Specialized Bicycle Components boosts application performance 17x, improves customer experience, and supports growth with engineered systems

Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. designs and manufactures bicycles, components, and cycling apparel for riders and cycling enthusiasts. It offers products in various categories, such as mountain, road, transport/fitness, path/gravel, dirt/park/street, kids, and equipment. The company sells its products through retailers and dealers globally.


Moving to Oracle SuperCluster and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance helps us all sleep better at night because the performance is 17 times faster than what we had in the past and we’ve accelerated application development and testing as well as backups. In addition, we are not fighting with vendors on different firmware and things to being updated as far as storage or networking. Everything is so integrated; it keeps running 24/7 without us worrying.

Ron PollardCIO, Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.

Business challenges

  • Enable the company to work effectively and efficiently with thousands of bicycle and sporting goods retailers and dealers globally as the company continues to grow rapidly
  • Ensure high performance and reliability of the company’s enterprise resource planning applications and business-to-business portal, the channel through which commercial customers place more than 70% of the company’s orders for bicycles, components, and apparel
  • Accelerate application development and testing and implement a backup, disaster recovery, and archiving environment to protect business data and comply with regulatory requirements
  • Drive continuous IT innovation to increase operational efficiency
  • Modernize IT infrastructure while reducing complexity and costs, and ensure scalability to support continued growths
  • Enhance the company’s ongoing journey of sustainability by extending this initiative to its IT organization

Why Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc. chose Oracle

“The Oracle solution demonstrated and exceeded performance criteria on all 30 of the processes we evaluated. In addition, the Oracle team helped us simplify other critical processes─such as backing up data, utilizing highly economical tape storage for archiving, and meeting other compliance requirements─using Oracle SuperCluster, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, and other parts of the Oracle stack working in concert. Oracle has been a key component of Specialized since 1996. We innovate with our technology and choose wisely. And that's why we've chosen Oracle as our partner throughout all these years.”
—Ron Pollard, CIO, Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.


Specialized began installation on March 1, conducted and completed the proof of concept on April 15, and went live on May 15 with its online catalog in 16 countries in time for peak cycling season. “Our implementation was tremendously fast. We knew we could do it because we had a talented team working with us,” Pollard said.

Specialized migrated datacenter operations to a co-location facility, and used Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance to move its data from the old facility to the new one.

“We decided on a one-and-done conversion. After conducting final global testing, we planned to shut down for four days in May. We finished early, coming back online in just three days. It was a very rewarding experience and required the commitment of our team as well as Oracle Advanced Customer Support to ensure success,” Pollard said.

“Having gone through five home remodels, I learned to expect surprises. We avoided them with Oracle SuperCluster. We knew the technology. We knew the integration that we needed to do on Oracle SuperCluster and what its capabilities were. And we had a team that was focused on success,” Pollard said.

Oracle Advanced Customer Support installed and configured the Oracle SuperCluster environment, assisting with on-site support throughout the process.

For the company’s Oracle Exalytics implementation, Specialized wanted to run Oracle E-Business Suite, Enterprise Edition, Oracle Essbase, and Oracle Hyperion applications on the same Oracle Exalytics box. It also required production, staging, and development environments. Since Oracle’s best practices called for a maximum of four virtual machines, the team completed a series of technical calls with Oracle engineering and support to help design a configuration that Oracle supported, and which satisfied test, development, and production needs for Specialized.

  • Used Oracle engineered systems to modernize the company’s IT infrastructure and data center, going live with the company’s online catalog portal in time for the peak cycling season and shortening planned downtime from four to three days—a 25% decrease
  • Achieved 17x improved performance over legacy environment with Oracle SuperCluster, dramatically accelerating critical business processes and reports, such as a month-end account reconciliation report, which runs in 20 minutes as opposed to 20 hours
  • Accelerated month-end close from seven days to five days with faster reporting for better financial insight
  • Boosted the company’s competitive advantage with real-time, reliable insight into its inventory of bicycles, components, and biking apparel
  • Accelerated shipment of bicycles and components and drove higher sales with instant customer order placement and confirmation
  • Strengthened customer relationships thanks to exponentially faster Oracle E-Business Suite application transactions and improved portal performance
  • Accelerated business insight with the ability to clone databases used for business analytics 12x faster with Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2
  • Backed up database 53x faster with Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2—completing full database backup in nine minutes versus eight hours
  • Ensured rapid set up of development, disaster recovery, and archiving environment running on Oracle SuperCluster, Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2, Oracle Secure Backup, and Oracle StorageTek SL150 modular tape library
  • Improved database performance as the company manages more than 60 TB of data with Oracle SuperCluster on Oracle Solaris, coupled with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance
  • Cut storage system costs 2x while boosting performance 20% with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance over legacy NetApp environment
  • Streamlined vendor and system management—consolidating from three vendors to one—and accelerated datacenter transformation with Oracle engineered systems, which avoided vendor conflict and confusion regarding versioning and patching
  • Achieved substantial savings in the datacenter due to application, system, and storage consolidation, resulting in reduced power and energy costs
  • Simplified IT management, optimized performance, and accelerated return on investment with Oracle applications—including Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Agile Product Lifecycle Management, and Oracle Hyperion Planning—running on Oracle engineered systems
  • Consolidated Oracle Hyperion Planning, Oracle Essbase, and Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition onto a single Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine and reduced costs while improving enterprise performance management and business intelligence capabilities
  • Worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Support to go live rapidly on the new infrastructure in time for the summer cycling season—ensuring business continuity
  • Ensured high performance as well as 24/7 professional monitoring with Oracle Platinum Services
  • Migrated all hardware to Oracle SuperCluster and rapidly moved to a new datacenter supporting global operations, thanks to Oracle engineers
Published:January 1, 2018