Client Case Study

Big Bus Tours: Magento hosting on AWS with Akoova

Big Bus Tours logo
David Knowles - CTO
Dave Knowles, CTO of Big Bus Tours

A summary of Big Bus Tours:

Big Bus Tours are the largest provider of open-top bus tours in the world, operating in over 23 cities globally. We have an even sales channel mix from B2C website sales, on-street sales, local partner sales and global agent sales.

From a website perspective, we were partners with a global delivery partner and hosting our Magento site ourselves on AWS.

What challenges were Big Bus Tours facing which led you to look for a new hosting provider?

There were two real challenges.

The first is that we didn’t know what customers will expect, or how they will buy from us, when tourism returns to normal levels. But we suspected that they would be more digitally focused. We needed to ensure we were ready for that uptick to our website.

The second is to do with core skills. The pandemic forced us, like many businesses, to make some tough decisions with regards to team members. We needed to ensure that when business volumes returned, we were able to support that, both from a skill and scale perspective.

How did Akoova’s solution assist with those challenges?

Taking people out of the equation – for a moment.

Akoova, powered by AWS, are very clear about what they do: they host Magento.
That clarity of vision, and therefore the focus and effort that goes into doing it exceptionally well, means there are no compromises. Given our team situation, this was important to us because we have a small internal team and don’t have the skills to do this.

The wrapping Akoova put around the service is key, beyond the Magento knowledge into service delivery. We are a global firm, always serving customers somewhere, and our website just needs to work. The end-to-end provision Akoova, powered by AWS, provides gives a great deal of confidence throughout the senior team at Big Bus Tours.

The willingness to engage with our other partners was just invaluable. Especially the Magento delivery agency, but also sector specific solution providers. It really helped provide a seamless experience.

And can’t be ignored: Akoova represent great value for money. Especially when considering the impact an outage would have on our business.

What do you like most about working with Akoova?

Apart from the service Akoova provide – very much the people. Throughout the engagement, the team have been fantastic. From the very early days to the late nights when the inevitable happens and there is an issue. Their passion is obvious.

We have not actually had an issue with anything Akoova is directly accountable for. As with many companies, our technology stack goes well beyond the website. The Akoova team are very much up for rolling up their sleeves and resolving issues that, although manifest on the website, are actually caused by a downstream problem. It just makes the difference to us and is testament to the ethos throughout the organisation.

What would you say to someone considering working with Akoova?

I would say have a conversation. There are so many options available in this space and speaking to an expert will provide some great insight. When you hear what Akoova have to offer, it may change your perspective on how this piece of the tech jig-saw can be delivered.

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