Although Oracle cannot yet boast many customers in the IaaS business, the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) made headlines in the corona-influenced spring of 2020. […]
The US software group, still known for its database technology, was able to win the then booming video conference specialist Zoom as a customer. But how does Oracle succeed in positioning itself against the three dominant hyperscalers Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google, and how does Oracle want to score with its cloud offerings among customers? The COMPUTER world spoke about this with Johannes Dobretsberger, Director Marketing at Oracle for the EMEA area.
What does the current cloud strategy look like or how does Oracle want to motivate its customers to take the path towards the cloud?
We actually see this as a whole. We try to pick up the customer where he is, he should also be able to act with the appropriate flexibility. We know that there is a need to have the cloud in your own data center, but there are also customers who operate their IT services on premise, others rely on the public cloud, which we as Oracle also offer, or on a hybrid variant in the direction of edge computing. This means that you bring the computing power directly to the data that is to be processed. Hence, we look at the Situation and the Usecase and then offer the customer the appropriate options. This depends on many factors, starting with regulatory issues, security issues and what types and sizes of workloads you want to deploy. The security issue is certainly very important right now. We also want to pick up the customer at the security level. And Oracle’s new Hybrid Cloud Solutions offering for edge computing addresses the growing need for customers to process data where it arises, but where connectivity is not. I see use cases in the defense sector, or for example in the oil & amp; gas sector, on a drilling rig, or, most recently, in the healthcare sector, where data center power and storage capacities are directly at the devices.
Some virtual Tech conferences such as Microsoft Ignite in March have shown that Edge Computing is a very important topic …
Yes, and the Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure offers the possibility to make scenarios available where this high computing power is needed. But we also know that network connections are often inadequate. This means that we have different solutions and approaches under an extremely large security cloak, where the customer can adapt his business very quickly. Because we must not forget: The business of customers has changed enormously, it is extremely fast-paced, new business cases must be implemented relatively quickly. The push into digitization has also had a strong impact in the user topic, keyword home office or especially in the education sector. These are all topics that affect the user and thus also the companies. Therefore, it is important to look at: which data, which workloads can be moved from on-Prem to the cloud, to a cloud at customer variant or on the edge. Oracle is investing heavily in the public cloud, we have already rolled out 29 regions, and we expect to roll out 38 by the end of the year.
Where is Austria?
Austria is located in the Central European market, we already have a data center in Frankfurt
Now Austria’s companies have a reputation for being traditional and conservative, how do you see the journey-to-the-cloud in Austria?
In the current situation or due to the last year of the crisis, we have seen one thing: The digitization train has also created an uncanny innovative power in Austria. It has been shown that domestic companies have responded very quickly and flexibly to the new situation and have implemented some things quickly. But you have to honestly say: it’s still a bit away. Cloud is also a cultural issue. The “New Normal” is not a temporary phase, but will continue to accompany us. Many have now recognized: Digitization is a matter for the boss and must be anchored much more firmly in the company.
Has Corona also triggered a push towards the cloud in Austria?
I think the core theme is the data. Digitization also requires the power of the data center. That is, there is a clear need not only to convey and manage the data, but also to protect and, of course, use it. Hybrid solutions are certainly crucial here.
What is the cloud topic that concerns Oracle customers in Austria the most at the moment?
The security issue is central. The point is that the data is securely available. But it’s also about secure data access and the computing power behind it. In the end, it is all about speed, because this results in a great market advantage, which is needed right now in a very dynamic market development.
But many companies are still struggling with legacy systems and legacy issues, or does public cloud mean a change in the IT architecture. How do you see it?
This is certainly true: many are struggling with legacy systems and traditions, but they have to be broken up. And those who do not do so now in this time of pandemic and upheaval will have a long-term disadvantage. Here you can only recommend everyone to use the way to an innovative cloud. It is, of course, a question of Investments, but it is also a question of Commitment.
Now there are the well-known hyperscaler Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google, but also an IBM. Where does Oracle stand in this field of tension?
The Oracle strategy is to offer companies cloud solutions in various areas. OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, note.d. Red.) provides the ability to bring the workload to the cloud. An important point is the database topic, Oracle databases are used by many customers. The “autonomous database” is crucial here, because it actually helps the company to manage, prepare and analyze the data. Here it goes strongly in the direction of machine learning and AI.
What is the revenue trend in the cloud sector?
Based on the latest quarterly figures from March, you can see very well what the trend looks like. Due to the good development in the cloud business, global total sales increased compared to the previous year. There are also some very innovative Cloud-Usescases. A recent example from Germany: deutsche Bahn has moved its entire HR management to the Oracle Cloud. Cloud is an absolute growth topic, but on-premises also has its importance. Our latest announcements show that we are clearly moving towards hybrid solutions and edge computing. Also important is our new, enhanced cooperation with VMware. This is indicative of the fact that Oracle is entering into more and more partnerships, for example with the GAIA-X initiative, where it is important to create a digital European environment.
And how is the Oracle Cloud Business structured, previously there were the three areas SaaS, IaaS and PaaS?
Today there is the classic on-premises business, next to it the cloud business and third the application business with ERP, HCM, CRM and CX. It’s about picking up the customer in his world.
In recent years, Oracle has repeatedly drummed up the security topic,how is the development?
Security is a continuous topic for us, from infrastructure to hardware (Exadata) and middleware to applications, keyword embedded security. Data leaks always cause major damage. Therefore, it is important to anchor the data security topic very high up. It’s not just a topic of the data analyst or the data scientist, it’s really a cross line of business topic. Some companies now also have a Chief Security Officer (CSO), so there is still room for improvement in Austria. Certifications for information and data security such as ISO 27001 certainly help here, but it is generally about seucrity awareness and training, also about courses at universities and universities of applied sciences, where the topic of data security is taught even more.
Where is the journey going in terms of IT security?
It is a constant journey, it never stops. IT security is becoming more and more a strategic topic in the company. It’s also about building trust, including for the customers of the companies who rely on their data to be secure. In the case of data leaks or incidents, it not only means direct damage or loss of data, but also causes damage to the image.
When it comes to Cloud & Security, what are the most important questions that need to be solved?
This is primarily about: Where is the customer in his journey-to-the-cloud, and where is IT security already in use and where not. First of all, it’s a matter of hybrid cloud and cloud management.
Johannes Dobretsberger will also be a guest at the COMPUTERWELT “Cloud & Security” Roundtable next Tuesday, 15 June at 10 a.m. You can be there LIVE, you will find detailed information and access link here.