Oracle Corp. is forming a unit it’s calling a startup within its U.S. operations to work on new technologies that may include virtual reality and artificial intelligence, trying to attract talent and outpace the innovation of rivals.
The company’s effort will include new centers in Reston, Virginia, and Denver for ‘cutting-edge’ products, according to job postings on its website. Oracle is seeking to fill at least 50 positions, which were posted earlier this month for the Solution Engineering Centers. The company, founded 40 years ago, said it’s a rare opportunity to get in on the “ground floor of building a truly transformational organization” inside its North American operations, according to job postings.
“The mission of the organization and these two centers is to build and engineer cutting-edge solutions for our customers around cloud computing, big data analytics, mobile computing, internet of things, cybersecurity,” the company said. Additional areas of potential investment are artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality, Oracle added in the job posting.The company didn’t highlight how AR and VR might be adopted. Earlier this year, Oracle mentioned the promise of the technologies in reports for industries involving hotels and retail services. The company provides technology services to those industries.
Chief Executive Officers Mark Hurd and Safra Catz are looking for fresh ways to improve the company’s ongoing push into cloud computing and take on newer trends in technology from rivals such as Salesforce.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Oracle is investing in ways to spur growth beyond its traditional business software products. “We are building the Oracle Solution Engineering Centers where engineers and technologists will develop next generation cloud-based solutions to help customers become more digital and transition to the cloud,” Hamza Jahangir, vice president, Cloud Platform Sales Engineering, said in a statement.
During a call with investors last month, Catz said the company is making progress. Oracle posted quarterly sales growth of 73 percent year-over-year in a set of key cloud products.
“The investments we’ve made to transition our business to the cloud have been important to ensure that Oracle remains a technology leader,” Catz said on the call. “And we’re now beginning to see the benefits in our results.”
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According to some of the job postings, the company is asking for candidates who have experience with cloud-computing platforms at rival sites, including Salesforce, Amazon.com Inc.’s web services unit and Microsoft’s Azure. Candidates may be expected to work with customers and members of the sales team on activities such as performing proof of concept with clients and delivering hands-on cloud workshops.Oracle has stepped up its effort to recruit younger workers in the past. Last year, executives touted a program that focuses on getting workers from universities to help with cloud products. The recruitment program is for “next-generation cloud salespeople, I mean, that are coming directly out of school,” Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said in September.