By Udita Shukla
The US-based software giant Oracle recently opened a digital hub in Bengaluru. It is the first of five centres to be rolled out in the Asia-Pacific region.
SMB’s stand to benefit the most
The Hub aims to assist and nurture SMB’s (Small and Medium Businesses) spread throughout India by furnishing cloud support applications and portals for their specific business requirements. The organisation’s focus is to turn the fifty-one million SMB’s in India into profitable businesses while running on a cloud-based platform. Many of these haven’t had any prior collaboration with Oracle or used cloud services before.
Oracle’s unique selling point
The offerings are available as either stand-alone products or a bundle of cloud technology solutions, which can be availed in the form of subscription packages and pay-as-you-use models. The services can be purchased online, and are appropriately moulded as per the structure, product, and target customer base of the business entity which signs up for them. Oracle has also allotted a team of around 200 software engineers and sales executives who will select start-ups from across the country and help them transform into cloud-based businesses.
Oracle distinguishes itself from other tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft essentially in its spectrum of cloud computing technologies and services that are not offered elsewhere.
A win for Indian businesses
Oracle’s decision is just another offshoot of the Digital India initiative and the Centre’s effort to boost foreign direct investment in the country. This is a promising time for India wherein digitisation is steadily taking a hold of diverse platforms through numerous avenues.
From the perspective of India, the move is sure to lay a strong foundation for small and medium businesses across the country. These are mainly in their nascent stage and may not be able to rein in a credible digital infrastructure along with regular trade activities. The move enables financially unstable entities to concretise their business infrastructure allocation without having to take any hefty loans from banks or governmental schemes, some of which require collaterals.
This can be viewed as a major push to the start-up ecosystem in India. It provides an alternative to government schemes which are more compliance-specific with regard to regulations, initial capital investment, business revenue generation and suchlike. In the words of Francois Lancon, the Senior Vice-President of Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific, “The Cloud is democratising IT and you just need a web-browser or a mobile phone app to take advantage of it”.
The advantages of an online system
The Digital Hub offers a cradle for these centres to hatch, expand and diversify. The much-needed digital infrastructure—especially one that is customised to the requirements of the business—will prove to be a life-saver for many budding and struggling commercial units. The Oracle facility can be adopted by SMB’s to expedite their functions, channelise operations, and consolidate the flow of logistics, among other miscellaneous activities.
The move has simplified the buying and selling processes for the small and mid-sized trade segments and opened a new gateway to technological feasibility and customer engagement solutions. An online pathway is always more transparent, smooth, and allows end-to-end connectivity. Such a structure fosters buyer trust and long-term relationships with the seller.
The appointment of software engineers and sales executives ensures that businesses not only get the necessary technological know-how, but also a holistic environment for financial and strategic direction and mentorship. For the faster realisation of cloud-based solutions, a number of ‘customer success’ managers have been recruited. The digital cloud-support driven businesses will be relatively immune to infrastructural, structural, and functional glitches in day-to-day operations. Moreover, a digital transactional system backed up by a tech giant such as Oracle will help to establish credibility in the eyes of the end consumer.
Moving up as a global player
The move potentially extends a win-win situation to the host as well as the client nation; India’s economic growth will accompany Oracle’s revenue on its monetary and intellectual investment. Additionally, the move is a reflection of the merits of a cloud-based business infrastructure, which has empowered and transformed start-ups globally.
The Bengaluru Hub is the second in the world after the one in Dublin, Ireland. The choice of an Indian city as part of a multinational giant’s flagship Asia-Pacific venture goes to show the respect that the Indian economy and business ecosystem has managed to build in the eyes of foreign establishments. The decision is a reflection of Oracle’s business and strategic interests in India as it eyes a greater market share in the country’s SMB segment. If the move turns out to be lucrative for the firm, other tech organisations are sure to follow suit. India might see other firms pitching in with similar initiatives, which will be a boon for the country’s economy.
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