how much constituents faith the leader and on their subsequent performance levels.6 considerable leaders effectively translate purpose into reality by acting on the values they train and the things they relate to those around them.Showing Vulnerability and Visibility
Confidence is an considerable skill to possess as a leader. However, having vulnerability as a leader is just as essential to recognize and appreciate. Every leader has vulnerability, but great leaders have the self-awareness to recognize this fact and feel snug expressing their weaknesses. Showing vulnerability is a relatable trait and Geoff Ballotti finds that, “The greatest leaders I know out there are very snug talking about their weaknesses, about what it is that they exigency to drudgery on, to improve upon, and to upshot better.” efficacious leaders invest the thinking, the time, the energy and are prepared for the vulnerability of connecting with others.So how upshot these leaders rate trust, inspire, and build bonds with those they lead?
Great leaders inspire their associates and guests by genuinely connecting to them through a consistent presence and visibility. Visibility as a leader not only includes having a physical presence, but too aligning everyone to the purpose behind their shared vision through natural conversations and casual exchanges on a daily basis. When asked how he communicates company goals and the overall vision, Dan Donahue replied, “If you maintain a presence, it happens organically. It doesn’t exigency to be contrived.” The purpose of this wholehearted visibility is not about the exigency to “check on employees,” but rather an honest covet to interact with associates in order to gauge motivation and learn if employees exigency advocate or help. Mr. Wolman agrees that, “It is critical to operate with an open door policy and listen to everyone’s perspective and ideas, particularly the people who are executing the day to day functions, and I assume you’ve got to be constantly evaluating that.”
Mr. Ballotti adds, “I too assume showing empathy is key and the best way considerable leaders upshot that is through the knack of storytelling when they’re up in front of their associate ground or leadership team, being able to explain stories that connect and engage and inspire and motivate in terms of the culture your want to set and want to build.” Storytelling is a powerful way to participate knowledge, propel information at people or pull them into a company’s vision and mission by reinforcing the intent behind undoubted leadership. According to Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management, “[Stories] too strengthen the framework and the weight of an organization’s culture by establishing norms and values.”7 marvelous stories compel, persuade, and unify others around the leaders’ vision.Creativity Breads Adaptability
“Hospitality isn’t about a product on the shelf. Hospitality is about creating something that changes day to day, hour to hour, or minute by minute.” – Dan Donahue
IBM’s 2010 Global CEO Study, which surveyed more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, concluded that creativity is the most considerable leadership quality for success in business, outweighing competencies such as integrity and global thinking.8 Geoff Ballotti agrees that, “Creativity is critical, especially in the business that we’re in. We’re trying to redefine and reposition their brand from a creative standpoint in terms of experience.” What defines one brand from another and what makes one brand more successful than another is the creativity that it delivers as well as the flavor it delivers to its guests. Understanding how to generate considerable ideas is a crucial leadership trait in hospitality’s innovation-driven industry. Successful leaders create an environment where associates can contribute their fantasy and insight, which is critical because most innovations draw upon the contributions of many.
Today’s business environment is unpredictable, changeable and increasingly complex. Therefore, the aptitude to create something that is both innovative and applicable is on the top of leader’s minds. Mr. Donahue states, “Nothing in their business can be or should be cookie cutter. It’s about curating an flavor for each person who spends to be with you.” Len Wolman adds, “If you’re not creative and open to change in todays world with the disruptors that exist in their industry, particularly with technology, you will not be successful. You exigency to be creative in terms of staying ahead, staying current and relevant, and procure managing the costs associated with change in a way that your organization can still be successful and profitable.”
In an industry of constant change, considerable hospitality leaders exigency to capitalize on the opportunities that are ripe for the present context and arrangement for the likely future state. Change requires creating a modern system, which demands efficacious leadership. It is crucial that leaders first confess how difficult it can be to drive others outside of their solace zones and propel for change. When asked how he responds to change, Len Wolman replied, “A crucial component is feedback. They procure daily feedback that is current and relevant, whether it be Trip Advisor, direct contact with their guests, or direct contact with their associates. They exigency to listen to it, they exigency to respond to it, and they exigency to adjust to the things that people are looking for whether it be the consumer or the drudgery environment.” Those who create modern initiatives, programing, design, and brand essence are the ones who succeed. By supporting creativity and commanding change, leaders can multiply workplace satisfaction and build driven teams that craft original, valuable ideas.Figure 1: Interview Questions
It has been made transparent through the interview process of these three prominent industry leaders that establishing shared values, balancing accountability with autonomy, modeling by example, showing vulnerability through visibility, and having a creative mindset that is open to change are everything essential factors to being a successful leader. The common theme amongst everything these traits and elements to successful leadership, however, is each leader’s dependence and faith for their associates. At one point during the interview, Mr. Ballotti pointed out that, “Great leaders are those who environ themselves with considerable people…who are brighter, and smarter, and more diverse in thought than they are. And who are able to build a team that knows how to advocate and faith each other.” It is transparent that efficacious leadership boils down to a leaders aptitude to unlock the plenary potential in those around them. Len Wolman adds that it “We remove care of their associates so that they remove care of their guests, which keeps the guests coming back and is the judgement they are in business.“ Dan Donahue too notes, “You maintain to realize each individual employee’s needs. get a connection with your employees every sole day.” everything marvelous leaders were once followers themselves and maintain erudite to establish and foster faith over time. A exact leader passes laud and shares the blame, lifting up those around them.9 Without followers, considerable leaders cannot lead.
PDF Version Available HereSarah R. Andersen is a senior at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. Her areas of interest include integrated marketing communications and real estate development. Beyond her studies in hospitality, she is a member of the BU Women’s Lacrosse team. She plans to continue her studies at Boston University after graduating with her bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the School of Hospitality’s Master of Management in Hospitality program. References
By Juan Lesmes and Leora Lanz
It wasn’t that long ago when digital marketing surfaced as requisite drill for the hospitality industry. As time moved forward, hotel marketing departments established roles to manage the digital positioning and visibility of the property. Thus, they witnessed hospitality brands which were ‘present’ on sociable media outlets, adopting paid search as a permanent component of their marketing amalgamate and abiding by well-known website best practices. They refer to this era as angle I of the Hospitality Digital Marketing Revolution.
Phase II quickly blossomed, and hotels realized that the competition to penetrate the digital space was strong and arduous. Brands started focusing on and investing in the internet user-experience (UX), negotiating partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs), understanding the landscape of search engine result pages (SERPs), separating high-value budgets exclusively for search engine marketing (SEM), and delving into the intricacies of search engine optimization (SEO) for their own websites. sociable media served as a competitive advantage and quickly escalated as paramount for marketing, branding, reputation management, and organic visibility. Paid search, via Google AdWords platform, is not to be confused with the organic approaches circumstantial here.
As they delve into 2018, angle III emerges clearly. OTAs dominate and in some instances preoccupy Google searches with first page results. Consequently, hotels are realizing that digital marketing efforts should be shifted from a haphazard online presence to one that is strategic – one that capitalizes on each micro-moment of the guest travel planning journey (most of which, if not all, occurs on the web). As sociable media forces Instagram and Facebook solidify their roles as prominent search engines, paid ‘posts’ within users’ ‘feeds’ continue to convey the power of personalized sponsored content.
With a myriad of stakeholders now involved in the simple act of searching for hotel rooms, is it a battle worth fighting? The confess is absolutely. But before addressing the how, it is crucial to identify and differentiate the digital marketing scope of branded and non-branded hotels. Branded hotels, especially those flagged with hospitality powerhouses, capitalize from a more powerful domain authority coming from the parent chain, making it easier for them to rank higher on the SERPs. remove Marriott.com/hotel vs. hotelname.com for example. Domain authority is the overall power of the domain title considering traffic size, popularity, and number of links to the site (backlinks). It is too a top ranking factor for Google.
Branded hotels too attend to maintain significant budgets to disburse on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and paid search, ensuring top first page visibility for valuable destination and branded queries. In addition, branded hotels maintain wider access to digital partnerships, including listings, local directories, event sponsorships, travel influencers, and online features – everything of which provide authoritative backlinks to the hotel’s site, further contributing to its domain authority.
Because independent and small-scale hotels rarely capitalize from domain authority, maintaining and monitoring digital marketing best practices to boost Google rankings should be a requirement, not merely a recommendation. Digital marketing practices command their own dedicated efforts. Yet online marketing should be well-equipped with its own strategy and utilize expertise in the nuances and intricacies of hotels, restaurants, leisure activities, and attractions – overall, hospitality.
The question then becomes, how can hotels strive for visibility in this Wild West of a digital landscape, particularly if they are competing against each other, the OTAs, and a powerful sharing economy?1. Execute a Carefully Crafted Keyword Strategy
Optimizing for search queries, too known as keywords, is perhaps the core of any digital marketing tactic aiming to build visibility – both organic and paid. Identifying those keywords with the highest search volume, such as ‘Miami hotels,’ is the intuitive process. Presence on Google’s first page for elevated search-volume keywords requires a robust SEM budget, an ongoing and long-term SEO strategy, or both. This puts independent and small-scale properties, which often upshot not maintain the necessary budget and fundamental team, at a notable disadvantage.
However, niche keywords present a different scenario. These queries are typically ’long-tail’ significance they contain more than four words. Though niche keywords upshot not maintain the highest search popularities, it is much easier to actually capture their search volume, which then results in higher click-through rates (CTR). Hotels can leverage niche keywords by identifying their unique amenities and value propositions, and turning them into valuable keywords. For example, ‘Miami hotels with a rooftop bar,’ ‘Miami hotels with free breakfast’ and ‘Miami hotels with nightclubs’ are terms to utilize as they leverage a more specific travel purpose that easily turns into conversions (booked business). It is crucial to assume as the customer would.
Some independent hotels, because of the virtue of their uniqueness and often niche-market, can maintain the upper hand in this situation. A property which positions itself as a refer for health and well-being could therefore pursue niche terms such as ‘wellness resorts’ and ‘fitness getaways.’ The key is to identify the brand’s top performing unique selling propositions (USPs) and translate them into humanized search queries, everything while keeping the guests’ travel planning journeys in mind.
Finding a balanced amalgamate of both high-search volume terms and niche queries secures strategic keywords. Nevertheless, actually optimizing for them by ensuring they are naturally or comfortably present throughout the website’s titles, content, metadata and bidding efforts too capitalize secure a carefully crafted keyword strategy.2. Optimize for Local Search
Our termed “Phase II” too achieve the spotlight on search engine business directories such as Google My business and Bing Places for Business. In angle III, hotel listings on these directories is no longer a recommendation, it is a necessity. Optimizing for local search entails driving the visibility of a property’s business listing via a two-part process:
3. Attain and Maintain a Star Rating on Google
One of the key components of local search results is the Star Rating associated with a business listing. In fact, star reviews on SERPs are an efficacious way for hotels to multiply digital visibility by standing out from the competition. Star ratings capitalize multiply the site’s CTR and provide an influential benchmark for online reputation management (ORM). Once an exclusive assign for paid results, star ratings now too issue on organic results through Google’s ‘Rich Snippets.’ These snippets are a figure of structured data which Google extracts from multiple websites and presents it as a ‘preview’ in search results, too known as Google’s learning Graph.
Therefore, obtaining and retaining star ratings involves safeguarding reviews on trusted and authoritative review sites. Google then aggregates this rating data and displays an average star rating. Hotels (restaurants, attractions, etc.) should hearten satisfied guests to submit reviews to their booking channel (i.e. Expedia) because they are by default ‘trusted’ sites. However, they should too hearten reviews for their own Google My business listing in an attempt to multiply the hotel’s chances of being featured on local search results.
It is considerable to clarify that there is a technical component to obtaining a Google star rating. Codes achieve onto the website to capitalize search engines revert more informative results to users. Hotels exigency to ensure that their web developers too include star rating information within the markup code.4. Enhance Content on Local Listings
A hotel’s content for its local listings should be strategically optimized. Whether it is in Foursquare, CitySearch, or any other listing, valuable keywords should be incorporated throughout the copy – including local search ‘near’ queries such as ‘hotel in Miami near Brickell’. If the brand image is playful and tongue-in-cheek, the content on local listings should too reflect that. Some listings even allow for a featured message. Rather than a generic ‘Welcome!’ hotels can employ this space to promote current offers or highlight special amenities (complimentary champagne, sunset yoga, free breakfast).
Other content elements such as images should be of the highest quality, showcasing provocative yet realistic visuals of the property’s exterior, interior, and overall ambiance. Links to everything the property’s sociable media channels should be present in the listings, which allows the user to access other hotel assets including brand personality and online reputation.5. Optimize for Voice Search
With increasing utilization of smart personal assistants such as Alexa and Google Home, voice search is a prime topic of conversion within the digital marketing realm. In order to be visible in results derived from these devices, hotels exigency to ensure they are optimizing their site and keyword strategy for voice search too. Since users are more likely to employ longer natural queries via voice, employing niche, long-tail keywords is an efficacious method to optimize for this trend.
Long-tail keywords are fruitless without the material content on a hotel or restaurant’s website. Hotels exigency to maintain specific landing pages that parallel the niche keywords. If a hotel seeks ‘Hotels in Miami with rooftop pools’—a keyword likely used by the voice search user—it must issue in the material landing page.
Incorporating questions and answers within the site, perhaps via the ever-popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, is another efficacious way to accommodate voice search. With this strategy, hotels can provide answers not only about the property itself, but too about their destination and local attractions as a result of quick detection by voice-activated devices.
It is considerable to note that recently, numerous hotel properties and companies maintain been contacted by law firms representing travel consumers with disabilities. These law firms report that websites are not abiding by accessibility guidelines in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a guest is unable to employ a hotel website to find information or get a reservation, hotels can in fact be fined. Today hotel websites must enable these assistive technologies to allow travel consumers with disabilities to procure the information they exigency and complete any necessary transactions.6. Adopt a ‘Mobile First’ Mantra
Much has been said about Google’s ‘mobile first’ index. This means Google will start to rank its search results based on the mobile version of the content, even in desktop search listings. If one thing is certain, websites exigency to be optimized to be mobile-friendly (responsive). Hotels exigency to ensure they launch a fully-responsive website that serves users of any device the very consistent content. The more ‘mobile-friendly’ a site’s user flavor is, including factors such as typography, navigation map, and website design, the higher the site will rank on Google’s search.7. Leverage Google Hotel Ads
Google Hotel charge Ads (HPA) showcases a hotel’s real-time (dynamic) rates on Google search across everything devices. Users will see the hotel’s ad when they are actively looking to reserve a play in the area. However, the hotel only pays when the ad generates a click or a booking.
Google has recently introduced a unique call-to-action (CTA) button for booking hotels in its search results. A keyword can trigger a ‘BOOK A ROOM’ button to appear. Clicking this will activate a sub-menu to browse everything enlisted HPAs for the hotel, which includes booking direct and via OTAs.
This feature, which too appears in Mobile and Maps, demonstrates Google’s determination to grow its charge Ads service. The increased exposure provides more incentive for hotels to capitalize on this figure of pay-per-click in order to promote direct bookings.8. multiply Backlinks, Actively
A backlink is as simple as a hyperlink to a website from another website. Yet, it carries a lot of weight when it comes to a hotel’s organic digital visibility. Each backlink tells the search engine that a hotel website has a ‘vote’ from another entity, which in revert builds credibility and domain authority. Branded hotels maintain the upper hand here since the company usually has a corporate parent site that a plethora of other websites will link to (such as Marriott.com or IHG.com).
There are technicalities to backlinks, including the quality of the backlink determined by elements such as anchor text and link context. These technical factors play a role in the algorithm the search engine uses to determine the value of a backlink. In theory, the more quality backlinks a hotel website has, the more chances to rank higher on search engines.
Actively pursuing material backlinks should be imperative for hotels to obtain first page ‘real-estate’. Obtaining links from local directories, current hotel vendors, editorial publications, and .EDU and .GOV sites should be the gateway for enhancing the site’s link equity. However, to continuously grow the number of backlinks, hotels exigency to be generating quality, shareable content that interlinks with sociable media initiatives.9. bethink Optimal sociable Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement
Much has been contemplated about what comprises a successful sociable media strategy. Although there is no ultimate recipe for the perfect sociable media post, three factors that boost performance are quality, authenticity, and engagement. Optimal sociable Media = (Quality + Authenticity) x Engagement. Each piece of content maximizes visibility, both organic and paid. When posts are undoubted and of elevated quality, users are more likely to relate and validate them. When posts are authentic, of elevated quality, and facilitate some nature of user engagement, the content becomes shareable.
When content generates more likes, followers, and overall visibility it establishes an influential ranking factor. Therefore, search engines attend to rank higher those brands that maintain a robust organic sociable media ground (not paid or ‘spammy’ followers). This is why it is considerable for hotels to intertwine their sociable media strategy with their SEO efforts by creating quality, authentic, and engaging content that increases overall digital exposure.10. regard the Technicalities of SEO
Technical SEO is a science of its own and deserves its own team of specialists, budget, and time. Technical SEO means optimizing a website so search engines can successfully crawl and index its content. It lays a powerful foundation to give a hotel’s website the best random it can to rank higher for material keywords. Technical factors include site speed, removing unnecessary tags, cleansing duplicate metadata, adding tags to images, and implementing proper redirects to maximize the site’s link equity. Whether there is a one-man team or a staff of professionals continually optimizing the website, there are tools to capitalize provide the technical support.
Hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, and leisure activities everything exigency to assertively compete online to grab the attention of potential guests. Those who attend to the organic visibility maintain a notable competitive. This and integrated paid search campaigns that mutually advocate organic search strategies will capitalize secure first page visibility. Overall, while the exigency to upkeep search engines’ potent algorithms and ranking methodologies will always remain, an understanding of the process will capitalize smaller or independent hospitality businesses carve through the clutter in today’s complicated digital landscape.
PDF Version Available HereJuan Lesmes is a digital marketing strategist specializing in SEO at HEBS Digital the leading hospitality technology, full-service digital marketing and website design firm. A 2017 graduate of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), Juan’s previous flavor includes drudgery at hospitality marketing advisory LHL Communications, The Ritz London, and Lets procure Weddy in London. Since his time at SHA, Juan has been recognized as a thought leader in hospitality marketing, with energetic contributions to the Boston Hospitality Review, HotelOnline and HospitalityNet. Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC, is principal of LHL Communications, a hospitality-focused marketing communications, branding, and media relations advisory. She is too plenary time faculty at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA), teaching advanced strategic marketing and digital marketing for hospitality at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She was named among the Top 25 Minds in Hotel Marketing for 2016 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and was named 2017 Professor of the Year by the student government of SHA.
By Nick Cohen
The year is 2001, and the world is still recovering from the tragedy of September 11th. The travel industry is in a downward spiral as fears of flying and terrorism ripple across the United States and beyond, and hotels maintain lost significant occupancy due to a reduce in demand.
Simultaneously, a fledgling technology is emerging which will eventually remove advantage of the internet explosion, as well as hotel management’s desperation to fill rooms. It will reshape their industry forever, and this platform now commonly referred to as Online Travel Agencies, or OTAs, will allow hotels to easily sell their rooms on the internet through modern consumer facing websites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
Fast forward to 2017. The OTA’s maintain gained the majority of market participate for online reservations, and digital platforms fancy Booking.com and Ctrip.com maintain loyal member volumes that far surpass brand websites. In many cases, the OTA companies are valued well beyond traditional hotel brands (as of May 2017, Priceline Group has a market capitalization of nearly USD 92 Billion). They maintain too helped to create a modern concept as they grew in popularity and scale over the last number of years, and it was the precedent of transparency. Pricing that was once hidden to the everyday user, could now be exposed to the gross world, publicly, with a few clicks online. As OTA channels grew enormously with time, so did the access to real time rates and availability for virtually every hotel around the world.
With this concept in mind, from the OTA’s they maintain seen the rapid expansion of ‘meta search’ channels. These are one-stop charge comparison platforms where a customer can view a charge for a sole hotel play across multiple websites (without having to browse those websites one-by-one). Sites within this category include Kayak, Trivago, TripAdvisor, Qunar and Google, and they are everything working to simplify the travel research process for consumers.
With the OTA channels continuing to grow through massive marketing efforts and superior technology, and with meta search sites following their lead, a relatively modern challenge has emerged for hoteliers. It represents a very knotty dynamic between one of the most traditional ways to sell a hotel room, and one of the most modern ways to sell a hotel room. This once again everything comes back to the concept of charge transparency. Wholesale has been a core business driver in hotels for many years, helping properties build ground business through private negotiated rates and partnerships. Historically, these wholesalers would sell their inventory offline to their own private networks of contacts. Even though the pricing would typically be lower than publicly available RACK rates, it was a reliable foundation of occupancy for hotels to build off of.
As technology has become more sophisticated with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) readily available, they maintain seen the rapid growth of wholesale rates being sold publicly, online, through some of the powerful meta search channels mentioned above. This means that wholesalers are selling discounted rates, which directly undercut brand websites and OTAs, to anyone who has access to the internet. Beyond just meta search, some OTA websites are now even positioning themselves as ‘online marketplaces,’ where they too will sell wholesale inventory directly instead of the inventory provided by the hotels. To remain competitive and multiply market share, online channels want to sell the lowest charge possible, even if it means reducing their own margins by selling a cheaper play to the customer.
You would assume that hoteliers would want to fix this problem immediately. Online wholesale business undercuts channels which are much more profitable such as their direct brand website. This issue however is multi-layered and is not effortless to remedy for the following key reasons:Hotels still want wholesale business!
Hotels still maintain strong relationships with a number of wholesale partners, mammoth and small, and they rely on these partnerships to generate ground business. Turning off these channels would potentially intend the loss of significant revenues, at least in the short term. Although wholesale channels can undercut other websites when sold online, they too still generate incremental business when sold offline through the traditional methodFinding the source of gross business online can be very difficult
When wholesale rates appears online, it’s generally very difficult to know which wholesaler specifically is providing that inventory. The wholesale partners themselves don’t generally sell rooms through their own websites, but sell their rates through wholesale aggregation channels such as Amoma.com. It’s channels fancy Amoma who then sell the rates online through their own interface, and promote their rates through larger meta search intermediaries such as Trivago and TripAdvisor. Generally the only way to find the exact source is to get a test booking online, and then track how that reservation comes into the hotel’s central reservation system (each reservation is typically flagged with an inventory source). Many hotels are reluctant to upshot this since a booking requires employ of a credit card and sometimes even pre-payment, and then cancellation of that test booking is not always effortless to do. The test booking process is both cumbersome to manage at scale, and is too financially risky for a hotel if those booking cannot be cancelled.Employee incentives are at stake
Within hotel sales departments, team members are still incentivized to drive wholesale volume, regardless of where that volume is being sold (offline or online). Wholesale partners generally don’t provide specifics on how they are selling their inventory, and as long as play allotments are sold, the responsible sales team members are satisfied. This is creating an unavoidable rift between the direction of some sales leaders with the revenue management and digital strategy teams.So what’s next?
Hotel companies are dealing with this situation in a variety of ways. Some are cutting off wholesale altogether since they simply can’t control where their inventory is ending up. Others are maintaining the partnerships, but are working to trot away from static play allotments and over to dynamic pricing and availability where the hotels maintain more control over the inventory they transmit to the wholesalers. This is a major problem facing the industry that very much remains unsolved.
If they remove ourselves back to the 2001, charge transparency was a challenge for hoteliers. Properties simply didn’t maintain direct access to a large enough segment of customers, therefore traditional partnerships fancy wholesale was an absolute necessity. With the growth of the OTAs though, and the emergence of modern technologies such as meta search, that access is no longer an issue. The world is accessible for each hotel with a few quick key strokes on a computer. It is now only a matter of time until hoteliers get one of the following decisions:
PDF Version Available HereNick Cohen is based in Hong Kong and leads digital strategy for Hyatt Hotels in Asia Pacific. He oversees online marketing efforts for everything Hyatt brands and properties across the region, and manages a variety of e-Commerce and digital platform projects to capitalize multiply online revenues for the company. Prior to joining Hyatt, Nick held senior e-Commerce and digital marketing roles at Langham Hospitality Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Earlier in his career, working on-property for various hotels he developed extensive learning in operations, along with Sales & Marketing and Revenue Management expertise. Nick too holds a graduate diploma in Hotel and Tourism business Management from Boston University. Sources:
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