Information technology’s most powerful force, Oracle is harnessing the power of the cloud to boost African enterprise and lead the way in business agility, innovation and collaboration
“Oracle has been doing business on the African continent for more than two decades, and in recent years has invested significantly to support our existing customers and partners as we enter the phase of cloud hypergrowth,” introduced Janusz Naklicki, Senior Vice President of Oracle Africa in a 2016 interview, reflecting on a Company whose influence on the continent embraces nine countries and who continues to revolutionise the ways in which companies operate in the digital age.
The power of cloud technologies and computing in particular is something which Oracle has harnessed and instilled into the continent’s enterprises in recent years, with Naklicki amazed at how quickly the trends continue to evolve in Africa.
In relation to the speed of data transmission, marketing requirements and internal technological efficiencies, never before has a Company such as Oracle been in as much demand, and – as a consequence – the global business is dedicating itself to meeting those needs on an increasingly large scale.
“We have celebrated the opening of five new offices over the past year which brings us up to nine Oracle offices in Africa, located in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria,” he added. “As our cloud leadership continues to grow on the continent, we have also invested in people. In early 2016, Oracle announced that it would be recruiting 1,400 cloud sales people across the EMEA region, which included a number of those being recruited into Africa to add to our already strong workforce of nearly 800 individuals.”
The power of cloud computing
The veer away from standard in-house operations to the more contemporary reliance on mobility and remote working is a process built on a bedrock of business agility, innovation and collaboration; three facets that epitomise cloud computing and three principles that Oracle has long addressed.
“What’s really forcing companies, regardless of size [to adopt cloud computing] is how efficient it can be in deploying the computing infrastructure,” Naklicki emphasised in a recent interview. “There are no barriers of entry, there is flexibility, and the power of cloud computing supports companies in their market expansion.”
The belief in entrepreneurship on the continent drives Oracle’s African strategy where the Company facilitates such business acumen with the necessary tools to thrive and survive in the modern environment. The flexibility of cloud itself further aids industry-wide development, with its incremental nature benefiting businesses of all sizes.
“The beauty of cloud is you don’t have to buy the brewery to have a beer,” Nakilicki said. “We are offering a service – not a product – in an incremental way and everyone can find the chunks of those increments as they grow.”
The broadness of Oracle’s cloud services is an additional advantage, bridging areas of customer management, marketing, ERP and much more under one seamless opportunity for Oracle’s partners and customers to cherry pick from, in accordance with their own bespoke requirements and the most pressing trends in their fields.
Naklicki added: “In relation to cloud, some trends are prevailing in the market: mobility will be stronger and stronger as more and more services are delivered on the mobile devices; social media is also very powerful to help understand the needs of customers and to help shape the services and offerings for their customers; and the third trend is the Internet of Things.
“A lot of devices – not only mobile phones and computers – are connected to the internet, communicating constantly and providing information to be analysed and brought to the businesses to make right decisions.”
A truly African Company
For Oracle Africa, the right decision revolves around a continuation of the good works carried out on the continent so far, having expanded exponentially while addressing areas of capacity building and skills development along the way; a philosophy which is set to drive the business forward in the future also.
“We’re constantly monitoring the opportunity to expand and we want to go further to be a truly African Company,” Naklicki concluded. “We hire Africans and locals and my responsibility in Africa is to make sure my leaders here are born and educated here. We truly believe in local talent and want to better it.
“We also have an intern programme for the youth to be familiarised with and then stay in this environment, so it’s all about long-term engagement.”