Oracle starts cloud software offerings from its India data centre

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on December 17, 2019

Software giant Oracle is betting big on India, with the launch of its cloud offerings from its India data centre, which now gives the tech firm access to regulated industries such as banking, telecom and the public sector.

Nearly half a billion dollar SaaS market is up for grabs for Oracle through the new service, senior executives indicate.

On Tuesday, Oracle formally opened up its cloud applications available through the company’s Gen 2 Cloud region in Mumbai, which came into operations in October.

The new service will help Oracle migrate existing users to cloud, and provide smaller companies cheaper cloud offerings, thereby giving them access to recurring revenues, instead of one-time contracts.

“We already have customers in regulated industry verticals that are currently using our on-premise applications. Opening up our SaaS offerings in the India data centre gives us the opportunity to offer them access to modern services through cloud applications. While our customers have shown interest in our cloud offerings earlier, for many of them data had to be within the country for them to move to the cloud. That barrier is now gone. We see a huge latent demand for our cloud offerings from our current client base itself,” Prasad Rai, Vice President, Applications, Oracle India, told BusinessLine.

Broad clientèle

According to a recent Gartner report, by 2020, the software as a service (SaaS) market will be $1.15 billion in India in terms of revenue. Oracle is betting for a large chunk of this through its new services.

“About 40 per cent of that market will become addressable for Oracle with cloud apps being in India data centre. Through our acquisition of NetSuite, which is a global leader in cloud ERP for smaller companies, we’ll also be able to deliver our services to a broader set of customers,” Rai said.

Oracle is attempting to convert their existing customer base to a cloud customer base through a programme called ‘SOAR’, wherein it will take existing customers through workshops and showcasing how their data will look on the cloud, and how it will impact their business.

Oracle says it will not charge customers for this consulting work until the cloud application deployment is completed. “For customers going through our SOAR programme, we are promising an estimated cost saving of up to 30 per cent,” Rai said.

Oracle is betting on faster deployment times, which for most part is within a few weeks, instead of months that took for deploying its on-premise applications. “We’ve been offering benefit of speed to customers. In past, implementing ERP took several months. Now, we’ve seen customers go live on Fusion ERP in a matter of weeks. Our logistics customer Safexpress decided to move to Fusion and were up and running in just 8 weeks. Wipro on the other hand decided to roll out enterprise performance management and were able to roll it out in two months. Typically that would take at least twice as much time to deploy,” he said.

Oracle is betting big on cloud services in India, where it has also managed to grab market share apart from growing double digits in the past four years. “In 2018, we grew our market share by revenue by 4.9 per cent year on year across SaaS applications, as per IDC data,” he added.

Addressing data protection

Rai said the new Data Protection Bill, which requires sensitive data to reside in the country, would require many companies to go for cloud services that store data within the country, helping Oracle boost its revenue.

“Oracle is the only company with India data centre that has an entire stack — IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. That puts us in a strong position to address the market comprehensively. That will put us in a better position from the Data Protection Bill perspective. If the law requires more, I see it as work in progress,” Rai said.

Rai said that despite slowdown in the economy, there was a good demand for software deployments in India, however, the conversations were more about cost cutting rather than deploying a new application.

“Customer’s interest to roll out new applications continues to be there in India. But it has to solve a business problem and not just a digital initiative. Customers often come back asking if it’ll help us cut cost, or will it help us engage better with employees. Conversations are becoming business outcome led," Rai said.

Published on December 17, 2019

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