“Oracle Can Bring in Innovation Much Faster, Allowing Customers to Benefit From The Latest Tech”

“Oracle Can Bring in Innovation Much Faster, Allowing Customers to Benefit From The Latest Tech”

In today's digital world, the need for digital transformation has become more imperative than ever. Oracle is at the forefront of helping organizations embark on their digital transformation journeys. With its cutting-edge solutions, Oracle enables businesses to modernize their operations, enhance efficiency, and improve customer experiences. In an exclusive conversation between Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal, and Deepa Param Singhal, VP of Applications, Oracle India, the focus was on Oracle's leadership in technology innovation. On the side-lines of CloudWorld Tour 2024, they discussed Oracle's success and the widespread adoption of its solutions across various sectors.

Rajeev: How does Oracle anticipate the impact of generative AI on various Industries?

Deepa: AI is a rapidly evolving field, and Oracle has been in the AI field for a long time. This is not new for us; all our applications already had AI. The latest iteration of AI, which is generative AI, is definitely disrupting all industries and streams of workflow from our vantage point. Today, whether it's banking, financial services, healthcare, retail, or manufacturing, AI is disrupting every industry. It's reshaping everything, so we've also been making strategic investments in this area of generative AI and helping it in a lot of use cases. It's interesting that Indians are ready for it; research data shows that the openness and trust Indians have in AI and generative AI are very high, with 90% of Indians being optimistic about this. We are seeing the emergence of this across all industries.

Rajeev: What are the key reason why the adoption of technology is more in healthcare industry?

Deepa: The pandemic was a wake-up call for the health sector, and the entire supply chain of healthcare systems in India crumbled. It was definitely a wake-up call, and we have moved far away from the pandemic, but its effects are still present. Healthcare systems definitely wanted to leverage technology to evolve themselves much more. Today, we are seeing many examples where they are doing their entire back-office transformation first. Initially, they approached us to manage their people, including doctors and nurses. They were under tremendous pressure, and we helped them stay engaged and motivated through digital assistance.

Multi-specialty hospitals like Fortis, Apollo, as well as healthcare BPOs like Emids and Omega Healthcare, now work with us. They wanted us to solve finance and back-office issues, enabling them to invest in research and development to improve patient care. This transformation is not limited to healthcare but is seen across all industries. Healthcare firms worldwide, including in India, are embracing technology for faster scaling and improved patient service.

Rajeev: What all initiatives you have taken to boost Indian market presence and support the businesses?

Deepa: We are deeply committed to the Indian market, especially to the "Make in India" initiative. With a workforce of 50,000 in India, we inaugurated the Oracle Tech Hub in Bangalore to further our investments in this growing economy. As a responsible organization, we feel a duty to serve this market closely. India is a priority market for us as an MNC. Our R&D efforts in India are substantial, with many products being built by our team here. This localization ensures a better user experience tailored to Indian needs. Additionally, India's booming startup ecosystem, with many companies being digital natives, has led us to establish a startup accelerator program to co-innovate with them.

We also focus on building skills through our Workforce Enablement program, collaborating with universities and colleges to ensure a skilled workforce. Our investments in data centers in India, now a cloud region, demonstrate our commitment to serving Indian customers locally and in compliance with local laws. These strategic investments underscore our dedication to the Indian market.

Rajeev: How do Oracle's Cloud Native Application Solutions provide consistency and act as a single source of truth across vital business functions?

Deepa: Not many people know that we are perhaps the only truly Cloud-native platform. When we say Cloud-native, we mean that all our applications were built with a Cloud-first mindset. Simply moving your workloads to the Cloud or migrating a few apps to a platform does not make you Cloud-native. We made a conscious decision to rewrite everything, building all our applications from scratch based on Cloud principles. This makes us the only true Cloud-native company. This aspect is something we are very passionate about.

Being Cloud-native has several advantages for us. We have the most comprehensive suite, covering HR, Finance, Supply Chain, EPM, Sales, Service, and Marketing. This allows us to solve problems where data is spread across different systems. People often spend time entering the same data in different systems, which can be eliminated with a Cloud-native approach.

Moreover, being Cloud-native enables us to adopt innovation much faster. Organizations no longer need to budget for new technologies or think about how to embrace them. Oracle can bring in innovation much faster, allowing our customers to benefit from the latest technologies without having to worry about implementation.

Rajeev: How do Oracle's solutions drive success for organizations' digital journey?

Deepa: Globally, we announced a success story with Providence, which has 117,000 caregivers worldwide. In India, they have about 1,000 people in the Center of Excellence. We have transformed their entire back office ERP and HCM, providing them with process automation and numerous benefits, including cost savings.

Here in India, we work with many customers, including Emphasis in IT services, where we are completely transforming their employee experience in the IT workforce segment. We are helping them reskill, which is another significant example.

In the financial services domain, we work with many banks; Kotak is an example. They had 20 different entities and rely on Oracle for their entire financials. They use Oracle for consolidating their reports and for faster closing of their books. They also rely on Oracle for their recruitment needs, employee experience needs, and addressing back-end challenges during and after the pandemic to reach out to their people and keep them engaged. Oracle is also used for performance evaluation. These are just a few of the interesting use cases.

Rajeev: In which verticals do you see the major traction?

Deepa: We're seeing increased interest in manufacturing. For example, we recently acquired CaratLane, a jewellery business, which is transforming its backend and finance on Oracle. Digital natives are also showing interest. For instance, many e-commerce companies, including Flipkart, have chosen Oracle as a platform. They are big tech companies in themselves and have chosen Oracle to transform their back office.

In the public sector, we're seeing a lot of entities coming to us to solve problems related to Human Resources, etc. We can't announce all of them, but many non-profit entities, including religious entities, have chosen Oracle. It's surprising, but there's interest coming from across the board. We're also seeing interest from NBFCs, fintech companies, and manufacturing companies. For example, Jindal Pipes and Jaguar are among the entities that have chosen us. What's interesting is that both large enterprises and new-age companies are turning to Oracle to solve their problems.

Rajeev: What are the key challenges for SMBs/SMEs while starting their digital transformation journey?

Deepa: For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs and SMEs), it's crucial to recognize the emergence of new competitive threats. They must standardize their processes, as relying on old systems alone is no longer sufficient to meet the demands of the modern workplace. Competition is fierce, and to embark on a transformation journey, they need to embrace change. In many ways, this transition could be more manageable; they might not need to start from scratch but rather adapt to new methods.

From our observation, many small and medium-sized businesses have smoothly transitioned and embraced transformative applications, such as our NetSuite or Oracle Fusion applications. However, a significant challenge they face is adoption. How do they shift employee mindsets to embrace new technologies? This is where we provide extensive support, conducting adoption sessions to cultivate affinity towards our platform. Whether it's an HR solution or any other, we strive to make the user experience enjoyable for employees.

Adoption is, undoubtedly, the primary challenge. Additionally, selecting the right partner and product is crucial. Businesses must choose proven solutions and have the right implementation partner in place. Regular steering committee meetings can ensure a smooth implementation process, and focusing on the first 90 days of experience can address many initial challenges. By addressing these issues, businesses can overcome hurdles and successfully transform.

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