SapientNitro, Rackspace and Australian Tourism Data Warehouse create new data platform for travel industry

SapientNitro and Rackspace have combined with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse to create  anew management platform to connect the tourism industry, and is owned by all the state and territory tourism bodies.

The announcement:

Sydney, Australia – 1 March 2016 – SapientNitro, Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX) and the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) have announced ATDW-Online, a new listings management platform which aims to connect the tourism industry by generating and disseminating valuable content for Australian travel operators and distributors locally and around the globe.

ATDW, which is globally unique, is the innovative digital infrastructure that exists to support Australian tourism’s competitive advantage in digital marketing and distribution globally. As such it is a valuable asset to the Australian tourism industry and is collectively owned by all State and Territory Tourism Organisations.

Changing the face of Australian tourism marketing

The new platform will transform the way tourism operators, government organisations, public attractions and landmarks from all Australian states and territories create and manage their online content. The new ATDW-online platform replaces eight different legacy systems previously used by State and Territory Tourism Organisations, creating efficiencies by making it simpler to use and maintain.

The multi-channel distribution network supports almost 40,000 listings across 10 product categories and is published by over 150 online distributors, websites and apps. The centralised database marks a technological and logistical improvement over the former platform, where each State Tourism Organisation managed their own version of ATDW.

By creating a listing with ATDW-Online, tourism operators receive cost and time effective online marketing that increases their digital distribution through multiple channel opportunities. ATDW-Online listings will feature on the most prominent tourism websites and mobile apps, locally and globally, offering unprecedented reach for the Australian tourism industry.

Increasingly, the tourism sector is the engine of growth for the Australian economy. Directly supporting more than 540,000 jobs, the sector is Australia’s largest services export earner. With the introduction of the new ATDW-Online platform, advantages to the entire sector will be significant, with particular benefit to the tens of thousands of small ‘mum and dad’ travel operators with limited access to digital marketing resources.

“We are thrilled to be part of this initiative to help transform the tourism technology ecosystem in Australia. ATDW plays a central role in helping Australian tourism businesses connect with a global audience and the new platform will save these businesses time while providing much more sophisticated capabilities to connect with their consumers,” said Stephen Forth, SapientNitro’s Brisbane lead.

He continued: “Using our unique collaborative design process, we ran co-design sessions with Australian tourism stakeholders simultaneously across 10 locations around Australia using the latest video conferencing and interactive whiteboard technology. This enabled us to align the group of stakeholders around a compelling new vision with a working prototype in just 6 weeks.”

Forth believes: “Strong digital capability is key to the Australian government’s Tourism 2020 strategy and online marketing plays a significant role in the success of our local operators in becoming or remaining competitive. We expect around 30,000 operators and over 150 tourism websites to benefit from this new content management system.”

ATDW-Online amplifies Australia tourism operators’ value proposition and reach by providing professional guidance during the listing creation process, translation services to address the Chinese market, and global reach through a rich and easy to use set of syndication options (APIs, whitelabel web-app and widgets) facilitating listings syndication across the global network of distributors according to their needs.

The new tourism platform also allows Australian tourism bodies and individual operators to make data driven decisions by providing advanced big data analytics and reporting features, ensuring that everything their businesses need is immediately visible. This feature empowers all ATDW-Online participants large and small to harness the power of digital data to optimise their marketing activities. For example, operators receive copywriting services and analytics on the performance of content, to ensure they are able to maximise value from this tool on an ongoing basis.

According to Mark Williams, CEO of ATDW, “This new upgraded platform is the result of an exhaustive program of work.

The investment in both time and money ensures that Australia’s Tourism industry has access to a world leading piece of technology which will serve us well in the years to come. We are genuinely excited about what the platform is going to allow us to do and there is no doubt that the industry is going to love the fact that we have focused on making it easy.”

The technology behind the platform

The ATDW-online platform is built for scale, providing quick response times and leveraging state of the art web technologies, such as Node.js , Angular.js and MongoDB®. It is architected in a modular, abstract and extensible way through a fabric of microservices – exposing data to both front-end and RESTful endpoints which allow third parties to easily supply content and data via contribution APIs.

ATDW-Online takes advantage of best-in-class DevOps, hosting and deployment technologies developed in coordination with Rackspace, which provides access to DevOps services, from writing infrastructure code to designing structure and building migration plans for applications. This helps customer automate, deploy and test their infrastructure for their applications. This collaboration allows ATDW-Online to dynamically scale resources and deploy new versions of the application and environments in a matter of minutes.

Developing strength through partnerships

“Given the breadth of this service, we needed a hosting provider like Rackspace with a local presence and a global reach. Starting from scratch the team needed a nimble, slick partner open to trying new things,” said Forth.

Rackspace is helping manage the deployment of the infrastructure and codebase, working in close collaboration with the team at SapientNitro. Through the Rackspace provisioning Public Cloud, ObjectRocket® for MongoDB and DevOps, Rackspace provides best-in-class tools and expertise – allowing the SapientNitro development team to focus on their strengths, innovation and push the envelope when it comes to deliverables.

“As a trusted IT advisor, we provided a solution that helps take the Australian tourism industry to another level. Given so much of this sector is about online performance, Rackspace demonstrates how our DevOps capabilities transforms the development process,” said Angus Dorney, senior director and general manager at Rackspace Australia.

Source: SapientNitro press release


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