Our cloud business is growing at a very good pace: Sunil Mehra, Oracle India
Oracle’s cloud business is growing at a very good pace with the company having an overall customer base of 15,000 today in India, most of whom are cloud customers, says Sunil Mehra, VP-Cloud Platform, Oracle India , in an interview with Express Computer
With Cloud becoming mainstream for businesses, what is the overall growth of cloud witnessed in the past few quarters?
In the digital economy, cloud has become a business imperative. As more and more enterprises look to transform into digital-first businesses, CXOs view cloud as an innovation catalyst. The continued rise of cloud adoption in India is testimony to this trend. The public cloud services revenue is expected to reach US$2.5 billion at a growth of 37.5 percent this year, per Gartner. After China, India is the largest and fastest growing cloud services market in Asia-Pacific. We’re finding Indian businesses to be more bullish about cloud adoption than some of their APAC peers.
From Oracle’s perspective, more and more Indian businesses are moving to Oracle cloud for hyper growth. Our cloud business is growing at a very good pace. We have an overall customer base of 15,000 today in India, most of whom are cloud customers.
Certain factors have led to the sudden demand for emerging technologies such as AI, ML, Blockchain etc. How is Oracle using AI?
Though AI has been around for years, it’s only now that AI (and ML, which is the more widely applicable avatar of AI for businesses) is emerging as a game changer, primarily for two reasons – the abundance of data (because AI feeds on data; the more the data, the better will be your insights and outcomes), and, super-fast computing power to crunch this data flood. Cloud is the foundation for most emerging technologies like AI/Ml, blockchain and chatbots – what I refer to as the ABC triad – so with rising cloud adoption, it’s just a matter of time before businesses realize the true potential of these emerging technologies.
Our modern cloud infrastructure offering delivers new levels of security from core to edge to protect critical data. We also announced new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure security services that are highly automated, detective and predictive to help remediate threats. Reinforcing Oracle Cloud’s unmatched security, Larry further illustrated how Oracle Autonomous Database uniquely scans for security threats and applies security updates while running to help prevent cyberattacks and data theft.
As per Gartner, blockchain will add $176 billion in business value by 2025, and $3.1 trillion by 2030. Can you share your views on how this new trend will evolve in the coming years?
Blockchain has the potential to radically transform how every industry operates, by making business interactions more secure, transparent, efficient and cost-effective. More and more blockchain projects are quickly moving from pilot to production as enterprises and governments begin to see the inherent value of distributed ledgers and smart contracts. While the BFSI industry was the frontrunner in blockchain adoption, we’re now seeing a rise in adoption in industries like manufacturing and healthcare, amongst others. With blockchain, technology is the easiest piece of the puzzle – the key lies in building the right stakeholder ecosystem with a common vision.
Beyond business, blockchain can prove to be a game changer for improving our quality of life. We recently announced our partnership with NITI Aayog, the policy think tank of the government of India, in alliance with Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma Sciences, to reduce fake/counterfeit drug distribution in the country.
Why should CIOs seriously consider AI-enabling their enterprise? What are the real challenges that C-level executives are facing in India?
As individuals and end consumers, there’s a lot of AI already in our lives – the virtual assistants on our smartphones or smart devices at home or smart infotainment in our vehicles are some of the many common AI use cases in our everyday lives. It’s therefore quite natural for us to see AI becoming pervasive in the enterprise in a big way. According to research by Accenture, AI could add a whopping $957 billion to the Indian economy by changing the nature of work to create better outcomes for businesses and society. So it makes huge business sense for CIOs to AI-enable their enterprise quickly. This will further free up enterprise IT teams to spend more time on ‘innovating’ with new technologies for the business and doing higher value work, instead of getting caught up with ‘managing’ IT.
What is the need for Intelligent Bots in today’s businesses?
For conversational AI (or bots in simple terms) adoption in the enterprise, there’s now both a push and a pull factor at play like never before. On one hand, using AI and automation, businesses want to automate mundane/routine tasks to the extent possible (ex: self-service bots for employees and customers) to improve operational efficiencies and customer engagement. On the other, a more digital savvy workforce expects the same level of intuitive and fast response from their employer that they’re used to in their personal lives, with the instant query resolution they’ve come to expect from conversational AI interfaces as end consumers – be it grocery, retail or entertainment.
Intelligent bots will transform every facet of every industry and dramatically improve the customer experience. Industry experts are already talking about the immense potential of the bot economy. According to a report by Grand View Research, Inc, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 24.3%.
Using Oracle’s AI enabled Intelligent Bots service, India’s leading electrical appliances company Bajaj Electricals was able to develop a pilot chatbot in just two weeks. Customers visiting Bajaj Electricals’ website can experience the ease of engaging with Bajaj ‘Paddy’, the bot that pops up on their website. The bot includes a dialogue engine that can formulate questions customers could be planning to ask and machine-learning capabilities that help the bot learn constantly and refine its responses.
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