Editorial Board   

Mr. Kazmi

Saeed Kazmi

Chairman & CEO, Vertical Systems, Inc.

For almost 30 years, Saeed Kazmi has been developing innovative technologies that empower business to move in new directions. Today, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi), a Silicon Valley-based company he co-founded in 2001 to provide sophisticated solutions for the hospitality industry through a wide range of automated business centers, mobile applications, Wi-Fi hotspots, kiosks, and in-room products. Previously, he co-founded several firms that achieved important high-tech “firsts” including: • VPNet Technologies, the first company in the world to focus on virtual private networks (VPNs) • Semi-Custom Logic, Inc., which conceived and developed a mobile tablet PC with an embedded GPS unit plus also managed prototype development for IBM's micro-electronic graphics and data compression technology • VIA Technology, one of the first developers of fabless PC semiconductor products, notably PC chip-sets and microprocessors Mr. Kazmi earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at NED Engineering University in Karachi, Pakistan and a master's engineering degree at Oregon State University (OSU). In 2008, he was named to OSU's Academy of Distinguished Engineers. Mr. Kazmi has built a career that is part science, part art, and all innovation. In the process, he has gained a strong reputation for leaving the ordinary behind - both with the technologies he develops and the companies he directs. He can be reached by e-mail at skazmi@ver-sys.com for questions or comments.

Mr. Kazmi can be contacted at 408-752-8100 or skazmi@ver-sys.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.