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Core provided some great advice to the guys on my team so that they could take things further.

Tom Bennett IT Services & Infrastructure Manager, HomeAway Inc.


Company profile

Headquartered in Austin Texas with offices in the UK, Europe, Australia and Brazil, HomeAway Inc. is the worldwide leader in online holiday property rentals. With more than two million listings in 190 countries, it connects holidaymakers with home owners and property managers, allowing them to enjoy a break without the cost of traditional hotel accommodation and letting homeowners and managers advertise and handle bookings online. The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2005 and now has more than 1,200 staff.


As an online-focused company, email is critical to the way HomeAway does business. In 2012, HomeAway’s London-based Global Corporate IT Services and Infrastructure Manager, Tom Bennett, made the decision to move the company’s email from an ageing on-premises Exchange 2003 solution to the cloud, specifically, Microsoft Office 365.

The challenge

HomeAway had historically used Exchange for email. After looking at different options, Bennett decided that Office 365 would be the ideal solution for the company. Bennett and his team knew what they wanted, but also knew they would need help to make it happen. They needed a consultancy with proven expertise in implementing a single sign-on Office 365 solution. To find one, HomeAway spoke to Microsoft, who recommended Core.

HomeAway talked to Microsoft, and Microsoft recommended Core. “When we approached Core we talked through the project, and got some advice on how we could approach it and how they could help” says Bennett. Core’s consultants provided a top-level project plan, which HomeAway then tailored to their own setup and timelines.

“It's not just about doing business, it's about making sure that your customers are happy and that there's a relationship between us.”

Tom Bennett IT Services & Infrastructure Manager, HomeAway Inc.

The Solution

HomeAway’s priority was to ensure that the new email solution not only worked, but that his in-house engineers were left feeling comfortable with the technology. Core's consultants provided a top-level project plan for HomeAway, which they then tailored to their own setup and timelines.

Over a period of a month, Core provided eight days of hands-on consultancy and guidance, with Core’s specialist setting the process in motion and guiding the in-house team. After a few days, they checked in to see whether the action points had been met.

Working in-house or through remote sections, Core’s consultant talked HomeAway’s engineers through what was needed, ensuring they would have the necessary skills to support the system in the future. As with any large-scale migration there were some challenges, but the team – with help from Core – met everyone. Throughout, Core provided expertise, information, best practice tips and guidance, enabling the team at HomeAway to meet its deadlines.

The company’s innovative approach to a robust single sign-on, with DNS load balancing and traffic management across servers in the US and EU,helped the company achieve a near 100% uptime there. HomeAway came up with the solution, and Core helped them build a successful implementation.

Why Core

Tom Bennett, IT Services and Infrastructure Manager, HomeAway

“We wanted a best of breed solution and we’re an Exchange shop originally, so in terms of the transition of skills for our current support team, it was easier than moving to a different vendor.”

“Office 365 is a new platform with a new approach, and we knew we would have to change in terms of how we did things. We were really looking for a consultant who could come in, and had been there and done that for a company of our size.”

“[Core's consultant] coached our internal engineering staff through the process. He certainly provided some great advice to the guys on my team so that they could take things further.”

“With anything that comes down the line, we feel that we have a relationship now where we can pick up and phone, ask the question, and Core will either come back to us or point us in the right direction. It's not just about doing business; it's about making sure that your customers are happy, and that there's a relationship between us."


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