The IT One team recently met with Sebastien Hans (Director, Cloud Transition EMEA North & EECIS / Managing Director Oracle Luxembourg) and Philippe Cammaert (Sales Director, Oracle) to discuss the need for companies to start their digital transition phase, but also how the global player and cloud specialist can support them in this crucial period of transformation, made of challenges and opportunities.

"Companies have been confronted with disruption for decades and constantly need to adapt, and even to re-invent themselves in such changing environments. Let's take the example of photography, music and tourism: these sectors have seen the arrival of several new players which all offer new digital solutions to the users. These transformations lead to a deep change in the habits of the consumers and therefore also requires the companies to adapt, notably because costs are impacted on both sides. Some companies which used to be major players, chose not to react and transform themselves to later disappear," starts Sebastien Hans. According to the Managing Director for the country of Luxembourg, every single digital transformation rimes with challenges but also with opportunities. He insists on the speed of execution of the current transformation: "the technologies available on the market evolve rapidly: it gives several advantages to companies, yet it also brings some drawbacks. As a matter of fact, they can easily access to these new techs and use them to their advantage, but new competitors can do the same, and enter a specific market in a few weeks".


Turning challenges into opportunities

Sebastien Hans and Philippe Cammaert actually prefer to see these digital transformation challenges as opportunities, therefore giving them a more positive aspect. They list 5 key elements to guide companies in this crucial journey towards digital: finding the perfect balance between legacy applications and the launch of new and innovative platforms, understanding and valuing data, adapting to new regulations, being able to respond to a growing number of cyberattacks, and finally, allowing the machine to perform administrative – and redundant – tasks in order to give more time to the company's human capital. Philippe Cammaert once again highlights the importance of finding a necessary balance between maintaining and operating legacy applications and technologies and adding innovative and flexible parts: "Oracle has the answer, as it provides an enterprise-type architecture, which can simplify and optimize the older applications while still allowing the implementation of new services". Sebastien Hans then explains that it is necessary for companies to be aware of – and master – the business challenges, and therefore to concentrate on its core business, when launching a digital transformation strategy. He adds: "One must not jump head first, even if customers are clearly in demand and ready to adopt new tech because they know how beneficial it can be. Companies first need to understand their data, the challenges that are linked to them, set objectives, etc… in order to know how to properly answer to these new needs and demands".


An autonomous database to create more value

"Nowadays, data is at the heart of business, it's what actually gives the company its value… but one must know of to use it properly. I like to use the example of a library: if you don't know where to look, the library is not useful anymore," comments Sebastien Hans. The Oracle Luxembourg Managing Director, who acknowledges the importance of tech – from big data to analytics – and the necessity to create new customer experiences, still sees data and its value as the key. According to him, it must also be stored in a secure and efficient way, and has to be instantly available.

In this respect, Oracle has developed an autonomous data-base – a world premiere – to answer to the multiple challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation, with a specific focus on the impact this solution can have on human capital. It aims at taking up on many administrative tasks and therefore allowing employees to spend more time on tasks with more added-value, for instance, reflecting on what data can eventually bring to the customers, how this can help them innovate and stay ahead of competition. "This innovative and cloud-based solution builds on Oracle's expertise in terms of database and data management, which goes back to several decades. When it comes to security, the service is auto-patched and is, of course, managed with the latest Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies," adds Philippe Cammaert. He continues: "Oracle being a global player, this solution meets all the latest regulation requirements, notably in terms of data security. Oracle has been investing in the fight against cyberthreats for many years now, as a technology and cloud services provider". If the Autonomous Database ambitions to facilitate the end-users' tasks, it also fixes another problem: it goes further when it comes to managing an enormous – and still growing – set of data and information, as humans have already reached their natural limits in terms of calculations, notably. As the Sales Director explains, "the machine will react faster and better than humans, who will now concentrate on their most urgent business challenges, instead of focusing on their IT maintenance".

Oracle Autonomous Database is the result of years of R&D and aims at helping companies to answer to their current challenges: in today's digital environment, all enterprises are concerned as they all collect data and could benefit from managing them in an efficient way. "Yet, in order to maximize the impact of this Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solution, it is absolutely necessary that the company already knows about data and its assets, but it must also be able to manage them in some ways. To conclude, we can accelerate the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, but the company needs to structure its dataset. Only then will it be able to go further and think about implementing innovative solutions such as analytics, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc. And when it comes to the technology itself, it actually stays in the back, but brings a new experience that is extremely flexible and seamless to the clients who are still using a classical interface," concludes Philippe Cammaert.


Interview by Alexandre Keilmann

Publié le 16 septembre 2019