4X faster results
Meeting customer requests
Saving API cost
Founded in June 2020, Vertis is a SaaS company providing software solutions for data-driven workforce planning. Their two core offerings, Workforce and Commutes, help HR professionals, real estate teams, and others to develop better workforce, people, and office strategies.
The US-based company recently implemented the TravelTime Isochrone and Distance Matrix API endpoints to improve their commute time data and commute map visualisation - a commonly requested new product feature.
Vertis is now delivering results to their clients faster and is dramatically improving the end-user experience, while benefiting from TravelTime’s fixed price model rather than Google’s usage-based approach.
“We now see results returned 4X faster from the TravelTime API than when we were using the Google API.”
The team has therefore been able to deliver isochrones and a better UX, while making a significant cost saving and look to grow their API usage through new features and international expansion, all without fear of rising costs.
Vertis responds to customer demand
Vertis came to TravelTime with a visualisation problem with their Vertis Commutes product - users wanted to see the reachable areas around a potential office and while also calculating specific routes.
In the current offering, users could upload their employee and office locations to the platform and the Google Distance Matrix API would calculate the commute times but the visualisation of the commute data was lacking.
Jonathan Beckman, Head of Product at Vertis, explains, “This was one of the most common new feature requests from our customers. They wanted to be able to see the reachable area around an office location for a chosen transport mode, for various different travel times. For example, the 15-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute reachable area by public transit around their office.”
Crucially, these “reachable area” visualisations - otherwise known as isochrones - needed to use the existing commute calculations.
TravelTime vs. Google API
While Vertis were already using the Google API, it does not have a native isochrone endpoint, so there was no option to use Google for this new isochrone feature.
Similarly, the engineering team at Vertis considered building their own isochrone tool on top of the Google Distance Matrix API, but this posed two immediate challenges:
The technical challenge of building a solution with a small engineering team and an already busy product roadmap.
The financial challenge of building a solution that was commercially viable due to the high cost of using the Google API to calculate enough travel times to generate each isochrone.
These challenges meant that building an in-house isochrone solution was not an option.
Instead, Vertis required the whole solution to be delivered through an API – it is the simplest and most cost-effective approach.
“TravelTime is a natural choice for companies looking to use both isochrones and distance matrix endpoints to visualise and rank results, like offices, by travel times. Not only is TravelTime unique in our ability to deliver both endpoints – it is also the most cost-effective solution for enterprise companies.”
Vertis chooses TravelTime to provide Isochrones and Distance Matrices
There are several key reasons why TravelTime is chosen over Google and other possible providers.
Multi-modal transport options
The ability to calculate isochrones and travel times for any mode of transport was crucial for Vertis.
“Our customers’ employees use a whole range of transport options to commute to work,” Jonathan says, “So we had to cover all of these in order to support each customer’s specific people and office strategies. The inclusion of comprehensive public transit data was therefore a big tick for the TravelTime solution.”
“The inclusion of comprehensive public transit data was therefore a big tick for the TravelTime solution.”
Unlimited usage pricing model
Unlike other location-based API providers, TravelTime does not charge for usage.
Instead, TravelTime’s unique pricing model offers unlimited usage for a fixed monthly price. The price itself is based on the maximum concurrency - number of requests per minute - required.
He further explains why the Google pricing model was never going to work, saying that “Google charges for every single travel time... and this can get very expensive very quickly! We have customers with hundreds of offices and tens of thousands of employees, and the projected price to run these scenarios through Google got pretty scary. We also have a key partnership with WeWork to support their members with real estate decisions, and so we needed a commercial model that wouldn’t lead to ballooning costs as usage grows.”
“We have customers with hundreds of offices and tens of thousands of employees, and the projected price to run these scenarios through Google got pretty scary.”
TravelTime’s unique fixed price commercial model can support Vertis as they continue to grow, while giving them complete confidence in their future monthly costs.
A reliable international solution
Vertis has plans to expand their offering internationally so they needed a provider that could cover their future. With databases on 200+ countries globally, TravelTime is perfectly placed to support this.
Kathleen Ward, Head of Solutions Engineering at Vertis explains, “Not only were we looking for broad global coverage, we also wanted to go with a trusted and reputable solution, and TravelTime fit the bill perfectly.”
Simple integration process
The solution had to be easy for the Vertis team to integrate. With a relatively small engineering team, they couldn’t afford to spend months on a complex solution.
TravelTime is simple to integrate and saved the company thousands of hours when compared to building a solution in-house and collecting relevant journey data.
Kathleen Ward, Head of Solutions Engineering at Vertis continues, “The API documentation was easy to understand, and it was great to have the TravelTime support team on hand whenever we had any questions.”
Switching to the TravelTime API delivers a better UX for Vertis customers
The biggest win for Vertis since moving to the TravelTime API has been a significant performance improvement.
“We now see results returned 4x faster from the TravelTime API than when we were using the Google API,” says Jonathon, “which provides a vastly improved user experience for our customers when they use the product.”
TravelTime’s unmatched performance means that Vertis’s customers now get the answers they need in an instant, enabling them to make better strategic decisions backed by real-world commute data.
On top of this, the Vertis engineering team saved a significant amount of time using the TravelTime API. As a lean startup, they are able to spend less time building and maintaining a commute time solution, meaning they are able to spend time on core product features for their customers instead.
TravelTime API provides new possibilities for Vertis
Now that the TravelTime API is embedded in the core Commutes module, the team at Vertis is looking at other ways in which the data can be used to expand their product offering.
The API offers a range of editable parameters, and the Vertis team is looking to expose more of these as features to their customers.
For example, some customers want to be able to pick the exact arrival time to use in their commute calculations, and so exposing this would enable them to run an analysis that exactly represents their business needs.
Another potential feature on the product roadmap is commute reimbursement. “This could take many potential forms,” says Jonathan. “Maybe a customer wants to give everyone who cycles to work a one-off $300 bike allowance and they want to see which commuters this might benefit. Or they may want to model a per mile expense for employees who commute by car, or a per month allowance for commuting by public transit.”
With its comprehensive transport data, and fixed price commercial model, the TravelTime API will support Vertis with all of these possible future developments.
Deliver a better UX and discover the possibilities of time-based data visualisation with TravelTime API.