Feeds

Ending a nightmare - Overstock's data center journey

Saved by Teradata

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne refuses to believe that technology doesn't matter. The outspoken CEO watched as his computer systems crumbled in 2005, resulting in a customer service nightmare. Then, he watched data warehousing specialist Teradata barge into his computing center and save the day.

Before Overstock.com's IT meltdown, the online retailer had enjoyed a run of success thanks to its bizarre ads where a babe talked about "the big O" and thanks to solid customer service. That flirtation with good fortune ended as Byrne pushed his team to install a new Oracle ERP (enterprise resource planning) system in record time. As many of you know, Oracle is not to be trifled with and demands months, if not years, of fine-tuning. Byrne learned this lesson too late.

"Some things were going through okay and a lot weren't," he told us during a recent interview. "It was just spraying orders. Sometimes customers might not get a ship confirm. Sometimes the order might not flow through the system. Sometimes the order got misrouted."

You can see a picture of the ERP system as drawn by Byrne here.

We've documented - at length - the customer service debacle that followed as a result of this Oracle ERP implosion. Never one to run from issues, Byrne cops to the crisis.

"It was really my fault," he said. "I had us wait too long to upgrade the IT system and then pushed too hard to get a new one rolled out."

It's rare to see a CEO be so upfront.

The Big 'Oh Crap'

During the worst part of the IT meltdown, Overstock began manually sifting through data collected by its Teradata systems. This helped the company sort out orders that had gone wrong.

"We were really catching everything we needed to catch with the Teradata system," Byrne said.

Going through all this information by hand was painful and less than optimal, but at least Overstock had that option.

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.