Oracle expects more government departments to migrate to the cloud platform due to the opening of Abu Dhabi data centre.
The US company has signed an Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) deal with an Abu Dhabi government entity to move to the cloud. Currently, the General Administration of Customs is using the HCM application on on-premise.
“It is the first big entity of the Abu Dhabi government for us. After we do this, we will go into the financial applications for the entire Abu Dhabi government. First, we take the smallest piece for Oracle and then go for the whole pie of the enterprise. These are the type of discussions we are having across the governments in the UAE,” Arun Khehar, senior vice-president for East-Central Europe, Middle East, Africa and India at Oracle, told TechRadar Middle East.
Moreover, he said that customers have a choice to pick up from more than 30 data centres available globally.
“The deal is no different from what we have done to Emaar Group or DP World,” Khehar said.
Oracle has more than 700 live cloud customers in the Middle East and Africa region and wants to get all of its 4,000 on-premises customers in the region on to the cloud in the next two years.
Khehar wants more than 1,000 of its on-premises customers to move to the cloud this year. Out of the 4,000 customers, around 70% are based in the UAE.
A huge catalyst
Khehar added that the data centre is a huge catalyst for on-premises customers to move to the cloud as they can expand beyond their geographies and it can be done only through the internet and cloud.
“Government sector is not an issue as we have been selling to them three years back. The issue is with the sensitive part of the government such as the department of finance. This happened because of the Abu Dhabi data centre. Data sovereignty is a key issue. HR and payroll are crucial and sensitive in this part of the world,” he said.
Security and privacy issues have been taken care of because of the local data centre, he said and added that the cost of running a cloud is cheaper as there is no infrastructure cost, skills are not needed as Oracle own the skills and upgrades.
Moreover, he said that business issues have become critical and digital transformation has become a much bigger issue than where the data is going to reside.
“What Oracle is doing different from its competitors and which only Oracle can do is the offering of end-to-end solutions. We have signed a major deal with an oil company in Kuwait for our full suite of apps. By the way, there is no data centre in Kuwait. The mindset of the new rulers is to get the work done efficiently,” he said.
Oracle is expected to open its next data centre in Saudi Arabia this year.
“Data centre is needed for Saudi Arabia because of the regulated industries and we want to make sure our checklist is complete,” he said.