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At Vacansoleil, everything is centred around internal and external customer satisfaction

Vacansoleil has been an expert in luxury camping holidays for over 50 years now. The entire Dutch company, headquartered in Eindhoven, started with one campsite in 1969. Nowadays, Vacansoleil is a market leader in Europe and more than 500,000 people per year enjoy a holiday booked with Vacansoleil. It is important to Vacansoleil that these bookings can be made without a hitch. Given that most contact with guests is online, the IT at Vacansoleil, just like their holidays, has to be top notch.

A moment to look forward to

Holidays are something you look forward to for a long time. The fun begins with choosing the destination, and then go on to looking for nice accommodation. This search used to begin months in advance with picking up a travel guide, but now it is mainly online that we look for an ideal holiday location. “IT is incredibly important for Vacansoleil”, says Ron Rooijakkers, IT Manager at Vacansoleil. “Just as it is important to most companies to have a good back office to support all the processes. But not only that! The front office is important too. Because most travel agencies and travel guides have been replaced by online environments, it is crucial for us to have our entire IT environment in good order, so that our customers and guests can book their holidays through us.”

Scalable IT environment

Vacansoleil started market research and looked into the parties that could properly help the organisation to manage a dynamic environment and support it through its IT landscape. Ron Rooijakkers explains: “Our challenge in terms of IT was mainly to provide a more flexible IT environment able to support our end users in their daily processes. And this had to happen in the very dynamic sector that tourism is, where a lot of things are going online now. We were seeking a flexible partner able to deal with all the changes in the market and in our company and deliver a scalable IT environment.”

Network in the cloud

“The solution offered to us by SLTN is a new, modern workspace based on Microsoft 365”, Ron continues. “Beside that, we are also making use of the possibility to migrate our private data centre fully to a Microsoft Azure data centre. Now we have our entire server farm operating in the cloud. Our network has Fortinet equipment, supplemented by Cisco Meraki WiFi Access Points. SLTN entirely manages this environment too.”

From KPIs to XLA

Vacansoleil and SLTN decided to abandon the usual standard KPIs and set out agreements in an XLA. Ron tells us more: “What we want to achieve with that is a focus on optimising and maximising customer satisfaction, not just ticking off KPIs. Because ultimately, everything internally is centred around the satisfaction of the end user.”

Remote working supported by Microsoft 365

“Tourism was also hit by Covid. For Vacansoleil, this was a tricky period, in which we made high demands of our IT environment and IT solution. Vacansoleil made intense use of Microsoft Teams, which a lot of companies use to support remote working, and we encountered limitations in our old IT environment. In particular, our old workspaces, that were based on a Citrix environment, had trouble facilitating video calls. Here too, thanks to working with SLTN and transitioning to a modern workspace based on Microsoft 365, we are now in a much better position to properly support working from home.”

Peace of mind with IT

Vacansoleil has big plans for the future. So their IT also needs to be prepared. “For Vacansoleil, it is extremely important that we have a good IT partner over the coming years, who can support us in our growth ambition”, says Ron. “Both tourism as a whole and Vacansoleil in particular are once again looking at really growing over the coming years. We expect SLTN to give us peace of mind with IT so that our workplaces can continue running smoothly and supporting us. We also hope that SLTN will deliver some pleasant surprises with solutions that will help us to grow faster and serve our customers well.”

A journey together

“Vacansoleil’s future plans entail broadening our range for our customers. At this time, we have almost 600 campsites in our range, and we will soon be increasing to 1,000 campsites in 20 destinations across Europe. The number of sales offices in 12 countries will also be further increased to give us a presence in more European countries and also offer great holidays to people from outside the Netherlands. We are fully confident that we have found a good partner in SLTN to go on this journey together and realise this growth ambition in Europe for all our customers.”