Oracle preparing to compete with AWS

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 24, 2017

After launching its public cloud services in September, Oracle is vying for the large Indian market – dominated by Amazon Web Services – by changing its organisation culture to mimic that of AWS itself.

Oracle has set up two different teams, one to ensure that its existing customers start using cloud and continue using the service, and the other to ensurestart-ups and small businesses start using Oracle cloud and do not need to wait to get any query resolved.

“In a traditional licensing business, the customer pays you each year for renewal, even if he hardly uses the licence. But in the cloud model, if the customer doesn’t like the service or doesn’t use it, he’ll either switch to another provider or just stop paying,” said Mitesh Agarwal, Vice-President (Solution Consulting & India CTO), Oracle.

Oracle has created a “Customer Success Team”, whose only job is to ensure that its customers are using the product they’ve subscribed to and are happy with the product.

“If they don’t go live, they don’t renew. If they are not going to be happy, then they are not going to be a reference,” Agarwal said, explaining the need to set up such a team.

Of the 250 people in Oracle India’s technical team, 100 are dedicated to just keeping a check if the customer is using the products on a daily basis or not. “Their only job every day is to get up and see – ‘here is a new cloud subscription; is this customer using it? If they are not, are they facing technical challenges? How can we help them?’and so on,” said Agarwal.

“In the past, it was the System Integrator’s job to take care of renewals. Now the SI doesn’t renew for us, we renew and we have to have somebody to go and renew. To target start-ups, Oracle has created another team called Digital Front, which can engage start-ups using any digital platforms including Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc.,” he said.

Agarwal added that a start-up nowadays won’t wait for another week because someone had to travel from Bengaluru to Mumbai. They are willing to go on Facetime or even ask you to record the solution to their problem on video, and send them the link instead.”

“So, we form a very large team that purely does client service only through digital communications. We are not saying that it’s the only way we are servicing in small and medium business.”

While an after-sales technical person was ideally given 3-4 accounts to handle so far, the same person could now handle 30-50 start-up accounts by responding digitally.

However, experts believe the model may not work for Oracle, which works very different from AWS.

“Digital sales will be challenging for Oracle because Indian organisations require physical touch points. They are competing with AWS. Oracle is not pure play infrastructure player unlike AWS, which runs only infrastructure, costs very less and is easy to switch on and off, so financial risks involved are very less and decisions can be taken by IT manager.

“But ‘Software As A Service’, which is the main play for Oracle, requires approval from the top of the organisation and costs of failure are very high. Therefore, they are used to ISVs (independent software vendors) coming to them and selling to them,” said Sanchit Gogia, CEO at Greyhound Research.

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Published on January 24, 2017
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