What’s cooking in Oracle India’s labs: AI, blockchain, IoT and cloud

In an exclusive interaction with IDG India, Vaibhav Gawde, Head-Sales Consulting at Oracle India, shares plans on R&D department and more. 

Vaibhav Gawde, Head-Sales Consulting at Oracle India, shares insights about the technology that the tech giant is currently focusing on. Gawde also reveals the secret behind building skills internally to keep the hunger for innovation going. 

Edited Excerpts 

Could you please elaborate on Oracle’s R&D efforts? 

Today, on a global scale, Oracle invests over USD 5 billion every year on R&D to help our customers succeed and upgrade to the technology of tomorrow. Oracle India is the company’s second largest operations outside the US and is home to teams from all lines of businesses, spanning sales, marketing, global support, R&D, finance etc. The country is also home to Oracle India Development Centers (IDC), which are a part of Oracle’s global product development organization. IDC teams are responsible for cutting edge engineering work across the complete Oracle product portfolio, especially cloud. These teams play a crucial role in propelling Oracle’s product innovation and support its agenda of developing cloud-ready solutions.
Our investments and efforts in global innovation are paying off, with generational innovations like the Oracle Autonomous Database - the world’s first and only ‘self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing’ database, and our Gen 2 Cloud. These, amongst other solutions, are helping businesses accelerate innovation, improve productivity and enhance customer experience.

Could you share certain use cases that have already been implemented?

With more than 1668 branches and 4390 ATMs across the country, Federal Bank had multiple systems in place for monitoring branch details, network analysis, ATM availability etc. With Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud bundled with Oracle Analytics cloud service, the bank was able to gain a unified, single view of ATM availability, branch operations, and network availability. This empowers the bank to make better business decisions and personalize services for its end consumers. For instance, it’s now able to figure out which ATM has more walk-ins, why customers in a particular locality use a competitor’s ATM though there’s an ATM by their home bank nearby etc and thereby helping them able to make more strategic business decisions.

Another example is the use of intelligent bots in the electrical appliances industry. Using Oracle’s AI-enabled Intelligent Bots service, Bajaj Electricals, India’s leading electrical appliances company was able to develop a pilot chatbot in just two weeks. Bajaj ‘Paddy’ - the bot that pops up immediately when a consumer visits the Bajaj Electricals’ website, engages with them. It includes a dialogue engine that can formulate questions which customers could be planning to ask and machine learning capabilities that help the bot learn constantly and refine its responses.

What specific technologies are the primary focus for Oracle? 

At Oracle, we look at the market needs and change customer demands to create innovations that solve real business and societal problems. Led by our maverick co-founder, executive chairman, and CTO Larry Ellison, Oracle has always been ahead of its time. Even before the term ‘digital transformation’ became mainstream, internally, we had decided to democratize technology for businesses to keep pace with the cloud economy. In short, our current focus is on emerging technologies like AI/ML, Autonomous, Blockchain, and IoT, with the cloud as the foundation.

How are you building skills internally to keep the hunger for innovation going?

To help business keep pace with the digital economy, we’ve taken a cloud-first approach to innovation, starting with our own internal transformation into a cloud company. We’re consistently investing in upskilling our employees, empowering our partners to upgrade their cloud skills as well as having dedicated customer success managers to help customers draw the maximum value from their Oracle cloud usage.

Let me give you an example of how we approached this. We started deploying Oracle cloud solutions for internal consumption, before taking them to customers with our learnings and improved services. In parallel, we undertook large scale training programmes to empower our sales teams with a cloud-first mindset. We brought together a modern, world-class sales workforce hailing from diverse backgrounds (including non-IT) and age groups (millennials).

How would you like to implement technology in the enterprise if you were given unlimited resources? 

As a customer-centric company, our constant focus is to improve and enable ease of doing business for our customers. In line with this commitment, Oracle is completely transforming the way organizations buy and use cloud by providing unmatched flexibility and choice. This means thinking about how business information can be turned into actionable insights that lead to customer engagement and profitable growth. Having unlimited resources is always good, but more than that, it is critical to align those resources in an efficient and effective way so that they can bring change in an organization. Two key things matter: (a) democratizing innovation by creating a culture of openness and encouraging innovation across the board; (b) freeing up employees from the mundane tasks to develop new capabilities and unlock more value for the business in a faster pace. Keeping a close tab on market dynamics and figuring out how new technologies can be deployed to a customer’s benefits is our primary focus.


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