Oracle is set to open its first cloud data centre in the Middle East and Africa in Abu Dhabi between May and August as it bids to keep pace with its growing customer base in the region, a top official said.
Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview that the Abu Dhabi cloud data centre will be the company’s 29th centre globally.
The US sofware giant announced the Abu Dhabi plan in January 2016 but the rollout was delayed due to modernisation and legislation.
Global vendors such as SAP and Alibaba Cloud have data centres in Dubai while Amazon has it in Bahrain.
Huawei is planning to formally launch its end-to-end cloud portfolio soon.
“Even though we don’t have a data centre here, many customers from the region run cloud solutions. The Dubai Airport, Landmark Group, DP World, for example. DP World has adopted Oracle cloud for end-to-end solutions globally,” he said.
He said that one of the key barriers to cloud adoption for many countries is due to the lack of data centre availability in that country. Today, many countries have data residency requirements which means that data has to reside in that country.
“If we don’t have data centres, then it will be difficult to offer the services. There are regions where there are no data centres. So, we offer on-premise data service where the company is highly regulated or a country where we cannot have a data centre. The data stays under their roof but managed and controlled by Oracle,” he said.
According to research firm International Data Corporation, public cloud spending in the region is expected to cross $1.1 billion (Dh4 billion) this year compared to $952 million last year.
Megha Kumar, research director for software at IDC, said that the UAE’s strategy around AI and IoT will be underpinned with cloud being the baseline infrastructure for the realisation of these projects.
Kurian said that the company expects to garner more public cloud customers with the opening of the Abu Dhabi data centre and act as a key catalyst for the implementation of UAE’s strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Etisalat is the telecom partner for the data centre.
Arun Khehar, senior vice-president of applications at Oracle Eastern Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, said that there is a great cloud opportunity for Oracle for three key reasons — Smart City and Expo 2020, Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 and Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
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