Hotel-X technical team spent two weeks at CTRIP headquarters in Beijing and Shanghai to work together on optimizing TravelgateX’s Hotel-X API. This joint collaboration has provided both companies the opportunity to share knowledge and come up with a seamless connection between both systems.
The work was carried out by Abel Basalo TravelgateX COO alongside Computer Engineer Zechao Jin and the Product Managers of CTRIP Tao Jiang and Aro Hu, in charge of analyzing projects from a technical and business point of view, together with the Team Leader Olivia Guo, who leads a team of 10 programers.
To give an insight on the complexity of the whole process and what it has brought to the two companies, we asked Abel Basalo, COO of TravelgateX to explain his experience in this interview.
Abel, what is TravelgateX working on with CTRIP? What has been the purpose of the trip?
We are working side by side with the product people at CTRIP Tao and Ato. In Beijing, they have a part of the IT department where they do the analysis of the project and development. The objective of these two weeks of joint work has been an exhaustive analysis of our Graph-X API of Hotel-X and explain all the fields of use of our workflow and its configurations, as well as the possible plugins to see if it fits with their business model and make their work easier.
How will both companies benefit from this in situ collaboration?
Carrying out this work in situ provides reliability, knowledge and a way to optimize the process between both companies. What we avoid is any possibility of misunderstandings of our API or misinterpretations of the client’s requirements. In this way, we ensure that the API is understood to perfection and that we have all the use cases covered, avoiding possible errors in the future by not taking into account important API fields at a technical and / or business level.
How is the client connected and how are we helping him?
Currently, the client is connected to our Legacy API, so until they connect with us through Hotel-X we will not have the final numbers. Nevertheless, we are sure that there will be significant improvements as well as huge business opportunities.
By working together from Beijing, all requirements they have in their business have been addressed, and there are several points where the percentage of improvement is high, so ultimately they will be able to buy more and in a much more efficient manner. Some improvements include the reduced time in activation: Ctrip has a very specific set of requirements that all Sellers have to comply with in order to connect.
The setup of all these requirements in our Legacy connections was very time consuming and involved several members from different departments to set up. With this new connection, this is no longer the case and all activations will be dealt with by a dedicated team, reducing the time to go live from 2 weeks to just a couple of days.
The second important point that we have improved has been the workflow. The chance to be able to understand and have Hotel-X and CTRIP work closely has resulted in a complete comprehension and understanding of how both companies work at all levels. This has lead to a much more efficient manner of requesting, and will ultimately result in significant traffic savings.
Finally, the opportunity for connectivity growth. This is linked to the first point, by reducing the time to activate a connection between Ctrip and a Seller, it is now much simpler and flexible process to continue to grow within our Platform by connecting even more Sellers the previously might not have been available.
How has the experience served you? What have you learned?
We have learned that our clients have a very effective and professional way of working. There are two people with whom we have been working who are responsible for making a very detailed self requirement specification and explanation of their needs based on our system and then reporting this back to their technical team. They focus on the analytical part of processes where the transactional and business logic part takes place.
I have had a great experience with them and I’m impressed with their way of working. Additionally, not everything was about work. We have had the chance to create a good friendship with this client, and are very thankful for all their kind hospitality. We were taken to visit different places and try many delicious local dishes.
I’d also like to mention my partner and friend Zechao Jin because without him it would not have been the same. It was vital to have someone native from China where we could develop and deal with the technical team of CTRIP to speed up the development.