Secure Parking is using technology to revolutionise car parking for Aussies, making it more efficient, user-friendly and effortless.

Teaming up with SnapLogic has allowed Secure Parking to innovate to stay ahead of the surve. Steve Young, Senior Engagement Manager at SnapLogic, talks us through it.


Parking gets disrupted

Until relatively recently, operating a car-parking company was straightforward. You found a vacant bit of land, installed a gate and had motorists hand a ‘parking fee’ to a car-park attendant or put their card in a machine before leaving the land you owned or leased. (If you did use a machine, it was almost always sourced from a third-party equipment supplier.)

Of course, this low-tech approach had downsides, not least motorists often having to spend significant time and effort ‘finding a park’ or, even worse, being unable to locate a vacant parking space. Many car-parking businesses are now leveraging different types of technology to remove friction from the vehicle-parking process. But few have gone as far as Australia’s Secure Parking, a subsidiary of PARK24 – one of the world’s largest parking operators.

In a recent fireside chat, Rick Chandra, CIO of Secure Parking, spoke with Jeremiah Stone, CTO of SnapLogic about how with the help of cutting-edge technology, Secure Parking is now leading the way in revolutionising the car parking experience.


The Voyager Program

Imagine you are part of a staid, low-profile industry that you believe will inevitably be disrupted by sophisticated technologies, including but not limited to generative AI. You fear that if you don’t take the initiative and disrupt your business, a new industry entrant or existing competitor will eat your lunch sooner or later. What do you do?

If you’re the award-winning CIO of Secure Parking you (a) take a deep dive into what it is your customers want (b) acquire the partners your business needs to deliver what your customers want and then (c) execute. Needless to say, none of these steps are easy.

Numerous times during his chat with SnapLogic’s Jeremiah Stone, Rick Chandra returned to the importance of understanding the customer journey. Discussing the genesis of Voyager, Secure Parking’s “future of parking” initiative, Chandra says, “Understanding the customer journey to its fullest extent is absolutely critical when innovating product lines to take to the market. One of the first things we looked at is, ‘What is the actual journey that a customer takes with Secure Parking?’

“That’s everything from the point of departure all the way right through to the point of entry into our car parks. We looked at everything from the way in which they behave and interact with us as an organisation and at our sites, all the way through to what are some of the key benefits and key capabilities that I wanted to develop within our product line.”

Unsurprisingly, Chandra and his team discovered those busy Australians willing to pay for parking wanted almost everything about parking, especially accessing it, to be more user-friendly and less time-consuming. Many of Secure Parking’s sites now offer benefits that make entering and exiting car parks that little bit smoother and quicker.

“Voyager has been an opportunity for Secure Parking to take its decades of experience, along with all the customer experience information it has, and create our own product line,” Chandra notes. “I’m very proud to say all the Voyager hardware is made from the ground up by an Australian manufacturer.”

Likewise, all the Voyager software was developed with the assistance of SnapLogic’s Australian team. Chandra is delighted SnapLogic exceeded expectations when it came to building an ERP system – including a remote car-park management system, booking and financial platforms, data lake and CRM – from the ground up.

“Car parks look simple, but they are complex environments,” Chandra explains. “And you have the challenge of dealing with legacy technology. Integrating that legacy technology with a new website, new digital platform and new mobile applications, not to mention [third-party apps] like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, was always going to be crucial to the success of Voyager.”

As well as helping build new systems that could play nice with pre-existing ones, SnapLogic helped Secure Parking develop back-office solutions capable of slashing costs and maximising efficiencies. “Voyager has very sophisticated back-office ERP systems, which we’ve developed with SnapLogic to support our customers and also to support our car parks,” Chandra says. “These systems cover everything from customer data to financial data and allow our car parks to be operated remotely.”


We have lift-off

Voyager has proven a great success, but Chandra is now looking at future opportunities rather than resting on his laurels. “We need to finish rolling out Voyager to all of Secure Parking’s Australian sites,” Chandra shares. “After that, our global parent company may roll it out in other regions. All the benefits Voyager brings to our customers here in Australia would be of value to [Park24] customers offshore as well. I’m also interested in what future-proofing capabilities we can build into our platform today that can help support our customers in the future.”

Chandra’s cautiously optimistic about leveraging generative AI to provide Australian motorists with an even more agreeable parking experience. “Secure Parking collects an immense amount of data about our customers’ preferences and behaviours,” he observes. By feeding that treasure trove of customer data into the right AI, Chandra hopes to make getting around town near effortless.

In fact, he sees a future where Secure Parking can potentially use AI predictive models to literally map customer journeys, ascertaining when Secure Parking customers are most likely to enter and exit one or more of its sites. For Chandra, it’s a chance to “redefine the whole experience”, ethical considerations permitting. “It’s about delivering value to customers without sacrificing their security and privacy in the process,” he says.

SnapLogic is also enthusiastic about ethically leveraging data to its fullest extent. As Stone told Chandra, “Something we are working on quite closely with our partners is utilising data in a thoughtful, responsible way that goes beyond the [basic] privacy and security obligations. SnapLogic is particularly interested in how predictive models can be utilised to deliver value to the customer without sacrificing their privacy and security in the process.”


Rick Chandra, CIO of Secure Parking.

Rick Chandra, CIO of Secure Parking with Jeremiah Stone, CTO of SnapLogic.

How to disrupt your business from within

Many businesses are now faced with the choice of either disrupting themselves or risking being overtaken by external events. Nonetheless, very few businesses manage to disrupt themselves successfully. At least not prior to an existential threat emerging. Aside from being obsessively customer-focused, Chandra has two core pieces of advice for anyone considering embarking on a large-scale digital transformation program before they attract potential disruptors’ attention.

First, pick the right partners – particularly the right technology partners. “Having the right technology partner, one that the Secure Parking team could work well with, was absolutely critical to the successful delivery of the Voyager program,” Chandra says. “Part of the success of Voyager comes down to SnapLogic’s involvement.”

And part of picking the right partners is choosing ones that can grow with you. The Voyager program is a work in progress, and Chandra is confident SnapLogic can help Secure Parking take advantage of several emerging technologies. “Having a partner like SnapLogic will allow us to manage the integration [of new and legacy technology] going forward,” he says. “And it will continue to help us face the challenge of standardising the architecture with our environment, which is something any CIO appreciates.”


Inspired by the collective vision

Unfortunately, ensuring your team and any external teams involved in the project have the required skills only gets you part of the way there. This brings us to Chandra’s second piece of advice – make sure everyone involved in the project is sufficiently inspired by the vision to bulldoze through the obstacles they will inevitably encounter.

“If you aspire to deliver a program of any size and complexity, you need to have a vision,” Chandra says. “It has to be a collective vision shared by not just the employees of your business but by any partners you bring in. With its partners, Secure Parking was building new hardware, new software and new digital platforms and then attempting to integrate them with old hardware, software and digital platforms. Everybody involved needed the passion to see a large, complex project through to the end. I certainly saw that passion, not just from my team but across the board, including SnapLogic’s team.”

Watch the interview with Rick on demand here.

About SnapLogic

SnapLogic is the leader in generative integration. As a pioneer in AI-led integration, the SnapLogic Platform accelerates digital transformation across the enterprise and empowers everyone to integrate faster and easier.

Whether you are automating business processes, democratising data, or delivering digital products and services, SnapLogic enables you to simplify your technology stack and take your enterprise further. Thousands of enterprises around the globe rely on SnapLogic to integrate, automate and orchestrate the flow of data across their business.

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