Oracle is diving headlong into its quest to get more traction in the Australian and New Zealand small to mid-market with the launch of its digital hub in Sydney.
The new hub, the first to be opened in Australia, is one of five digital hubs the software vendor is establishing up in the broader Asia Pacific region.
It is part of a global network of best practice centres for small and medium-sized business (SMB) and is set to serve smaller clients on both sides of the Tasman.
The tech giant first announced in November last year its plans to create hundreds of new jobs focused on cloud technologies, through the opening of a digital sales hub in Sydney.
The software vendor said it would house a new team of over 200 digital sales professionals, designed to help mid-sized organisations transition to the cloud.
“Cloud is changing the heart of business in Australia, and at an unprecedented pace,” Oracle Australia and New Zealand managing director, Rob Willis, said at the time.
“We are seeing companies selecting and starting to use their new platforms in less than six weeks in some cases,” he said.
Now, the Sydney hub has finally arrived, and is set to house Oracle’s new digital sales team, which will be squarely focused on helping mid-sized organisations transition to the cloud, and to “transform the buying experience”.
With the arrival of the new centre, end customers that want to buy Oracle products entirely online can use the vendor’s click-to-buy Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience platform.
The digital hubs will also provide a complete suite of cloud applications, platform and infrastructure services, as both standalone offerings and as bundles.
“There are more than two million SMBs in Australia, many of whom haven’t worked with Oracle or used cloud before,” Oracle’s A/NZ head of application for digital, Malcolm Ferguson, said.
“They now have access to the most modern solutions in the market, available online, direct via the hub and through our expanded end-to-end ecosystem, working with the vast network in A/NZ.
“The increased choice in cloud technology will help accelerate SMBs’ ability to innovate and grow more quickly, paving the way for the next big SMB revolution in the country. This solid investment reiterates our strong commitment to Australia,” he said.
While the launch of the new hub provides the facility for end clients to buy directly from Oracle, the vendor has stressed that it does not mean partners will be cut out of the picture when it comes to making a margin from deals in the potentially lucrative local mid-market.
“Our ecosystem is very, very important for us,” Ferguson told ARN. “We’re going to rely quite heavily on our partner community to provide the professional services to implement the products. That does not change.
“We will still be looking to our partner community to resell. So that doesn’t go away. In fact, we’re in the process at the moment of building that out….the reseller model and the service delivery model is very much a part of the Oracle digital strategy,” he said.
Not only will partners have the potential to provide services around the Oracle products end customers sign up for, according to Ferguson, they will also be able to either direct end clients to the click-to-buy portal or work through one of the vendor’s value-added distributors.
The move to open the hub locally is part of an effort by Oracle to look beyond its traditional top-end enterprise market and make a broader attack on the smaller end of the market, with a focus on organisations with turnovers of between $10 million and $250 million annually.
It is also part of a larger strategy by Oracle to push its cloud-based solutions and services to a market that may not have the infrastructure in place to handle the vendor’s offerings in an on-premises scenario.
The move follows multiple claims by Oracle co-founder and chairman, Larry Ellison, that the software giant is closing in on undisputed public cloud vendor, Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud market stakes.
“Amazon is going to have serious competition going forward,” Ellison claimed during the Oracle OpenWorld 2016 event in San Francisco late last year. “And we're very proud of our second generation of infrastructure-as-a-service.”