How is innovation stimulated and promoted at Oracle? What about the Luxembourgish initiatives that have been taken towards digitalization and their impact on companies located in the country? Sebastien Hans (Director, Cloud Transition EMEA North & EECIS / Managing Director Oracle Luxembourg) and Philippe Cammaert (Sales Director, Oracle) share their views on these specific topics, and many more, with the IT One team.

As Sebastien Hans underlines, innovation is emphasized through several dedicated programs and initiatives within the different Oracle offices, all over the world. "Each year, the R&D budget amounts to 6 billion dollars, which represents around 15% of the yearly company expenses," adds the Managing Director of Oracle Luxembourg. He continues: "The numerous Oracle Labs we organize focus on the development, and then on the integration, of new technologies, from blockchain to chatbots. There are also multiple programs that are dedicated to startups, at the international level: they have access to online documentation and OCI – Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Then, we have the Innovation Labs, which consist in working groups with experts from different departments and exist in many locations worldwide. As a matter of fact, it's by innovating and disrupting ourselves that we will later be able to help our clients and partners transform and build new services. Whether on-premise or in the cloud, our holistic approach ensures we can help our clients in all possible ways depending on their needs and specific business case".

Moreover, the international company headquartered in Redwood City, in California, launched "Oracle Next", a co-innovation program destined to clients whose ambition is to transform themselves in depth: the Oracle teams are here to turn ideas into actions, and to guide the company in its transition by offering the appropriate solutions and services, with a personalized support. The two experts add: "Oracle has a significant presence in all markets, from retail and banking to public institutions and the health sector, but also in all countries. Therefore, our clients can benefit from our important experience and expertise developed through the years". For instance, Oracle worked closely with Spanish hotel group Melia. The latter wanted to provide new experiences to its clients notably to reduce their level of stress and offer them a more comfortable holiday experience, by digitalizing some of their processes. "In four months, a concept of an electronic bracelet with functionalities such as payment and secure access to rooms was developed," highlights Sebastien Hans.


Innovation to add more flexibility

Since its creation at the end of the 1970s, one of the key drivers of Oracle has been none other than innovation. This vision notably resulted in the creation of the cloud service called OCI. When the management decided to develop a new type of cloud offer, an independent entity inside the company was built with the help and participation of several experts, and with the aim to bring brand new solutions to the market. The mission was actually to create a never-seen-before cloud: the result, OCI, is very innovative as it allows a new experience in the way it is operated. It manages the cloud workloads, but also the legacy applications, which is often more traditional and may cause friction. The solution offers an important SLA (Service Level Agreement) with the performance and availability of the infrastructure being guaranteed at  a minimum of 99,95% and up to 99,99%. "The security aspect is managed with an Artificial Intelligence, with a cloud development stack completely independent from the services provided to the clients who are therefore protected from potential cyberattacks," adds Sebastien Hans. "Nowadays, there are many applications that are developed in efficient and agile cloud, and are also based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Finally, these technologies operate in the back and bring new experiences to clients, which continue to use their applications the way they used to," then underlines Philippe Cammaert.

Oracle also innovates when it comes to partnerships and recently concluded a new alliance with Microsoft, in June, to offer a unique experience to the clients of both companies, with an integrated interface and without any friction. It will notably be possible to migrate all the applications to the cloud without having to re-architect and therefore by preserving past investments. "The reason for such a partnership? In general, most clouds are built in a way that cannot sustain traditional workloads. We are now highlighting the fact that Oracle brings all the guarantees, from security to performance to stability," explains the Sales Director. He also underlines that according to the latest benchmarks and surveys, and notably the one published by IDC, Oracle tops the cloud solutions section when looking at the cost/performance ratio.

As explained by both experts, "Oracle is working with many companies in Luxembourg, with the mission to add value to their services. Sure, we are a technology provider but go way beyond with operations management solutions and application development offers". The company positions itself as a daily partner: Oracle, just like its clients goes through phases of transformation and invests in innovation, to today broader its offerings and bet on the services part. On multiple occasions during the year, the company based in Capellen also organizes "Tech Lunch" events within its offices in order to discuss trendy topics with its customers and present practical use cases.


A digital example set in Luxembourg

When asked about the many digital initiatives taken by Luxembourg and its government over the past years, Sebastien Hans and Philippe Cammaert describe the country's strategy as "an open and innovative point of view". They also add: "Luxembourg sets an example as it shows companies what is actually feasible. The size of the country, its agility, and its united and innovative government, is what makes it possible. Moreover, cultural diversity is one of the strengths of the country".

According to Philippe Cammaert, and as a conclusion, Luxembourg needs to continue its efforts in establishing itself as a digital leader and as a modern and innovative nation: "the country keeps a close eye on new technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, and by doing so, is seen as a forerunner and therefore attracts many players. It could even go further: let's sit at the same table and discuss how the country could benefit from the competencies, intellectual property, knowledge and know-how of Oracle to keep pushing innovation further and come up with even more added-value services!"


Interview by Alexandre Keilmann

Publié le 30 septembre 2019