Fender Case Study

Fender needed to find a home for their mission-critical financial planning and e-commerce systems.


Fender® needed to find a home for their mission-critical financial planning and e-commerce systems. When Fender analyzed the costs involved with building a data center to house the company’s mission-critical financial planning and e-commerce platforms, they discovered that the total cost of ownership in providing the level of redundancy required would have been prohibitive. After considering the upfront capital investment, network of vendors they would need to manage, and the ongoing operational costs, the decision to outsource became more attractive. In addition, the company did not want to hamper their focus on product development, customer satisfaction, or revenue growth by tying up valuable internal resources to manage a project of this scope. Fender knew that outsourcing to a provider that specialized in the design, build, and operation of data centers was the right way to go.

Why IO?
The team at Fender scoured the country looking for providers that had the engineering, redundancy, capacity, and services necessary to properly address the company’s needs. “We looked at a dozen data center providers on the East and West coasts, and none of them could match what IO Data Centers had,” says Jason Bredimus, VP, IT Infrastructure for Fender. “When we toured IO Data Centers, we were sold.”

In order to properly support the mission-critical nature of Fender’s financial planning and e-commerce platforms, the company required a 100% Uptime Service Level. “Some providers say they have a redundant architecture, but that only goes so far. At IO, they were able to provide true systems redundancy all the way to the street,” says Bredimus.

In addition to uptime, service was critically important to Fender, and the company expected both responsiveness and professionalism. “It’s one thing to outsource your servers – it’s another to outsource the support for those servers – that’s what gives CIOs heartburn,” says Michael Spandau, SVP for Global IT and CIO of Fender. “IO Data Centers’ remote support has been spectacular. Not only do they respond quickly, but they have a team that is well-trained and professional and that gives us confidence that the job will be done right.”

Fender works with a number of telecommunications carriers and managed services providers. Third-party access was necessary to support the company’s network and IT equipment. “IO Data Centers provided our partners and vendors with the access we needed them to have,” says Bredimus. “This flexibility and convenience has made it a pleasure to work with IO.”

Fender came to IO Data Centers in October of 2007 and took a single colocation cabinet to host Fender.com and some of the company’s other website properties. Over the next eight months, the company’s IT needs grew substantially. As a result of this growth, Fender now occupies a custom configured colocation cage to house its financial planning and e-commerce platforms in addition to the company’s website production environment.

According to Spandau, “It would take us decades to achieve the same ROI we received in one year from IO Data Centers.” From the heavy investment in systems to ongoing operations costs, Fender realized that running a mission-critical data center to the availability level they required was not cost-effective. “This ability to scale up and down, depending on the changing business landscape, has been incredibly helpful,” says Spandau. “IO Data Centers is aligned with our needs and that has made them critical to our long-term IT strategy.”

About Fender
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender instruments, such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars, and amplifiers such as the Bassman®, Twin® and Deluxe™, are known worldwide for starting the rock revolution and continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors. FMIC global brands include Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, EVH® and SWR®, among several others.

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