Grow Highlights: CTS’ Annual Flagship Event
Highlights of Grow, 2022 CTS’ annual flagship event where we heard from trivago, Travis Perkins and Booking.com on how they’re using Google Cloud to grow their businesses.Get ready for Grow 2023 →
With a jam packed agenda, we heard from our community of customers and partners, sharing key trends, innovation, and success stories from the Google Cloud ecosystem. Taking place on Tuesday 8th November, the event revolved around three key tracks; infrastructure, data and collaboration. It was great to hear from customers that we’ve supported on their cloud journey, and from our experts on key topics such as security, frontline workers, multi-cloud environments and more. We hope these talks help our customers to grow and inspire change within their organisations. In case you missed it, here are some of our highlights from the day.
Since being founded in 2005, trivago quickly became one of the leading global accommodation search websites, changing the way people compare hotels and other travel accommodations. trivago’s keynote kicked off a day of great talks at our Grow event, and for this one we were delighted to have Jaroslav Bláha, CIO/CTO of trivago join us to share their story of scaling up with the help of Google Cloud.
The past couple of years have been tough on the travel industry, but as we emerge from the stasis of the pandemic and people are travelling again, trivago are embracing the resurgence in demand and helping users to find the best accommodation deals. They have some exciting opportunities ahead when it comes to scaling up.
An AI evangelist
Being a company heavily reliant on the data they gather and an evangelist of artificial intelligence, Jaroslav explained some potential use cases within the business:
What’s next for trivago?
With so many possibilities and ideas running parallel, the business needs to know what to focus on and prioritise. Jaroslav explained that in order to do this, a self-improving AI loop is envisioned, whereby they intend to use AI not just to develop use cases, but also to test and trial the impact of these ideas, determining prioritisation. Being a fundamentally tech driven company, there’s no doubt that big things are on the horizon for trivago when it comes to embracing Google and taking things to the next level. We can’t wait to see what they do next.
Travis Perkins plc is a leading partner to construction and the UK’s largest distributor of building materials and equipment to the sector. In our data keynote, we were delighted to be joined by Robert Barbour, Group Data and Insights Director for Travis Perkins Group. He shared how they are achieving a single version of the truth through data, and using this to innovate, scale and improve customer experience.
The challenges facing construction
The construction industry faces a number of challenges today; skills shortages, sustainability goals, compliance with new regulations (building safety act), and new data management/governance requirements, such as the golden thread of information.
With challenge comes opportunity, and it’s clear that Travis Perkins has the vision and energy to turn the dial and drive change. Modernising construction is necessary to meet the needs for better quality and more sustainable buildings, but can also help to attract younger professionals and bridge the ageing skills gap. Data also offers a platform for creating efficiencies in processes and design, such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) and creating digital twins of construction projects for teams at all stages to access, from planning to post-build operations.
Becoming a data driven organisation
Using your data is extremely powerful when going through harder trading patterns, and it’s invaluable to all businesses to be able to harness the power of data and the cloud in order to be agile and reactive to the environments they operate in. Data driven decision making is about making people feel more empowered to make the right decisions based on what the data insight is telling us, and there has been a clear culture shift within the Group as the business moves towards a more data centric strategy. As Robert explains, “there is a real pull to use more data” as people become more confident through education and training.
Culture and skills
Putting together a data strategy relied on building the right skills and culture, the right tech platform, and knowing how to use the insights to become more customer centric. Some of the key things Robert highlighted included:
A data strategy has the potential to touch every part of a business. It can drive fundamental changes, behaviours and decision making. Alongside this, trust is intrinsic and if people trust in the data and the strategy, and have the skills, they’re in turn empowered to make good quality decisions to drive innovation.
Booking.com was founded in 1996 and has become one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. In our keynote on collaboration, we heard from James Phillips, Program Manager at Booking.com on how they are implementing a change management strategy to innovate and help reduce costs in the business.
Making the move to Google
The decision to migrate from previous platforms to Google Workspace was made to better harmonise departments with the wider Booking.com community. The burden of choice that comes with a hybrid way of working causes a time drain and efficiency problems, not to mention higher costs with having unnecessary licences.
Change management is the key factor in making sure the project you are implementing works, and most of all, works the way it is intended to. Francesca Clarke, Senior Change Manager at CTS shared three focus areas;
Booking.com colleagues wanted simple and to the point training that focused on their needs, such as how to replicate experiences in Google and how to use Google tools. For this reason, microtraining on approved topics was decided upon. The Leadership training was approached differently, whereby the sessions were mostly Q&A, with leaders getting the opportunity to leverage CTS’ knowledge on Google Workspace to understand the day-to-day benefit to their very busy schedules.
What’s next for Booking.com?
During the discussion, James explained how Google Workspace has helped provide an innovative and flexible solution that has helped increase productivity, communications and collaboration across one singular platform.
And it doesn’t stop there. The future for Booking.com and Google Workspace is extremely bright. As Google is already deeply entrenched within Booking.com, the progression of the partnership holds exciting opportunities. This could include initiatives like bridging gaps between other departments and looking at legacy systems and processes, recreating them in Google Workspace.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank our speakers for bringing such great topics to the table. A huge thank you also to everyone for attending this year’s annual flagship event and for the engaging discussions in each of the talks. You all made it such a great experience all round and we hope to see you again next year!
Get in touch below if you’d like to speak to us about any of the topics covered and find out more about how we can help you.