Oracle is adding software-as-a-service (SaaS) elements, among other features, to its Cloud at Customer initiative that has reportedly gained interest in UK government. And in another cloud-related move, the supplier aims to recruit 1,000 cloud sales staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) by January 2018.
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Cloud at Customer was launched a year ago as a hybrid cloud service through which Oracle installs cloud computing capability into a customer’s own datacentre, replicating a public cloud experience inside organisations’ firewalls.
Nirav Mehta, vice-president, product management at Oracle, said the service is mainly for those unable or unwilling to use a full public cloud service because of data residency requirements, or other data privacy concerns. The service’s advantage over a purely on-premise set-up, said Mehta, is that it has the same “simplicity of support that you get from the public cloud”.
He added: “It is as simple to buy as an Oracle cloud subscription. For CIOs, it is a risk-free way for CIOs to get their toes wet with the Oracle cloud.
“It remains more efficient and affordable going to the public cloud [fully], where there is sharing of resources and the cost to an individual customer can be brought down. In this [Cloud at Customer] model, we have to dedicate the hardware to a single customer, and they have to provide datacentre space, so there is more cost to them. It’s like any central utility – it’s more efficient to use that rather than have your own electricity generator.”
Mehta confirmed that the service is being used in the UK government sector, but was not at liberty so say where. He said it is also popular where Oracle does not have datacentres to support cloud computing, such as parts of the Middle East and Asia.
The supplier said the Cloud at Customer service has grown among global organisations across six continents and more than 30 countries, including AT&T and Bank of America. It also believes the service to be a “natural path to easily move business-critical applications eventually to the public cloud”.
Oracle said the expansion of the service means that “customers now have access to all of Oracle’s major PaaS categories, including database, application development, analytics, big data, application and data integration, and identity management.” It added: “These services take advantage of specific enhancements that have been made to the underlying Oracle Cloud at Customer platform, such as servers with faster CPUs and NVMe-based flash storage, as well as all-flash block storage.”
SaaS, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management, customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management, will be available for the first time through the cloud-in-your-own-datacentre service, said Oracle.
Customers mentioned in the supplier’s announcement include the City of Las Vegas, Federacion Colombiana de Municipios, Glintt Healthcare, the State University of New York, and the State Bank of India.
In a related cloud business-oriented move, Oracle announced it is creating 1,000 new jobs in Emea on the back of positive financial results for cloud in its 2016-17 year.
Dermot O’Kelly, senior vice-president and country leader, UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle, said the company will not apportion jobs by country, and aims to get the new sales staff on board by January 2018.
“We are going for a mix of frontline, line-of-business expertise, as well as IT, so we are casting the net pretty wide,” said O’Kelly. “It is important that the recruits have an understanding of technology too, but we find that younger people are tech-savvy anyway. So it is becoming a greater asset to have experience of line of business.”
Oracle said the new jobs are aimed at “people from diverse backgrounds and profiles with between two to six years’ work experience, currently in human resources, marketing, recruitment, finance, supply chain or sales roles”.
Tino Scholman, vice-president of Oracle Cloud in Emea, said: “Diversity is one of the cornerstones of our culture. We want to offer 1,000 talented individuals the opportunity to change their career.”