Enterprises are seeing business value in engineered systems

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Sep 15 2014, 07:59am hrs
The American technology firm Oracle is seeing rapid adoption of its engineered systems in India. Organisations such as HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, LIC Housing Finance, Tech Mahindra, Godfrey Phillips, Reliance Commercial Finance, Cognizant, Infosys, are some Indian firms that will be implementing, or have re-invested in or replaced competitors integrated platform systems with those from Oracle, says Venkatesh Krishnan, vice-president, Technology Business, Oracle India. Large and midsize companies are relying heavily on Oracle engineered systems to transform their IT environment and deliver extreme performance, radical processing speeds, scalability, significantly faster deployments and lower total cost of ownership, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

What are engineered systems

An engineered system combines the four layers of enterprise application stacksoftware, computing, network and storageinto an optimised package to achieve enterprise performance levels that are unmatched in the industry. With an inclusive in-a-box strategy, Oracles engineered systems combine best-of-breed hardware and software components with game-changing technical innovations.

Designed, engineered, and tested to work best together, Oracles engineered systems can power the cloud or streamline data centre operations to make traditional deployments even more efficient. The components of Oracles engineered systems are pre-assembled for targeted functionality and then as a complete system optimised for extreme performance. By taking the guesswork out of these high-availability, purpose-built solutions, we deliver a sophisticated simplicity thats completely integrated throughout every layer of the technology stacka simplicity that translates into less risk and lower costs for our customers.

What is the value proposition of engineered systems versus legacy systems

IT systems of 5 or 10 or 20 years ago were never intended to handle the ever-increasing workloads of today with video, social, real-time analytics, Big Data, mobile decision-making and instantaneous response times. And so a few years ago, Oracle was the first to create engineered systems: a product that engineered hardware and software together in ways that would yield vastly greater performance and/or significantly lower costs.

Enterprise software forms the backbone of many businesses today and they require enormous funding to keep them running or to be maintainedalmost 80%of IT budget is spent on this maintenance while 20% is left for innovation or customer-facing initiatives. By moving far beyond the traditional approach, engineered systems help companies attack this IT-infrastructure sprawl so companies can focus on innovation and new business initiatives.

Enterprises are realising that consolidating workloads from multiple machines onto a single, engineered system works faster; is less expensive and just makes good business sense. When they compare price/ performance numbers with multivendor solutionssolutions that they have to buy, build, integrate, and test on their ownits evident that engineered systems offer lower TCO and better performance, business results and ROI.

Older platforms that combine discrete hardware and software technologies face scalability and reliability challenges when running customised, dynamic business processes, particularly in the face of disruptive trends such as cloud computing and mobile technology. These platforms are often heavily customised, so over time they become difficult to support and upgrade.

What is the market opportunity for integrated systems

According to IDC there are two market segments for integrated systemsintegrated infrastructure and integrated platforms. Integrated infrastructure is the bundling together of hardware by multiple vendors. These players are trying to solve the complexity of hardware by combining storage, servers, network, etc into one unit. Examples include VCE, a joint venture between EMC, Cisco and VMware, which produces the Vblock solutions and the Cisco and NetApp product called the FlexPod.

Integrated platforms on the other hand combine hardware and software for a targeted functionality whether it is to manage big data, power cloud or consolidate databases. During the first quarter of 2014, the integrated platforms market generated revenues of $769.6 million and according to IDC, Oracle was the leader in the space with nearly half the market share (48%).

What kind of market growth are you seeing in India

Oracle has seen record sales for our engineered systems product portfolio last year and the momentum continues to add significant value to our India growth story. Over 50% of new customers have replaced a competitor product with that of Oracles in the last year. We are witnessing a surge in demand from both public and private sector organisations. Given the new industry guidelines on the need to enhance data management and security, telecom, BFSI and public sector companies are at the fore-front of adopting engineered systems. Nearly 100 % of telcos and most of the top 25 banks in India have deployed Oracle engineered systems. Oracle designed engineered systems that are pre-integrated to reduce the cost and complexity of IT infrastructures while increasing productivity and performanceand these business benefits have been experienced by organisations, so they are seeing tremendous business benefits/ROI in their investment in Oracle engineered systems.

The expanding ecosystem of partners is also contributing to the growth. Global system integrators such as HCL Technologies, Wipro, Infosys, etc are actively reselling, distributing and implementing Oracle engineered systems in India. They have increased their investments in our product by way of adding more trained Oracle specialists in sales & presales functions; setting up Centres of Excellence to conduct proof-of-concepts and provide a secure infrastructure to showcase the power of these systems and also certify their own applications on Oracle engineered systems.

In addition we are seeing good growth in high growth cities (tier 2 and tier 3 cities), what we in Oracle refer to as geo cities. There is a high demand for engineered systems among midsize companies in these cities as they look at business expansion and growth. The market dynamics are also playing a role. Enterprises are overcoming perceived barriers to integrated systems, including premium pricing, a preference for self-integration and less vendor lock-in.

Why are enterprises replacing competitive products to choose Oracle offerings

Enterprises are seeing business value in engineered systems. Its value proposition is explained and demonstrated to CIOs and CTOs as well as CFOs because investment in IT today is not only a technology decision but also a business decision and collectively it is making a lot of business sense to them and their organisation. We are driving business and solution oriented conversations with our customers and that is where our differentiator comes into play.