Switchfly

Switchfly’s technology empowers travel companies, loyalty programs, and financial services institutions to deliver a rich online experience to their customers. And they have the client list to prove it: American Airlines, United Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, American Express, PayPal … and the list goes on!

Switchfly and Nearsoft

Like most Nearsoft clients, Switchfly, Inc started with a very small team of two developers.

We didn’t know it at the time, but before they committed to work with Nearsoft, they evaluated our team against a team in Eastern Europe and another in Asia. All three teams started at the same time with similar tasks.

As Owen Tran, CTO, put it,

The Nearsoft guys got their task done before the others guys even started.

Since then, the Switchfly team at Nearsoft has grown quite a bit and it keeps growing right along with Switchfly’s success. This has been due to many reasons but key to this growth has been the cultural fit between the two companies which are people-centric, transparent, and honest.

The Switchfly Team at Nearsoft is now widespread in many internal initiatives, like,

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Encore

American Express is one of Switchfly’s biggest and oldest clients. It can be said they have grown and developed together. This explain that an entire portion of the Switchfly team is dedicated to American Express in an initiative called Encore.

Encontre is a call center system that used to run on legacy code providing telephone agents with options based only on command lines. It took about six months for every new employee to get a hang of the system.

With the update the development team rolled out (and keeps working on) the training time for a new agent is merely three months, it shrinked by 50%. It is also more reliable and has less errors.

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AirCom

AirCom is a very secret Research and Development (R&D) initiative. The team studies user behavior to very specific features that Switchfly offers when a traveler is booking their flight. For example, they take the most popular option when modifying a booking for more luggage or different sits that come at an extra cost. This way they can test which option is the most popular and create new features that can fit the users’ needs. In a way, it’s combining Switchfly’s existing services and capabilities to create something more attractive, then selling the possibility to airlines and travel providers.

AirCom is pushing the way for a new, more innovative way to offer bookings for travelers.

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Site Reliability Initiative

The SRI, also dubbed the Barracuda Team, is in charge of migrating the enormous and very old Switchfly platform from the Old Tech Stack (OTS) to a New Tech Stack (NTS). This is specially important since more reliability and stability of the Switchfly platform means faster and better search options for travelers and, travel providers (which are SWF clients).

What started out as a bootcamp to refactor code ended up in a full stack dev team that have been working for years in new, updated chunks of the system. They currently have control over production stability and User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

UAT is an isolated, hazard free environment to test new features and big changes on the Switchfly platform. So everytime there is a new release, the Barracuda team is set in place to make sure everything is going the way it was planned and doesn’t break the rest of the system.

All of this translates to updated UIs for Switchfly’s clients. David Aguiñaga, part of SRI, commented,

It’s no longer something outdated, the user experience is totally clean. Now travel providers have more freedom to offer travelers more things. End users can do everything they want more efficiently.

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Connectors

Switchfly as a company (and a service) relies on the seamless connection with it’s clients (travel providers) and third party vendors. The connector team is in charge of making this happen. They work on the backend for third parties like Expedia and Disney.

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