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Hybrid cloud is the way forward: Oracle’s Mitesh Agarwal

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Mitesh Agarwal talks about their cloud strategy, digital selling, role in GST and storage products.

US based software firm Oracle has been one of the last entrants into Cloud computing and is gunning hard to pitch their hybrid cloud solutions to their old customers. They have even created separate teams to tackle startups and enterprises with their solutions.

In a chat with ETtech’s Aritra Sarkhel, Mitesh Agarwal, VP, Solution Consulting and CTO, Oracle India talks about their cloud strategy, digital selling, role in GST and storage products.

Edited Excerpts

Oracle is a new entrant into cloud computing. Is your cloud strategy designed to prevent your current customers from defecting to other established cloud vendors?

Globally only 6 to 8% of workloads have moved to the public cloud. So, the remaining 90+% of the market has not moved to the public cloud. The reality is that concrete money has not yet started moving to the public cloud.

When we started 30-40 years back, Oracle was a strong player in information management. In the last 8-10 years, we have completely re-engineered to serve the ‘consumption economy’. If you look at the top 20 banks, Telco’s, manufacturing or public sector organizations, all of them use Oracle technologies inside their data centre.

If you look at the largest e-commerce player in India they use their entire service cloud which is an extremely important part of their journey. Other start ups use Oracle’s Human Capital Management Solutions (HCM). It is a natural move to the public cloud and in some cases; we will have a first mover advantage.

We are not in a race to become the first to come up with a service. Instead, we are looking from a perspective of customers, who are starting to become more and more ready to move to the cloud now.

The point here is that when the customers will consolidate into choosing one or two cloud service providers because they wouldn’t want to go for every new thing, to a different cloud provider. If you look at some of our competitors, Amazon has nothing but Infrastructure as a Service. They don’t have SaaS or PaaS. Salesforce.com which is an early pioneer when it comes to Salesforce automation does not have anything to do with IaaS.

So does Oracle has different teams to tackle start-ups and existing customers in India?

Recently we have announced Oracle’s first Digital Hub of the APAC region in India where we sell completely digitally to customers. We opened this hub in Bangalore, the first one being in Berlin. We are using digital tools right from the origination of customer purchase decision to the actual sale, to the servicing and in the refreshing.

For example, IFFCO (Indian farmer fertilizer co-operatives) who wanted to start a new business called IFFCO e-bazar, took their existing e-procurement application and just shifted it to the public cloud and were LIVE in one month. What is very clear is that you will find a variety of companies starting their journey somewhere, but with some of the competitors, the disadvantage is that their offering is just IaaS.

Has it been difficult for you in terms of digital sales considering Indian organizations prefer face to face interactions?

We don’t sell only digitally. We do sell digitally to prospects who are ok with it, like a lot of start-ups that don’t care about physical face to face discussions. If you look at large enterprises, we have a very large sales organization that continues to sell. Today, every customer is talking about digital disruption and digital transformation.

In terms of India so far, what kind of organizations will take the cloud drive ahead?

We are focused on selling hybrid cloud solutions. There are many organizations that continue to have a hybrid strategy. We don’t expect enterprises to move lock, stock, and barrel tomorrow morning and switch to the public cloud. It doesn’t work that way. Essentially, what is required is the initiation of their ‘cloud journey’. They could begin with SaaS or PaaS or IaaS or they could begin with a private cloud journey.

We believe that the right strategy is to work towards the business outcome for the customer and therefore we have the ability to provide them different solutions depending on their requirement. So, from our perspective, it is these areas that are going to be interesting for business outcomes for the customers, and not necessarily the other way around.

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