In this executive interview, filmed on location at Oracle CloudWorld 2023, I’m joined by Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of industries. We talk about Oracle’s focus on its integration of advanced technologies, such as sequencing and cloud infrastructure, to cater to various industries and address their specific needs.
01:07 — It seems like “industries” has gone from being sort of a special unit, off to the side a little bit, to being right at the core of what the company does. I ask Mike if that’s fair to say.
01:50 — The compelling event for industries, Mike answers, has been the progress made with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). The progress has allowed Oracle as a vendor, now partner, to stitch together stuff into a compelling service for many of its customers. It allows it to have discussions with customers about outcomes.
03:19 — Industries almost operated as independent software vendors (ISVs). Many were ISVs that Oracle acquired, and now there is the knitting of these things together into a vertical solution stack. There were about 43 acquisitions, which meant 62 cloud services, now all running on OCI.
05:04 — If you look at industries like banking that have been slow to adopt cloud technologies, truly moving that stuff to a service was a bit scary, even a couple of years ago. Now, there are great wins, and customers are actually moving from mainframe mini into the cloud.
06:51 — Oracle is partnering with Oxford Nanopore, which has incredibly portable devices, about the size of the flash drive. With it, you can sequence human beings, cats, and plants to, for example, look for foodborne illnesses sequence. And a pathogen sequence can be turned around using an OCI service in about 20 minutes. It used to take one to two hours.
07:48 — What’s really been striking to Mike about these advancements is the benefit to humanity. Knowing a lot about a patient’s DNA and RNA is incredibly important to create and deliver precise medicine for people. Until a recent breakthrough with GPUs, it was almost impossible. Putting stuff together with partners like NVIDIA is going to have a dramatic impact.
09:37 — Sophisticated machines that do imaging like MRIs and CT scans are very compute-intensive. They have onboard computers, storage, and processing. Oracle has a theory that it can take some of that compute and move it to the cloud.
10: 47 — Early diagnosis makes a huge difference. If you’re getting an MRI for your hip, why not just scan your whole body? Why not figure out if there’s anything that we see really early?
12:13 — Since the Oracle acquisition of Cerner, it can go to customers and say, “Okay, maybe we are your biggest line item. But what is your total line item? . . . What if we did it for line item minus X? … if you take all of your bespoke assets, we’d love to ship those OCI, and we can get rid of all the hardware you have running those assets . . .” along with other suggestions for cost savings.
14:51 — Oracle is selling and delivering for business buyers and business intelligence is the area it’s double-clicking on, in addition to having technical support and technical staff in there, which is a differentiator from competition like Microsoft.
15:48 — In the U.S., the price telco providers can charge customers is fairly capitated. Some of the big suppliers can freeze fees for five years, which puts the vise on everybody else. There have to be alternative revenue streams. Can retail operations be streamlined? Oracle’s in both of those spaces, network infrastructure, customer billing, etc., and the retail space.
16:12 — A lot of the money is coming from over-the-top and streaming providers. What if Oracle gives the Enterprise Communications platform to its telco customers?
18:21 — Telco was an attractive partner for Alloy. Because you’ve got to have a place to put the machines. Telco tends to have pretty big data centers and pretty big infrastructure.