Oracle’s Digital Hub in Greater KL transforms cloud services for SMEs

Supported by a digital hub in Greater KL, Oracle’s cloud solutions serve enterprises across 22 countries.

The digital hub, Oracle Corporation’s first in Southeast Asia, has been growing rapidly on the back of Malaysia’s business-friendly ecosystem. Located in Greater KL, Oracle Digital Hub is among four such operations established by the global tech giant in Asia-Pacific.

Founded in 1977, the California-based Oracle offers solutions that cater for the whole spectrum of enterprise needs. With about 136,000 employees worldwide, the company is one of the world’s leading B2B (business-to-business) tech providers with the lion’s share of the global database and ERP (enterprise resource planning) market.

Over the last six years, Oracle has been placed between No 77 and No 82 on the Fortune 500 list, an annual ranking of the top 500 companies worldwide based on revenue. To stay relevant, its business strategy shifted three years ago from providing “on premise” software solutions to a more service oriented focus as a cloud provider.

“Playing in the cloud space has truly transformed our operations. Our products and services, the way we manage our customers as well as the type of customers we can target have also changed. The inception of the digital hub in Malaysia is a result of this change in Oracle’s business strategy. Oracle Digital Hub in Malaysia offers cloud services and targets small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across 22 countries,” says Fitri Abdullah, managing director of Oracle Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

“Operations at this digital hub commenced at the end of 2016 and growth has been very rapid. A team of 200 employees was hired in a four to six-month period. It was very challenging to build something new and to grow so quickly but we managed to achieve our goal on the back of tremendous support from the government through agencies such as InvestKL, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and a lot of hard work by the Oracle team.”

He adds that Oracle has an internal investment scorecard for countries and that Malaysia is ranked highly in the region. “There are many factors that make this an ideal country to establish digital initiatives. Competitive advantages include the availability of a large talent pool, language diversity, robust infrastructure, a government with a vision of becoming a premier digital economy and very supportive of initiatives such as our digital hub, and the competitive cost of doing business.

“Furthermore, we have been operating in Malaysia for about 30 years. This is a very important market for Oracle and establishing the digital hub here is aligned with our aspiration of becoming a leading cloud provider.”

The right talent to stride ahead Moving away from Oracle’s legacy of providing “on premise” solutions required a mindset shift in the way things are done in the company. Fitri believes the shift towards a service-oriented culture has been difficult to incorporate quickly largely because its legacy products and services had been very successful for many years.
“We have to overcome legacy inertia and perceptions in order to do things differently. Nevertheless, total cloud revenue for Oracle Corporation surged 44% to US$1.5 billion in our fiscal 2018 second quarter results. This success can be attributed to increasing scale and the gathering momentum in our cloud business. I am optimistic that this business will continue to grow in the coming quarters,” he says.

Growth in Oracle’s cloud services is expected to be driven by SMEs. After all, Asia-Pacific is home to over 67% of the world’s SMEs or about 266 million businesses. According to Fitri, SMEs can leverage cloud technology to streamline operations, boost innovation and reduce costs. Oracle’s family of offerings is designed to remove some of the biggest obstacles to cloud adoption and enable organisations to quickly and easily move business-critical applications to it.

“Our cloud services allow businesses of any size to access the most modern solutions in the market at an affordable price. This is the democratisation of technology as it is no longer the exclusive advantage of large corporations with large budgets. The process of transitioning to the cloud is usually done in stages. SMEs typically start with one project and grow from there,” says Fitri.
"There are many factors that make Kuala Lumpur ideal to establish digital initiatives. The availability of a large talent pool, language diversity, robust infrastructure, a government with a vision of becoming a premier digital economy, and the competitive cost of doing business".
To cater for the growth in the SME market, the plan is to increase the number of employees at Oracle Digital Hub over the next four to six months. Most of its workforce are millennials and Generation Z (the demographic cohort after millennials). Oracle carries out its own recruitment and has found it possible to find talent with the right skills in Greater KL.

“At Oracle Malaysia, we have a strong diversity agenda and about 45% of our non-managerial employees and 40% of our management staff are female. This is based on the recognition that a diverse and inclusive workforce where all employees contribute towards thought leadership drives innovation and higher performance.

“Employees are given the necessary training with strong support from their superiors to succeed in their roles. After working with us for about two years, they can also apply for any positions within Oracle anywhere in the world. I would like the Oracle digital hub in Greater KL to be a great place to work and am very excited about the growth opportunities and outlook for this hub as we work closely with our customers on their cloud journey,” says Fitri.

Source: The Edge