Demand for cloud services is soaring worldwide. This is especially true in Asia, where as much as 76% of organisations are planning to increase cloud services in the next year, according to a report by the IDC. But the focus now and moving forward is no longer just on migrating to the cloud but also on how businesses can utilise the cloud more effectively and efficiently.
Oracle, a multinational computer technology corporation, is looking to meet both demands with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), and it is a commitment the tech giant underscored at Oracle CloudWorld 2022. It then reaffirmed this cloud vision in early November in an exclusive virtual media brief, where Chris Chelliah, Senior Vice President, Technology, Customer Strategy and Business Development, JAPAC, at Oracle, talked about some of the company’s latest cloud-related announcements.
Going Bold With Oracle Cloud
“As we engaged more and more with customers and partners in the region, there was a common thread that came out—the customers who were willing to be very, very bold in their decisions grabbed market share and made a big difference in what they did,” noted Chelliah. “Being bold means making decisions that bring these customers closer to their consumers. Organisations that did, ended up grabbing a lot of the market share and ended up launching new products and growing even in this period of uncertainty.”
Chelliah, however, was quick to note that the cloud is not some magic bullet that would allow organisations to be bold. Instead, Chelliah described the cloud as “an enabler” as it helps customers respond very quickly and obtain data from everywhere, bring them together and use them to provide “a very personalised service to the user.” The cloud also helps companies leverage new technologies—Machine-Learning and Artificial Intelligence, for instance—to offer “a higher order of personalisation for customers.”
Despite the cloud being an enabler, cloud spending in the region is relatively small at 20–25% only. Chelliah attributes this disconnect to the many barriers to cloud adoption, the most prominent of which are these three: Demanding workloads, security and reliability. First-generation cloud providers, according to Chelliah, were largely unable to remove these barriers entirely, prompting Oracle to “be very bold” and to “do things differently” with its own cloud.
Removing the Handcuffs With OCI
That cloud offering is OCI, a next-generation cloud designed to run any application faster and more securely, for less. Oracle’s cloud offering is a complete cloud infrastructure platform, and it provides organisations with all the services they need to migrate, build and run all their IT. This next-generation cloud removes said barriers—described by Chelliah as “handcuffs”—and allows organisations to move seamlessly and securely from on-premises to the cloud.
On top of OCI are a suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, which offer OCI users key innovations to help them make the most out of Oracle’s barrier-breaking cloud infrastructure. These applications, designed specifically to effect positive changes in organisations, bring “a healthy tension” to OCI. Meaning, there is a need for OCI to meet the vast requirements of multiple applications, and meeting these requirements is driving Oracle to “make its infrastructure better” and keep innovating. This dynamic makes Oracle’s cloud infrastructure even more superior, resulting in OCI customers getting a better cloud experience.
Little wonder OCI Public Cloud is growing exponentially, with a 103% year-on-year consumption growth on the strength of rapid regional expansion. Chelliah sees OCI expanding even more, mainly because Oracle is delivering “something very compelling for customers” and has “removed the handcuffs [in cloud adoption].” Even so, customers can expect more innovation to come—on top of those Chelliah announced in the virtual media brief.
Cutting-Edge Innovations for OCI
Among the notable announcements, Chelliah talked about in the virtual brief is the release of MySQL HeatWave LakeHouse, Oracle’s latest addition to its pioneering MySQL HeatWave portfolio. This cloud service makes running queries and analytics faster, and more efficient but less costly by giving MySQL customers instant access to analytics and querying “without changing their applications, without rewriting their code and without moving their data.”
This key innovation, though, will not be exclusive to Oracle cloud users only, as it is also enabled in other cloud providers. It should come as no surprise because Oracle, Chelliah emphasised, is “all about the customers getting the benefit”—their choice of cloud provider notwithstanding.
Chelliah also talked in great detail about Oracle Alloy, a cloud setup in which Oracle partners in different countries are turned into de facto Oracle cloud providers. Under Oracle Alloy, partners will be able to offer Oracle’s entire suite of cloud offerings but keep the entire operations in-country. This arrangement makes Oracle Alloy ideal for companies that want all the benefits of the public cloud, but are mandated by law to keep sensitive data on local shores and have local citizens operating their cloud.
“With Oracle Alloy, we take that same cloud [OCI]—all the features, all the capabilities—and we take it to a provider inside a country,” Chelliah explained. “That provider can customise this cloud, personalise it and serve it up together with their own IP and run it in-country. It is identical to a public cloud but now run by a trusted local provider as opposed to a multinational company [like Oracle].”
Supporting the Multi-Cloud Setup
Oracle, according to Chelliah, is also keen on supporting organisations opting to use multiple clouds, which is something already being done by 82% of organisations worldwide—up by 27% from last year. This decision is in part due to companies wanting to leverage the strengths of different cloud providers and in part due to businesses looking to redistribute risks to more than one cloud. Oracle recognises this trend, and is encouraging customers to adopt it because “it will deliver the best outcome for customers.”
To ensure a successful multi-cloud setup, Oracle has also strengthened integrations with other hyperscalers, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, to keep customers from getting walled in so to speak by their chosen providers. These partnerships will enable some degree of interoperability between and among clouds—but without the added costs of extra networking. This, Chelliah pointed out, is akin to “taking the plumbing away from customers” so “they can use the best services on the cloud that makes sense for and deliver the best outcomes.”
All About the Customers
In all, two common threads emerged from Chelliah’s brief. The first is how Oracle is constantly innovating the cloud and making it better. The second is how the software giant is all about giving its customers the best experiences possible. Oracle’s cloud offerings only prove both—and the best, it seems, is yet to come.