Interview with Oracle AU Managing Director - Ian White
By User769227-Oracle on Jan 26, 2009
Earlier this month Oracle's AU Managing Director, Ian White has taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions and provide his thoughts and comments on what it is like working at Oracle. I have had the opportunity to interact with Ian and have been impressed with the way that he motivates and leads Oracle's Australian Team. It has been great to get the chance to talk to Ian and have him share his thoughts and experiences at Oracle with us.
Without further introduction please find below our interview with Ian White, Oracle AU Managing Director - Ian thanks again for your time.
1) When did you start your career with Oracle and in what capacity, how long have you been in your current role?
I joined Oracle in October 1993 as an Applications Consultant. I became ANZ Regional Managing Director in June 2005, having been the Western Region General Manager for the preceding seven plus years.
2) What is it that you feel makes Oracle a great place to work? Why do you enjoy working for Oracle?
There are many reasons why Oracle is a great place to work. Corporately we are always looking to grow and improve our business - we are never 'standing still'. This means we are always looking to change, to perform better and to do things differently, which creates a culture and spirit of innovation and success that attracts a certain style of person to Oracle and I enjoy working with people who are innovative, who think and act creatively, who expect and celebrate success.
3) How would you describe Oracle's company culture or spirit?
Oracle's company culture and spirit is based on innovation, creativity, being competitive and being successful.
4) What is the most important contribution that Oracle expects from its employees?
Regardless of your role, Oracle expects its employees to adhere to our corporate values and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Beyond this, Oracle is a fantastic example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Where different parts of our organisation work effectively together, we are able to offer significant increases in value to our customers and hence our shareholders. Oracle expects its employees to use all its resources in the most effective manner possible.
5) How would you describe the experience of working here?
I have had a fantastic experience of working at Oracle. I have had many opportunities to do different things and have worked with many very talented people who have had vast amounts of fun achieving spectacular results. I have always enjoyed support from senior management and have 'lived through' a number of Oracle and IT industry periods - the database wars, the internet, the dot com boom, the dot com bust and IT slowdown, the IT industry consolidation, and now the global economic crisis. Each of these periods has presented many corporate and personal opportunities for those prepared to look for them and to take advantage of them.
6) Work-life balance is an issue of retention as well as productivity. Can you talk about your own view of how to navigate the tensions between getting work done and encouraging healthy lives outside the office?
Work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges facing all of us and often means quite different things to different people. I am married with four young children and try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I try and avoid working on the weekend unless there is no choice, for example I will often look at email, but not send any unless it is critical to do so. We are all creatures of habit and it is quite easy in my experience to develop the habit of working on the weekend, even when it is not essential. I try and maximise the work I do when I am travelling, so that I have less to do when I am not travelling.
7) If you were speaking to a new Oracle employee, what one piece of wisdom would you want to incorporate into their work life?
Don't wait to be tapped on the shoulder and have an opportunity presented to you. Be on the lookout for opportunities and grab hold of them.
8) Do you feel the opportunities exist for employees to develop both their personal and professional growth in Oracle?
Absolutely. We have many examples of people who have grown significant careers in Oracle and benefited personally and professionally as a result. Oracle has grown significantly in the last four years - this has created many opportunities for people to develop their technical and management skills, and to switch between the two. Oracle will assist with personal and professional development, however don't wait, be proactive.
9) In the current economic climate, What do you feel is the greatest challenge currently facing Oracle AU in the next 12 months?
The greatest challenge facing Oracle Australia in the next twelve months is to focus on the reality of our business locally. We have a very broad customer base, a very broad product set. The next twelve months are a fantastic opportunity for Oracle to continue to persuade the market of the tremendous value and benefit its complete, open and integrated software stack can bring businesses in challenging times.
10) Is there any person or company you feel is doing innovative work in AU and in what way?
Many of our customers are using our products and services in innovative ways, to help make them more efficient and in particular to help them differentiate themselves against their competitors. Often, Oracle employees are not only engaged in these initiatives, but leading the way as well. In my experience, Australian organisations and people are regularly leading the world in their understanding and application of technology.