How Flight Centre Found Success In Open Source

How Flight Centre Found Success In Open Source
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

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

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered
  • Opinion

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered

In this guest post, the ANZ country manager for martceh firm dataxu, Matthew Joyce (pictured below), says almost half of Australians have a connected TV and he takes a look at what that means for brands and advertisers… Four in 10 of us have smart TVs at home, and of that, 70 per per cent are Connected TVs (CTV). […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture
  • Media

TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture

Crocmedia has announced the launch of Rainmaker, a dedicated TV production services business to be headed by former Head of Programming and Production at Channel Nine, Tim Cleary. Cleary will draw on his 25 years in the industry to spearhead the creation of bespoke new shows for distribution both in Australia and overseas under the Rainmaker […]

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]