The authors want to thank Shishir Saha, product manager for IBM Sterling Order Management, for his contributions.
Many retailers and distributors are embarking on a digital transformation to modernize and scale their order management system (OMS). This focus is often central to their omnichannel strategy of providing a simplified purchasing process for their customers. Most companies are evaluating their ability to respond more quickly and accurately to product requests. To transform operations, retailers and distributors must build the right foundation. First, they must improve network infrastructure to support high-speed communications between stores and headquarters to enable real-time syncing of data. From there, they can integrate online and offline data for real-time visibility to provide shoppers with inventory accuracy at the point of commerce and support stakeholders with greater access to inventory insights.
Retailers recognize that inventory management is key to omnichannel operations and ensuring accuracy around available-to-promise inventory. Yet, IDC’s Transforming the Store: Results of the 2022 Global Retail Operating Model Survey revealed that only 12% of those surveyed report having a fully integrated shopping experience that’s consistent across touch points. Legacy ways of doing business aren’t always up to the task, and this fact is driving businesses to invest more in technology every year. For retailers and distributors that are ready to adopt a cloud-first strategy and build the right foundation for their OMS and fulfillment systems, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides the most complete solution and connected architecture for retail operations as well as superior cloud economics.
At Oracle, we count many of the largest and most recognizable global retailers among our customers. We’ve seen many of these retailers accelerate their cloud investments, continue to innovate for the customer, and set the course for long-term growth and resilience. Guitar Center Inc., America’s largest musical instrument retailer, moved most of its core systems, including its e-commerce platform and warehouse management system, to OCI to ensure scaling and uptime. They prioritized migrating critical systems, including IBM Sterling Order Management, to seamlessly handle shopping and traffic surges, like Black Friday. They selected OCI, including Oracle Exadata Database Service, for its performance, availability, security, and ability to adjust capacity based on demand.
IBM Sterling Order Management is an industry-leading order management platform that businesses use as the core solution for omnichannel order fulfillment, integrated with e-commerce platforms, point-of-service (POS), and surrounding systems like payment providers, carrier aggregators, warehouse management systems (WMSes), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The solution provides centralized, near-real-time visibility across inventory, order, and delivery status to help deliver an extraordinary consumer experience. By migrating IBM Sterling Order Management to OCI, our customers have improved their infrastructure strategy to bring resiliency to their commerce core, meet peak demand, and scale out when necessary. Key outcomes include the following examples:
Improved availability: 99.95% system availability
Improved performance: Three-times better performance compared to on-premises
No disruptions: Achieved zero impact to app functionality and business availability while migrating
Cost savings: Up to 60% reduction in infrastructure costs compared to on-premises
Accelerated cloud journey: With Oracle Cloud Lift Services, critical workloads can be moved in weeks instead of months.
The OCI Architecture Center showcases three verified deployments of IBM Sterling Order Management Software. Each reference architecture introduces a platform topology, using architectural diagrams, a component overview, and recommendations for best practices, including availability, performance, security, and costs.
This reference architecture provides an overview to deploy containerized IBM Sterling Order Management Software in an Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) cluster, delivering a highly available and scalable production-ready Kubernetes cluster to deploy containerized applications in the cloud. Deploying IBM Sterling Order Management Software in an OKE cluster allows the application to integrate with other OCI managed services easily to simplify the deployment further. The full reference architecture is available in the Architecture Center.
This customer inspired reference architecture illustrates a multicloud split-stack deployment, connected by the dedicated low-latency and high-bandwidth Oracle Interconnect for Azure. This global retailer started their cloud migration by first moving their application stack to Microsoft Azure and leaving Oracle Databases on-premises. The majority of these priority systems––point-of-sale, e-commerce, and IBM Sterling Order Management System––all ran on Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), which OCI natively supports.
As they explored options for moving their Oracle Databases from on-premises to the cloud, they recognized the benefits of running Oracle Database on OCI including a simplified upgrade path, optimized performance, and enhanced security. After upgrading and migrating their database to OCI with minimum downtime, the IBM Sterling Order Management System application tier on Azure was connected to the database tier on OCI using Oracle Interconnect for Azure which provides low-latency connectivity of less than 2 ms. This multicloud architecture has enhanced the customer experience by delivering the fast e-commerce application performance that’s crucial for giving shoppers a smooth experience browsing and buying products. The full reference architecture is available in the Architecture Center.
This final customer inspired reference architecture shows a highly available web application running on OCI with redundant resources distributed across two availability domains in one OCI region. In this scenario, IBM Sterling Order Management System is using Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI, and all tiers of the stack are deployed in the primary (active) environment across three fault domains, with a redundant topology deployed as a standby (nonactive) environment in another availability domain in the same region. If the primary instance is unavailable for any reason, traffic is routed to the standby instance. A full description of this architecture is available in the Architecture Center.
Planning your installation involves considering your deployment, architecture, performance needs, and requirements for high availability. Before building your environment, determine the preferred method for deploying IBM Sterling OMS. You can use Oracle Cloud Migrations to automate the migration of VMs from on-premises environments to OCI or install a new deployment of IBM Sterling OMS in your environment.
Distributed order management systems require integration with other systems to deliver products from the most efficient location while optimizing order fulfillment across a complex network of warehouses, brick-and-mortar stores, fulfillment centers, and partner locations. Oracle also supports a broad ecosystem of solution providers run on OCI, including independent software vendors, independent hardware vendors, and system integrators. The OCI Verified Technology Solutions site provides an illustrative list of applications and tools that have been verified to work with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
As our customers set the course for long-term growth and resilience, the most successful ones engage with cloud specialists from the start. Oracle offers specialized services to help you with planning, architecting, prototyping, and managing cloud migrations. We encourage you to work with your Oracle sales representative to talk through the details of your plans. You can also contact us for more information.
Nicole is an accomplished marketing professional with experience in product launches, retention strategies, lead generation planning and execution, and sales enablement. She came to Oracle through the acquisition of Responsys in 2014. In her previous Customer Success role, she managed Enterprise customer engagements and drove product adoption by providing her customers value at every interaction and building trust.
Wei Han is the multicloud product marketing manager for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. He has over 20 years of experience implementing, supporting, marketing, and selling Oracle products. Wei has led global delivery teams at large system integrators like IBM, AT&T, and Kyndryl to support customer ERP applications in cloud migration, modernization, and life cycle management. He joined Oracle in 2021 and has focused on multicloud solutions related areas such as networking, database, data analytics, integration, and security.