How Oracle is recreating China success model in India

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on April 10, 2019

Has set up the customer advisory board to involve customers in product development

As Oracle steps up its cloud game, the tech giant looks at India as the next big frontier. It is taking special measures to attract billions of dollars of IT investments that Indian corporations make each year.

Oracle has set up a customer advisory board in India that will bring top development teams from across the world once a year to meet top Oracle customers and work with them closely on their problems.

Replicating strategy

In an interview with BusinessLine, Andrew Mendelsohn, Executive Vice President, Oracle, said that he sees India where China was a decade ago. The strategy to make customers a part of the product development and feedback process through the customer advisory board helped Oracle turn China into one of its largest markets; it now wants to replicate the same in India.

“India is the sixth largest market for us in the world. It wasn’t in our top 10 a decade ago. The reason why I am in India is because we have started the customer advisory board,” Mendelsohn said.

“We are getting big enterprises and government customers to come together to understand the Indian market well. We are taking this market very seriously and see this as a huge growth place for us. In fact, this is the first-ever database customer advisory board in India and we plan to have this forum meet every year,” Mendelsohn said.

Through the customer advisory board, Oracle will make its customers in India, a part of the product development strategy. While sharing the IP, Indian customers will not only have early access to new products and features, but they’ll also be able to join in the development of some of these features that are most useful for their business.

“We bring together our best customers, spend time with them to understand what they are doing; what we are working on and get their feedback to understand whether we are in the right direction from a product perspective. In these board meetings, we often come up with some of the best ideas for developing new products. There is a new feature in our product called Multi-tenant, for example, which was designed by our customer advisory board in the US,” Mendelsohn.

The first meeting in India brought under one roof some of the largest corporates.

This included HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, Ministry of finance, Ministry of Defence, Income-Tax department, NIC and several public sector organisations.

The company said it already received direct feedback from the Indian customers.

Self-driving database

“In March last year, we launched the Autonomous database and the initial response has been phenomenal. It is the most successful new product introduction in our 40-year history. In July 2017, we started our Oracle Digital initiatives for SMBs/startups and that business is growing very well YoY; in fact, there are quite a few start-up customers using the Autonomous offerings. The momentum is very strong and by the time we meet next, we will have even more number of customers for Autonomous,” Shailender Kumar, managing director for Oracle India, said.

As a next step, Oracle is preparing to launch its first cloud data centre in India before the end of the year and that’s not going to be just another data centre, but one of the finest from Oracle, according to Kumar.

Oracle Gen 2 Cloud data centre is built to run Oracle Autonomous Database — the industry’s first and only self-driving database.

The foundation for Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is designed to run large enterprise workloads with focus on security.

With that, Oracle hopes to bring in large enterprises to cloud.

Published on April 10, 2019

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