Oracle Increases Focus Across Verticals for SMBs

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 30, 2007

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) would continue to lead the pack of horizontal and vertical growth patterns at Oracle, in India.

The group’s strategies towards the SMB segment bear testimony to the fact.

Oracle India managing director Krishan Dhawan emphasised, “Small and medium businesses are an important focus area for us. We have over 4500 SMB customers in India. We are already present in 17 non-metros or what we call high growth cities in India. So along with the offices in the six metros, we now have presence is 23 cities in India. With this presence and along with our partners we have started to address several niche and emerging industry segments including small banks, small industrial manufacturing units, machine tools companies, sports goods manufacturers, textile manufacturers and the gems and jewellery industry.”

He reiterated that the company would increase investments towards the sector in the form of physical investments and introducing new line of products.

It may be recalled here that Oracle launched a portfolio of over 80 industry-specific’ application solutions to address the needs of companies in 30 industry segments including industrial manufacturing, retail, life sciences, engineering, construction, professional services, financial services, government, education and healthcare.

The launch is a part of the company’s global Accelerate program, and is aimed at penetrating Oracle’s reach in the Indian SMB. The solutions are a bundle of the company’s existing products that have been integrated on a single platform after studying customized needs of the SMB sector. Accelerate would provide SMBs industry-specific processes and key business operations such as finance and accounts management, human resources, supply chain and customer relationships.

Asia Pacific has played a significant role in the growth of Oracle, senior vice president APAC Brian Mitchell stressed. He claimed that Oracle has grown faster than the top three players in APAC. Scalability, reliability and security were the chief reasons mentioned for selecting Oracle deployments.

The duo addressed news -persons over a tele-conference today morning.
Releasing some figures, Mitchell disclosed that applications new license revenues in Asia Pacific & Japan rose to 89 per cent, database and middleware new license revenues were up 26 percent. APAC contributed 19 percent of the license revenues worldwide in Q307.

He however, refused to disclose specific details to queries on net profits, etc, and said, “Since much of the businesses are on a global basis, it is difficult to give a break-up.”

Reiterating Mitchell’s stand, Oracle India managing director Krishan Dhawan while talking to Indian reporters later, said, “We had an excellent third quarter. Since, I cannot share actual numbers with you, I will try and highlight other details to show our success in the last quarter.” India which is the fourth largest market for Oracle in APAC, witnessed high growth in the database, middleware and applications segments.

Besides continuing offering solutions to verticals Oracle currently has dominance in, the company has forayed into the retail, education, health care, paint, cement, process manufacturing, and construction industries.

Charting out the company’s roadmap for the retail sector, Dhawan said, “Our acquisition of Retek last year would help us acquire clients in the booming retail segment in India. Our Center of Excellence in Bangalore is already working with Retek for developing special software designed for the retail sector. It would be an integrated IT platform with end-to-end solutions.”

Oracle is in talks with global chains and local players, he informed. It is already providing some products to Wal-Mart, but when queried about an alliance in India, he replied that the company is in talks with many people. He reinforced, “We want to leverage relationship with our existing customers, and at the same time develop new relationships.”

The software major is also planning to tap the utilities segment in India. With a client the size of Gujarat State Electricity Board already in its kitty (bagged Q3), it is looking at further penetration in this beat.

Dhawan explained, “There are inadequacies in the power segment. As the utilities realize importance of IT integration, more opportunities will open up.”

On Oracle’s offering, CRM on demand, Dhawan replied, “It has already gone live. We would be able to share more information on this in the next few quarters.”

He said that the offering would be on a licensed model initially, but would adapt to changes over a period of time.

To a query on whether the company was looking at acquisitions in APAC, he said, “If there are opportunities in a select vertical market, we may acquire for further expansion. It is not off-limit. The company should be able to deploy our applications.”
The company also reinforced the importance of its acquisitions and stated that each has played a vital role in client acquisitions, and in drafting its roadmap for future growth. It would continue its focus on the financial services sector and on database (middleware), supply chain management, CRM, Human Capital Management in Q8.

Siebel and People have contributed significantly in the CRM space, it acknowledged. However, it refused comment on the BI, following recent acquisition of Hyperion and said, “Hyperion is still a publicly listed company. We are looking to communicate. But it is too premature for us to make a comment.”

Commenting that the on-demand market is emerging in India, Mitchell said that the CRM market would increase.

The company also refused comment on the lawsuit it has filed against SAPTN and said, “The matter is subjudice.”