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24/7 Software Blog

“Imagine driving alone in your car, but instead of sitting behind the wheel, you're dozing in the backseat as a computer navigates on your behalf. It sounds wild, but former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz says that scenario isn't so far off the mark,” writes Terry Gross in their recent NPR article entitled “The Revolution Will Be Driverless: Autonomous Cars Usher In Big Changes.”

"I was a New York City cab driver back in 1968, and I watched transportation evolve over time. I have never seen anything as rapid as what has happened this decade. Autonomous vehicles are coming," Schwartz says in the piece.

“While Schwartz doesn't know exactly what the autonomous vehicle of the future will look like, he notes that it may not look anything like today's cars. It might not have a steering wheel or brakes, he says: ‘It could be a room any size; it could be a conference room," according to Gross.

“Beyond aesthetic differences, Schwartz predicts that driverless cars will transform roads, job and economies. He notes that while repair shops, trucking companies and car dealerships may lose business, other industries — including the advertising industry — stand to flourish with a captive, backseat audience,” Gross explains.

So, what do you think?

It’s fascinating that autonomous cars are a topic right now.

Of course, many people expected to be zooming around in flying cars.

But, let’s start with one thing at a time.

It’s just like Proactive Operations.

You can usher in significant change that affects your property, customers, and every other stakeholder in the industry.

But, you’ve got to take steps.

Sometimes baby steps.

Agree?

You can’t jump to flying cars without going through a proper evolution – whatever that might involve.

All we’re saying is that advancing your property is important, but you need to do it in phases.

You need to be meticulous and get things right.

You won’t achieve the changes you need without building every aspect of your operation with purpose and a methodology.

“In one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history, Marriott International said Friday that information on up to about 500 million of its customers worldwide was exposed in a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database dating as far back as 2014,” writes Avie Schneider in their recent NPR article entitled “Marriott Says Up To 500 Million Customers' Data Stolen In Breach.”

“The world's largest hotel chain said it learned of the breach on Sept. 8,” Schneider explains.

According to the article, “The company said the Marriott hotel network was not affected. ‘The investigation only identified unauthorized access to the separate Starwood network,’ it said. Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016.”

“For 327 million of the affected guests, the compromised data includes ‘some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest ("SPG") account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences,” the company said in Schneider’s article.

“For some customers, the information ‘also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted,” Marriott added in the NPR piece.

Your personal data is yours to provide how you deem suited, whether it’s your date of birth or critical payment information.

Agree?

And whether you’re running a hotel or any other property, anything related to your customers must be a top priority.

We know you agree with that.

That’s why we thought it necessary to provide insight into what you could do to decrease your property’s chances of any form of a breach.

Let’s get started!

“A big car company is going small. Ford is buying electric scooter company Spin,” writes James Boubek in their recent NPR article entitled “Why Ford Is Getting Into The Scooter Business.”

According to Doubek, “Ford and Spin won't confirm the price tag, but reports put the purchase price at $100 million and an overall investment from Ford of $200 million.”

“The acquisition, announced last week, marks the first time a carmaker has seriously invested in the bike and scooter-sharing sector, which is typically the realm of tech companies,” the article continues.

Doubek explains that “Automakers are trying to broaden their business — to become "mobility" companies rather than just selling cars.”

"All the automotive companies are looking for ways to manage the future,’ says Bruce Belzowski, the managing director of the Automotive Futures Group and formerly of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. ‘In the past, they managed the future by just designing and building vehicles that people really wanted to buy. And now they're confronting a potential future that's different from that," shares Doubek later in the article.

“Belzowski says legacy car companies aren't necessarily counting on being profitable when they throw money at new technologies. But these companies don't want to be left behind,” the NPR piece continues.

You don’t either.

Agree?

Technology is moving fast.

You need to get started on the implementation of software.

It’s no longer a nice to have.

You need it.

Your customers expect it.

That’s why this article hit home for us. We don’t want you getting left behind.

We want you getting into the Proactive Operations business that way you can maintain your status as one of the world’s greatest properties.

It’s been a long year for you.

But, it has also been a productive one.

You’ve really stepped it up in 2018.

Plans to take your operation to the next level in 2019 are underway.

You’re busy making the needed changes and improvements.

But, it wasn’t always like this.

Your predecessor did not leave you with much of a legacy to build.

You were forced to start over.

This circumstance terrified you.

From inefficient processes to high staff turnover, to non-existent technology, you had your work cut out for you.

Agree?

Everything was your responsibility from the start.

Your team was looking at you to change things around for the better.

You were ready for the challenge because you knew a change was necessary.

But, you weren’t so confident and clear on how to get started.

You spent several weeks researching and reaching out to colleagues that have done it right. 

The consensus led you to 24/7 Software’s blog.

Here is where you discovered the Proactive Operations methodology.

That’s when the real work started.

Right?

Now, you sit at the head of the table, not only at home for today’s feast but for your operation too.

We’re thankful for this.

You’ve earned it.

“Today, we celebrate another year and a mission for 2019 that we’ll accomplish together,” you say to your team.

“I give thanks to each one of you for your contribution to us becoming a proactive operation,” you conclude.

Your team breaks out in cheer!

Today, everyone gets to enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labor.

So, enjoy your success.

“On the eve of midterm elections, Facebook said Monday that it had blocked 115 social media accounts after receiving a warning from federal law enforcement officials of ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’ that could be linked to foreign entities,” writes Giles Snyder in their recent NPR article entitled “Facebook Blocks More Than 100 Accounts, Citing Possible Foreign Influence.”

“In a blog post Monday night, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said 85 of the accounts were on the company's Instagram service, with the remainder on Facebook itself,” the article continues.

According to Snyder, “Gleicher wrote that the accounts were immediately blocked after the company was notified Sunday evening of suspicious behavior and that the questionable accounts — potentially linked to foreign entities — are being investigated ‘in more detail."

"[Almost] all the Facebook pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English," Gleicher said, according to the NPR piece.

Snyder explains, “Gleicher said the company typically waits until it is further along in such a probe before publicly acknowledging the steps it takes to remove suspicious accounts, but ‘given that we are only one day away from important elections in the U.S., we wanted to let people know about the action we've taken and the facts as we know them today.’

Immediately, we recognize an essential lesson for you – and your operation.

  • You need a proactive operation that lets you recognize, prevent, and stop foreign (or external) threats from impacting your operation

This lesson has many components and would require your team to understand various aspects of your operation further.

But, the critical takeaway is: having a well-organized operation with processes, agile teams, and technology in place to thwart the “bad guys.”

Agree?

You need Proactive Operations.

“When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?” writes Laurel Wamsley in their recent NPR article entitled “How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book.”

“The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt,” shares Wamsley.

According to the article, “As they prepared to ‘lift and shift’ on Sunday, they expected perhaps 100 people to help.”

"But on the day, we had over 200 people turn out, which was a sight to behold,’ Amy Brown, one of the shop's five part-time staff members, told NPR,” explains Wamsley.

The NPR piece continues that “Shoulder to shoulder, community members formed a line 500 feet long: from the stockroom of the old shop, down the sidewalk, and onto the shop floor of the new store.”

“When the great book chain began, she was in the stockroom. ‘I was handing books to people without actually seeing the entire of it. So, it was only after about 20 minutes I actually go out into the road and saw the extent of the people,” Brown said later in Wamsley’s article.

We know it’s only on rare occasion that you’d be moving your operation to a new location.

Yes, it happens.

But, that’s not what grabbed our attention today.

The “book chain” process Brown shares in the last paragraph above got us thinking about the evolution of your operation.

  • What do you need to put in place to run your high-performing operation for years to come?

Keep reading; we’re going to share the essential takeaways this article about a moving bookstore can offer your efforts.

Let’s do this.