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Oracle bullish on growth in ASEAN

Enterprise technology juggernaut Oracle claims traction in cloud applications and growing interest in its cloud-based autonomous database service in Southeast Asia

Oracle is bullish on its growth in Southeast Asia, driven by large digital transformation projects and smart city developments across the region.

Without revealing specific growth numbers, Cherian Varghese, regional managing director and vice-president at Oracle in ASEAN, said the region is doing “extremely well” for the company, particularly in new areas such as blockchain, the internet of things (IoT) and autonomous databases.

“We’ve also had tremendous growth on our SaaS [software-as-a-service] portfolio,” Varghese told regional reporters on the sidelines of Oracle OpenWorld 2018 in San Francisco. “The ERP [enterprise resource planning] suite is also looking good and very promising, along with our NetSuite business.”

At OpenWorld, Oracle announced improvements to its cloud-based autonomous database that runs on a “second generation of cloud technology” designed to resist cyber attacks. Oracle executives said the company has had to re-architect and harden its cloud environment, as well as build in self-healing and self-learning features in the database.

Varghese said the reception to Oracle’s autonomous database since its debut last year has been promising. Thailand’s Forth Smart, a payment services provider, for example, has been using Oracle’s autonomous data warehouse service to run customer and asset management analytics.

In fact, Oracle’s autonomous data warehouse, among other services in its autonomous cloud portfolio, has garnered the most interest in the region, Varghese said, noting that it can be deployed quickly at a “low entry point” and enables businesses to create reports and mine data in spreadsheets and data lakes alike.

Despite early customer wins and growing interest from the supply chain, telecoms and banking industries, Varghese conceded that the take-up of Oracle’s autonomous database is still in the nascent stages.

That is expected to change once ASEAN customers – who tend to be more conservative with technology deployments and prefer to see how others are doing first before making a decision – are convinced of the benefits and return-on-investments from having an autonomous database that frees administrators from mundane database management tasks.

Interestingly, Varghese said decisions about deploying autonomous software in ASEAN are being made by business users, rather than by IT departments. “Departmental managers are speaking up more…and their IT will procure everything,” he said.

Earlier this year, IDC analysts Carl Olofson and David Schubmehl noted that Oracle is “at the vanguard of a movement to make enterprise software easier to deploy, use and administer, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide automation capability requiring little or no human intervention to manage the software”.

They advised enterprises to actively evaluate tools such as Oracle’s autonomous database for suitability in domains such as process automation, digital transformation and other business processes that require database access.

“If this seems to be a fit, organisations should begin evaluating Oracle autonomous database now, rather than waiting and seeing how other organisations are faring. Start with low-risk pilots to identify the best opportunities for full-scale implementation and develop metrics and measurement practices to determine how and where these systems are succeeding,” they said.

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