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Transforming connectivity for Expedia's enterprise infrastructure  

Guiding Expedia through complex M&A technology transitions with expertise and commitment.

The client's problem and objectives: 
Expedia faced challenges with over 300 fixed data circuits, leading to significant costs and prolonged lead times for office connectivity across 96 offices in over 30 countries. The objective was to replace these circuits with a new cost-effective SD-WAN architecture based on commodity internet circuits, reducing overheads and facilitating agile business growth. 
This would enable the client to minimise their fixed expenses and, from a business standpoint, explore temporary space or conduct market tests with the potential to expand the office in case of a successful market outcome. 

What Karumba did: 
This project was technically difficult (SDWAN technology was in its early days of maturing) and posed a massive logistical challenge. The technical teams quickly grasped the detail of the architecture and, through prototyping and piloting built a robust design and dealt with the bugs and glitches expected of early release products.  
The greater challenges came with the coordination and logistics management necessary to manage a rolling upgrade of 90+ offices globally. We had to bring together different vendors and IT teams, each with its own way of doing things, customs arrangements that differed and impacted schedules. Each small, necessary, task needed to be executed and tracked to avoid unnecessary or unscheduled, business downtime.   
We took a step back to tackle these issues and planned things out strategically. Our PM team and the client’s tech team created a business process flow which we then systemised to manage the entire workflow efficiently. This system allowed us to closely monitor how things were progressing in the 90+ different offices. 
Switching over to the new system naturally meant some downtime, but each was carefully planned with the business to minimise disruptions. To keep everyone in the loop about how things were going, we used the workflow system to provide live and scheduled reports that gave a clear picture of the project's status. 
Dealing with external factors was just as important. Coordinating with equipment vendors and ensuring a steady supply of circuits required working closely with local suppliers in each county. This external collaboration added another layer of complexity to the whole process. 
In a nutshell, overcoming these challenges was about more than just technical know-how. It involved careful planning, clear communication, and working closely with everyone involved, both inside and outside the company. The project's success depended on a well-rounded approach that considered all the different aspects of the challenges we faced. 
Karumba took a multifaceted approach to address Expedia's challenges: 
1.    Built a business case and tracked financial payback. 
2.    Facilitated technical design sessions. 
3.    Built and documented the workflow process. 
4.    Embedded the workflow into a tool for streamlined management. 
5.    Negotiated a disposal plan with an external vendor. 
Karumba differentiated itself by: 
1.    Collaborating with Expedia's team to create and refine the process. 
2.    Providing central project management services. 
3.    Building a project team with defined roles and responsibilities. 
4.    Aligning internal and external contributors into a unified workflow. 
5.    Leveraging offshore development capabilities for tool creation. 

Owning the outcome: 
Karumba took charge of the technical objectives, designing a project aligned with the business case. The developed workflow tool simplified the complex task, ensuring transparency in progress, costs, and schedules. 
Circuit decommissions allowed strategic deployment scheduling, and the database of circuit costs enabled global renegotiation based on a benchmark created by Karumba. 
The development of the workflow tool showcased Karumba's expertise, simplifying the task and providing transparency on multiple fronts, from progress to costs. 
One crucial lesson was the importance of tracking all moving parts. We developed a comprehensive workflow system to capture and monitor business information from the ground up. With this system, addressing challenges holistically would have been easier. It's about looking at the problem from end to end rather than in isolated segments. 
Another key takeaway is the significance of taking responsibility for the entire process, from the initial stages to problem resolution. By assuming ownership of the problem, we provided a framework for effective operation, allowing team members to apply their skills optimally. This approach effectively removed the burden of managing problems and empowered the team to navigate challenges more efficiently. 
Karumba worked alongside Expedia's networking teams, fostering strong relationships locally and globally. 
Results and benefits: 
1.    Greater office location flexibility: Enabled by the transition to commodity internet circuits. 
2.    Improved agility: Reduced lead times facilitated agile business growth. 
3.    Reduced costs: Achieved through the elimination of expensive fixed data circuits. 
4.    Simplified network architecture: The workflow tool streamlined processes. 
As you navigate your own challenges and transformations, consider how Karumba's expertise and bespoke solutions can assist in achieving your business objectives. Contact us to explore how our strategies can empower your organisation's success. 

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