About Wanup: Today’s business and leisure travelers look for diversity, but they also like to be rewarded. And while there are many large hotel chains that have loyalty programs of their own, Spain-based firm Wanup launched with a view to providing something different. In 2015, it set up a new hotel-loyalty program for travelers “who like hotels with personality.”
The company brings together top-rated independent, boutique, and chain hotels in a program that allows members to earn rewards and “travel cash” every time they make a booking, while not limiting travelers to one hotel brand.
Based in Barcelona, Spain, Wanup has 100 employees and a membership base of 600,000 and growing. It aims to be the largest and most diverse hotel loyalty club in the world within three years.
Wanup launched its service in 2015 on a traditional IT infrastructure based on physical storage, but it soon realized this would impose limits on the business. “During the early stages, we couldn’t predict what we would need from our infrastructure, but we hoped we would attract many members and hotels to our program,” says Xavi Sallés, Wanup’s Chief Technology Officer.
“This meant preparing to handle a lot of traffic, so we needed a flexible platform that would allow us to increase capacity automatically without having to buy thousands of physical machines.”
The firm also wanted to have a choice about how it developed its service, and it was crucial that its SAP enterprise software would be supported. This proved to be a sticking point in Wanup’s current environment.
“Maybe tomorrow we’ll need a Windows platform and the next day we’ll need a Linux one. We must have that freedom to develop our service in different directions,” says Sallés. “SAP is really important to the business too. It provides our master data source, supplying information to all our databases”.
As we started building our environment, we realized our existing infrastructure had neither the flexibility nor the support for SAP that we required. We hoped that moving to the cloud would help us with both of these things.”
- XAVI SALLÉS, WANUP´S CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
“For Wanup, the number one priority was how to run SAP in the cloud,” says Sallés. “So it wasn’t just a matter of coming to grips with cloud infrastructure—we needed SAP expertise on top of that.” With all those premises in mind, Linke helped Wanup get started on AWS.
Linke introduced Wanup’s team to the AWS Activate program, allowing them to benefit from cost-effective cloud services that could scale as the business expanded. As part of the process Linke helped them define and implement the new company´s infrastructure on AWS where all the data resies in the Amazon EU (Ireland) Region:
“We were lucky to find a partner that could support us in our move to the cloud and give us one-to-one service. Linke helped us to understand the AWS environment and use its SAP and AWS expertise to ensure we got up and running quickly.”
- Xavi Sallés, wanup´s chief technology partner
From our own experience, setting up SAP on a physical infrastructure can easily take six months or more, and we were able to help Wanup set up SAP in the cloud in just two weeks on AWS.
They are able now to get a lot of bookings at the same time, adding more capacity without any issues.
The flexibility and automation Wanup gets from AWS are crucial to its growing business. Sallés says, “Using AWS, we know we can find any tool we need to do the job. And we no longer have to ask for infrastructure and wait for it to be provisioned. We just execute some code and it all happens automatically.
This gives us the ability to react quickly to business needs.”
We’re steadily acquiring new customers and partner hotels, and by the end of 2017 we expect to have onboarded more than 1,000 new hotels. We know our AWS infrastructure will support that”.
- Adolfo Sanchez, Chief Corporate Officer, Wanup
Working with Linke means that Wanup doesn’t need to hire expensive specialists as in-house staff. Sallés says, “Linke is more than a partner to us. It’s part of our team, bringing its AWS knowledge and SAP competency to the table. With Linke, we get an AWS and SAP expert all in one, and we know the team there can resolve any issues we have end-to-end. If we didn’t have this, we would have to pay several specialists hundreds of euros a day to get the same result.”