How Flight Centre Found Success In Open Source

How Flight Centre Found Success In Open Source
SHARE
THIS



Flight Centre Travel Group needs no introduction but even with such a high profile brand, this travel giant is certainly not one to rest on its laurels.

The company recognised that its main retail website carried great strength, and with that, came the opportunity to capitalise on this, especially through its 30 retail websites and one main corporate travel website, FCMTravel which runs in 80 countries.

As the company expanded, there was increased pressure to refresh web content more regularly which presented the opportunity to add value to the sites to support sales and marketing goals.

The company decided to accelerate its digital and mobile strategy by migrating to the Drupal open source content management platform, with global support from Acquia, to ensure a great digital experience both for internal staff and externally audiences. Notably, Flight Centre (FLT) upskilled 50% of its Australian developer team to become Drupal experts, with global training also taking place.

Now, the Flight Centre Digital Nations Team in Australia provides leadership and support to the Global Development Teams in the UK and South Africa who are similarly migrating to Drupal.

How they did it

FLT had been using a proprietary web content management system (CMS) overlaid with home-grown applications and architecture. Speed to market was elusive, the system couldn’t provide the flexibility and agility that FLT needed to support marketing campaigns and online customer interactions.

As they investigated options for a new CMS, robustness, flexibility, cost and support were determining factors. The potential to upgrade its existing CMS was quickly dismissed, along with a Microsoft option. Instead an open source solution was the favoured option given the extensive developer community which enables rapid deployment of add-ons to the core functionality.

“We had a pretty good scan of market,” said Kiel Frost, Team Leader, Digital Solutions, FCL Digital Nations at Flight Centre, who downloaded and tested five open source products over six months. “In each case we looked at what was available, where it is going, the roadmap and size of the support community.”

With a community of more than one million across 229 countries and a significant enterprise user base, it was clear that Drupal had the flexibility and promise to meet Flight Centre’s growing needs. Coupled with the local support of Acquia, the decision became much easier to make.

Acquia provides support for Flight Centre’s hardware and operating systems which support its web servers and cloud technology, with dedicated Technical Account Management to ensure that the company keeps on track with Drupal framework standards for performance and security. From a strategic perspective, Flight Centre also gains access to specialists within Acquia for performance and testing, and the community at large for any longer-term considerations.

“Acquia’s extensive experience in deploying and maintaining enterprise Drupal sites and the company’s on-the-ground support team, led us to select Acquia and Drupal for the project,” said Mr Frost. “Acquia is also hosting the Drupal deployments, which gets rid of layers of work, and we couldn’t have done it any more cost-effectively ourselves.”

The results

Migration to new CMS provided opportunity to add value to the sites, for example, the company wanted to leverage search engine optimisation (SEO) and online enquiry conversions. In the first instance, however, a quick win was to simplify workflow processes. With one main site (FCM Travel) operating in 80 countries, updating content to share across these countries with minimal localisation became easy and saved time and effort immediately. Furthermore, this also provides the ability to implement a global content repository to share content and assist with FC global brand and content strategy.

The combination of Acquia and Drupal gives Flight Centre an agile platform to create engaging multi-channel digital experiences for its customers. Marketers at FLT now have unmatched flexibility to quickly optimise the mix of content and social capabilities via responsive websites to convert prospects into loyal, engaged customers SEO value for any website is critical.

It also has allowed more flexibility for displaying products, together with the ability for users to search for available products with faceted-based search options using Apache Sorl (Acquia Search SaaS).

Having up-skilled and retrained a significant proportion of its in-house developer team, it has significant competitive advantage in support of innovation, and given its team valuable career skills.

Global support was another reason for Flight Centre to make the switch to Drupal. Since starting to deploy sites twelve months ago, Flight Centre has had on-phone support as needed, along with dedicated people to help out on site. They have also been able to use their relationship with Acquia to develop stronger bonds with the Drupal community, helping to drive the future direction of software development, and leverage this benefit for global roll-outs in the UK and South Africa.

“Acquia’s global presence was crucial to us,” said Mr Frost. “We now have peace of mind to know that we are deploying a supported solution with a strong developer community behind it.” He says the business case for the migration to Drupal was predicated on cost savings, but, in reality the ability to rapidly deploy new services globally is the real winner.

The numbers

30 brands, including one main site operating in 80 countries

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ
  • Media

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ

Havas Sports & Entertainment ANZ, a division of the broader global full-service agency Havas, has confirmed an exclusive deal with Foxtel to showcase the World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight Championship across the trans-Tasman. Billed as the ‘Fight of Champions’, Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse will square off for the WBA Welterweight belt this Sunday. Havas […]

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?
  • Media
  • Opinion

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?

In this guest post, PHD’s Chloe Hooper (pictured below) analyses the campaign that claimed top honours in the Media category at Cannes this year. I sat in the auditorium as the Cannes Media Lion winners for 2018 were awarded. One thing became instantly clear to me: it is all about taking home Gold or the Grand Prix. […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope

An integrated campaign by Vizeum Melbourne for MINI Australia’s new ‘Connected’ vehicles will see digital out-of-home (DOOH) served via Posterscope’s Liveposter platform. Delivered centrally, the campaign will showcase the flexible qualities DOOH provides via multiple creatives targeted with specific data overlays such as location, traffic, time of day, and weather triggers such as rain. The […]

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan

The delightful Lisa Sheehan straps into B&T's "cage of truth" we actually prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Media

News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day

News Corp Australia, Storyful and Fox Sports have joined forces in support of 2018 AIME Hoodie Day with a creative advertising, PR, social media and editorial campaign across print, digital, and broadcast media. Fox League presenter Hannah Hollis (pictured above) fronts the AIME Hoodie Day campaign, conceptualised, designed and created by News Corp’s trade marketing […]

Storyation Finalist For Global Content Marketing Agency Of The Year
  • Marketing

Storyation Finalist For Global Content Marketing Agency Of The Year

Sydney content marketing agency Storyation has been named a finalist for global Content Marketing Agency of the Year in the Content Marketing Association Awards in the US.  The only Australian agency on the short-list, Storyation was founded by two former Fairfax Media executives Lauren Quaintance (right in photo) and Mimi Cullen (left) and its clients include Tourism […]

Jaden Social Claims Integrated Marketing Tender For NSW Schools Spectacular
  • Marketing

Jaden Social Claims Integrated Marketing Tender For NSW Schools Spectacular

Jaden Social has been awarded the tender to handle integrated marketing for the NSW Schools Spectacular. The agreement will see Jaden Social manage marketing, media, digital and social across the 2018 to 2020 productions of Schools Spectacular, held at Qudos Bank Arena in November. Jaden Social underwent a competitive pitch to secure the account, in […]

APD Australia Appoints New Head Of Digital Product & Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Technology

APD Australia Appoints New Head Of Digital Product & Strategy

Digital transformation business APD has announced the appointment of Chris Butterworth as its Australian head of digital product and strategy. Based in Melbourne, Butterworth (pictured above) will be responsible for building on APD’s owned media team, growing its range of services and developing cross-channel products. Butterworth joins APD from Reprise Digital, where he was most […]