Vacanceselect was founded in 1984 by Loek van de Loo who, as a co-owner of a small campsite at the Italian Lake Garda, started renting holiday accommodations. Besides running the campsite he also sets up a booking agency that grows fast and spreads out over the whole of Italy. Thirty years later Vacanceselect has more than 15,000 accommodations at over 1,100 premium campsites and holiday parks in 15 European countries. Late 90s Van de Loo made the move to online sales.
Mark Berkhout, Manager ICT at Vacanceselect: “It were the early years of the internet. With a handful of links to your website it was easy to be high up in the search results. Pretty soon 80 percent of the turnover was generated through the internet. The server however stood in the canteen. When anybody accidentally touched it the website would be down.” But in the meantime ICT had clearly become business critical. Therefore Vacanceselect decided to outsource its hosting to KPN Internedservices in 2005.
The Business Case
As the internet had been business critical for Vacanceselect for many years, the requirement of an always-on platform with high availability combined with a pay-per-use model was evident. Mark Berkhout, Manager ICT: “Within leisure the peaks are in the evening on weekdays, on Sundays, in January and during the last-minute-season. Our hosting environment needs to be ready to handle these peak moments. But I do not want to pay for capacity I do not need”. Another point of attention is the international strategy of Vacanceselect.
“We not only book campsites throughout Europe, but we also have sales channels in over 9 European countries. The content for all these countries is delivered from Amsterdam. Although the Dutch network is of high quality we also need to take into account the lesser network quality at the French, Spanish or Italian countryside. The rule within eCommerce is: if the customer needs to wait 2 seconds before a page is shown you have lost him for sure. That is why we do research to shorten these loading times”.
“Reliability is key for Internedservices: everything is tested through and through”
– Mark Berkhout, Manager ICT Vacanceselect
Vacanceselect chose Managed Hybrid Cloud from Internedservices partly due to the fact that Internedservices has recently done a large investment in its network capabilities making it possible to deliver an always-on platform over two geographically separated locations. With this Internedservices puts in place a platform that is ready for the future.
Berkhout: “Of course we have looked at the large public cloud suppliers like Amazon and Microsoft. The largest disadvantage is that you’re completely on your own. You have to do the management yourself. Something we do not always have time for. That is why we are happy with Internedservices. They offer the same technology and scalability, but with the extra quality basis”.
That is precisely where Internedservices makes the difference. They offer pay-per-use capacity and scalability to enable organizations like Vacanceselect to have a high quality and reliable platform. At the same time Internedservices offers services that enable the platform to contribute to the strategy of its clients.
The IT environment of Vacanceselect is now ready to handle the peaks of the leisure market. And when it’s not busy Vacanceselect doesn’t need to pay for capacity that they do not use. Berkhout: “The current platform has proven itself”.