It is a false impression that India is not an early adopter of technology: Steve Cox, Oracle ERP & EPM

By: | Published: October 18, 2018 1:55 AM

There has been a false perception that India is not an early adopter of technology, says Steve Cox, Group vice-president, Oracle ERP & EPM Product Marketing.

Steve Cox, oracleSteve Cox

There has been a false perception that India is not an early adopter of technology, says Steve Cox, Group vice-president, Oracle ERP & EPM Product Marketing. “Older organisations like Hindalco, IOCL, Transworld, Clover Infotech and Taj Hotels are all embracing new technologies to stay relevant and competitive.” SaaS is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. “We are witnessing demand from a variety of industry segments like manufacturing, retail etc,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a detailed conversation. Excerpts:

What business benefits can be observed in a connected enterprise?

Connected enterprise solutions entail immediate access to all the relevant information at all levels of the organisation. Connected enterprise also focuses on humanisation and democratisation of data. While democratisation would mean that anyone can have access of relevant data anytime, humanisation means that the data is easily comprehensible. Research shows that on an average, an organisation’s data volume increases two times annually. If they choose to invest in technologies like IoT, then their data handling capacity can increase up to 50 times per year. Humanising of data ensures that one can sift through the huge volumes of available data and make sense of it in a way that allows organisations to anticipate changes in customer behaviour and respond to them swiftly.

Any live examples, where Oracle customers have used technology to opt for connected business?

At the Impact for Business event, we had the opportunity to hear Alok Khanna, executive director – IOCL talk about how technology has eliminated the need to carry cash by their LPG gas delivery boys. The customers can pay using their mobile phones via various apps, which has removed a huge burden from the organisation. Similarly, TN Seetharaman, CEO Transworld talked about how they are using their program innovation in motion, to track the movement of their cargo live, giving the customers access to the information they need about their shipments at the right time. This approach is beyond traditional definitions of the old track and trace paradigm and shows how some of our marquee customers are using innovative Oracle technology to turn their business outcomes around and in-turn positively impact their customer lives.

What is your vision for helping organisations on their digital transformation journey and what technologies do you feel they need to focus upon?

Digital transformation is not about individual technologies, it is about embracing all the emerging technologies that fit your business needs, that will give you a competitive advantage. I tend to talk about tech convergence and it’s not a new thing. Tech convergence brings a collection of technologies together that enables organisations to be predictive rather than reactive and drives a collaborated and a more integrated approach within business units across enterprises.

With Oracle Consulting, we have introduced the world’s first automated, packaged offering that we call SOAR and it enables the easy transition to our cloud applications. Once you complete the upgrade to the cloud, you’ll never need to upgrade again because we deliver innovation every 90 days. We have also reduced the time duration of that transition to as little as three to six months. The best part is that we have also made that innovation sustainable by giving organisations a dynamic competitive advantage and agility for responding and anticipating changes in the market.

Oracle works with customers to find solutions to new problems, to help change people’s lives. We help our customers foresee and achieve their tomorrow, today!

Oracle has been promoting collaboration between various functions like HR and finance or finance and marketing. Can you talk more about them?

We identified 34 touchpoints between finance and HR as these two business functions are intimately connected. In fact, we talk about often the triumvirate of the back office being the combination of finance, HR and IT. These are so closely linked that any change in one affects the other two. With Oracle’s connected enterprise, systems and processes are integrated to an extent wherein any change in an employee’s profile in the HR systems automatically grants access to other relevant systems. For instance if a regional CFO is promoted to the position of a global CFO, an integrated system ensures that within minutes that person is granted all the approvals and access rights for him/her to do his or her job. This is just one of the many examples how collaborated HR and finance can benefit from each other.

How do you see IoT, blockchain, AI and chatbots empowering the existing ERP, HCM and CX solutions?

As more and more Indian businesses are shifting their focus to building a mobile-first workforce, software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud solutions will connect not only people to solutions but also networked devices, machinery, and products soon. Over 40% of all business owners are using their smartphones daily to manage their operations, which has led to an increase in the demand for mobile applications and solutions significantly in the country. Customer experiences through SaaS solutions will open new avenues for revenue generation through the integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

What kind of traction is Oracle seeing for SaaS in India?

There has been a false perception that India is not an early adopter. Basis what we saw at the Impact for Business event, older organisations like Hindalco, IOCL, Transworld, Clover Infotech and Taj Hotels are all embracing new technologies to stay relevant and competitive. SaaS is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. We are witnessing demand from a variety of industry segments like namely manufacturing, retail etc. Industries governed by regulatory compliances like governments, banks, insurance agencies continue to see benefits from Oracle’s SaaS solutions.

According to Gartner, SaaS is the largest segment of the public cloud market in India. We expect more and more organisations will opt for advanced solutions to eliminate redundancy and create harmony, with a unified cloud suite like ERP and HR as an integrated offering.

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