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Delivering Personalization in Real-Time with the Cloud

Technology Magazine 

When Priceline launched in 1998, the internet was so new that the company’s small staff relied on just two servers, which promptly crashed under pent-up demand for discounted airline tickets. In the intervening years (and after adding more than a few servers), customer interests have broadened into queries for rental cars, hotel rooms and travel packages.

As an eCommerce pioneer, Priceline is no stranger to growth and change. When it became clear that staying agile would mean saying farewell to legacy architecture and instead piloting to the cloud, they turned to EPAM and Google to help make the move seamless. The ultimate goal: To become cloud native for the entire business.

Priceline’s search engine is the backbone of its services. Jetsetters expect to find a dog-friendly beach cottage that can sleep 10 or a yurt with ample parking near a lake—with just a few clicks. To meet everchanging needs, the company has constantly improved its algorithms to deliver what travelers want, adding cleanliness ratings during the pandemic and bundling hotels with car rentals when everyone started taking more road trips.

By partnering with Google Cloud and EPAM, Priceline is harnessing the power of the cloud to use crucial analytics in real time, becoming even more customer centric. So instead of looking for broad trends, Priceline will be able to offer individual travelers personalized recommendations better suited to their search in the moment.

“Cloud strategy is key to better serving our customers, and EPAM is helping us transform into a faster, more agile travel dealmaker,” says Martin Brodbeck, chief technology officer at Priceline. “Their engineering and business expertise have been vital to our goal of becoming cloud native.”

Companies turn to the cloud because it offers flexibility, scalability and security. Priceline will see these benefits and more:

  • Google Cloud Platform offers superior data analytics, warehousing and machine learning capabilities, so that the data Priceline is already collecting can become much more useful.
  • The company’s developers can deploy new functionality quickly, differentiating them from competitors.
  • Priceline will be able to make travel recommendations that wouldn’t have been possible before.

“EPAM’s expertise is supporting the engineering capabilities needed to modernize Priceline’s infrastructure and operations. This isn’t a “lift and shift” program, but instead a true transformation from legacy architecture to the cloud that cuts across people, processes and technology,” says Craig Jonsson, key account director at Google Cloud.

“Here at EPAM we love complex challenges that can be solved with the help of technology, and I am especially passionate about opportunities that lead to better consumer experiences,” says Regina Viadro, vice president and co-head of North America/East and Midwest at EPAM. “Helping Priceline transform its complex ecosystem in a modern and scalable way, alongside our partner Google, allowed us to do just that.”

At the heart of Priceline’s modernization, EPAM is engineering a pivot from applications running on servers to applications running in containers, using Kubernetes to manage Priceline’s code, products and features much faster. The end result is service to customers that is more elastic, more portable, more cross platform and more cost efficient.

People travel for so many reasons: out of curiosity, to connect with friends and family, to get a change in backdrop. Regardless of motivation, travelers will benefit from the tailor-made options that Priceline can deliver from the cloud.

To read the full article, click here: Technology October 2021 | Technology (technologymagazine.com) (pp. 170-171)

Read the Technology Magazine Digital Report: Priceline, Data-driven Dealmakers of Travel

Check out EPAM’s Cloud Service here: Cloud Services | EPAM