By thoroughly analyzing all the requirements a conclusion was made that SDL Tridion, being an enterprise-level solution which offers an integrated approach to content management across multiple websites and multiple channels in multiple languages fit the requirements perfectly.
EXLRT was chosen as the implementation partner and talks began in early 2014, while the implementation itself started by the second half of 2014. Up until now the scope of work has covered:
- Functional and technical specification
- Requirements workshops
- Installation and configuration
- DTAP deployments
- Blueprint design and setup
- Content management
- Content personalization
- Implementation of the web content management system across all website sections based on the customer’s design (SDL Tridion)
- Custom training delivery
- Integration with translation, DAM and other services
- Search Engine Optimization
- Production websites roll-out
- Application Lifecycle Management / Support and Maintenance
In the period starting middle 2014, till now, EXLRT has delivered a global platform with around 250 sites in 13 languages. The Platform was designed adhering to strict and consistent guidelines and design methodologies, enabling the delivery of information across the relevant markets and regions in order to reflect the specific needs of Turkish Airlines with the added ability to target specific audiences. As such, the delivered platform enables Turkish Airlines to easily manage all their multi-country and multi-language requests from one place and by employing specialized parts of the platform, Turkish Airlines is now also capable of serving personalized content based on numerous criteria to achieve better market penetration and customer experience. The personalization capabilities alone have resulted in much higher conversion and retention rates amongst the website users, whilst the new platform overall has far exceeded all expectations.
How was this achieved?
Having Turkish Airlines' mission statement (to become the leading European air carrier) in mind, EXLRT aimed to deliver the best possible quality in terms of both services and implementation. This in turn meant that all the project phases and building blocks were planned and engineered to be robust, reliable, scalable and modular, and finally, of high performance, all in line with the strict requirements of the volatile airline and transportation industry.
During the initial phases of the project, the focus was on:
- planning and change management (having in mind the size of the project)
- performance optimization (having in mind the number of concurrent and total users)
- and team communication and coordination (having in mind the number of involved teams, time zones, cultural differences, etc.).
Keeping in mind the challenges and the project requirements, SCRUM was chosen as the main agile methodology with biweekly sprints and daily standup meetings. Besides all other advantages that SCRUM offers, having core functionality which can be extended in later sprint iterations proved to be one of the key benefits.
After the planning phase, the focus has shifted towards delivering a strong design to serve as a stable foundation for future work. Having said foundation in place and by employing standardized EXLRT guidelines and adhering to customer requests, the system architecture was set afterwards. By fully utilizing SDL Tridion's Blueprint technology, the structure of the new website was created in such a manner to easily enable adding or modifying languages and countries. This also proved to be an invaluable feature for the client enabling them to easily deliver new (localized) sites to new markets in record speeds.
During the implementation phase, EXLRT has delivered custom solutions guided by customer requests and all in line with standardized EXLRT and industry guidelines. Special attention was given to code quality, load simulations and testing with historical data acquired from the previous website traffic and future estimates. Another key focus during this phase was continuous integration with external Turkish Airlines services and modules like booking applications, mobile and tablet applications, SEO crawlers and other data analyzers and tools.
Some of the technologies used during the implementation phase were:
- .NET 4.5
- Java 1.6 – 1.7
- SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 HR1
- SDL Media Manager
- SDL SmartTarget 2014 SP1
- SDL Fredhopper 7.5