Ryanair and Sabre’s journeys into the cloud via Amazon Web Services highlights how the industry is rebuilding and transforming legacy systems into innovative customer travel services

You probably couldn’t pick two different ends of the travel industry spectrum to highlight the value of your business proposition than Ryanair and Sabre Corporation, but both have entered into significant contracts with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to use its cloud services to help transform their technology offer.


Summary:

  • Ryanair is a positive example of a travel business rebuilding and transforming legacy systems into cloud-based, innovative customer travel service;
  • The airline is moving its infrastructure fully to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to transform the digital experience for its over 130 million customers, and plans to close the vast majority of its datacenters over the next three years;
  • The European LCC already runs several core production workloads on AWS, such as Ryanair Rooms and Ryanair.com, and is building a company-wide data lake on Amazon S3;
  • Sabre Corporation has also entered into a long-term agreement with AWS as part of its multi-vendor enterprise technology cloud migration.

Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline at the forefront of the LCC revolution to hit the continent’s skies, while Sabre is the oldest GDS and together are testament to how the industry is rebuilding and transforming legacy systems into innovative customer travel services.

Ryanair is moving its infrastructure fully to AWS to transform the digital experience for its over 130 million customers, and plans to close the vast majority of its datacenters over the next three years. The European LCC already runs several core production workloads on AWS, such as Ryanair Rooms and Ryanair.com, and is building a company-wide data lake on Amazon S3, leveraging Amazon Kinesis to gain deeper insights from customer and business data.

The airline is a positive example of a travel business rebuilding and transforming legacy systems into cloud-based, innovative customer travel services by standardising on various services via AWS, including AWS databases, analytics, machine learning, and deep learning services.

“We’ve chosen to work with the world’s leading cloud to develop and deliver services that will transform our customers’ travel experiences. By rebuilding core applications, converting data into actionable insights, and creating intelligent applications, we are putting the solutions in place to continue our leadership in the travel industry,” says said John Hurley, chief technology officer, Ryanair.

AWS says Ryanair will be able “to rapidly innovate, optimise costs, deploy globally, and become a more agile organisation in the cloud”. After Ryanair rebuilt Ryanair Rooms on AWS, its customers have been able to easily compare millions of hotel deals and accommodations without interruption or delays. It is now working with the AWS ML Solutions Lab to create an application that enables the company to automatically detect surges in demand for flight segments and anticipate schedule changes.

“Machine learning is hugely important to our growth, and we’re pursuing a variety of AWS machine learning services, including Amazon SageMaker, to enhance customer UI experience and personalise the MyRyanair portal for every unique traveler. We’re currently trialing Amazon Lex to enhance our customer support experience, by intelligently routing customer support requests to the right type of assistance—whether that be a customer support representative or an artificial intelligence-driven interaction,” adds Mr Hurley.

Ryanair was one of the first companies in Europe to support Amazon Alexa, and created the MyRyanair skill for Amazon Alexa to handle account booking, flight inquiries, and frequently asked questions.

Meanwhile, Sabre has entered into a long-term agreement with AWS as part of its multi-vendor enterprise technology cloud migration. Building on an existing strategic relationship with AWS that includes applications from across Sabre’s business already leveraging the AWS cloud, the two companies will work together to execute Sabre’s cloud strategy. This is a key component of Sabre’s initiative “to reimagine the business of travel” and lead an industry “evolution of the future of retailing, distribution and fulfillment through innovative technology”.

Sabre will leverage AWS as an important part of its goal to accelerate migration to the cloud as the company’s primary technology platform. Its strategy is designed to offer greater localisation for customers around the world, and bring its own products closer to customers to reduce latency and further improve application response times. According to Joe DiFonzo, chief information officer at Sabre, by working with AWS, the company can “accelerate the evolution of its next-generation microservices-enabled technology platform at the centre of the business of travel”.