If you want your customers to have a seamless shopping experience no matter where they are or what device they’re using, but you’re stuck with a black box legacy system like Oracle ATG, you may think a true omnichannel experience is beyond your reach.
We have helped many of the top retailers in the US to create true omni-channel experiences for their customers. Many of them poured thousands of hours and millions of dollars into customizing, integrating and tuning it, but legacy systems just don’t meet your needs anymore -- and their makers aren’t helping to resolve the issues. Instead of modernizing it, Oracle has Many retailers have found that their mission-critical commerce platform has turned into a monolithic black box impervious to innovation and ridiculously expensive to maintain. Go to the cloud? What cloud? Despite a few workarounds that may allow some cloud implementations, legacy systems have your company stuck in a fog so thick it may feel like you’ll never find a way out.
Replatforming to a microservices platform can help you achieve your goals as you migrate off of ATG. And we can show you how.
Why are we telling you about this now? When we first warned, back in 2017, that it was time to get off of ATG, we showed how the platform failed to support real-time inventory, couldn’t scale catalog services and crippled efforts to use the cloud to meet peak performance needs.
What we said then is more accurate now than ever. Hemmed in by ATG -- more on how coming up -- many large retailers already have migrated off this legacy platform. We believe many more are moving in that direction today, some to avoid renewing their licenses in the near-term and others to dump their data center leases as they migrate onto the cloud.
Nonetheless, many companies feel stuck because they think re-platforming is too time-consuming, risky and expensive even to consider it. But after years helping numerous retail clients get out from under ATG’s ponderous burdens, we’ve discovered that the experience doesn’t have to take long, isn’t particularly risky, and can cost less than sticking with ATG.
Let’s explore in detail why ATG no longer makes the grade:
What retailers actually want is a unified omnichannel platform, something legacy ATG struggles to be. But that’s where a headless microservices commerce component option can shine. It can be deployed in the cloud and at the edge, with UI components to cover the web, mobile apps, and the point of sale.
But the rapid pace of technological change makes less monolithic approaches more appealing. Instead, an API-first, headless commerce solution built on microservices is becoming the new e-commerce platform of choice.
Here are some of the key technology strategy principles to keep in mind:
As you build around your purchased pieces to weave together that mixed solution, we suggest focusing on these key build principles:
Once you’ve decided to re-platform, there are two main paths to accomplish this headless commerce component approach -- rapid and incremental.
Rapid re-platforming over the course of just a few months or at most a year involves one big-bang release of the new platform without any interim steps. The key business drivers behind this admittedly riskier approach are costs -- either your ATG license is about to expire or the lease is ending on your data center. If you don’t want to throw any more money at your legacy system, rapid re-platforming spins up your new headless component platform in a jiffy.
Benefits: You make the leap to a modern platform quickly, getting out from under expensive data center leases and ongoing ATG costs.
But speed isn’t always of the essence. In fact, slow and steady may be the better approach.
Incremental re-platforming can take up to three years, slowly stripping away services from ATG with the ultimate goal of getting rid of the legacy platform entirely. Working methodically, you can identify which domains and features require customization and then develop each component one by one, conducting A/B testing as you go along.
Focus first on components that can best take advantage of scalability and cloud resources, or areas requiring the most significant change because of new functional or performance requirements. Good initial candidates could include services that are loosely connected to the rest of the system or that require expensive licenses that can be retired after the transition.
Benefits: Incremental re-platforming involves much less risk; it’s easy to back out a change if a problem crops up because ATG is still in place until you get the new component functioning. A key benefit to moving incrementally is that you can A/B test each component as you go along, verifying the value of the change and bolstering the overall business case for re-platforming.
An additional benefit is that transition costs are split across several budget cycles, easing the financial sting of the process. Ultimately, this slow and steady approach is less disruptive, allowing ATG to remain in place until it’s no longer needed.
The advantages are clear: A headless commerce component approach provides a modern e-commerce platform that legacy ATG just can’t achieve. If you want to lower costs, increase your flexibility, enjoy differentiated experiences and deploy your choice of best-of-breed tools, it’s time to move beyond a purely build or buy scenario. Sound too risky? Engage an experienced engineering services company like Grid Dynamics that’s been through the process and knows how to guide you around any potential hazards.
In addition to building your differentiated solutions, a company like ours acts as an accelerator to decrease the overall cost of implementation and reduce time to deployment. Once you’ve got your customized components sorted, you can buy commodity pieces from best-of-breed platforms to fill in gaps.
Get in touch with Grid Dynamics for a streamlined re-platforming experience.