Robot holding a prototype handheld computer

Apps for the 21st century

Oracle’s Modern Business Summit 2016 in Singapore, was dubbed by Regional Managing Director Neeraj Shaabi, as the largest event for cloud on the island, in recent years.

After an enlightening keynote by Managing Director of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Jacqueline Poh, Oracle Corp’s Executive Vice President, Steve Miranda took to the stage to paint the gloomy state of application development, why moving to the cloud is necessary and why Oracle is shifting their model from on-premise to the cloud.

Present state

The EVP of Applications Product Development stated that the speed of change today is fundamentally different than before. For example, building business software around a business problem, could usually be completed in two years, on average.

“Then the implementation of the app would take another two years, so that’s a total of four years from talking about the problem, to implementation of the application.”

The business reality is, back then and especially now, business problems are always changing, and app development is simply not able to keep up. Add on top of that, other business realities like customers that would usually customise or extend or append their applications with third-party software.

“Or they would change business processes, which is time consuming (to develop apps for again),” Miranda added another example.

“Just to understand user requirements was time-consuming because there were so many customers, and we used to have user conferences (because of this),” Miranda reminisced.

Characteristics of the modern application, according to Oracle

Oracle had begun the arduous task of rewriting all of their software, from the ground up for the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, quite some time back. The goal is to have as many as possible supported by the cloud and Miranda added, “One hundred percent of the new apps we create will run in the cloud.”

Vice President of Applications in Asia Pacific, Adrian Johnston, later shared, “It’s a disruption for Oracle, having had to rebuild apps from the ground up, and now work done is very different from what we used to do.”

Thanks to modernised cloud apps, development cycles are shortened to as little as six months. This leads to high-frequency development cycles, and app development that is customer-driven. And because customers could run the exact same version software, Oracle could upgrade a fleet of customers simultaneously.

A far cry indeed from how it used to be done.

Suites of cloud apps for the modern enterprise

In essence, Oracle had modernised their software applications so that they would be able to support modern business requirements of mobility, social and being data-driven.  Today, these software cloud applications are divided into complete suites of Oracle solutions.

Very simply, these application suites are CX cloud for marketing, HCM cloud for global human resource capabilities that organisations require, SCM cloud for planning and collaboration within an organisation’s ecosystem of partners and suppliers, the EPM cloud for enterprise planning and Data cloud for marketing intelligence from third-party sources like LinkedIn.

Miranda explained, “We felt that the world was moving from business-to-business transactions to being business-driven… it has to make decisions based on data. So there has to be intelligence embedded into every action.”

While the most common use for Oracle’s Data cloud currently is for CX cloud and services, Miranda shared that moving forward, the idea is for customers to be able to use data via new applications like HR recruiting, within Oracle cloud suites.

“This is so businesses can get better overall decision-making,” said Miranda.

Tuning performance

Oracle cloud applications are hosted in 19 Oracle data centres around the world, to serve their customers around the globe.

Miranda pointed out, “We host your software, without seeing your data, and we monitor usage of your system ie. clicks and response times.” He said that this allows Oracle to focus on speeding up their systems, and there is precise monitoring to improve software performance.

In conclusion, he claimed that this way, “We can deliver better software faster, than ever before.”


(This journalist was a guest of Oracle’s to their Modern Business Summit in Singapore).

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