Oracle is better placed than AWS, Azure for flexible tech infra
The market for technology infrastructure for emerging technologies is extremely demanding where things are constantly changing and improving. It is not a mature market where everything is definite. Oracle faces huge competition from companies like AWS and Azure which aggressively taking their cloud and on-premise solution to the market. In an interview with EC’s Mohd Ujaley, Neil Mendelson, VP, Big Data and Advanced Analytics at Oracle says, “AWS and Azure offer only one dimension solutions. AWS does not offer on premises and Azure offers a different technology stack in cloud than on on-premise. Oracle provides a combination of the same technology infrastructure in both which enables a change in the deployment without having to remake the entire application.”
What is your view on the Indian market? What were the major advancements that you witnessed in big data?
India is a huge emerging market and it has a tremendous role to play in Big Data market. The country’s ability to digitise and reach to more parts of the world is quite high when compared to the other markets. India has the opportunity to reach people not just in the cities but in the rural areas as well.
The country has a bigger role to play than its own domestic market and is one of the few markets that graduate more engineers and mathematical degrees than anyone else. It has a huge role to play in creating the intellectual backbone in the technology market; either in the form of consultancy or from Indian citizens. India has always been a source of intellectual capital.
As the market moves towards being data driven, the intellectual capital around analytics and technology is a fundamental requirement. There has been a lot of progress with respect to data analytics last year from a statistical point of view – importance was given to measurements of activities and the risk calculations improved.
Some of the Indian states like Karnataka and West Bengal are planning to set-up a data analytics city. Will such a move propel the adoption of data analytics in the country?
Such initiatives have a lot of scope to improve the infrastructure and platform to build data analytics in the India. The collaboration between government and universities with businesses help the market move forward. Organisations and the government have realised the value of creating technologically advanced infrastructure in the country. Politicians and administrators are recognising that data and information is central to the success of their enterprise and are creating it. Such collaborations happen in other parts of the world as well and India is now witnessing this trend.
The interest in business statistics and mathematics, key for any data scientist, have not seen impressive uptake in recent past, leading to shortage of data scientist in India. How this could be addressed?
To tackle the shortage of data scientists, you can add more effective resources to the existing ones to make them more productive. In terms of bridging this gap, there is a need for businesses and scientists to collaborate and create a data lab. This will ensure a lot more collaborations and less people working within their discipline. To make things easy, we can also leverage data visualization tools; these tools change the dynamics of who can actually see and analyse the data.
At Oracle, we are seeing the emergence of visualizing technology and are producing enhanced big data solutions that will allow people to see and act on the information rather than depending solely on the data scientists. Business analysts can themselves get access and understand the information. This will ensure more productivity and bridge the gap of shortage of data scientists.
What are the major initiative Oracle has taken for Cloud and Big Data in recent past?
We really endeavoured to simplify the process of query and analysing information. We introduced a product called Big Data discovery, which is one of the most exciting products that we have worked on. This product uses a set of machine learning algorithms to profile data and prepare it for a visual experience and this is in direct contrast to what the industry is doing today which is writing code in order to see what kind of data sets exist.
From an algorithm point of view, Oracle Big Data Cloud Service was introduced in Oracle Cloud as a massively scalable service built on Hadoop/Sparc. This product provides an intuitive and interactive user experience guiding our customers with a machine learning-driven recommendation engine, so that they can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to ingest and prepare new data sets for multiple downstream processes.
We have also introduced spatial and graph analysis which is the industry’s most advanced database for fast, scalable, reliable and secure spatial and massive graph applications. In the data delivery space, we introduced a new product- Oracle GoldenGate for Big Data which basically provides real time replication of data and it doesn’t put any burden on the source systems of our customers.
From data management perspective, we continued to build on our capabilities. In a nutshell, in 2015, we spent a lot of time addressing our customer’s pain points with respect to big data adoption. As a result, we introduced products with open source technologies in combination with existing technologies to provide a holistic big data solution.
How is Oracle looking at competition like AWS and Azure and how would you differentiate yourself from them?
Oracle has continuously been aiming at improving infrastructure and bringing about advanced technologies. The market that we deal with is extremely demanding where things are constantly changing and improving. It is not a mature market where everything is definite.
AWS and Azure offer only one dimension solutions. AWS does not offer on premises and Azure offers a different technology stack in cloud than on on -premise. Oracle provides a combination of the same technology infrastructure in both which enables a change in the deployment without having to remake the entire application.
Oracle produces the whole stack that includes not only the infrastructure but also the tools and technologies with it. We provide ETL tool, data visualization tool, we provide application both vertical and horizontal application. We not only provide the technology, but also the solutions.
There is a lot of debate on data localization and its impact on a lot of facilitators related to technology. Do you see these as a barrier on innovation when you are not able to share the data the way you would like to?
No, I do not see it as a barrier on innovation. There has always been tracking in terms of data sharing and we know that a number of regulatory bodies control and prevent the same business from sharing data in their region which is not new to us.
As the world becomes more digitized, personal and professional life becomes digital and society is coming to grip with these implications. We have techniques and products today that allow truly global organizations such as Oracle to adhere to locality as well as encryption to allow the free movement of information.
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