High Tech


The world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK, enhances employee experience and bolsters security with Kisi

6 min reading time

Kayak logo

Story shared by

Tom Parker


Andrew Bolton

IT Director

Jace Cangiano

IT Engineer

  • Before Kisi

  • Unwieldy management system operated from an on-premise computer.

  • Disruptive access and operations with lost and forgotten keycards.

  • IT and office managers engaged in routine tasks.

  • After

  • Modern access control system that can be managed remotely from a single pane of glass.

  • Immaculate user experience where employees unlock doors with their phone they never forget at home.

  • Automated on- and off-boarding processes and mobile credentials stimulate productivity.

As the world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK processes billions of queries across its platforms each year, helping millions of travelers around the globe make confident travel decisions. Supporting travelers in finding the right flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages, KAYAK is aligned with Kisi’s mission of connecting people and spaces.

The passion for secure spaces where connection, collaboration, and seamless user experience are top priority was evident when talking with KAYAK’s Tom Parker, CISO, Andrew Bolton, IT Director, and Jace Cangiano, IT Engineer. Growing from a small tech company into an enterprise spanning across international brands and locations, KAYAK is always on the lookout for modern solutions that streamline operations and boost employee experience, like Kisi access control.

I care so much about collaboration and experience. Everything I do, I take that into consideration. For me, Kisi is about being sure that we have the least impact on employee experience and support agility, innovation, and productivity.

Tom Parker


Solving the challenge of cumbersome keycard management with Kisi

Kitchen area in a Kayak office

"Using an outdated management system, built in the days of Windows XP, is difficult and really hard to do", according to Tom. KAYAK admins needed to log into a computer to actually manage anything. As a modern, cloud-based access system, Kisi enables admins to manage everything remotely behind a single pane of glass and automate a substantial part of it.

Dealing with keycards as access credentials proved inconvenient. As Tom shares, "People lose their cards all the time. People forget to bring them. They leave them in their pants when they go through the wash. No one forgets to bring their phone to the office. In fact, if people leave and forget their phone at home, they’re probably going to go back home and get it. So mobile access makes so much sense."

Kayak's Berlin office secured by Kisi

Tom turned to Kisi for a modern, innovative solution. “Kisi is not only listening to feedback but is also open to building custom features,” says Tom.

Kisi is a company that aligns with us in both our values and our way of doing business. And it really vetted together from the start. The product itself, the Okta integration, having that level of control, and the potential to go cardless. Also, the potential to have better security around access control and to have way better guest management.

Andrew Bolton

IT Director

Gradual migration path and customizable deployment options

KAYAK (and its sister brand OpenTable) operate globally across 22 offices and the goal is to connect these offices through Kisi.

While they had a full deployment in their Kaunas, Lithuania office, covering all the internal doors and a connection to the car park, they use Kisi's customizable deployment options to tackle the landlord barrier in some of the US offices.

KAYAK's Zurich office secured by Kisi access control

Andrew takes the gradual approach, "What we end up doing is having Kisi internally while people still need their manual cards to get in the building. Of course, we can then manage these cards with Kisi. This puts the cards behind Okta, which helps with a lot of the existing problems. We then have automation and control with granting access to people."

The Copenhagen office, on the other hand, is the perfect ground for the complete Kisi solution, "We can install the system from the streets into the office, and the office in Copenhagen is over three floors. It has about 15 entryways and elevators. It's a very complex building space, and we have the green light to do whatever we need to do", says Andrew.

People working in a Kayak office

The advantages of managing access with Kisi

Besides the deployment possibilities, another attractive option for landlords is Apple Wallet access, given it is platform-independent, so there aren't any problems with different keycards or standards. Integrating with Kisi can be especially easy and fruitful for landlords using VTS, building management, and tenant experience apps.

The Kisi-secured KAYAK locations enjoy:

  • No forgotten cards at home, thanks to the mobile credentials
  • Automated on- and off-boarding with the Okta integration
  • Increased productivity for IT and office managers
  • Enhanced employee experience

Let’s dive into the specifics.

KAYAK's Kaunas office secured with Kisi access control

Mobile access

KAYAK employees waiting in front of the office can be a thing of the past, thanks to Kisi's mobile credentials. This is one of the biggest motivators to migrate to Kisi in all locations.

"With Kisi this doesn’t happen. But it happens once a week when someone comes on Slack in the office channel and says: 'Hi, I forgot my keycard at home. Can someone come and let me in.' With Kisi no one is going to do that, since everyone is going to have their phone.

Tom Parker


Mobile access ensures convenience and can enhance security, given that everyone can account for their cell phone, which can't be said about keycards.

Automated on- and off-boarding with Okta

The Okta integration is essential in bolstering security and streamlining operations, enabling the KAYAK IT and office managers to focus on their core activities. This Kisi integration automatically grants access privileges to people onboarded in Okta and revokes access to the ones terminated in Okta.

This improves the onboarding experience for new employees, reinforcing the KAYAK culture and just how modern the company is. On the other hand, it reduces security risk by ensuring former employees don't walk away with valid access credentials.

Person working on a laptop in KAYAK office

Streamlined access for increased productivity

Tom sums up the company-wide benefits of Kisi:

It’s better for our office manager, it’s better for our IT support team, it’s better for employees. It’s a win-win-win for everyone. All the teams.

Tom Parker


The streamlined on- and off-boarding processes we talked about save time while ensuring swift transitions for employees. The user-friendly Kisi dashboard reduces the administrative burden, enabling admins to create different user groups and automation and assign permissions as needed.

Using mobile credentials instead of easily misplaced keycards prevents unauthorized access, reducing the risk of data breaches and system compromises.

KAYAK's Concord office secured with Kisi access control

Enhanced employee experience

Tom is also focused on the employee experience. "We really enhance our employee experience. It’s a factor when it comes to employee retention and employees feeling that this is a modern company doing modern things."

With Kisi, employees don't have to worry about forgetting or misplacing their credentials or waiting in front of the office to be let in. They enjoy the modern feel of unlocking doors with a wave of their hand.

KAYAK employees from offices that haven't rolled out Kisi yet are impressed by the mobile experience.

US employees travel to those offices, they've gone to Zurich, they've gone to Kaunas, and they come back, and they come up to me with their phone. They're like, when are we getting Kisi here? And I let them know I'm actively working on it.

Jace Cangiano

IT Engineer

"We see that the reaction from the employees is so positive. That shows that we made the right choice. That shows that Kisi was the right vendor for us.", adds Andrew.

The seamless user experience is complemented by frictionless, remote management on the admin side. Jace can grant guest employees access to branch offices on their phones in seconds wherever they are.

Ready for a seamless access experience?

The enhanced security, streamlined operations, and seamless user experience enable KAYAK employees to focus on their core and make it easier for everyone to experience the world.

As a cloud-based, scalable, future-proof solution, Kisi is the perfect access control system for any company that needs reliable security and a convenient user experience.

Want to see how Kisi can work for you? Contact our security experts for a complimentary consultation.

Enhance employee experience and security with Kisi

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