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Enabling a new business world with cloud

Cloud is at the centre of all digital transformation activities for enterprises, and its significance has further increased in a new hybrid work environment

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To explore and highlight how the next generation of cloud can help businesses innovate faster, improve customer engagement, drive business efficiency and accelerate digital transformation, Express Computer in partnership with Oracle, organised a unique virtual conference themed, ‘Cloud: Seize the opportunity to re-model and re-imagine a new world’.

The conference was divided into two segments – Technology Track and Business Track – and featured leaders from the government and enterprise sectors, who provided their perspectives on driving business leadership using technology.

The attendees also learned about the value proposition brought by Oracle, which is further strengthened by announcement of the company’s second cloud region in Hyderabad. This offers organisations a BCP environment spanning two different seismic zones, inter-connected by low-latency Oracle backbone. This also enables a highly available environment and reduces total cost of ownership associated with data movement between the two regions.

Business Track

The Business Track of the conference witnessed renowned industry thought leaders sharing their insights with the audience. One of the key highlights of the conference was the industry keynote by Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog, wherein he elaborated the various initiatives by NITI Aayog in ensuring digital-enabled governance in every corner of the country.

He said, “Our Aspirational Districts programme covers 112 backwards districts of India and uplifts the standard of living with data-driven governance. Our emphasis on real time monitoring of outcomes is cultivating the culture of data-driven governance in district administrations. We have also recently transformed our data dashboard into ‘Champions of Change 2.0’ with the help of Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports autonomous storage and maintenance of quality data over time, and allows easy-to-use tools to analyse data. Technology innovation is always moving forward; we have to learn to adapt quickly, and cloud can be great enabler in this direction.”

Another interesting session was themed, ‘Framework for accelerating growth in the post COVID-19 world’, conducted by VS Parthasarathy, President – Mobility Services Sector, Mahindra Group. He shared, “This crisis is an opportunity to do things which were never imagined before. At Mahindra, we did a review of various versions of possibilities in terms of disruption and how we can manage that. There are many things that we need to restart, and supply chain is the biggest among them. Organisations must restore, rethink and redesign to come ahead of the game than others. There will be no industry that will not see a change in business model in the new normal.”

In a session titled, ‘Unlock endless possibilities with cloud’,  Chris Chelliah, Senior Vice President, Customer Strategy, Insight & Business Development Oracle Asia Pacific, informed that Zoom is moving around seven petabytes of data everyday on Oracle Cloud. He added, “Data security is in our DNA and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is based on zero-trust approach. Oracle Cloud is 5x more performant than other clouds, and we offer a simple and convenient pricing model with Universal Credits.”

Sharing more about Oracle’s second cloud region in a Spotlight session, Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India, said, “The current business climate has presented us with new dynamics. The Hyderabad region can operate as a disaster recovery site for our customers. Over the next few months, we will witness the impact of the new normal on businesses, with focus on Digital. Businesses are progressively looking at technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence for business continuity. The future is unknown, but not dark. Oracle wants to help India become the next technological super power.”

Adding to that, Garrett Ilg, Executive Vice President, Head of Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific, commented, “We are on track to have our cloud presence in 36 regions globally by July 2021. At low cost, we can provide platforms for mission critical workloads. We can support open source technologies and interoperable platforms. With this launch, we will be able to serve our offering to many more Indian companies.”

Sharing a customer perspective on working with Oracle, Pinkesh P Ambavat, Chief Information Officer, CRIF India, informed, “We were looking for solutions which could address the challenges during our journey of moving to cloud. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we have been able to address the challenges that hindered our cloud migration. Oracle Exadata is the pillar of our technology stack. Data security is our topmost priority, and Oracle has ensured complete data security on cloud. With Oracle’s launch of its second cloud region, we are assured of availability of disaster recovery site.”

In a session titled, ‘Adopting AI in the enterprise: How to avoid the hype and realise the full potential’, Ashwani Chandhok, Senior Director, Platform Cloud Solutions – Oracle APAC, said, “The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is growing among businesses, because it’s delivering real outcomes such as automation, risk management among many more. AI can also support more profound outcomes such as change in business model. Customers want personalised experiences, wherein AI can be highly effective. Oracle provides three distinct pathways to adopt AI in your organisation: Ready-to-go, ready-to-work and ready-to-build. Oracle autonomous cloud, backed by AI, is a key differentiator for us.”

Talking about enterprise security’s new normal and how organisations can mitigate future attacks, Chris Pickett, Senior Director, Manageability & Security Experts, Oracle APAC, opined thar there will be a hybrid cloud infrastructure in the near future, from enterprise security perspective. He further said, “There’s a need to look at data as an asset of interest. In a new normal in enterprise security, there will be greater emphasis on detection than prevention. Over the last few years, there’s an evolution of sentiment that security of cloud is as good as on-premise. The three key strategies for risk mitigation are: move to cloud, understand your cloud security responsibilities and rationalise technologies, extend security monitoring across cloud and on-premise.”

Another interesting highlight was a leadership session by leadership advisor, TedX speaker and author of bestseller ‘Everyman’s War’, Capt Raghu Raman, wherein he spoke about leading in a ‘RUPTured’ world and preparing your boardroom for the future. He said, “Many changes will happen in this environment and they will be highly dependent on technology. Digital will be part of the mainstream strategy at all organisations, which will also require people to think differently. The world around us has transformed into Rapid, Uncertain, Paradoxical and Tangled – RUPT. The old decision-making styles will be no longer relevant in a rapid world, and leaders need to have the humility to relearn.”

Speaking on the business value of Exadata, Ashish Ray, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Corporation, said,  “Enterprise data is the ‘currency’ for businesses today, and choosing the underlying data management platform is extremely important for organisations. There’s a need for extreme security levels for enterprise database. Smart technologies that combine hardware and software provide superior performance and Exadata is best positioned to do that.”

Giving insights on how to design omni-channel experiences with intelligent automation, Suhas Uliyar, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle Corporation, stated, “As we continue with the remote working model, user experience with intelligent automation becomes more critical. The early adopters of emerging technologies are well positioned to gain massive rewards. Oracle Multi-channel Development Platform provides various services to build intelligent omni-channel services. We have a dynamic AI-powered process automation component that allows organisations to define business processes. Furthermore, Oracle Digital Assistant leverages AI, NLP and voice to interact with data.”

Technology Track

The Technology Track of the conference focused on best practices to build infrastructure that delivers consistent performance, security controls, business insights and real-time data, building a highly resilient environment that enables firms to eliminate complexity and human error, and much more.

A major highlight was the fireside chat between Srikanth RP, Editor, Express Computer, Indian Express Group and Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India, wherein Kumar explained the new work environment and how Oracle is helping organisations move into the new normal. He said, “As we move towards the new work environment, it’s important for organisations to realise the value of cloud for their businesses. Business continuity is at the front and centre of all organisations, and they are realising the need for a strong digital foundation. OpEx model, which leads to cost effective innovative cloud solutions, has become prominent now. Oracle Cloud was build to support the most mission critical applications of customers, as embark on their cloud journeys. We have grown our customer base from 7,500 to 15,000 across various domains in a few years.”

In a session on ‘Building digital infrastructure for a billion: Learnings from Aadhaar and India Stack’, Dr Pramod Varma, Chief Architect & Technology Advisor, Aadhaar (UIDAI) and Architect, India Stack, shared, “India now runs the world’s largest direct cash transfer programme. Around $32 billion is now being directly sent to the bank account of beneficiaries across over 430 schemes. India took a non-linear path and achieved 80 per cent financial inclusion in just six years, which was earlier estimated 46 years according to a study. Platform thinking, along with ability to build many solutions and integrate them with others, is crucial for building digital infrastructure. The idea behind platform thinking includes leveraging and strengthening the ecosystem.”

Speaking on ‘Technology Deep Dive : The Power of Autonomous Database’, Tirthankar Lahiri, Senior Vice President, Data and In-Memory Technologies, Oracle Corporation, commented, “Uniformity, simplicity and standardisation in building blocks is the key to extreme scalability. Oracle database is a truly converged database, having the goal of being best in class, in every class. Oracle has built a massive AI and ML portfolio within the database. US Department of Homeland Security runs three billion transactions per day on Oracle Database and Exadata. Oracle Autonomous Database is a self driving, self securing and self repairing database.”

In another insightful session, Sharad Saxena, Chief Technology Officer, Bank of Baroda spoke on best practices for integrating systems of banks during mergers and provided a CTO’s perspective. He informed, “One of our important decisions was of incremental migration during the merger. During the first six months, our focus was on designing the solutions for integration. Our endeavour is to complete branch migration of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank by October 2020 and January 2021 respectively. For any successful project implementation, a good cohesive team is very important. Whereas, for any migration, the focal point should be customers’ convenience.”

In a sesion titled, ‘How to transform your enterprise workloads with cloud, Mohan Srinivasan, Senior Director, Cloud Pursuit, Oracle APAC, cited that TTK Healthcare has moved it’s E-business Suite on OCI and has marked 3X performance and significant increase in productivity. He said, “Today, many organisations have a cloud-first strategy for different reasons including strategic, financial, business and IT operations. In today’s agile world, customers are starting to look at moving all workloads on cloud; however they are forced to make choices due to data sovereignty and compliance. A complete transformation requires proper balancing of risks and agility.  Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides the right platform for enterprise workloads.”

Speaking on ‘Extending your data centre VMware estate to cloud’, Faisal Hasan, Principal Product Manager, Oracle EMEA said that organisations have evolved their strategy from cloud-last to cloud-also and now to cloud-first. Virtualisation, combined with cloud, offers great convenience and flexibility to organisations. He further stated, “ Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) combines VMware software with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution provides a dedicated environment with full control to customers. OCVS also provides seamless migration without the need to re-architect workloads.”

Talking about exploring and leveraging emerging technologies to your advantage, Prasenjit Sarkar, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Corporation pointed out that the top challenges facing business leaders are organisational, legacy systems, expertise and distributed services. Cloud Native helps organisations to independently invest and evolve features according to business needs. Cloud Native also helps break monolithic applications into resilient, manageable and observable systems. The NextGen Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has a zero-trust architecture. With OCI Cloud Native, customers get a complete application development stack.”

In a session titled, ‘Bring Java applications into the Cloud Native era with Kubernetes’, Ali Mukadam, Technical Director – Asia Pacific Cloud Pursuit, Oracle APAC, said, “Cloud Native environment allows organisations to build systems that help in addressing a change. Cloud Native helps run cheap experiment and measure impact on customers. With Cloud Native, customers can determine the best fit by observation. Organisations can expect failures, improve testing and processes to restore services with Cloud Native. Java is still running the mission critical applications, and WebLogic supports running them in a Cloud Native way.”

Transforming Business with Oracle – Customers Speak

“IT is providing support to IFFCO in the domains of production, marketing, finance and HR. Our requirement was to have 100 per cent availability of systems, and Oracle emerged as our first choice to move from on-premise to cloud, and we have taken the right decision by moving to Oracle Cloud. Using Oracle’s technology, we are able to achieve 100 per cent uptime, high performance, low latency and improved user response, leading to reduce the infrastructure management cost by 40 per cent. Now 5,000 of IFFCO employees are using Oracle’s voice integrated chatbot across finance and HR functions.”
Anil Kumar Gupta, Executive Director, IT Services, IFFCO.

“Our various initiatives are around digitalisation, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. We were facing the challenge of maintaining the infrastructure due to increasing costs. We decided to host our mission critical applications Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and we have marked cost savings upto 35 per cent. Universal Credit is the most beautiful feature of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The migration journey was smoother and more seamless than we had anticipated.”
Rajeev Khade, Vice President & Global Head- Information Technology,Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corp.

“Indian Oil has been at the forefront of digital revolution. We try to extend our services physically and digitally to our customers. Indian Oil has announced 2020 as the year of digitalisation. We are focusing on filling the gaps and make the organisation digitally-ready. Oracle Digital Assistant has provided an efficient way of communication to our customers.”
Alok Khanna, Executive Director, Strategic IS, Indian Oil Corporation.

“For banks like us, the launch of Oracle’s second cloud region give us the opportunity to benefit from its solutions.”
Shalini Warrier, Executive Director & Head of Retail Business, Federal Bank.

“Hindalco has been using Oracle platform for more than 20 years now. Over the last three to four years, we decided to restructure our IT applications for business growth and enhance customer experience, and Oracle was our partner of choice. We were positively surprised the ease of provisioning and managing applications on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We also use Oracle cloud for business intelligence and analytics. We would continue to use Oracle cloud  for business growth and customer experience.”
Atanu Pramanic, Chief Information Officer, Hindalco.

“Given our business goals, cloud offers several benefits such as flexibility, agility and scalability with reduced costs. Oracle Cloud’s user friendly architecture helps us create and provision resources, services, networks and storage, and security features. We chose Oracle for the best industry standards and services, maximum performance, availability, and affordability. Cloud infrastructure is easy and hassle free and also allows organisations to move legacy workloads. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has reduced Comviva’s overall IT costs significantly.”
Amitav Kanungo, Sr. General Manager – Global Projects Delivery & Support, Comviva.

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