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 August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.