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Latest Digital Trends and Business Transformation Stories from the Middle East

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A letter to my younger self

By Charlotte Adelgaard, Vice President, CX, Western Europe, Oracle Hey you. Yes, you – younger Charlotte! Bombing around in a little truck, Madonna blaring, delivering mail with your best friend in the back streets of Copenhagen. Good times. We loved that job! The simple joy of doing a job well with people you like. Looking back at my younger days I can tell now that this is something you – my younger self – will stay true to over the next 20 years. You should be proud of that. Being true to yourself will help guide your career and your decisions. As will being fair, kind and honest. So, I want to be fair and honest with you now, although it may not sound kind! It won’t be easy. I don’t mean it will just take hard work. Most things worth doing take hard work. I mean that sometimes the odds will be against you. But you won’t see it that way until later in life. Because life as you know it now is all about being fair and equal compared to others. Community. Respect. Contribution. Equality. These are values you have grown up with and you believe they should be shared universally. This is what gives your work and actions integrity. And that’s why when you know what you want, you aren’t afraid to ask for it. Just look at your last school report: “Charlotte goes her own way… and will always stand up for what she thinks is right”. Our hero RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) would be proud of that one! But as much as I love her and her trailblazing brilliance, she is an inspirational exception. What do I mean by that? Well, like it or not, the expectations on us ARE higher. And I don’t mean just you and me. I mean on women. We are expected to be perfect daughters, sisters, co-workers, leaders, friends… and eventually wives and mothers. But trying to be all that is exhausting and almost impossible for most of us. We can be inspired by women like RBG, but you shouldn’t hold yourself to an unrealistic standard. So, stay true to what you really want. Try not to think about all the things you’re not excelling at (or listen to those that reinforce that) and focus on what you want to achieve. You can’t be everywhere at once and you can’t have it all. It’s OK. It’s your choice. This will make you a happier person and a better leader. And yes, although you value your independence and the control you have over your own world now, you will be drawn to leading people. You won’t always have leaders that share some of your core values – kindness, empathy and community. But these will be key to your approach to leadership. Of course, you’ll be results driven and able to make tough decisions. But what will keep you true to yourself (and happy!) is creating a culture of kindness and respect within your teams. When you see this in others, nurture and accept it. It can often be mistaken for weakness in the corporate world. It is not. It is one of your core strengths. Now you may think I have painted a rather bleak picture of your future as a woman in the business world. Well, I do want to be honest and fair. You will be at a disadvantage because of that little “s” at the beginning of your pronoun. But you will have such a fantastic and fulfilling journey. And guess what, it does get better. Things do start to get fairer. That’s because of the many young women like you who stay true to themselves along the way (and many supportive colleagues too). You may not know it now or feel it as you progress, but your positivity and energy help pave the way for other young women. So go, be yourself and don’t’ forget to write to me on the 8th March 2021 – International Women’s Day – with your own story.  

By Charlotte Adelgaard, Vice President, CX, Western Europe, Oracle Hey you. Yes, you – younger Charlotte! Bombing around in a little truck, Madonna blaring, delivering mail with your best friend in the...

Oracle Middle East

How to Make a Big Move to In-Demand, “As-a-Service” Business Models

By Kirk Carlsen, Dee Houchen and Jennifer Toomey, Oracle In 2020, our humble homes became the essential support beam for both human health and business continuity, something that wouldn’t have been possible without “as-a-service” applications for food delivery, physician care, day-to-day job responsibilities, and more.   The as-a-service business model certainly isn’t new. Everything from music to movies to maintenance can be delivered using a subscription model. But it’s fair to say that people value these services now more than ever, and they are an emerging opportunity for businesses looking to build new revenue streams. In fact, many businesses are already there. In an October 2020 survey, 62 percent of all companies said they’ve implemented solutions to manage an increased demand for online interactions and services. And more than half of respondents (53 percent) believe the change will stick after the pandemic subsides, as consumers and customers settle into the “next normal.” Introducing new revenue streams based on the as-a-service shift is one of four Big Moves that finance leaders should make to grasp opportunity and move their businesses forward. How finance drives value in new business models Optimizing your portfolio might not be a top priority right now, but research indicates that it should be. McKinsey & Company analysis found that “companies that invest in innovation during a crisis outperform the competition on market capitalization by 10 percent; investing in innovation after a crisis gives them a 30-percent advantage.” For pure product companies, the biggest opportunity is to identify offerings that are wholly new or extend the value of existing products. Companies such as Apple, John Deere and Boeing are well known for augmenting their highly technical products with internet-delivered services for preventative maintenance, localized configurability, real-time in-field analysis, and more. CFOs and their teams are an essential part of decision-making for new business model innovation, and making sure investments deliver on expectations is vital. Organizations need to evaluate their most and least profitable lines of business, locations, or products, so they can shift resources as necessary. Finance professionals who use profitability and cost management solutions can help identify areas to reduce costs and uncover investment opportunities. Finance teams can also advise on methods that will improve visibility and flexibility. For example, zero-based budgeting—a method where finance creates an annual budget based solely on costs with a justified need, rather than simply modifying the previous year’s spending—can provide a wider view and deeper understanding of your exact spend, so you can control costs and reprioritize as needed. This method has worked well for Oracle customers such as Argo Group International, which decreased its expense ratio (a key performance indicator used in the insurance industry) by 250 basis points. Best practices for business model innovation To help finance leaders as they lead this charge, Oracle is offering a Finance Starter Kit with best practices and advice on first steps. Below is an abbreviated version of best practices as outlined in the kit. Best practice #1: Rethink what your target customers want Collect feedback via social listening, customer community groups, surveys, events—anywhere customer voices are prominent. This will help you to identify what your customers want and don’t want, as well as what is motivating them to make a change. Best practice #2: Analyze various business models Take advantage of scenario modeling. Model different scenarios for multiple offerings, market conditions, or other key drivers that can help you stay aligned with your revenue goals. Best practice #3:  Collaborate throughout the innovation life cycle To get the most ROI out of your innovation efforts, break down silos and create a process that involves multiple stakeholders. One of the most effective ways to collaborate is with a connected suite of cloud applications. Best practice #4: Design for customer success Customer satisfaction is the biggest predictor of future revenue for as-a-service offerings. If your customers aren’t happy, they won’t renew. Integrated cloud suites can help you configure an offer, price it, provide a quote, simplify contract negotiations, and provide self-service options for customers to modify or change their subscriptions. Best practice #5: Measure outcomes and respond quickly This is where finance needs to collaborate closely with line-of-business leaders to keep them informed about what’s working well—and what isn’t—so that business leaders can quickly change course for a better outcome. KPIs for a new business model might include annual recurring revenue (ARR), customer churn, renewals, and customer lifetime value. Make a big move toward success The pendulum of crisis has swung from focusing reactively on survival, to being proactive for growth. Take some time to consider how new business models could help your business build long-lasting advantages. Learn about other big moves that finance should make right now.  

By Kirk Carlsen, Dee Houchen and Jennifer Toomey, Oracle In 2020, our humble homes became the essential support beam for both human health and business continuity, something that wouldn’t have been...

Why cloud adoption is complicated as companies seek digital transformation to survive

by Andrew Sutherland, SVP, Oracle in Europe and the Middle East Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp tells us that out of the seven core instincts in the human brain (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal care, pleasure/lust, play and seeking) seeking is the most important. All mammals have this seeking system and are rewarded for exploring their surroundings and seeking new information for survival.  The world in 2020 has caused businesses to accelerate what they are looking for to survive and often they have had to make quick decisions, relying on experienced partners to advise on these choices.  We have seen this specifically in the Middle East where digital transformation has accelerated and our customers have sped up their rapid adoption of cloud. The contribution of digital economy to the UAE’s GDP is at 4.3 per cent in 2019, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has set a target to double this contribution by enhancing the country’s digital readiness. Moving to the cloud to help digital transformation seems straightforward. A ‘no brainer’ some may say. But moving to the cloud is not so easy. For me the critical aspect of partnering with any customer is understanding the specific detail on where they are in their transformation journey. No-one denies that moving to the cloud gives the benefits particularly when we are all working from home, we need to share data in different locations, and we need to be nimble and cost effective with our workloads. Moving intricate workloads to the cloud is complex. Businesses have to keep delivering for their customers, people need to be continually trained and paid, planning has to happen, unexpected issues have to be handled and new business innovation has to be considered in order to have a future. We have the ability to offer cloud the way our customers want it...public, hybrid, private, cloud@customer. We have choice. In the Middle East, we have Oracle's second generation cloud region in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and now we have one live in Dubai. Two more cloud regions are planned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.  The Dubai cloud region offers all Oracle Cloud services, including Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Autonomous Linux, and our goal is to help accelerate the digital transformation initiatives of organisations across the UAE. In real practical terms customers like DP World will be able to develop their digital initiatives at different levels via Oracle Cloud Applications and Cloud Infrastructure platform.  Managing data smartly in the cloud will help with improving agile and cost effective logistics operations. This is really important in our world – how to safely move goods around the world. And if our customers, for example in finance or public sector that have demanded data sovereignty requirements, we have Oracle Dedicated Regional Cloud@Customer.  The Government of Oman, for example, can run an entire IT portfolio on a cloud infrastructure with physical control of infrastructure and data.  The fully managed cloud region provides strong isolation of customer data, which remain local to the government’s datacenters and provide the highest levels of security.  It’s about choice of technology at the right time and we have this philosophy so our customers can quickly respond to changing economic conditions and their own digital transformation needs by rapidly scaling with secure services. Whilst I am convinced digital transformation will continue to be sought and will thrive in the Middle East, the most important thing to me is that we are ready to partner with our cloud innovation at every important and complex stage of the transition path. Oracle UAE Cloud Region Launch Join us for a virtual event on 17th November at 2:30 PM Gulf Standard Time (GST) to mark the official launch of our UAE Cloud Region. His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and His Excellency Hamad Al Mansoori, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory and Digital Government Authority are the keynote speakers for the virtual event. Please register your interest today

by Andrew Sutherland, SVP, Oracle in Europe and the Middle East Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp tells us that out of the seven core instincts in the human brain (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal...

3 Bold Moves CFOs Can Make Today to Outperform the Market

For years, finance leaders have been seeking ways to leverage technology to make their organizations future ready. The current pandemic exposed the shortcomings of outdated platforms and accelerated the pace of innovation, even as some organizations battle for their very lives. The bold moves draw from research conducted by McKinsey & Co. on the financial performance of 1,500 companies following the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, to understand how the top 25% in terms of total returns to shareholders, were able to outperform their competitors after the downturn.  These “Resilients,” the research found, shared key characteristics, including an aggressive approach to reallocating resources and investing in productivity initiatives within the organization. Bold Move #1: Adopt a transformation mindset when reallocating resources. The upside to any economic crisis is that it presents a logical and necessary opportunity to rethink every aspect of the business. Contrary to what one might think, now is not the time to invest resources in small, incremental adjustments; rather, it’s the time to focus on bold, transformational moves that can deliver outsize productivity gains and returns on investment.    Bold moves during a crisis also require powerful tools, yet many companies found themselves ill-equipped to maintain the business, let alone accelerate innovation.  Many Oracle customers were running on-premises systems from the early 2000s which lack crucial capabilities that are integrated into Oracle’s current Cloud ERP. The current generation of Cloud ERP software is giving companies outsize productivity gains now—when they are desperately needed—as well as the flexibility to adopt new business models that support subscription-based revenue streams or digital sales channels.  Getting on the cloud today also provides access to continuous innovations being architected now into the software’s roadmap, from digital assistants and chatbots to AI-driven predictive and prescriptive analytics.    Bold Move #2: Pursue pragmatic M&A and divestitures to improve the company’s portfolio Based on McKinsey’s research of the past and assessment of current conditions, the current economic downturn is an ideal opportunity to embark on a programmatic approach to mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures that can increase your business’s competitive advantage.  Organizations using outdated technologies will be challenged to gain visibility into the profitability of their current business models, assess the potential of new M&A activities or spin-offs, and operationally support the choices they make. Oracle uses its own Cloud ERP to support its M&A strategy and realize expected synergies.  Oracle is very acquisitive, and we have been buying a number of companies over the years, over 100-plus in the last 20 years—many of them large-sized organizations.  Over 25 of those acquisitions were completed during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, to support Oracle’s pivot into enterprise applications and hardware. The true cloud financial management systems are continuously updated with the latest capabilities to provide scalability and flexibility, rapidly integrate new entities, and provide the ability to model the impact of individual acquisitions or divestitures on both the bottom and top lines. Bold move #3 – Boost productivity through digitization Innovation in finance has been a priority for years but has now become urgent as a result of the pandemic. More digitization and automation of finance processes has long been on the to do list of finance leaders. According to the McKinsey report “Get in front of digital finance,” more than 75 percent of tasks can be automated in areas such as cash disbursement, revenue management, and general accounting operations. As organizations move toward digitization and high levels of automation, the importance of advanced data and analytics to drive visibility and collaboration across an organization has never been higher. At Oracle, our strategy has always been to provide a single integrated service: connected enterprise, connected data, connected view of the business processes to help you actually drive these big transformations. The view from the front office to the back office is critical, not just to operationalize all these new business models, but to also help manage ongoing changes. Through a single unified platform that facilitates more automation and better collaboration, CFOs and finance teams can more easily adopt modern practices such as continuous forecasting and planning, and predictive capabilities to better respond to the next crisis. Plus, they gain the ability to execute more work remotely—such as the critical task of closing the books. Oracle was able to increase productivity during the pandemic, shortening the monthly close by an additional 20% while working from home. In fact, Oracle is reaping the benefits of its own cloud solutions across hundreds of processes, every day.  Next Steps for Reimagining Finance Finance teams in every organization must move towards resiliency and finance reimagination at their own pace. There is no cookie cutter approach. COVID-19 won’t be the last of the disruptions businesses must contend with. It’s important for them to re-evaluate and rebuild their business models to be more resilient. Yet resilience is no longer about having the cash reserves and resources to weather disruption right now – it’s about building an infrastructure that is flexible, cloud-based and automated to deal with constant, unrelenting change. Here’s how you can start building business resilience with Oracle Cloud Applications By Anne Ozzimo, Executive Director, ERP & EPM Product Marketing at Oracle

For years, finance leaders have been seeking ways to leverage technology to make their organizations future ready. The current pandemic exposed the shortcomings of outdated platforms and accelerated...

What is business resilience in the new never normal?

COVID-19 won’t be the last of the disruptions businesses must contend with. It’s important for them to re-evaluate and rebuild their business models to be more resilient. Yet resilience is no longer about having the cash reserves and resources to weather disruption right now – it’s about building an infrastructure that is flexible, cloud-based and automated to deal with constant, unrelenting change. The paradox of resilience Enterprise resilience comes in two parts. It’s about having the foresight to identify areas of risk and causes of disruption. But it’s also about having the agility to quickly transform operations to adapt to what’s coming down the track. The mantra is expect the unexpected, respond and adapt.  However, the pursuit of resilience is full of challenges, especially today. BSI and Cranfield School of Management recognise that businesses face a host of different tensions that pull them in different directions. They need to walk a tightrope, balancing the need to protect the business and progress it through innovation. Too much weight on either side, and the business is in danger of being blindsided by a challenge it didn’t predict. The paradox of a resilient organisation is that it needs to be both flexible and firm under pressure. That’s at all levels – including the people and systems that make up the company. To accomplish this, companies need an empowered workforce supported by a flexible and integrated infrastructure – leveraging the Cloud, big data, automation, AI and machine learning. A bottom-up revolution When times are difficult, a company is only as resilient as its people. A truly strong business is a resilient community of employees, customers, partners and suppliers, able to adapt quickly when faced with disruption. Resilience isn’t the CFO’s job or the CHRO’s job – it’s everyone’s. That being the case, the organisations that will thrive and survive will be the ones that devolve responsibility – putting power in the hands of ordinary employees, suppliers and customers. They have to be able to make decisions on the frontlines of disruption – and to do this they need tools that give them the insight and ability to make decisions with confidence. With the right support, every employee becomes an agent of change. Investing in technology is one of the best ways for organisations to create a resilient, adaptable community and foundation for their business. Technology is the great enabler for people, processes, and systems to understand new demands and transform to meet them. Data is key to every decision, giving frontline actors an overarching view of the health of the organisation and unrivalled insight into the changing market context. It should be widely available at all levels and among all partners. Digital applications and cloud solutions give them access to credible data that can be used to pivot in real-time. From streamlining processes to identifying new opportunities, data can help direct the company’s decision making at the key moments that matter. In this context, cloud-based applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Human Capital Management (HCM) are very important. These systems provide insights and improved control over factors like inventory and value chain management, allowing for rapid changes and resolutions for problems detected in advance.  The benefit of cloud-based applications is that they integrate systems and information so that data becomes transparent and accessible to everyone. Not only do employees have easier access to data, but customers can expect a joined-up customer experience tailored with information from both the front and back offices. Resilience in action When supported by the right technology and insight, people can do incredible things to boost resilience in the face of disruption. Lines of business can utilise a single pool of shared insight to collaborate and rapidly transform how the business operates.   Delivery companies were heavily disrupted at the onset of the pandemic, with supply chains buckling under the weight of unprecedented demand and many vulnerable drivers unable to perform deliveries. FedEx Serviceswas in the process of transitioning its financial infrastructure directly to the cloud. Yet instead of pausing plans and relying on the legacy system, the company accelerated its schedule to gain greater financial visibility into the crisis. Over 30,000 employees now use cloud analytics tools for data-driven decision making and automation, which has proven essential to helping the company navigate the disruption.  Resilience is a team effort Resilience isn’t merely a buzzword. It’s more important than ever to look at the flexibility and adaptability of every system, process, and team in your ecosystem, from how you engage with customers and employees to how you work with suppliers and manage your finances. Preparing your organisation for the unexpected not only mitigates risk, it helps you stay ahead of your competition.   By Rahul Misra, Vice President - Business Applications, Lower Gulf, Oracle

COVID-19 won’t be the last of the disruptions businesses must contend with. It’s important for them to re-evaluate and rebuild their business models to be more resilient. Yet resilience is no longer...

Resilience and revival: building a culture of continuous innovation with HCM

The businesses that thrive in today’s disruptive environment won’t be the unicorns, but the phoenixes. These are the businesses able to rebuild and transform themselves in the face of disruption. Yet how does a phoenix emerge and what traits define it? They aren’t limited by aging and customised technology systems. Instead, streamlined and efficient human capital management (HCM) helps them change direction and transform quickly.  A waste of talent The pandemic has forced HR leaders to make very difficult but crucial decisions – who should we furlough, who can we no longer afford, whose skills will be most useful and where? Maximising your internal talent pool through HCM has never been more crucial.  Yet data is critical to this process. Is employee information easily accessible, and do you have the tools to interrogate and analyse it? When businesses were forced into lockdown, too many HR teams had to make decisions based on data contained in disparate spreadsheets. Updates had to be keyed in manually and decisions were based on incomplete insight. As a result, the right decisions came too late and many workers were furloughed or let go based on the jobs they did rather than the value they could create. That’s the danger when a business has a partial understanding of its staff – valuable skills that could help the business adapt and respond are overlooked when it’s needed most. A change of pace Even before the pandemic hit, HR leaders were struggling to work quickly and make decisions due to disjointed data and systems. Over a third of CEOs and business leaders believed their technology infrastructure was constraining knowledge management within their organisation.   Taking HCM practices to the cloud, by contrast, boosts integration and gives everyone access to the same data and tools. HR practitioners aren't dealing with every single entity and managing information in small portions. Instead, they have a complete, real-time overview and can make decisions rapidly. Having payroll, compensation, and performance as parts of one unified system ensures HR data format is consistent with compensation and payroll formats. Practitioners can more easily track changes, gather richer data for analytics across the board, and extract more impactful insights through the cloud. Having this single source of truth also helps HR managers generate credible reports in real-time with the best available information. One organisation able to utilise cloud HCM during the pandemic was British food retail association Co-op. With its employee and operational data centralised in the cloud, Co-op HR leaders were able to identify their talent gaps at the onset of the crisis. This gave them the insight and confidence to quickly hire 5,000 employees in key areas, and train 40,000 staff in a single week. Understand, respond, reimagine Risk exposure is a key part of HCM planning, but it’s a highly involved process requiring data from across the organisation. While the cloud provides an ideal environment for sourcing masses of relevant data, monitoring and analysing it is a Herculean effort when performed manually. AI-driven automation is key for managing the complexity of HCM and risk assessment while delivering at speed. A unified platform with smart monitoring capabilities quickly surfaces points of risk – such as uniquely skilled employees leaving the business. With the analytical heavy lifting done, HR can focus on controlling the risk. According to Gartner, HR leaders believe that agile HR processes like this increase speed (84%), quality (75%) and reduce costs (45%). AI and machine learning will also play key roles in helping HR teams attract, onboard and find the right person for the job. Chatbots are already proving very effective at sourcing new channels and disseminating information to candidates. Yet AI can also greatly deepen your understanding of employees through data analysis and monitoring. As part of a hiring process, AI solutions can quickly trawl through large data sets, identify and score candidates based on their suitability for a role. HR leaders can then simply choose the best candidate for the job or task. There’s great potential for new technologies to streamline succession planning and make HCM more agile. By migrating its communications billing and revenue management services to an autonomous cloud computing platform, Poste Italiane has been able to streamline and transform itself rapidly. Automating its billing processes has shrunk the company’s project timeline significantly and reduced its billing query response time by 30%.   HCM transformed HR plays an essential role in driving the success of new workforce structures and transformations. When supported by the right AI tools and cloud infrastructure, they can make decisions quickly and confidently based on data rather than instinct. When the next crisis hits – no matter what it is – they won’t be paralysed by indecision. They’ll have the insight to make decisions and the will to bring their employees with them on the journey. By Patrice Barbedette, SVP Applications, HCM Western Europe, Oracle 

The businesses that thrive in today’s disruptive environment won’t be the unicorns, but the phoenixes. These are the businesses able to rebuild and transform themselves in the face of disruption. Yet...

Desert Adventures Starts to Reap Harvest from Digital Transformation Journey

Sees savings of $1m in next two to three years, apart from new revenue opportunities, by moving to Oracle cloud The Dubai-based destination management company - Desert Adventures – has taken bold steps into the digital transformation journey in the last two years in a bid to become more agile and flexible.  Senthil Velan, Chief Operating Officer at Desert Adventures, told TechRadar Pro Middle East, that his first role was to use technology to expand the distribution network of the company. Desert Adventures has been in the region for more than 20 years and it is one of the largest destination management companies in the Middle East, covering the UAE, Jordan and Oman.  It was started by an entrepreneur and was taken over by Kuoni, one of the leading leisure travel organisations in 2010, and now it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.  Even though some of the destination management companies (DMCs) have moved on with the technology, some are still relying on emails, Velan said.“My objective was to convert 90% of the traditional bookings and 10% of the digital bookings to 70% digital bookings in the last two years,” he said.  The company sourced a good tourism management application called TravelBox, from CodeGen in Sri Lanka, to make bookings as well as connect to suppliers and distribute hotel inventory to multiple tour operators worldwide.   TravelBox was running on on-premises but Velan lifted and shifted to the cloud within six to nine months without any difficulties with the help of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  “We don’t have a large IT department to conduct an elaborate vendor analysis. I selected two vendors, Oracle and AWS, and looked at their capabilities, numbers and cost of ownership. I found Oracle to be a better option in terms of cost of ownership,” he said. Cloud absorbs irregular spike in demand As the company is seeking to expand its source markets and suppliers, he said the requirements for IT infrastructure is bound to increase.    “We need to be prepared to handle the spike in demand without the visibility and the cloud has enabled me to handle the irregular spikes in a very efficient manner. We see a savings of $1 million in the next two to three years, apart from the enhanced revenue opportunities by moving to the cloud,” he said.  “My sales and operational teams don’t realise there’s a system running, because it all runs smoothly. That confidence is priceless,” he said.  Without business for the last six months, he said: “I would have still incurred the infrastructure and resource costs with the on-prem but with the cloud, I can seamlessly reduce the usage and business volumes and has helped me in cost savings during Covid-19.”   Moreover, he said that the opportunity is the ability to expand your business portfolio without worrying about the IT infrastructure and cloud is the “way to go” at this age.  According to research firm International Data Corporation, spending on public cloud is expected to increase from $2.6 billion in 2020 to $6 billion by 2024, at an annual rate of 23% across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.   “The travel and tourism industry has been severely impacted, like others, during Covid-19. There have been no tourists into the UAE between March and July despite the first two months registering a year on year 15% growth. But, we are seeing green shoots from the last quarter of the year amid a 50% fall compared to the same period a year ago.  “We are getting bookings from Russia, the UK and the US, assuming the countries open up their airlines. Like IPL, which is expected to be held in the UAE, is going to turn out to be a good catalyst for the Indian market. In 2020, we expect our revenues to be down by about 70% compared to last year,” Velan said.  For DMCs, which works with tour operators globally, he said the first three and the last three months constitute 70% of the business.  Desert Adventures works with about 700 tour operators globally and is a pure business-to-business player.  More automation on way In the next six months, Velan said the company will be offering its services to 10 destinations and it would not be possible without the “technology”.  The company, currently, has invested in robotic process automation (RPA), to handle its increased bookings for the last quarter of the year and the first quarter of next year.  “We have three software bots running in the organisation right now to automate rule-based repetitive tasks. One of the key focus was to automate emails as we still get about 40% of the quotations from customers by emails,” Velan said.  He is working with a German vendor to bring in natural language processing (NLP) to interrupt the emails, interact with the systems and automatically send quotations back to customers without its reservation staff getting involved.  “Digital transformation journey started in 2017 and we are 75% digitally transformed. I very confident of what we have achieved in the last two years but there is more to be automated,” he said.  “People assume that automation means identify technology and it does magic. Automation requires you to understand your business problem, to understand the industry capability that is available for you and make sure that you marry your business requirements with industry and vendor capabilities.  All three have to fall in place and once they fall in place, he said the cost has to make business and economic sense.    “So, if all the pieces do not fall in place, sometimes you end up with a divorce and that is what is happening in a lot of automation projects. I am very cautious about these pieces to make sure we tick the right boxes before embarking on a journey,” he said.  Original story authored by Naushad Cherrayil, and posted on Tech Radar Pro Middle East  

Sees savings of $1m in next two to three years, apart from new revenue opportunities, by moving to Oracle cloud The Dubai-based destination management company - Desert Adventures – has taken bold steps...

لشركات الناشئة السعودية توسع أعمالها وتوفر التكاليف باستخدام الخدمات السحابية من Oracle

مع بدء العمل بمركز الخدمات السحابية في جدة وثلاثة مراكز تم الاعلان عنها في المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات، التزمت Oracle بدعم العملاء والشركاء والمشاريع الناشئة في المنطقة بتقديم خدمات بنية تحتية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure آمنة وبتكاليف منخفضة، مع الإشارة بأن Oracle هي أول شركة مزودة للخدمات السحابية بمركز خدمات سحابية في المملكة العربية السعودية لدعم أهداف رؤية المملكة العربية السعودية 2030. وعلى الرغم من أن Oracle تشتهر بقدراتها على تمكين الشركات الكبرى إلا أن التركيز على سحابة الجيل الثاني يعني توسع نطاق ومستويات الاستقرار العالمية التي تتميز بها Oracle لتشمل الشركات من جميع الأحجام بما في ذلك الشركات السحابية الناشئة. وفورات في التكاليف وتعزيز التواصل مع العملاء دخلت شركة "عاوني" الناشئة في شراكة مع برنامج Oracle for Startups حيث استفادت من خدمات سحابية مجانية بقيمة 500 دولار وخصم بقيمة 70% لمدة عامين. كما اكتشف المؤسس والرئيس التنفيذي للشركة الدكتور عبد الرحمن السلطان مزايا تتخطى توفير التكاليف للتحول إلى سحابة  Oracle حيث أشار إلى أن سحابة  Oracle تميزت بسهولة التدريب والاستخدام البديهي والتلقائي وأكّد أن مهندس السحابة في الشركة نجح في التكيف مع السحابة بسرعة ونشر الحلول في وقت قياسي". وستجد الشركات الناشئة الساعية إلى الابتكار على سحابة Oracle دعماً ممتازاً. حيث يستخدم نحو 87% من كبرى الشركات (حسب إيراداتها) في الشرق الأوسط حلول Oracle ويستخدم 54% منها حلول Oracle  السحابية، ما يؤكد أن هذه الشركات الناشئة وعند تبنيها لسحابة Oracle Cloud ستكون أقرب إلى حلول الشركات التي يستخدمها العملاء المحتملون يومياً إلى جانب مستويات أفضل من المصداقية والأمان والقدرة على التوسع من Oracle. شركة تعليمية ناشئة توفر التكاليف وتوسع قاعدة عملائها يتطلب عمل شركة Edubook الناشئة سحابة قابلة للتطوير والتوسع لاستضافة منصة التعاون المتكاملة بين العاملين في القطاع التعليمي. وكان الأمان عاملاً مهماَ، مما ميّز خدمات البنية التحتية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure عن سائر المنافسين الذين افتقروا إلى خيارات الأمان المدمجة. وبعد نقل البيانات إلى سحابةOracle ، لاحظت الشركة الناشئة تحسناً في الأداء وانخفاضاً في التكلفة كذلك. وفي هذا السياق، قال الرئيس التنفيذي والشريك المؤسس محمد دياب: "بدأنا نشهد تحسناً في الأداء بعد نقل البيانات على خدمات OCI وانخفاضاً في التكاليف بنحو 10 أضعاف مقارنة بسحابة أمازون ويب سيرفيسز". وبالإضافة إلى البنية التحتية السحابية، كانت شركة Edubook تحتاج إلى التواصل مع شريك في المنطقة لدعم تكنولوجيا الشركة وأعمالها. وتابع دياب: "نحن نثمّن دعم Oracle وكل خدماتها وحلولها المميزة التي تدعم أعمالنا/ مبيعاتنا وتعزز علاقاتنا مع العملاء". ومن خلال مراكز الخدمات السحابية المحلية وفريق خبراء محلي متخصص، تدعم Oracle الشركات الناشئة السحابية في رحلتها للتوسع في منطقة الخليج والخارج. ويمكن للشركات الناشئة في المملكة العربية السعودية الراغبة بالبدء بتبني حلول السحابة مجاناً والاستفادة من الخصومات أن تعتمد على مركز الخدمات السحابية الوطني في مكان عملها وعلى موارد حصرية خاصة بالشركات الناشئة كدعم نقل البيانات والاتصال بشبكة عالمية من مديري المنتجات والموجهين والعملاء. ابدأ عملك مع حلول الشركات الناشئة Oracle for Startups.

مع بدء العمل بمركز الخدمات السحابية في جدة وثلاثة مراكز تم الاعلان عنها في المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات، التزمت Oracle بدعم العملاء والشركاء والمشاريع الناشئة في المنطقة بتقديم خدمات بنية...

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Oracle’s Second-Generation Cloud Region in Saudi Arabia Is Live

Maa’den; Zamil Group; The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection; and Awini app Choose Saudi Arabia’s Most Advanced Cloud  In line with rapid adoption of Oracle Cloud in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, Oracle announced the general availability of its Cloud region in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Now, customers and partners will have access to all Oracle Cloud services, including Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Autonomous Linux, as well as Oracle Cloud Applications, to unlock innovation and drive business growth.  Oracle’s second generation Cloud is now available in 24 fully independent locations, with plans for 14 new cloud regions by the end of 2021.   “Oracle Cloud is fast becoming the preferred digital transformation platform for private companies, public sector organisations, and tech startups in Saudi Arabia, and we are delighted to be serving the larger Middle East region, where 87 percent of the top companies by revenue use Oracle, and 54 percent already use Oracle Cloud,” said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President – Technology, MEA & CEE, Oracle. The first region in Jeddah will be followed by a second region in Saudi Arabia, as well as two regions in the UAE. These represent Oracle’s first forays into the Gulf with Cloud regions, a part of the world that’s been underserved by other cloud vendors. Oracle is the first public cloud vendor with a region in Saudi Arabia. Businesses in Saudi Arabia drive major transformation with new cloud region  Zamil Group Holding Company is a family investment company with huge interests and investments around the world. The Group offers its advanced products and services, and also provides excellent opportunities for investors and partners in all its industrial, petrochemical and service sectors “With Oracle Cloud, we started to consolidate our applications environments worldwide to get better and centralized control, lower costs, better resources utilization, and more flexible pricing aligned with our digital transformation journey. Now, with the new Cloud region in Saudi Arabia, we will be able to get closer to our operations in Saudi Arabia, Middle East, and Africa,” said Abdulbary Atassi, Director, Information Technology, Zamil Group. The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GAMEP) is a government body responsible for environmental issues, meteorological information and weather prediction in Saudi Arabia. “The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GAMEP) is one of the first adopters of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in Oracle’s Saudi Cloud region. Our aim is to create an agile and innovative platform that offers enhanced availability and performance to migrate our SharePoint portal while using the latest managed SOA integration services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure now in Saudi Arabia, and the support of the CSM organization, we were able to design a robust architecture, provision, and migrate our workloads in a more innovative way with lower risk within the Saudi borders to meet our data residency requirements, along with low latency, and strong data governance,” said Eng. Naif Dakhelallah Al-Orfi, Head of Information System & Applications, GAMEP. AWINI App, a tech start up from Saudi Arabia, provides and electronic platform to connect the transport service provider directly to customers round the clock across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  “We were on Amazon Web Services but moved to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as they gave us a competitive price than AWS. The maintenance by Oracle is of real high quality and with no lock-in period for certain technologies. Everybody says that AWS is cheaper but in our experience, the prices are not consistent and sometimes can go really high.  We are now working with Oracle to connect our back end with their ERP in stages,” said Dr. Abdul Rahman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Awini. “Accelerating digital transformation to drive socio economic success in line with Saudi Vision 2030 is a key priority for Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan 2020 (NTP),” said Fahad Al Turief, Country Leader – Saudi Arabia, Oracle.  “Oracle’s Cloud region in Saudi Arabia is expected to accelerate the adoption of cloud solutions in the country and the wider region, as our second-generation cloud is the only modern, secure, enterprise-grade cloud that provides customers a strong foundation to unlock innovation faster and drive new business growth. We’ll help customers migrate to Oracle Cloud seamlessly as they look to scale their business for the experience economy.”  Adding Second Sites in Countries to Meet Customer Requirements Oracle has a unique dual region strategy that enables customers to deploy resilient applications in multiple geographies for disaster recovery and compliance requirements – without having sensitive data leave the country.  Customers that want to run critical systems of record in the cloud need fully independent cloud regions for disaster recovery purposes with multiple sites in the same country to meet data residency requirements. To that end, the Jeddah Cloud region will be joined by a second region in Saudi Arabia, next year.   Secure Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a second-generation security platform, conceived and architected on security-first design principles. Innovations like isolated network virtualization and pristine physical host deployment, enable customer isolation from other cloud tenants and from Oracle personnel as well as reduced risk from advanced persistent threats. Oracle’s Continued Commitment to Saudi Arabia Oracle has been present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for nearly three decades with presence across all major cities in Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. This long-term commitment from Oracle has translated into massive investments to help organizations of all sizes, in public and private sectors, achieve strategic objectives with digital transformation.  Oracle is investing in skills enablement in Saudi Arabia through Oracle University, the trusted provider of Oracle Cloud and on-premises software training and certification. All training is delivered by Oracle’s elite global team of experts and is made available in multiple learning formats for anytime, anywhere training.  In addition, Oracle is supporting the next wave of Saudi workforce and entrepreneurs with a host of collaborations with leading organisations including the MiSK Foundation, Ocean X and several leading local educational institutions. These initiatives offer internship programmes, workforce development and trainings, youth readiness programmes, and trainings for tech entrepreneurs. 

Maa’den; Zamil Group; The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection; and Awini app Choose Saudi Arabia’s Most Advanced Cloud  In line with rapid adoption of Oracle Cloud in the...

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مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم تُسرّع تحولها الرقمي مع تطبيقات Oracle Cloud بهدف تعزيز نمو أعمال المجموعة وتوسّعها على النطاق العالمي

ستستخدم مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم المحدودة، وهي إحدى الشركات الرائدة في مجال التجزئة متعددة القنوات في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، تطبيقات Oracle Cloud لتحفيز التكامل التجاري والابتكار وتعزيز الكفاءة وضمان التحكم بالتكلفة والامتثال بشكل أفضل، وتنشئة قوة عاملة مجهزة رقمياً لدعم استراتيجية نمو المجموعة وخطط توسعها العالمية. وتضم مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم العديد من العلامات التجارية العالمية الشهيرة ولديها ما يقرب من 700 متجر في سبع دول. قال هشام العمودي، الرئيس التنفيذي لمجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم: "تطور مشهد التجزئة وتفضيلات العملاء بشكل كبير اليوم، ونحتاج للاستمرار باستراتيجية النمو لدينا لضمان درجة عالية من مرونة الأعمال. ويُعدّ التحوّل الشامل للأعمال والمدعّم بأحدث الحلول الرقمية أمر حتمي بالنسبة لنا للتكيف بسرعة مع بيئة الأعمال الجديدة. وستساعدنا تطبيقات Oracle Cloud على استكشاف قنوات جديدة وتعزيز قابلية التشغيل البيني السلس والابتكار من خلال قدرات تعلم الآلة والذكاء الاصطناعي". ستنقل مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم عملياتها الأساسية من موقع المجموعة إلى منصة السحابة المتكاملة عبر حل تخطيط موارد المؤسسات Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) وحل إدارة الأداء المؤسسيOracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). وسيساعد تطبيق هذه الحلول المجموعة على تخفيض الإنفاق على المشتريات من خلال تسهيل تصنيف الموردين وتزويد الإدارة بالتقارير الفورية والشاملة لكل ما يخص إنفاق الموردين. علاوة على ذلك، ستتمكن إدارة المجموعة عبر استخدام خاصية نمذجة السيناريوهات من التعرف على سيناريوهات الأعمال المختلفة لصياغة استراتيجية قوية للذهاب إلى السوق. وأضاف العمودي: "غالباً ما تتطلب أنظمة التخطيط لموارد المؤسسات المحلية التخصيص والتكامل مما يتسبب بتأخر الوظائف المهمة مثل إعداد التقارير والمدفوعات والمشتريات، وتفتقر هذه الأنظمة عادةً إلى التقنيات المتطورة مثل تعلم الآلة. وعلى عكسها، توفر تطبيقات Oracle Fusion CloudApplications قابلية التوسع السريع والتقنيات المتطورة مثل تعلم الآلة والتحليلات المضمّنة لنتمكن من التكيف مع تغيرات الأعمال بسرعة وتحفيز مصادر جديدة للدخل". ستقوم مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم أيضاً برقمنة مهام الموارد البشرية الأساسية باستخدام حل إدارة رأس المال البشري Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM)، الذي سيساعد المؤسسة على ربط كل عمليات الموارد البشرية، بما فيها الموارد البشرية العالمية وإدارة المواهب وإدارة القوى العاملة وكشوف المرتبات، بالإضافة إلى توحيد عمليات إدارة رأس المال البشري في أقسام التمويل وسلسلة التوريد وتجربة العملاء. وستتمكن إدارة المجموعة من الوصول إلى مصدر واحد موثوق لبيانات الموارد البشرية والبيانات المالية لتسريع عملية اتخاذ القرارات. قال راهول ميسرا، نائب الرئيس لتطبيقات الأعمال لدى Oracle الخليج: "ستكون القدرة على التعزيز المستمر للابتكار هي المفتاح لضمان مرونة الأعمال مع نماذج الأعمال الجديدة وتغيُّر توقعات العملاء وتحوُّل متطلبات القوى العاملة. وسيساعد قرار مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم للتخطيط المستمر للابتكار في تحويل التغيّرات في الأعمال والتكنولوجيا إلى فرص جديدة. وستضمن المجموعة عبر تطبيق هذه الحلول المرونة العميقة في عملياتها التجارية الرئيسية للاستجابة لأي انقطاع".

ستستخدم مجموعة كمال عثمان جمجوم المحدودة، وهي إحدى الشركات الرائدة في مجال التجزئة متعددة القنوات في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، تطبيقات Oracle Cloud لتحفيز التكامل التجاري والابتكار وتعزيز الكفاءة...

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Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group Accelerates Digital Transformation with Oracle Cloud Applications to Drive Growth and Support Global Expansion

Middle East’s leading multi-channel retail group, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group (KOJ) will implement Oracle Cloud Applications to drive business integration and innovation, enhance efficiency, ensure better cost control and compliance, and nurture a digital ready workforce to support the group’s growth strategy and global expansion plans.  KOJ is home to multiple popular international brands, with nearly 700 stores across seven countries.                                              “The retail landscape, and customer preference has now evolved dramatically, and in order to continue with our growth strategy, we need to ensure a high degree of business resilience and agility,” said Hisham Al Amoudi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group. “A comprehensive business transformation that is powered by latest digital solutions is an imperative for us to quickly adapt to the new business environment. Oracle Cloud Applications will help us explore new channels, drive seamless interoperability and innovation with its embedded machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.” KOJ will transition core business processes from on-premises to an integrated Cloud ecosystem with Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). The implementation will help KOJ reduce procurement spend by facilitating supplier categorization, and providing a real time 360-degree view to the management on all supplier spend. Furthermore, using the scenario modelling capability, KOJ management can explore different business scenarios to craft a robust go to market strategy. “On-premises ERP systems often require customizations and integrations that can delay critical functions like reporting, payments, procurement, and lack game-changing technologies like machine learning. In contrast, Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications offers rapid scalability and leading-edge technologies like machine learning and analytics embedded so we can rapidly adapt to business changes and drive new revenue streams,” added Al Amoudi.    KOJ will also digitize its core HR function with Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM). This will help the organization connect every human resource process, including global HR, talent management, workforce management, and payroll, besides also unifying HCM across finance, supply chain, and customer experience. KOJ management will be able to access one source of truth for HR and finance data to accelerate decision making. “With new business models, changing customer expectations, and shifting workforce demands, the ability to drive continuous innovation will be key to ensure business resilience”, said Rahul Misra, vice president – Business Applications, Lower Gulf Oracle. “KOJ’s choice to plan for continuous innovation now will help turn changes in business and technology into an opportunity. With this implementation, KOJ is ensuring deep flexibility and agility of its key business process to respond to any disruption.” 

Middle East’s leading multi-channel retail group, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group (KOJ) will implement Oracle Cloud Applications to drive business integration and innovation, enhance efficiency, ensure...

مركز سحابة Oracle من الجيل الثاني أصبح متوفراً في المملكة العربية السعودية

شركة معادن وشركة الزامل والهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة وتطبيق عاوني تختار السحابة الأقوى والأكثر تطوراً في المملكة تماشياً مع التبني السريع لخدمات Oracle Cloud في المملكة العربية السعودية والشرق الأوسط ككل، أعلنت Oracle عن التوافر العام لمركز السحابة الخاص بها في جدة بالمملكة العربية السعودية. وسيتمكن العملاء والشركاء الآن من الوصول إلى جميع خدمات Oracle Cloud، بما فيها قاعدة البيانات المستقلة Oracle Autonomous Database ونظام لينكس المستقل Oracle Autonomous Linux، بالإضافة إلى تطبيقات Oracle Cloud Applications، التي من شأنها أن تُعزّز الابتكار وتحفّز نمو الأعمال. أصبح الجيل الثاني من Oracle Cloud متوفر الآن في 24 موقع مستقل، وهناك خطط لتوفير 14 مركز جديد لخدمات السحابة مع نهاية عام 2021. قال عبدالرحمن الذهيبان، النائب الأول لرئيس قسم التكنولوجيا في شركة Oracle في الشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا: "أصبحت Oracle Cloud سريعاً منصة التحول الرقمي المفضلة لدى الشركات الخاصة ومؤسسات القطاع العام والشركات التقنية الناشئة في المملكة العربية السعودية، ويسرّنا أن نقدم خدماتنا في كافة أنحاء منطقة الشرق الأوسط، حيث تستخدم 87 بالمئة من الشركات ذات الإيرادات العالية خدمات Oracle وتستخدم 54 بالمئة منها خدمات Oracle Cloud". وسيتبع المركز الأول في جدة هذا العام مركز ثاني في المملكة العربية السعودية، بالإضافة إلى مركزين آخرين في الإمارات العربية المتحدة. وتمثل هذه المراكز افتتاح Oracle الأول لمراكز السحابة من الجيل الثاني في منطقة الخليج التي لم تكن تحصل على ما يكفيها من الخدمات من الشركات الأخرى المزودة لخدمات السحابة في المنطقة حتى اليوم. وتعد Oracle أول مزود عام لخدمات السحابة يفتتح مركز له في المملكة العربية السعودية. الشركات في المملكة العربية السعودية تحقق تحولاً كبيراً مع منطقة السحابة الجديدة مجموعة الزامل القابضة هي شركة استثمار عائلية لها مصالح واستثمارات ضخمة في جميع أنحاء العالم. وتقدم المجموعة منتجاتها وخدماتها المتطورة إضافةً إلى الفرص الممتازة للمستثمرين والشركاء في جميع قطاعات الصناعة والبتروكيماويات والخدمات. ومن جانبه قال عبد الباري أتاسي، مدير تقنية المعلومات في شركة الزامل للاستثمار الصناعي (الزامل للصناعة): "بدأنا مع خدمات Oracle Cloud دمج بيئات تطبيقاتنا في جميع أنحاء العالم لتوفير التحكّم المركزي والتكاليف الأقل والاستخدام الأفضل للموارد، والأسعار الأكثر مرونة التي تتماشى مع رحلة التحول الرقمي. وسنتمكن مع افتتاح مركز السحابة الجديد في المملكة العربية السعودية من الاقتراب من عملياتنا في المملكة والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا". الهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة هي هيئة حكومية مسؤولة عن القضايا البيئية ومعلومات الأرصاد الجوية والتنبؤ بالطقس في المملكة العربية السعودية. وقال نايف دخيل الله العرفي، رئيس قسم نظم المعلومات والتطبيقات لدى الهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة: "تُعد الهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة واحدة من أوائل المؤسسات التي رحبت بالبنية التحتية لتقنيات Oracle Cloud في منطقة سحابة Oracle في السعودية. ويتمحور هدفنا حول إنشاء نظام مبتكر ومرن يوفر الأداء المحسّن والتوفر الأوسع لترحيل منفذ SharePoint الخاص بنا عبر استخدام أحدث خدمات SOA المُدارة للتكامل ضمن Oracle Cloud Infrastructure، والتي تمكنّا عبرها وعبر إدارة نجاح عمليات العملاء من تصميم بنية قوية وترحيل أعباء عملنا بطريقة أكثر ابتكاراً وأقل خطراً داخل السعودية لتلبية متطلبات البيانات المحلية لدينا إلى جانب الكُمون المنخفض وإدارة البيانات القوية".  تطبيق عاوني هي شركة تقنية ناشئة في المملكة العربية السعودية، توفر منصة إلكترونية تصل مزوّد خدمات النقل مباشرةً بالعملاء على مدار الساعة وفي جميع أنحاء المملكة العربية السعودية. قال الدكتور عبد الرحمن سلطان، الرئيس التنفيذي لتطبيق #عاوني: "كنا نستخدم في البداية خدمات Amazon Web Services ولكننا انتقلنا إلى Oracle Cloud Infrastructure حيث قدموا لنا سعر تنافسي وأفضل من AWS. كما أن الصيانة لدى شركة Oracle تمتاز بجودة عالية وتأتي دون فترة تأمين محدودة لتقنيات معينة. وعلى الرغم من أن الكثيرون يقولون أنّ خدمات AWS أرخص، لكن حسب تجربتنا فإن أسعارهم ليست ثابتة ويمكن أن ترتفع في بعض الأحيان. ونعمل الآن مع Oracle لنصل بين منصة البيانات لدينا ومرحلة التخطيط لموارد المشاريع على مراحل". قال فهد الطريف، قائد عمليات الشركة لدى Oracle في المملكة العربية السعودية: "يُعدّ تسريع التحول الرقمي بهدف تعزيز النجاح الاقتصادي والاجتماعي بما يتماشى مع رؤية السعودية 2030 أولوية رئيسية لبرنامج التحول الوطني السعودية لعام 2020. ومن المتوقع أن تُسرّع منطقة سحابة Oracle في السعودية تبّني الحلول السحابية في الدولة والمنطقة على نطاق أوسع، حيث أنّ سحابتنا من الجيل الثاني هي السحابة الحديثة والآمنة الوحيدة على مستوى المؤسسات التي توفر للعملاء قاعدة قوية لتوفير سُبُل الابتكار بشكل أسرع وتعزيز نمو الأعمال الجديدة. وسنساعد العملاء على ترحيل أنظمتهم وبياناتهم إلى Oracle Cloud بسلاسة لتوسيع نطاق أعمالهم ودعم الاقتصاد المبني على الخبرة". إضافة مراكز إضافية في البلدان لمواكبة متطلبات العملاء تمتلك Oracle استراتيجية ثنائية المنطقة تُمكّن العملاء من استخدام التطبيقات المرنة في مناطق جغرافية متعددة لاسترداد البيانات في حالات الكوارث ومتطلبات الامتثال، دون الحاجة إلى نقل البيانات الحساسة خارج البلاد. وسيحتاج العملاء الذين يرغبون بتشغيل أنظمة التسجيل الهامة في السحابة إلى مراكز سحابية مستقلة تماماً لأغراض التعافي من الكوارث مع مواقع متعددة في نفس البلد لتلبية متطلبات وقوانين البيانات المحلية. وتحقيقاً لهذه الغاية، سينضم إلى مركز سحابة جدة مركز ثاني في المملكة في العام المقبل. البنية التحتية الآمنة للسحابة البنية التحتية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure هي منصة أمان من الجيل الثاني، تم تصميمها وفقاً لمبادئ التصميم التي تعتمد الأمان أولاً. وتتيح الابتكارات مثل المحاكاة الافتراضية للشبكة المعزولة ونشر المضيف الفعلي، عزل العملاء عن مستأجري السحابة الآخرين وموظفي Oracle وكذلك تقليل مخاطر التهديدات المستمرة والمتطورة. التزام Oracle المتواصل بالمملكة تتواجد Oracle في المملكة العربية السعودية منذ ما يقرب الثلاثة عقود مع فروع في جميع المدن الرئيسية في المملكة العربية السعودية بما في ذلك الرياض وجدة والدمام. وينعكس هذا الالتزام الطويل من Oracle في استثماراتها الضخمة لمساعدة الشركات من جميع الأحجام في القطاعين العام والخاص على تحقيق أهدافهم الاستراتيجية مع التحول الرقمي. وتستثمر Oracle في تمكين المهارات في المملكة العربية السعودية عبر جامعة Oracle، المزود الموثوق لدورات تدريب Oracle Cloud والبرامج المحلية ومنح الشهادات. ويقدم الدورات التدريبية فريق الخبراء العالمي من Oracle، ويتم توفير هذه الدورات التعليمية بأشكال ولواحق متعددة لاستخدامها والتعلم في أي زمان ومكان. إضافة إلى ذلك، تدعم Oracle الموجة الجديدة من القوى العاملة السعودية ورجال الأعمال عبر مجموعة من التعاونات مع الشركات الرائدة بما فيها MiSK Foundation وOcean X والعديد من المؤسسات التعليمية المحلية الرائدة. وتقدم هذه المبادرات برامج التدريب وتطوير القوى العاملة وبرامج تهيئة الشباب والدورات التدريبية لرواد الأعمال في مجال التكنولوجيا.

شركة معادن وشركة الزامل والهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة وتطبيق عاوني تختار السحابة الأقوى والأكثر تطوراً في المملكة تماشياً مع التبني السريع لخدمات Oracle Cloud في المملكة العربية السعودية والشرق...

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سلطنة عمان تطلق مشروعًا رقميًا وطنيًا بارزًا لتعزيز الاقتصاد الرقمي وفقاً للرؤية المستقبلية 2040 مـ، وتُعتبر أول دولة تمتلك منظمومة Cloud@Customer من شركة أوراكل

أعلنت اليوم شركة Oracle بأن المجموعة العُمانية للإتصالات وتقنية المعلومات المملوكة لجهاز الإستثمار العماني  اختارت خدمة الخدمات السحابية المحفوظة للعملاء  في مراكز البيانات (Cloud@Customer) المخصصة للمنطقة من شركة Oracle لدعم المبادرة الوطنية للسلطنة في تسريع التحوّل الرقمي لأكثر من 120 جهة حكومية وشبه حكومية في السلطنة. حيثُ توفّر Cloud@Customer خدمات سحابية تحفظ البيانات في قواعد بيانات عالية السرعة والتطور داخل إحدى مراكز البيانات في السلطنة، بالكامل للحكومة، ، كما تتضمّن قاعدة بيانات ذاتية، ومراكز البيانات الحكومية. وقال صاحب السمو السيد كامل بن فهد  بن محمود آل سعيد رئيس مجلس ادارة المجموعة العمانية للإتصالات وتقنية المعلومات: "نهدف إلى تصميم مبادرات رقمية تُساعد على تعزيز  الاقتصاد الرقمي في السلطنة بحيث  تتماشى مع توجّه رؤية عمان 2040". مُضيفاً: "نعمل على إنشاء بنية تحتية مدمجة حديثة لتكنولوجيا المعلومات ومجهزة بآخر ما توصلت إليه التقنية في مجال الخدمات  السحابية، هدفها إمكانية الحفاظ على البيانات في السلطنة ، والتوسّع والمرونة والأمان للخدمات الحكومية الإلكترونية بتكلفة معقولة."   كما أفاد المهندس سعيد بن عبدالله المنذري، الرئيس التنفيذي للمجموعة العمانية للإتصالات و تقنية المعلومات ،: "بعد وضوح إستراتيجة المجموعة وتوافقها مع رؤية عمان 2040مـ وإستراتيجية وزارة التقنية والإتصالات، " نسعى إلى تطوير الابتكار في التطبيقات الذكية  وتتخطيط موارد المؤسسات وبرامج إدارة معاملات العملاء  CRM المحلية من خلال بيانات الخدمات السحابية ، إضافة إلى استكشاف كيفية تنفيذ التقنيات الناشئة كالذكاء الاصطناعي وتقنية سلسلة الكتل Blockchain  والبيانات الضخمة والحوسبة عالية الأداء(HPC) ، آخذين في الحسبان سيادة البيانات والحفاظ عليها وفق اللوائح والأنظمة المعمول بها في السلطنة".  وأضاف: " ستساعدنا Cloud@Customer المخصصة للمنطقة من Oracle على العديد من الاستخدامات الديناميكية للمؤسسات الحكومية." وتشغيل مجموعة متكاملة من تكنولوجيا المعلومات على بنية أساسية سحابية متوافقة مع تحكم فعلي بالبنية التحتية والبيانات، من أجل تلبية متطلبات سيادة البيانات. وتتيح  المنظومة ضماناً  لبيانات العملاء، كما توحّد جميع عمليات التطبيقات في واجهة واحدة  بتحكّم محلي، فضلاً عن  توفيرها أعلى مستويات الأمان و مزايا بتكلفة معقولة ،الأمر الذي يساعد المؤسسات الحكومية على تحقيق المزيد من المرونة، من خلال تقديم التطبيقات والخدمات الجديدة عبر الإنترنت بأقل وقت وتكلفة مقارنةً بالمنصة الداخلية من جانبه، قال عبدالرحمن الذهيبان النائب الأول لرئيس منطقة أوروبا الوسطى والشرقية والشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا في Oracle: "يعدّ توفير الابتكار السحابي المتوافق مع أقصى درجات الأمان لكل من الحكومات والمؤسسات من أهم أولويات Oracle، حيث نحرص على توافق الابتكار السحابي مع أفضل مستويات البنية التحتية، والأداء، والموثوقية، وإدارة البيانات"، مضيفًا بان "استراتيجية سلطنة عمان الوطنية "السحابة أولاً" ملهمة جدًا، لا سيما أنها تهدف إلى تحفيز النجاح الاجتماعي لإقتصاد البلاد. وبالتالي يمكن للجهات الحكومية في عمان الاستجابة بسرعة إلى الظروف الاقتصادية المتغيّرة، من خلال توفير الخدمات المبتكرة الآمنة بأقصى سرعة ممكنة ".

أعلنت اليوم شركة Oracle بأن المجموعة العُمانية للإتصالات وتقنية المعلومات المملوكة لجهاز الإستثمار العماني  اختارت خدمة الخدمات السحابية المحفوظة للعملاء  في مراكز البيانات (Cloud@Customer) المخصصة...

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Sultanate of Oman Launches Major National Project to Strengthen Digital Economy

Selects Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer to Realize Country’s Vision for 2040 Today Oracle announced that the Government of the Sultanate of Oman has selected Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer to support the Government’s national initiative to accelerate digital transformation across more than 120 government and semi-government entities with an integrated Government Cloud (G – Cloud) platform.   The initiative is led by the Oman Information and Communications Technology Group (OICTG), a new entity established by the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.  Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer provides the Government with a fully-managed cloud region that brings all of Oracle’s second-generation cloud services, including Autonomous Database, to the government’s datacenters.  “At OICTG, our aim is to design digital initiatives to strengthen the country’s digital economy in line with Oman’s Vision 2040 framework,” said His Highness Al Sayyid Kamil bin Fahad Al Said, Chairman, OICTG. “We are working toward creating an integrated cloud-ready modern IT infrastructure that provides seamless scalability, agility, and security with a compelling cost of ownership.” “Cooperation with Oracle demonstrates OICTG’s focus on innovation and 4IR trends: migrating on-premises Oracle ERP and CRM applications to a cloud environment, developing customised cloud native applications, and exploring the implementation of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data and high-performance computing (HPC), while following Oman’s data sovereignty regulations,” said Al Mandhari, Chief Executive Officer, OICTG.  “Oracle Dedication Region Cloud@Customer in Oman will help us explore several dynamic use cases for Omani Government entities.”  Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer enables customers, like the government of Oman, to run an entire IT portfolio on a cloud infrastructure with physical control of infrastructure and data, to help meet the most demanding data sovereignty requirements. The fully managed cloud region provides strong isolation of customer data, including all API operations, which remain local to the government’s datacenters and provide the highest levels of security.  Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer provides significant cost benefits to more than 120 Omani Government entities under the Oman G – Cloud initiative. Omani Government entities will be able to drive agility by quickly bringing new applications and services online in efficient and cost-effective manner compared to an on-premises platform.  “Making cloud innovation more accessible to governments and enterprises with superior security, infrastructure, performance, reliability, and data management is a key priority for Oracle,” said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President, Technology, MEA & CEE, Oracle. “The Sultanate of Oman’s ‘Cloud First’ national strategy to drive socio economic success for the country is inspiring. Government entities in Oman will now be able to quickly respond to changing economic conditions by rapidly scaling and introducing secure innovative services.”

Selects Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer to Realize Country’s Vision for 2040 Today Oracle announced that the Government of the Sultanate of Oman has selected Oracle Dedicated...

Oracle تسعى إلى تسريع تبني تقنيات السحابة في الشرق الأوسط عبر إطلاق منطقة البنية التحتية السحابية في المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات

بقلم هاريش دوناخ، مدير أبحاث البرمجيات والسحابة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وتركيا وأفريقيا لدى شركة "آي دي سي" تتزايد أهمية السحابة اليوم إذ أصبحت المنصة التقنية الأساسية للشركات الرائدة في منطقة الخليج. وعندما يتعلق الأمر بالسحابة العامة، لم تعد المناقشات حول الأمان وخصوصية البيانات على نفس الزخم والقوة كما كانت عليه قبل بضع سنوات. كما أن هذه المناقشات تحوّلت من واقع "عدم وجود سحابة" إلى واقع "اعتماد السحابة أيضاً" وحتى "اعتماد السحابة أولاً" إلى حد ما. وبفضل التعاون بين أوائل متبنّي السحابة وصانعي السياسات وأضخم مزوّدي السحابة، تتزايد تجارب اعتماد السحابة العامة واستخداماتها بوتيرة سريعة. وقد سلّطت حالة الضبابية وعدم الاستقرار في قطاع الأعمال وتقييد الحركة بسبب الأزمة الحالية الضوء على خطط المرونة واستمرارية الأعمال لدى العديد من الشركات. وبدأت شركات عديدة الآن بالتركيز ليس فقط على المناقشات حول السحابة ولكن أيضاً حول تسريع نهج تبني السحابة. وبدأنا نشهد تحول المناقشات حول السحابة من النفور والرفض إلى التوجه نحو تبني هذه التقنية بوتيرة سريعة فاقت توقعاتنا قبل عام. وقد طلبنا من مديري تقنية المعلومات وقادة الأعمال في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وصف موقفهم العام تجاه استخدام السحابة في خدمات تكنولوجيا المعلومات الجديدة خلال دراستنا الاستطلاعية السنوية الخاصة بمديري تقنية المعلومات في يناير 2020. وأشار نحو 44% من المشاركين إلى توجُّه تبني "السحابة أيضاً" كاستراتيجيتهم المعتمدة تجاه السحابة بينما اختار 21% توجُّه "السحابة أولاً". ومن المتوقع أن يتسارع تبنّي السحابة الذي شهدناه في النصف الأول من عام 2020 بشكل أكبر خلال الجزء الأخير من العام وما بعده. ومن خلال دراساتنا الاستطلاعية التي شملت مديري وقادة تقنية المعلومات خلال الأزمة، توصلنا إلى أن الشركات في جميع أنحاء الشرق الأوسط تسعى إلى تحقيق وفورات في التكاليف من خلال الأتمتة وترشيد المصاريف. وشهدنا تحوُّل الميزانيات من النفقات الرأسمالية إلى النفقات التشغيلية عبر مختلف القطاعات. وقال جيوتي لالشانداني، نائب رئيس مجموعة "آي دي سي" والمدير الإداري لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وتركيا وأفريقيا: "تبحث الشركات في جميع أنحاء المنطقة وبخاصة في المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات بوتيرة متزايدة عن سبل لترشيد نفقاتها بينما تسرّع مسيرة تحولها الرقمي. وغدت جاهزية ومرونة الأعمال وقابلية التوسع، والأهم من ذلك المرونة المالية من الأولويات الرئيسية التي رجّحت كفة تبني السحابة". هناك العديد من المحفزات التي تسرع وتيرة اعتماد السحابة. ففي أعقاب الأزمة الحالية، بدأت الشركات تُثمّن أهمية المرونة المالية أكثر من أي وقت مضى (الدفع أولاً بأول وترشيد أو التخلص من النفقات الرأسمالية). ويفضل مهندسو تكنولوجيا المعلومات سهولة توفير خدمات السحابة العامة وإمكانيات الإدارة عن بُعد التي تقدمها. ويمكن اعتماد وإتاحة التقنيات الناشئة بسهولة أكبر باستخدام السحابة، مما يدعم ويسهل تنفيذ الاستخدامات المبتكرة للتقنيات في الصناعة، حتى أنّ التحليلات الحديثة والمتقدمة المتاحة حصرياً عبر المنصات السحابية بدأت تجتذب متبنّي السحابة. لكن بالإضافة إلى هذه المحفزات، نشهد أيضاً بعض العوائق في هذه الرحلة. فالانتقال إلى السحابة العامة ليس بمسألة سهلة عموماً. ويعد تبني السحابة إلى حد ما تحولاً نوعياً في ثقافة الشركة نظراً لتقديم خدمات تكنولوجيا المعلومات عن بُعد. ويشمل كل نشاط على السحابة اتفاقيات لمستوى الخدمة حيث يبدأ مهندسو السحابة عملهم بمجرد أن تنتهي أنت من عملك. لذلك على متبني السحابة تعلم وإتقان بعض الأمور. ومن وجهة نظر تقنية، يعد ترحيل التطبيقات القديمة المستخدمة محلياً في الشركة مهمة شاقة أيضاً. وعلى الرغم من هذه المخاوف، يبدو أن الشركات الرائدة في مختلف الصناعات بدأت تتحرك بسرعة نحو اعتماد السحابة العامة. وتعتمد الكثير منها على السحابة العامة للتعافي من الكوارث والتخزين واستكشاف سبل التعاون وإدارة علاقات العملاء والتجارة الإلكترونية (وغيرها من الاستخدامات) ضمن نهج البرمجيات كخدمة (SaaS)، لا سيما مع تحول تطبيقات الأعمال داخل الشركة نحو نهج البرمجيات كخدمة (SaaS). وعلمت "آي دي سي" بقرار Oracle إطلاق منطقة سحابية في المملكة العربية السعودية خلال فعالية مشتركة في أبريل 2020. وحتى الآن أطلقت Oracle منطقة سحابية في جدة وتخطط لإطلاق منطقتين سحابيتين في دولة الإمارات ومنطقة أخرى جديدة داخل المملكة العربية السعودية بحلول نهاية عام 2020. ويأتي قرار Oracle استجابةً لتوسع نطاق تبني السحابة ومستويات الطلب المرتفعة من عملائها في المملكة. وذكرت Oracle أن الهيئة العامة للأرصاد وحماية البيئة في المملكة كانت من أوائل المستخدمين لمنطقتها السحابية، وتقوم الهيئة بترحيل منصة SharePoint باستخدام خدمات التكامل المُدارة SOA على البنية التحتية السحابية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). ووفقاً لما نقلته Oracle، تشير الهيئة إلى أنها تمكنت عبر اعتماد البنية التحتية للسحابة OCI من تصميم بنية تحتية قوية لتوفير الخدمات، إلى جانب ترحيل أعباء العمل بمستوى منخفض من المخاطر إلى جانب الاستمرار في تلبية متطلبات تخزين البيانات مع الحد من التأخير والتقطعات وإدارة البيانات بنهج قوي. ومن أوائل الشركات التي استفادت من المنطقة السحابية أيضاً تطبيق "عاونّي" الذي يعتمد على البنية التحتية السحابية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure لتقديم تجربة متميزة وفعالة ومنخفضة التكاليف لحجز الشاحنات للعملاء. ومن الفوائد والمزايا الرئيسية التي أشارت إليها الشركة التكامل السهل مع تقنيات Oracle والمرونة في التصميم والفعالية الإجمالية من حيث التكلفة لمنصة Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. وتضم السوق السعودية حالياً مجموعة مزودي خدمات محليين يوفرون حلولاً قوية للبنية التحتية كخدمة (IaaS) ومزودي خدمات عالميين يوفرون حلولاً قوية للبرمجيات كخدمة SaaS. وتتوقع شركة "آي دي سي" تزايد وتيرة توجّه شركات الخدمات السحابية الضخمة العالمية بشكل كبير إلى حلول البنية التحتية كخدمة (IaaS) مع توقع نمو معدل الطلب. ورغم أن استخدامات السحابة الحالية في المملكة العربية السعودية تركز إلى حد كبير على السحابة الخاصة، فقد بدأت الشركات بدراسة اعتماد السحابة العامة. وأشار نحو 74% من المشاركين في الدراسة الاستطلاعية التي أجريناها في المملكة إلى احتمال تبنيهم للسحابة العامة في حال أسست شركات السحابة العالمية الضخمة مراكز بيانات لها في المملكة. كذلك نشهد اتجاهات مماثلة في دولة الإمارات حيث تبدو الشركات مهتمة بالسحابة العامة وذكر نحو 72% من مديري تقنية المعلومات الذين شملتهم الدراسة الاستطلاعية لشركة "آي دي سي" أنهم قد يتبنون السحابة العامة في حال تطابق مركز بيانات شركة خدمات السحابة العالمية مع معايير تخزين البيانات في دولة الإمارات. ومع تزايد التعاون بين شركات خدمات السحابة وشركائها في التنفيذ والعملاء والمنظمين، يبدو أن المنطقة سترحب بالسحابة العامة بوتيرة سريعة تفوق توقعاتنا العام الماضي. ومع انطلاقنا في الواقع الجديد للأعمال، نتوقع أن توفر السحابة القدرات التقنية الأساسية التي تحتاجها الشركات ليس فقط للتكيّف مع الظروف الراهنة ولكن أيضاً لمتابعة النمو والتقدم بعد هذه المرحلة.

بقلم هاريش دوناخ، مدير أبحاث البرمجيات والسحابة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وتركيا وأفريقيا لدى شركة "آي دي سي" تتزايد أهمية السحابة اليوم إذ أصبحت المنصة التقنية الأساسية للشركات الرائدة في منطقة الخليج....

News and Insights

Why Zoom is now hosted on Oracle’s cloud infrastructure

During the end of late April, Oracle announced that Zoom Video Communications, driven by accelerated end user usage due to global shelter at home requirements, was now using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to host its online video meetings. The benefits of the platform adoption have been tremendous for Zoom. “Zoom has been able to scale from 10 million monthly meeting participants to 300 million monthly meeting participants this month, a 30X increase in overall scale,” says Clay Magouyrk, Executive Vice President Engineering, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Zoom is also taking advantage of the global presence of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions to expand its availability. “Zoom is deploying to many of our Oracle cloud regions, which brings them closer to customers and gives confidence to customers around security when it comes to data sovereignty,” adds Magouyrk. Zoom is not in every Oracle Cloud region, and they can choose to use only a couple or all of them. Oracle itself is expanding the number of regions with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to 20 regions. Each of the regions needs to have two locations both for disaster recovery and availability due to data regulations and compliance. The current and future presence of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions includes The Bay Area, California; Montreal, Canada; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Newport, Wales, UK; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Osaka, Japan; Melbourne, Australia; Hyderabad, India; Chuncheon, South Korea; Singapore; Jeddah, and another city in Saudi Arabia; Dubai, and another city in UAE; Israel; South Africa; Chile; Two government regions in the UK, one in London and one in Newport, Wales; One government region in Israel. Zoom began engaging with Oracle in the middle of March and within a couple of days their applications were sitting on top of Oracle’s public cloud hosting infrastructure. “Within a week or so they were moving significant production loads over to it and we have steadily ramped that over the course of six weeks or so,” adds Magouyrk. When Zoom approached Oracle more than a month ago, it was fast running out of overall capacity to host its global, millions of concurrent participant meetings. While Zoom applications were being hosted with multiple cloud service providers and on-site as well, their pain points were their inability to scale rapidly to meet the pandemic fueled demand for effective remote working experiences. A key customer usage trend in Zoom meetings has been the integration with video connectivity. “They reached out to us to see if we could help meet their scaling demands,” explains Magouyrk. As a cloud infrastructure provider for Zoom, the challenge is to provide a three-pronged, scalable resource support to manage the consumption demand. Zoom application workloads consume 7 Petabytes of transit data into and out of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Converting this into an average consumption figure over 24 hours, Magouyrk works it out to be 600 Gigabits per second, averaged continuously over 24 hours. And when there are peak requirements the network bandwidth requirement shoots even higher. Elaborates Magouyrk, “They are extremely network bandwidth heavy and they push Terabits of bandwidth out each second, at peak. A large part of what they needed from us was too make sure we had all of the network bandwidth and head room to meet their demands and not start dropping packets. As an infrastructure provider those are the kind of core metrics we are looking at – storage usage, compute usage, network usage.” Inside Oracle, Zoom is now a significantly large customer, growing very quickly and using a large amount of compute and storage, and huge amounts of bandwidth. “What I look at it, is making sure we have the compute capacity they need and we have all of the network bandwidth they need,” he adds. Long before Zoom became an Oracle Cloud customer in March this year, Oracle has been using Zoom for its remote workforce meetings. For Oracle, Zoom is the standard virtual meeting tool that it has been using for years. “Zoom is the technology that we have used to stay connected,” remarks Magouyrk. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a second-generation cloud that was built for enterprises from the ground up. The base layer is bare metal compute overlaid with a layer of virtual machines on top of that. This enhances defence of deep inspection into data assets and provides best in class, security portfolio. “Oracle has been a long-standing enterprise technology provider, which is a huge part of what we do. Since customers run their business-critical stuff on us, we have to operate in that high level of support. This was a big part of why Zoom was able to grow so quickly with us,” summarises Magouyrk. Original story authored by Arun Shankar, Business Transformation  

During the end of late April, Oracle announced that Zoom Video Communications, driven by accelerated end user usage due to global shelter at home requirements, was now using Oracle...

المستشفى الأمريكي في دبي يعتمد حلول Oracle و سيرنر لتقديم رعاية صحية متميزة

اختار المستشفى الأمريكي في دبي، التابع لمجموعة محمد وعبيد الملا، تطبيقات Oracle Cloud وحلول  سيرنر وهي شركة عالمية رائدة مصنفة في المستوى الذهبي ضمن شبكة شركاء Oracle لتنفيذ عملية تحول رقمي ضخمة. وتهدف المبادرة إلى خفض التكاليف، والارتقاء بأداء الأطباء وتعزيز إدارة المخزون وتجنب الخسائر الناجمة عن النقص أو تخزين كميات فائضة، واستقطاب أفضل المواهب والحفاظ عليها. وبموجب الاتفاقية، ستقدم  سيرنر منصة جديدة لتقنية المعلومات مختصة في الرعاية الصحية وتشمل نظام السجل الصحي الإلكتروني المتكامل (EHR) لتحسين تجربة الرعاية الصحية وتعزيز مستويات الأمن والسلامة والجودة للمرضى ومقدمي الرعاية الطبية. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، ستوفر Oracle منصة الأعمال الرقمية وسحابة تخطيط موارد الشركات Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud  لتعزيز الإنتاجية وخفض التكاليف وتحسين الضوابط. وسيسهم هذان النظامان في توحيد وتكامل الأعمال والعمليات السريرية في المستشفى بما يرتقي بالكفاءة ويطور عملية اتخاذ القرارات الخاصة بالأعمال بالاستناد إلى البيانات الفورية. وبالاعتماد على نظام السجل الصحي الإلكتروني المتكامل (EHR) ومنصة تخطيط موارد الشركات سيتمكن المستشفى الأمريكي في دبي من أتمتة العمليات السريرية والتجارية بشكل شامل. وسيعزز تنفيذ هذه الحلول الرائدة على مستوى القطاع قدرات المستشفى لتقديم تجربة ممتازة للمريض وتعزيز الكفاءة وتوفير رعاية طبية عالية الجودة وبأسعار معقولة. كذلك سيوظف المستشفى ثروة البيانات التي يتم جمعها لإعداد التقارير وتحسين نتائج المرضى مما سيسهم في نهاية المطاف في تحسين الأداء العلاجي والتجاري عبر مختلف أقسام المستشفى. وفي هذه المناسبة، قال شريف بشارة، الرئيس التنفيذي لمجموعة محمد وعبيد الملا: "يضطلع قطاع الرعاية الطبية بدور أساسي ومؤثر يسهم في دعم وتسريع مسيرة تقدم الدولة والمواطنين، لذلك نسعى باستمرار إلى إيجاد طرق ذكية ومبتكرة لتحسين جودة الرعاية والارتقاء بتجارب المرضى. ونحن واثقون بأن شراكتنا مع سيرنروOracle ستطوّر خدماتنا السريرية وعملياتنا التجارية بشكل كبير كما أنها سترسخ مكانة المستشفى الأمريكي الرائدة باعتباره منارة للتميز والخبرة في تقديم الخدمات الطبية في المنطقة والخارج". كما سيعتمد المستشفى الأمريكي في دبي نظام  Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud لإدارة الموارد البشرية وتزويد موظفيه البالغ عددهم 1,200 موظف بالأدوات الضرورية لمواكبة التقنيات الرقمية المتقدمة في مجال الرعاية الصحية. وستساعد هذه المبادرة المستشفى الأمريكي في الحفاظ على الموظفين المتميزين واستقطاب المواهب وتنفيذ برامج التدريب وضمان زيادة رضا الموظفين. بدوره، قال راهول ميسرا، نائب الرئيس لتطبيقات الأعمال لدى Oracle الخليج: "يهدف تنفيذ تطبيقات Oracle Cloud Applications إلى أتمتة العمليات الأساسية في المستشفى الأمريكي لتأسيس مصدر موحد ومرجعي للبيانات مع توفير أدوات أفضل للميزانية والتخطيط لقيادة المستشفى فضلاً عن زيادة رضا الموظفين وتقليل معدلات التسرب الوظيفي. ويعد المستشفى الأمريكي مؤسسة صحية رائدة ومن خلال هذا التحول الرقمي، يستعد المستشفى لخوض مرحلة جديدة من النمو والتقدم ومواصلة تقديم خدمات رعاية ممتازة للمرضى". من جانبه، قال علاء عادل، المدير العام لدى شركة  سيرنر في الشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا: "يسعدنا أن نتعاون مع المستشفى الأمريكي لاعتماد نظام السجل الصحي الإلكتروني المتكامل (EHR) الذي يركز على مصلحة المرضى ويرتقي بخدمات الرعاية الصحية ويعزز دمج جميع الموظفين في ثقافة استباقية لإدارة الرعاية الصحية. واليوم، تزايدت أهمية التكنولوجيا في ظل الظروف التي فرضتها جائحة كوفيد-19. ومن خلال الاعتماد على حلول  سيرنر المبتكرة، سيتمكن المستشفى الأمريكي من تعزيز استجابته للأزمة العالمية والأهم أنه سيحقق جاهزية تامة وسيكون مزوداً بأحدث التقنيات المتطورة للانطلاق نحو الواقع الجديد والنجاح في مرحلة ما بعد الوباء".

اختار المستشفى الأمريكي في دبي، التابع لمجموعة محمد وعبيد الملا، تطبيقات Oracle Cloud وحلول  سيرنر وهي شركة عالمية رائدة مصنفة في المستوى الذهبي ضمن شبكة شركاء Oracle لتنفيذ عملية تحول رقمي ضخمة....

American Hospital Dubai Selects Oracle Cloud and Cerner to Deliver Exceptional Healthcare

American Hospital Dubai, part of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group, has selected Oracle Cloud Applications and Cerner, a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), for a major digital transformation. The initiative is aimed at reducing cost, optimising physician performance, driving better inventory management, avoiding losses to over or understocking, and hiring and retaining the best talent. As per the agreement, Cerner will deliver a new health IT platform – an electronic health record (EHR) to improve the safety, quality, and healthcare experience for patients and caregivers. In addition, Oracle will provide the digital business platform and Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve controls. Both solutions will integrate hospital business and clinical operations to improve efficiency and business decision-making based on real-time data. The new EHR and ERP platforms will provide American Hospital Dubai with the ability to truly automate its end-to-end clinical and business processes. The implementation of these industry-leading solutions will enable the hospital to deliver a seamless patient journey, drive efficiency, and provide high quality, affordable care. In addition, the wealth of data collected will be used to report and improve patient outcomes, which ultimately will help optimise clinical and business performance across the entire organization. Sherif Beshara, chief executive officer of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group, said: “Medical well-being is integral for the progress of our nation and its people, and we are consistently seeking intelligent methods to improve quality of care and to enhance the patients’ experience. Our partnership with Cerner and Oracle significantly improves our clinical and non-clinical services and further positions American Hospital as a beacon of medical service excellence and expertise in the region and beyond.” American Hospital Dubai will also implement Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud to further equip its 1,200 employees with the tools they need for the digital healthcare era. This initiative will help American Hospital retain and hire the best talent, initiate training programs, and ensure enhanced employee satisfaction.  “The Oracle Cloud Applications implementation is aimed at automating American Hospital’s core processes to provide a single source of truth with better budgeting and planning tools for the hospital’s leadership – as well as increasing employee satisfaction and reducing turnover,” said Rahul Misra, vice president – business applications, Lower Gulf, Oracle. “American Hospital is a true pioneer and with this transformation, the healthcare provider is preparing for its next growth phase and continued delivery of excellent patient care.” Alaa Adel, managing director, Cerner Middle East & Africa, said, “We are excited to work collaboratively with American Hospital to roll out a network wide EHR that will create a patient-centric health care delivery system and engage individuals in a culture of proactive health management. “During the time of COVID-19 pandemic, the role of technology becomes even more prominent. With Cerner’s innovative solutions, American Hospital will not only further enhance its response to the global crisis, but more importantly be well-equipped with cutting-edge technologies to thrive in the new era of post-pandemic healthcare.”  

American Hospital Dubai, part of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group, has selected Oracle Cloud Applications and Cerner, a Gold Level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), for a major...

Oracle Looks to Accelerate Cloud Adoption in the Middle East with the Launch of Cloud Infrastructure Region in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

By Harish Dunakhe, Research Director, Software and Cloud (META), IDC Cloud is increasingly becoming a "foundational" technology platform for leading organizations in the Gulf. When it comes to public cloud, the conversation around security and data privacy concerns is not as fierce as it used to be a few years ago. The discussion has also moved from "no cloud" to "cloud also" and even to "cloud first" to some extent. Thanks to the collaboration between early adopters, policy makers and Hyperscalers, public cloud examples and use cases are increasing rapidly. Business uncertainty and restricted mobility brought about by the current crisis have exposed the resiliency and business continuity plans of many companies. Several of them are now seen to be not only carefully "listening" to cloud conversations but are in fact accelerating cloud adoption.  We see that the cloud discussion is moving from aversion to adoption at a faster pace than we had anticipated a year ago.  We had asked CIOs and business leaders in the Middle East to describe their general stance regarding the use of cloud for new IT services during our annual CIO Survey in January 2020. Around 44% of the respondents identified "cloud also" as their strategy towards cloud adoption, while 21% selected "cloud first". The cloud uptake seen in the first half of 2020 is expected to accelerate further in the latter part of the year and beyond.  Through our surveys of CIOs and IT leaders during the crisis we see that organizations across the Middle East are looking for cost savings through automation and spend rationalization. Budgets are seen to be shifting from capex to opex across various industries.   As per Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, "organizations across the region — but especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE — are increasingly looking at avenues to rationalize their spending, while also accelerating digital transformation. Business agility, flexibility, scalability, and, most importantly, financial flexibility are key priorities that favor cloud adoption."   There are several drivers that are accelerating cloud adoption. In the wake of the current situation, organizations now value financial flexibility (pay-as-you-go, little/no capex) more than ever before. IT engineers like the ease of provisioning and remote management that public cloud offers. Emerging technologies are more easily available and deployable with cloud, making it easier to implement innovative industry use cases. Even the new-age analytics available exclusively with cloud platforms seem to be attracting its adopters.  However, in addition to these drivers, a few inhibitors are also seen in this journey. Migration to public cloud is generally not easy. To some extent, cloud adoption is a cultural change for a company since IT services and provisioning happen remotely. There are SLAs for every activity and the cloud engineers start their work once you finish your portion of work. So, there is a little bit of learning for cloud adopters. From a technical standpoint, the migration of legacy on-premises applications is also a strenuous task.  Despite these concerns in some quarters, leading organizations across various industries seem to be moving rapidly toward public cloud adoption. Many are adopting public cloud for disaster recovery (DR) and storage, and exploring collaboration, CRM, and e-commerce (among others) as SaaS, as on-premise business applications shift towards SaaS. IDC was informed about Oracle's decision to launch a cloud region in Saudi Arabia during a joint event in April 2020. So far Oracle has launched a cloud region in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and has plans to launch two cloud regions in the UAE and one more in Saudi Arabia by end of 2020. Oracle's decision seems to be in response to the broader cloud adoption trend and the significant demand for cloud from its customers in Saudi Arabia.  Oracle mentioned that one of the early adopters of its cloud region is the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (GAMEP), which is migrating its SharePoint portal using the managed SOA integration services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). As quoted by Oracle, GAMEP says that by leveraging OCI, it was able to design a robust architecture, provision infrastructure, and migrate the workloads with lower risk while meeting data-residency requirements, along with low latency and strong data governance.   Another early adopter is Awini, which is relying on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to offer cost-effective and easy truck-booking experience to its clients. Seamless integration with back-end Oracle technologies, flexibility in design, and the overall cost-effectiveness of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure are the key benefits it mentions. Currently, the Saudi market is made up of local services providers with strong IaaS offerings and global services providers with strong SaaS offerings. IDC foresees global hyperscalers with their local presence moving heavily into the IaaS space as demand is likely to increase. While existing implementations are largely on private cloud in Saudi Arabia, organizations have started considering the adoption of public cloud. Around 74% of the respondents to our survey in the Kingdom said they are likely to adopt public cloud if global hyperscalers establish datacenters in the country. We see similar trends in the United Arab Emirates. Organizations in the UAE appear to be keen about public cloud. Around 72% of CIOs in the UAE that responded to an IDC survey stated that they are more likely to adopt public cloud if the datacenter of the global hyperscaler meets data-residency requirements of the UAE. With increasing collaboration between hyperscalers, their implementation partners, customers, and regulators, the region seems to be welcoming public cloud at a faster pace than we had projected last year.  As we enter a "new normal" for business, we expect cloud to provide the core tech capabilities that organizations need to not only navigate the current situation but also to thrive afterwards.

By Harish Dunakhe, Research Director, Software and Cloud (META), IDC Cloud is increasingly becoming a "foundational" technology platform for leading organizations in the Gulf. When it comes to public...

Saudi Arabia’s Taibah University Delivers Secure Digital Education to More Than 70,000 Students with Oracle Gen 2 Cloud

Taibah University, based in the Holy City of Medina has adopted a ‘Cloud First’ strategy with Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure to deliver secure, convenient and integrated digital learning and administrative services that can be remotely accessed by thousands of university students, faculty and staff. “Our aim was to digitally transform Taibah University, and that vision was underpinned in acquiring the ability to drive better engagement with our students”, said Dr. Ahmad Hawalah, Dean of IT, Taibah University. “An excellent learning experience starts from a smooth and secure sign-in experience to core education systems like learning management and student information system, and ensuring seamless integration between the two.”
 “The hybrid cloud model we have implemented using Oracle’s Identity Management Suite and Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure has allowed us to govern access to the services offered by the university, thus providing a highly secure learning environment. During the current period of lockdown owing to the global health situation, this cloud implementation has helped us to continue delivering education to our students without any interruptions”, said Eng. Oussama Al Jendoubi, Chief Architect, Taibah University. The implementation has also helped Taibah University integrate and centrally manage its vast IT infrastructure, besides also enabling a crucial Single Sign On function to access the Universities’ core systems. Furthermore, the provisioning identity for newly joined students and faculty members has been completely automated. This program was formalized in 2019, with the implementation now complete in collaboration with P systems, an Oracle Partner.  “After we experienced the high potential of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), and with the new launch of Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Region in Jeddah, we are planning to migrate our projects to this new Cloud region to benefit from the local geographical proximity that helps us secure lower latency and higher performance”, added Eng. Oussama Al Jendoubi. “Taibah University had a clear vision to deliver an excellent education experience by creating a user friendly and secure digital platform. Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure is architected to detect and defend against modern threats, so the University can innovate faster and introduce new services quickly”, said Fahad Al Turief, Country Leader – Saudi Arabia, Oracle. Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud is the only infrastructure built to run on Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry’s first and only self-driving database. With this alignment, Oracle is paving the road to becoming the world’s first complete and truly autonomous cloud. 

Taibah University, based in the Holy City of Medina has adopted a ‘Cloud First’ strategy with Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure to deliver secure, convenient and integrated digital learning...

توفر جامعة طيبة في المملكة العربية السعودية التعليم الرقمي الآمن لأكثر من 70 ألف طالب بدعم سحابة Oracle Gen 2

تبنّت جامعة طيبة، ومقرها المدينة المنورة، استراتيجية "السحابة أولاً" مع تقنية البنية التحتية السحابية Oracle Gen 2 لتقديم الخدمات التعليمية الرقمية والإدارية الآمنة والمريحة والمتكاملة التي يمكن الوصول إليها عن بعد من قبل الآلاف من طلاب الجامعات وأعضاء الهيئة التدريسية والموظفين. قال د. أحمد حوالة، عميد قسم تقنية المعلومات في جامعة طيبة: "يتمحور هدفنا حول تحقيق التحول الرقمي في جامعة طيبة، واستطعنا المضي بتحقيق هذه الرؤية بفضل اكتساب القدرة على تعزيز تفاعلنا مع طلابنا. وتبدأ تجربة التعلّم المتميزة من مرحلة تسجيل دخول السلسة والآمنة إلى أنظمة التعليم الأساسية مثل الإدارة التعليمية ونظام معلومات الطلاب وضمان التكامل السلس بين الاثنين". ومن جانبه قال المهندس أسامة الجندوبي، كبير المهندسين في جامعة طيبة: "أتاح لنا نموذج السحابة الهجين، الذي طبقناه باستخدام تقنيات Oracle Management Identity Management Suite وOracle’s Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure، تنظيم الوصول إلى الخدمات التي تقدمها الجامعة، وبالتالي توفير بيئة تعليمية آمنة للغاية. وساعدنا تطبيق تقنية السحابة هذه خلال فترة الحجر الحالية الناتجة عن انتشار الجائحة الفيروسية حول العالم، على مواصلة تقديم خدماتنا التعليمية لطلابنا دون أي انقطاع". ساعد هذا التطبيق جامعة طيبة أيضاً على دمج وإدارة بنيتها التحتية الضخمة لتقنية المعلومات بشكل مركزي ومكّن - آلية الدخول الموحد للوصول إلى الأنظمة الأساسية في الجامعة. كما تمت أتمتة إدارة هويات حسابات الطلاب وأعضاء الهيئة التدريسية الجدد. وتم تبني هذا البرنامج بشكل رسمي في عام 2019، واكتمل تنفيذه الآن بالتعاون مع P Systems، أحد شركاء Oracle. وأضاف: "بعد تجربتنا لإمكانات تقنية Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) المتفوقة، ومع الإطلاق الجديد لمركز Oracle 2 Cloud Region في مدينة جدة، نخطط لترحيل مشاريعنا إلى مركز السحابة الجديد لنستفيد من قربه الجغرافي محلياً والذي سيساعدنا في تخفيف فترات التباطؤ وتعزيز الأداء". قال فهد الطريف، رئيس أعمال الشركة لدى Oracle في المملكة العربية السعودية: "تمتلك جامعة طيبة رؤية واضحة تهدف إلى تقديم تجربة تعليمية ممتازة من خلال إنشاء منصة رقمية آمنة وسهلة الاستخدام. وصُممت تقنية البنية التحتية Oracle Gen 2 Cloud للكشف عن التهديدات الحديثة ومكافحتها مما سيسهم بتسريع عملية الابتكار لدى الجامعة وتقديمها للخدمات الجديدة بسرعة كبيرة". تُعد Oracle 2 Gen Cloud البنية التحتية الوحيدة التي تم إنشاؤها للعمل على قاعدة بياناتOracle  ذات الإدارة الذاتية الأولى من نوعها في المجال. وتمهد Oracle عبر هذه التقنية الطريق لتصبح أول سحابة متكاملة ومستقلة في العالم.

تبنّت جامعة طيبة، ومقرها المدينة المنورة، استراتيجية "السحابة أولاً" مع تقنية البنية التحتية السحابية Oracle Gen 2 لتقديم الخدمات التعليمية الرقمية والإدارية الآمنة والمريحة والمتكاملة التي يمكن...

Celebrating 25 years of Java innovation

5 years ago, we couldn’t have imagined how much we’d have at our fingertips today. Everything we need is only a few clicks away – and right now, this way of life is more important than it’s ever been. Much of this is due to the innovation Java brings to our lives. 25 years ago, when Java was first introduced to the world, the team had lofty ambitions. Through continuous delivery of modern development features, Java has influenced applications all around us – usage in autonomous vehicles, one-click online payment systems, entertainment streaming services, space exploration and much more. We have millions of Java developers to thank for this. Without their passion and ingenuity, the world may be a very different place. The ongoing commitment to Java innovation by Oracle has empowered countless developers to think well beyond those initial ambitions, and execute ideas using the language they have always trusted.  Nowadays, we’re relying on Java to live our lives to their fullest, and to innovate more and more every day. Here are just some of the ways Java has been used since its launch in 1995. Back in 2004, Java enabled NASA to run Spirit, the robotic rover tasked with finding signs of water and life on Mars. NASA used Java to create the remote-controlled rover, taking the raw data from their mission database to create a ‘point and click’ 3D terrain in which scientists could command the rover’s every move. Java is not only able to handle the enormous amounts of data necessary for the mission, but is also the one language that scientists working on the project around the world speak – making it a true collaboration. With more than 400 million tweets a day on the platform, in 2015, Twitter needed to focus on improving its performance to support a growing user base. Twitter moved to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) run-time environment to tackle its performance issues, also helping the team behind the platform spot errors as they happen, and better understand why. Since the move, Twitter has been able to keep improving the service day after day, giving its users the real-tome, 'live' experience they know and love.  Also in 2015, Java helped Netflix as it scaled its services to more than 57 million subscribers streaming for 1 billion hours a month. Netflix built the services within its architecture on Java and the JVM, and also use Java-based open source tools to constantly monitor, upgrade, and scale these services. Now, the data it collects recommends shows and films for more than 180 million subscribers worldwide - and the ability to innovate quickly and at scale keeps viewers coming back for more, answering the question: 'Are you still watching?' Uncovering what the universe is made of and how it works is no mean feat. For decades, CERN has relied on Java as the software foundation of the Large Hadron Collider - and its 100,000 devices and 2 million endpoints. In 2016, CERN came to Java with another problem to solve: managing its IT infrastructure, specifically an extensive ERP system that helps the team spend their billion-dollar research budget efficiently. Java is now the stable and trusted system that ensures the world's largest machine is running smoothly, and that CERN's mission is being fulfilled. In 2019, Minecraft, written using the Java programming language, took over the lives of millions of children, becoming the best selling video game of all time. Seeing the opportunity for children to do more than just play, Codakid created a Minecraft Coding course, where children can create their own custom blocks, weapons, enemies and more - all while learning to code using Java. Through Minecraft, Java is growing the next generation of computer scientists and programmers, who may one day go from building their own sword to building something that could change the world. Looking back is one thing, but going forward, Oracle remains committed to delivering Java innovation. This way, millions of developers who use Java can continue building applications that shape the world we live on - from entertainment, to nuclear physics, social media, and discovering life on Mars.  After a quarter of a century, we’ve seen enormous positive change thanks to the modernization Java has brought us. The next 25 years – and beyond – look just as bright. Our world moved by Java. By Georges Saab, VP Software Development, Java Platform Group, Oracle.

5 years ago, we couldn’t have imagined how much we’d have at our fingertips today. Everything we need is only a few clicks away – and right now, this way of life is more important than it’s ever been. M...

خدمة Oracle السحابية من الجيل الثاني تدعم التحوّل الرقمي لرائد قطاع التعدين في السعودية

اختارت شركة التعدين العربية السعودية "معادن" بنية "Oracle" التحتية السحابية من الجيل الثانيOracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure،لاستراتيجيتها للتحوّل الرقمي، الهادفة إلى رفع كفاءة الأعمال وزيادة النمو. ومن شأن ذلك ان يساعد شركة "معادن" في إنشاء البنية التحتية المرنة والآمنة والمتطوّرة لتكنولوجيا المعلومات لديها، والتي سيتم تسخيرها لاستخدام أحدث التقنيات كالذكاء الاصطناعي. من جهته، قال الدكتور عارف مصطفى، المدير التنفيذي للمعلومات في المجموعة: "تلعب "معادن" دورًا رئيسيًا في ما يتعلّق بالنجاح الاقتصادي للمملكة العربية السعودية، من موقعها كشركة رائدة في قطاع التعدين في المملكة. وتعكس استراتيجية معادن لعام 2025 رؤيتها المتمثلة في أن تكون شركة وطنية رائدة في مجال التعدين المستدام. ونعمل على تحقيق ذلك من خلال تعزيز الامتياز التشغيلي والرأس مالي والتجاري وتوسيع حضورنا على الساحة العالمية". وأضاف الدكتور مصطفى: "إن التحوّل الذي تقوده السحابة أمر غاية في الأهمية لشركتنا لناحية تسريع توسيع نطاق العمليات، ودفع الابتكار، وإتاحة الاطلاع على جميع مواردنا ومشاريعنا في الوقت الفعلي، بالإضافة إلى ضمانها الكفاءة من حيث التكلفة وتنفيذ الإجراءات الأمنية القوية والضرورية لاستمرارية أعمالنا".  وتوفّر خدمة Oracle السحابية من الجيل الثاني مجموعة كاملة من الحلول لإدارة البيانات والتحليلات البصرية القيّمة المبنية على الذكاء الاصطناعي. وسيشمل التنفيذ أكثر من 9000 مستخدم في "معادن". ومع دعم البنية السحابية للجيل الثاني عبر النظام النظام الهندسي الأعلى أداءً لتشغيل قواعد بياناتExadata ، والمستخدم في "معادن" حاليًا، فمن شأن الانتقال إلى النظام البيئي السحابي ان يكون أكثر سهولة وسلاسة".  وقال فهد بن عبد العزيز الطريف، قائد عمليات Oracle في السعودية: "بينما قامت Oracle بهندسة الجيل الثاني من البنية التحتية السحابية للشركة، عملت في الوقت عينه على بناء منصة تدعم التقنيات الحديثة. وتعتبر خدمة Oracle السحابية من الجيل الثاني المنصة الأمثل للشركات مثل "معادن"، كونها تمكّنها من استبدال مراكز البيانات الداخلية بنموذج نشر الحوسبة السحابية، بهدف تحقيق الأهداف الاستراتيجية للشركة".  الجدير بالذكر تعتبر خدمة Oracle السحابية من الجيل الثاني البنية التحتية الوحيدة التي أنشأت ليتم تشغيلها على قاعدة بيانات قاعدة البيانات الذاتية من Oracle، وهي أوّل قاعدة بيانات ذاتية التوجيه في العالم. وتعمل Oracle من خلال هذه المواءمة على تمهيد الطريق لأن تصبح أول سحابة عامة في العالم كاملة الاستقلال.

اختارت شركة التعدين العربية السعودية "معادن" بنية "Oracle" التحتية السحابية من الجيل الثانيOracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure،لاستراتيجيتها للتحوّل الرقمي، الهادفة إلى رفع كفاءة الأعمال وزيادة...

Oracle Gen 2 Cloud Supports Digital Transformation for Saudi Arabia’s National Mining Champion

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), has chosen Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure for a strategic digital transformation aimed at achieving business efficiency and driving growth. The implementation will help Ma’aden create an agile, secure and modern IT infrastructure that is geared to utilize latest emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence.  “As the champion of the mining industry in Saudi Arabia, Ma’aden has a key role to play in the economic success of Saudi Arabia. Ma’aden’s Strategy 2025 is anchored in our vision to be a sustainable mining champion, and we are working towards achieving this by driving operational, capital and commercial excellence and expanding our global presence,” said Dr. Arif Mustafa, Group Chief Information Officer, Ma’aden. “Cloud led transformation is an imperative for our organization to scale operations swiftly, drive innovation, create a real-time view of all our resources and projects, ensure cost efficiency and implement robust security measures for business continuity,” added Dr. Mustafa. Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud provides a complete set of services for managing data and provides rich AI-based visual analytics. The implementation will span more than 9000 users at Ma’aden, and with Gen 2 Cloud being supported by the Oracle Exadata Database Machine, which Ma’aden currently uses, the transition to a cloud ecosystem will be seamless.   “Oracle architected its next generation cloud infrastructure for the enterprise, while also building a platform that supports new emerging technologies. The Gen 2 Cloud is a perfect platform for enterprises like Ma’aden to replace their on-premises data centres with a cloud deployment model to achieve strategic business objectives,” said Fahad Al Turief, Country Leader – Saudi Arabia, Oracle. Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud is the only infrastructure built to run Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry’s first and only self-driving database. With this alignment, Oracle is paving the road to becoming the world’s first complete and truly autonomous cloud.  Oracle’s gen 2 Cloud Region is now live in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), has chosen Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure for a strategic digital transformation aimed at achieving business efficiency and driving growth. The...

منصة "عاونّي" تعيد صياغة خدمات شحن وتوصيل البضائع في المملكة العربية السعودية

تقوم شركة التكنولوجيا الناشئة "عاونّي" والتي تتخذ من المملكة العربية السعودية مقراً لها بتوظيف قدرات وإمكانيات شبكة الإنترنت وتطبيقات الهاتف الذكي لتوصيل الأفراد بمالكي الشاحنات في الزمن الفعلي وعلى مدار الساعة في المملكة. وفي حديث له خلال مقابلة حصرية مع مجلة "تك رادار ميدل إيست"، أكّد الدكتور عبد الرحمن السلطان، الرئيس التنفيذي ومؤسس منصة "عاونّي" أنّ "الحاجة أم الاختراع". وقد خطرت له فكرة المشروع حين كان يحاول نقل بعض المنتجات الخاصة به عام 2015 وأدرك أن تأمين شاحنة في الوقت المطلوب مسألة صعبة للغاية. وكان الهدف بناء شبكة تتيح رؤية فورية لتوافر جميع الشاحنات المتاحة على مقربة من المستخدم مما يمكنه من حجز الشحنات وتتبعها لتصبح هذه الخدمة بمثابة "أوبر" ولكن للشاحنات. وفي عام 2018، تأسست شركة "عاونّي" بعد بحوث مكثفة وتطوير البرمجيات من قبل فريق "السلطان" وإدراجها في برنامج تسريع الأعمال الخاص بشركة Oracle في المملكة العربية السعودية. وأضاف السلطان أنه وبرغم وجود العديد من التطبيقات المماثلة في السوق إلا أن "عاونّي" يتميز بسهولة استخدامه وبساطة تصميمه. "يمكن لطفل يبلغ من العمر ست أو سبع سنوات فقط تشغيل التطبيق، حتى أنني طلبت من أطفالي إعداد التطبيق وتشغيله لأتمكن من تقييم مدى سهولة الاستخدام." ويعمل لدى شركة "عاونّي" حالياً 3,700 سائق في جميع أنحاء المملكة العربية السعودية وهناك نحو 27,000 سائق إضافي بانتظار الموافقة للانضمام إلى هذه المنصة. ويتيح التطبيق للمستخدمين حجز النقل من خلال أربع خطوات وعبر هاتفهم المتحرك إلى جانب إمكانية اختيار المركبات الخفيفة أو الثقيلة بالإضافة إلى خبراء النقل المحترفين إذا تطلب الأمر. وبدأت هذه الرحلة كنموذج أعمال للتعاملات بين الشركات (B2B) ونموذج أعمال موجه للمستهلكين (B2C) ونموذج عمل للتعاملات بين المستهلكين والشركات (C2B) أو بين المستهلكين (C2C)، وأوضح السلطان أن نموذجي الأعمال B2C وC2C يقدمان ربحاً نقدياً سريعاً ولكنه ليس مستداماً بما يكفي بينما في نموذج التعاملات بين الشركات B2B فالأسعار أقل والمدفوعات قد تصل إلى 45,000 ريال سعودي. أزمة "كوفيد-19" تغير نماذج الأعمال وأضاف: "تأتي معظم تعاملاتنا من نماذج الأعمال الموجهة من الشركات للمستهلكين  B2C ونموذج التعاملات بين المستهلكين C2C ، لكن مع ظهور أزمة وباء "كوفيد-19"، تغير نموذج الأعمال  نتيجة الإغلاق. وطرأت الكثير من التغيرات على عملنا بسبب كوفيد 19 في الوقت الحالي. ونعمل حالياً على توفير خدمات توصيل الأغذية للشركات الصغيرة والمتوسطة حيث ننقلها من تجار الجملة إلى المتاجر ومن المزارعين إلى محلات السوبرماركت والهايبرماركت. وأكّد أنهم يتعاونون خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية مع تطبيق لتوصيل مستلزمات البقالة بغية توصيل الطعام والخضروات إلى المنازل. "لقد أثرت أزمة كوفيد 19 علينا في الجانبين سواء أعمال الشركات الموجهة للمستهلكين أو التعاملات بين المستهلكين والتي انخفضت وتيرتها بشكل كبير بسبب الإغلاق وتحول التركيز إلى تعاملات المستهلكين الموجهة للشركات والتعاملات بين الشركات. وتابع السلطان: "ومن أبرز هذه الجوانب خدمات التوصيل إلى الوجهة النهائية لكبار تجار التجزئة في المملكة، حيث يقوم المستخدمون بالحجز ونحن نقدم الخدمة بشكل فوري". وأشار إلى أن شركة غاز سعودية اتصلت بالشركة مؤخراً من أجل التعاون في توصيل الغاز إلى المنازل. "لقد تلاشت كل الاستراتيجيات التي وضعناها لهذا العام. ليس لدينا رغبة بالتحول إلى توفير خدمات التوصيل إلى الوجهة النهائية لمتاجر الهايبر ماركت والتأثير على سمعتنا كون ملاحظات المستهلكين بشأن مشاكل التسليم سيئة للغاية نظراً لظروف أزمة كوفيد 19. ونحن نعمل على دراسة حالة لوضعنا الحالي وبمجرد أن نستعيد جاهزيتنا من جديد، سنقدم دراسة الحالة الخاصة بنا إلى متاجر لولو وكارفور". ويحصل السلطان على نسبة 20٪ كعمولة من الشاحنات الصغيرة و15٪ من الشاحنات الكبيرة. وقد استثمر السلطان مع عائلته وأصدقائه بمبلغ 1.2 مليون ريال سعودي وجمع 15 مليون ريال سعودي ببيع حصة 15٪ في الشركة. التشغيل والدعم بواسطة سحابة Oracle  ونوّه السلطان أن التكنولوجيا تلعب دوراً حيوياً في المشروع ورغم أن التطبيق يبدو بسيطاً جداً بواجهته الخارجية إلا أنه يستخدم الكثير من تقنيات الذكاء الاصطناعي والخوارزميات في الواجهة الخلفية. "كنا نستخدم أمازون ويب سيرفيسيز لكننا انتقلنا إلى الجيل الثاني من البنية التحتية السحابية لشركة Oracle لحصولنا على سعر تنافسي أفضل بالمقارنة مع أمازون ويب سيرفيسيز. وتقدم شركة Oracle خدمات صيانة ذات جودة ممتازة ودون فترة تجميد لتقنيات معينة. قد يقول الجميع بأن خدمات أمازون ويب سيرفيسيز أقل تكلفة لكننا ومن خلال تجربتنا وجدنا أن الأسعار ليست ثابتة وأحياناً قد ترتفع بصورة ملحوظة. ونحن نعمل مع Oracle لربط الواجهة الخلفية للتطبيق بنظام تخطيط موارد المؤسسة الخاص بـ Oracle على مراحل متعددة." وأشار أيضاً إلى أهمية انفتاح المنصة ودوره الحيوي بصرف النظر عن الحاجة إلى المزيد من التحكم والعمليات الفعالة. وقال: "وفّرت لنا منصة OCI الحرية لتصميم الحلول بالطريقة التي تناسبنا كما ساعدت أعضاء فريقنا الجدد على الانضمام إلى الفريق وبدء العمل بسرعة وسهولة". وحول خطط التوسع، أشار السلطان إلى توقيع اتفاقية امتياز تجاري في دولة الإمارات مع شركة "آي إم إس" في دبي التابعة لمجموعة الريس مقابل 15٪ من صافي الأرباح. "نعمل حالياً مع مجموعة من الشركاء للتوسع في كوريا الجنوبية ومصر وهولندا وألمانيا. أما في دول الخليج الأخرى فلم نشهد بعد الاستخدام المكثف للتطبيقات كما هو الحال في المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات ولم نجد الشريك المناسب أيضاً. كما نخطط للاستثمار في منشأة تخزين ذكية في المملكة." المقال التالي هو ترجمة عربية للقصة الأصلية التي تم نشرها على Tech Radar Pro Middle East  بقلمNaushad Charrayil     

تقوم شركة التكنولوجيا الناشئة "عاونّي" والتي تتخذ من المملكة العربية السعودية مقراً لها بتوظيف قدرات وإمكانيات شبكة الإنترنت وتطبيقات الهاتف الذكي لتوصيل الأفراد بمالكي الشاحنات في الزمن الفعلي وعلى...

Zoom تختار Oracle لتدعمها في الحفاظ على استمرارية التدريس في المدارس وتشغيل الشركات وبقاء العائلة والأصدقاء على اتصال

بقلم بارب دارو، Oracle ليس من المبالغة أن نقول بأن جائحة (كوفيد-19) قلبت الطريقة التي يعمل ويأكل ويتواصل بها الناس في كل مكان رأساً على عقب، كما غيّرت قوانين البقاء في المنزل وتعليق التجمعات العامة الكبيرة كل شيء. لكن استطاعت منصة Zoom، بالتعاون مع Oracle كشريكها السحابيّ الجديد، أن تُسهل على المستخدمين مواصلة المشاركة في الأنشطة اليومية الشائعة كحضور اجتماعات العمل وفصول المدرسة وممارسة اليوغا وحتى حفلات الكوكتيل لمواجهة هذا التهديد عبر التباعد الاجتماعي الذي يعد أمراً أساسياً في هذه الفترة. كما تُستخدم منصةZoom  في بعض الأماكن لمحاكمة القضايا المدنية والجنائية. ارتفع العدد اليومي للمشاركين في اجتماعات Zoom خلال شهر أبريل إلى 300 مليون مشارك بزيادة قدرها 50% مقارنةً بـ200 مليون في الشهر السابق. وكانت أحد أسباب طفرة النمو هذه هو أن الشركة، التي تأسست في عام 2011 ليكون تركيزها على الموظفين والشركات، وسّعت نطاق خدماتها لتدعم المعلمين والطلاب مجاناً. ومع انتشار الوباء، قررت Zoom إلغاء حد الـ40 دقيقة للصفوف المدرسية ما قبل الجامعية. وهذا يعني أن الشركة التي تتخذ من سان خوسيه مقراً لها أصبحت بحاجة إلى تعزيز قدرتها السحابية لدعم فيض محادثات الفيديو الإضافية. ولهذا السبب تواصلت الشركة مع Oracle التي باشرت بسرعة في توفير الدعم. عمل فريق Oracle الهندسي بسرعة ونشر منصة Zoom ضِمْنَ Oracle Cloud Infrastructure وضَمِنَ حصول Zoom على السعة السحابية الكافية لتخديم مئات آلاف المستخدمين الجدد الذين يتوافدون على خدمتها. وعندما تحول هذا الفيضان إلى ملايين الطلاب والمعلمين الإضافيين وغيرهم، تمكنت Zoom من زيادة قدرتها بسهولة لتلبية هذا الارتفاع. وتُظهر قدرة Oracle على مساعدة Zoom في تلبية الطلب المتزايد قوة وموثوقية سحابة Oracle من الجيل الثاني التي تم تصميمها للتعامل مع متطلبات محادثات الفيديو الصعبة وتطبيقات البث الأخرى بسلاسة. وفي حين أن خدمات Zoom أثبتت فاعليتها في تلبية احتياجات الموظفين والشركات في الماضي، أصبح من الواضح بعد انتشار (كوفيد-19) أن محادثات الفيديو على منصتها سهلة الاستخدام حتى بالنسبة للمستخدمين خارج نطاق الأعمال بما فيهم الآباء والأمهات الذين يؤدون عملين أو ثلاثة في الوقت ذاته كمعلمين ومدربين وممرضين مع الحفاظ على حياتهم المهنية. كما يستطيع أفراد العائلة الذين تفصل بينهم المسافات زيارة بعضهم باستخدام Zoom لاتباع إرشادات التباعد الاجتماعي الموصى بها. وتحول اسم الشركة خلال هذه المرحلة المتغيّرة إلى اسم وفعل. وأصبحنا نسمع عبارات مثل "هل تريد Zoom؟" والتي أصبحت لغة متداولة في كل من العمل والنشاطات الاجتماعية، كما سهّل Zoom حضور الجنائز وحفلات الزفاف أيضاً. وبالنظر إلى ما ذُكر، نستطيع القول بأن خدمة محادثات الفيديو عالية الجودة من Zoom تساعد مئات الملايين من الناس الذين يلزم الكثيرين منهم منزله في الوقت الحالي، مما يخلصهم من الشعور بالوحدة ويزيد من ارتباطهم ببعضهم البعض. ويسر Oracle أن تساعد في تحقيق ذلك عبر بنيتها التحتية الحديثة Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

بقلم بارب دارو، Oracle ليس من المبالغة أن نقول بأن جائحة (كوفيد-19) قلبت الطريقة التي يعمل ويأكل ويتواصل بها الناس في كل مكان رأساً على عقب، كما غيّرت قوانين البقاء في المنزل وتعليق التجمعات العامة...

Zoom Taps Oracle to Keep Schools Teaching, Businesses Running, Friends and Family Connected

By Barb Darrow, Oracle It’s no exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended the way people everywhere work, eat, and socialize. Stay-at-home mandates and suspension of large public gatherings have changed everything. But Zoom, with Oracle as a new cloud partner, has made it much easier for people to continue taking part in common daily activities—from attending business meetings and school classes to  practicing yoga – and yes, cocktailing – in the face of this threat, where social distancing is key. In some venues, Zoom is even being used to try civil and criminal cases. In April, Zoom’s daily tally of meeting participants mushroomed to 300 million, up 50% from 200 million the previous month. One reason for that growth spurt was that the company, founded in 2011 with a focus on business users, was scaling up to support educators and students with a free tier of its service.  As the pandemic spread, Zoom also decided to eliminate the 40-minute limit for K-12 schools. All of that meant the San Jose-based company needed to boost its cloud capacity to support the additional flood of videoconferences. And that’s why it got in touch with Oracle, which was quickly on board in this effort. Oracle’s engineering team worked quickly, deploying Zoom on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and ensuring Zoom had enough cloud capacity to serve the hundreds of thousands of new users flocking to its service. And when that flood turned into millions of additional students, teachers, and others, Zoom was able to easily scale up its capacity further to meet that need. Helping Zoom meet the soaring demand also demonstrates the robustness and reliability of Oracle’s second-generation cloud, which was built to handle the tough demands of video communications and other broadcasting applications smoothly.  While Zoom’s services were already proven in business settings when COVID-19 hit, it was clear that its easy-to-use video communications could also make life easier for non-business users, including parents now pulling double and triple duty as teachers, coaches, and nurses -- all while maintaining their professional lives. Far flung family members can also visit each other using Zoom while following recommended social distancing guidelines.  In the process, the company’s name has morphed into both a noun and a verb. Phrases like “Do you want to Zoom?” have entered the vernacular both in work and social settings. Zoom has even facilitated wakes and weddings.  Given all this, it’s safe to say that Zoom’s high-quality video communications service is helping hundreds of millions of people -- many of whom are confined to their homes -- feel a little less alone, a little more connected to one another. And, Oracle with its modern Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, is thrilled to help make that happen.

By Barb Darrow, Oracle It’s no exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended the way people everywhere work, eat, and socialize. Stay-at-home mandates and suspension of large...

Awini reshapes on-demand goods pickup and delivery service in Saudi Arabia

Saudi-based tech startup – Awini – is using the power of the internet and a smartphone app to connect people with available truck owners in real-time and round the clock in the Kingdom. Speaking to TechRadar Middle East in an exclusive interview, Dr. Abdul Rahman Sultan, CEO and Founder of Awini, said that necessity is the mother of all invention. The idea came to him when he was trying to move some products for himself in 2015 and realised that getting a truck at a required time is very difficult. The goal of Sultan is to build a network that gives a real-time view of all the available trucks in the proximity, allowing people to book and track their shipments and be known as the Uber for trucks. In 2018, Awini was born after extensive research and software development by Sultan’s team and was incorporated into Oracle’s startup accelerator programme in Saudi Arabia. He said that there are many similar apps in the market but the advantage of Awini is the “user-friendliness”. “A six- or seven-year-old child can operate the app. I even asked my children to set up and operate the app to test the user-friendliness,” he said. Awini now has 3,700 drivers across Saudi Arabia and 27,000 more drivers are waiting for approval to join the marketplace. The app lets users book transport in four steps from their phone, including a choice of light or heavy vehicles, plus professional removal experts if needed. It all started as a business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-business (C2B) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) models and Sultan explained that B2C and C2C give quick cash but not very sustainable while in B2B, prices are lower and payments go up to 45,000 Saudi riyals.  “80% of our business comes from B2C and C2C but with Covid-19, the business model has changed due to the lockdown. Covid-19 has changed our business model for the moment. We are delivering foods for SMEs, from wholesalers to the shops and from farmers to hypermarkets and supermarkets,” he said. For the last few days, he said that they are working with a grocery app to deliver food and vegetables to houses. “Covid has impacted us both ways. B2C and C2C businesses have gone down drastically because of lockdowns and shifted focus to C2B and B2B. One of the big issues is last-mile delivery for big retailers in Saudi Arabia, so people book us and we deliver it right way,” Sultan said. Moreover, he said that a Saudi gas company, recently, called us and wants to work with us to deliver gas to homes. “Every strategy we had this year has gone with the wind. We don’t want to jump into last-mile delivery for big hypermarkets and spoil our name as the reviews by people on delivery issues are really bad due to Covid. We are doing our case study and once we are well prepared, we will present our case study to LuLu and Carrefour hypermarkets,” he said. Sultan earns 20% commission from small pickups and 15% from larger ones. Sultan, along with his family and friends, has invested SR1.2m and has raised SR15m by selling a 15% stake in the company. Powered by Oracle cloud  Sultan said that technology plays an important role and even though the app looks simple from the front, a lot of AI and algorithms are used in the backend. “We were on Amazon Web Services but moved to Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) as they gave us a competitive price than AWS. The maintenance by Oracle is of real high quality and with no lock-in period for certain technologies. Everybody says that AWS is cheaper but in our experience, the prices are not consistent and sometimes it can go really high.  We are working with Oracle to connect our back end with their ERP in stages,” he said. Moreover, he said that openness of the platform is very important, apart from the need for more control and efficient operations. “OCI gave us the freedom to design solutions the way we see fit and helped our new team members get on board easily and fast,” he said. On expansion plans, Sultan said that they have signed a franchise deal for UAE with a Dubai-based IMS of Al Rais Group and they will take 15% of the net profit. “We are already working with some other partners to expand into South Korea, Egypt, Holland and Germany.  In other Gulf countries, the usage of apps hasn’t taken off as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and we haven’t found the right partner also. We are also planning to enter into a smart storage facility in Saudi Arabia,” he said. Original story authored by Naushad Cherrayil for Tech Radar Pro Middle East

Saudi-based tech startup – Awini – is using the power of the internet and a smartphone app to connect people with available truck owners in real-time and round the clock in the Kingdom. Speaking to Tech...

New Study: AI Helps Organizations Grow Profits 80 Percent Faster

Global research highlights how organizations are capitalizing on emerging technologies to enhance finance and operations for competitive advantage Organizations that are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies in finance and operations are growing their annual profits 80 percent faster, according to a new study from Enterprise Strategy Group and Oracle. The global study, Emerging Technologies: The competitive edge for finance and operations, surveyed 700 finance and operations leaders across 13 countries and found that emerging technologies – AI, Internet of Things(IoT), blockchain, digital assistants – have passed the adoption tipping point, exceed expectations, and create significant competitive advantage for organizations. AI and Digital Assistants Improve Accuracy and Efficiency in Finance  Organizations embracing emerging technologies in finance are experiencing benefits far greater than anticipated: Errors in finance organizations have been reduced by 37 percent on average.  72 percent of organizations using AI have a better understanding of overall business performance. 83 percent of executives believe AI will completely automate financial close processes within the next five years. Digital assistants increase productivity by 36 percent and accelerate financial analysis by 38 percent. AI, IoT, and Blockchain Drive More Responsive Supply Chains AI, IoT, blockchain and digital assistants are helping organizations improve accuracy, speed and insight in operations and the supply chain, and respondents expect additional business value as blockchain applications become mainstream.  Organizations using AI in their supply chains have seen order fulfillment reduction by an average of 6.7 business days. Applying IoT data to supply chain processes helps organizations reduce fulfillment errors by 26 percent on average. AI is helping organizations reduce fulfillment errors by 25 percent, stock-outs by 30 percent, and manufacturing downtime by 26 percent. Organizations using digital assistants in their supply chains have increased employee productivity by 28 percent and the speed of analysis by 26 percent. 87 percent of organizations using blockchain have achieved or exceeded ROI expectations; 82 percent expect to see significant business value within the next year. 78 percent of executives believe the ability to verify supply chain monitoring with blockchain will reduce incidents of fraud in their supply chain by 50 percent or more over the next five years. 68 percent of respondents see increased business intelligence as a key advantage of emerging technology in supply chain operations. Emerging Tech Equals Competitive Advantage The vast majority of organizations have now adopted emerging technologies and early adopters (those using three or more solutions) are seeing the greatest benefit and are more likely to outperform competitors. Emerging technologies have become mainstream and 84 percent of organizations are using at least one of these technologies (AI, IoT, blockchain, digital assistants) in production.  82 percent of organizations using three or more emerging technologies are ahead of competitors, compared to only 45 percent of organizations using none. Organizations using multiple emerging technologies are 9.5 times more likely to have market-leading financial and operational accuracy. Organizations are 2-3 times more likely to purchase prebuilt emerging technology solutions than build them on their own (percentage varies depending on technology solution). Almost all respondents (91 percent) considered SaaS applications to be a key enabler of emerging technology. Supporting quotes “AI, IoT, blockchain and digital assistant capabilities enable organizations to innovate faster, creating significant competitive advantage and driving increased profit for companies embracing those technologies more decisively than their competitors,” said Juergen Lindner, senior vice president, SaaS product marketing, Oracle. “The research finds that these technologies have become mainstream and organizations that sit on the sidelines risk their business relevance. To help our customers outpace change and consequently the competition, we continuously infuse emerging technologies directly into the business processes to ensure they can harness these business-changing technologies.” “This study makes it clear that emerging technologies have passed the trial phase and are moving toward a state of widespread adoption,” said John McKnight, EVP of Research and Analyst Services of Enterprise Strategy Group. “The business case for these technologies in areas such as finance and operations is maturing at a rapid pace – and in most cases benefits exceed expectations. Furthermore, the research shows that emerging technologies complement and amplify the benefits of one another, which underscores the importance of taking a holistic approach.” Download a free copy of the summary report here, and the full report here.  

Global research highlights how organizations are capitalizing on emerging technologies to enhance finance and operations for competitive advantage Organizations that are adopting Artificial...

To Bee or not to Bee: Saving Bees with Oracle Cloud

Next time you have avocado on toast at your favourite brunch spot, you might want to reconsider the importance of bees. These small and often annoying insects are crucial to pollination, the process behind plants fertilisation and production of seeds, and behind many of the crops in our food chain. According to the British Beekeeping Association, one in three mouthfuls of food depends on these pollinating insects. Since the late 1990s, bees have started to mysteriously and suddenly disappear, with high rates of decline in honeybee colonies. A study by the University of Strathclyde showed that the number of honey bee colonies fell by 16 percent in the winter of 2017-18, with more than 89 thousand colonies out of over half a million disappearing due to a combination of circumstances, including various effects of weather conditions, unsolvable problems with a colony’s queen, and natural disaster. The decline in bees’ population is a threat to the global food supply, and subsequentially, to humanity’s existence. In the face of this challenge, the tech community has come together to solve one of the world’s most pressing threats – Oracle has been leading this important mission by partnering with The World Bee Project CIC, the first private organisation to launch a global honey bee monitoring initiative to inform and implement actions to improve pollinator habitats, create more sustainable ecosystems, and improve food security and nutrition by establishing a globally-coordinated monitoring programme for honeybees and eventually for key pollinator groups. Sabiha Malik, Founder and Executive President of The World Bee Project, explained the British social enterprise has been leveraging Oracle Cloud to analyse and create further insights from the beehive data using analytics tools including AI and data visualisation. “The World Bee Project is using IoT big-data-driven, smart-hive technology to create the very first global hive network and we are the only organisation in the world that is monitoring bees, collecting data and analysing it to understand what’s causing the decline in bees’ population. It’s an extremely serious situation – three quarters of the global food security depends on pollination and at this rate, by 2050 the world will begin running out of food. Moreover, the livelihood of hundreds of millions of farmers around the world depends on bees,” Malik explained. Oracle’s technology has helped the British organisation to make the most of its data by leveraging emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. Amanda Jobbins, CMO & SVP Business Development – EMEA & JAPAC at Oracle, explained this is a rewarding project for the IT leader, showcasing the capabilities of its technology. “Oracle’s mission is to help customers see data in new ways in order to discover insights and open endless possibilities. The World Bee Project’s sensors collect the data from the millions of data points coming from each beehive. These include temperature, weight, humidity and acoustics to name a few,” explained Jobbins. “Our technology then uses AI, machine learning, natural language processing and predictive intelligence to determine various factor, for example when a colony is about to swarm, or to check the general health of the beehive.” By Giorgia Guantario, Deputy Editor - Computer News Middle East. Original Story Posted on Tahawul Tech

Next time you have avocado on toast at your favourite brunch spot, you might want to reconsider the importance of bees. These small and often annoying insects are crucial to pollination, the process...

Oracle’s Autonomous Database Provides an Added Edge to Performance and Cost

Accenture's tests show the US giant's Autonomous Database Warehouse thrives in the post-digital world Companies are beginning to move business-critical workloads to the cloud. So, it is critical to understand the options that are in the market when it comes to price and performance. Pat Sullivan, managing director at Accenture, speaking at the Oracle OpenWorld, said the new set of rules for businesses, in the post-digital world, require the use of new powerful technologies to innovate the business models and personalise the experiences for customers and customise product services and even surroundings. “We are in the middle of the explosion of data. There are two common data sources – consumer and enterprise. The statistics show that we are creating 2.5t bytes of data every day,” he said. With the growth in data and as data is the new oil, optimisation of data at a lower cost is key. Accenture has conducted tests looking at Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse compared to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and running Oracle database on a leading cloud provider without naming but it should be Amazon Web Services. Sullivan said that Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse provides options allowing IT organisations to reduce run costs while improving performance. New tests from Accenture reinforces that Oracle databases run very well on OCI, and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) provides an added edge to performance and cost. As organisations continue to see their data grow at exponential rates, Sullivan said that there is a continuous need to enhance how it is used, managed, and secured. “Oracle’s Autonomous Database Warehouse thrives in the post-digital world,” he said. With ADW, Sullivan said that Oracle provides options to allow organisations to cut run costs and complexity while improving the performance of workloads in a flexible pricing model. “Autonomous is certainly price competitive and it is performing and the total cost is lower when compared to other non-Oracle cloud providers,” he said. The cost per query on AWS is $0.2026 while on OCI is $0.0058 and on ADW is $0.0010 for larger configuration and $0.0022 for smaller configuration. So, he said that the total cost is 13% less in larger configuration and two-and-a-half times lesser for smaller configuration compared to the rival. Apart from the speed, ease of use and value for money, Sullivan said that ability to effectively secure data in the public cloud is important. Moreover, he said that the average cost of a data breach in 2019 is about $3.9m. However, he said that many organisations can take weeks or even months to apply critical security patches to their most sensitive and business-critical applications. The longer vulnerability is left unresolved, he said the more likely and susceptible an organisation becomes to a security breach. “Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse allows organisations to address threats automatically and in real-time, with no downtime. Trust and responsibility are key things when dealing with a vast amount of data. By Naushad Cherrayil, Editor - Tech Radar Pro, UAE. Original story posted on Tech Radar Pro  

Accenture's tests show the US giant's Autonomous Database Warehouse thrives in the post-digital world Companies are beginning to move business-critical workloads to the cloud. So, it is critical to...

HR

Connect people to change culture

Imagine the day when all the data in your company will be seamlessly connected. You can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. That day is coming, soon, and this technological step-change means HR will have a new challenge to take up: changing the behaviours and culture that such change brings with it. From employee buy-in to skillsets to cultural values, HR’s job is just getting started. According to McKinsey, the time European workers spend using advanced technological skills will increase 41% by 2030. And this is just an average, meaning some will be affected even more. One thing that’s certain is that the way we work now will change, and this will impact company culture. Evolving effectively, with minimal friction from your people, means preparing them for this change. Your business needs every employee to pull in the same direction  , as our latest research explores. And the very first step on this road is clear communication.   Communicate up front You know that new, connected technologies can help your people to work more efficiently, productively, and happily. But that may not be how they see it. They may worry that more technology means the company has taken a step towards automating their role. Or that greater connectivity is to keep a closer eye on them and their performance. Your organisation is adapting, so your employees will need to adapt too. Getting their buy-in up front could be the difference between them a) taking your hand and walking with you towards a connected future, and b) fighting you every step of the way. HR should stride forward to communicate that your company will become hyper-connected as soon as the decision has been made. Explain why this change is important to the company, and make sure you’re clear on what’s expected of staff to support the new, hyper-connected culture. Set out what will change for them, as well as the benefits they – individually – can experience if the company can make this evolution a success. Skills, mindsets, culture Greater connectivity and new tools require new skills in order to make the most of them. This could mean recruiting additional people, but it will undoubtedly mean training existing employees to help them take full advantage of their connected tools, systems and processes. Ultimately, you’ll be helping them to embrace a new way of working. In fact, by 2022, the World Economic Forum expects that more than half (54%) of all workers will require significant re- or up-skilling. But clear direction and up-skilling are only two sides of a business change tripod. A more connected workplace also needs something far trickier to achieve: new mindsets. Staff will adapt how they work, individually and together. HR leaders will work with heads of department to show the way and prepare teams. But truly accepting and embracing new business models will require a mindset shift, and this can’t be forced. The best chance lies in nurturing a culture that embraces change and the possibilities it brings. And that will need the HR team’s careful stewardship for years to come. Come and visit us at an event  close to you to know how HR can power these changes.

Imagine the day when all the data in your company will be seamlessly connected. You can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. That day is coming, soon, and this technological step-change means HR will have...

When 20 Million Fans Tuned in to Cheer Team India!

As Rohit Sharma led India to a 6-wicket win over South Africa during the Cricket World Cup on June 5, 2019, millions of fans hit Reliance Jio’s mobile streaming application to tune in and cheer for Team India.  Bursts of viewers ranging from 100,000 to as many as 5 million users would hit the app at the same time, as India’s manic enthusiasm for the sport propelled a total of 20 million subscribers to stream the live match from their mobile phones via Jio, India’s largest mobile telecom company. Sudden bandwidth spikes like these can blow through a company’s physical server capacity and cause outages and delays that ruin the experience, and send customers straight to a competitor. Because cloud computing infrastructure is elastic, meaning it can scale up for massive workloads, and back down when demand lets up, upgrading to a cloud infrastructure can help businesses provide reliable service without worrying about their server getting overloaded. Of course, companies could always add more physical servers, but that takes a lot of time, and it gets expensive, fast, requiring more data center space, staff, and electricity. “We have to handle these kinds of bursts, and give our customers the same great experience, no matter how many CPUs or bandwidth servers we need,” says Gaurav Duggal, Jio’s vice president of technology. Duggal says Jio ran the live cricket streaming app on bare metal servers on Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure, and it got faster CPU cycles and better IOPS performance than when it ran similar live sporting events on shared virtual machines from other providers. “Even during those peak load bursts, the number of servers we needed on Oracle was half the number we needed on Amazon,” Duggal says.  Delivering great customer experiences on a massive scale isn’t just a luxury afforded by deep-pocket corporations. Because cloud services are delivered virtually on an “as-needed basis,” companies of all sizes can manage ebbing and flowing workloads, without breaking their backs or their budgets. Original story posted on Forbes Brand Voice  

As Rohit Sharma led India to a 6-wicket win over South Africa during the Cricket World Cup on June 5, 2019, millions of fans hit Reliance Jio’s mobile streaming application to tune in and cheer...

Building Oracle’s second generation public cloud for mission critical applications

The adoption of public cloud started with applications at the edge of the enterprise – by first moving non-mission critical applications from on-premises to a public cloud platform. Customers shied away from moving their most critical enterprise applications and the database to a public cloud platform. Network latency, data integrity, security of the platform, and cost of managing application interoperability, were the dominant inhibitors till some time back. Says Ashish Mohindroo, Vice President Oracle Cloud, Oracle, “When people started using the public cloud, customers started with cloud edge applications for speed, storage and servers, and to develop applications at a much faster pace. That is not core enterprise applications.” The challenge for cloud vendors looking at mainstream adoption has always been, how do you overcome these fundamental challenges when heavy duty enterprise applications, that drive much of the global business today, are moved to a public cloud platform. Such applications would need to be available with consistent performance, minimum latency, and bullet proof security integrity. “If you run mission critical applications, performance and latency becomes a bottleneck and an issue, leading to customer churn. Access to information cannot be frustrating,” points out Mohindroo. Considering the limitations that public cloud presented for enterprise end users and their mission critical applications, Oracle has since then developed its second-generation cloud platform. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is Oracle’s answer to overcoming the limitations that public cloud has presented in the past. Tackling the issues of network latency, security, and interoperability has led to the development of Oracle’s second-generation cloud, called Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Today Oracle states that the performance and security of its second-generation cloud beats the performance of even on-premises applications. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle’s second-generation cloud, allows on-premises, mission critical applications to run in the cloud with better performance. “At a minimum, you are getting better performance than what customers are getting on-premises. Running a database on Oracle is 10X faster than our nearest competitor in the market. We are much faster and superior in the cloud than what customers are used to on-premises and definitely light years ahead of other public cloud vendors in terms of performance,” states Mohindroo. The limitations of the public cloud platform that existed in the past are now being addressed by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. So being late to the market, and releasing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, a platform meant to enable mission critical applications, is actually working to the advantage of the vendor. “Now we have an enterprise capable cloud, and the demand has been waiting. We are actually pushing an open door, and customers are waiting and wanting and asking to get to the cloud, which is very exciting for us in the field,” says Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President Technology, EMEA and APAC, Oracle. Rewriting the code for a new suite of Oracle cloud applications from the ground up, is fundamentally different from what other cloud vendors have done,” adds Juergen Linder, Senior Vice President, Cloud Business Group, Oracle. There are five key areas that have gone through significant innovation to create Oracle’s second-generation cloud: #1 Code Oracle has not just adapted its on-premises applications to a cloud platform, but has rewritten a new suite of applications for the cloud, for all lines of business from the ground up. “We did not take the easy way out. We did not just lift on-premises assets into the cloud. We fundamentally felt the need for applications to be rearchitected and how data consistency needs to be ensured across all the applications,” explains Linder. #2 Network Latency or access delays are caused when the end user has to go through multiple datacentre hops to reach the final destination of the data and the application. Oracle has built its second-generation public cloud platform in such a way that the end user has to navigate at most only one hop to get to their instance of the application and the database. With any architecture, Oracle guarantees a flat network, and at most you get one hop to the server where the application is running. Mohindroo indicates, “Architecturally we did a lot of work on the network layer, so that you can get access to the core servers that are actually doing the processing, at a much faster rate. You do not have to go through multiple hops to get to that particular server. We call it flat network.” He continues, “That was very important for us to build. Regardless of where you access the service, you are only one hop away from actually accessing the core server that is doing the processing for you.” #3 Noise   Another factor that creates latency of response is the noisy neighbour problem in multi-tenant hosting. In first generation cloud platforms, multiple applications share the same compute resources on a server. This causes latency in accessing data and applications. As a solution, Oracle uses a bare metal environment to make sure there are, “No noisy neighbours to get the performance that you are really seeking out of these applications,” says Mohindroo. #4 Security  Inside Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, security is built into every layer of the cloud. Whether the data is at rest or in motion, it is always encrypted. Hence even if access to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is gained, the data is encrypted and cannot be accessed. Says Sutherland, “The first three design criteria for our enterprise cloud was security, security, security.” In the past, end users have been wary of migrating their enterprise grade applications to the public cloud because of lack of prevailing security standards from public cloud vendors. All that is changing with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “From a security perspective these are some of the basic principles that Oracle has been working with, that makes it enterprise class. This makes it very secure for our customer to rely on us to run their business, which has not been happening on other public clouds,” stresses Mohindroo. #5 Openness Cloud is a platform that enables applications and databases to scale at ease with end user demand. It is also a platform that is meant to interoperate with other cloud platforms, and interoperability and openness are a key functionality of multi-cloud adoption. Many Oracle enterprise customers not only use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure but also use Microsoft Azure, VMware and other public cloud platforms. Oracle recognises this and has built openness and interoperability into its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “A lot of customers like to mix and match technologies for their cloud applications and environments. You can run any kind of technology in the cloud, whether open source, third party software, Oracle. We are adding more partnerships, so that you can work with other vendors in the cloud,” explains Mohindroo. With the development, release, stabilization and continuous innovation around Oracle Cloud Infrastructure since 2018-19, the vendor has entered the strategic club of global cloud application vendors. Recent indications from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant analysis indicates that Oracle is further pulling away from the pack in cloud applications and is dominating the leader’s quadrant. By Arun Shankar, Editor – Business Transformation Original story posted on Business Transformation magazine  

The adoption of public cloud started with applications at the edge of the enterprise – by first moving non-mission critical applications from on-premises to a public cloud platform. Customers shied...

Under Pressure: 83% People Feel More Pressure from their Employer than Family When Making Big Decisions

New study explores the link between decision-making and business growth across 12 countries and seven industries  Business executives in the UAE are more anxious about big decisions at work than critical decisions at home that impact their family, according to a new study conducted by Oracle NetSuite. The new study, Unlocking Growth, which provides insights from more than 1,000 business executives in the UK, France, Germany, UAE, Benelux and the Nordics, found that 96 percent are overwhelmed by data when making decisions. One third of UAE executives are putting risk mitigation ahead of potential success to avoid impacting their career, and 33 percent rely on gut feel and intuition to make critical decisions. “There’s a lot of talk about a changing economic, technological and political backdrop, but when you step back, organizations in the UAE have an increasing number of growth opportunities if they can focus their time and resources in the right places,” said Nicky Tozer, VP EMEA, Oracle NetSuite. “To achieve that focus, organizations need to address the decision-making and planning challenges identified in this study so they can use data to adapt to change faster than their competition and unlock new growth opportunities.”  A Culture of Decision-Making Pressure Executives across countries and industries are under immense pressure when making critical business decisions and as a result many are putting risk mitigation ahead of potential success. Most UAE executives (83 percent) said they experience more pressure when making a big decision at work than in their personal life. Fears about negatively impacting revenue (49 percent), losing their job (23 percent), damaging personal reputation (13 percent), and adversely impacting co-workers (10 percent) are the top four areas UAE executives are concerned about.  Risk aversion is even higher amongst organizations that define themselves as high-performers – 62 percent admit they actively pursue risk-averse decisions, even in the knowledge their choice may not be as successful.  An Unhealthy Relationship with Data Information overload, time pressure and a lack of trust in senior management is strangling the decision-making process and leading executives to default to ‘gut feel’ to inform their decision-making strategy. Almost all (96 percent) UAE executives are overwhelmed by data during the decision-making process. Executives in France (99 percent) reported the biggest issues with data, while executives in the UK (92 percent) reported the least.   Time pressure and more complex processes are also making decision-making harder. 29 percent of executives have had less time to focus on critical decisions in the last year, while UAE executives (51 percent) were the most likely to report that more people have become involved in the process, compared to a survey average of 28 percent. 35% noted they trust senior management when seeking decision-making guidance. Colleagues (35 percent) were equally trusted, followed by industry peers (21 percent).  49 percent of UAE respondents expect to turn to a robot as a source of support when making critical decisions in the next year. Executives in France (51 percent) were the most likely, while executives in the UK (33 percent) were the least. 67 percent acknowledge they are not making highly data-driven decisions, with UK executives (73 percent) the most likely to only partially consider data or default to “gut feel”. A Positive Outlook for Growth and Message to Senior Management Executives across countries and industries expect their organizations to grow, but highlighted the need to rethink the planning process to ensure data can be used to adjust business plans and that everyone is working towards a clear plan for success. 56 percent of executives expect their business to grow in the next two years. Executives from the UK were the most positive (63 percent) followed by the United Arab Emirates (57 percent), Germany (56 percent), Nordics (54 percent), Benelux (50 percent) and France (49 percent). Retail industry executives (33 percent) were the most confident that their organizations will exceed growth targets followed by manufacturing (27 percent), distribution (22 percent), and software and technology (29 percent). Executives in professional services (16 percent) and nonprofit organizations (11 percent) had the least confidence. Over three quarters (83 percent) of UAE executives say their organization is good at capitalizing on new opportunities, but there are serious concerns about the planning process. Only 38 percent say they are proficient at adjusting business plans based on data analysis and 29 percent do not think senior management provides a clear plan for success, dropping to just 16 percent in the Nordics.  Methodology For this study, NetSuite partnered with Raconteur to survey 1,050 manager level and above employees. Respondents originated from the UK (300 respondents), France (150 respondents), Germany (150 respondents), United Arab Emirates (150 respondents), Benelux (150 respondents) and Nordics (150 respondents) and represented small and mid-sized organisations from across a range of industries. Participants took part in an online questionnaire and were surveyed in October and November 2019. 

New study explores the link between decision-making and business growth across 12 countries and seven industries  Business executives in the UAE are more anxious about big decisions at work than...

Oracle aims to benefit the most as customers shift from on-premise to cloud

Company will overtake everyone in the industry and become number one cloud provider, top company official says Oracle aims to become the top revenue earner and number one cloud provider when organisations start moving from on-premises to the cloud, a top official said. Speaking in an exclusive to TechRadar Middle East, Steve Miranda, Executive Vice-President for applications product development at Oracle, said SaaS [software as a service] will play a big role in the digital transformation and provide innovation faster to the customers. “Whether you believe Oracle or not, the market is speaking for itself. From a SaaS perspective, we have the best apps for enterprises on the cloud,” he said. The US software giant, with decades of database software and technologies and has strong penetration in the enterprise space, is gearing up for the next growth phase in cloud services. Miranda said that Oracle is already the number one ERP (enterprise resource planning) provider in the cloud by a large margin but the vendor with the true SaaS applications are going to be most successful and “we feel that we have that and we have demonstrated it through thousands of customers,” he said. “As people start moving to the cloud from the traditional on-premises, we are clear that we will overtake everyone in the industry and become the number one cloud provider in the market,” he said. Both SAP and Oracle, biggest ERP providers, are flexing their muscles to be the world’s number one apps provider. SAP has huge followers on on-premise ERP while Oracle has a strong presence in the cloud. Looking at the ERP market, he said that it is quite fragmented and with Oracle and SAP at the top. Market is for SaaS Going forward, Miranda said the market is for SaaS and Oracle has the lead in the market. Miranda said that Oracle took a very different approach to the ERP in the cloud. First, he said that Oracle built the Fusion ERP cloud from the ground up and took a lot of critics from the industry and the people for doing that. “It is built and it is very successful and a lot of people are moving into that with a complete suite of applications. SAP did it through a variety of suite of acquisitions and that is not fully integrated and not into the cloud.  “On the one side, we have Oracle as the true cloud and SAP with partial solutions and not a true cloud. Second, "we are committed to our customers. If you are happy with your on-premise solutions, we will support you and when you are ready, we will help you to move forward. “SAP took a very different approach. They did not build the product but has set a deadline for its customers to move to the cloud,” he said. SAP has set a deadline, by 2025, for its legacy ERP customers to consider moving to cloud offerings. “We have two different approaches now but we feel that we have a more customer-centric approach by showing them [customers] value and showing how and when to move as opposed to what other competitors have shown to force the issue,” he said. Oracle’s CTO and Chairman Larry Ellison had said at its Fusion ERP will be the lever that ultimately dislodges SAP from the number one spot. “SAP has set a deadline and customers who have the deadline have to take a look at all the SaaS solutions very seriously and when they evaluate, we hope to gain from the move to the cloud,” Miranda said. He said that out of the 6,000 ERP customers in the Oracle cloud today, two-thirds are already live. According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Oracle ERP is in the leader category for the last three years while SAP is in the visionaries’ category. Making headway in IaaS Oracle's cloud-related success mostly lays with SaaS applications, so Oracle is focusing on improving its base in IaaS [infrastructure as a service] with its autonomous cloud database. To become a leader in an autonomous cloud database, Oracle needs to become a big player in IaaS but Miranda said that as Oracle flourishes in the autonomous database, “we will become a much big player in the infrastructure business as people will start to move their workloads to take advantage of the autonomous database. “I don’t think that people have to come to the IaaS and utilise our autonomous database but people are coming to grow our infrastructure business. We strongly believe that from an infrastructure perspective, we now have the data centres and the technology to manage people’s cloud workloads very successfully. We do that by an autonomous database which allows to us pull out the best performance and best security at a lower cost,” he said. Original story posted on Tech Radar Pro Middle East by Naushad Cherrayil

Company will overtake everyone in the industry and become number one cloud provider, top company official says Oracle aims to become the top revenue earner and number one cloud provider when...

Oracle on track to beat AWS in number of data centres by end of the year

With the opening of its first data centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, US tech giant now has 21 Generation 2 Cloud regions across the world, out of total 36 With the opening of its first data centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, Oracle now has 21 Generation 2 Cloud regions across the world. A cloud region has two data centres. The US tech company has added one data centres in each of the cloud regions - Saudi Arabia (Jeddah), Australia (Melbourne), Japan (Osaka), Canada (Montreal), and The Netherlands (Amsterdam). It has already opened 10 cloud regions in the last six months, taking its tally to 21 and on track to have 36 cloud regions by the end of the year when compared to 25 for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice-President of Technology, Middle East and Africa at Oracle, said that the Jeddah facility will be the first data centre on Generation 2 cloud in Eastern Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (ECEMEA). Oracle opened its first data centre in the region in Abu Dhabi last year and plans to open one more in Dubai, UAE, and in South Africa within a year. Al Thehaiban said that Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest-growing cloud adoption markets in the region and the opening of the data centre will add pace to the adoption rate. Moreover, he said that the second data centre in Saudi Arabia is expected to come within a year as part of their “in-country” dual region strategy to help customers address disaster recovery and compliance needs. Andrew Reichman, director of product management at Oracle, said that the UK, South Korea, India and Brazil will also have two regions live by the end of 2020. “Oracle is the first public cloud vendor with a region in Saudi Arabia. We built out our first two Gen 2 Cloud regions in the US, followed quickly by regions in London and Frankfurt. Since then, we’ve developed an approach that supports our plan to quickly meet enterprise requirements around the world,” he said. Original story posted on Tech Radar Pro Middle East by Naushad Cherrayil  

With the opening of its first data centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, US tech giant now has 21 Generation 2 Cloud regions across the world, out of total 36 With the opening of its first data centre in...

Precision Group Adopts Cloud First Strategy to Gain Competitive Advantage

With a cloud-first strategy, Precision Group is digitally transforming its business to gain a competitive advantage. Jayakumar Mohanachandran, CIO of the company, talks about how he is seizing the opportunity offered by disruptive technologies. What was the business case for your digital transformation push? Precision is a 36-year-old company, and we manufacture engineering goods, which are predominantly dies and tools. We were running on a legacy system for about 25 years, and as recently as three years back, we started thinking differently because we had a lot of issues when it came to our competitiveness in the market. This actually pushed us to do a study, which was done by KPMG, who told us that we needed to do a digital transformation of the business and change our aging platform because it was too old to adopt any of the emerging technologies. KPMG set our digital transformation roadmap, and then we started evaluating different vendors. We were worried about our processes, which were quite old. How to do a business process re-engineering along with the implementation was the question, and we narrowed down our choice of the vendor to SAP and Oracle. Being a manufacturing company, we were naturally inclined towards SAP, but what tilted the scale in favour of Oracle was the fact that we’d to move ahead in this whole journey as fast as possible. KPMG recommended that the cloud would be one of our biggest enablers and if we wanted to go faster, that would be an ideal choice for us. Then again, we started evaluating the various cloud offerings from vendors and zeroed in on Oracle because they have all the products and services that we required in the cloud. How long did it take you to implement the cloud ERP? So, starting from the initial discussion, it took about a year to finalise the product. After we kicked off the project after finalizing the vendor, it took us exactly nine months to roll it out. It was a big bang approach. We started in September 2017, and we finished in May 2018. In nine months, we went live on almost 18 core cloud modules, and now we have about 24 cloud offerings. What are the benefits that you are seeing? One of the things which we see right now is that in any of the companies, particularly in the manufacturing industry, it takes time to bring in any change. And it takes time for them to understand the benefits of the system and things like that. Being on the cloud, from day one, we got a lot of advantages. We could get a lot of analytics from the get-go. That was something new for us because whenever we do any implementation, it takes time for the system to get stabilised, and then it takes time for the BI to come on top of that. It takes months or years to get the right analytics. So this was, like, from day one, everybody has got a dashboard, and it fundamentally changed the way we work. How about personalisation? Are you able to do the customisation on the cloud? Certainly, Oracle or any cloud provider for that matter offers customization, which is the platform as a service, and we also have that. But when we started this whole journey, one of the agenda which we set out to the entire management team and the process champions was to go as vanilla as possible. This is because going on the cloud, doing a lot of customisation, and defining the same set of processes in the new system will not allow us to scale. So we wanted to reinvent the way in which we do things entirely. It was a complete top-driven project where the management was fully involved, including the CEO, who was the project sponsor. We had a very rigorous mechanism of reviews, in terms of monthly sharing committees and bi-weekly change management meetings, and we evaluated everything to make sure that we were going in the right direction. Which stage of the digital evolutions has your company reached now? We did this in two phases. The phase one was the platform migration, which was completed in nine months. The stage two was more around the edge modules such as maintenance, planning central and analytics cloud services. We completed phase two last year. We have completed the entire implementation and the system is stabilized. Currently, we are in the phase of trying out emerging technologies such as RPA, blockchain, and IoT. One of the interesting projects, which we are currently on within Precision, is a smart factory. We are looking at a solution where we can automate the entire shop floor.                                            What are you going to use RPA for? The use cases which we are evaluating are for HR and finance. We are taking a different approach to this. We are starting with a workshop scheduled for the end of January and will have all the leadership and mid-management team participating. They will build the use cases for Precision. We are going to build an automation pipeline for Precision as a strategy for the next year or two. And then, we will clearly allocate these projects in phases. How about blockchain?  Oracle is doing a lot of big projects on the blockchain. And one of them, which you might have already heard, is a honeybee project. You can track a product, which is honey, right up to the farmer. This sounds very interesting for us because, for us, intelligent track and trace within our supply chain is something very essential. You are on this digital transformation journey now. What is your destination?  We want to transform Precision as a completely technology-driven organisation. The whole idea behind this transformation exercise was to increase our competitiveness and sustainability. The disruptive technologies are going to bring a lot of changes, and if we are not able to capitalize on that, that will be a loss for us. We are trying to understand which of these technologies can bring in maximum benefits to the manufacturing industry, and we are trying to cash in on that. It’s just a matter of plugging in those technologies at the right time because we have the right platform for it now. Original story posted on CXO Insights Middle East by Jeevan Thankappan  

With a cloud-first strategy, Precision Group is digitally transforming its business to gain a competitive advantage. Jayakumar Mohanachandran, CIO of the company, talks about how he is seizing the...

How Oracle is embedding emerging technologies inside its cloud ERP suite

During the transformation journey to the cloud, data becomes a very critical element. Another key part is the role of emerging technologies which become very relevant in how they help customers generate returns and value from their cloud journey. The adoption of cloud applications is moving forward across three platforms. The public cloud is the first step of migration to the cloud from on-premises, followed by adoption of additional cloud platforms, making multi-cloud progression, a natural next-step outcome. Restrictions around data sovereignty are also making enterprises implement private cloud as well, making hybrid cloud also a logical outcome. With multiple data platforms, public and multi-cloud cloud environments can challenge end users in terms of data integration. Eventually the complexity becomes very tough for end users to manage data integration across multiple data platforms. “We see customers resorting to very expensive data warehousing construct. You cannot meaningfully do machine learning across data pools,” explains Juergen Linder, Senior Vice President, Cloud Business Group, Oracle. “Multi-cloud, hybrid type of environment is going to be the predominant type of footprint for most of our customers, which has to do with data sovereignty issues. Certain type of regulation issues prevents them from pushing everything into the public cloud and serves unique opportunities to coexist,” says Linder. Oracle’s Cloud@Customer is a complete cloud instance running behind an organisation’s enterprise firewall. It functions as a private cloud and provides complete cloud functionality but runs on an on-premises model of hosting. Oracle has multiple layers of cloud technology that it can bring to the market based on business outcomes around ERP, CRM, HCM, EP, SCM. “Data gives us an opportunity to engage with customers in their need to transform,” points out Linder. “Cloud offers a very different way to engage with customers, and becomes more intense since we can see actual usage. Every customer is part of the cloud community.” Data layer and ERP  As part of a customer’s journey to the cloud, Oracle is working hard to ensure there is only one data layer across all its cloud applications. If there is only one data layer that means business processes will not stop at application boundaries and will work seamlessly across all applications. However, the primary benefit remains the ability to automate from end to end of the business process. With the adoption of digital technologies, it is becoming easier for businesses to move towards becoming a services company from being a product company. However, this does mean that customer experience management from the front office through the middle office to the back office, needs to be seamlessly integrated and needs to flow seamlessly. “What you are doing is modelling a service at the customer side that needs to be backed up by billing mechanism, revenue recognition, billing in ERP, and to take advantage of IoT sensors data for new billing scenarios,” adds Linder. Once the data layer has been seamlessly integrated from end to end for business processes, it is possible to embed emerging technologies into the application suite that sits on top of the data layer. For its public cloud stack SaaS portfolio, Oracle is hosting Oracle ERP—Financials Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle SCM and Manufacturing Cloud, Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, Oracle Analytics Cloud, Oracle EPM Cloud, Oracle Data Cloud, Oracle Taleo Recruiting, and Oracle Taleo Talent Management. Oracle is now embedding emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, analytics, blockchain, security, into its portfolio of public cloud products. “Sitting on top of a very deep stack of technology allows us to be extremely flexible in deployment mechanisms for customers. This is part of the infrastructure that every SaaS customer naturally takes advantage of when they engage with us,” says Linder. He also sees the impact of emerging technologies reshaping fundamentally how businesses are going to be run, by reducing the mundanity of tasks, leveraging pattern recognition and machine learning. As an example, 89% of finance functions performed today can be automated. Emerging technologies  By first integrating the data layer across the full suite of cloud applications and then embedding emerging technologies into these cloud applications, Oracle is hoping to give its customers a head-start in successful usage. Emerging technologies are directly embedded into the business process so they do not feel like a foreign element. Some of the more specific technologies include intelligent track and trace inside supply chain, intelligent document recognition, field service logistics, amongst others. “We are embedding them natively into the application flow and making sure based on the common data layer that we have business processes supported end to end with those type of technologies,” clarifies Linder. He also points out, that in the past when vendors have not built-in these technologies, such as artificial intelligence in isolation, end users have had to experiment themselves. “In case of applications we owe it to customers to give them a head start. They will not be able to benefit at the same pace that we can provide for them.” To date, Oracle has made 624 million recommendations and delivered them for route recommendations based on machine learning. Linder adds, “We do not ship technology for the sake of technology and leave you alone with that. Machine learning for us is a super important feature because of pattern recognition and allows us to be very effective. As an example, we are shipping IoT use cases and it is seamlessly integrated into the application.” Oracle believes that the best way for end users to benefit is by embedding emerging technologies and prebuilt use cases and templates within its Cloud ERP suite. And these are being inbuilt into business processes themselves rather than having users access them outside the process. “The supply chain module has seen a tremendous uptake in our customer base and tremendous amount of maturity,” states Linder. Out of 2,700 supply chain customers on Oracle Cloud, 1,850 are already live. “The mapping is already done and prebuilt use cases are being leveraged by customers. The algorithm is already there and the recommendations are on the screen. It is up to the user whether to use the recommendations or not. With machine learning the system is learning,” explains Aarti Mohan, Director ERP EPM Cloud Strategy, Oracle ECEMEA. The IoT platform and various use cases are prebuilt inside Oracle Cloud ERP. Others include asset management, production monitoring, connected workers. The ability to use these templates and use cases depends on maturity of the end users. Moreover, they are designed to be end user driven and do not rely on consultants for implementation. “We have invested a lot in IR4 type of capability, augmented capability for stocking and repairs, and digital twins. We are beyond the first step,” adds Aarti. Soaring to cloud For first-time end users migrating from on-premises to the cloud, the list of risks and what could go wrong are endless. In the middle of 2018 Oracle announced its Soar programme to help end users accelerate to the cloud from on-premises in a risk free, predictable and planned manner. Says Linder, “We have served enough customers to really be in an advisory function as to what is the right approach for each customer. If they are on-premises how can we complement them and move them to the cloud in a very predictable fashion.” Customisations are pervasive in every on-premises ERP customer base. The Oracle Soar methodology makes a proper assessment of the customisations that have come into existence over a prolonged period of time, sometimes decades. Looking at the real usage of these customisations, many of these may not be critical anymore. And more over business processes keep evolving well after customisations have been made. During the cloud journey, customers are keen to arrive at their destination with the right business model and the right technology. During their stay on-premises they may have used older versions and built customisations for their processes, which they may now find in-built and standardised in new versions and upgrades available in the cloud. “Often times, a like for like conversation is not necessarily what you want to see. I want to understand what is your business transformation goal. Where do you want to be and map that against what is in the system? What are the best practices of today, and then do a candid corporate assessment, if the customisations of the past are the ones you want to bring over?” explains Linder. The Soar approach is meant to take the risk out of the migration equation. The Soar offering is a fixed time-frame, fixed price, fixed scope, no surprises methodology for customers on their journey to the cloud. The methodology for the Soar migration and the tools has been built by Oracle. The Soar assessment is made by Oracle Consulting and extrapolates the existing landscape into what is the required cost and time. The purpose is to ensure there are no surprise left while migrating to the cloud. While the Soar methodology is implemented by Oracle Consulting, Oracle’s global system integrators also have their own methodology for migrating end users from on-premises to the cloud. Oracle’s global system integrators include KPMG, Accenture, Manai, Deloitte, Wipro, TCS. “Soar is a risk-free approach for our customers to move from their current on-premises investment to the latest Oracle platform called Fusion. We call it the last upgrade that you will ever do,” remarks Aarti. Innovations  Oracle has built-in artificial intelligence and machine learning into its database resident in the cloud that supports its applications. The Oracle autonomous database is self-securing, self-driving, self-running, and self-patching. Now Oracle has expanded the autonomous capability to the Linux operating system. “What that fundamentally means is we are using machine learning and artificial intelligence to run and operate the cloud on its own, without human error and mistakes. The system itself is able to drive all these operational capabilities to provide better quality of service at a lower price for the customer,” says Ashish Mohindroo, Vice President Oracle Cloud, Oracle. “Oracle is the only vendor in the market that is offering autonomous cloud,” he points out. Arun Shankar, Editor, Business Transformation. Original story posted on Business Transformation

During the transformation journey to the cloud, data becomes a very critical element. Another key part is the role of emerging technologies which become very relevant in how they help...

What differentiates Oracle from other cloud providers when it comes to security?

Cybersecurity is an important aspect and it becomes more precarious when organisations are flocking to the cloud to deploy mission-critical apps. Data is the new oil of the 21st century. The opportunity that the cloud presents also brings in challenges and that is the nature of the opportunity. Among the big data breaches that caught the attention last year was Capital One, a client of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which announced a data breach that has exposed personal information such as transaction data, credit scores, payment history, balances, and for some linked bank accounts, social security numbers of 106 million people across the US and Canada. The data breach was an exploit of a configuration issue in a firewall, something that's typically rectified by routine security audits and controls. This incident shows how today's enterprise security deployments are increasingly complicated as the risk landscape is always evolving. Equifax was fined for not patching 2% of its database management while the rest were patched while more than 1m people’s biometrics, usernames and passwords were stolen from Superma’s Biostar 2 security platform. According to security researcher firm VpnMentor, employment and personal details of thousands of British professionals as well as data stored by several British consulting firms were unprotected on AWS S3 database for the past many years.  “There is no challenge that is greater today than the risks that we can be exposed to. As we become connected, the threats become more real with a larger surface area and the bad guys are also using the same emerging technologies to rage a highly sophisticated war against us,” Steve Daheb, Senior Vice-President at Oracle Cloud, said.  “We believe that it is the role of the technology provider to do the integration work for you, whether that is through automation or services and support while you focus on what is good for the company,” he said. Imagine a product that self-patches, self-manages and eliminates human error and that is what differentiates Oracle from AWS and other cloud providers, he said. “There will be 3.1m cybersecurity professionals needed in the US alone and we cannot find enough people,” he said. Patching in microseconds Not every company can afford to hire security professionals, Wim Coekaerts, Senior Vice-President for Operating Systems and Virtualisation Engineering at Oracle, said and added that a lot of people think that cloud is not secure and so, “we will have our own security standards and features”. That is the wrong approach, he said, and everybody has to start from scratch and it is dangerous. “We as a company can hire a lot of security professionals to do it at scale.  For us to scale, we have to do it ourselves in an autonomous database and autonomous cloud,” he said. To do patching, he said that they [customers] need to bring down the apps, then the database and after patching, they need to reboot the OS, restart the database and the apps. “From a technical point of view, you have to do all these steps. From a practical point of view, a company has to hire a project manager. He has to contact the apps people whether they will agree for the downturn and then he has to talk to the database folks,” he said. So, the whole schedule of patching by an individual company is really expensive. So, the company is getting exposed for a few months, he said. Oracle claims that it has an IP that allows it to patch the OS in eight microseconds without bringing down the system. “We have done 120m patches in four hours across the entire cloud and nobody knew. We did not reboot the server or the apps.  It is really important to do patching without downtime. If it is going to impact the user, they don’t want to do it and there is going to a delay,” Coekaerts said. Moreover, Oracle does it for you and not as an add-on. Safer internet initiative Christa Johnson Scura, Internet Intelligence at Oracle, said that internally, Oracle has data scientists and data engineers in the cloud security product space to make it smarter and automated. By launching the “Internet Routing 3D Visualisation” service, as part of safer internet initiative, she said that Oracle aims to increase the public’s understanding of internet routing events such as BGP leaks, which redirects traffic from its intended recipient for the purpose of scamming visitors or for simply stealing data or due to misconfiguration errors that cause a black hole for internet traffic and hijacks through visualisations. According to Internet Society, a not-for-profit organisation, more than 12,000 routing outages or routing leaks occurred in 2018. “Oracle’s aim is to make the internet safer so all users can feel confident of moving sensitive data to the cloud and operating critical workloads in an online environment,” Gil said. Oracle has a totally different approach when it comes to security, Daheb said and “we have to think about it more holistically when it comes to multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. It is also about protecting top-level users to the apps, to the data and to the infrastructure.” “We look at how to use AI, machine learning and autonomous-based technologies and deploy them into our security offerings.  The data is encrypted by default,” he said. Moreover, he said that what Oracle is offering is an intelligent and self-managing database to bring a high degree of automation to routine administrative tasks. An autonomous database is a cloud database that eliminates complexity, human error and manual management associated with database tuning, security, backups and updates; tasks traditionally performed by the database administrators. With an autonomous database, he said these types of breaches don’t happen and autonomous capabilities are built on every component of the product portfolio. According to KuppingerCole Analysts AG, Oracle has been named as an overall leader in database and big data security in 2019. That is why Oracle’s database and cloud infrastructure are well protected and encrypted, Daheb added. Naushad Cherrayil, Business Editor Tech Radar Pro Middle East. Original story posted on Tech Radar Pro Middle East

Cybersecurity is an important aspect and it becomes more precarious when organisations are flocking to the cloud to deploy mission-critical apps. Data is the new oil of the 21st century. The...

Data Protection Is Like Cleaning Your Teeth

Data Protection Day (also known as Privacy Day) on the 28th January emphasises important risks around our own data and data that our employers collect and managed. But we can’t allow our guard to drop the other 364 days of the year.  We must treat protecting our data with the vigilance and regularity that we assume when we clean our teeth – we do it daily and as a non-negotiable part of our lives otherwise there will be major damage, huge cost and severe distress. This vigilance is currently not a reality. Less than half of companies globally are sufficiently prepared for a cybersecurity attack, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that surveyed 3,000 business leaders from more than 80 countries. And no one can forget the scary Capital One data breach exposing 106 million customers’ personal data in March 2019. In fact 2020 has already seen several major breaches including passport information being leaked…we are only in January Harnessing data through technology has allowed organizations to innovate and realise goals more rapidly, but also presents challenges. Despite the mass adoption of emerging technologies, data continues to be an asset AND a risk.  What do we need to know?  The obvious elephant in the room is the new California Consumer Privacy Act, better known as CCPA. It went into effect on January 1, 2020. CCPA "creates new consumer rights relating to the access to, deletion of, and sharing of personal information that is collected by businesses." The attorney general of California will begin enforcing the law in July.  Across the globe, we have seen a number of regulations, with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being the most prominent, that have made organizations take a step back and assume more responsibility for the way they protect and use customer data. Fines for GDPR have resulted in massive consequences for organizations, some charged more than $230 million last year.  The impact on businesses is undeniable and there is certainly more to come. CCPA adds another layer of complexity as it provides rights to consumers and business obligations that do not completely align with GDPR.  Protect Your Data at the Core Implement advanced controls on data  Customer data is key to all organizations. Organisations can reduce their risk exposure by stopping attackers who attempt to access this data directly from the database by using encryption solutions like Transparent Data Encryption. By encrypting data, attackers will not be able to decipher the data even if they are successful in breaking in to the database. This is extremely valuable and reduces risk for organizations holding personally identifiable information (PII).  When leveraging data for specific business use cases, also consider data redaction to further reduce risk exposure. Transparent Data Encryption and Data Redaction are both offered as part ofOracle Advanced Security Regulate excessive access to data  Developers, testers and partners often need access to realistic customer data to perform their job duties. This puts organizations at risk and that risk is multiplied with the continual copying of data. Companies that are looking to increase efficiency while reducing risk and improving compliance should consider data masking, which allows users to perform development work and testing on a database that retains the data integrity while protecting the customer information. Sensitive data is replaced with obscured data that is just as good for the developers or testers, but without the undue risk of creating additional copies of real, sensitive customer data. Data masking is offered as part of the Oracle Data Masking and Subsetting Pack.  By implementing a least privilege philosophy, organizations can better address their data privacy needs. Oracle Database vault helps prevent malicious or accidental changes to critical data and simplifies compliance by setting command controls, multi-factor authorization for access, and separation of duties. Reduce the risk of an attack by an external threat with compromised credentials or an insider with ill intent with fine-grained access controls that limit the risk, in scope and breadth, of a data breach.  In today’s data-driven economy we must develop a culture to prevent manipulation and misuse of data. Data Protection Day is a good opportunity to raise questions and look at solutions to tackle future challenges in a hyper-connected world.                                                                                                          https://blogs.oracle.com/cloudsecurity/your-guide-to-data-privacy

Data Protection Day (also known as Privacy Day) on the 28th January emphasises important risks around our own data and data that our employers collect and managed. But we can’t allow our guard to drop...

Multi-cloud is the path to digital transformation

Recently, I’ve seen a not-so-subtle push to embrace single-cloud strategies and push multi-cloud solutions out of the public conversation. Focusing on the benefits of single-cloud, I believe, ignores some major realities organizations face today. Multi-cloud should not be overlooked. I’ve seen its unique ability to support holistic strategies in digital transformation. This is critical as organizations are being reshaped by a convergence of social and regulatory forces, as well as technology innovations like AI, IoT, blockchain, and 5G.  I see it help my customers drive digital transformation in tangible, operational ways:  Flexibility: Having multiple cloud vendors provides companies with more choice and control over their own technology environment. Innovation: Taking advantage of different innovations across multiple vendors, such as running IoT with one and AI with another, enables companies to leverage the latest technologies to deliver value to their customers. Effectiveness: What a business does with their data really matters in gaining a competitive edge. With multiple clouds working in harmony, a company can take data from every single one and use it together to get a complete view of their operations, understand how their stakeholders are interacting with them, and see where they can drive efficiencies.  A multi-cloud approach also better adapts to complex data requirements. It understands performance, availability, and security better than single-cloud solutions, which can impede differentiation and innovation in cloud computing. Different vendors can often provide different treatments (i.e., strategies, tools, innovation) of data across a complex environment. A multi-cloud approach requires some different tools and practices than a single-cloud approach. The Oracle Autonomous Database can help with this. It is a self-driving, self-repairing, and self-securing database that provides automated performance tuning functions, enterprise-class functions, and more. It can help enable IT to get the benefits of a multi-cloud solution while lowering the labor and costs of managing it.  I believe that it is essential to keep the multi-cloud solution discussion on the table. There are very compelling business benefits to keeping all our options open.  

Recently, I’ve seen a not-so-subtle push to embrace single-cloud strategies and push multi-cloud solutions out of the public conversation. Focusing on the benefits of single-cloud, I believe, ignores...

Enjoy a slice of the innovation cake

Dee Houchen, EMEA Marketing Director, Oracle If the market is a jungle, businesses need to adapt to survive. We’ve seen entire business models upended as organisations transform themselves to keep up. As we enter a new decade, more disruption will follow.  To facilitate this sea change, many businesses are exploring how they can evolve their crucial back office functions - including finance, HR and payroll - to be faster and more efficient. Enterprises today need to make strategic decisions based on accurate, consolidated data and rapidly implement change across the organisation in response to time-limited opportunities. This means exploring new ERP systems and applications, as well as migrating entire back office functions to the cloud. However, recent history is a graveyard of failed implementations. Supermarket giant Lidl invested half a billion Euros and seven years into migrating to a new inventory management system, only for it to end up dead on arrival.Another botched ERP project at National Grid USA took over two years to complete and cost the operator $585 million, more than 150% of the cost of implementation.  Can you have your cake and eat it too? The causes behind an implementation disaster can be many. However, any challenges that emerge are only magnified by the complexity of the project and a lack of flexibility from the implementer. These two elements are typically the death knell of a failed project.   Transforming your ERP system will always be a challenge. Yet, if you try and implement everything at once you could be creating a near-impossible task. With some of Oracle’s competitors, this is sadly the only option.  When organisations have to roll out their ERP implementation in one go, projects can become very large and have many points of failure. There’s much more risk involved, and the risk of failure becomes far more costly. It’s similar to splashing out on a huge wedding cake, but then having to eat it all at once - you’re much more likely to choke. Oracle, by contrast, offers a platform that integrates across all our applications, putting them at your fingertips. You have more flexibility in the implementation, and the freedom to start with whatever applications you like. This enables enterprises to migrate piece by piece, leading to less costly and much less risky implementations. It’s like savouring your wedding cake slice by slice. A craving for innovation When selecting an ERP provider, also consider how far along their own cloud journey they are. Many of our rivals are still migrating their on-premise applications onto their new cloud-based systems. The problem facing their customers now, however, is they’re operating critical functions on a franken-construct of cloud and on-premises applications.  This has and will continue to cause major headaches, made even worse now that SAP plans to ‘switch off the lights’ for its main legacy systems by 2025. Organisations will constantly have to swap out current on-premise apps for the new cloud apps of their provider. Each time a change is made CTOs will need to ensure the new cloud application fits into their system the same way the old app did. If issues are found delays and costs are inevitable, impacting your operations, customers and bottom line.  When they should be innovating, our competitors will instead be spending a lot of time and money making their old applications cloud-native. Some, unable to innovate themselves, are even trying to acquire new companies to do it for them. Yet, it will take years to turn these new acquisitions into embedded features. Meanwhile, their customers won’t have access to the latest technologies, making them unable to outpace change.  By contrast, the Oracle platform and its apps have been cloud-native for years. When we roll out new updates and capabilities, they are released as one across all systems and applications. Our customers have access to the latest AI, ML, Voice and IoT innovations without worrying about implementation challenges or falling behind. If they decide to change business focus, or even alter their model completely, they can do so quickly. Let's be clear - no implementation is ever a piece of cake. However, with our tools and cloud-native architecture, the process will be less complex and risky. With the pace of change constantly accelerating, companies need to be able to evolve faster than ever. Oracle’s priority is to take you from implementation to value creation as soon as possible. 

Dee Houchen, EMEA Marketing Director, Oracle If the market is a jungle, businesses need to adapt to survive. We’ve seen entire business models upended as organisations transform themselves to keep up....

Landmark Group Adopts Cloud First Strategy To Drive Business Growth

Mohamed El Fanichi, Chief Information Officer, Landmark Group   When I first moved to Landmark Group, I was given the opportunity to look at the new IT model, support business growth and explore the opportunities technology can present to the business with an absolute focus on Landmark Group omni-channel ambitions. Over the last few decades, our business has seen a phenomenal growth with hundreds of new stores spread across the GCC with a growing presence in South East Asia. In all of this, our focus has been to provide our customers with the best service along with a truly integrated shopping experience – one that gives them the best of both online and offline world. With this objective, we started working towards building a new Omni-channel strategy, ensuring all our resources to be digitally focused. Our aim was to provide shoppers with a seamless experience. As a business, we realized that our customer’s journey online needed to be tightly integrated with the in-store experience. This was essential to cater to the evolving needs of the consumers. We have been in the region for over 46 years now. We have an extensive store network, established processes and a supply chain that was designed initially for the physical. To cater to the modern-day customer, it was essential to evolve – from a traditional retailer to a future-fit and digitally-focused Landmark Group that we are today. Convenience and customer experience are at the core what we do. In addition, we also have several mini-distribution centers that serve as a huge advantage helping us with easier fulfilment and delivery of goods to our customers. We are seeing that the investments we made in technology and streamlining business process have already started to see a positive impact on the top and bottom line, and we are well into getting the model right.  At Landmark Group, we are committed to the success of omni-channel. The investment in mega distribution center, one of the largest automated distribution center in the Middle East that will service the UAE and KSA and beyond represents a great step in that direction. Our IT strategy is intertwined with that of Oracle. Bearing in mind the Group’s Omni channel ambitions, the massive growth in rich content and the plethora of data points we get from, or push to our stores and online meant that we needed to think differently about our infrastructure.  Cloud was no longer a choice but a strategic imperative. Oracle Cloud and Oracle as an organization were there to support our migration journey to the cloud from the beginning. It took under 12 months to move 80% of our business solutions to cloud from local data center to world class Cloud environments in two locations in Europe. This gives us scalability and we are seeing some major performance improvements and above 20% cost reduction. This new-found freedom enabled by using Cloud, especially flexibility and agility to support businesses growth meant that our journey will continue with deployment of other solutions to service our need for a single view of customers and an accurate single view of inventory, including the use of a full end to end RFID in two of our concepts. Ultimately, our aim is to offer our full range of products and service and reach the customers where they are.It takes a lot to be ready for Cloud – it takes a mindset to change, a thorough understanding of what you have, and a detailed discovery exercise to assess the readiness. As an organization, Landmark Group’s journey to cloud has been led by our belief in the solution and the collaborative effort put in by our businesses to ensure success at every point.  I am constantly looking to ensure that Landmark Group has a competitive advantage.  Deploying transformative new solution continues to be a major part of that process, and Oracle Cloud is one of the solutions that has enabled us to deliver better.  In April 2019, Landmark Group, the largest non-food retailer in the Middle East & India, went live with Production, Non-Prod and Disaster Recovery environments on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With 950 stores processing daily transaction on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and a complete decommissioning of the On-prem environments. “We are Working to automate every stage of the supply chain process, give a real-time picture of our inventory position and deliver accurate and timely information” said Mohamed El-Fanichi the group CIO in an interview posted in the CXO Insight ME in the May 2019 Edition Landmark Group undergoes a massive cloud transformation journey with a Cloud First strategy. This is meant to save costs on their on-premise data centre which they plan to close in 4 years. The overall solution will result in 20% cost saving in 5 years according to the business case.  Background: Landmark Group is the largest non-food retailer in the Middle East and India with an impressive 5-year cloud strategy ranging from the modernization of the infrastructure, enhancement of the service delivery to reducing the overall IT costs and moving over 45 mission-critical applications including Oracle Retail and Planning to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. In December 2018, Landmark Group went live with Oracle Retail suite of applications (pre-production) followed by a production Go-Live in April 2019. In figures, this complex x-platform migration involves 500+ servers, 12,000-man days and impacts 12000 employees in 12 countries in Middle East, Africa and India. The journey started a couple of years ago when the Oracle Presales team helped The Landmark Group to build their Cloud Strategy and prioritize workload migration based on costs, benefits, complexity and risk assessment. Landmark Group’s project with Accenture kicked-off in late June 2018 with a 3-month design phase followed by wave 1 & 2 migration plan. The first two waves, which started in June and were delivered in December 2018, represent 100% of the pre-production environment (a replica of their production environment). The Oracle Retail suite of applications (Pre-Production) is fully functional on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and went live on December 20th where a hard cut-over was conducted and on-premise pre-production environment was decommissioned with full dependency on OCI. Followed by the subsequent waves, Production, DR and 4 other non-prod went live and are fully functional on OCI. Landmark Group is currently running a total of 1070 OCPUs on OCI and have achieved at least 2 times performance improvement than their Power 8 based On-prem systems.    

Mohamed El Fanichi, Chief Information Officer, Landmark Group   When I first moved to Landmark Group, I was given the opportunity to look at the new IT model, support business growth and explore the...

Marketing

Serving the Segment of One

There will be 163 zettabytes of data in the world by 2025 but just 3% of it will be analysed, according to Seagate/IDC. So it seems most of us are still drawing on limited datasets to serve our customers. What could we achieve if we used the vast amount of data at our disposal better? If we fully map audience behaviours and needs, we could move beyond serving groups of customers. And instead, treat customers as individuals. We’re now in the age of the ‘Segment of One’, whether you’re a consumer or a business-facing brand. The days of B2C and B2B are giving way to an era of ‘B2Me’. At a time when customers expect individualised experiences, more and more marketers are trying to understand what makes each person tick, rather than looking for what links groups together. And if we can get that right, it could be the difference between reactive messages and the personal, proactive experiences that allow us to truly engage with our customers. The Shibuya Tourism Association is taking on this challenge already. It provides travellers with information on how best to enjoy the area around Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya crossing. More than five million tourists visit the site each year, taking in the unique spectacle of 1000 people crossing the road at once. But after taking a quick photo, most people leave, skipping the tourist office and missing out on everything else the neighbourhood has to offer. With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the tourist association wanted to change this – and it took a data-driven approach. By installing over 1200 beacons in the streets around Shibuya station, and creating a mobile app, it was possible to pinpoint visitors and draw on data from their smartphones to improve personalisation. The association can now provide visitors with richer recommendations, based on personal interests, where they’re going, and the time of day. It’s these personal moments that matter, in the new experience economy. But getting to this point relies on marketing campaigns being much more efficient and targeted – hardly a simple task, with so many customers and so much data to manage. In fact, dealing with the data can take longer than creating and delivering the customer experiences themselves. That’s why companies like Agea are turning to autonomous technologies to manage their data. Argentina’s largest newspaper is moving from a content-centric approach to a customer-centric one. But it found that the time and cost of managing its analytics infrastructure was standing in the way of success. With Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse, Agea has cut its data management costs by 50%. More importantly, instead of spending valuable time on admin, Agea’s marketing team can focus on drawing insights from its data. Which means more targeted customer experiences, faster.  Reaching a ‘Segment of One’ depends on accurate predictions about what each customer will do next, so we can address their needs at the right time. That means pulling together first, second, and third party data to gain a complete understanding of customers, across channels and devices. And then, with the right end-to-end platform, it’s possible to align the efforts of marketing, sales and services teams. It’s no surprise that today’s fastest growing companies are investing in a more unified approach to data, and getting closer to their audience. Read our report and find out how their investment is paying off.       

There will be 163 zettabytes of data in the world by 2025 but just 3% of it will be analysed, according to Seagate/IDC. So it seems most of us are still drawing on limited datasets to serve our...

HR

What HR really does – and could do

What does HR do? From an outside perspective, it’s easy to simplify an incredibly complex function down to ‘they look after the people and the paperwork’. After all, despite being essential to any company, HR professionals have not been in a position where they can elevate their role to shaping business objectives – until now. Connected data and data analytics open up  the opportunity for HR to directly map talent in the world and measure the impact of its recruitment – and other policies – on the business objectives. Here’s how Alex Doneth-Dodds, Programme Lead at Oracle, explained this in a recent conversation. In the HR department, data is produced constantly. From payroll to training programmes, recruitment reports to performance review information – it’s generated and stored in vast quantities. But most HR professionals don’t feel confident with data. According to one of our recent surveys  , 27% of our HR respondents are highly confident in the amount of data they have to manage, and only 35% feel highly confident in the security of their data. Why do you think that is? I think it could be because data and analytics are generally still associated with the IT team. Or maybe the commercial analysis that goes on in the finance department. Or perhaps the digital campaign measurement of marketing? The difference with HR data is that it’s focussed on a company’s number one resource: people. And if people are your most valuable resource, then you want the very best people, doing their best work, as productively and happily as they can. In other words, you want market-leading recruitment, training, and performance enablement, as well as job satisfaction. So, what do you usually see in HR departments at top companies? The best HR teams constantly review data and analysis, pulling out insights on everything from talent gaps to educational trends, engagement levels, and workforce dynamics. And by analysing, measuring, and quantifying the ‘human resource’ of a business, it’s possible to look after this asset more intelligently – and build tools that can help. Can you give us a few examples of places where this is already happening? Sure. So, after running some combined analysis of job application and employee performance data, one of the largest mobile providers in the US found that college grades actually aren’t that important for talent selection. Instead, evidence of sports leadership and teamwork is far more important when it comes to predicting future employee success. And the Royal Bank of Canada developed its Embark app to help new employees bridge their pre-joining and post-joining experiences at the company. Now they can connect with their managers, team mates, and HR from the outset, and this helps to set them up as engaged, informed colleagues. Any examples you can think of from outside North America? Absolutely. Lane Crawford is a luxury retailer in Hong Kong, and it uses collaboration and learning software for continuous staff development. Combining this with data analytics, it allows the organisation to track and tweak as needed, and make sure staff get what they need, when they need it. In conclusion, what’s your key takeaway when it comes to data and the HR department? Real business value comes from making successful decisions. Those decisions are based on timely, accurate insights, and those insights are born from data. If HR can embrace this, then it can deliver unparalleled value to the business and become a strategic partner at the same time. Come and visit us at an event close to you to discuss the value data can bring to the HR function.

What does HR do? From an outside perspective, it’s easy to simplify an incredibly complex function down to ‘they look after the people and the paperwork’. After all, despite being essential to any...

Clock is Ticking on SAP’s Integration Pledge as Customers Look at Options

At SAP’s capital markets day last week in New York, fiscal discipline, accountability and profit margin expansion were the watchwords from co-CEOs Christian Klein and Jennifer Morgan. The new management team laid out its response to problems that weighed on the previous CEO and his team.  A month into their tenures after the Oct. 10 resignation of longtime CEO Bill McDermott, SAP’s new bosses need to quell pressure from investors unhappy  with overpriced acquisitions, lagging profitability, and a bumpy move to a  business applications suite called S/4 Hana. Customers say they don’t fully trust SAP’s ability to help them digitize, and point to a lack of integration among acquired products. “We have to double down on customer success,” Klein told analysts during the Nov. 12 meeting. “During 2020 we will finally deliver the business integration for all of our acquired products.”  At stake is SAP’s ability to move its customer base to an enterprise resource planning suite called S/4 Hana. Businesses rely on ERP software for tasks such as financial management, supply chain, manufacturing, and delivery. In addition to slow integration – some long-acquired products won’t be knit together till next year – SAP has set a 2025 deadline to end support for older versions of its ERP applications, compelling customers to start moving to S/4 Hana or consider another course.   That’s led to a disconnect between the software maker and its customers’ business strategies. According to a survey of 271 CIOs and managers at SAP customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland released by the German SAP user group DSAG in September, only about a quarter of respondents said they were well informed about the role SAP’s product roadmap plays in their companies’ digitization strategies, 45 percent partially agreed, and 30 percent said they weren’t well informed.   The discontent has created an opening for Oracle to convince long-time SAP customers to switch to its cloud computing ERP suite. Since upgrading to S/4  requires shifting to an SAP database called Hana – a potentially costly and disruptive move – Oracle can position its applications, Autonomous  Database, and cloud computing infrastructure as an architecture businesses can buy into for the future.   At a time when companies are crafting long-term strategies to gain a competitive edge from rising data volumes, Oracle’s ability to offer an integrated suite of cloud applications, data analysis tools, and machine learning capabilities built directly into its apps and database makes it a compelling choice, according to Oracle senior vice president of cloud applications marketing Juergen Lindner.   German Pacesetter  Some customers are already moving off their longstanding ERP platforms. Oracle has cited German customers including Puma and Diebold-Nixdorf as switchers to its business applications from SAP, and executives have said more may be in the offing.  Chairman Larry Ellison has said Oracle is hunting a pacesetting customer in Germany to move ERP work from SAP to Oracle’s online applications. ‘I've spent a lot of time in Germany and talking to some customers, and they want to move,” Ellison said on Oracle’s quarterly conference call with analysts in September. “What they're waiting for is one really large customer who’s already done it.”   Oracle has about 25,000 customers globally that run cloud versions of its ERP applications and NetSuite software for smaller and midsized companies, Ellison said at the company’s Oracle OpenWorld conference in September.   SAP on the other hand has made numerous cloud software acquisitions in the  past decade and developed Hana, but “somehow forgot to rewrite their applications for the cloud,” he said.  In New York, SAP’s co-CEOs pledged to abolish decision-making silos and eliminate products with overlapping functionality, as well as those with relatively few users. Chief financial officer Luka Mucic reiterated the company’s target of boosting its cloud gross margin target to 75 percent by 2023 compared with 69 percent this year.   The company will do that by relying more on partners Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and Alibaba to run the cloud infrastructure, or computing power and storage that underpins its business applications. SAP will also winnow the 25 different kinds of infrastructure software accrued through acquisitions and in-house development it uses to run customers’ computing workloads. “It was close to impossible for us to really share resources” across groups, Mucic told analysts. Now, he said, “we have our act  together.”   In addition to convincing customers to stick around for the ride, SAP also finds itself in the position of having to defending itself to Wall Street. Investors have criticized management for moving too slowly to integrate acquired companies, the rocky S/4 Hana transition, and overpaying for customer data management software company Qualtrics, which it bought last  year for $8 billion. Enterprise software maker ServiceNow, McDermott’s new  company, trades at about 11 times expected 2020 sales – by contrast, McDermott paid about 20 times forward sales for Qualtrics.   Those factors drew activist investor Elliott Associates into the stock this spring. Three SAP executive board members have left this year, including McDermott. On Nov. 4 SAP increased its share repurchase plan and announced a special dividend worth a combined 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion).   Management has its work cut out to explain how it will extricate itself from a sticky situation. “Business models are changing so dramatically in almost all industries and customers just take time,” said Klein.   Time is an asset the company can ill afford to lose. By Aaron Ricadela

At SAP’s capital markets day last week in New York, fiscal discipline, accountability and profit margin expansion were the watchwords from co-CEOs Christian Klein and Jennifer Morgan. The new...

Prepared For The Future

Sebastian Samuel, CIO, AW Rostamani, talks about successfully scaling digital innovation to drive business growth and deliver value to customers. What does digital transformation mean to you? We are a family-owned conglomerate involved in multiple lines of businesses. These range from real estate and retail to automotive, logistics, and transportation. Digital transformation can be different for different business units. Rather than define it individually for each business unit, we see digital transformation as nothing but business transformation – future-proofing the business and taking it to the next level. In this game, you need the whole C-suite to be with you. You need the support and engagement of your CEO, CFO, CHRO, board members, line-of-business managers, and partners to manage the execution of the digital transformation. Our IT organisation works hand in hand with the business units, right from strategy formation to execution to delivery. We use the Balanced Scorecard to align company activities with strategies and monitor the progress. Once scorecards and strategy maps are defined for each business unit, we work with almost 21 business units as IT; we participate in their strategy review meetings to understand their business ambitions and then we advise them on the kind of IT projects we can take up to support these goals. How does one transform IT from a cost centre into a true business enabler? I don’t like IT to be termed as a cost centre. Especially, when most of the business enablement happens through technology-driven models, IT must be at the forefront. In fact, all our initiatives are focused on two aspects that I prefer to describe as the numerator and the denominator respectively. First, on the numerator side, we focus on how to accelerate revenue growth, how to improve margins, how to acquire more customers and retain existing ones. We always promote those initiatives within the group. Second, on the denominator side, the focus is on optimising the cost of operations, managing resources in a better manner, and improving internal efficiencies. Instead of being a cost centre-oriented IT organisation, we are more into enabling the business through the improvement of customer satisfaction, customer acquisition, and retention, and optimising cost. I believe that is the true definition of business enablement. You are actively taking on business strategy responsibilities, and at the same time, you have to keep the lights on. How do you balance both roles?  It swings based on seasons and need of the hour. We have to keep the lights on, and at the same time, continuously work towards identifying new growth opportunities, innovation and making sure our business is ahead of the competition. We always have two modes of IT working within the same organisation. One camp is continuously building new capabilities and innovation, and the other one maintains a stable environment once it is productionalised. Gartner coined this as bimodal IT, and I am a big fan of this concept of balancing the need to innovate with maintaining legacy systems to keep the business running. Even the business has to be bimodal to drive digital transformation. If you don’t have that mindset, you will always be viewed as a run-and-maintain organisation. Which are the new technologies you are exploring? We are exploring the whole array of new digital technologies such as cloud, chatbots, blockchain, Data Science and mobile. We have been on the cloud journey since 2011, and in fact, we were one of the early adopters of Oracle talent management system in the region. Now we run almost 20 plus cloud services from ten different countries, which means our IT infrastructure is distributed across many geographies, and there is no perimeter. In fact, we have all three different flavours of the cloud. We use Oracle ERP, which has gone live in a hybrid cloud environment. Our production runs on-prem while test and development and DR are on the cloud. This gives us almost two-three times more speed and good resiliency in terms of infrastructure. Our objective is to become completely server-less by 2022. Our infrastructure is moving 100 percent to the cloud, and our software adoption policy is cloud-first and mobile-first. We also adopt quite a lot of specialised best-of-breed applications. One of the advantages of the cloud is that it allows you to move in different velocities. For example, your sales and marketing need continuous innovation, and new technologies are emerging daily. Your HR probably needs a change every two-three years and finance every five to ten years. With one single monolithic ERP, you can’t drive innovation that meets the different needs of business units. Therefore, we decided to slowly decouple from a single ERP to best-of-breed cloud solutions while also ensuring that we integrate well because it’s a very important aspect of the cloud journey. Do you see any use cases of AI and ML with AWR?  It was all noise in the past, but it is becoming a reality now. The UAE is one of the first countries in the world to set up a ministry dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, and we have aligned ourselves to the national vision for AI. We have started a separate department in IT called decision technologies to make sure that we use analytics, data science, AI and ML to improve our internal processes and enrich customer experience. However, due to our fast cloud adoption, data fragmentation was an issue. In order to address this challenge, we have created an application neutral data landscape to which we bring in data from all different cloud applications for analysis and machine learning. Blockchain also has some interesting use cases for some of our business sectors, and we already have some proof-of-concepts underway.  What is your greatest career achievement? I am motivated to succeed by the core values of AWR – passion, integrity, commitment, adding value and never being satisfied. Anything is possible when you are dedicated to upholding these values. Personally, I don’t believe in milestones. I am passionate about coming to AWR every day and exploring new things to improve our business. More than that, what I really value is my team. During my long tenure here, I have been able to set up and maintain a very focused and committed team and I feel proud about that achievement. Originally Posted on CXO Insight Middle East 

Sebastian Samuel, CIO, AW Rostamani, talks about successfully scaling digital innovation to drive business growth and deliver value to customers. What does digital transformation mean to you? We are a...

How long will you stay with the devil-you-know?

Arun Khehar, Senior Vice President - Business Applications, Middle East, Africa and India, Oracle Deciding on an ERP system is a bit like buying your dream home. On paper, it’s all about the checklist: detached, garage, open plan layout, master en-suite. But in reality, decisions aren’t made on a checklist of logical reasons to buy or not to buy. At the end of the day, it often comes down to that elusive “feeling.”  We recognise that. The checklist is all good and well – price point, speed of implementation, time to ROI, level of innovation, intuitive UX. But with so much resting on how well a company leverages technology, it is no surprise that many feel risk averse; but at what point does staying with the status quo present the greater risk? For many companies, the ERP system is the core backbone of the company.  Time, effort and no modest budget has been invested in a system upon which the whole company relies on to function. The devil-you-know, perhaps, and change feels like a risk. Time and effort of migration is only part of the concern.  What if the new system doesn’t live up to its promise?  You don’t want to be the latest headline about a write down or additional charge in the earnings report. But we live in dynamic times. Volatile markets and new competitors are pushing aside established companies faster now than ever. We celebrate new companies joining the FTSE. There are a finite number of companies on these listings.  With every new one added, an established player that didn’t move with the times is being taken off the list. These companies are often ones who papered over the cracks. They may have made some changes but were they fast enough to introduce a new product; to provide a seamless omni-channel customer experience; or take advantage of the radical transformation new technology can bring? Legacy might be the reason but it is not an excuse.  Companies can often see and agree what they need to do. They are, however, hamstrung by an internal infrastructure that is complex, slow to change and difficult to integrate.  They devil-you-know suddenly becomes the liability it has threatened to be for some time. The decision to move toward a cloud based ERP system, and in fact an integrated set of cloud applications, no longer requires a leap of faith. It is not about having the confidence to take a risk. It would be more risk to stay on the current platform, or to stick with a vendor that is suggesting a costly complex migration. Time to look at what is in the market. The cloud applications landscape has transformed and now provides mature enterprise grade solutions, ones companies like Oracle and NetSuite have been developing for many years. Our rivals are nowhere near this level of maturity, with some not even having finished building their systems, simply offering hosting services while they scramble to build their infrastructure from the bottom up. Maturity means built together to work together. Not a collection of acquired software built on different architectures.  This becomes central in the work across an organisation. The ability to incorporate HR, supply chain and customer experience management capabilities having one consistent data structure across every application is becoming central to how companies look at their back office. At Oracle, we partner with our customers for successful outcomes - building applications based on customer input and usage patterns, not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  Such an integrated framework breaks down silos and improves user engagement and performance, giving equal access to business users across the organisation. More importantly it helps improve the ability of different data to be used to give real-time insight into what is happening with the company and, crucially, among customers. Great, but that might only get a company onto a level playing field with its new competitors.  To move ahead of them, it is necessary to look at the technology grabbing the headlines as the engine for growth. Isn’t that more cost and complexity?  Yes if it is implemented as standalone technology.  That’s why Oracle has embedded AI and machine learning in every application as standard, not as an add-on for additional cost. This means all our customers can benefit from the latest innovations in conversational interfaces, natural language processing, blockchain and IoT – and the list is growing. Other ERP systems can’t offer this level of constant innovation, as their cloud platforms and infrastructure aren’t yet mature enough to support it, meaning customers are losing out and businesses are losing competitive advantage.  Those companies that are taking this leap of logic can stay ahead of all the expectations thrown their way. They are building organisations that are ready and willing to embrace sudden change and the potential of the future, and they can drive innovation within their own business and collaboration across departments. Despite the initial idea that sticking with the same supplier is the logical decision, it is possible that this is a feeling preventing the choice of innovation over laggard features and using emotion over logic.  Changing your ERP system, like buying a new house, will never be a no-brainer – you just need to choose which side of the brain you want to follow.  “Learn more about taking the leap of logic here”

Arun Khehar, Senior Vice President - Business Applications, Middle East, Africa and India, Oracle Deciding on an ERP system is a bit like buying your dream home. On paper, it’s all about the checklist:...

Marketing

3 Steps to Connect Customer Experience

Good data makes marketers smile, but managing that data can send a chill down the spine. Many of us see it as complicated, perhaps something that stifles creativity. But it’s also the foundation of a 360-degree customer view. And without that, marketers have little chance of delivering the personalised experiences their audience expects. Customers expect frictionless experiences, on any and all platforms, while businesses need to meet the highest levels of governance and transparency. So an excellent Customer Experience now goes beyond the customer service team. Or the sales team. Or the marketing team. Data has become the domain of every department. And delivering the best customer experience possible depends on it being clean, connected and constantly updated. Step 1: Clean your data Less duplication and disorder in your data means less information to manage and less time spent managing it. Which in turn means marketers can focus on the customer experience itself. But it’s essential for governance too. How can you guarantee customer information is in safe hands if you don’t have sight of it across the business? And how can you ensure proper governance if you can’t see all the data you’re collecting? Honestly, we only expect data privacy fines to grow, so this is an issue that’s better addressed sooner rather than later. This brings us to the main question: how to clean data quickly and effectively. Preparing and cleansing data manually doesn’t really fit the scale and speed you want (and need) in your marketing department. But Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning could help here. Gartner predicts that ML in particular will take on 40-45% of manual data tasks by 2022. And for many companies, cleaning data will be one of those tasks. Step 2: Connect your data Good customer experiences aren’t one-way, one-off transactions – they obviously haven’t been for some time now. They’re mobile and fluid, as customers interact with companies across platforms as and when they choose. But the number of systems we need to deliver these improved services has steadily grown, leading to silos of data. And those silos can stand in the way of the frictionless experiences customers are looking for. World class brands are responding by centralising their data. An open flow of information between teams can help with building equally seamless experiences for their customers. Take Meliá Hotels. The Spanish hospitality leader recently unveiled a new service, allowing customers to use an electronic bracelet as their room key and a digital wallet across its resorts. And while this service relies on simple Bluetooth technology, it’s the integration of data behind the scenes that makes it all possible. Step 3: Make your data real-time You may have connected your systems and automated data management, but is the data constantly refreshed? You want to learn, but also to adapt and evolve quickly, based on changing needs. And this is as much a mindset as a technical requirement. Most of us want to be more dynamic in our responses to customers. We want to respond quickly to market demands. And that means recognising and reacting to the fact that data is constantly growing and evolving. By enriching our customer profiles with real-time context, we can have better insights and deliver more personalised experiences at the exact moment when they matter most: right now. Each of these elements is made easier by a more intelligent, cloud-based system. It’s one thing to move data to a new infrastructure, but it’s another to use a data warehouse that actively monitors, detects, and repairs itself, to deliver the level of security you really need. In other words, an autonomous system. These allow companies to spend less time managing data, and more time doing what matters most – giving customers what they want. After all, the future of data management shouldn’t be about more admin. Instead, you could work in a more integrated way, and differentiate your business.

Good data makes marketers smile, but managing that data can send a chill down the spine. Many of us see it as complicated, perhaps something that stifles creativity. But it’s also the foundation of a...

HR

How CHROs are harnessing data to get ahead

Only 20 per cent of HR professionals believe they can adequately plan for their company’s future talent needs. And yet, an HR survey found that forecasting for headcount is the most important use of data analytics. Why is there such a disconnect?  As our research shows ,  data analytics can help CHROs to anticipate talent needs in a candidate driven market, better track employee fulfilment, and ultimately combine HR insights with business objectives. In other words, HR can study the past, see ‘now’, and get ahead. According to investment bank UBS, global unemployment reached the lowest level for almost 40 years in December 2018. But while record-low unemployment is fantastic news, it means high demand for job candidates. Your best employees are at greater risk than usual of being poached – whether by recruiters, former colleagues, even a well-timed LinkedIn ad. Improving employee satisfaction is the seemingly simple answer to this familiar problem. But it’s far easier said than done. Satisfaction surveys and performance reviews can gather information, but they’re time-consuming and expensive – not to mention the facts that it’s impossible to tell how reliable respondents are being, or that by the time results come in, the issue is often already outdated. But what if CHROs could use insights from existing and real time data to create an environment where employees want to spend their working weeks – a place where they feel fulfilled and motivated? We have the data Every new hire, promotion, raise, review, or departure brings data points, and this information is probably waiting for you in core HR systems. Tools like Oracle Analytics Cloud can use this data – and many other types besides – to reveal trends, help you forecast, and make informed decisions. This could include staff turnover data from your sales team, compared with location, earnings, or promotion information. Mapping this against current execs, you could spot those most likely to leave – and intervene before it’s too late. Over time, you’d be able to understand turnover rates throughout the company, and use insights from predictive analytics to develop plans to improve satisfaction, curb turnover and plug talent leaks. One global logistics company uses analytics to improve the job satisfaction of its delivery drivers. The handheld devices drivers use to accept delivery signatures carry plenty of useful information, and help them find the fastest, most efficient delivery routes. Greater delivery efficiency means the company can increase the number of packages delivered per driver, and this productivity boost leads to some of the highest driver compensation rates in the industry. Happier drivers, less driver turnover. Strategic insights What if we were to take this one step further? You could take your HR analytics and combine with other business areas to reveal new insights. Data from on-boarding, incentive programmes and goal management could inform your company’s strategic decisions. One of the USA’s biggest mobile providers found that SAT scores and college grades are poor predictors of employee success. Instead, experience in sports leadership is a much better forecast. But it only discovered this by analyzing job applications against those employees’ performance data over time. Combining datasets in new ways can be the fastest route to new insights, and forecasted plans that help you to keep the talent you value and spot the talent you need. HR can cement its position as a strategic linchpin of business continuity. And, of course, there’s simply no overstating the potential of motivated, engaged, productive employees.

Only 20 per cent of HR professionals believe they can adequately plan for their company’s future talent needs. And yet, an HR survey found that forecasting for headcount is the most important use...

IT

From Counting herds to Herding Data?

An evolution of the database, from counting crops to self-driving systems   It was roughly 7000 years ago that Mesopotamians began tracking the yield of their crops, effectively becoming our first data analysts. Today, companies record and manage data in all shapes and sizes, drawing insight from it to work smarter and better serve their customers. The principles have remained the same for millennia, but the rise of AI and autonomous systems have unlocked a new world of opportunity in the zettabytes of information we collect. How did we get here? How did we get from counting crops, to storing huge volumes of information, to self-driving, self-managing systems? Let’s take a trip down database memory lane: 5000 BC – Farmers in Mesopotamia begin to track the size of their herds and record their crop yields, giving rise to early accounting principles and written language. 17th century – John Graunt, widely regarded as the father modern statistics, releases the first European writing on the topic, Natural and Political Observations upon the Bills of Mortality Late 19th century – Herman Hollerith invents the first tabulating machine, used to process data for the 1890 US Census. The machine was subsequently adapted by businesses for accounting and inventory control 1980s – Businesses begin looking for ways to store, track, and understand the data they collect, and begin to analyze the information at their disposal to inform their activities   1990s – Enterprise software becomes powerful enough to support predictive analysis. For the first time, businesses can take a scientific approach to planning and strategizing for the future 2001 – Gartner Analyst Doug Laney outlines the challenges of managing the 3 “Vs” of data – volume, variety and velocity. He argues that all three parameters are expanding, and that simple storage is no longer enough 2008 – Oracle introduces Engineered Systems, giving rise to lightning fast autonomous infrastructure at the same time as companies start to adopt cloud computing on a large scale. Suddenly, IT departments don’t have to hand-build infrastructure piece by piece using disparate solutions from multiple vendors 2012– Artificial Intelligence (AI) enters the mainstream. Companies begin using algorithms to run complex computations on millions of data points in real-time, automating more elements of their operation and changing the way they serve customers 2018 – Understanding that to capitalize on AI, cloud-based systems must be able operate autonomously, Oracle launches the Oracle Autonomous Database, defining a new category of IT. The self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing system requires no manual intervention. The Future is Autonomous We’ve come a long way from counting crops and cattle. The days of simply storing information have given way to a digital era, where computer intelligence is baked directly into the data we collect from a growing range of sources. The groundwork is now being laid for businesses to become full autonomous, with every system and process able to manage, update, repair and secure itself. Just as cloud computing took the datacenter from CAPEX to OPEX, autonomous systems promise to help users do even more with their data, while putting in less effort and costs. This doesn’t mean people will have no place in the companies of tomorrow. In fact, as our research suggests, with machines taking on more administrative tasks, employees will be able to dedicate more time and energy to using data strategically, which is where they add the most value. The Oracle Autonomous Database marks just the beginning of our autonomous future. Inspired by rising customer demand, including 5000 trials in the final quarter of FY19, we have now taken a major leap forward with the launch of the Oracle Autonomous Database Dedicated service. Using this service, customers can easily move from manually operated on-premise databases to a fully-autonomous and private database, hosted in the Oracle Cloud.  Join us at our events to learn more, and discover what the future holds for autonomous systems.  

An evolution of the database, from counting crops to self-driving systems   It was roughly 7000 years ago that Mesopotamians began tracking the yield of their crops, effectively becoming our first data...

IT

The future is ready, is your CV?

Change is good, but it also makes us anxious. This is especially true when a new technology promises to revolutionize the way we work. We marvel at the possibilities of AI and autonomous systems, but our excitement is tempered by the angst of uncertainty – how will these developments affect our jobs and way of life? Autonomous technologies are not the enemy, they’re just very powerful tools. When used to drive genuine progress, they may bring about the revolution businesses have been asking for. The need to work faster, meet growing demand, and differentiate has always driven companies to enhance their performance with machines. From first farmers who used a mechanical plough, to Richard Arkwright’s invention of the water-powered mill, to Alan Turing’s cracking of the Enigma code, technology has been a powerful ally. And while these innovations have disrupted the job market, new roles and industry segments have been created in the long run, making our society more prosperous as a whole. Today, AI and automation are driving a new transformation. The step change in productivity is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and the new skills we are developing to manage these technologies are up-levelling the workforce at an incredible pace, creating new forms of employment and changing the dynamic between traditional lines of business.   Man and machine working side-by-side The autonomous enterprise is not devoid of humanity. On the contrary, as our research suggest , it is a place where machines take the robotic elements out of work so employees can operate at the highest level intellectually and emotionally. Consider the following example – a day in the life of an autonomous enterprise employee: Jill, a sales team leader at a major company, arrives at work in the morning. Her emails are sorted in order of priority, while her spam has been moved to the trash folder. Some emails have even been answered automatically, with previously registered responses. That’s at least one hour of admin eliminated. Next, Jill opens a live dashboard of her customers’ details, organized based on her most recent activity with important files proactively highlighted for her attention and suggestions provided for the next best course of action. Rather than digging manually for answers to a customer issue, Jill can simply take on the recommendations provided by the autonomous system. Less time spent on process means more time spent creating value for her customers. Because the data is live, the marketing team has been advised that Jill’s customers are now in a place where they are open to receiving targeted marketing materials on the company’s latest offering, thus supporting Jill’s efforts. While she’s reviewing her customers’ orders, she gets a proactive notification from the system indicating there is a discrepancy between an invoice and the matching payment, with possible explanations for the change and how it could impact the client’s portfolio. Finance has been notified in parallel and have already seen the potential impact on forecasted revenue. If one of Jill’s meetings overrun, the autonomous system proactively attempts to reschedule subsequent appointments based on her availability. Ahead of each commitment, it pulls out recent articles and information that might be of interest to each customer, while also reminding her of important responsibilities like employee reviews. With Jill’s team so busy, the autonomous enterprise takes the liberty of suggesting a bonding session to boost morale, with a couple of dates where her whole team is available. In short, working in an autonomous enterprise means less time spent on administrative tasks, less opportunity for human error as a result of being overworked, and less focus on minutiae. Instead, workers have more time to serve customers, collaborate, and benefit from each other. Change is here As part of this autonomous revolution, the line between man and machine is blurring. Increasingly powerful systems are taking on tasks that were once considered beyond the ability of computers. We now rely on AI and automated systems to predict customer demand, detect people’s emotions, and even drive our cars. This is automation taken to the next level with built-in intelligence. Traditional automation is like a fast-forward button, greatly speeding up processes but not changing them in any way. Users still needed to define how automated tasks worked and intervene each time a parameter changed. With today’s autonomous solutions, processes are not only faster, they are self-improving and self-repairing. Once powered, they will constantly look to work in more efficient ways, while AI algorithms suggest new outcomes that may be more favorable, and that a human mind could not compute alone. Consider the way autonomous robots have transformed warehouse operations. Major ecommerce companies like Alibaba use armies of robots to navigate, retrieve, and deliver products, making it possible to fulfill orders at a previously unheard of pace. The robots operate like a well-oiled machine, avoiding obstacles, finding the fastest route to where they need to be, and turning warehouse management into a nearly autonomous process. A global revolution The rise of autonomous systems is not a niche phenomenon. Last year, Gartner predicted that “autonomous things” would be the top strategic technology trend of 2019. The rate at which countries, and businesses in those countries, embrace autonomous technology will dictate their competitiveness in the years to come. The Economist Intelligence Unit released a ranking of nations based on their readiness to integrate intelligent automation. The 25 countries were assessed based on how well their policy environment is suited to making intelligent automation a reality, and the level of leadership they have shown with regards to digitization to date. The results reveal that autonomous is indeed a global trend, but that even the most advanced countries have work to do when it comes to skills. For automation to have a positive long term effect, education policies and training programs must evolve to ensure the success of future generations in the workforce, in addition to the success of companies that will ultimately employ them. In particular, the Economist Intelligence Unit emphasized the need for continual learning so that people are able to keep up with change. As robots and algorithms take on more routine tasks, we must prepare people to take on more human-oriented roles, which will require adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking over technical abilities.  At Oracle, we are pioneering autonomous technologies for the enterprise. For instance, the Oracle Autonomous Database is able self-patch, self-tune, and protect valuable data with no human intervention. Our broader Cloud Platform Services helps companies to get predictive insights from their data, while driving down operational costs and the risk of human error.

Change is good, but it also makes us anxious. This is especially true when a new technology promises to revolutionize the way we work. We marvel at the possibilities of AI and autonomous systems, but...

IT

Why Successful Companies are Data Leaders

Research shows that connected data and a successful company are directly related: Those organisations that have seen significant revenue growth (20%+) in their organisation over the last three years are more likely to have completed data protection initiatives, connected systems initiatives, or intelligent automation initiatives, than those organisations that have witnessed a decline in that same time. As we all know, when it comes to connecting systems and therefore data, the buck stops at IT - although functions have their role to play. This insight gives IT the opportunity to correlate the success of their infrastructure and policies directly with the success of a company, thereby widening ITs role and accountability. It’s amazing what you can retrieve from the correct collaboration of data sources when you ask the right questions or join the correct dots so to speak. We produce so much data (and differing types), it’s a wonder we haven’t started ecological campaigns to reduce the data build up within our digital oceans for the good of all - digital data recycling - now, there’s a concept! We saw the rise of Big Data initiatives nearly a decade ago, which formed the precursor to AI and query-based predictive analytics that we know today. Although we create a staggering amount of disparate data, what exactly is generated, what do we really do with it and - more importantly from a business outcome point of view – what should you be focusing on to not just keep up with your business peers pouring good money after bad but to demonstrate value to the business? There are key initiatives that Data Leaders are forging ahead with now and recent analysis from Oracle has produced some very interesting statistics based upon the study of some of the data oceans that businesses have created, and where the Data Leaders and Data Laggards are on this sustainable data initiative for business growth. Highlighted within these statistics are meaningful ROI statistics that are drawn from real respondents of the analysis. Successful enterprises are data leaders: they do things differently and get better results and IT data leaders are 10 times more likely to feel confident in managing systems data than data laggards. Highlighted below are some of the generated statistics that demonstrate Data Leaders against Data Laggards in respect to their ability to manage their digital rivers for 5 areas of data creation: As you can see, the data laggards are simply not coping with the data growth! All roads lead to the IT department’s responsibility when discussing data and the management of, and this will only become more so with key strategic drivers on the board room table requiring more attention than ever to not just be about staying in the game but ahead of it!  This is where the Data Leaders focus is key and where the differentiator lies. If we drill down further look at more detail you can see why with more detailed responses highlighted later and where their priorities are prominent and which paid the most returns in respect to business growth. It’s not often you can relate business growth directly back to technical initiatives which makes the following insights valuable for IT Divisions looking to embark upon their digital strategies. As we all know this responsibility is with the IT Department and any proof points that demonstrate Correct Technical Initiative = Business Growth is welcome. So what are the key takeaways that can be derived from this information? Data Protection/Management/Security/Automation are key drivers for business growth for the leading organisations that have shown major growth over the last 3 years period! Moving more to an Autonomous state of being in respect to your IT estate is a critical capability for delivering complete insight and automating process – and business leaders can see it - 47% of organisations who have seen significant growth have completed intelligent automation initiatives, compared to 23% of those with marginal growth. It’s no surprise that solid analytics with cognitive abilities can demonstrate great returns for your technical investment, but if you link RPA, Data Protection and Management together with robust Security, you have a winning combination of IT services that provide amazing business growth. We all know many of the mainstream IT Strategies around today but they are here for good reason. Oracle have been evangelising about Adaptive Intelligence and Autonomous Databases for some time now and it seems to me that it’s easy to see why. The Autonomous Technologies they have invested heavily in are paying off for data leaders around the globe. I was fortunate enough to hear from Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO, when Mark presented his future vision of business growth with Autonomous products: Self-healing/patching databases that require less administration, less downtime together with rigid security that’s scalable. Organisations who have seen significant growth are twice as likely to have completed intelligent automation initiatives as those with marginal growth. The advantages of employing these initiatives are easy to see but at the time it seemed slightly farfetched, however having seen the statistics here and the strategy presented then, it’s a reality. Oracle, in my opinion, has been the sleeping dragon in the race for technology supremacy, watching, waiting and calculating the correct move to make. However, with the ever-increasing workloads together with the creation of industry data oceans we all have to swim in – doesn’t it make sense to automate, manage and secure effectively to allow for scale whilst requiring less administration, and resources? This does not necessarily mean removing the manpower and staff base from the IT Department, more like working smarter and more efficiently and not managing the huge amounts of data created across IT Systems that will get out of control as the statistics suggest. If you put this together with the recent Microsoft partnership too, there’s a lot of innovation coming out of Oracle and I’m looking forward to seeing further advancements that Oracle have in store.

Research shows that connected data and a successful company are directly related: Those organisations that have seen significant revenue growth (20%+) in their organisation over the last three years...

Finance

Is Finance still playing catch up to Big Data?

The 2008 financial crisis led to a shift in customers’ expectations and relationships to companies. No longer is it enough to sell quality products, these have to be delivered hand in hand with personalised and excellent customer services, everywhere, all the time. Finance and Supply chain offices, being less exposed to those frontline changes, have since been playing catch up to this seismic shift. It’s now time to show that they are equipped with the skills and technology to bring various sets of data together, with the help of automation, to deliver on their role as internal strategic consultant. Alex Doneth Dodds, programme lead at Oracle, says finance can step up its strategic game to match digital transformations in products and marketing. First, it must learn to re-love data. Customer-facing functions have spent a decade dealing with rapid and disruptive change. What journey have the ‘back office’ teams been on? For finance in particular, there has been a fundamental shift beyond managing raw numbers. Collecting, verifying and reporting numbers – often manually – used to be the core role of the finance team. But the complexity and the volume of data that is coming into finance now is growing exponentially and this is making things really difficult for finance leaders. Are some companies are in denial about this growth of complexity of data on the one hand, and inflated customer expectations on the other? Research suggests only 40% of finance leaders feel ‘quite comfortable’ with the amount of data they’re expected to manage. (Note that only 43% feel that the security they have within their organisation is also adequate. This suggests a degree of complacency given what we know about cyber threats…) Even for a finance team primarily focused on internal, transaction-related data, there are new challenges. The granularity of today’s data breaks a lot of old assumptions about what constitutes ‘good enough’. For finance leaders expected to provide compelling insights on the past, projections of future performance and contributions to growth – particularly around strategic decisions such as M&A – the gap is potentially wider. CFOs without the right support risk falling further behind as these expectations grow. Even on compliance and risk management – also ‘traditional’ finance deliverables – in-the-field-data is getting more complex. For example, IDC predicts that by 2022 digital risk will need to be a standard part of financial reporting. So even the ‘old’ roles are changing to adapt to new sources of data? Today, all that data, that finance insight, is being used to new ends, too – not just to optimise returns, but also shape the behaviour of people and transform culture. It’s not just cost-to-serve for digital versus offline, or even uncovering new potential revenue streams from digital channels; analysis can help leaders embrace disruption with confidence and accelerate innovation. CEOs expect this insight around customer behaviours; they want data-driven advice, not opinions; and they need increasingly accurate projections on future performance. We are working in an era where even the biggest brands have to embrace ‘the pivot’. But if finance is running to stand still on the basic data hygiene tasks, it’s going to struggle to bridge the gap between these critical needs and their capabilities. So if the CEO and the wider leadership team cannot rely on hard data to inform those radical decisions, there’s a problem, right? Agility backed by knowledge creates competitive advantage. Data is fuelling a new dialogue within companies, between companies and their stakeholders – especially customers – and beyond. Ultimately, finance is a language, and using the right language to describe new interactions is a must. Scottish Water – a market-leading supplier in the UK – is a great example. It’s a challenging, highly competitive, industry. So the team there looked at their business model, they looked at what insights do they actually get, and started to focus on articulating potential benefits to the consumer. That work has delivered an 85% drop in complaints and a 21% rise in customer satisfaction – just from using data to better understand what people want. Those customer insights clearly deliver top-line value, then. But even inside the finance team, new approaches powered by AI and cloud are delivering to the bottom line. One trend we’re seeing among the leading finance teams is automation. It’s compelling. Getting the basics delivered via robotic process automation (RPA) allows for a step change in efficiency and means finance staff can focus on delivering business and financial insights. APIs, which are one ingredient for better RPA, are developing into a whole ecosystem, building connections between organisations, standardising data and enhancing the finance function’s ability to deliver against this new promise. And as we create these much broader platforms – systems that are capable of generating and analysing data of every type – we also allow the same kind of analysis to pervade a variety of other functions. Where else can these technologies help companies speed up the strategy to execution time cycle? Supply chain management is an obvious candidate. Today’s supply chains are global, extended, must be flexible yet reliable – and without proper visibility can introduce huge risks into an organisation. Data-driven insights from a properly connected supply chain mean cost savings to boost the bottom line, better risk management and opening up a new strategic markets. So what’s holding up teams that are looking to catch up on exploiting data? One challenge for their leaders is visualising a strategic roadmap, given their need for agility and the effect of uncertainty. It can be hard to develop a fixed idea of the objective when so much is changing. Then legacy technology infrastructure and processes can block adoption of new approaches. If they feel even the early steps are tough because data is stuck in silos, or there’s an interoperability problem between systems, it’s hard to visualise the kind of automated, efficient, open platforms this future works on. Needless to say, there are ways to leapfrog some of the digital transformation challenges – not least by looking at well-established, secure cloud platforms that deliver precisely the kind of secure, flexible approach that’s required today. How will finance and other functions know when they’ve caught up? The ideal is enterprise-wide systems that are interoperable thanks to APIs and cloud availability; that can adapt to different data; and deliver the kind of holistic analytical insights that a single view of big data can bring. ‘Catching up’ means that different teams all operate at the same speed, with a shared view of the data. Then finance leaders can set teams free: automation of routine tasks allows them to focus on value-enhancing questions. When the CFO works in partnership with the CMO, for example, they can bring together different data sources to foster genuine innovation. When the CEO is turning to those finance and supply chain leaders as the first test of strategic decisions – and to generate new strategic directions – they’ll know they’re in good shape. They’ll have truly caught up with expectations that they should be a kind of hyper-informed internal consultant. We apply these same principles inside Oracle, too. Our teams use the same Oracle cloud capabilities as customers – and the kinds of automation that high transaction volumes demand so our finance leaders are able to offer precisely that kind of strategic support. Whether it’s dash-boarding capabilities to visualise real-time data, or applying machine learning to refine the automation of increasingly complex tasks, we know it works. [Embed video of Enzo and Maria: C2_FR_FINOP_FinanceJourneytothecloud_time_date]

The 2008 financial crisis led to a shift in customers’ expectations and relationships to companies. No longer is it enough to sell quality products, these have to be delivered hand in hand with...

Oracle Powers UAE’s Knowledge Economy Leader Vision at GITEX 2019

Highlighting the impact of latest digital solutions that will help the UAE achieve its National Vision of developing a ‘competitive knowledge economy’ in line with Vision 2021, will be the key focus for Oracle at GITEX Technology Week 2019. “The UAE’s leadership has laid down a clear vision to diversify and develop the country’s economy based on knowledge and innovation, and this is aptly supported with various initiatives like the Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy”, said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President – Technology, MEA and CEE, Oracle. “Digital technologies are at heart of implementing this roadmap and at Oracle we are committed to continuously expand our infrastructure in the UAE, introduce latest digital innovations and help prepare a digital economy ready workforce to help the country achieve its strategic socio-economic objectives.” The World’s first Autonomous Cloud operating system; World’s #1 Suite of Cloud Native Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning embedded intelligent applications; Unique Hybrid Cloud solutions; Enterprise Grade Digital Assistant Bot, and the World’s fastest Database Machine will highlight Oracle’s presence at GITEX Technology Week 2019. UAE and Middle East Companies are driving major business transformation with Oracle Cloud Dubai-headquartered Kentech Group, a 100-year-old family owned company that has now evolved into a $300m energy and industrial services provider has chosen Oracle cloud as part of its digital transformation journey and growth programme.  Damian O'Gara, Group IT Director at Kentech Group spoke on the sidelines of Oracle OpenWorld 2019, “Our financial, procurement and HR systems are all needed to be addressed in the cloud platform. We found that Oracle Fusion has richer features than Microsoft and met our requirements and standards.” The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s leading FMCG company, Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), has selected Oracle Cloud Applications to enhance operational efficiency, drive innovation and deliver exceptional employee engagement. “Fine Hygienic Holding is the region’s most recognized and trusted producer of hygienic solutions, serving customers across 75 different countries. Today we are growing at a rapid pace, but we remain focused on delivering agile, best-in-class solutions to our customers”, said James Michael Lafferty, CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding. “To efficiently predict and meet customer demands and achieve our business objectives, we selected Oracle to transform and automate our core business processes. Oracle Cloud Applications will help us achieve our goals by driving integration across our organization”. The GITEX Experience A completely redesigned exhibition area with specially designed interactive pods that are optimized for a quicker, attractive and engaging experience will welcome visitors to the Oracle booth in Hall 5 at GITEX Tech Week 2019. 

Highlighting the impact of latest digital solutions that will help the UAE achieve its National Vision of developing a ‘competitive knowledge economy’ in line with Vision 2021, will be the key focus...

Finance

Revealing Tomorrow’s Supply Chain

By 2023, at least half of large global companies will be using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) in their supply chains. That’s a scary number if you’re not one of them. But to efficiently and smoothly answer demanding customers, those technologies are not only a necessity, they also enable true versatility. Instead of struggling to bridge functions that are seemingly always rigid and disconnected, automation and other technologies are providing connections and coherence so that staff can focus on innovation. But, it’s business priorities that are driving adoption of these technologies. In the 1990s, most organizations’ focus was inside-out – making their own logistics more efficient. Now it’s outside-in, to flex around the customer, whether it’s a consumer or a B2B transaction. They want to understand what drives the various segments of their customer base and design supply chains accordingly. That’s not to say the hunt for internal efficiency isn’t still important. Far from it: if organizations want supply chains to be adaptable to changing customer behaviors, they need to move away from rigid, disconnected processes to an agile, connected, automated approach that also drives out cost. These must also integrate with functions such as finance (to give CFO visibility on performance and allow for strategic planning), marketing (to forecast and shape demand), operations and more. This is where an end-to-end supply chain management (SCM) solution comes in. And underpinning its effectiveness should be the cloud. On-premises solutions are much harder to integrate across functions, locations and supply chain partners. They also create more barriers to use of the emerging technologies reshaping transparent, agile and efficient supply chains. Here are three forces that make cloud-based supply chain transformation so compelling right now: Customers, robots and globalization The first is the fact that modern customers have different expectations than they did before the e-commerce era. Whether they’re buying online or ordering in bricks-and-mortar stores, consumers have come to expect they will be able to buy what they want, when they want it, in the quantities they need, no matter how or where the order is placed.  According to Kibo’s 2018 Consumer Trends Report, 40% of shoppers say taking more than two days for delivery would prevent them from making a purchase, while 63% expect delivery within three days as the standard. UPS’s research paints an even tougher picture: 64% of online shoppers it interviewed expect orders before 5pm to qualify for next-day delivery. To serve customers across multiple channels and fulfill orders quickly, supply chains need to be agile enough to change, as well as digitally connected from end-to-end.  For example, if a customer places an order online, the retailer must quickly determine how to fulfill the order. This means locating inventory – which could be in a distribution center or retail store hundreds of miles from the customer – and knowing exactly how picking, packing and shipment will execute so they can tell the customer when it will arrive. Connected applications, such as order management, inventory and logistics, provide that level of visibility and agility. Secondly, automation is changing the game. The first wave of automation dates back 15 years or more, and was about replacing expensive resources with software agents and robots. The current wave is about developing resource that isn’t there – new capabilities that actually transform key processes in the supply chain. We’re still some years away from fully automated delivery trucks and last-mile drones. But cutting edge solutions are already revolutionizing warehouse robotics; and customer chatbots are shifting automation at the front end. It’s reckoned about 85% of companies’ interactions with their customers will be automated eventually. But even in less futuristic settings, automation is taking on manual transaction processes as AI and machine learning become commoditized. For example, warehouse automation enables cost-effective fulfilment of highly variable orders by reducing errors and speeding up the fulfilment process, making personal service at-scale possible. The results could impress even the most demanding CFO. Brazilian footwear retailer Paqueta, for example, reduced inventory levels 25% in one year after rolling out more integrated merchandise planning systems. But to optimize this level of automation, partners up and down the supply chain must be able to communicate in real time – something that on-premises SCM systems struggle to support. There also needs to be a huge focus on developing insight from data – one commodity that supply chains already generate in huge quantities. That data flow will become much bigger as the Internet of Things raises supply chain connectivity to a new level. The third trend affecting supply chains is the need to extend them across geographic locations. Again, while this trend has been visible for some time through globalization and specialization, the constant evolution of external factors and new customer demands makes it ripe for transformation using hyper-connected digital services. And while managing global operations has always been incredibly complex, the finer tolerances of modern supply chains and need for agility is making it more so. Regulatory changes are constant, as is political instability, together with fluctuating market factors such as monetary exchange rates, raw material shortages and rising oil prices. Regulators expect proper customs documentation to be prepared and tariffs to be paid, while customers expect sellers to meet their requirements regardless of unplanned supply chain disruptions. On-premises applications don’t support the necessary ability to dynamically reconfigure processes or achieve comprehensive visibility and granular control of global inventory. They also lack predictive analytics that use technologies like AI to model multiple logistics scenarios, so businesses can effectively adapt to unexpected disruptions. Cloud solutions: Consolidated planning, visibility and control The bottom line is that integrated, end-to-end cloud solutions can make supply chains faster and smarter, as well as more agile. They’re much more resilient and adaptive because planning, visibility, and control are integrated instead of operating in isolation. And cloud makes it easy to scale by adding new users, creating new value chains – and innovating with technologies as they emerge. We’re now starting to see practical applications of blockchain, with for example, CargoSmart  developing intelligent track-and-trace in shipping to slash time spent on paperwork by 65%. IoT adoption is also reaching critical mass. Cloud-based systems and IoT sensor data can create virtual representations of the physical world to track shipments, monitor the condition of sensitive cargo or even check on the quality of baked products rolling off a production line. Crucially, you don’t need to be a data scientist or an IT specialist to exploit these capabilities. Many are embedded in the applications themselves – and with cloud based systems, new reporting capabilities or tools to support faster, better decision-making can be rolled out painlessly. Whether it’s evolving customer demands, the need to explore game-changing automation technology or the hunt for global growth, cloud-based SCM systems have become a compelling solution.

By 2023, at least half of large global companies will be using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) in their supply chains. That’s a scary number if you’re not...

Finance

How Does the Data Economy Drive the Experience Economy?

The term ‘Experience Economy’ was actually coined way back in 1998. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore needed a way to describe the shift from selling products and services to creating memorable events for customers. But it would be twenty years before the Experience Economy really took off. Why? Because people now expect personalised experiences, thanks to the growth of the digital world. And it’s only recently that marketers have gained the data and computing power to deliver them. Just 10 years ago, the success of Spotify, Netflix and other service-based businesses wasn’t possible. These companies haven’t rocketed to success because they offer something new –music and video streaming has been around for years. What they have done is set themselves apart by delivering an experience built entirely around customer understanding. If personalised experiences are about connecting data, then data is the building block of the Experience Economy. Many marketing leaders are gaining an edge over the competition by harnessing data and using it to find new, innovative ways to appeal to their audience.  Personalisation is the new normal Marketers are rethinking the way they measure success. KPIs are shifting from short-term objectives (like reach) to long term goals, like customer satisfaction and retention. Data quality is important too, as the best customer experiences are often built on reliable, real-time information, shared smoothly between different systems. The Economist gives us a good example of this. The publication adopted Oracle Marketing Cloud to shift from mass communication to more tailored, one-to-one interactions. It used data to personalise the customer experience across channels, managing to increase its brand awareness by 64% in the US – and its consideration by 22% in both the US and UK.  Meanwhile, in India, Adidas is using customer data to deliver great cross-channel campaigns. Using Marketing Cloud, the sports heavyweight now has more consistency across its marketing channels, helping it to better engage with audiences no matter the channel they use. The journey is worth the effort These companies are already taking a data-driven approach to thrive in the Experience Economy. But many are just getting started. Plenty of marketers know they need to use data to improve their campaigns, but the volume and variety of data they collect is daunting. Plus they may have old systems and growing pressure to deliver on multiple fronts at the same time. They don’t feel they have the time or capabilities to take advantage of the goldmine they know they’re sitting on. Putting an innovation strategy in place can be an ideal starting point. Those companies that do tend to see a spike in their ability to innovate and delight customers. Our research reveals that 68% of marketing decision-makers say disruptive innovation – including enhancements to the customer experience – plays a significant role in their organisation. And of these, 69% report significant or strong growth. We’ve seen a clear correlation between data-driven approaches and customer success. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to create an environment where data and innovation work together for better customer experiences. But those businesses that take up the challenge can quickly set themselves apart. Read our report to learn more about how data is fuelling today’s Experience Economy, and see how an innovation strategy can help you thrive in the era of mass personalisation.

The term ‘Experience Economy’ was actually coinedway back in 1998. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore needed a way to describe the shift from selling products and services to creating memorable...