Feeds

Ending a nightmare - Overstock's data center journey

Saved by Teradata

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

For the unfamiliar, Teradata sells a range of data warehousing products used to do everything from tracking inventory to performing complex analysis on sales data. It's become the gold standard in the industry with companies such as Wal-Mart and Dell celebrating Teradata for their ruthless supply chains.

These days the likes of Oracle, IBM and HP want to horn in on Teradata's business, so the soon to be released division of NCR has started to emphasize its fanciest features as advantages over rivals. That's where the Overstock.com story continues.

Overstock eventually sorted out its ERP system and now has a smooth running operation. Its customer service ranking has surged over the past couple of years, placing it as one of the top online retailers.

Overstock gives "customer aggravation points" set scores. A missing ship confirmation might count for 5 points, while and a missing product might count for 50. Meanwhile, a few missing MP3 players might count as a life altering experience.

In the IT horror story days, Overstock had an aggravation score of 5 million points. Now, it's down to a few hundred, according to Byrne.

Beyond just keeping track of orders, however, Overstock now uses Teradata for information on just about every aspect of its business.

"We have fantastic business intelligence now," Byrne said.

Byrne can get information on sales, all his widgets and gross profits that's just 30 seconds old. "We have a near real-time income statement," he said.

As a result, Overstock can now tweak its promotions, sales and customer programs on-the-fly.

Getting Over Overstock

It's a touching story and one we think is worth telling because of our past issues with Overstock's system.

As best as we can tell, the big boys have decided that data warehousing will be one of their big things moving forward. For example, HP has rolled out an entire produce line - Neoview - just to handle these tasks. (HP's CEO Mark Hurd (formerly of NCR) and CIO Randy Mott (an ex Dell and Wal-Mart man) have intimate knowledge of this technology.) So, it's only natural for Teradata to try and bring folks like Byrne out of the woodwork to discuss how its technology is not only more mature but also more forward thinking than that of rivals.

For the record, Byrne did not receive any kickbacks for spreading the Teradata good cheer. He felt he owed them some credit for stopping a disaster. Or at least that's what we were told.

As we left the interview room, we could hear Byrne repeating, "Give us another try this Christmas. Give us another try."

We don't think so, Patrick. But maybe our readers will. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.