The APT Travel Group: How the pandemic facilitated digital transformationThe APT Travel Group (ATG) partnered with Interactive to revolutionise its digital operations, focusing on future proofing its business to be stronger and more secure than ever before.
The ATP Travel Group
From humble beginnings that date back to 1927, the APT Travel Group (ATG), today 95 years on, is a global business with an extensive portfolio of well-known touring and cruising brands. The distinct brands enable ATG to deliver an unwavering focus on unforgettable holiday experiences for each and every individual. As Australia’s largest locally owned tour company and most awarded, it maintains an unparalleled commitment to innovation in defining what travel means, not only in Australia but the world.
Still owned and controlled by the McGeary family, the distinct brands of ATG include APT, Travelmarvel, TravelGlo, Botanica World Discoveries, Captains Choice and Antarctica Flights.
- NIST Score doubled
- 10% reduction in costs
- 3 new key strategic initiatives launched in 6 months
- 70 IT partners consolidated and reduced to <10
A pandemic and unprecedented business challenges
In 2020, COVID-19 struck, ultimately bringing international travel to a standstill; unlike anything ATG or anyone in the travel industry had ever experienced.
In order to ensure the business continuity and ongoing success of the business, ATG looked to Interactive to provide the expertise and best practice operational assistance in areas of digital transformation, security, and business continuity.
ATG was able to truly partner with Interactive in these vital areas and was even able to set themselves up in our business continuity suites to commence the partnership and begin the process of revolutionising the technology backbone of its business.
Once engaged, Interactive enrolled three teams:
- Architects for long term planning
- Public Cloud, to kick off their migration to Azure.
Refocusing on the future
Instead of dwelling on the pandemic, ATG took this time as an opportunity to pivot its business priorities and focus on digital transformation.
“We’ve taken this as an opportunity to refresh our business strategy and really focus on where we want to go from a digital and technology point of view. So, we’ve partnered with Interactive to give us greater scale and capability”, shared Lorna Heyward, COO, ATG.
Migration to Azure
Interactive provided ATG with a fast-tracked migration to Azure, not only transitioning them from their previous environment but also modernising and future-proofing their new environment by following the Microsoft Security Framework. Moving forward, ATG is using the latest infrastructure and has significantly reduced infrastructure wastage with capacity planning.
In less than six months, Interactive empowered ATG to introduce intelligence processing within their business and enabled ongoing transformation. This includes consolidating IT partners. As well as transitioning their existing customer loyalty program online.
Secured for the future
ATG’s move to Azure has increased its security posture astronomically, reducing its risk and maintaining a competitive advantage in the market.
Ongoing, ATG has Interactive’s CREST accredited CSOC monitoring and protecting its business, setting them up for a more resilient business future.
The backbone of digital success
ATG’s migration to Azure has been transformative in six months alone and continues to be the backbone of its digital success.
“With Interactive, we’ve built out a full managed service across Azure cloud, business continuity, cyber security and end user services” - Lorna Heyward, COO at APT Travel Group
In this short but impactful period, ATG has realised the following benefits:
Interactive completed ATG’s cloud migration to Azure in six months. This allowed ATG to quickly implement new initiatives for its valued guests and partners, including a new online loyalty portal, vaccination certificate portal and importantly, streamlining systems and boosting efficiencies to service customers and partners.
This has allowed ATG to transition its two major Loyalty Programs online for the first time. The APT Club, and the Travelmarvel Traveller Club can now offer benefits to guests via an advanced online platform. This positions ATG well within the competitive travel industry landscape as well as providing reward and recognition to their valued guests and increasing positive customer experience.
“Through our partnership with Interactive and Microsoft, we’re in far better shape than ever before”, shared Lorna.
During the time of upheaval, ATG took the opportunity to streamline and simplify its operating model to be best placed to emerge even stronger when travel and the demand for travel returned. It needed to reduce its dependencies on its many IT partners, taking a smarter approach to right size the operating model and deliver more effective cost optimisation for the business.
Migrating to Azure gave ATG this opportunity, ultimately turning 70 IT partners into fewer than 10.
Furthermore, by decommissioning legacy systems and enabling the latest systems, ATG has reduced costs and significantly decreased future risks.
Lastly, ATG’s migration to Azure has provided the robust security protection it needs to mitigate risks both internally and externally.
Prior to its partnership with Interactive, ATG had primarily industry standard perimeter-based protection that was ill equipped to understand behavioural attacks. Using Microsoft Azure best practice guidelines, Interactive migrated ATG’s environment and rebuilt it into Azure public cloud, providing enhanced security for the business and peace of mind for all customers and partners.
Now that Interactive has implemented SIEM and its CREST accredited CSOC services, Interactive is consistently monitoring and managing risks – delivering an exceptional, robust solution.