In the last few years, cloud computng has grown from being a promising business concept to one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry. Com panies are increasingly realising that simply by tapping into the cloud, they can gain fast access to best-of-breed business applications or drastically boost their infrastructure resources, all at negligible cost. With the present emphasis on cloud computing, Ms.Olufunlayo Ajayi, Country Manager of Oracle Corporation in Nigeria, in this interview with Computer.com, bares it all on the relevance of Oracle’s cloud computing solutions to Nigerian organisations and enterprises. Excerpts:
Can you tell us the hype about Oracle’s Cloud Business?
Oracle’s strategy is to reduce complexity and simplify Information Technology (IT), offering choice and flexibility with the most comprehensive, modern and secure port- folio of cloud products and services: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). We are focused on offering our clients greater agility, less risk and lower costs through Oracle Cloud solutions.
What is the relevance of Oracle Cloud Computing to Nigerian market infra- structure?
The Nigerian market has been very receptive, with lots of interest being expressed in cloud solutions. However, the issue of security is what has slowed the adoption of cloud computing, especially in Nigeria. Oracle intends to partner with other service providers in the country to be able to provide whatever we need. We have solutions to enable organisations achieve their purpose almost in a seamless manner. We had some concerns about infrastructure, but now we have broadband companies and other investors such as MainOne, Glo1, MTN, who can actually help solve the problem.
The adoption of cloud computing comes with some fears. What are the likely challenges you foresee with the acceptance of this new product?
Basically, the fear has been centred on security, but it is like a perception. The way we have our Yahoo mail, Gmail and host of others hosted outside the country is the same way that the cloud works. They are already in the cloud; in other words, we have already been in the cloud for years. That perception appears to be dying down now, but there are other challenges such as regulatory compliance and concern over the evaluation of cloud operations.
As cloud computing continues to roll over the landscape, many enterprises, expecially IT organisations, still struggle to resolve questions about its security, reliability and resiliency. These questions come up regardless of whether companies are considering a public or private cloud. If adopted, how reliable is Oracle Cloud to organisations in Nigeria?
Security and reliability are critical aspects of cloud computing. Organisations need to be able to trust that their cloud solution protects and controls access to private information. Oracle provides world-class security that offers security and encryption at every layer of the technology stack, utilising the latest physical and logical data security and protection solutions. We provide federated and consolidated identity management and access control across clouds, systems and on-premise applications. Oracle’s best practice processes, controls and tools help customers cost-effectively and proactively comply with the regulatory requirements across industries and countries.
Oracle is shifting the complexity from IT , moving it out of the enterprise by engineering hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in the data centre. What prompted the shift in focus?
Oracle maintains commitment to both soft- ware and hardware. Oracle is executive director, marketing, amplifying IT by engineering hardware and software to work together—from servers and storage to database and middleware to applications. The idea behind Oracle’s integrated technology stack is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. There are best-of- breed products throughout the stack, and every product and layer of the technology stack is designed and engineered to work together.
More businesses of every size are em- bracing cloud technologies day by day, What is Oracle’s drive/vision for SMBs in Nigeria?
As a Company, our aim is to ensure that we bring affordable and efficient enterprises to Small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Nigeria. We are also involved in activities such as providing Oracle Academy to universities. What we do is that we train the lecturers so they can also train the students. As a Company with presence in over 142 countries, we want to stamp our footprint in Nigeria as well. To stress further on our vision, going for- ward is the key thing, especially to help our customers build their businesses with best- of-breed technology solutions.
Oracle provides the broadest, most complete and most integrated set of cloud offerings in the industry. Only Oracle enables customers to choose between on- premise or in-cloud solutions and move applications and data seamlessly between themselves
What new solutions have you come up lately?
Oracle has a large set of solutions and products to offer customers, but our focus is to simplify IT so that customers can use technology for business innovation, not just for business as usual. While Oracle is committed to open technology that works within a heterogeneous IT environment, its technology is engineered specifically for the Oracle stack, with solutions fine-tuned and optimised between within, and across the layers. The Oracle technology stack optimises performance by including manageability, security and reliability engineered into every layer. Our Company is also simplifying IT by investing in best-of- breed components and engineering them to work together for specific industries. So instead of customers focusing their technology and expertise on managing complex IT, they can focus on the innovation to drive their business.
What unique advantages does Oracle cloud computing have over its competitors?
Unlike competitors with limited cloud options – for example software as a service only, virtualisation only, or hardware only – Oracle provides the broadest, most complete and most integrated set of cloud of- ferings in the industry. Only Oracle enables customers to choose between on-premise or in-cloud solutions – and move applica- tions and data seamlessly between themselves. Our cloud offerings span public and private clouds, and extend to every level of our product portfolio – applications, middle- ware, database, servers, storage, networking and associated operating systems and virtualisation software.
Are there plans in place to build a Data centre in Nigeria?
We have a data centre at our headquarters in San Francisco USA. It is not about building data centres, what the emphasis should be on is how we are adding value to the growth of the economy. We want to bring Oracle’s innovation to the market, to support business innovation and growth in Nigeria. Nigeria is an emerging market offering vast opportunity to investors from around the world. We believe that Oracle has best-of- breed, world class solutions that can assist businesses in Nigeria to realise their full potential and support their business requirements as they grow.