US technology company Oracle announced a series of new cloud-focused products at Oracle Cloud World on Tuesday as it wrestles for market share with companies such as Amazon Web Service and Microsoft.
The new solutions unveiled at the event in Las Vegas, Nevada, aim to help customers to accelerate digital transformation, boost product offerings, improve customer experience and make faster decisions through the improved use of data and analytics.
It also rolled out Oracle Alloy — a cloud infrastructure platform that enables organisations such as financial institutions and telecoms providers to also become cloud providers and offer new services to customers.
“Over the past few years at Oracle, we have been busy,” Safra Catz, Oracle’s chief executive, said during her address.
“We have built a platform that is most secure, most sustainable and also most cost efficient.
“Moving slowly is too dangerous … moving quickly [to the cloud] and boldly is important to bring the positive change to business.”
But factors such as security, governance and stringent guidelines for data protection across highly regulated industries and borders are some of the common challenges that businesses face while moving their operations to the cloud.
“Organisations want to move their workloads to the cloud, but are often facing multiple hurdles,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
“With OCI’s distributed cloud, we are able to give our customers the flexibility they need to deploy cloud services wherever they choose … we are ultimately changing the way our customers think about the cloud.”
Oracle’s stock was trading slightly down at $66.74 at 2pm New York time. It has dropped nearly 30 per cent in the past 12 months.
Oracle’s distributed cloud offers customers the flexibility needed to access services from anywhere through public, multi-cloud, hybrid and dedicated options.
A wide range of factors, including requirements for low-latency connections in specific locations and regulations for managing sensitive data, are increasing customer demand for flexibility in their cloud deployments, industry experts said.
Globally, the cloud industry is booming: spending on public cloud services is expected to jump 20.4 per cent annually to $495 billion this year, as businesses expedite the pace of their digital transformation in the post-Covid era, US researcher Gartner said.
Total spending is about $84bn more than in 2020 and is expected to surge nearly 21.3 per cent yearly to almost $600bn next year.
For businesses, moving to a cloud system hosted by a specialised company — such as Oracle, Amazon Web Services or SAP — is more economical than creating their own infrastructure of servers, hardware and security networks, industry experts said. It also brings down the overall cost of ownership.
In the cloud industry, businesses pay only for those selective services or resources that they use over a period of time.
The new reality of hybrid work is prompting organisations to “move away from powering their workforce with traditional client computing solutions, such as desktops and other physical in-office tools”, and opt for the latest cloud solutions, Gartner said.
“We view cloud computing as an operating model for IT that transcends a single location type … customers want the benefits of cloud computing across multiple deployment models and Oracle is seeking to meet this need,” said Chris Kanaracus, research director at Massachusetts-based researcher International Data Corporation.
“With these expanded OCI offerings, Oracle recognises that customers want flexibility, interoperability and sovereign cloud capabilities from their strategic providers,” Mr Kanaracus said.
To help businesses make faster decisions, Oracle also announced a series of new product innovations across its portfolio of data and analytics solutions.
With the new additions, the company said it can now offer decision-makers a pre-built library of more than 2,000 best-practice KPIs, dashboards and reports to monitor performance against strategic goals.
The Texas-headquartered company currently operates 40 commercial and government cloud regions across 22 countries on five continents.
It has introduced 10 public cloud regions over the past year and has plans to add six commercial regions in Chicago (the US), Serbia, Colombia, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Mexico in the coming months, the company said.
A cloud region is a complex that houses at least two data centres.
What is Oracle Alloy?
Oracle Alloy is a new cloud infrastructure platform that enables service providers, integrators, independent software vendors and other organisations to offer new cloud services to their customers.
“The organisations can offer a full set of cloud services … and package additional value-added services and applications to meet the specific needs of their markets and industry verticals,” Oracle said.
“[They] can also use Alloy independently in their own data centres and fully control its operations to help address specific regulatory requirements.”