Unlocking the power of cloud

At Oracle CloudWorld Tour in Abu Dhabi, we met Mike Sicilia, Executive Vice President of Oracle Global Industries, to discuss the company’s latest cloud innovations.

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Does Oracle eat its own dog food? And listen to feedback from your customer community before developing new product features and upgrades.

Using your own systems is great feedback. Unsurprisingly, we use our own ERP, HCM, database system for all our developers, source code, and everything. But what may be interesting is that we use our own construction management systems to manage our facilities’ operations worldwide. So as I said, you know about Oracle database, ERP, etc., but what’s not always apparent is that we have these vertical solutions, like construction management. And we use that internally, and all of our contractors and subcontractors working on all our facilities leverage the Oracle construction management cloud. So there is no bit of our own technology that we don’t use internally.

I’ll give you another example of eating our own dog food. Speaking of eating, in our cafeterias worldwide, we run our automated ordering online menu management and payment systems; our employees internally use the very same systems that our restaurant and food and beverage customers use, including many restaurants right here in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So anytime that we can use the technology internally, we certainly do.

In terms of getting customer feedback, what is unique is that we get input from business experts. What’s different about the industry applications is that we sell them to business buyers. IT and security buyers are, of course, involved, but the business decides to procure those applications. So the feedback we get is not just about the technology, but it’s about the actual processes and business problems that are being solved. So from that perspective, we have feedback at all levels of the stack.

The number one priority for CIOs now is to reduce the cost of IT operations. So how is Oracle helping them?

I find two main categories when talking to CIOs about technology licenses. The first is frustration over what they call shelfware – unused licenses that were procured in the past but aren’t used. When you move to the cloud, tracking what you’re using inside our organisation becomes much easier. Because it’s transparent to the customer, it is transparent to us. And it’s all in the inventory. The other piece of reduction in costs is moving to consumption-based processing as well. In consumption-based processing, you pay for what you use. You pay for the amount of compute you use. And when you get into situations like AI and things like that, these can be very intensive processes, and we are bringing constant innovation here, such as clustering. The way we cluster GPUs is very different than everybody else. We can run these things much cheaper per query and throughput than anybody else. So I think it’s not just about reducing the cost. It’s about making sure there are no surprises in the bill per month as well because transparency is at the top.

Can you tell us about how Oracle’s support rewards program works?

You can utilize some of your existing on-prem support streams as cloud credits when moving to OCI. You can use these universal credits for cloud products across the board.

The other aspect is how we price the industry piece – looking at project-based pricing or outcome-based pricing. For example, if you’re running a clinical trial, the pharmaceutical can pay one price for the entirety of the clinical trial. And sometimes, if the trial takes a little bit longer than it’s supposed to, you have a transparent rate card. So you pay a monthly fee every time it overshoots; there’s no surprise or renegotiation. At the end of that, there’s nothing to do except pay the thing. And with that comes an unlimited number of users, so you don’t have to worry about counting users. Cloud computing is cheaper because you get to retire a lot of the assets and a lot of the hardware you’re using, and at the same time, make sure that all of the pricing and all the invoicing are very transparent. It should never be a surprise to the customer.

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