As the pandemic prompted most enterprises to make a shift from their traditional models to cloud services, Oracle is stepping up its efforts to help businesses accelerate their cloud journey. Albeit a late entrant in the cloud business, the database major is growing fast both globally and in India and sees India as a critical market in terms of growth and customer acquisition. With a focus on faster, data-driven innovation, the company is set to make available 36 cloud regions worldwide by this year end.
With businesses prioritizing speed as their key competency at present to recover growth faster, the tech giant sees tremendous gain in the multi-cloud model, where they can use the best of breed cloud services from a trusted set of cloud providers. In this direction, Oracle‘s strategic cloud partnerships with Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow are resonating well with the enterprise customers. In a recent conversation with CXOToday, Kapil Makhija, Head-Technology Cloud Business, Oracle India, explains how Oracle’s cloud partnership strategy is helping Indian enterprises benefit in a multi-cloud world.
The pandemic has changed work and workplaces globally with WFH becoming the norm. What kind of changes has Oracle made to its cloud model to adapt to the changing customer demands?
Our customers count on us to help keep their business up and running, more so in such unprecedented times. Since the onset of the pandemic, Oracle’s primary focus has been to help our customers strengthen business resilience on a continual basis. We are further stepping up our efforts in this regard, given the current situation. We continue to closely collaborate and help enterprises put their organizational data to better business use. As a result, our customers are freeing up valuable internal resources to focus on higher value tasks that unlock more value for their business. By enhancing focus on their core business instead of getting bogged down with routine – but necessary – IT management, they have been able to accelerate innovation as well as growth recovery.
Can you give us an overview of Oracle’s cloud growth and adoption in India?
Twenty-20 was a watershed year for cloud adoption. In 2021, more core enterprise workloads are expected to move to the public cloud. In India, we see more and more companies prioritizing speed as their key competency this year, to fast-track growth recovery. CEOs are looking to leapfrog innovation cycles and quickly identify what resonates the best with customers to offer more accurate, personalized services. Faster, data-driven innovation has become the key. And there’s greater awareness on how a strong, secure cloud platform can aid faster innovation at scale. We are seeing consistently growing demand for our secure, second generation cloud infrastructure in India. We have clocked double-digit business growth for the last 4-5 years in India, and we are geared up to further accelerate this market momentum.
Multi-cloud adoption in the enterprise is on the rise. How are you evolving your GTM to align with this market reality?
This is an interesting trend that’s gaining traction. Enterprises are becoming more comfortable with a multi-cloud model, so they get to use best of breed cloud services from a select mix but highly trusted set of cloud providers. We recognize this, and are making it easier for our customers to use our services in as seamless a manner with other technology providers. Ultimately, we are a customer-centric company. Our strategic cloud partnerships with Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow reflect this, and we see such partnerships resonating very well with customers. We will continue to identify such opportunities to unlock more value for our customers and increase their ease of consuming cloud services.
How will Oracle’s cloud partnerships with VMware and ServiceNow benefit your customers?
At its core, the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution addresses three key customer requirements: security, predictability and control of cloud-based VMware environments.Ours is the only cloud-native, completely customer-controlled and customer-operated VMware solution available in the market today. It allows customers to leverage their existing investments in people, processes, tools, and technology to extend their cloud strategy.With this solution, we are delivering an enterprise-grade, production-tested solution for VMware customers who are keen to increase agility, boost system performance and save money,while using the VMware technology they know and trust.
Just last month, we announced ServiceNow Integration to help enterprises improve multi-cloud management. OCI services now coupled with ServiceNow’s IT Operations Management Visibility will enable enterprise customers to use their existing management platform to automate, orchestrate, and optimize their infrastructure resources. With this, customers gain access toview and manage – via a single dashboard -all of their public cloud resources from Oracle as well as other major cloud providers.
Why is Oracle looking at these partnerships as a key growth driver for cloud business in India?
Both these companies are leaders in the space they operate, and the number of common customers we have is significant, so the market opportunity, especially in India, is huge. More importantly, these common customers view the cloud as a key innovation runway. So with these partnerships, we want to ensure enterprises’ move to the cloud is as smooth and as effective as possible, with predictable and transparent price-performance benefits.
Multi-cloud has challenges of interoperability and complexities that often hindered large-scale adoption. Is the narrative changing now and if yes, how?
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a reflection of what customers are demanding from their cloud providers. This also indicates the size and scale of market opportunity for the cloud providers. From Oracle’s perspective, our cloud partnership approach is very strategic and mutually beneficial. For instance, the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution has been designed in close collaboration with VMware product and engineering teams in order to deeply integrate VMware Cloud Foundation elements into the Oracle Cloud stack. This has enabled us to deliver a solution that can be up and running in under three hours. With this, our customers can start migrating their on-premises workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in minutes. This is something our customers are finding very compelling.
What’s your strategy around cloud and digital transformation post pandemic?
In the last couple of months, we have engaged many customers via proactive discussions. We have suggested a number of plans to help them enhance their digital agility and unlock more value from our cloud services. These include a mix of short-term projects and long-term, large-scale digital transformation initiatives, with minimum business disruption. We are helping born-digital startups to scale, and are empowering SMBs to move into new growth orbits. We continue to collaborate with large enterprises to fast-track their digital journey, including quite a few organizations in the Public Sector to help digitalize their core.
How do you plan to pip competition to grow faster?
On the technology front, many more customers are acknowledging our unmatched breadth and depth of cloud and cloud-ready offerings, with generational innovations like the Oracle Autonomous Database available with our secure, second generation cloud infrastructure. They also appreciate the choice of deployment models we offer, and the superior price-performance equation with OCI.
From a market momentum perspective, with two fully functional second generation cloud infrastructure regions available in the country (Mumbai and Hyderabad), we are seeing more and more organizations moving away from first-generation cloud providers to OCI. Cited reasons for this include significantly better and predictable, transparent price, performance and security benefits.
What kind of business benefits are customers seeing by moving to OCI?
Shubham Housing Development Finance Company Ltd is a great example. It is one of India’s leading NBFCs offering housing finance solutions for people working in the informal sectors. Shubham moved their core lending system ‘Finnone Neo’ by Nucleus Software, to OCI from another leading cloud provider. By moving to OCI, Shubham realized 2x improvement in application performance, along with 25% additional cost savings. This has helped Shubham improve business agility and accelerate customer focused innovation.
Even born-digital startups are finding OCI to be a more compelling proposition vis-à-vis first generation cloud providers. Take Hyreo for example, a B2B startup that helps recruiters to reimagine the candidate experience. In a recent sales pursuit with a reputed global bank, Oracle team supported by evangelizing Hyreo’s solution. This increased the bank’s confidence levels to make a decision quickly and sign the deal with Hyreo. Additionally, on the price-performance front, by using OCI, Hyreo witnessed a 2x improvement in application performance and over 30% reduction in operational costs, while adding more new customers to their fold. An alumnus of the Oracle for Startups program, Hyreo was also able to fine-tune their product based on feedback from our technical team.