Helloworld

A first class ticket to greater speed and agility

Client: Helloworld

Business Challenge: Disaster Recovery, Server and storage upgrade

Industry: Entertainment

Solution: Infrastructure, Global IP Network

Location: Australia


Project

Helloworld turned to NTT ICT to for an end-to-end solution, from procuring the necessary hardware and network devices for the core data centre location and disaster recovery site, hosting its business applications as well as providing network services between both sites.

Challenges

  • Highly competitive industry requiring speed and agility
  • High bandwidth reducing speed of enterprise resource platform (ERP)
  • Systems utilising up to 60% of the network infrastructure
  • Long recovery windows of up to 72 hours

Solutions

  • Project management
  • Hardware procurement
  • Migration to physical production site
  • Disaster Recovery services
  • Hosting of business applications
  • Networking services

Benefits

  • Operational efficiency
  • Reduced network complexity
  • Improved enterprise resource platform (ERP) connections by 367%
  • Systems utilising significantly less processing power (From up to 60%, down to 4%)
  • Recovery time objective of 30 minutes
  • Cost-effective platform that reduces operational expenses
  • ROI within 18 months

Helloworld Limited is one of the leading integrated travel companies in Australia and New Zealand. From its headquarters in Australia, it operates a number of businesses in the retail, online, corporate, and wholesale travel markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa.


Challenges: Network Complexity Speed and Performance

Helloworld’s wholesale division manages the supplier relationships, products and services needed to offer travellers unparalleled convenience and tailor-made holiday experiences. With an extensive network of over 1,000 travel agencies and database of more than 3,500 contracted hotel providers and 100,000 accommodation rooms as well as connections with major airlines, cruise lines, car hire companies, rail organisations and tour groups, Helloworld operates on a platform that needs  24/7 reliability and connectivity.

To maintain its edge in the highly competitive travel market, Helloworld was looking for ways to enhance its capacities and capabilities and offer more seamless, real-time services to its travel agencies and customers. Key to this was Helloworld’s internal enterprise resource platform (ERP), Calypso, which manages everything from its inventory and product management to sales, supply chain and marketing tools for its partner travel agencies.

Knowing that the speed and performance of this application was critical for Helloworld, Brian Kelly, Manager, Wholesale Business Systems. Helloworld decided that leveraging a physical production site would make it quicker and easier for users to access the information they needed.

Improving Helloworld’s disaster recovery (DR) was also a key focus. Historically, the organisation’s return to service time ranged from two to three days – but its IT leaders wanted to secure a DR system that could offer a return to service target of just 30 minutes.

“Helloworld has built a reputation for delivering convenient, comprehensive travel information, deals and packages across our website as well as through our nationwide network of independently owned and operated stores and call centre. Employees and partners at every touch point need access to up-to-the-minute details to put together the best value packages and ensure a seamless process for our customers,” said Mr. Kelly.

 


Solution: Chartering an End-to-End Infrastructure Solution

Helloworld turned to NTT ICT to for an end-to-end solution, from procuring the necessary hardware and network devices for the core data centre location and disaster recovery site, hosting its business applications as well as providing network services between both sites. NTT ICT team were tasked with the design and implementation of the new hardware and managed the development of the migration strategy and installation into the existing environment.

Helloworld knew that it could rely on NTT ICT’s global network, which had earned a reputation as one of the region’s most trusted data centre providers and had the proven track record needed to ensure a seamless, cost-effective implementation.

“With NTT ICT, we were not only getting the reliability of 99.9% uptime. We also had a flexible solution tailored specifically to our needs without the costly premiums that most vendors usually add on. For less than the price of a typical production environment, we were also able to build a DR site with full resiliency,” added Mr. Kelly.

The structure of NTT ICT’s network created opportunities for additional cost-savings for Helloworld. By managing the disaster recovery from within a local data centre, Helloworld could avoid backhaul charges typically associated with crossing state boundaries.

Working alongside the NTT ICT account manager, Mr. Kelly benefitted from a team with deep knowledge and understanding of its needs and who offered the flexibility to deliver the best possible solution. As Helloworld wanted to include its external app developer in the implementation process, NTT ICT ensured that everyone involved could access the necessary elements, whenever they needed.

“The combination of NTT ICT’s high-quality technical expertise with its commitment to flexibility and open communication set it apart. The engineers seemed to know exactly what we needed before we needed it, and our account manager took responsibility for ensuring that every detail unfolded as planned. All of the different elements just seemed to come together magically.”


 


Future Benefits: An Agile, Cost-effective Infrastructure Supporting Every Destination

While Mr. Kelly knew that it could rely on NTT ICT to respond quickly to any issues – he didn’t need to. The NTT ICT provided a tailored solution that matched Helloworld’s requirements right from the start.

“Given my experience with  NTT ICT, I know that they would have gone above and beyond to resolve any issues, but honestly, they provided what we needed the first time around. I had great peace of mind knowing that they had the process covered from start to finish.”

With NTT ICT navigating the implementation, the migration was achieved with minimal interruption to Helloworld’s day-to-day business. By effectively coordinating the hardware set up, NTT ICT was also able to offer Helloworld phased access to its environment, which offered even greater flexibility.

The Helloworld team was able to start seeing the benefits of NTT ICT’s solutions right away. NTT ICT’s solutions reduced the complexity of Helloworld’s network design, enabling devices to use significantly less processing power. Previously, the system had been utilising 40% to 60% of the network infrastructure, but with NTT ICT at the helm, the system now uses just 4% to 5%.

This has had a dramatic impact on performance levels, speed and agility. With a production site that is located closer to those who need it, Helloworld is also using less bandwidth. Individual connections to partners and travel agencies that used to take up to 14 seconds now take three seconds (a 367% improvement) – and as Helloworld processes more than 1,000 bookings a day – Mr. Kelly says it all adds up to significant savings in time and resources.

“Processes are significantly faster and we see less latency in our network connections which means our travel agencies have quick access to the information they need. This makes it easier for them to have seamless customer interactions, whether in store, online on through our call centre – a critical component in ensuring a positive customer experience.”

With NTT ICT managing the implementation of the infrastructure, data centre and networking, Helloworld is now armed with a more cost-effective platform that reduces operational expenses (OPEX), and allows its IT team to more accurately predict and manage costs and remain competitive against an aggressive travel market. With a tailored solution leveraging NTT ICT’s breadth of services, technical knowledge and flexibility, Helloworld also expects to see a return on investment in under 18 months.

“Working with NTT ICT has impacted our entire ecosystem for the better – from managing our supplier inventory and internal processes to sales and marketing initiatives. With the capability to provide the most up-to-date information, deals and offers to our customers – regardless of how they choose to engage – we have the edge in an increasingly competitive market and can continue growing our network at a considerably lower cost,” added Mr. Kelly.

 

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