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Oracle throws full weight behind digital in APAC

Oracle’s Digital Hub which recently opened in KL, will serve SMEs from Malaysia and 21 other countries in Asia Pacific.

Francois Lancon, SVP of Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific, said, “The cloud is democratising IT; you just need a web browser of a mobile phone app to take advantage of it.

“What’s more, it has incredible transformation potential for small businesses, enabling them to do things they have never been able to do before, at an affordable price, such as use technology to streamline business processes, gain access to an easy-to-use platform for innovation, and digitise their customer experience.”

The 240-headcount hub, which has the role of generating demand for 80-percent of the market in Asia Pacific and Japan, also aims to simplify the buying process for smaller organisations, which includes branch offices and lines-of-business.

Francois Lancon greets InvestKL and MDEC to Oracle’s new digital hub in Mid Valley City.

This hub, is the biggest of six hubs in Asia Pacific – the others are located in Bangalore, Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore – and according to Lancon, it serves the role of creating a pipeline of demand which would then be fed to the other hubs, where on-the-ground personnel would close the sales with the customers in their proximity.

Internal change

The SVP for Japan and Asia Pacific admitted to having a pretty large sales organisation. “It is clearly segmented by accounts, and our field sales people used to service about 200 accounts each.”

He shared that this large number has been shaved down to an average of 30 accounts for each sales person, allowing them to focus better and deeper on fewer accounts, while the balance number of accounts were moved to the digital world, or the digital hubs.

Change agents

Lancon also described Oracle as being a big company, that is growing at start-up speed. “So, to continue doing this, we had to do different kinds of things.”

It is believed, that the six digital hubs across APAC, are peopled by a mix of cultures, ages, and other demographic elements, not usually found in Oracle.

Besides being demand generation and/or digital sales centres, these hubs aim to serve as change agents for the rest of the organisation.

“There has to be a culture change; we can’t just tell people to start to sell new stuff,” Lancon shared.

Oracle is largely still perceived as a database company, despite starting to invest in cloud research and development and cloud technologies ten years ago, and enjoying a steady cloud revenue that is growing 51-percent, year-on-year.

Why Malaysia?

Lancon cited reasonable cost for reasonable skills, available infrastructure, and an enabling government, as reasons why Kuala Lumpur was picked as the main digital hub for the region.

MDEC’s Chief Strategy Officer, Ir Siva Ramanathan, welcomed the move, saying that MDEC has targeted certain areas in technology to go deep into, and develop, like cloud computing.

He even admitted, MDEC wanted to avoid the Grab scenario and provide a nurturing and supporting ecosystem, for MNCs like Oracle to continue to invest in Malaysia.

Grab is a locally made ride hailing service, that moved its operations to greener pastures in Singapore.

InvestKL CEO, Zainal Amanshah, saw the digital hub opening in KL, as being aligned with Malaysia’s focus on the digital economy, and said that besides attracting talent and global best practices to KL, it also strengthened ties between Malaysia and America.

Oracle’s Managing Director for Malaysia, Fitri Abdullah, said, “With Oracle Cloud, SMEs now have access to the most modern solutions in the market, at an affordable price as well as timely, personalised and effective support.”

The hope is that with these technologies, now at the fingertips of micro and SMEs in APAC, they can now be more competitive as they build a larger presence in the digital economy.

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