ITAKA

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Details

  • Scope UI design, technical stack assessment, frontend, backend, cloud technologies, multiple integrations, QA
  • Innovation Custom affiliate system
  • Technologies Frontend: React, Next.JS, React-google-maps, Ant Design, Redux-form

    Backend: .NET, Akka.NET, Bootstrap, MySQL, MongoDB
  • Business sector Travel
  • Model of collaboration Agile methodology with SCRUM framework
    elements
  • iteo Team 4 x backend developers
    2 x frontend developers
    1 x Quality Assurance engineer
    1 x Project Manager / Scrum Master

Elastic search for every client that needs to browse for exciting facultative trips during their holidays. A modern frontend easy on the eye, intuitive, and made according to the freshest principles of the web app design.

Timeline

  • 2016
    March

    Beginning of the “Facultative Trips” project

  • 2018
    March

    Collaboration to rebuild the project into a web app called “SeePlaces”

  • 2019
    June

    Production launch / Application release

  • Project’s highlights

    A powerful backend is integrated with Itaka’s advanced infrastructure to complement other products and services of the brand. Now Itaka’s clients can book their trips seamlessly – listings from local affiliate partners allow them to pick a trip suitable for their preferences.

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    Business needs & goals

    The main business goal for Itaka at the beginning of our software development was to rebuild the existing system for facultative trips into a multilanguage modern web app.

    What were the main assumptions?

    • Improving the sales of facultative trips
    • Limiting the contribution of tour representatives in the sales process
    • Diversifying the offer depending on the market
    • Intermediating in sales of the affiliative offers, integrating systems and providing an overlay with affiliates’ branding.

    The app was supposed to have an administrative panel for Itaka’s employees that would allow them to modify the offerings and generate reports. It also needed a proper SEO optimization providing the website with higher ranks in Google and Criteo.

    What’s important is that the client wanted to integrate the product with the current reservations system without any downtime for implementation.

    Main features we needed to develop:

    • Online reservations and purchases
    • Offer configurations via the administration panel
    • Multi-language support
    • Statistics reports
    • Integration to marketing analysis tools
    • API for Itaka’s various applications and for Partners’ apps

    Functionality

    The platform provides audio courses that cover career development, motivation, rhetoric, and more.

    • A user can listen to the first chapter of any available course for free. The paid subscription grants unlimited access to the rest of training sessions.

    • Participants can get motivational badges, for instance when they finish the first lesson or take
      part in a training for a couple of days in a row.

    • Creators can market their own courses within the platform by offering promotion codes to selected users.

    Innovation

    One of the key marketing features and a unique selling point of the developed web app is a custom affiliate system that allows Itaka’s international partners to offer their own facultative trips.

    Existing applications of affiliates were rebuilt under the umbrella of SeePlaces. Customers are redirected to sections branded by cooperating local partners without leaving Itaka’s environment.

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    Challenges & solutions

    The challenges we stumbled upon were fixed with the highest caution using our long-time expertise in software development.

    Here are our solutions to the most demanding elements of the
    project:

    • Refactoring the frontend part for SSR was successfully prosecuted within 3 months. This way we could raise and keep the app’s performance score from 20 to 96 points based on Google Page Insight. As a part of refactoring, we’ve also separated the frontend and backend by putting them on different servers.
    • Expanding the search engine to be compatible with elastic search principles.
    • Rebuilding the affiliate system from many apps to just one. A single instance displays an adequate version based on the configuration file.

    Quality assurance

    For enterprise class applications maintaining the toughest quality standards is a must. A single bug might cause million dollar losses in sales, compensations, downfall of stocks and bad reputation.

    In order to meet project requirements, we’ve performed manual tests and provided automated testing for the product. The areas that were tested: administration panel and client-side frontend.

    For API tests we used the Postman tool. While refactoring, we used testing scenarios to perform even more comprehensive tests.

    The first version of the product was significantly tested for performance rates and overload before production deployment.

    Outcome

    SeePlaces is now offering 1200 excursions in 45 countries worldwide. It cooperates with over 70 local travel agencies and offers excursions in 7 languages (more to come). Platform is a multilingual call center offering 24/7 service and multi currency payments. SeePlaces is a game changer in the travel industry, beneficial both for Itaka’s customers and fellow-agencies.

    From a technical perspective, SeePlaces is an enterprise-class application with a powerful backend integrated within Itaka’s complex infrastructure. We used most innovative technologies and frameworks to provide scalability and high-level security. It’s a perfect product for tour operators that will answer all their needs and pains.

    We are definitely proud of a modern frontend and offer diversification feature that differs based on the market. Thanks to them we achieved a modern web app that processed 1000 transactions in the first month after the release. Every next month it
    was already over 2000 transactions. The app achieved significant financial success.

    Until now, travellers usually bought facultative trips from tour representatives. With SeePlaces, not only Itaka’s clients but also other tourists can buy services from local tour operators.

    At the first stage of release, the app is available in Polish, English and Czech. Next, it will have versions in Russian, Lithuanian and other languages.

    Customer’s review

    I’m glad I have a partner in iteo that is able to complete the project seamlessly from concept, through development, to product launch.