For the inbound tourist who sets foot in Odisha, the land offers an array of trails and packages that few states can rival. Yet, I feel many sites within the state are still waiting to meet the tourist’s eye. Perhaps, that explains why Odisha befits the tag of ‘India’s best kept secret’. That’s when the state chose to rebrand tourism, to redefine tourism in Odisha. With the realization there was no integrated web portal which could offer delight to all, began the story of digital disruption. Looking back, I could now claim with a touch of pride that we engineered a ‘digital transformation’.
How We Cracked the Code and Bumped Over Hurdles
Given our need and vision, we felt the solution we were looking for lied in adopting the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) tech stack. The AEM Platform had already delivered spectacular outcomes for Australia Tourism and Visit Florida portals. Incredible India, too, had deployed AEM to good effect. We were enabling Odisha Tourism to pioneer AEM use among states. So, what was the promise of AEM? With AEM tool, the new website was made mobile friendly. The website Analytics was capable of determining a correlation between the success of the Digital Drive and the actual tourist influx in the state.
To navigate the switch to the AEM platform, we engaged a dedicated advisory service team to support on high level requirement, project management, and consulting, editing contents and graphics design. Also, we roped in a User Interface (UI) expert for designing user interface. But it wasn’t a smooth ride. We were uninitiated to some technology tools like Adobe Target and Livefyre. Besides picking up our own learnings, we had to make sure that the whole ecosystem- officials, tour operators and travel agents felt at ease with the new, digitalized portal. At times, we hit the delay in getting approvals to commission important project milestones.
Both in building and implementing this solution, we faced many a challenge like absence of a tool to manage digital assets, shortage of engaging content and no promotion of destinations on the social. Yet, the hope the solution gave for meeting every challenge head on is what kept us moving on.
The Impact and the Digital Solution’s USPs
My team experienced delight as we could put up a composite website that
- Saw 145% surge in unique visitors
- Witnessed time taken to load a page reducing to 1.5 seconds from 5 seconds
- Led to improved response time on both web and mobile platforms
We feel that this solution stands out from other products in the competition in
- Ease of use by client with user friendly interface
- Offers immense scope to develop any feature for catering to the client’s requirement
- Targeting better conversion using Adobe Target to personalize user experiences through geo-targeting, profile based targeting and behavioral based targeting
- Ability of the consolidated portal to drive traffic from social networks
For the project team, the heartening factor was completing the solution and delivering it on time. But if I tick the clock back, there are some things which could have been designed differently. We could have changed way of programming in order to avoid some of the minor scheduling problems we ran into. That apart, we could have developed some of the payment integrations for tracking of payment related data.
The Recognition from Client & Beyond
For any solution, the fulfilling moment is in its recognition. We savored this moment when the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the revamped Odisha Tourism website. More recognition came pouring in when Adobe, in February 2020, decided to highlight the project as an insightful case study. Having lived through the project’s journey, I have reasons to believe why such solutions are both a case study and a lighthouse in successful Digital Transformation.
This article was originally published on Nirakar Mallick's Medium Account: How ‘India’s Best Kept Secret’ Made the Switch to Digital