Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world’s largest online travel company, has an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the well-known online travel brands. Collectively, Expedia covers virtually every aspect of researching, planning, and booking travel – from choosing the best airplane seat, to reading personal travel reviews of hotels, to planning what to do in a destination once you arrive.
Poised to Provide Better Service to Global Affiliate Network Members
Expedia powers bookings for many of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and more than 10,000 private label partners (affiliates) through Expedia® Affiliate Network (EAN) globally. However the templates of the EAN solution provided neither consistent user experience in terms of functionality and UI, nor a competitive differentiator to new market entrants. Parallel to moving onto a unified platform in a SOA environment, Expedia teamed up with Itransition to revamp the EAN solution to redeem the leading position and boost revenues generated by the EAN line of business.
Addressing Broader Scope Challenges
The project was part of a larger complex program to revamp all main customer products. The program was executed by several teams delivering custom software solutions and located across different continents and it required significant efforts for coordination. Moreover, these products in their turn should have been integrated with a wider information ecosystem (Global Distribution Systems’ property databases, other services, etc), many parts of which had problems with legacy code and interfaces. Therefore the project team had to overcome a number of interrelated challenges:
Complex decision making. Being an international corporation, the customer had a complicated, formalized process of approving requirements and technical solutions, including discussing those at the top management level.
Dependency on other distributed teams. We worked simultaneously with a US-based technical team on the customer side responsible for improving existing services and creating API for new features. To coordinate the efforts we introduced joint planning and regular status tracking activities.
Troubles with legacy code. The US team faced serious troubles with legacy code and a complex, time-consuming process to change API for most cases, which delayed the delivery of some functionality to the Itransition team.
Changing requirements and project scope. To tackle the problem of sudden twists in product requirements, the Itransition team designed a formal change management process integrated with the process of requirements supply to the development team.