Oracle’s “cloud-first” strategy will drive customer conversations: Shailender Kumar, Oracle

Shailender Kumar, MD, Oracle India observes that analytics, IoT, and security are game changers in the customer’s digital and cloud journey.
 

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In an exclusive interview with IDG Media, Shailender Kumar, MD, Oracle India talks about their game plans, new licensing models, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator (OSCA) Program, and his recommendations for customers' digital journeys. Edited Excerpts:

Oracle’s “Cloud First” strategy has been messaged with a lot of fanfare over the last two years – in 2016 & in 2017. Firstly, what sort of re-engineering did it require internally within the India teams and what have been the achievements so far?

Once we embarked on the “Cloud First” journey in India, we undertook training of our people—so that they understood and carried the Oracle value proposition to customers. Secondly, we also created specialized teams such as the digital team in Bangalore. 

“Some of the things we bought from Oracle global is a new contracting process called ABE or Accelerated Buying Experience by virtue of which the big contracts we used to have become single click contracts, enabling fast purchase of our cloud services.”

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                                                     Shailender Kumar, MD, Oracle India

Some of the things we bought from Oracle global is a new contracting process called ABE or Accelerated Buying Experience by virtue of which the big contracts we used to have become single click contracts, enabling fast purchase of our cloud services. Customers have received this very well since it resonates well with the Oracle cloud message where we talk about transformation happening in hours rather than weeks or happening in weeks rather than a year. 

Thirdly, all our global products are available here – which enables customers to get access and choose their cloud strategy. The general strategy remains consistent – each organization chooses its public, on-premise or hybrid models and environments as they need, and in the order they require. We are able to provide all options – through our cloud applications, services, licensing models, local datacenter initiatives etc.

Customers are happy to see how we are inculcating flexibility into our licensing through the Universal Credits licensing model.

It is an interesting time when SAP’s S/4HANA strategy is so aggressive in the market?  What is the new Oracle game plan with your ERP Cloud? 

To state, within the Asia Pacific, India is the fastest growing ERP market and within that space, Oracle is the fastest growing across all our market peers. Oracle India is doing very well, and we have been duly recognized last month through an award. And the big differentiator from our peers is we have all the modules available on the cloud. We have our consulting services, our support services. When I talk about SaaS, we have ERP and ERP cloud, we have human capital management. We have customer experience and then if you start getting deeper we have many sub-modules on IaaS whether it is the network, compute, storage, or virtualization. Our

PaaS is a very big offering because PaaS is very important not only in terms integration but also for security, analytics, IoT, all of which are game changers now. It’s not that we replace everything overnight for customers, an approach which will never work. It is always a gradual module-by-module approach. With the roll-out of GST, we are building new roadmaps for our customers on how they can start moving. We have moved to a totally new form of licensing model on the cloud. It is called universal credits and goes to show we have striven to stay relevant. The market has received it very well. Customers are happy to see how we are inculcating flexibility into our licensing. 

Oracle Focus Areas 2018

-Digital: Taking all digital offerings through partners and collaborating in the customer cloud journey.

-Analytics & Security: Oracle has started a program called cyber defense to assess customer infra security vulnerabilities.

-Artificial Intelligence:  Oracle will talk more about its path-breaking autonomous database 18 C which will accelerate self-learning, self-driving and self-securing.

What is the 2018 outlook of the Oracle Start-up Accelerator Program?

The Oracle startup cloud accelerator (OSCA), which was launched in 2016, has become so successful because of the number of companies that got benefitted very quickly, across the globe. In India, we have three centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and these are very successful in themselves. State governments have come back to us asking for joint collaboration on similar programs. We are in talks with six or seven state governments as of now for embedding our program as part of their technology outreach. I would say the disruption is fostering innovation across all key verticals that we have been in discussion with – particularly in telecom, which has been one of our focus areas for over 15 years now.

How much of development research and development comes from Oracle India? Does this go to the next level in 2018?
In India, we have approximately 40,000 people. India is the only country within Oracle where you have each and every organization that is represented here. We are building our new campus which is likely to be operational by 2019 and we are going to have another 11,000 people working out of the new facility. 

What should customers be looking at in their digital journey this year?
The first recommendation would be to move applications to the cloud – and we are here through our various strategies.  Secondly, customers need to accelerate their digital agenda, but according to their priority. Lastly, of course, make the whole organizational IT infrastructure very secure. That is more important than anything else.