Launched in 1998, Autotrader.com is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. With a goal of connecting buyers and sellers in the automotive marketplace, Autotrader.com lists about 3 million new, used and certified pre-owned vehicles for sale from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers. Through Autotrader.com, consumers can buy and sell their autos and access a robust research and compare portal, and dealers can access a community site allowing them to manage their online inventory. Major car manufacturers and dealers place ads on the site to reach the more than 15 million unique monthly visitors.
As a long-time Akamai customer, Autotrader.com has implemented a number of Akamai cloud services over the years. However, over time it became clear that numerous departments within Autotrader.com could better understand the services being used, additional services available to them under their current contract and how to engage these services. Mark Tuttle, Senior Manager of Engineering for Autotrader.com, found himself fielding every internal question about issues or concerns related to Akamai cloud services, whether real or perceived.
Autotrader.com needed to meet three key requirements to support its objectives:
Since signing up for Akamai Premium Service & Support, Autotrader.com is extracting more value from Akamai cloud services. “Due to the ease and reliability of Akamai service integrations, we found ourselves delivering a solution and then focusing on the next project. While we benefited from those services, we weren’t maximizing their potential value over time,” says Tuttle. Premium Service & Support experts provide high-touch managed implementation and work with Autotrader.com technical professionals to continually fine-tune the Akamai services to best meet the company’s evolving needs. In addition, Autotrader.com is always seeking ways to streamline operations and improve its site. “With Akamai Premium Service & Support as an extended resource, we are better able to apply best practices and continually tune and optimize our application configurations,” continues Tuttle.
Autotrader.com’s web application teams can easily engage Akamai as needed, allowing application and project teams the opportunity to review how new or current Akamai cloud-based solutions can interact with and enhance their web products. “By providing our technical professionals with direct access to Akamai Premium Service & Support, we are better positioned to jump-start new initiatives and ensure that product enhancements are developed in accordance with Akamai best practices – even when managing multiple initiatives simultaneously. Akamai’s experts are extremely responsive, enabling us to move forward with projects without delay,” says Tuttle.
Because Premium Service & Support guarantees the fastest levels of response from Akamai, Autotrader.com’s calls and support cases are routed to the top of the queue. This is right in line with the service level Tuttle expects. “By leveraging external resources, I am better able to work across organizational lines and wear many hats. As such, I seek out and value vendor relationships that provide a concierge level of partnership. The level of support delivered by Akamai Premium Service & Support enhances the trust and interactions between our companies.”
As part of its Premium Service & Support contract, Autotrader.com has access to formal training conducted by Akamai experts. Many Autotrader.com employees have taken advantage of instructor-led courses that provide hands-on training designed to help Akamai customers extract the most value from their Akamai investment. “Through Akamai training, our employees have increased their knowledge about the Akamai platform and how to use it most effectively. Plus, the Premium Service & Support team is available to help our technical personnel put their training into action,” explains Tuttle.
In the past, a number of Autotrader.com’s employees did not fully understand how Akamai’s platform and cloud services work or how to engage those services. Some continued to focus on expanding web and image infrastructure capacity to handle peak load within their data-center walls. “Akamai offloads our origin servers of 80-90% of web traffic, and is a key part of our data-center growth management strategy. Akamai training and lunch-and-learns helps our managers and executives gain a better understanding of this value. Plus, our leaders gain confidence in how Akamai can support us and help us continually raise the bar,” concludes Tuttle.
Autotrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. Autotrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private owners. The site attracts about 15 million unique monthly visitors. Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, Autotrader.com unites new and used car buyers and sellers online to improving the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. Autotrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.