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SQ Hospitality, featuring SurferQuest, president Kathryn Koning joins EV Hotel Group advisory board

EV Hotel Group has recently welcomed our president Kathryn Koning to their hotel advisory board. Kathryn is happy to join and offer over 20 years of expertise in the hospitality industry. We are proud and happy to be guided by her leadership at SurferQuest! Check out what they have to say about her new role:

EV Announcement…..

We are pleased to announce that we have strengthened our EV Hotel Group Advisory Board with the appointment of Kathryn Koning. The appointment marks a new chapter in our company’s history as we embark on an ambitious programme of growth for 2021 and further down the pipeline.

Ms. Koning has been an expectional leader on multiple platforms and especially with technology. She can write a book of all her experiences and accomplishments.

A member of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association Technology and Education Committees assisting in advancing technology and furthering education within the hospitality industry

CEO and Founder of Global Software Applications LLC, has been providing software and technology platforms to multiple verticals including hospitality, through her DBA SurferQuest since 2000. Successfully implementing the first of its kind business center solution to the Westin Times Square, consequentially starting a new amenity in the hospitality industry, and has continued success ever since.

Advocate for women and an active member of the Woman’s Business Enterprise National Council and the Small Business Council for Technology.

Welcome to EVHG!!!

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ev-hotel-group_hospitality-hotel-technology-activity-6792894087331643392-V2e6

SurferQuest Mobile printing enables guests to print from their own devices




Secure Cloud Printing
Explore Cloud Printing  

Printing boarding passes, itineraries, and documents has never been easier for the modern traveler. SQ Hospitality Mobile Printing ensures your guests have the information they need, printed with ease. Cloud Printing keeps your guests — and their information, safe and secure.

  Mobile Devices


BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) support ensures users don’t need to touch any shared equipment when printing

Secure Release

Secure release codes prevent the wrong person from retrieving a user’s documents
 
Any Network


Print from any networkBranded Interface

The printing interface can be branded to suit your property  

Pro tip: Keep things extra clean by offering in-room UV-C light cleaning capsules for your guest’s devices

Global Software Applications, d.b.a. SurferQuest
672 Tyrone Pike
Philipsburg PA 16866 
http://www.surferquest.com

SurferQuest CEO featured for Women’s History Month

SurferQuest CEO Kathryn Koning was featured for Women’s History Month by Maureen Borzacchiello of Maureen Borzachiello Incorporated. Borzacchiello is a women’s advocate, and supporter of woman entrepreneurs. Kathryn is an awesome example of women leaders in business and we are happy to share the interview!

Today, during our celebration of Women’s History Month we are featuring Kathryn Koning- CEO of Global Software Applications LLC

BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED:
Not to take myself too seriously…and NEVER take no for an answer!

WOMAN WHO INSPIRES KATHRYN AND WHY:
I admire my mother, who showed me what never giving up looks like.

I also admire my daughters, who no matter what challenges they face they always push forward , head first believing that anything is possible if you can just see it in your mind.

A celebrity and professional that admires me is Betty White. Why? Because she has shown the world what a feisty, fearless woman can accomplish. She faced many challenges starting a career in a time that women were just starting to be recognized for being more than stay at home mothers and wives. She was regarded as a pioneer of television, she was one of the first women to exert control in front of and behind the camera and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom.

http://www.surferquest.com

Increasing data security to prevent identity theft in the hospitality industry

Data breaches within the hotel industry are a growing concern, with hackers targeting personal and credit card information that is collected during a guest’s stay. Last year, hackers breached hotel giant Marriott and had access to the sensitive information of more than 300 million guests. In a second attack, another 5 million guests were put at risk. The year before, MGM reported a data breach that affected over 10 million hotel guests. The pandemic has increased the threat level to data security and hotel fraud is becoming more common.

Beyond the financial ramifications and large liability to hotel chains, identity theft leaves long lasting marks on those who have been targeted. Many people whose information has been exposed and stolen, report long lasting effects including anxiety, financial stress and worry for the security of friends and family members.

Individuals can take precautions to protect themselves, such as using complex passwords, reviewing credit reports and not sharing personal information with unverified sources; but what can be done when this isn’t enough? What measures can hotels take to further protect their guests?

Routinely changing employee passwords and verifying the cloud security of data management platforms could help defend against data breaches and attacks. Further verifying the security measures used by any vendors collecting data is also a key component to defending against potential data breaches.

SurferQuest was designed with this in mind. Currently SurferQuest is serving thousands of hotels, and is installed within many of the large hotel chains we have all grown to love. To date, SurferQuest has never experienced a data breach after over two decades in business. This is due to an important security feature that removes any and all guest information from public devices after each use. Any personal information that has been entered into a guest computer or tablet is completely erased after every use and the device is restored to start state. It is a smaller component within the large scheme of hotel operations, but is one that comes with the guarantee of security and peace of mind. Once it is installed, vulnerable guest devices are one less worry.

While data hacking and breaches may always be a threat, we can all take extra precautions to ensure that it doesn’t happen. Visit http://www.surferquest.com for more information.

Thank you from everyone at SurferQuest

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to extend our warmest gratitude and appreciation for everyone we work with. 2020 has been a year of many turbulent changes and uncertainty, but it has brought us all closer together and has reminded us of the things that really matter. Together our resilience has grown, and our dedication to connection our support has deepened. While the year has been a struggle for so many of us, we are grateful for the opportunity to grow and come together as a community, and as human beings.

While we adapt to the many changes that have been brought forth by 2020, we look forward to the new year and the many possibilities that will follow. Change can be difficult to accept at times, but with it brings new opportunities.

From all of us at SurferQuest, we thank you for your loyalty, your friendships, and the opportunity to serve you.

Here’s to a New Year and a new beginning. Happy New Year from the SurferQuest team.

Global Software Applications / SurferQuest Receives Recognition from the Better Business Bureau for their professional ethics


Central Pennsylvania, United States – November 24, 2020

Philipsburg, PA – The Better Business Bureau gives out awards each year to prominent businesses in the community that show a high level of quality in their services. This year, Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest, a 20 year old  central Pennsylvanian software development company, was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 BBB Torch Awards for Torch Award for Ethics.

The BBB Torch Award for  Ethics is an annual award that is awarded to select businesses that display ethical business practices, build a community of trust, and offer outstanding service to their clients. The winners of the BBB Torch Award for Ethics receive public recognition for their work and efforts across several platforms. This award is a symbol to those in the community that the business is committed to ethical practices, and it is a way for businesses to set themselves apart in the community.

The BBB has very high standards for businesses to meet in order to qualify for the award.  Applicants are judged by an independent panel from Duquesne University based on the following criteria; excellence, integrity, teamwork, trust, respect, and community involvement. Businesses are expected to show dedication in these essential areas to be considered for the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.

Kathryn Koning, president of Global Software Applications, had this to share:
“It is a true honor to be recognized for all of our efforts to continuously meet the standards the BBB sets for the torch awards. I feel a sense of deep pride having the BBB torch award presented to us at Global Software Applications / SurferQuest, especially being able to share this award to my team. The dedication of our team to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between our clients and the public is amazing. As a company in the past 20 years we set certain standards as a guide, but when you have a team that exceeds the standards and raises the bar, well that is something to take pride in. It is so important knowing that our clients and companies that we work with will be treated with respect and fairness, it’s more than a guide. It’s a way of life with us.”

Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest, was chosen from the pool of nominations based on their commitment to a high level of service and ethics. During the evaluation, Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest showed the judges excellence in the way that their company was run, exhibiting passion, fairness and integrity about the work that they do within Hospitality as well as the software development side. The judges were also able to make their decision by evaluating the ways that  promoted an atmosphere of belonging, worked towards common goals, demonstrated consistency and fairness with employees and customers, and by the way that they were positively involved in the community. Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest completed the vetting process as a finalist in the category of 11-49 employees, establishing the firm as an ethical, trustworthy, and reputable business.

For more information, visit https://www.surferquest.com

About the Better Business Bureau
For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org.

The Better Business Bureau brand is represented by four national and international non-profit organizations:

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (BBB.org) represents the local, independent BBBs that serve every community in the United States, most of Canada, and a growing number of locations in Mexico. Its foundation is the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBBMarketplaceTrust.org).

BBB Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public.

About Global Software Applications llc/ SurferQuest
Global Software Applications is a successful software development company, specializing in self service applications for the hospitality industry since 1999. Beginning with SurferQuest public computer software, GSA has become widely recognized for providing secure business center solutions to many four and five star resorts and casinos around the world.

Since 2001, SurferQuest has been proud to set the industry standard in business center solutions and hotel and guest technology.

SurferQuest is committed to meeting the needs of every hotel it serves with specially designed custom solutions. Every app within SQ’s product portfolio is continually upgraded and tailored to provide only the best for your guests.

The private information of over 10 million hotel guests compromised in data breach, SurferQuest software secure and not affected

Millions of hotel guests world wide have been the victim of a recent data breach. A well known reservation platform has been compromised with identity theft, credit card fraud and vacation stealing. Because of this breach, records and private information dating all the way back to 2013 have been exposed. The records contain full names, credit card numbers, reservation numbers and other confidential information pertaining to guest stays.

I wanted to write about this today because this is exactly why SurferQuest was created, and why we take security so seriously.

Security is of the utmost importance to us and to traveling guests. Nothing is quite as unnerving and anxiety inducing as learning your credit card and banking information has been hacked or stolen.

SurferQuest ensures that public guest devices and business center computers cannot be hacked. After each session the computer reverts to start state, completely removing credit card information, passwords and any other details from within the session. SurferQuest can also block objectionable browser content, protecting you from the liability that can come from guest browsing in a public setting.

There are plenty of things to worry about in 2020, SurferQuest is not one of them. With SurferQuest you can feel confident that guest information is protected.

Join SurferQuest for the upcoming 2020 Best Western Virtual Convention October 27-29

SurferQuest is proud to attend the Best Western Virtual Convention this year. The team will be showcasing their portfolio of business center solutions, guest technology and covid response products online, October 22 – 27.

Attendees may access the virtual show by following: https://2020bwvirtualconvention.vfairs.com/#

We hope to see you there!

A History of SurferQuest, as written by Happy Valley Industry

If you went to Penn State in the early 2000s, you might remember a little internet café in downtown State College called Java Vista. While Java Vista stopped serving up espresso and Wi-Fi long ago, the proprietary software that fueled the café has gone on to power hotel business centers around the world.

“Perhaps we started a bit too early in technology,” says Kathryn Koning, president and CEO of Global Software Applications, speaking about the proprietary software that café Java Vista offered. The café’s computers used software that Koning and her team had designed. It allowed people to have access to a computer, and once they were finished, all personal information was wiped before the next person used it. The tech was groundbreaking for its time, but the café struggled for a much different, surprising reason: “The students thought we were part of the campus computer lab and so they would bring in their own food. Since we were a café, that did not work out very well,” Koning says.

From Internet Café to Times Square Hotel
Eventually they made the decision to close down the café and take the software they’d developed in a different direction. Koning says that New York seemed like a good place to further the technology. “I walked into the Westin NYC in Times Square carrying a bulky white computer (we all remember that one) and with the skill of a door-to-door sales person, I persuaded them to let us put the computer in their lobby for their guests to use. I remember being asked, ‘What do you call it?’ I saw a gentleman carrying a briefcase and quickly responded ‘It’s a Business Center,’ and that is how the hotel ‘Business Center’ got its start.”
That was 20 years ago. Today, this WBENC-certified company runs SurferQuest, a user-friendly, secure business center solution that solves technology problems for 4 and 5-star resorts and casinos around the globe.

The goal is simple: offering business center solutions for hotels and resorts that are easy-to-use, customizable, secure – and completely supported by experts who offer 24/7 live support. They handle technology so hospitality businesses can keep their focus on creating a great experience for their guests. 

“There are other companies that offer business center services,” Koning says of the Happy Valley-based business, “but the software is not developed in-house, which can be really frustrating when users require technical support. All SurferQuest support calls are handled by the team that developed the software, and support is offered live, 365 days per year. But what makes us stand out is that we operate like a small company where everyone is important. I teach my staff that no matter how small or trivial a problem may seem to them, to the person on the other side, it is the most important thing going on for them at that moment and must be top priority.”

Enabling Safe Reopening With Digital Wayfinding
Global Software Applications has created other software solutions for everyday problems, and one of them has been particularly in high demand due to COVID-19. Here2There, a digital wayfinding software, operates like GPS for large indoor spaces, and as large spaces like schools, museums and conference centers look to safely reopen, the need for wayfinding has skyrocketed. “By using landmarks and weighted pathways, our wayfinding system uses turn-by-turn text directions to guide users to their final destinations,” Koning says. “Through the use of QR codes, directions are sent to the user’s phone, making it easier to navigate.” 

Here2There software is ADA-compliant, meaning that those with ambulatory issues are automatically routed to the paths that are accessible. “The aim is to support social distancing by making it easier for users to get to their destinations rather than using signage that may be confusing leading to increased traffic in public areas.”

In addition to accessibility options, the company is also working on helping these locations in the fight against the pandemic. “We are currently working on facial recognition that will determine highly populated areas even down to whether a mask is being worn or not.”

Expert Advice in the Time of COVID
Building facial recognition and mask detection into software is just one of the ways that the company is helping customers during COVID-19. 

“We have become a ‘consultant’ of sorts,” Koning says of the pivot from focusing on the internal workings of the company to reaching out to those in need. “We’ve been helping hoteliers and business owners navigate federal funding, make decisions about staffing, even down to whether or not to keep their doors open for business. It’s sad when a long standing client comes to you and says, ‘We have to close our doors, and don’t know if we will be able to open them again.’ We have used our vast network of contacts to connect our clients to those who can help them find their way when we were not in a place to assist. We have become a huge family in this industry and the compassion shown is a superhuman feat. We could not be more proud of our industry for doing what is best for everyone, and having faith in each other.”

In addition to consulting, they’re also providing temperature scanners for the staff and guests, and UVC lighting to aid in safely reopening. Koning says that equipping clients with safety equipment is just part of who they are as a company. 

“Every day, new guidelines are created, and businesses have had to adapt quickly.This means paying attention to trends, deciding which resources to deploy and mandating unpopular rules that may cost them business in the short (and long) term. Will we come back from it? Definitely, hopefully wiser and more educated from the experience. In order to ensure this, we must pay attention to the guidelines, ask questions for clarification and, just as important, continue to treat our clients and ourselves kindly and with integrity.” 
To find out more about how SurferQuest can help you with business center solutions, go to surferquest.com or call 888-733-4365.

Kathryn Koning of Global Software Applications: What I Wish I Would Have Known Starting Out
When Kathryn Koning was beta-testing her proprietary software in an internet café in downtown State College, there were much fewer women in technology fields.
I see more and more women in technology every day. Many women hold top positions within major IT companies and lead technical positions within our industry,” she says,
She advises women starting out in tech to never lose their certitude, and if need be, push through doors that are only slightly open. 
And if she could give advice to her younger self as she was just starting out in the field? “Two takeaways I wish I would have known are to make sure to patent your technology and concept, and to know that it’s OK to take ‘no’ as an answer every once in a while.”