Travel booking website Expedia is supporting collaboration across its global workforce by deploying Dropbox Business to 18,000 staff, freeing its IT team from maintaining on-site file servers and fielding employee complaints.
Up until nine months ago, approximately 10,000 Expedia staff had been using Dropbox on an individual basis to share files.
© Dropbox Project Infinite
Speaking at Dropbox Open in London yesterday, Chris Burgess, VP of IT at Expedia, said that the company has now completed the deployment of Dropbox Business for its entire workforce. Burgess moved these 10,000 accounts over "seamlessly", enabling central management of accounts by IT staff.
"We have offices around the world and employees collaborating, so they work closely together across locations and use tools like Dropbox to simplify that very easily," said Burgess
Work Your Way
Burgess said that Expedia's vision as a company is to use technology to simplify the travel booking process for customers. This is mirrored by the firm's approach to providing consumer-friendly tools such as Dropbox.
"The corporate IT function is about getting out of the way of employees and allowing them to focus on product and innovating. We use technology to simplify their day at work," he said.
Part of this strategy is allowing employees to decide which mobile device or laptop they want to use, as part of a project he calls "work your way".
"We moved our model to give people the choice and just said 'we'll manage it', so cross-platform solutions [like Dropbox] are critical," he said.
Allowing employees to use the devices and software they are familiar with has been well-received by Expedia staff, Burgess said. "Working in an IT function you hear when things go wrong, but I've had a queue at the door asking for a Dropbox account."
While Expedia has invested in Dropbox as its main file sharing platform, Burgess told ComputerworldUK that the IT department can be flexible if staff chose other cloud platforms.
"Within reason we allow employees to use the tool they want. We offer choice and understand that Dropbox may not be for everyone, some people may be entrenched with another solution or we may acquire a company which is entrenched in another solution. So we try and simplify what we can by consolidating."
Another of the benefits of rolling out Dropbox business-wide is the ability to replace on-premise infrastructure. Burgess says his job is now about "consolidation of tools more than anything".
"We are a tech company but we are still fairly young so we don't have a lot of the legacy infrastructure, but its amazing how much you can acquire even in a short time. So deprecating legacy systems is also a key part," he said.
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