Behind every innovative project, there is always an IT consultant at the helm, mixing the necessary technological ingredients to bring the vision to life. In the case of the new digital edition of the Repsol Guide, Ayesa has been the firm in charge of developing and implementing the digital platform on which the Spanish tourist guide par excellence is based.
Repsol has backed the web for a ground-breaking concept, focusing on information obtained through journeys, experiences and tourism resources, as well as a collaborative planner for group trips. Meanwhile, the major breakthrough of the mobile application is a chatbot developed using cognitive technology.
With this renewed tool, the Repsol Guide (formerly known as the Campsa Guide), which has been on the market for almost four decades, consolidates its position as the leading practitioner in the tourism sector in Spain with more than 60,000 points of interest, 10,000 restaurants and 2,000 documented experiences.
With regard to the journey planner, the application guides the user, step-by-step, along different routes, allowing also for the creation of a kind of blog. It is an immense compilation of data that the user can also save to their profile through geolocation, and then share this with friends.
According to the Repsol Guide on its own website, "whichever device you own, this tool allows you to get the most out of your trip with features to inspire and plan."
Browsing is intuitive and simple. To achieve this, usability tests, rumbles and concept trials have been carried out, as well as experts from collaborating companies of Repsol to define the interaction and the improvement of the user experience.
Ayesa has implemented the CMS (content manager), with different APIs required for integration with third parties, serverless processes for micro-services, system alert and monitoring, integration with Repsol's user management and recovery systems, along with platform scaling.
"Renewed technologically and strategically with technology based on Python / Django, Repsol is committed to this type of Open Source technology, with great acceptance among the developers' community and using infrastructures integrated into Amazon Web Services. This facilitates scalability, improves the availability of the platform, reduces costs by being a pay-per-use model and favors streamlined resource management", summarizes Manuel Vázquez Montoto, Project Manager.
Conversely, the mobile application represents the major innovation of this 2018 edition. Here the group has opted to enhance the interaction with the inclusion of a chatbot, based on IBM Watson's cognitive technology, which is currently one of the flagship models of this type of service.
Acting as a travel assistant, queries can be sent on gastronomy and tourism in any of the chosen destinations. Available around the clock, 365 days a year, in addition to offering personalized content based on the conversation and preferences of each user, it reduces the costs of interaction with an unlimited potential of simultaneous queries.
"For its development, a consultancy and support collaboration agreement with IBM Watson has been reached. Different phases of consultancy, analysis and training of the chatbot were carried out, preparing more than 5,000 questions and implementing up to 26 intents or consultation topics within the platform," says Vázquez Montoto.
The app includes more than 2,000 exclusive plans and routes, with the possibility of customizing them to create tailor-made trips that contain any of the contents listed in the Repsol Guide. It also has the possibility of direct booking for restaurants, accommodation or cultural and leisure activities, thanks to the partnerships signed with portals such as Booking.com and elTenedor, not to mention the 528 restaurants with the distinctive 'Soles'.
In addition, Vázquez Montoto highlights among the values of the project "constant innovation and a commitment to the cloud as a technological solution. The streamlined and centralized control of the platform provided by this infrastructure model is of the utmost importance."
Ayesa has held the status of Repsol approved supplier since 2012, with several technological projects being carried out with the group from this date onwards.