The evidence is everywhere: Indian businesses are undergoing a major shift in the way they implement IT, and cloud is being strongly considered as an alternate form of enterprise computing.
By Sudhir Chowdhary
Today, both small and medium businesses and large enterprises are deploying cloud technologies to modernise their computing needs. A key reason for this transition is the fact that social-mobile technologies are driving more and more of their spending and their 20-year-old IT systems—in the case of large enterprises—are unable to handle these modern tools and applications.
Predictably, the move to embrace the cloud among businesses here has presented a mega business opportunity—estimated to be $1 billion this year—for technology vendors, and Oracle is making good on that promise. A significant portion of this Silicon Valley firm’s growth in India in the last 12 months has come from its cloud business. “We can now confidently say that cloud has arrived in India. Companies today specifically ask for cloud solution options in addition to traditional computing technologies,” said Niraj Kaushik, vice-president, Applications Business, Oracle India. “This is a big shift in customer demand.”
As part of a larger effort to target the cloud market opportunity, Oracle India is ramping up its cloud business with the addition of a dedicated sales force that will sell Oracle Cloud solutions. “India is an important market for Oracle and the growth of our cloud business here has been unprecedented.
We are planning to hire more than 200 sales professionals to accelerate and ramp up our cloud business in the country,” said Kaushik. This comes on the heels of strong quarterly earnings driven by cloud revenue. “We have seen great momentum across the private sector like banking, e-commerce, retail, healthcare etc and the public sector as well. More and more customers are embracing Oracle Cloud solutions in India.”
Globally, Oracle’s fiscal 2015 Q2 total revenues were up 3% to $9.6 billion. “Software and cloud revenues was up 5% to $7.3 billion. The cloud (software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service) results were the star of the quarter and we are making a strong run for the cloud,” said Kaushik. “We sold over $170 million in new annual SaaS/PaaS subscriptions in the quarter. We believe that this growth can be attributed to our aggressive strategies. We now have a collection of cloud offerings that we can pre-integrate for customers. Our captive supply chain gives us a cost advantage relative to other enterprise cloud competitors. We intend to continue the momentum through our skilled sales force that can accelerate growth for products across verticals,” he informed.
Oracle India is expanding its cloud sales organisation to include more specialised sales, business development, and post sales support executives. Hiring will take place across Oracle’s nine sales offices throughout India. The company has several customers who have experienced success with the implementation of Oracle cloud solutions. One of its customers, Bigtree Entertainment adopted Oracle’s cloud solutions and a Centralised Contact Database and thereby accelerated response time by 30% and improved its customer experience. In the e-commerce space, Oracle has worked with MakeMyTrip to combine previously disparate channels—Web, chat, social, email and voice transactions—into a unified, cross-channel 360 view in the cloud. MakeMyTrip selected Oracle Service Cloud, which includes Oracle RightNow, due to the strong out-of-the-box fit to their requirements as well as ease of integration and extensibility.
Yet another customer is Kalpataru, a leading real-estate development group in India, that deployed Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management Cloud Service and Oracle Taleo Recruiting Cloud Service solutions to support efficient, end-to-end HR processes and effectively manage the employment lifecycle, from hiring through separation. Customers who are already reaping business benefits from Oracle’s Cloud Solutions include Flipkart.com, Bookmyshow.com, Helpage India, Mahindra Logistics, WNS and Wipro, company officials said.
The right mixCloud has been seeing a lot of demand across industries. Industries like telecom, BFSI, retail, education, healthcare and government are increasingly turning to the cloud to simplify IT. The demand for public cloud has recently shown an increase in the mobile and broadband sectors, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, retail and travel which were the early adopters of public cloud. These sectors involve both the SMB as well as larger enterprises.
“SMB customer adoption of cloud computing is rising strongly with cost savings and flexibility being among the key motivators. Cloud computing allows these companies to use world-class infrastructure without the need of purchasing hardware and maintaining large support teams. Pay-per-use also gives them the agility and flexibility to grow quickly when demand increases,” said Kaushik.
What about the government vertical? The Oracle VP stressed that the Modi-led government is making revolutionary changes in the IT infrastructure of the country and the proposed initiatives appear heartening to Indians. Initiatives under Digital India like smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and the likes have a lot of untapped potential. Social media, mobility and a focus on total customer satisfaction in the private sector have lowered the average citizen‘s tolerance for long lines, repetitive steps, and lengthy approval processes. Conditioned by commercial Websites and e-commerce, they want to ask questions and get immediate responses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These expectations are increasing the pressure on government to perform quickly and accurately. Each government institution must prioritise and design its own road map. “This is where the opportunity lies,” said Kaushik.
Globally, Oracle has been helping multiple governments modernise and transform their delivery of citizen sources. “By developing a better technology infrastructure, India can leapfrog to the level that developed economies like the US are at in terms of government services delivery,” said Kaushik. “Innovative governments will leverage IT in an appropriate integrated fashion, looking to use the least expensive, fastest means of servicing its citizens and businesses with a fully integrated means of providing a fall back to the next level of support, Oracle has been serving governments across the globe for as long as its existence. More than 20 states in India use some or the other Oracle solution.”
On the strategy that Oracle is putting in place to gain customer traction in India, Kaushik revealed that in addition to working with partners through multiple channel programmes and expanding customer base by aggressively displacing competitive solutions, Oracle has developed a geo-expansion strategy to expand into smaller cities to make available simple to buy, adopt and manage software solutions, to fit business needs of these cities.
“Oracle has made significant investments in terms of manpower resourcing and geo-expansion in India. We are setting up branch offices in cities where we have not had direct presence to serve organisations there. We have added new branch offices in Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad, each with a dedicated sales and pre-sales team reporting to a branch manager, to serve the local market. The opportunities are immense and we are keen to be able to contribute to the growth of these midsize companies— all of whom have global aspirations, by providing them the right technology support,” he said.
* Cloud market opportunity in India expected to be $1 billion this year
* New firms or start-ups have been at the forefront of cloud adoption in India
* Firms in banking, manufacturing, financial services, telecom sectors are all looking at cloud solutions
* Oracle India plans to hire more than 200 sales professionals to ramp up its cloud business
* This additional sales force will be dedicated to helping customers transition to the cloud
* Apollo Hospitals, Bharti Learning, HDFC Bank have deployed Oracle Cloud solutions in a hybrid model
* Oracle Cloud helps businesses combine their existing disparate channels into a unified, holistic view in the cloud