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​​Empowering c​ustomers to move to migrate to the cloud

Based in Austin Texas but with offices in the UK, HomeAway Inc. is the worldwide leader in online holiday property rentals. With nearly seven million listings in over 168 countries, it connects holidaymakers with home owners and property managers, making it easier for holidaymakers to relax and enjoy their break without the cost of traditional hotel accommodation, and for home owners and managers to advertise and handle bookings online.

As an online-focused company, email is critical to the way HomeAway does business. Founded in 2005, the company has grown rapidly, with over 1200 employees spread across the US, Europe, Australia and Brazil. 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.

Having looked at a couple of different options, he settled on Microsoft Office 365. 

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.​​​​​

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

Core's hands on app​​roach

Then, 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, guiding the in-house team, then checking in after a few days 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 every one. Throughout, Core provided expertise, information, best practice tips and guidance, enabling the team at HomeAway to meet its deadlines.

Meanwhile, 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, is helping the company achieve a near 100% uptime there. HomeAway came up with the solution, and Core helped them build a successful implementation.

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 isn’t just pleased with the success of the migration, but with the company’s experience with Core. 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. He feels that Core helped achieve that. And if anything should come up in the future? 

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.


      Microsoft Office 365