Oracle’s new regional apps head said the growth for customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is going to be exponential and will be top priorities for C-level executives.
Leopoldo Boado, Senior Vice-President for Business Applications for East-Central Europe, Middle East and Africa at Oracle, who replaced Arun Khehar in June, said that its Fusion apps are the biggest opportunities for Oracle from the Middle East due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I see a huge opportunity as digital transformation is gaining traction in every industry. Due to Covid-19, companies have realised that they need to be much more resilient and adapt to the business changes,” he said.
Moreover, he said that businesses have learnt that they need to accelerate their cloud adoption during a crisis and to have their systems in the cloud.
“There is a clear need for CEOs, CMOs and commercial directors not only to survive but also to increase digital marketing. They have realised that they cannot rely right now on on-premises and they need a digital cloud platform to survive and increase the top-line revenue,” he said.
Organisations are trying to reduce unnecessary costs but, he said that they need to be much more “innovative and agile”.
DP World, Emaar, Landmark Group, Apparel Group, Dubai Airports, American Hospital Dubai, Thumbay Group, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group are some of the top companies that have adopted Oracle Cloud Applications in the Middle East.
For many CEOs, Boado said the first priority will be CRM as they need to keep the top-line revenue, retain customers and do cross-selling.
“After Covid-19, CRM will be a top priority, followed by ERP for digital transformation in the financial systems and HCM to retain the talent and attract the talent,” he said.
Cloud ERP leader for four years in a row
When it comes to ERP, Boado proudly said that Oracle is the clear cloud ERP leader when compared to SAP.
“We have a pure cloud solution and it is the sweetest spot right now. SAP does not have a pure cloud solution. They have an on-premises solution posted in the cloud. As per Gartner stats, we have been a leader in cloud core financial management suites for midsize, large and global enterprises for four years in a row,” he said.
Moreover, quoting Gartner’s report, he said that some large customers have found gaps in functionality between on-premises and cloud versions of SAP ERP and they found the need for integration among its cloud products.
“Even though we are late into the cloud party, we have rewritten all of our on-premises applications for the cloud many years ago and Oracle is thus uniquely positioned for growth in the enterprise cloud application market segment,” he said.
SAP has extended its end-of-support deadline for legacy products, changing from 2025 to 2027 and a final cut-off point of 2030, as many customers were reluctant to move at all to the cloud.
Region growing faster than global growth
According to Gartner, 70 per cent of all new midsize core financial management application projects and 35 per cent of large and global ones will be public cloud implementations by 2024.
Boado said that Fusion ERP is registering the biggest growth in the cloud space and it has grown 33 per cent in the first quarter.
“In the region, we have more growth than global for ERP, followed by HCM and CRM,” he said.
Moreover, he said that Oracle has a competitive advantage when compared to others and that is “we don’t have AI as a layer over all our applications. AI and Machine learning is embedded inside each of the applications. Having an integrated suite will have AI in a combination of applications.”
Oracle’s aim, he said is cloud-first and transform on-prem customers to the cloud.
“We are helping our customers in the cloud journey and, at the same time, we respect their way and they can move at their own pace. If they need more time, we have a policy inside Oracle to support them till they decide to move to the cloud,” he said.
When asked about his strategy after taking over, Boado said that will be to add more resources and invest much more in the Middle East compared to other regions.
“Post Covid-19, we see a big investment pouring into the healthcare sector, financial sector, public sector, telcos, retail and logistics,” he said.