Global software giant plans to invest more in Korea
By Kim Yoo-chul
Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd
Oracle said that it will expand its cloud computing services in Korea and is confident about selling more cloud products here.
"Our business roadmap is matching up with planned schedules. I am confident that Oracle will sell more cloud products. By new bookings, Oracle will sell more than any other companies in the industry in the next 12 months," said co-CEO Mark Hurd during an interview in Seoul last week.
Oracle is the world's largest database software company and one of the biggest providers of business programs.
He didn't specify the main purposes of his tightly-scheduled business trip, industry officials said he met with the top management of Samsung and Korean Air to discuss cloud computing services.
"I'm not here by accident. By considering a lot of factors, I visit selected markets. The reason I meet with partners, clients and media is that I hope to send our messages to them and get messages from them. This is also a way of communication," he said.
Asked about its plan to increase investment in Korea, he said, "Investment will be coming in many forms. Hiring more people and operating educational programs to contribute to the local economy are a part of investment. Oracle aims to grow our business here."
He did not elaborate further on investment details.
About a time frame for Oracle to become the market leader in cloud computing services, Hurd didn't give the frame. However, he said the profit margin of its cloud business is on track for steady improvement.
"Given challenging moves made by our two rivals ― SAP and IBM ― there've been talks that our cloud business looks safe in terms of profit margin. Cloud computing is a fundamentally profitable business. Oracle's cloud business takes up $2 billion in sales. The portion will further be increased," Hurd said.
According to his observation, Oracle differentiated itself from IBM and SAP in the cloud computing businesses because he claims that SAP has continued providing its cloud service with the form of "managed service," which isn't new. Hurd said that SAP failed to "rewrite" applications fitted with cloud systems.
"For IBM, this company has set of different issues," the CEO said.
On the so-called digital disruption, he said trend is having an impact on the decisions of IT organizations.
The confluence of cloud, exploding data volumes, social, business and consumer sophistication are forces that are dramatically changing the world and affecting daily live and the way people work.
The problem, according to Hurd, is that today's applications were built before the advent of cloud and social analytics, making them less flexible and more difficult to upgrade.
"Digital disruption has transformed companies' IT needs. Oracle's complete solutions integrate all digital technologies. Cloud systems, mobile devices, social media, big data and the Internet of Things. We bring these capabilities to the cloud," he said.
The trend will lead the way for demographical changes in the IT industry that will be affected in other industries such as telecommunications, he said.
Hurd said more time will be needed for Korean tech companies to strengthen their capability of handling software.
"Software is hard. How many great software companies you have? There are not many," he said.
Its earlier acquisition of Sun Microsystems helped it diversify its portfolio as Oracle now manages hardware business.
Hurd identified virtualization, big data, IoT and cloud as the next four main technology trends.
"Do you want to get new business chances in new markets? Then you should have the right data, the right place, the right people, and the right decisions with the right people," he said.