Palatinate Group: Scaling up and adding value on Google Cloud Platform

About Palatinate Group

Palatinate Group is a UK-based leisure and holiday specialist, focused on providing bespoke packages in the Golf, Spa, Horse Racing, LGBT, and Cycling markets through a portfolio of sites.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality, Other
Location: United Kingdom

Google Cloud Platform helped Palatinate Group build a reliable, scalable infrastructure, and added value to its business with data-driven decisions using Google BigQuery.

Google Cloud Results

  • Delivers consistently smooth, robust service across several websites to users across the world
  • Combines data from online and offline orders to provide new customer behaviour insights with Google BigQuery
  • Reduces costs with sustained use discounts and flexible pricing

Reliably migrated infrastructure to the cloud

Specialising in holidays with leisure activities, Palatinate Group offers a range of experiences for its customers, tailored for their specific needs. More than just a booking service, with excellent contacts and insider knowledge, the group provides expert advice, ensuring a large and loyal fan base. Launched in 2005, its first website, www.yourgolftravel.com, is now the world’s largest golf travel company, providing golf holidays to over 3,000 destinations. Meanwhile, the company has added a number of other websites to its portfolio including www.spabreaks.com and www.racingbreaks.com. As Palatinate Group expanded, it strained against the limits of its infrastructure. It turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for a robust, scalable solution.

“The initial draw for us was Google Cloud Platform reliability. We had problems with our existing provider, so we wanted a solution that provided reliable, consistent performance across all our instances.”

Stephen Lewis, Chief Technology Officer, Palatinate Group

“The initial draw for us was Google Cloud Platform reliability,” says Stephen Lewis, CTO at Palatinate Group. “We had problems with our existing provider, so we wanted a solution that provided reliable, consistent performance across all our instances.”

Robust, scalable infrastructure

In the past, Palatinate Group utilised an on-premises infrastructure with public-facing assets in the cloud. As the business grew, adding new brands and new waves of customers, so did the strain on its servers. Its cloud service in particular began to suffer from outages and inconsistent performance across virtual machines. With the business expanding and its reliance on cloud infrastructure only likely to expand with it, Palatinate Group looked for a cloud provider it could depend on.

“We had a lot of data but nobody was really empowered to look at it until now. With Google BigQuery, our marketing team can use the web interface to join our data sets without any technical input from the IT team. It’s helped us make better decisions.”

Stephen Lewis, Chief Technology Officer, Palatinate Group

For its reliability, scalability, and affordability, Palatinate Group chose GCP. Migrating its infrastructure to GCP in steps, the company found the transition quick and easy. “Nobody outside the migration team noticed that we moved, because nothing changed for them,” says Stephen. With the company already on G Suite and Google Chrome devices, it could easily extend and restrict permissions with Google Cloud Identity & Access Management. The group transferred its workloads to a combination of Google Compute Engine and Google App Engine instances. Over time, it ported newer applications to Google Kubernetes Engine clusters using Google Container Builder. Shortly after the initial migration, Palatinate Group saw the benefits of holding assets in Google Cloud Storage, while Google BigQuery provided a powerful, accessible way of analyzing the company’s rapidly growing datasets by automatically combining previously separate data sets from the its reservation system, web logs, and phone records.

“We had a lot of data but nobody was really empowered to look at it until now,” says Stephen. “With Google BigQuery, our marketing team can use the web interface to join our data sets without any technical input from the IT team. It’s helped us make better decisions.”

“We are shipping much more rapidly than we used to, several times a day. The tooling around Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Container Builder is geared up for rapid delivery.”

Stephen Lewis, Chief Technology Officer, Palatinate Group

High speed deployment, low maintenance

GCP helped Palatinate Group grow into new markets with a solid infrastructure it could depend on. With outages and inconsistent performance in the past, the company moved away from on-premises servers and now has almost all its infrastructure in the cloud to help ensure the best possible performance for its customers. In addition, Palatinate Group processes and overall performance have become faster with simplified permissions in Google Cloud Identity & Access Management, edge caching in Google Cloud Storage, and the ability to roll out new clusters at speed with Google Kubernetes Engine. “We are shipping much more rapidly than we used to, several times a day,” says Stephen. “The tooling around Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Container Builder is geared up for rapid delivery.” Meanwhile, sustained use discounts in Google Compute Engine and flexible pricing mean that Palatinate Group has been able to keep costs to a minimum by only paying for what it uses.

Google BigQuery has become a key part of the company’s analytics. Its ease of use means that non-technical teams like the marketing department can interrogate data sets for insights, such as deducing booking patterns or evaluating call center conversion rates. The company is also experimenting with Google Cloud Speech API to analyze interactions with its call center and improve the way it deals with customers. With a seamless transition and smooth performance, GCP allows Palatinate Group to focus on delivering the best service it can.

“Google Cloud Platform just works,” says Stephen. “I’ve spent a lot of my career fighting infrastructure, so it’s great when it gets out of the way and I don’t have to worry about it.”

About Palatinate Group

Palatinate Group is a UK-based leisure and holiday specialist, focused on providing bespoke packages in the Golf, Spa, Horse Racing, LGBT, and Cycling markets through a portfolio of sites.

Industries: Travel & Hospitality, Other
Location: United Kingdom
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Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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