Guitar Center shifts enterprise systems to the cloud

The world's largest musical instrument retailer is moving its core systems to a new cloud-based database and infrastructure.
Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Guitar Center sign
Guitar Center is migrating its enterprise to the cloud.

The world's largest musical instrument retailer is moving its core systems to a new cloud-based database and infrastructure.

Guitar Center has migrated enterprise solutions including order management, warehouse management, demand forecasting, ERP, and e-commerce to Oracle Exadata Database Service and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). By moving its core systems to OCI, Guitar Center reports enterprise performance improvements of more than 30% and aims to save more than 40% in data platform expenses over the next three years.

In addition, with its inventory and catalog systems, ecommerce platform, and contact center technologies now running on OCI, Guitar Center is able to provide improved response times to customers while offering new omnichannel services.

Pandemic-related demand issues spur cloud migration

The COVID-19 pandemic created two contrasting challenges for Guitar Center First, global lockdowns led to product supply and customer demand challenges, and the subsequent reopening sparked a huge resurgence in demand. Guitar Center realized that it needed to upgrade its on-premises infrastructure in order to provide the scale, adaptability, and resiliency necessary to ensure uptime and successfully navigate swings in customer demand.

As a result, the retailer decided to move its infrastructure, customer-facing applications, and mission-critical workloads to the cloud, and selected the Oracle solutions for their scalability, security, and ability to adjust capacity based on demand.


"The past two years have been punctuated by massive fluctuations in customer demand, creating a 'bullwhip effect.' As we navigated the challenges, we realized that we needed to gain elasticity across our infrastructure so that it could be adjusted quickly based on business conditions," said Ravi Balwada, CTO, Guitar Center. "With OCI and its Exadata Database Service, we're able to operate a highly connected, distributed cloud environment without needing to re-platform our core systems. We've improved the efficiency of our systems and expect to be able to realize cost savings of more than 40 percent – while delivering new services and experiences to our customers."

"Few industries have faced more upheaval over the past two years than the retail sector, and retailers have had to become extremely resourceful in finding new revenue streams to grow their businesses," said Greg Pavlik, senior VP and CTO, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. "Guitar Center's move to the cloud highlights the flexibility and economic benefits that cloud technologies can deliver."

Guitar Center and its brands employ over 13,000 associates across more than 550 retail locations in the United States and online.

[Read more: Office Depot migrates data infrastructure to the cloud]