AWS GameDay @ TUI

Unicorn Prices @ AWS GameDay

Unicorns are the means of transport of the future.

At least that's what the innovative Unicorn.Rentals says.

"Unicorns produce little CO2, are small and manoeuvrable and simply magical anyway," reports CEO Matthias Köhler.

The problem is that many simply cannot afford the dream of their own unicorn.

"The purchase costs are simply gigantically high and the maintenance quite expensive.

In addition, it is extremely difficult to find a suitable magician who can create the magic creatures in the desired quality," says Matthias Köhler.
Since there are currently difficulties with the handling of the booking platform of Unicorn.Rentals, the sales situation is critical and almost all employees were enticed away by competitors.

Matthias Köhler is now focusing on new, creative minds and has found a team of new developers and engineers. This team should now ensure that the unicorns are brought from the cloud to the rider.


On a rainy morning in Hanover, 22 TUI IT employees met in the Heidkampe location to solve this challenge in groups of 3 to 4 people.
The groups consisted of different roles with different levels of knowledge.

From trainees to managers to experienced developers and engineers, everything was represented.
GameDay and the scenario were organized and built by our partner AWS.

The score and the current booking trend of the teams could be viewed at any time via a dashboard.

Also in this simulation the teams were confronted with constantly changing situations.

The security officer "Steve" from Unicorn.Rentals had the idea to roll out a security policy, which meant that the booking platform was temporarily unavailable.

Or after an update of the mobile app, it was also not possible to book via this channel because the frontend developers had implemented this change without the backend developers and there was now an incompatibility between the two systems.

But also the business took measures and decisions which led to a deterioration of the booking statistics:
Marketing started a massive marketing campaign without consulting IT. The booking platform was not designed for the resulting rush. Although the teams could (mostly) solve this challenge due to their meanwhile very dynamic and automatically scaling environment, this led to a short-term deterioration of the bookability of the unicorns.

At the end of the day there was a surprising winner who cleared the field from the back with an innovative IT strategy.

Nevertheless, everyone agreed that this was a great day.

You could spend a day dealing with some AWS technologies in a very targeted way and building bridges to colleagues you had less to do with in the past, but will probably work hand in hand in the future. This will blur the boundaries between tasks and hopefully bring the benefits for the end customer to the fore.

At this point I would like to thank the AWS GameDay Team, all participants who took part in this experiment and especially my two colleagues from the Orga Team TUI: Alice Reich & Matthias Köhler.


Jörn Thamm (Product Owner)