Fareportal partners with 450 airlines, 150,000 hotels, and hundreds of car agencies worldwide to create customized travel experiences. In addition to providing customers with self-service online booking, Fareportal also connects travelers to a global network of trained and certified travel agents in multiple countries and multiple languages. Global contact centers operate 24/7/365 to assist travelers with everything from business travel to the trip of a lifetime.
But supporting that global on-demand operation is complex. The company's applications and infrastructure are spread across two datacenters—one in New York and one in India; an expanding deployment in AWS; and geographically distributed business operations around the world. The company must also manage numerous third-party integrations with vendors like credit card companies and airline partners.
Compounding the complexity challenge, Fareportal's IT organization lacked real-time visibility into the environment. This was a high-priority issue because the team at Fareportal needed to spot and resolve performance problems before they impacted customer experience.
"These days, customers have many options for booking travel online," says Mayur Rele, IT Manager for Infrastructure and Cloud at Fareportal. "Any latency or other impact to a user's experience could mean losing them to a competitor."
In a highly competitive market, Fareportal needed insight that would allow them to proactively spot anomalies and restore systems before they impacted users' digital experience. For those real-time insights, the team at Fareportal turned to ExtraHop.
Seeing the (In)sights on a Budget
"If an IT person tells you they are fully staffed, they're lying," says Rele. "Everyone is understaffed. So the question then becomes, 'How can we do more with less?'"
For Fareportal, the answer to that question was better visibility. Before deploying the ExtraHop platform, the team would spend hours troubleshooting a problem, tying up precious human resources.
"With ExtraHop, we know immediately from where a problem is originating. We're not stuck in a war room pointing fingers. We're actually fixing the issue. This means better short-term performance and more focus on long-term enhancements to our platform. For our customers, that's a win-win."
Just the Ticket
For Fareportal, one of the main challenges with other monitoring solutions was the impact those tools could have on system performance.
"One of the things that immediately stood out about ExtraHop is that it's an out-of-band appliance," said Rele. "The fact that it can deliver really comprehensive visibility without impacting other parts of my infrastructure helps me sleep better at night."
"We Can Help With That!"
With real-time insight from ExtraHop, the team at Fareportal is not only able to identify and fix problems more quickly, they're also able to provide concrete answers to the question: "What happened?"
"For IT, customers aren't just the people who come to our website to book travel, they're also the employees who rely on technology to do their jobs," says Rele. "The ability to tell them exactly what happened and what we're doing to fix it—that's built confidence in IT. We're not just shrugging our shoulders and hoping the problem goes away."
From Days to Minutes
ExtraHop enables Fareportal to quickly and proactively explore their environment to find difficult-to-surface issues that can nonetheless cause headaches for customers, like 400-level errors on their web platform.
"Before ExtraHop, finding 400-level errors would take days. First you'd have to initiate logging, and then collate and correlate that data," said Rele. "Now, we use the Explore functionality in ExtraHop to easily surface problem URLs to our development teams which helps them prioritize. From start to finish, resolution takes 30 minutes. When you run a lean team like we do, being able to do in 30 minutes what once took days is priceless."
IT Data Leads to Business Insight
The IT team at Fareportal is also using ExtraHop to surface important insights to business stakeholders. With stream analysis of wire data, the team at Fareportal is able to monitor behavior on the website, especially flight, hotel, and car rental searches. To provide others inside the company with this visibility, the IT team built a dashboard that automatically reports on the number of searches in real time.
"For the first time, we had a clear way to see the volume of transactions going through our search engines," says Rele. "We can now watch those transaction volumes and notify business stakeholders immediately if we see a significant drop or spike in search volume. We can even track it over time to understand patterns and behavior."