Partnership pioneers technology and achieves success

 

Name: STA Travel

Area of Operation: Retail Travel

Year founded: 1970s

Number of Sites: 85

Technology implemented:

  • comUnity® Data
  • comUnity® Voice
  • comUnity® Secure
  • comUnity® Wi-Fi
  • comUnity® View

Key Benefits

1. Improved productivity and performance
2. Increased bandwidth
3. Increased customer service and revenue streams
4. Increased network resilience and infrastructure
5. Reduced network outages improving reliability
6. Reduced total monthly spend
7. Allowed for the introduction of new applications and technology

 

STA Travel boasts a worldwide network of more than 450 stores, with 85 in Australia and New Zealand. They operate in over 75 countries across 15 time zones, employ in excess of 3000 people speaking over 60 languages. Last year, STA Travel sent more than 2 million travellers packing and recorded turnover in excess of USD$1.1 billion worldwide. STA Travel has evolved over the last 30 years, expanding services beyond the student market to cater to all travellers who subscribe to the STA Travel values.

STA Travel have enjoyed a strong, long-term partnership with Enablis, spanning more than 10 years. As part of regular technology reviews, STA Travel shared their strategic goals, and together with Enablis, determined what technology requirements were needed in order to achieve them.

Con Pazios, IT Manager for STA Travel said, “We sat down with Enablis and worked out what Enablis could do to help us achieve our business goals. A critical piece of that was improving the underlying infrastructure and upgrading the network to connect all services to the one platform.”

STA Travel wanted to redefine their customer experience by removing the physical barriers of a traditional retail travel store, opening the environment and enabling staff to connect with customers more easily. Radical changes were made to the store layout including removing front counters and queue bars. STA Travel wanted to empower the customer by creating a relaxed space and promote staff mobility by equipping them with laptops or iPads. Pazios says, “From a technology perspective, store connectivity had to be reliable and flexible for staff to access applications anywhere around the store.”

Network upgrade returns instant results

Pazios describes the review process. “We did a review of what we currently have, what the costs are, and what we needed from our network in order to deliver. We concluded a major upgrade was required so all of our retail stores could go from 1MB network links to 10MB links. This upgrade greatly improved not only our capabilities but also our performance.”

As part of the migration process, Pazios strategically selected stores to test performance results. “We selected a cross-section of stores to receive the upgraded links. One of our stores included in the first batch of the migration process was ranked in the top 20 or 30 (based on sales), so not our best performing, but somewhere in the middle. We wanted to see how much of a difference these new links were going to make. They instantly shot up to being one of the top 5 stores across Australia, purely because of the network upgrade. That was a significant difference from a sales revenue perspective.”

The positive feedback continued, with comments from store and regional managers including a noticeable improvement in customer response times. Pazios asserts, “Instead of having customers sit there waiting for us,we are able to get on with our jobs, which is sales.” Pazios was happy the project was already achieving tangible results across the business, all whilst still in phase one of the rollout process. “We are heavily dependent on the network to deliver part of our long-term strategy of moving all our services to the cloud. This upgrade has given us the platform to undertake additional projects,” said Pazios.

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