Thursday, 29 October 2015 08:15

Oracle ANZ takes fresh aim at ERP market


Extensions to Oracle's cloud ERP suite and new hardware provide opportunities for the company's local operation.

iTWire asked Oracle Australia and New Zealand senior vice president and managing director Tim Ebbeck to comment on the local significance of the company's latest round of product and service announcements.

Filling out the cloud ERP suite, particularly the addition of supply chain is "a very big, material change," he said, one that will help take Oracle's existing on-premises customers to the cloud, but also to attract the next tier of organisations, including customers of Microsoft, Infor, SAP and Pronto.

In particular, it will allow a stronger pitch to manufacturing and distribution companies, because "we've got a complete offering to take them into the cloud," said Ebbeck, adding that Oracle has already signed some large companies as users of cloud ERP, and there are many prospects.

"We're geared up to really go after this market," he said, explaining that Oracle has a relatively small share of the ERP market in ANZ, so he has more opportunities than some of his peers.

"The Australian market is not a classic triangle" but more like a coathanger: "there is very big middle ground." While Oracle had previously addressed just the 2,000 or so largest organisations, the continuing development of its SaaS products puts some 20,000 organisations in its sights.

Ebbeck has responded to this widening market by hiring more inside sales staff to prime the midmarket, and by changing Oracle ANZ's channel strategy. He said many new and potential channel partners were attending Oracle Open World: "that's very encouraging."

In addition, Oracle's PaaS provides "a real opportunity to work with ISVs," he told iTWire.

Asked how the company intends to attract startups that might naturally gravitate to AWS or Azure, Ebbeck pointed to the company's involvement in fintech startup hub Stone & Chalk. Oracle ANZ has hired more staff to focus on the ISV market, and is working with one of its distributors on a sandpit that developers will be able to use for experiments.

"We've got to provide more value-added" to startups and ISVs, and Oracle ANZ can best do that through its distribution channel, he said.

While the Software on Silicon announcements were "huge," they will - at least initially - appeal mostly to existing SPARC users. Having said that, he pointed out that Oracle has has a relatively large installed base of SPARC systems in Australia.

While Oracle's hardware revenue had flattened, the last six to nine months had shown improvement and he implied the new systems would help that trend.

There is room to position the M7 systems as a way to consolidate large SPARC installations, and the Security in Silicon piece is something no other vendor has. Some customers have left security features disabled to gain performance, but with M7 "you can have the best of both worlds."

Ebbeck also highlighted the Oracle Private Cloud Machine for PaaS and IaaS announced yesterday by Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison.

There are a lot of organisations concerned about the privacy and security issues involved with public cloud, Ebbeck said, but the Private Cloud Machine gives customers the reassurance of having the hardware on premises coupled with the convenience of having systems management handled by Oracle and the option of paying as they go.

"I think that is game changing, he said.

Disclosure: The writer attended Oracle Open World as a guest of the company

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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