Travel experts create IT without borders

clip_image002Germany, Austria and Switzerland unite. No, it’s not an unexpected step for the European Union – this is a move by STA Travel to consolidate its IT infrastructure from three locations onto a single, common platform. The travel specialists wanted to promote consistency in the business and needed the capability to roll out solutions to its 460 users – fast.

clip_image004STA Travel is one of the world’s largest tour operators for students and those who want to explore beyond the beaten track. It was all started by the Australian Union of Students back in the 1970s. Today, the company operates in around 80 countries. IT Manager Christopher Schmauch was aware of the challenges a worldwide infrastructure like this could present: “We have to manage many elements, including flight and hotels. Our staff also use hundreds of applications.”

The company chose Dell™ PowerEdge™ R610 servers virtualized with VMware® vSphere™ software. By consolidating and virtualizing the datacentre, STA Travel can make quick adjustments to automated processes, such as the amending of flight details. Day-to-day administration has been cut by about a third, easing the IT team’s workload. And with support for 100 per cent business expansion, the future looks bright too.

Dell also created a consistent desktop environment, using Dell OptiPlex™ 780 desktops. “Now we can upload a new image for everyone in one go. This makes it easier for us to keep all systems up-to-date,” says Schmauch.

Besides keeping staff and the IT team happy, the company was also able to placate Mother Nature with greener IT: unifying the environment has reduced power and cooling costs by around 30 per cent. And over the coming months, all staff will be moved onto lower-energy Dell OptiPlex FX160 desktops.

Read more about STA Travel’s story.

About the Author: Kathy Mahady