Oracle wants to puff out clouds real quick; no time for messy science experiments
For Oracle Corp., getting enterprises off their local servers is just half the battle as the American multinational struggles to make it to the top five cloud infrastructure vendors globally.
To raise its game, Oracle has started engaging with customers through its Cloud Solution Hubs, providing them with quick-to-deploy tools to address business pain points and improve efficiencies. The aim is to push solutions that can be adopted immediately rather than conducting science experiments, said Hamza Jahangir, group vice-president for Cloud Solution Hubs.
“We focus on innovation that a customer can adopt in the next 12 months, for example, or immediately. When we started, some of our early solutions were in the space of virtual reality (VR). That is eye candy but no customer is ready for the next three to five years to start making VR mainstream in their business. So we pared it down to 10% of our time and the rest is used to solve problems which drives value for customers,” said Jahangir.
As of now there are five Cloud Solution Hubs globally, including one in Bengaluru, India, which has a 250-strong workforce as compared to the average of 60-70 people in the US. The cost factor, which plays a major role, differentiates the India hub. “US hubs go and evangelise with our customers and get them to understand the basic capability, and these customers come back with specific requirements. The Bengaluru team steps in to develop a proof-of-concept (prototype) engagement, which is typically a two-month to three-month exercise,” said Jahangir.
The solutions developed in the hubs include a blockchain model for the retail industry, monitoring cardiac activity to rule out irregularities, demand prediction models for bike-sharing companies and a hospitality application which uses Internet of Things to standardise hotel experience for users. The hubs focus on clients in sectors including high-tech, manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, oil and gas/energy, and automotive.
The solutions, which are built 90% on Oracle’s cloud, bank on computer engineers fresh out of college to develop use cases. “Our people strategy for the hubs is take them out of school and put them through two-month training where they learn how to work with customers, develop soft skills and problem-solving skills, as well as technical skills. We are removing the need for being say, an expert Python person,” said Jahangir.
The author was at Oracle's headquarters in California at the firm's invitation.