Cloud: The Power Source Of Digital World

By Guruprasad Gaonkar, JAPAC SaaS Leader for Office of Finance (ERP) & Digital Supply Chain, Oracle

Guruprasad Gaonkar, JAPAC SaaS Leader for Office of Finance (ERP) & Digital Supply Chain, OracleHow do you see cloud and the emerging technologies changing the way we live our lives?

We are going through one of the most transformative times. We are living the future a few authors forecasted years ago, in another unseen world - which we call the Eighth Continent - the digital world of limitless opportunities. In this continent, emerging technologies such as AI/ ML, Blockchain, IoT play the role of power lines connected to the power-source – cloud i.e the foundation and run on “data” as the power. All emerging technologies when consumed in small use cases, will typically yield deceptively easy success. But scaling emerging technologies is an entirely different task and is hard.

Like we consume cloud with our favourite personal apps on mobile, for businesses too we observe that the cloud is becoming the necessity. In the continent, the real opportunity for businesses is to leverage every emerging technology, consume continuous innovation at a never seen before scale.

“Companies with the right leadership and data driven vision will seize the opportunities offered by cloud computing to grow and thrive on the eighth continent - start now, before it’s too late”

How do you see the potential from your current offerings furthering your growth and leadership within SaaS globally and in India?

SaaS is being adopted by organizations of all sizes, at an accelerating pace across every industry. According to Gartner, public cloud revenue in India is expected to grow 24 percent, which is USD 2.4 billion, by end of 2019. SaaS will be the fastest growing market segment in India in 2019, accounting for nearly half of the total public cloud services revenue year over year. SaaS revenue is estimated to grow 23 percent in 2019 to USD 1.15 billion.

We are observing a substantial y-o-y growth in SaaS revenue, making India one of the most significant contributors to the Asia Pacific (APAC) revenues for Oracle. Globally, in FY19, first quarter, our ERP business grew 30 percent year over year globally, much faster than our traditional software. We already have well over 20,000 customers including NetSuite across the globe. With the growth coming from not just from ERP, but also HR and customer experience, we will be in a position to be almost an entirely SaaS based company.

What is your go-to-market strategy and major areas of investment? How important is the sales function?

Firstly, our foundation is our offering. With SaaS we deliver the most comprehensive capabilities that have global reach and strategic focus on a wide variety of industries and regions. The most comprehensive ERP, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Human Capital Management and Customer Experience where customers gain continuous access to emerging technologies such as AI, ML, Blockchain, IoT etc embedded in the form of quarterly updates.

Next is our commitment to customer success, we have customers that are going live in as little as 6 weeks. In June 2018 we launched SOAR where we made it much easier for customers to move from on premise Oracle ERP into the Oracle ERP SaaS. Calling it the last upgrade you’ll ever do; we enable Oracle customers to reduce the time and cost of migration by up to 30 percent. In India, the acceptance for our SaaS offerings is exceptionally high mainly because it delivers instant business value.

Finally, and the most important is the Oracle Team. This team has a pivotal role of building deeper partnerships with our customers because in SaaS the only way to operate is by being customer obsessed. With SaaS we are going from a product to a service-based business model.

Which business function do you feel can lead the digital transformation in any organisation?

True transformation will start when all organizational functions like HR, Marketing, Sales, Finance etc., come together and become core of the business instead of operating in silos. That requires organizations to operate on connected data, which is driven by connected intelligence. Connected data means all business functions are operating as one, eliminating siloed operations. For example: excess liquidity in finance triggering early payment discounting in procurements function, another example being productivity improvement measures in human resources coming by operating expense guidelines from finance. The more connected the various functions are, the better they are with seamless flow of data resulting in better business decision making for growth and resource optimization for enterprises. Bearing in mind, on this eighth continent transformation is one constant game – with emerging technologies driving extreme automation and intelligence that eliminate redundancies. Getting on with transformation isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s a must-do. Companies with the right leadership and data driven vision will seize the opportunities offered by cloud computing to grow and thrive on the eighth continent- start now, before it’s too late.

SaaS is a wide portfolio of business applications on cloud and there are many large players in the market. What is Oracle’s USP?

Firstly, in SaaS, customer adoption speaks larger than products. We are growing our SaaS Customer base very rapidly, taking share from competition, clear Number 1s in the overall marketplace. In ERP SaaS alone, more than 6,000 customers globally subscribe to our services. Second, we are the only one with broadest and deepest capabilities across ERP, Digital Supply Chain, Procurement, Human Capital Management and Customer Experience. Customers do not have to go through all the trouble and the expenditure of stitching these solutions together. We provide them business flows that are seamless from beginning to end.

Third but the most important one, for surviving in today’s unforgiving world – security. The importance of security cannot be underestimated. We address the most difficult questions in security - Is it designed for maximum security and reduced risk? Oracle invests in cloud security and continues to develop in areas such as autonomous services, which are self-repairing and deliver secure innovations that reduce risk, eliminate manual errors, help enable better compliance and auditing, and increase productivity. We always strive for enabling our customers to achieve their business transformation with peaceful mind, all on one standards-based cloud platform.

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