Case study

Turkish Airlines

At the end of 2013, Turkish Airlines decided to modernize their web presence and customer experience. Because we know the challenges between local, global, and glocal, we identified SDL Tridion as the right fit for their needs.

Turkish Airlines follows its mission statement:

"To become the preferred leading European air carrier with a global network of coverage thanks to its strict compliance with flight safety, reliability, product line, service quality and competitiveness, while maintaining its identity as the flag carrier of the Republic of Turkey in the civil air transportation industry."

Having their growth rate and reputation in mind, at the end of 2013 Turkish Airlines decided on modernizing their online presence and customer experience. Taking into consideration the magnitude of their services and global presence, the need for a modern, robust and reliable global CMS platform was identified.

Implementation of SDL Tridion

Scope of work with SDL Tridion

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:

  • 01

    Functional and technical specification

  • 02

    Installation and configuration

  • 03

    Blueprint design and setup

  • 04

    Content personalization

  • 05

    Custom training delivery

  • 06

    Search Engine Optimization

  • 07

    Application Life-cycle Management / Support and Maintenance

  • 08

    Requirements workshops

  • 09

    DTAP deployments

  • 10

    Content management

  • 11

    Implementation of the web content management system across all website sections based on the customer’s design (SDL Tridion)

  • 12

    Integration with translation, DAM and other services

  • 13

    Production websites roll-out

Global platform with around 250 sites in 13 languages

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. 

How was this achieved?

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.

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.

Focus was on:

01

Planning and change management

The size of the project.
02

Team communication and coordination

The number of involved teams, time zones, cultural differences, etc.
03

Performance optimization

Scaling the number of concurrent and total users.

Scrum methodology

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.

Custom solutions guided by customer requests

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:

  • 01

    .NET 4.5

  • 02

    SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 HR1

  • 03

    SDL SmartTarget 2014 SP1

  • 04

    Java 1.6 – 1.7

  • 05

    SDL Media Manager

  • 06

    SDL Fredhopper 7.5

Stability, usability & high performance

Production website roll-out was done in stages having Japan and USA users transferred to the new website first.

After rigorous monitoring, testing and analysis of customer behavior patterns, gradually all other countries and regions were switched over. During this period, the main focus was on ensuring website stability, usability, high performance and disaster recovery strategy. The latter two were ensured by both EXLRT and Turkish Airlines by creating a wide variety of monitoring systems, failover mechanisms and redundancy.

Current state & future

Currently the project is in Application Lifecycle Management undergoing continuous support but there are already numerous changes planned. 

Most notably upgrading the complete architecture to the latest versions, for SDL Tridion this is SDL Web 8.5, planed for end of 2018. Besides the upgrades, the focus in the future will be personalization, design and performance improvements which will reflect in additional customer benefits like faster, more reliable and stable website, more relevant content and better user experience, etc.

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