When sitting next to someone on an airplane, there are 2 choices, put the headphones on and get through the ride, or look them straight in the eye and say, “hello my name is Mark.” Well you may say your name is your own or maybe you are Mark for this flight.

Then the inevitable question comes up, “What do you do?” Continue reading Reflections

Dont Mess with My Wi-Fi!

I’ve been busy lately writing about Wi-Fi. An article for Hospitality Upgrade to be published in a month or so and also a Wi-Fi security brief to educate front line workers on how to advise guests on accessing Wi-Fi and security issues. (Not to mention an IT assessment for a Indian Casino which included Wi-Fi)

The article started with an incident at a Marriott hotel where the employees blocked personal Mi-Fi internet hotspots from operating. Since the airspace Wi-Fi operates in is a public airspace, this is a big deal. You can’t interfere with the publics use of public airspace. Well, Continue reading Dont Mess with My Wi-Fi!

One of those days – Email gone Awry

Today was definitely one of them. When playing with a Bulk Mail merge tool for a subset of my contacts, the tool went awry and started emailing my entire address book! They all received the great email message of Test, Test Test. The program took over my computer and after about 4000 emails, I was able to kill outlook from memory.

So while I doubt I will ever live this one down, there is a bright side. Continue reading One of those days – Email gone Awry

Recognize the music – Guest Service

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”
– Friedrich Nietzsche.

This quote by Nietzshe has always stuck in my head. No so much for the statement itself, but for what it can be expanded to. We all dance to our own music. Some call it the beat of our own drum. To some, our dance looks chaotic. To others, it looks rhythmic and intoxicating. What more interests me, are those people that can recognize other peoples music and sync with them in their own rhythm and beat. These are the truly talented hospitality folks I occasionally work with. Continue reading Recognize the music – Guest Service

Secret Menus – Would they work in all hospitality?

Growing up in Southern California I became addicted to In-N-Out burger. Though I never worked there, several of my friends in high school and college did. It was through their conversations I first learned of the “Secret Menu” items and become addicted to animal style Double Double burgers. To this day, They are still my favorite, still not published on the menu board but no longer really a secret. Continue reading Secret Menus – Would they work in all hospitality?

Getting staff to use applications – Manufacturing Desire

In a recent discussion with a hotel executive, we talked about how to get front line staff to use the applications better and to their fullest extent. At the time, I didn’t have a rock solid suggestion especially given the international staff that they managed.

I then had a totally different conversation talking about gaining and keeping users coming back to play a mobile game application. Turns out, the answer to both is similar.

Their application discussion was around a subject of “how to manufacture desire” which is a term used to describe “How do we get users to learn and want to use our application to where it becomes a habit”. A good article on it is on TechCrunch here.

Continue reading Getting staff to use applications – Manufacturing Desire

Google NEST and the case for Multi-Modal communications

Recently the NEST group in Google, (Google bought NEST in January for over $3 billion) advised customers to disable the devices ability “for user’s to wave their hand to turn off a faulty smoke alarm.” My first reaction is that it’s a great convenience but with all the failsafes in other applications stating “Do you really want to do this, press yes to continue” a simple wave of the hand may be too much non-failsafe power to grant an un-authenticated user. A 5-year-old has no business waving at the smoke alarm and turning it off. Continue reading Google NEST and the case for Multi-Modal communications

Starbucks Application and Web Referals

Seamless Native App to Web Site integration needed!

Have you downloaded the latest IOS Starbucks Application? In many ways it feels cleaner with the tile format and more items and information added. The ability to subsidize the pay of the employees (i.e. Tipping) is an interesting add as well.

When reading through the screens of information like the benefits of my Gold Card, the attainment of drinking way too many coffee drinks and having way to many on the run lunches here, I notice several references to the Starbucks web site for more information. First impression is Im in a Starbucks App connected to the internet. Can’t you just show me that page rather than list it’s URL for me to go to? Continue reading Starbucks Application and Web Referals

Theory of, and the Internet of EVERYTHING!

Physics has a pursuit of the Theory of Everything. It’s goal is to provide a single framework that connects the physical universe. It gets into some pretty heavy stuff that we all have heard of like Einstein’s General Relativity and the hot topic of Quantum Mechanics.

The idea that there is a single mathematical equation to explain the universe brings me back to meaning of the universe defined in Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. 42 may be the answer but the answer is beyond most of us to understand. Continue reading Theory of, and the Internet of EVERYTHING!

My Applications I use on a daily or regular basis

I get asked at least once a week what applications I use on my iPad and Computer to make me functional. I had an email I would send to people but have decided since I need to get my Blog entries back up, this would be a good place to point them to.

Here are my applications…

Evernote: I refer to this as my primary application sometimes. I use it daily to as their tag line says “Remember Everything.” This application takes input from web, camera, email and a variety of other ways, does an OCR for text and indexes it all. It’s fuzzy logic search, tagging, reminders make it one app I wouldn’t function well without. If you register through this link, you can earn yourself a one month premium subscription trial and help extend my subscription by a month! EVERNOTE REGISTER

PDF Expert: My favorite application for editing, drawing and commenting on PDF files on my iPad.

Quickoffice Pro HD: My favorite application for editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the iPad.

GoodReader: Between Quickoffice and PDF Expert, this may be duplicate of some tasks but I have found several times that PDF and office documents are viewed better with formatting in GoodReader. If I have time one day, I’ll work on a comparison chart.

Pages, Numbers Keynote. These are Apples alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you are going all Apple then you may consider changing to these. But then you need to learn how to save as Microsoft format to exchange documents with other people that use those. May be better to stay Microsoft Word and Excel even if you are all mac.

DropBox: I use dropbox to sync and have access to files between my PC, iPad, iPhone and from the web on computers when I don’t have mine. Also many of the applications I mention here can access the Cloud based storage directly.

TurboViewer: DWG and CAD file viewer. This is faster and better than the official app from AutoCAD below.

AutoCAD 360: AutoCAD viewer for CAD files. Need to get a free account to use. This is the “Official” AutoCAD viewer and sometimes displays files better than TurboViewer but TurboViewer has been more consistent in displaying better and faster.

VSD Viewer: This is for Microsoft Visio. I’m not sure you need to view Visio files. We do a lot of our one lines in Microsoft Visio but publish them in PDF format.

Skitch: An editor to put documents/images/pictures directly into an Evernote folder.

Talkboard: A whiteboard application used to collaborate with other people on a drawing.

Magic Plan: A neat application that I use to take a camera picture of a room and it draws the room for me. Not 100% in its abilities but it has helped me several times save a few hours of work.

WolframAlpha: An encyclopedia style application that provides answers to lots of measurement and statistical questions.

Basecamp and Wrike: These are two project management applications I use for getting non-computer people involved with my projects. Basecamp is simple and has made the difference in several projects but lacks some real defined PM features. Wrike is still fairly simple but operates like a more formal project management application.

Audible: This is my book listening application. I only list it because I do use this several hours a week to listen to business books and information. Including wall street journal. It by far is the application I spend the most amount of time in.

Mark Munger

Technology and Management Consulting for Residential, Hospitality, Casino Gaming and Tech Companies

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