Priceline is a leader in online travel and a subsidiary of Booking Holdings Inc., the world’s largest travel company. It operates alongside popular brands like Booking.com, KAYAK, and Open Table. The company is dedicated to providing seamless and user-friendly access to exceptional deals on hotel rooms, flights, rental cars, vacation packages, and cruises.
In May 2020, due to the heavy workload on its data centers and the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the travel industry, Priceline decided to modernize its technology infrastructure and replace its 20+-year-old on-premises customer service platform with modern third-party software hosted in the Cloud.
Migrating applications to the Google Cloud platform emerged as an attractive option due to various benefits, such as accelerated time-to-market for digital services, increased adaptability to future disruptions, improved customer experience through on-demand and self-service provisioning, cost reduction in hosting and maintenance, and enhanced security compliance. However, this project’s scope was beyond the capabilities of Priceline’s internal resources.
To facilitate this transition, Priceline partnered with e-Core due to our extensive experience with Google services.
With e-Core’s strategic guidance, Priceline successfully migrated to the Google Cloud Platform and modernized its technology stack. Among the solutions were designing APIs for smooth connectivity with travel industry vendors, implementing new digital services for payments, reservations and customer data privacy management, and enhancing the digital purchasing experience. Overall, e-Core worked on 12 different applications.
“Modernizing our technology stack and migrating to the Cloud were critical, resource-heavy missions that were not feasible to accomplish solely with our in-house development team. Partnering with e-Core provided us with the support needed to complete the migration in a timely manner.”
Senior Director in the Technology Management Division at Priceline
- Conducted a comprehensive assessment of existing applications and infrastructure;
- Developed planning and strategy for cloud migration and platform modernization aligned to Priceline’s short and long-term goals;
- Implemented solutions for migrating at least 12 applications, breaking them down into 40 different projects;
- Designed APIs for connectivity with travel industry vendors;
- Developed new digital services for payments, reservations, customer data privacy management and to enhance the digital purchasing experience;
- Assigned and managed over 30 dedicated tech professionals with specific and hard-to-find skills, such as senior software engineers, POs, PMs and SDMs.
- Successfully migrated and modernized 12 applications to Google Cloud in the first year;
- Reduced time-to-market for digital services, consolidating competitive advantage;
- Achieved cost reduction in infrastructure costs and maintenance of on-prem applications;
- Improved adaptability to future market and technology disruptions, positioning the business as future-ready;
Reduced hosting and maintenance costs;
- Enhanced customer experience by optimizing response and processing times within the price comparison system;
- Increased data storage security to further reduce PCI risks, proactively mitigate potential data breach risks and consistently meet all necessary legal requirements.
Based on a thorough assessment of the company’s existing applications environment and infrastructure, e-Core developed a high-level strategy aligned with Priceline’s goals and formulated a plan to migrate and modernize 12 applications.
Throughout the partnership, e-Core provided the necessary team and resources for a successful migration, designed open APIs to facilitate connectivity with travel industry vendors, and developed new digital services for payments, reservations, and customer data privacy management. “e-Core not only helped us migrate some of our legacy applications to Google Cloud but also helped us build brand new applications to modernize our stack,” said Jordan Saletan, Priceline’s Senior Director in the Technology Management Division.
To execute the plan efficiently, e-Core assembled a dedicated team of over 30 tech professionals. The group consisted of software engineers, business system analysts, scrum masters and program managers that worked collaboratively with Priceline’s internal team to ensure strategic alignment.
A notable project led by e-Core was creating a new application to further enhance security by eliminating the storage of customer credit card information. The PMD-Proxy project enabled Priceline to securely store and access customer data using multiple external tokenization vaults, where payment processing requests are now routed to third parties via microservices hosted as APIs, which significantly reduced PCI-related security risks.
Another critical project involved modernizing legacy software for storing booking contracts. e-Core developed a new API that allowed for creating, updating, and retrieving contract templates in a smaller size on the Cloud. The system now generates PDF contracts on demand across all customer platforms (mobile, desktop, web, or app). As a result, Priceline’s customer care, finance, and risk-management teams now have access to better data while the company reduced storage costs.
A third project focused on migrating pricing information from on-premises to the Cloud, enhancing the processing times for price comparisons across various travel options. e-Core adapted the existing application to run efficiently in the Google Kubernetes Engine, ensuring optimal performance of the new codebase. The application was also broken down into components to facilitate the responsive scaling of services, ensuring it can now auto-scale to meet demand peaks while simplifying maintenance through a consolidated codebase in a single language.
In addition, another project focused on optimizing caching during the loading of hotel information, significantly streamlining the information flow between Priceline and its suppliers. This enhancement led to quicker response times and improved data reliability regarding hotels for customers. By incorporating new filters and optimizing the solution, the volume of information traffic was notably reduced by approximately 35% after the project’s implementation. This achievement allowed Priceline to deliver even more superior services to its customers.
The projects undertaken by e-Core in partnership with Priceline yielded significant outcomes aligned with the company’s long-term Connected Trip Strategy, which aims to create a seamless and connected travel experience across all aspects of the customer journey.
By leveraging native cloud components and adopting a future-proof critical infrastructure, Priceline achieved enhanced scalability, flexibility, and improved time-to-market for new features. These advancements positively impacted core revenue-generating business areas, such as accommodation, flight, and ground transportation selection. It also expanded payment solutions to a broader range of consumers and partners.
In the year after the start of the project, Booking Holdings reported robust growth of nearly 30% in US room nights and a remarkable 60% increase in gross bookings in 2022 compared to 2019*.
Priceline also achieved substantial cost savings in infrastructure due to its migration and modernization efforts. According to a detailed analysis by McKinsey, leveraging cloud technologies and optimizing costs can lead to significant financial gains. They predict that Fortune 500 companies have the potential to unlock more than $1 trillion in run-rate EBITDA by 2030 through cloud cost-optimization levers and value-oriented business use cases.
“Because we no longer need to support these legacy systems, the new cloud infrastructure allows our teams to get down to the business of what we do best: adding new features and functionality to help our customers easily plan their trips for the best price,” says Saletan. “We can now control our hosting costs and rapidly spin up additional computing power as needed for high traffic demands.”
Looking ahead, Priceline aims to remain at the forefront of industry advancements and continue its partnership with e-Core in what became a three-year program to transform its business and service offerings further. As more enterprises recognize the value of industry-specific Cloud platforms in accelerating business initiatives, Priceline is poised to capitalize on this trend and maintain its position as a leader in the travel industry.
By 2027, over 50% of enterprises will utilize industry Cloud platforms to drive organizational agility, innovation, and time-to-value.** Priceline’s collaboration with e-Core reflects its commitment to staying ahead of the curve and providing the best customer experience in the industry.
** Source: Gartner® ebook, Gartner’s 2023 Top Strategic Technology Trends, 2022. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
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