Meet our customer hero
Smooth data handoff, smooth sailing
Carnival Cruise Line is in the experience business. It doesn’t start when the “all aboard” sounds, and it doesn’t end when happy passengers disembark. The experience starts far before—when cruisers shop for (and dream about) their next vacation—any time, anywhere and from any device.
What the customer sees is simple—a few clicks on carnival.com or from countless other travel booking sites and they’ll instantly have two tickets to paradise. But behind the scenes is a flurry of activity through a tangled web of connections and travel distribution networks (such as Sabre) that need to be closely managed. Simply put, it’s the complicated price of simplicity. And as more travel partners become more digital, Carnival needs to make partner onboarding intuitive, efficient and economical.
When it’s time to set sail, Carnival faces a challenge unique to business at sea. Shoreside systems need to migrate relevant data to onboard systems. The data handoff, synchronization and transformation must happen seamlessly with dozens of cruises every week and just a few short hours available to complete the turnaround. It’s mission-critical that the cruise line equips its crew with everything it needs to give cruisers joyful memories they’ll never forget.
At sea, the maritime challenges are just as unique. Costly and less reliable satellite connectivity requires that ships become autonomous IT centers of excellence according to Srinivas Danduboyina, Supervisor of Enterprise Integration Architecture at Carnival Cruise Line. “Just from a guest experience perspective—during and after cruise—we have to have a completely seamless handshake between the shipboard applications and shoreside applications,” often through satellite communication says Srinivas. Shipboard systems are complex and must integrate with a myriad of systems that span all types of environments (on-prem, hybrid, cloud).
There is something that happens behind the scenes that brings together this user experience from booking to goodbye. It is a savvy and secure approach to integrating everything.
As Carnival Cruise Line looked at its unique set of challenges, it knew it required an integration solution that could be both incredibly flexible and relentlessly dependable. Carnival knew that having a monolithic approach to applications would create inherent risks—where if a single connection wasn’t working it could take down the entire application.
It also knew that it would need to have some combination of centralized and decentralized IT systems because its “Cruise IT Center of Excellence” would need to operate independently at times, while still taking advantage of centralized IT resources.
Carnival’s Enterprise Integration team realized that a combination of event-driven and API-led application integration was the answer to make sure that everything could work together seamlessly whilst keeping security, cost, and performance optimization always top of mind. Central to that approach would be a platform that allows them to manage the handoff with global partners and service providers.
Carnival selected Software AG’s webMethods to drive their API-led integration.
“In our case, we invested into Software AG's Integration Server, MFT and API Gateway. These tools have enabled us to onboard partners at a rapid pace around the globe,” says Srinivas to create an event-driven and API integration ESB platform.
Since the ESB platform brought the majority of the capabilities needed out of the box, Carnival was able to focus on configuring connections, integrations and APIs without having to build from scratch – perfect for citizen integrators.
With API Gateway, Carnival can manage API access and usage with precision using predefined policies. API Gateway also provides a built-in layer of security so that while integrating with partners around the world, they aren’t vulnerable to cyberattack through API access points.
When choosing Software AG as a partner, Carnival pointed to its ability to work across multiple hosting environments, applications, and platforms. “We always have partners who will have their own cloud, on-prem or hybrid environments. With that in mind, any integration solution we planned to select must seamlessly interface and integrate with our solution providers.”
Like many organizations today, Carnival positions IT as a primary means of doing what it does best; providing a fun and seamless experience for its guests. In the complex environment Carnival must operate in, secure, continuous and reliable integration is always a top priority. Leveraging APIs and other integration toolsets, Carnival IT can efficiently deliver loosely decoupled and reusable integrations and interfaces for applications and business groups, optimizing its ROI.
“Our IT enterprise integration architecture puts the guest at the center. From shopping to booking to cruising, our API-driven architecture and event-driven ESB plays a key role in making the guest and crew experience the best it can be” says Srinivas.
With Carnival Cruise Line flexibly and reliably connected using webMethods Suite, there is smooth (and fun) sailing ahead.