Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Cloud

Be safe when staying in a hotel (part 2)

Cloud, Holidays, Hotel, Safety, Security, TravellingEdward Kiledjian1 Comment

How to choose the safest hotel room

Always choose a room between the 4th and 6th floor (never lower and never higher). The 6th floor maximum is in place because most fire department truck ladders have a maximum height equal to the 6th floor[ of most hotels]. Any higher and rescue during an emergency becomes problematic.

The 4th floor recommend is in place to make it difficult for someone to enter your room from the ground floor (from the outside). If you are staying in a motel or a flat built hotel, choose a room where your balcony is on the inside of the hotel grounds (aka not towards the parking lot).

Never accept a room next to the stairs or end units, these are usually the first room thieves target. Try to get a room as close to the elevator as possible, as these are typically the safest.

As previously mentioned, get a room that has a manual door locking mechanism. Where the windows and balcony door can be opened, I typically want the hotel to provide a manual locking mechanism also.

For most overseas trips, I put the do not disturb sign on my door when I check in and take it off the day I checkout. I don’t want unattended employees in my room. When I need fresh towels or soap, I’ll pick them up on my way back from the reception desk.

If your hotel is a large multi-building setup, try to secure a room in the main building. Also stay away from buildings in isolated sections of the property.

 

… to be continued

Be safe when staying in a hotel (part 1)

Cloud, Evernote, Hotel, Safety, Security, TravellingEdward Kiledjian5 Comments

Having travelled to over 30 countries, I have picked up some interesting tips and tricks about hotel safety over the years. Since the holiday season is approaching and many of you may be travelling, I thought I would write a couple of short, bullet point style articles to help you stay safe.

The Preparation

Before leaving, I strongly recommend that you make at least 3 photocopies (front and back) of the following documents:

  • Credit cards
  • All tickets (airplane, train, show, etc)
  • Passport
  • Important documents you may be travelling with

I would leave one copy with a trusted resource back home ( as a worst case scenario backup) and carry 2 copies with me in different places. Many international hotels request that you leave a copy of your passport with them overnight while they complete your check-in (bad idea). Never surrender your original passport, give them a photocopy instead. In the age of digital, I often scan all the documents and store a digital copy somewhere in the cloud and on my iPhone ( just in case).

Another important consideration is the documentation of valuables you will be travelling with. I recommend photographing everything from different angles and serial numbers when available.

Before booking the hotel

In an emergency situation, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do your research before booking a hotel and the room. I generally want a non-biased third party to provide the below answers. If that is not possible then I try to stick to major Western chains that usually will be fairly honest with their answers.

  • Choose a hotel where the room locks are electronics. This makes it harder for previous guests or “bad guys” to have access to your room. Ask for 2 copies of the room key and keep both on you. If you misplace or lose one, immediately notify the hotel and have replacements made.
  • Make sure the room is equipped with a dead bolt lock and a peephole
  • Most of us do not pay attention to the hotel’s fire suppression system but trust me this one is important. Make sure your room is equipped with a smoke detector and that each room (and the hallways) have visible sprinkler systems. In many countries the fire response teams are not as fast, well equipped or trained as in North America.
  • Make sure that the hotel environment is secure with proper fencing and that the guest areas are well lit (parking, hallways, ice rooms, etc).
  • Generally I prefer hotels where the elevator leaving the parking area only goes to the lobby (and not directly to the rooms).
  • I try to make sure that any hotel I choose has adequate security personnel. I like to see uniformed security personnel that seem to be well trained and adequately equipped (in this case adequate depends on the area.) They should be willing to escort you to your room or vehicle if requested.
  • I recommend you contact the foreign affairs ministry of your country (DFAIT in Canada, US Embassy for USA, etc). Ask them about the area the hotel is located in and determine how safe it is.

… to be continued

Software as a Service reaches $12.1 billion in 2011

Cloud, Gartner, SaaSEdward KiledjianComment

Gartner is reporting that SaaS revenue will reach $12.1 billion in 2011.  63.6 percent of all worldwide SaaS usage [in 2011] is expected to be in North America.

It was interesting to see that the issue related to SaaS varies by region 

  • EMEA - Limited flexibility of customization.
  • North America / Asia - Limited integration with existing systems. 

"In North America, ease and speed of deployment are primary reasons for SaaS adoption, followed by lower TCO," Ms. Mertz said. "Limited capital expense is also considered more important in North America than in the other regions. Consistent with the other regions, CRM shows the highest use of SaaS among enterprise applications while use of Web conferencing, e-learning and travel booking is higher in North America than in the other regions."