Case study luxoft applies agile expertise to help hotwire software development traveland aviation by luxoft for hotwire
For more information about Luxoft, visitwww.luxoft.comwww.luxoft.com/travel-aviation/case studyLuxoft Applies AGILE Expertiseto Help Hotwire DriveCar Rental Revenue up by 15%with ContinuousInnovationthat Increased Conversion10.10.2012Cuu lient: Launched in 2000, Hotwire.com is an award-winning discounttravel site that negotiates deep discounts from its travel suppliers to helptravelers book unsold airline seats, hotel rooms, and rental cars. Hotwire isan operating company of the world’s largest online travel agency: Expedia,Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE)SummaryLeading Online Travel Engine Reorganizes IT Resources andTaps Long-Time Outsourcing Partner, Luxoft to IncreaseCapabilities of its Car Rental VerticalWith business booming and online traffic increasing, Hotwire made the strategicdecision to complete reorganize its IT resources to align them directly withtheir business verticals: Hotel, Car, and Flights. As part of that initiative, Hotwirealso wanted to transform from the traditional Waterfall method of softwaredevelopment to Agile for increased speed-to-market.Luxoft awarded“IT Outsourcing Project of the Year 2012”for its partnership withHotwire Inc. by European Outsourcing Association
ChallengeWhy Luxoft?Luxoft needed to deliver against six aggressive business goals while ensuringno disruption to the daily online activities of Hotwire’s business and customerexperience.Five years of ongoing, successful collaboration with HotwireuuAgile and industry expertiseuuCommitment to and alignment with business goalsuuFinancial stabilityuuProven track recorduuIn 2010, when global online travel aggregator Hotwire, Inc. made the strategicdecision to reorganize its IT resources to align directly with its three majorbusiness verticals, Hotel, Flight, and Car, they were confident that Luxoft was theright software development partner to meet the needs and objectives of the Carvertical.Hotwire first started working with Luxoft in 2006 on a Test Automation project.After years of steady collaboration, proving their expertise, commitment,financial stability and record of success, Luxoft’s offshore team of talentedsoftware engineers collaborate to achieve even more of Hotwire’s project deliveryobjectives. This impressive pedigree, along with the fact that Luxoft is the leadingprovider of Agile software development services in Eastern Europe, made Luxoftthe logical partner for Hotwire’s Car Team.02Luxoft - Case Study
03Luxoft - Case StudyOnline Traffic Jam: Hotwire’s IncreasingCar Rental Business Requires Big ChangesRoadmap to Success:Luxoft’s Three-Stage Implementation PlanProcessing over 10,000 reservations daily, the Hotwire Car business delivers morethan $600M annually in gross1bookings . Unfortunately, the traditional Waterfallsoftware development project model was no longer able to support the real-timeconsumer demand.By leveraging Luxoft’s experience in the Agile methodology, Hotwire successfullymade the transition to a lean development model that met and exceeded theirbusiness objectives:Expand Hotwire’s delivery capabilities to meet business needuuIncrease revenues by improving car rental conversion ratesuuStrengthen product and industry knowledge among the car team membersuuReduce development costsuuIncrease the project speed-to-market while reducing business riskuuPerform continuous measurement and evaluation of critical success factorsuuFuel innovation with change management practices that deliver businessuuimpactBeginning in November 2010, Luxoft ensured a successful transformation from theWaterfall model to the Agile model by focusing on three main tasks to facilitate theadoption of the new development model:1. Establish a Dedicated TeamBeginning with a team of just three engineers, the current Car team headcountis eight professionals who cover different areas: back-end and front-enddevelopment, business analysis, quality assurance, and Scrum coaching. Asthe project progressed, new roles were introduced to support the distributedteam:Proxy product owneruuOnsite project coordinatoruuDedicated technical vertical owneruu1Source: Smith Travel; Auto Rental News. 2010 forecasts
04Luxoft - Case Study2. Transition from Waterfall to AgileTo help Hotwire adopt the Scrum methodology in November 2011, Luxoftdeveloped a transition plan that allowed the team to realize its benefitswithout negatively affecting productivity or workflow. Agile workshops forthe client and vendors were conducted in November and a go/no-go decisiondeadline on the on-site transition was set for December. In the early monthsof 2012, Luxoft’s Agile coaches conducted the offshore transition and it is nowsuccessfully in operation.3. DeliveryDuring the transition period, the Luxoft team maintained its high level ofservice delivery to ensure there was never a negative impact to the business.Always going above and beyond to deliver real innovation that exceeds clientexpectation, Luxoft proactively made numerous profitability enhancements tothe system, including:Redesigning the car rental site’s result pageuuAdding pre-paid retail inventory and additional car typesuuOptimizing requests to Global Distribution Systems, decreasing the cost ofuuinformation by 30%Consolidating the billing pathuuBy all accounts, Hotwire is delighted with Luxoft as their partner in this importantinitiative. According to Roman Kaplun, Director of Engineering Services atHotwire,“Luxoft constantly demonstrates a strong level of commitment andresponsiveness, and close alignment to our strategy and goals.”“Our success on the Hotwire Car Team is another example where the partnershiphas helped our business move to the next level in Product Development anddelivery,”he adds.
05Luxoft - Case StudyBest Practices + Innovation:Key Factors to Exceeding ExpectationsA key factor in Luxoft’s engagement with Hotwire was an unwavering focus onthe transformation of processes and the development of industry best practices.Using workshops, onsite visits, and with a commitment to managing personaldevelopment, Luxoft and Hotwire realized the benefits, including:1. Product and business knowledge ownership and management within adedicated teamDeveloped specialists and subject matter experts to collect and manageuuthe business knowledge baseMaintained a strong focus on soft skills and attitude to engage top talentuuand develop a self-organized team that is empowered to drive changeCreated a respectful work environment, without the restrictions ofuuhierarchy and bureaucracy, that promotes professional growthDeveloped a shared product vision through workshops and Sprint ZerouuMaintained a strong and open collaboration, based on mutual trust anduuhigh morale2. Scrum agile development methodology in useTime-to-market decreased dramaticallyuuSmoothly integrated Scrum process into existing release scheduleuuAll Agile best practices were solidified with the supervision of Luxoft’suuScrum coachContinuous improvement and immediate feedback from customers withuuregular Sprint retrospective meetings3. Efficient communication channelsStreamlined communication and mitigated the time difference betweenuuthe offshore and San Francisco teams with the proxy business owner inplaceOnsite coordinator to facilitate cross-team collaborationuu4. Focus on QualityContinuous integrationuu20% of time in each sprint is spent for“technical debt”uu“Stop & Fix”approachuuPerformance testing is done by a dedicated team beginning at theuudevelopment phaseSupport of production and debugging of production incidents is doneuuby Luxoft’s team, reducing the effort and loss of productivity for Hotwire’semployeesExecutable requirements using Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) TestuuAutomation tools (Cucumber, Selenium) to encourage collaboration withnon-technical stakeholders
06Luxoft - Case StudyProject ResultsDecreased business need delivery time by 300% (2012 vs. 2010)uuIncreased speed-to-market by 300% (2012 vs. 2010)uuIncreased car rental revenues by 15% by improving conversion ratesuuStrengthened product and industry knowledge within car vertical teamuumembers“Our success on the Hotwire Car Team is another example where thepartnership has helped our business move to the next level in ProductDevelopment and delivery.”- Roman Kaplun,Director of Engineering Services at HotwireIn addition to creating best practices, Luxoft employed several innovativeapproaches to achieve the business objectives:Created the role ofuu proxy business owner in Kiev to bridge the communicationgap in the time difference between teamsLeduu concurrent team training in Kiev and San Francisco, with a dedicatedScrum coach for 6 monthsWorld-renowned Scrum coach Jeff Pattonuu was retained to give the teams hisinnovative Scrum practices, story mapping methods, and product discoverytechniques