Cloud has moved to mainstream in India

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Oct 15 2012, 09:25am hrs
Asia Pacific is one of the high growth markets for Oracle globally, and India plays a significant role in this regionboth for R&D and business opportunities, reckons Sandeep Mathur, managing director, Oracle India. Oracle has been operating in India for nearly 20 years. Today, it is one of the largest MNC IT employers in the country with nearly 30,000 professionals. The India R&D workforce alone accounts for one-third of Oracles global R&D workforce outside the US. There is confidence in India and a clear plan to grow the market here, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a wide-ranging interview. Excerpts:

Tech majors seem to be smitten by the new buzzword these days: cloud computing. What is the ground reality in terms of actual deployment in India

Cloud computing has moved beyond early adopter stage to mainstream in India. Companies today look at migration to cloud computing as a way to free up existing resources and work on more innovative projects. The intention is to become a better internal service provider to its business units and provide greater agility and responsiveness to business needs, offer higher quality of service in terms of latency and availability, lower costs and gain higher utilisation.

Companies from telecom, financial services & insurance and manufacturing (to some extent) sectors have been the first to adopt this technology. Cloud service inquiries are coming from departmental needsHR, sales, marketing, talent management/ succession planning, inventory, procurement etc. Increased adoption of this technology is also being driven by the proliferation of social media. Cloud applications, like what Oracle offers, can provide organisations with a range of unique social networking-related features, including the ability for employees to collaborate with one another and reach out to customers on public social sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, to personalise end-user engagements and boost business opportunities.

Oracle today hosts and manages the worlds largest cloud, powering a combination of public and private clouds on behalf of thousands of Oracle customers and more than 5 million users. Oracle generates about $1 billion annual revenue from Web-based software solutions and more than 25 million users rely on Oracle Cloud every day.

According to a study by an IT research and advisory firm, the total market of cloud computing in India stood at $110 million at the end of 2011, and is expected to reach about $1,084 million by 2015. Some of our cloud applications customers in India include 3M, WNS, Standard Chartered Bank, Siemens, Havells, HelpAge India, M3M India, MacMillan India, Reliance Capital, Borosil, Aurobindo Pharma, Pride Hotels, Kotak Securities, Nuthatch Nutricare Technologies,,,, and several more.

Give us a sense of the big story emerging out of Oracle. Where is it headed

As an organisation, Oracle has always believed in simplifying IT, it should not be this hard to run enterprise applications. We are attempting to simplify IT by delivering complete, open, integrated solutions to customers optimised for their specific industry and pre-integrated at our factory, so customers can focus on business and innovation rather than maintaining their IT infrastructure. Its no surprise that today many companies spend almost 80% of their IT budgets in just keeping the lights on. Imagine if we could save some of this money for our customers, which they could then channel to innovating the business. We are spending upwards of $5 billion in R&D each year, one of the highest in the industry to achieve this goal of simplifying IT.

A really easy way for customers to get on this journey is to adopt engineered systems. These are purpose built systems that provide breakthrough performance and unprecedented lower total cost of ownership. For example, Exadata is an engineered system which can be deployed to run the worlds leading Oracle database. It is an integrated system with servers, storage, networking all working in concert with each other driven by Exadata software. It provides for several multiple increases in performance while reducing the cost by several multiples against our nearest competitors. Similarly we have Exalogicpurpose built for running java applications, Exalyticsfor in-memory analytics and speed of thought analysis.

How has Oracle India been doing in comparison with the operations in other countries

Oracle has been operating in India for nearly 20 years. We have grown phenomenally. Today, we employ nearly 30,000 professionals in India comprising our sales, support (including global support), R&D and OFSS organisations. Its one of the largest MNC IT employers in the country. Our R&D workforce alone accounts for one-third of Oracles global R&D workforce outside the US. The team works on cutting edge technologies that are powering Fortune 500 companies and Indias successful organisationsbe they large or midsize, in every industry.

APAC is one of the high growth markets for Oracle globally, and India plays a significant role in this regionboth for R&D and business opportunities. We have been able to attract top talent to work in our development centres, be part of a global successful R&D organisation. In addition, we recruited more than 3,500 professionals last year to support our sales organisation. So, certainly there is confidence in India and a clear plan to grow the market. Add to this the growing Indian economy and new business avenues to grow the businessbe it mobile, e-commerce, green datacentres etc.

What do you think is really working for Oracle in India What are the opportunities that you see here

Focus on solving our customer problems either directly or through a wide network of partners. We are very fortunate that major corporations in India depend on our infrastructure and/or applications to run their most critical applications. We take this responsibility very seriously. Customers like the idea that we, Oracle, as a company can give them the complete solution from applications to disk.

While it is a myth that cloud computing is apt for SMB companies, it is also a good proposition for large companieshybrid models (cloud, both private & public and on-premise) works well for them. This is in practice by large companies in international markets. Organisations, both large and small, are now even more open to deploying such solutions as they look for a secure, flexible, modern and reliable cloud infrastructure.

What is the technology differentiator that Oracle brings to the table

With more than 3,80,000 customers and with deployments across a wide variety of industries in more than 145 countries around the globe, Oracle offers an optimised and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems. Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in the datacentre, from servers and storage, to database and middleware, through applications. Oracle systems provide better performance, reliability, security, and flexibility; lower the cost and complexity of IT implementation and management; deliver greater productivity, agility, and better business intelligence.

No other technology enterprise in the industry can match our robust portfolio.

You have been heading Oracle India for almost two years now. What has been the key lesson learned to succeed here

In order to succeed and remain successful, the most important thing is to stay customer and partner focused. The reason for Oracle success in the past has been our commitment to delivering value and focusing on customer needs. This continues to play an important role in our business strategy. In most cases, we have pre-empted the needs of our customers and built innovative solutions to give them a competitive edge.