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Optimising hosting services is Austria’s largest online classified advertisement portal with over 4 million ads in real estate, cars & motors, jobs & careers, and its own market place for private listings. The portal offers users a platform on which suppliers and prospective customers can find each other quickly and easily. The company was formed in 2006 as a subsidiary of two large media corporations, Schibsted (Norway) and Styria (Austria), and has since become the largest service provider in Austria.


Initial situation / Challenges

Willhaben’s starting point can be summarised as follows:

  • Growing hosting infrastructure which is based on past CAPEX investments and current OPEX contracts
  • Extremely high requirements and SLAs since the website is the heart of the company and every second of downtime equals lost revenue
  • Huge traffic increase in recent years due to the company’s two-digit percentage growth
  • High levels of satisfaction with a long-standing, external hosting service provider


The following project objectives were defined for INVERTO:

  • Benchmarking of current conditions based on the INVERTO benchmarking database, as well as current hosting market data
  • Negotiating a new, transparent framework contract based on individual statements of work, service level agreements (SLAs) and growth-orientated pricing
  • Setting up a three-scenario approach for the future IT hosting strategy

Measures prior to invitation to tender

In the run-up to the re-tendering of hosting services, measures were taken such as:

  • Readjustment of requirements and SLAs based on future needs, taking into account traffic growth
  • Creation of a price request grid on an individual component basis to allow like-for-like comparison of service components
  • Pre-briefing service providers from all over Austria about the increase in competition

Tender procedure

The tender procedure was carried out in the following steps:

  • Setting up a price/performance comparison based on the INVERTO benchmark database and the tender results in Austria
  • Negotiation preparations with the customer and drafting the key points and strategy
  • Workshops with top two service providers to ensure high quality standards and comparability of offers
  • Challenges: Several rounds of negotiations, internal opposition based on many years of cooperation and dependency on the external service provider (infrastructure setup)
  • Price/performance comparison based on providers’ different SLAs, services and billing types
  • Findings: Service provider workshops and top management attention crucial to the final round of negotiations and negotiation breakthrough


The results of the optimisation process can be summarised as follows:

  • Results directly improving EBIT in 2017
  • Evaluation of three scenarios for the future hosting and service provider strategy of SMG
  • Improvement to SLAs (including introduction of spatial redundancy), integration of a benchmarking clause, re-specification of service components as well as conclusion of a framework agreement
  • Knowledge/information gain for the customer from supplier workshops
  • Growth-orientated pricing and high quality standards


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