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Digital Transformation

Cloud sustains Intrepid’s growth and streamlines tasks for firstline workers

Intrepid Group was one of Australia’s first global travel businesses and it’s now the world’s largest provider of small group adventure travel.

It’s also been fiercely committed to responsible and sustainable travel from day one.

Each year our global team of 1,600-plus people working in 30 countries around the world strives to give more than 300,000 global travellers an Intrepid experience that is a perfect fit for them and gentle on the planet.

Our travellers are tracking rhinos on foot in Matabos National Park; dodging icebergs in Zodiacs; and exploring Mayan ruins. Every trip delivers an authentic travel experience and an opportunity to forge lifelong connections.

Because all of us here are Intrepid travellers – the company provides each of us with the opportunity to take a five day educational travel trip each year – our insights and experience feed into our Intrepid knowledge-base so that the advice we provide to customers is based on genuine experience.

When the business was first set up in Melbourne almost 30 years ago it was a tight-knit, small team all focussed on that one thing. Today Intrepid is a truly global enterprise – but we still want to keep the intimate connections between our staff and our travellers – that’s where the cloud comes in.

Cloud offers us a sustainable approach to computing, it gives us global reach and is immensely flexible

First of all it helps make our product accessible to more people through online and social channels. It supports staff with more streamlined processes – allowing them to get to customers faster and find the right trip for the right customer through our knowledge base, and then support them on their trip.

Cloud solutions are just making it so much easier to meet customer expectations and grow our business in a responsible way.

Cloud based transformation is also helping us maintain Intrepid’s organisational culture and support our firstline workers as we grow.

Having Office 365, makes everyday work so much easier and more productive for our people. Yammer keeps us close – it’s a home for company announcements, HR and marketing news, a place to share pictures from the road, and is home to really lively social clubs so we really get to know one another.

When you are in a global company it’s hard to get to know people on the other side of the world – but we really can do that through Yammer.

We’re also using Office 365’s StaffHub to streamline rostering. Now our teams have an app on their smartphone that syncs to our cloud to let them see their rosters, swap shifts with one another and have much more control of their working lives.

Because we’re cloud based I run a very lean technology infrastructure team – just two people for the whole business. It means the rest of my 66 IT team can focus on more high-value work for the business. We have a centralised IT services team providing global support for our employees 24/7 from Sri Lanka. We connect with them via Skype – again it keeps us a close knit team.

This IT services group also uses StaffHub to streamline rostering which is important for a small team that works three shifts to provide round-the-clock support to the entire Intrepid community wherever they are in the world. StaffHub offers flexibility without service compromise.

Importantly for Intrepid, because we’re cloud based we can also grow much faster. We want to be a $1 billion company by 2025 but also stay true to our commitment to purpose-beyond-profit.

We want to grow donations to the Intrepid Foundation to more than $3 million by 2020 because we’re not just about travel – we’re about people and culture and giving back to the communities we visit.

A critical part of my role is to continually explore technology options to transform the lives of our staff and improve our service to our travellers. Cloud based solutions make life much easier for all of our firstline teams – they can access information wherever and whenever they want, they have more control over their working lives, and they can provide travellers with a truly meaningful Intrepid experience.