AWS for Industries

AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency Partners you should know: DataArt

DataArt recently achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Travel and Hospitality Competency Partner status. I sat down with Alexander Shchedrin, vice president, DataArt Travel and Hospitality practice, to learn how DataArt is helping travel and hospitality companies optimize the AWS Cloud and data.

1) Congratulations on achieving AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency Partner status. Please describe your company for our readers.

DataArt is a global software engineering firm that takes a uniquely human approach to solving problems. With 25 years of experience, teams of highly trained engineers, deep industry sector knowledge, and ongoing technology research, we help clients create custom software that improves their operations and opens new markets.

We are headquartered in New York and have more than 25 locations across Eastern Europe and Latin America, with over 6,000 engineers and consultants.

The core of our travel and hospitality experience is building custom solutions in travel distribution, guest experience, and travel agency operations. This experience comes from working with customers like HotelTonight, IDeaS, Priceline, Rappi Travel, Skyscanner, Travelport, VENZA, and Volara, among others.

2) AWS helps customers enhance the customer experience and optimize core operations by adopting modern technology, utilizing their data.  How do you help travel and hospitality companies achieve these objectives?

We are often called upon when there is a capacity gap, a capability gap, or both. Customers reach their projects’ objectives through engagement with DataArt to enhance in-house capabilities in digital product development, DevOps, data management, and analytics.

Our teams are fluent in modern software development best practices and technologies. Their travel and hospitality knowledge reduces onboarding time.

When designing a new product, we see the user, whether a traveler or an agent, as the center of the universe. We use prototypes to iterate relentlessly to get their experience just right.

Our expertise in architecture and DevOps is beneficial to customers who are new to the public cloud. DataArt teams can lead by example, thus creating a scaffolding for customers’ teams to bridge the skills gap.

The same applies to customers transitioning from on-premises data management to the cloud. Our experts guide the customer on technology choices and assist with the journey from creating a data lake to using artificial intelligence / machine learning (AI/ML) to get insights from available data.

3) Can you tell us about a travel and hospitality customer that implemented your solution? What were the results?

One example of close collaboration is our engagement with IDeaS, a SAS company, which offers a leading revenue management solution for hospitality. We worked closely with the IDeaS team to build a new data lake to process historic hotel rates from third-party providers, a project launched successfully in 2021. And just recently, we shared publicly how we assisted IDeaS in implementing the containerization “conveyor belt” migration strategy, helping the company to migrate and modernize its key workloads to AWS.

Another example at the intersection of using data insights and enhancing the customer experience is a search engine optimization that we completed for Rappi Travel. We introduced a new destination and airport search engine architecture using Amazon OpenSearch Service (which unlocks real-time search, monitoring, and analysis of business and operational data) at its core. As a result, we managed to improve the conversion rate for search by 5 percent, and we reduced cost to serve by optimizing marketing performance and costs.

4) Travel and hospitality executives tell us they’re interested in prepackaged cloud solutions as a way to speed up implementation time and reduce costs. How do your solutions or processes help customers meet their timelines and budget goals?

We have a process for large and complex programs—the Connect Framework. The process focuses on getting alignment from customer stakeholders on a road map for business outcomes, and then finding a path to achieve those within constraints of budgets, timelines, and technology landscapes.

Whether we use prepackaged cloud solutions, use any off-the-shelf products, build a custom solution, or use a combination of those paths, it is accommodated by the Connect Framework.

When appropriate, DataArt invests in custom tools to deliver specific outcomes faster. For example, we developed a custom tool that analyzes dependencies between multiple Sabre Scribe scripts, which helps us streamline the assessment of migration from this specific technology.

5) How do you see the travel and hospitality experience evolving?

I would focus on three themes: automation, personalization, and sustainability.

The resurgence of the travel industry created a perfect storm in which the new demand converged with a tremendous number of unused tickets and relaxed change policies, increasing the operational pressure on travel agencies and clogging most of the traditional customer service channels. This drives the demand for more automation and self-service capabilities.

Related is a theme of retailing and personalization. Collecting and using first-party data to identify trends early or to share a relevant offer with the customer has been an area of interest for travel companies for years. What changed recently is how accessible and powerful AI/ML technologies have become, helping more travel companies to use them.

The travel and hospitality industry needs to act to address climate change. We are already seeing solutions for improved reporting on targets, easier access to sustainability information, and recommendation engines that highlight and promote sustainable choices. We will see more of those in the coming years.

6) How will technology—and your solution(s)—empower this future?

Legacy technology persists in travel. To unlock the business value behind automation and personalization and to build with sustainability in mind, those legacy systems must be modernized and reengineered.

Not only do systems require change, but the organizations that build those systems need to change, along with how they approach and accomplish the work.

The intersection of these two pain points is where DataArt’s technical expertise and industry experience lend significant value and where we can lead our customers to successfully adopt modern software development practices.

7) How will your customers benefit from your partnership with AWS?

AWS and DataArt are both interested in long-term partnerships with the customer and are keenly focused on contributing to the client’s business success. When our efforts assist our customer’s business to succeed, then we succeed. AWS gives customers an innovation playbook and tools that they can use to achieve their goals. DataArt brings teams of technology professionals with relevant industry experience who help lead this transformation by example.

Learn more about how AWS Partner DataArt can help you achieve your goals.

Tedd Evers

Tedd Evers

Tedd Evers is the global partner leader for Travel and Hospitality at AWS, with 22 years of leadership experience at global brands like Travelocity and eDreams and multiple online travel startups. He is an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner with expertise in ecommerce, distribution, and marketing with online travel agencies, hotel/accommodation providers, and airlines.