Overhead Door Opens to Cloud Innovation

The 96-year-old company has a hybrid estate, but sees the cloud as where future innovation is going.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

October 16, 2017

3 Min Read
Overhead Door Opens to Cloud Innovation

For Overhead Door, a big reason to move to the cloud is because that's where the innovation is happening.

The 96-year-old company is best known for its Genie brand automatic garage door openers, but makes a variety of doors, automatic and otherwise, for commercial, residential, healthcare and transportation uses.

Overhead Door employs more than 3,500 people, with 22 manufacturing facilities, 78 regional sales and service installation centers, and more than 5,000 distributors and dealers servicing national builders, architects, general contractors, homeowners and major retailers in the US and Canada. It's a subsidiary of Sanwa Holdings Corp. of Tokyo.

Overhead Door has a "broad footprint" in the Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) cloud, with Human Capital Management (HCM), Contact Center, Marketing Cloud for email marketing, and Service Cloud deployments, Overhead's chief information officer, Larry Freed, tells Enterprise Cloud News. Oracle arranged for us to meet with Freed at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this month.

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Overhead also has a significant on-premises Oracle investment, with E-Business Suite at the core as well as Oracle Transportation Management, and Oracle Business Intelligence.

Overhead decides whether to implement apps on-prem or in the cloud on a case-by-case basis, based on understanding the business need and determining the best technologies to meet that need, Freed says.

Also, cloud is where development is happening, Freed says.

For example, Overhead initially was looking to implement HCM on-prem, but then decided to do it in the cloud, Freed says. Overhead concluded Oracle could do a better job securing employee data in the cloud than on-prem. Also, with a cloud implementation, Overhead would be able to better take advantage of new versions and innovation deployed by Oracle; with an on-prem HR application, there is little motivation for an enterprise to upgrade.

Similarly for Service Cloud: With a cloud innovation, it's easier for an enterprise to take advantage of vendor upgrades, Freed says.

"It doesn't matter whether it's Oracle or any other provider -- the cloud is where they're going. It's difficult to find investments in on-premises solutions that are net-new," Freed says.

Oracle isn't Overhead's only cloud provider. The company is migrating to Microsoft Office 365.

One area where Overhead would like to see all cloud vendors improve is in integration. Overhead uses Oracle Fusion Middleware to facilitate integrations, and would like to see all its cloud vendors do better.

"When you move to the cloud, integrations are an important aspect of it," Freed says. "You have to leverage your data."

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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