Carolina Biological Supply Company is the first organization to participate in CommercePros’ Customer Spotlight. Find out why they chose Oracle Commerce to meet their organizational needs and why CommercePros is important to them.
Why did you choose Oracle Commerce?
We needed an enterprise-class platform that had best-of-breed e-commerce features and functionality (CMS, merchandising, dynamic marketing, promotion engine, pagination control, etc.), along with powerful B2B-specific functionality (order approvals, contractual pricing, tax exemption options, PO payments, etc.). Oracle Commerce was the only platform to bring everything we needed to the table, along with the ability to extend the feature set specifically for our business. The platform also features a best-in-class search engine — Endeca — along with its own powerful CMS (Experience Manager), which gives our business users more control over the on-site search and navigation experience, elevating key products, redirecting users to appropriate areas of our site based on their searches, and allowing the site’s pages to dynamically merchandise to our users.
What criteria factored into your decision to use?
Price, flexibility, feature set, established market presence, support base, reputable references, and stability.
How long have you used Oracle Commerce?
What version of Oracle Commerce are you using?
How long was installation?
The installation took about 10 months to complete.
What value has Oracle Commerce provided?
The features and functionality pitched for the platform have been delivered. It’s given our business users far more control over the site marketing and merchandising, allowed us to be more agile in our decision-making and changes, has provided our product and content data organizations the flexibility they need to focus on improved information (vs. the tasks required to deploy that content to the market) and much more.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Serious challenges with the integration layer between Oracle Commerce and our ERP, along with integrations to several third-party applications. Additionally, because the system is very broad and deep, there are often several “flavors” to accomplish a specific goal (such as a site enhancement). We often find ourselves customizing the platform, because it’s often difficult to establish the “intended” approach to building out a new feature.
Did you use any Oracle Commerce partners? If so, why?
Vachio Solutions Group was our original implementation partner and SI. We also recently began using the services of Zensar technologies for ongoing development and triage/support.
Have you upgraded your Oracle Commerce product since the original installation? If so, tell us about your experience.
Yes, in 2015. It was a rather painful process because we were one of the early customers to move to the version that combined Endeca into the Oracle Commerce codebase. We ran into several challenges, even when trying to bug-fix “out of the box” features.
Do you use the Oracle Commerce Cloud? Why or why not?
At the moment, OCC is too new and feature-deprived for us to consider its use. Additionally, the installed customer base (of truly successful OCC sites) is very small and we would want to see a high number of success stories, especially from companies that had complex or highly unique business models that forced them to customize or extend the OCC product to conform to their unique needs.
Is your Oracle Commerce product hosted internally or externally?
We use VSG and Zensar for ongoing maintenance, development and support.
Chad Petersen is an e-commerce professional with 18 years of experience leading enterprise B2C and B2B e-commerce and digital marketing organizations. His passion is building great teams that use class-leading technology to develop exceptional omnichannel engagement experiences for their customers.
Chad is the director of e-commerce for Carolina.com, a global supplier of hands-on science education products for Pre-K through Higher Education. Since 2007, Chad’s organization has been responsible for the innovation behind the company’s flagship website and online marketing, along with the infrastructure that supports the complex eProcurement needs of Carolina’s institutional customers.
Carolina.com, which runs on Oracle Commerce 11.1 and features Endeca search technology, is also seamlessly integrated with Oracle’s JDE/Enterprise One technology. In addition to being an Oracle customer, Chad has been the leader of the Oracle Commerce (ATG & Endeca) Special Interest Group (SIG) since 2014 and is a board member for Pipeline Pros (user group focused on Oracle Commerce products).
Prior to joining Carolina.com, Chad held e-commerce and marketing leadership positions at Things Remembered, Inc., a national retailer of personalized gifts. At Things Remembered, he was responsible for the company’s e-mail and search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, web analytics and served as the lead project manager for conversion-centric e-commerce projects.
Chad graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000 and holds an MBA from John Carroll University. He lives in Pittsboro, N.C. with his wife, Laura, daughter, Aubrey, and their beagles, Connick and Harriet. In addition to being an avid CrossFitter, he enjoys playing golf, cycling and ‘bleeds blue’ for his Michigan Wolverines.”