Despite worse than expected economic slowing, bright spots still exist, according to the newly published June 2020 World Economic Outlook report by the International Monetary Fund. In Asia Pacific, the locations sit amongst both advanced economies like Australia and Japan, as well as those in the emerging markets, such as ASEAN, China and India, which is expected to rebound in 2021, with its economy set to grow by 6 percent.
Helping fuel the forecasted growth are companies like Manappuram, an Indian financial services company that provides online and mobile lending services for small businesses and farmers, many of whom are unbanked and don’t have enough financial resources to secure funding from traditional lenders.
Some two years in to a digital transformation initiative, the formative work the company had already undertaken gave it a foundation to shift its digital transformation into a much higher gear as India put in place mandatory lockdowns and shelter-in-place public health orders.
While many of the bank’s processes are online, it still relied on face-to-face meetings to determine the risk profiles for many of its customers. This was a challenge with in-person meetings no longer being possible.
“For us to meet the needs of our customers, while managing our business risk during this current situation, our operations and technology have to change,” says Saiprasad Sivadasan, president of technology at Manappuram Comptech and Consulting, a subsidiary of Manappuram Finance.
Adding machine-learning analytics to help tailor services to individual customers and better assess their risk, while also consolidating its 19 subsidiaries onto a single platform, so its staff could operate from a virtual office, required faster automation, tighter security, and more compute power than the on-premises applications running in Manappuram’s in-house data center could provide.
“We knew we had to move to the cloud, and for us, choosing Oracle was a no brainer,” Sivadasan says.
After evaluating multiple vendors, including Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Alibaba, Manappuram chose to run its business applications Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “Oracle’s flexible licensing policies, Oracle Exadata server, and the physical cores we get with the application server, were features we didn’t get with other providers,” Sivadasan says. “Even the storage we get with Oracle is far higher than what the others are providing,” he adds.
The most convincing evidence of Oracle’s superior capabilities in the cloud infrastructure space, according to Sivadasan, is the company’s dual region data center strategy.
“Although our main data center is in Mumbai, Oracle has made it really easy for us to replicate our data, and quickly stand up a disaster recovery site in Hyderabad,” Sivadasan says.
More Than Disaster Recovery
In India, as well as in Australia, Japan and Korea, Oracle’s dual region strategy is helping companies make up for lost time, and slowing or stopped sales or production.
“With two Oracle Cloud regions now live in India, we’re fully geared to help our 15,000 plus customers across 20 states grow their businesses, with support by nearly 1,000 specialized Oracle partners. We’re helping them innovate much faster, by getting their compute, storage, networking, database integration and SaaS services up and running within a few weeks,” says Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India, noting that just sourcing hardware and software in on-premises environments can take months.
Oracle’s cloud regions also offer customers a comprehensive set of security standards. For Hyderabad this includes ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO/IEC 27018:2014, and SOCs 1, 2, and 3; as well as isolated network virtualization, which isolates physical network interfaces and cards from each other, isolating an attacker who has gained unauthorized access to the network.
Privacy and Security front and center
“The protection of privacy and security around Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is front and center of the architecture,” says Garrett Ilg, executive vice president and head of Japan and Asia Pacific at Oracle.
Oracle’s dual cloud region strategy, which helps companies, like Manappuram to deploy applications in independent cloud regions, prohibits protected data, such as personal financial profiles from leaving the country or violating any regulatory requirements around data sovereignty. It also helps companies become more agile, enabling them to scale or change processes rapidly as their businesses expand.
“Asia Pacific’s big place, and the latency between data centers in Japan and Singapore, or Australia and India is huge,” Ilg says.
Still, Oracle Cloud provides more than a transport layer. “We’re also a performance layer, and we’re constantly conditioning the data centers, amplifying their capabilities, and integrating new services into them,” Ilg says. “Our dual cloud regional presence is all about helping bring the cloud closer to our customers,” he says.
“That is why we are seeing enterprises across the region turn to Oracle Cloud. Like Mannapuram we are helping them use cloud to stabilize and then improve performance and accelerate innovation to launch new products faster to market and create new and incredible customer experiences. With Oracle opening dual cloud regions in Australia, Japan, Korea and now India, we are further renewing our commitment to support growth for the times ahead,” concludes Ilg.