Flight Centre: Finding financial flexibility from outsourced data centre operationsAs a result of both their increasing focus on corporate sustainability and the rising cost of Brisbane’s office space, Flight Centre outsourced its data centres to an external provider and met more than business objectives.
Flight Centre Travel Group is one of the world’s largest travel retailers and corporate travel managers.
Beginning in 1982, Flight Centre now has company-owned leisure and corporate travel business in 23 countries, spanning Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. The company is headquartered in Brisbane and has a payroll consisting of over 15,000 staff globally, and a total of 2,500 stores.
- Reduced operational expenditure and overheads
- Minimised business risk through outsourcing
- Minimal downtime and disruption to business
Managing an aging environment
Flight Centre is known across the world for assisting its clients with the planning of flights, holidays, hotels and more. With locations in 23 countries, they’re Australasia’s best-known travel agency group.
As a result of both their increasing focus on corporate sustainability and the rising cost pressure of Brisbane’s office space, Flight Centre Limited began to search for an external provider to outsource their data centre management to. Such a move would allow Flight Centre’s IT team to focus on supporting the business’ 900-plus stores and eight head offices nationally, which was already a massive undertaking, without the added pressure of hosting their own data centres. Once decided to use a provider, the challenge became selecting the right provider. The key requirement was finding a partner that enabled them to move their aging data centre with minimal impact to the organisation and its customers.
We’re a lean company and aim to dedicate resources to our core business wherever possible, outsourcing to selected partners for the other areas,” Peter Wataman, Chief Information Officer of Flight Centre said. “We previously hosted the majority of our data centres ourselves, which was a major undertaking for the business, both in terms of cost and staffing.” Given Flight Centre’s IT engineers were not trained in this area, they were spending valuable time and resources negotiating with data centre vendors, refrigeration and cooling providers anyways. “Also, in Brisbane’s CBD, floor space is very expensive and, when you combine this with the investment infrastructure and high power costs associated with data centres, we could no longer justify operating an in-house data centre.”
They needed a provider who understood their business and manage data centres effectively to assist Flight centre to reach wider business goals.
Migration without business disruption
After an exhaustive review of the market, Flight Centre Limited selected Interactive’s fully managed data centre solution to support their business critical applications in South-East Queensland and Sydney.
Interactive worked with Flight Centre’s team to ensure the project was implemented without any problems and to extremely tight deadlines. Prior to starting the project, Interactive sat down with Flight Centre to understand the equipment and their business importance. In completing this, we provided Flight Centre with a more comprehensive audit of all their equipment, their age and maintenance requirements, outlining every possible problem that could occur during the move as they went. For Flight Centre, it was important to understand the repercussions of the data centre relocation as any problem would have greater ripple effects across their global business network.
Exceeding expectations while reducing overheads
Flight Centre Limited received a tailored solution to maximise their IT systems availability and meet their wider business objective.
In addition, using Interactive as their data centre partner significantly reduced risk and associated cost to an in-house data centre option, allowing Flight Centre to find financial flexibility and focus on business operations, employees, and customers.