We all heard phrases like “no one ever got fired for buying Oracle,” which made sense when Oracle was the leading provider of all sorts of enterprise software. However, having had its fingers in too many pies, Oracle has recently decided to shift priorities and restructure its business, laying off hundreds of employees and killing several products in the meantime. According to multiple reports, one of those sunsetted solutions has been Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC), a highly decorated ecommerce product that only recently featured in many industry reports. Various accounts from insiders claim that apart from ensuring that OCC doesn’t fall apart, Oracle won’t be supporting its customers any further, essentially forcing them to urgently seek alternatives and replatform.
If you or your partners are looking for possible ecommerce solutions to replace Oracle Commerce, then Virto Commerce is the right platform.
We understand that replatforming is often perceived as a time-consuming, arduous journey, so we’ve prepared this short manual to guide you through this demanding process. With the correct platform, suitable tools, and reliable partners, replatforming can be easier than you think.
Why Is Choosing the Correct Platform Important?
Lest you end up going through replatforming again in a couple of years, you need to choose your ecommerce solution carefully. More often than not, we see companies choosing the wrong platforms for the wrong reasons, such as a sound brand name (think Oracle or IBM), low costs of a replatforming project, and so on. Moreover, most platforms featured in major industry reports from Gartner or Forrester are static platforms that continue to shape the market with massive marketing budgets.
Unfortunately, static solutions (and Oracle Commerce was one of them), having been born at a different time to solve problems of the past, are no longer up to the task of supporting continuously changing customer expectations. The speed of market change and customer demands have long shifted ecommerce technology in a completely different direction, toward more creative and agile platforms. Unlike static solutions, which become outdated within a couple of years of initial deployment, adaptable platforms can keep up with market expectations for much longer while also ensuring stable and predictable speed and cost of development during the entire platform lifecycle.
In order to avoid a painful cycle of replatforming every two to three years, it’s best to choose adaptable platforms that are designed for continuous change.
Unfortunately, there are no definitive criteria that can determine a platform’s adaptability, and a thorough analysis involving software engineers is recommended. A good rule of thumb is to think of the future rather than the “here and now” and check how easy it is to make changes or add different logic to the platform.
Another important benchmark is the frequency of delivery of new product releases. Modern agile standards require delivery of new changes at least once every two weeks. If you see more extended deadlines, then it’s a sign to reconsider.
Virto Commerce is also headless, modular, and composable, which means you can extend your digital ecosystem with new channels, quickly create new functional components, and seamlessly integrate with best-of-breed applications.
Virto Commerce offers multiple features right out of the box, including those that are specific to the B2B market, such as corporate account management, access controls, and contract-based catalog management, among other features. Thanks to Virto’s native extensibility framework, you can modify and add any functionality unique to your business.
Moreover, Virto Commerce provides its users access to a wider ecosystem of apps that complement the solution, including advanced search, product information management systems, payment processors, back-office systems, and more.
Virto Commerce also has a standalone marketplace application, Virto Marketplace, which connects to any existing ecommerce solution without replatforming and supports both single and multi-vendor marketplace models.
Because Virto Commerce has already done all the development heavy lifting for you, you can create truly bespoke ecommerce experiences using Virto Commerce as a code base and build anything on top of its commerce framework.
With Virto Commerce, replatforming will be truly a thing of the past – whatever features you need and scalability you require, you’ll be able to accomplish within the Virto Commerce application.
Now that you’ve chosen the Virto Commerce solution, it’s time to replatform.
We’ve broken the migration process into the following 5 steps.
1. Planning and preparation
During the planning stage, it’s important to define the business goals you plan to achieve by migrating to Virto Commerce.
Assess the current situation carefully, consider your strengths and weakness, and see if you can accomplish migration with in-house resources. If your development team has never replatformed before, it’s best to look for a technology partner, such as a reliable Systems Integrator (SI). An experienced SI will not only help you determine your objectives and estimate the total cost of ownership (TCO) pre- and post-migration but will also guide and support you through the entire migration process.
It’s important to find a partner who has migration projects in their portfolio lest you end up with an unseasoned team or unfinished project. Other important things to look out for are time estimates and the frequency of progress updates. For example, if your partner says the project will be accomplished within a year and a half, chances are it will never get finished. Same for updates – make sure you agree to receive iterative updates every 2-4 weeks to ensure the project is moving in the right direction.
Finally, a seasoned SI will help you to work out a plan and schedule migration activities accordingly.
During the discovery stage, teams work on a comprehensive analysis of the current and prospective systems, such as:
A thorough architectural review of the current ecosystem to understand processes, data flows, responsible individuals, and so on;
A careful review of things and processes to replace and save from the current system (Oracle Commerce);
An architectural reference of Virto Commerce and definitions of objectives to achieve.
At this stage, it’s important to thoroughly audit the current system with your partner, so they understand all your internal processes, procedures, and preferences. It’s crucial to retain systems and processes that have been performing well and transfer them to the new platform as-is or with updated functionality.
An effective discovery process will have a Gap Analysis, which examines Virto Commerce's native features and determines desired functionality (to develop). The resulting report will contain the appropriate items of focus and delivery goals for every sprint.
The implementation stage begins with deploying Virto Commerce environments and preparing DevOps.
The development includes four distinct stages:
Integrations with ERP, PIM, etc.
Migration offers a fantastic opportunity to reevaluate the overall user experience and improve such areas as mobile friendliness, accessibility, search engine optimization, and so on. You might also use this opportunity to completely re-design your storefront and improve the website usability.
Backend migration is a more arduous process that involves large quantities of data, so thorough planning prior to migration and consistent quality control and testing during the process are required.
Sometimes replicating existing functionality may not be necessary as Virto Commerce might recommend a better and more modern approach.
Thanks to its API-first nature and availability of low-code scenarios, integrations with Virto Commerce are easier and faster than with other platforms.
4. Launching a beta environment
After the development cycle is complete, the Virto team launches a beta environment, which works alongside the legacy platform, tests around 10% of customers, and collects their feedback. This is a good opportunity to turn your customers into allies as they can bring a lot of interesting and valuable insights about the new system. In an ideal scenario, both new and old systems work in production for a while so that customers can always fall back on the old system while developers troubleshoot the new one.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the final step and will soon reap the rewards of your hard work. When the new system has been thoroughly tested, you’re ready to go live and turn off the old environment (or put it in “read” mode).
eCommerce is all about changing market requirements, so it’s best to have an action plan for the foreseeable future. You can say that planning for the future is stage six, which in the context of ‘continuous delivery’ is really ongoing as you implement features by and by, constantly improving the platform and customer experience.
Now that you have an ongoing plan, you’re finally ready to enjoy your future-proof commerce store that’s running smoothly on the adaptable Virto Commerce platform.
Virto Commerce is the optimal solution for replatforming from Oracle Commerce. Choosing Virto Commerce now, you are paving your way toward a bright future where you can deliver whatever customers want whenever they require it.
Migrating to Virto Commerce can be achieved within as little as three months. Having a reliable SI partner really helps accelerate the process and ensure your commerce store goes to market as quickly as possible.