“Oracle Maintains Its Leadership Position in Cloud Solutions by Focusing On Solving Customers' Hard Problems”

“Oracle Maintains Its Leadership Position in Cloud Solutions by Focusing On Solving Customers' Hard Problems”

Generative AI (Gen AI) is gaining prominence and wider acceptance as the technology landscape evolves. Oracle has been at the forefront of integrating Gen AI into its solutions, leveraging its capabilities to help customers in various industries. Oracle's commitment to innovation ensures that its customers can stay ahead in this rapidly changing digital landscape. On the side-lines of CloudWorld Tour 2024, Rajeev Ranjan, Editor of Digital Terminal, recently had an exclusive conversation with Pradeep Vincent, Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Architect OCI, Oracle. The discussion centered around Oracle's innovations, particularly its investment in Generative AI (Gen AI), and the company's vision and strategy moving forward. During the interview, Pradeep Vincent highlighted Oracle's commitment to innovation, emphasizing the integration of Gen AI into its solutions. Read below the excerpts:

Rajeev: How has Oracle transformed its business with increased cloud adoption, especially in sectors like healthcare, banking, and the public sector?

Pradeep: Oracle has become a cloud-first company, focusing on a unified cloud strategy that integrates enterprise apps like ERP and HCM, addressing industry-specific challenges. The goal is to bring cohesiveness between infrastructure, industry verticals, and applications.

Rajeev: Can you share insights into Oracle's investment in Generative AI?

Pradeep: Our unified Cloud strategy drives innovation across all layers. We offer popular technologies like GPUs and super clusters at the infrastructure layer, delivering significant price-performance advantages. Increasing GPU utilization, particularly in large language model training, is crucial. Factors such as software evolution and networking speed affect GPU utilization. Our partnership with Cohere expands our generative AI service, which adds a creative spin to data. This complements our investment in combining generative AI with precise data management and storage systems. Our Generative AI Agent service, now in beta, seamlessly integrates generative functions into apps for enterprise customers.

Rajeev: How does Oracle approach customization for different industries in terms of Generative AI solutions?

Pradeep: Generative AI, particularly large foundational models, offers the advantage of working well without extensive domain-specific training. Fine-tuning has become more efficient, requiring only hundreds of samples and allowing for effective inference with minimal changes. While fine-tuning can be industry-specific, it's not as intensive as training a base model for that industry. Per-customer specific models are more common at the OCI level than the app level. The OCI generative AI service enables customers to fine-tune models using their own data in a private cluster. At the app level, customization often occurs automatically at the use case level, enhancing the overall user experience.

Rajeev: Oracle is a market leader in Cloud Solutions. What factors contribute to maintaining this leadership position?

Pradeep: Oracle maintains its leadership position in Cloud Solutions by focusing on solving customers' hard problems. This commitment is exemplified in our distributed Cloud strategy, which is more complex but more effective in addressing customer needs. We prioritize innovation to keep pace with evolving requirements. For instance, our recent launch of Oracle Database for PostgreSQL demonstrates our responsiveness to customer needs beyond our traditional offerings. We continuously enhance our portfolio, recently adding services like Reddit service, to meet diverse customer demands. Balancing rapid innovation with stability is key, ensuring we prioritize effectively to deliver value to our customers.

Rajeev: How does Oracle contribute to unifying smaller solutions into a cohesive platform?

Pradeep: Oracle sees unification more as a product than just a solution. That's the big difference. While solutions are great and there's nothing wrong with them, we believe it's important to address this in a systematic, cohesive fashion as a first-class product. This approach is at the core of our unified Cloud strategy. Viewing it from a wholesale company-level strategy perspective allows us to design and implement it more effectively than if we were to do so independently and then integrate them together. This fundamental difference in perspective is key—it's not just a solution; it's our product.

Rajeev: What advice would you give to CTOs dealing with the challenge of balancing innovation speed and stability?

Pradeep: The advice is to experiment as fast as possible while maintaining a comfortable risk level. Oracle recognizes diverse customers with varying risk aversions and emphasizes the importance of keeping up with the rapid progress in technology. However, in today's rapidly evolving technology landscape, it's crucial to keep up. So, while the advice is to experiment as fast as possible, do so within your comfort zone.

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