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: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Malcolm Turnbull Lodges New Complaint Over ABC’s Emma Alberici
  • Media

Malcolm Turnbull Lodges New Complaint Over ABC’s Emma Alberici

The ABC’s chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici’s reporting has again caught the ire of the Turnbull government for alleged inaccuracies. Malcolm Turnbull has raised 11 grievances in a letter sent to the ABC on May 7 in relation to a recent Alberici television story about the federal government’s research and innovation spending. It follows another complaint in early April about Alberici’s […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis
  • Media

An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis

Whoops! B&T's stuffed up and this certainly comes with our sincerest apologies for any offence caused.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD

One need only look at the Cadbury Favourites chocolate selection to know it has nought to do with industry diversity.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour
  • Media

Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour

Eyeota, the global leader in audience data, has today released its latest results on automotive purchase intentions in Australia. The results provide a deep dive into what motivates the buyer and segments those into six different personas.

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA
  • Marketing
  • Media

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA

AANA's annual Christmas dinner and dance got a teensy bit more crowded following this announcement this morning.