Tripwerkz, like many start-ups in today’s digital landscape, was born in the cloud. A travel technology company providing online travel booking services, the company has benefited from the cost-effective, flexible and scalable solutions offered by cloud infrastructure. At the same time, they work with OVHcloud to ensure they can manage, secure, and scale their business effectively.
This has been crucial during the pandemic, which increased the demands on their cloud infrastructure. It also places them in good stead to meet the return of cross-border travel.
SMEhorizon speaks with Tricia Ng, Director, Tripwerkz, on her company’s founding, and how the cloud has facilitated her company’s survival through the challenges of the pandemic while positioning them for future growth. Lionel Legros, VP and GM for Asia Pacific, OVHcloud also explains how new startups like theirs can maximise the strong start offered by the cloud and leverage it for long term success.
Providing a seamless travel booking experience
Noticing that travel agencies do not integrate ticketing of events and entertainment in their systems, Tricia Ng, Director, Tripwerkz, established the company with an aim of providing users with a seamless experience when booking flights, hotels and events tickets.
The company has an eye on growth and expansion. Ng shares that they aspire to target the millennial demographic, as they will become the next growing pool of consumers in the coming decade.
“In addition, we are looking into expanding our reach beyond Singapore, by targeting Southeast Asia, and subsequently greater Asia,” she continues.
These ambitions are supported by the current cloud infrastructure that gives a leg up to start-ups birthed in today’s digital landscape. Explains Legros “Cloud providers typically offer free credit vouchers to start-ups as they begin their cloud journey – a great incentive which allows start-ups to focus on developing their applications rather than the infrastructure.
“As opposed to on-premises IT resources, cloud providers offer start-ups a more cost-effective solution, coupled with flexibility and scalability.”
Indeed, shares Ng, “Tripwerkz turned to cloud servers as this allowed us to scale our operations into other countries, which fits our strategic and operational needs.”
Ensuring long term success
However, technology itself is not a guarantee of long term success. “As start-ups begin to scale and look for investors, the true cost of the cloud comes to light,” says Legros.
“Many cloud-dependent startups often realise too late how deep they have sunk in terms of cloud cost and its unpredictability which inevitably affect their market value to potential investors, implying an urgent need for pre-funding startups to relook at their cloud cost structure.”
For Tripwerkz, ensuring that their cloud services were agile, flexible and secure for their teams and resources was key. Working with OVHcloud, says Ng, they were able to achieve a cost-effective solution that enabled the company to manage, secure and scale their business better.
Choosing a partner that meets an organisation’s trajectory, needs and goals is a challenging but crucial task for start-ups. Legros advises startups aiming to take on global markets to “ensure they work with the right cloud providers from the get-go – ones with global reach and local infrastructure to support their businesses in different markets.”
“Start-ups also need to ensure their systems remain interoperable so they don’t have to compromise when it comes to choosing the best cloud services for their business from the most appropriate provider.
“Choosing the right technology partner to help them through the early stages can prove to be the difference between long term success and failure,” he emphasises.
Surviving – and readying to thrive
Tripwerkz’ leveraging of the cloud has has served them well during the pandemic, which has decimated their sector. Shares Ng, “The pandemic has forced us to adjust our plans. Firstly, we had no choice but to adjust the timeline for some of our projects, due to the logistical disruption caused by the different waves of pandemic.
“Next, the pandemic has also drastically changed how I have to communicate with partners and employees. When the pandemic started, many of the Singapore-based employees were forced to work from home. While we have experience working with offshore teams via virtual platforms, it was still a challenge because it means all of us were working virtually.
“That caused a shift on a heavier reliance towards telecommuting, which has also changed how the company operates as we have business interest in multiple countries.
Supporting increasingly heavy demand on their cloud infrastructure was facilitated by OVHcloud, that has, as Ng reveals, “allowed us to pivot from physical collaboration to virtual collaboration, and this agile arrangement is very much needed when businesses are disrupted by the pandemic.”
Having weathered the storm, Ng is now looking forward to the future. “At the beginning [of 2021],” she says, “we saw an uptick on staycations and cruise holidays in Singapore, while internationally, travellers have opted for domestic travel.
“However, the introduction of vaccinated travel lanes after increased vaccination rates worldwide has opened a floodgate of pent-up travel demand, with people willing to spend more just to travel overseas.
“While the Omicron variant is still plaguing the world, the outlook for travel remains pretty positive. In fact, there is a clear demand for travel, and travellers are now willing to splurge for a memorable trip, after not being able to travel for two years since the pandemic started.”
Their cloud strategy, which has allowed them to pivot scale their operations effectively, would seem to give them a strong position in riding this wave. Indeed, “having a well-established cloud strategy is the key to success when adopting the cloud,” says Legros. “Many start-ups focus so much on deploying their applications or solutions that they forget to evaluate the role the cloud plays in their start-up.
In particular, he draws attention to multi-cloud strategies. “The multi-cloud approach provides a level of flexibility that allows start-ups to pick and choose the ideal cloud solution for each of their business areas,” he advises.
“Multi-cloud across different providers offer greater resilience and redundancy, letting start-ups take advantage of innovative new features from the marketplace and avoid being locked-in to and reliant upon the roadmap of a single cloud provider.
“A multi-cloud approach also gives start-ups greater control over cloud costs, with the ability to place workloads with providers that offer the best value.”