Having it all: Technology transformation in the luxury marina market

This company is the world’s largest owner and operator of marinas, with more than 100 locations in its portfolio. The company’s business model is laser focused on growth through acquisition while enhancing the member experience in this high-end market. To support the business model, the company embarked on a technology transformation journey to develop its own marina management system that allows for both optimised marina operations and improved member services. This system is the first in the industry to feature multi-marina management, an impressive improvement over existing industry-standard, single-marina platforms.

Client snapshot:


The world’s largest marina owner/operator embarked on a technology transformation to support its growth through acquisition

Client Situation

As this company acquired new marinas, it also acquired single-platform systems, which needed to be consolidated to improve operational efficiency and data protection

Work Performed

Protiviti introduced a microservice architecture, helped build a data warehouse and established agile project management and a leading-edge engineering and design practice


This now-public company developed a first-in-the-industry multi-marina management system and saw a reduction of over $3.5MM of capital and support development costs

Diverse portfolio, diverse challenges

This diverse portfolio of marinas means features available on-site vary, including leasing spaces, short term rentals, fuel sales, beverage and food sales, hotel, boat maintenance and manufacturing services. To help manage these business units, the client used a suite of custom and off-the-shelf software. However, as the company grew through acquisition, it experienced issues scaling and extending their custom software. Because the marina industry is grounded in single platform systems, there was no off-the-shelf solution that allowed for multi-marina operations management. Consequently, each new acquisition involved complex deployments that regularly incurred downtime and an inability to maintain separate build processes for both the front- and back-ends. Production and stability issues were increasing, and significant long-term planning challenges were causing features to be delivered that did not meet the business needs.

This client also needed to revamp its system and data collection processes to ensure it could quickly surface more informative data and make its workplace more efficient overall. Keeping operations running while making these massive changes required constant reprioritisation. The CIO had to assemble the right resources to make the project successful, while also working with his resources to establish a robust IT Operations base that would support business operations and becoming SOX compliant.

A transformation journey

We embarked on a technology modernisation journey focused on both application and data/operational improvements. Working with Protiviti and a dedicated in-house project leader, the client established guidelines focused on continuing to deliver efficient operations and enhanced member benefits without adding tech debt and further exacerbating existing issues. We introduced a new microservice architecture which allowed for parallel development while minimising impacts to the existing monolith. This quickly became the foundation for migrating out of the monolith into a modular development and maintenance SDLC, which enabled the creation of new features and gave the development teams the ability to increase scaling efforts. Migrating the monolith to the cloud enabled modern tools and services to support new development.

Next, the client built a data warehouse, bringing their disparate database sources into a single data lake. With KPI logic and reliable data in the data warehouse, Protiviti was able to connect Azure Synapse to Power BI and build out dynamic reports for C-suite and operational end users.

As part of this ambitious transformation, agile project management and a leading-edge engineering and design practice have been established, helping the company accomplish its goals. The client was also able to stabilise core system functions such as point-of-sale systems, enhancing the customer experience. Finally, the new, dynamic Microsoft Power BI reports leveraging reliable KPIs are now confidently shared by C-suite and operational users to satisfy all necessary investor reports. Since the company went public during this project, it became critical to provide consistent, standardised reporting across all operations and the modern technology architecture was able to deliver.

Smooth sailing ahead

As the architecture was modernised, the client reduced its release cycle from a weeklong timeframe down to about an hour. Support volume declined significantly (from approximately 20% to approximately 2%) as support issues, software incidents, etc., were reduced, in turn reducing operational costs.  In addition, the client has been able to quickly add member benefits and nimbly respond to new demands from its luxury market customers. This is imperative to continued growth as uncertain headwinds in the business cycle could prove to push strongly against its success metrics.

On top of all the reductions and operational improvements listed above, the changes also resulted in a reduction of over $3.5 million in capital and support development costs.

This organisation is now an industry leader in developing multi-marina management systems, leveraging best-in-class data and business practices profitability. It’s business model is unique to this industry and services offered are also unique: driving business through industry consolidation and enhancing the member experience. With this project, modern data software architecture is enabling this client to overcome constraints of legacy systems to quickly adapt to market trends and evolving member benefit enhancements. Moving from an existing monolith infrastructure to the cloud-enabled systems provided improved in-house productivity while reducing reliance on a third-party infrastructure and development consulting teams.

As a company that’s growing aggressively in a challenging luxury market, this client has embraced technology, modernising its current operations and positioning itself to accomplish its goal to become the number one marina company in the world.

Impact by the numbers:

$3.5 Million+ 18% 1 Week -> 1 Hour
Reduction in capital and support development costs Reduction in support call volume Reduction in release cycle
“In addition to operational improvements, these changes resulted in a reduction of over $3.5 million in capital and support development costs.”