WE ARE LIV­ING IN EX­CIT­ING AND UN­CER­TAIN TIMES, WHERE TRA­DI­TIONAL MOD­ELS OF BUSI­NESSES ARE BE­ING CHAL­LENGED AND NEW MOD­ELS ARE STILL EVOLV­ING. OR­GAN­I­SA­TIONS ARE STRUG­GLING TO RE­MAIN REL­E­VANT IN THIS MAR­KET­PLACE. IN SUCH PRESS­ING TIMES, CLOUD COM­PUT­ING COME

Shailender Ku­mar, Re­gional MD, Or­a­cle India, dis­cusses the fi­nan­cial per­for­mance of his or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2018-2019

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What is your view of the per­for­mance, so far, of the In­dian ICT in­dus­try in 2019? In 2019, we are wit­ness­ing more trans­for­ma­tive suc­cess sto­ries than ever. Our homes and of­fices will un­dergo fur­ther changes with smart­phones, smart speak­ers, dig­i­tal assistants, chat­bots etc. Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), In­ter­net of Things (IoT), aug­mented re­al­ity, vir­tual re­al­ity, ma­chine learn­ing (ML), big data an­a­lyt­ics, ro­botic process au­to­ma­tion, will cease to be emerg­ing or niche tech­nolo­gies. For ex­am­ple, blockchain was as­so­ci­ated with fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions only, how­ever now, it is be­ing used suc­cess­fully in agri­cul­ture, sup­ply chain man­age­ment for ex­am­ple to re­duce fake drugs dis­tri­bu­tion like Or­a­cle has pi­loted a project with NITI Aayog, Apollo Phar­macy and Strides Pharma to address India’s fake drugs prob­lem. Not just that, these tech­nolo­gies are play­ing the role of an equal­izer, they are help­ing large en­ter­prises and star­tups alike in de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity at the same time.

These changes do present a huge op­por­tu­nity for com­pa­nies to in­no­vate and build mod­ern busi­nesses, yet at the same time they set chal­lenges in terms of the need for new skilled work­ers. Re-skilling and up­skilling of the work­force has be­come a press­ing obli­ga­tion of the ICT in­dus­try. Not just the present pro­fes­sion­als, our stu­dents and fresh grad­u­ates also need to have new skills­be­cause by the time they en­ter the work­force it is very likely that the skills re­quire­ment would have ad­vanced.

What is your view on FY 19 in terms of busi­ness and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance? Please share any two key highlights.

Our SaaS busi­ness has wit­nessed ex­cep­tional growth in the past few years with dou­ble digit growth. We are tak­ing away mar­ket share from the in­cum­bents. There con­tin­ues to be high demand for our vast SaaS port­fo­lio, be it ERP or HCM or CX so­lu­tions.

The next big high­light for us has been the in­tro­duc­tion of Or­a­cle Au­ton­o­mous Data­base. It’s been called out as

Or­a­cle’s most successful prod­uct in its 50 year his­tory. Since we launched this prod­uct a year back, we’re see­ing great mar­ket demand lo­cally. In the last 6 months, we’ve spo­ken with around ~1500 key busi­ness de­ci­sion mak­ers, and ~40% of them have shown in­ter­est to try it soon. Of these, ~15% have al­ready started ac­tive tri­als. Most new in­quiries are for heavy-duty an­a­lyt­ics work­loads from the BFSI and Re­tail in­dus­tries. Given our mar­ket lead­er­ship in data­bases, Or­a­cle Au­ton­o­mous Data­base will drive our next big growth leap in India along with our wide SaaS port­fo­lio.

We also launched our new Gen2 Cloud In­fra­struc­ture that of­fers cus­tomers a compelling ar­ray of ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy fea­tures in­clud­ing our self-driv­ing data­base (Au­ton­o­mous Database0 that au­to­mat­i­cally en­crypts all data, backs it­self up, tunes it­self, up­grades it­self, and patches it­self when a se­cu­rity threat is de­tected. It does all of this au­tonomously—while run­ning—with­out the need for any hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, and with­out the need for any down­time. No other cloud in­fra­struc­ture pro­vides any­thing close to these au­ton­o­mous fea­tures.

Our past year, we signed up many new cus­tomers. Some of them are: Fed­eral Bank, South In­dian Bank, Codeinks, CRIF HIGHMARK, Huron Con­sult­ing, Save

In the last 6 months, we’ve spo­ken with around ~1500 key busi­ness de­ci­sion mak­ers, and ~40% of them have shown in­ter­est to try it soon. Of these, ~15% have al­ready started ac­tive tri­als. Most new in­quiries are for heavy-duty an­a­lyt­ics work­loads from the BFSI and Re­tail in­dus­tries

the Chil­dren, Apollo Tyres, Mother­son Sumi, Sand­har Tech­nolo­gies, Cac­tus Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Oyo Rooms, Hin­dalco, IOCL, FabIn­dia, Karam In­dus­tries, Hy­ber, Servion, Trib­hu­vanDas Bheemji Zaveri Jew­el­ers, DHFL, Aurp­bindo Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Ori­en­tal In­sur­ance Com­pany, Ral­lis India, HDFC Bank, Hin­dalco etc.

What is the way ahead in an en­vi­ron­ment of de­clin­ing mar­gins, softer IT spending and tighter out­sourc­ing,

and GDPR regime, in the tra­di­tional ver­ti­cal’s seg­ments? We are liv­ing in ex­cit­ing and un­cer­tain times, where tra­di­tional mod­els of busi­nesses are be­ing chal­lenged and new mod­els are still evolv­ing. Or­gan­i­sa­tions are strug­gling to re­main rel­e­vant in this mar­ket­place. In such press­ing times, cloud com­put­ing comes across more like a new busi­ness model rather than a tech­nol­ogy. It is crit­i­cal for com­pa­nies to address their key busi­ness pri­or­i­ties that usu­ally en­com­pass in­crease rev­enue, boost cash flow, de­crease spending, and man­age risk.

At the root of this busi­ness model shift is the abil­ity to free up money and peo­ple to in­no­vate—help cre­ate new and dif­fer­ent dig­i­tally driven prod­ucts, ser­vices, and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences within flat IT bud­gets. This abil­ity be­comes par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in the cur­rent slow­growth eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment, in which most com­pa­nies must grab mar­ket to in­crease rev­enues.At its core, the cloud sim­ply drives down cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures, re­duces la­bor, cre­ates cer­tainty of out­comes, and re­duces the cost of over­all main­te­nance and hence in the end it costs less. The cloud busi­ness model ac­cel­er­ates the speed to in­no­va­tion—and bot­tom-line re­sults for com­pa­nies and we are see­ing that change hap­pen­ing to­day.

What is your busi­ness out­look for FY 20, and what are the key fo­cus ar­eas?

Or­a­cle has set new stan­dards with the world’s first Au­ton­o­mous Data­base. Or­a­cle is rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing how data is man­aged with the in­tro­duc­tion of the world’s first “self-driv­ing” data­base ( Au­ton­o­mous Data­base). This ground-break­ing tech­nol­ogy au­to­mates man­age­ment to de­liver un­prece­dented avail­abil­ity, per­for­mance, and se­cu­rity—at a sig­nif­i­cantly lower cost.

Built with ad­vanced ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and ground­break­ing ma­chine-learn­ing (ML) al­go­rithms,

Or­a­cle Cloud Plat­form au­ton­o­mous ser­vices of­fer self­driv­ing, self-se­cur­ing, and self-re­pair­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, en­abling or­ga­ni­za­tions to lower cost, re­duce risk, ac­cel­er­ate in­no­va­tion, and get pre­dic­tive in­sights. Self-driv­ing ser­vices use AI and ma­chine learn­ing to help or­ga­ni­za­tions lower cost, re­duce risk, ac­cel­er­ate in­no­va­tion, and get pre­dic­tive in­sights.

Or­a­cle is op­ti­mistic about its SaaS growth and is well on its way to be­com­ing the largest busi­ness ap­pli­ca­tions cloud com­pany in the world. India has been at the helm of this progress adding dou­ble digit growth to rev­enues last three years in a row, mak­ing India the best per­form­ing re­gion within JAPAC.

With emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies bring­ing in a par­a­digm shift in real time busi­ness out­comes, ML is soon to be­come the new bat­tle­field in SaaS. Ad­di­tion­ally, with some of the largest, old­est and most iconic brands as well as busi­ness con­glom­er­ates em­brac­ing dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, it is not sur­pris­ing that they are choos­ing Or­a­cle over com­pe­ti­tion, given Or­a­cle’s unique propo­si­tion of an end-to-end com­plete stack and an un­matched port­fo­lio of en­ter­prise ap­pli­ca­tions on the Cloud.

What is the in­flu­ence of the emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies? How will it im­pact the next cou­ple of years?

Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence makes the world’s broad­est, most

Or­a­cle is op­ti­mistic about its SaaS growth and is well on its way to be­com­ing the largest busi­ness ap­pli­ca­tions cloud com­pany in the world. India has been at the helm of this progress adding dou­ble digit growth to rev­enues last three years in a row

in­no­va­tive, and fastest-grow­ing Cloud Ap­pli­ca­tions port­fo­lio even smarter. Or­a­cle em­beds AI across many of its busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy ser­vices. Re­ly­ing on years of do­main ex­per­tise, and with a deep un­der­stand­ing of cross-in­dus­try and spe­cific in­dus­try mar­ket trends, Or­a­cle’s data sci­en­tists build mod­els that solve key busi­ness prob­lems and elim­i­nate the need for cus­tomers to build, train, and fine-tune a team to em­bed AI on their own.

Last year, Or­a­cle an­nounced new ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence­based apps for fi­nance, hu­man re­sources, sup­ply chain, man­u­fac­tur­ing, com­merce, cus­tomer ser­vice, mar­ket­ing, and sales pro­fes­sion­als. The new Or­a­cle Adap­tive In­tel­li­gent Apps are built into the ex­ist­ing Or­a­cle Cloud Ap­pli­ca­tions to de­liver the in­dus­try’s most pow­er­ful AIbased mod­ern busi­ness ap­pli­ca­tions. Adding ma­chine learn­ing and cog­ni­tive in­ter­ac­tions to tra­di­tional busi­ness pro­cesses and ap­pli­ca­tions en­ables greatly im­proved user ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­duc­tiv­ity. In ad­di­tion to Or­a­cle AI Plat­form Cloud Ser­vice, which in­cludes high-per­for­mance train­ing and op­er­a­tional in­fra­struc­ture, Or­a­cle em­beds ready-to-use AI and ma­chine-learn­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties across Or­a­cle’s SaaS, PaaS, and IOT ser­vices, in­clud­ing cog­ni­tive AI, an­a­lyt­ics, data ser­vices, IT man­age­ment, and se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions.

Or­a­cle an­nounced gen­eral avail­abil­ity of Or­a­cle Blockchain Cloud ser­vices across coun­tries too. The ser­vice al­lows or­ga­ni­za­tions to eas­ily build blockchain net­works to drive more se­cure and ef­fi­cient trans­ac­tions and to track goods through sup­ply chains on a global scale. Arab Jor­dan Investment Bank, Car­goS­mart, Cer­ti­fied Ori­gins, In­dian Oil, In­telipost, MTO, Neu­rosoft, Nigeria Cus­toms, Sof­bang, So­lar Site De­sign and TradeFin are among the many global or­ga­ni­za­tions that have al­ready adopted Or­a­cle’s blockchain plat­form.

We an­nounced our part­ner­ship in Septem­ber 2018 with NITI Aayog, the pol­icy Think tank of the gov­ern­ment of India, in al­liance with Apollo Hos­pi­tals and Strides Pharma Sci­ences, to re­duce fake/coun­ter­feit drug dis­tri­bu­tion in the coun­try. By pi­lot­ing a real drug sup­ply chain us­ing blockchain and IoT soft­ware, they can sup­port govern­ments and health­care ex­perts to quickly de­tect fake drugs and aide au­thor­i­ties to en­force penal­ties on wrong-do­ers with easy, proof-based data.

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