"We help simplify the IT environment so that our customers can free up money, time, and resources to invest in innovation," says Kholiwe Makhohliso, Technology and Country Leader of Oracle South Africa, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.
Do you want to hear how Oracle can drive agility and efficiency in your business? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2016.
According to CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen, Oracle is a truly global leader and will be showcasing global trends, together with expert insights.
Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"The Finance Indaba provides the perfect platform to collaborate with finance professionals and to develop key relationships, both new and existing. Our presence at the Finance Indaba is aimed at sharing insight into some of the initiatives we are working on with various finance organisations, including the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, to drive digital innovation within the finance profession."
What are the challenges you can help finance professionals/firms with in 2016?
"Oracle's cloud applications for finance provide real-time analytic insights so the CFO can drive strategies related to the economy, the market, competitors and customer preferences. With actionable insights, finance can simplify the billing process, and gain insights into customer data and brand reputation. Oracle's cloud finance technology enables a more strategically focused organization. With an eye toward eliminating inefficiencies and reorienting the organization, finance can drive the business forward as a trusted partner among other functional leaders. No longer bogged down by manual accounting processes and systems that consume valuable resources, Oracle's cloud suite for finance allows CFO's to focus on proactive risk management. Their awareness of significant forces of change and the use of performance measures aligned with valuation put the CFO on the frontline of innovation. Oracle differentiates itself by empowering organizations to build a true enterprise cloud architecture."
How can South African firms deal better with the influx of Big Data?
"Big Data has opened up new avenues for innovation and offers immense opportunities for growth and sustainability. South African firms require the relevant technology to help manage the influx of data around them to help convert the unstructured data into structured information. This data will assist executives to make the right decisions and provide insights to ensure sustainability and flexibility required to respond to market demands and changes."
Why should companies be switching to cloud computing?
"There are many advantages to cloud computing:
- Agility to respond to business needs or to deliver new services.
- Integrated infrastructure and platform services to enable simpler and more efficient business.
- Ability to deliver faster time-to-market for new initiatives, services and projects.
- Strict adherence to standards for security to meet compliance requirements.
- Reduce maintenance and data centre operational costs."
How can digitalisation drive value and deliver results?
"Embracing digitalisation will ensure organisations adopt the next generation platforms to respond to market demands and trends. New entrances in the market are changing traditional business models and disrupting organisations. Organisations need to transform and adapt to this change if they want to be relevant. Digitalisation assists businesses to make the right decisions at the right time to avoid being disrupted. They need to take advantage of integrated machine-to-machine interaction to understand and respond to customer needs and behaviours in order to ensure customer satisfaction."
How is Oracle helping achieve a closer alignment between CFO and CIO?
"Oracle provides a fully integrated solution offering to both the CIO and CFO in order to work together to drive common understanding of their business. The real time reporting, social collaboration and mobile capabilities within Oracle's next generation solution set allows key business personals to collaborate and provide insights to key areas of the business to ensure sustainability, cost efficiencies and drive innovation. With Oracle's cloud solutions, we offer both the CIO and CFO solutions to adopt a digital transformation journey by providing out of box solutions that are offered on the cloud to help reduce IT costs, improve insights and streamline business processes."
How important is innovation to Oracle?
"In fiscal year 2016, Oracle invested $5,787 billion, or 16% of total revenues, in research and development. Today's IT environments have become so complex that in most enterprises the biggest chunk of IT budget is spent on just keeping the lights on. The average company spends about three-quarters of its IT budget on integration, maintenance, and routine tasks. That leaves only 25% to invest in innovation. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd recently called IT complexity 'the business innovation killer'.
"At Oracle, we want to help customers shift that spending balance. We help simplify the IT environment so that our customers can free up money, time, and resources to invest in innovation. We do this by providing a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems."
Oracle has a presence in 145 countries. What are the challenges of dealing in so many different environments, while retaining a single brand identity?
"We have a single company vision and strategy which ensures we consistently deliver the same solutions and level of service to our customers, prospects and partners across the globe, irrespective of where they are engaging with us."
Oracle was recently involved in the Java Schools programme in the Western Cape. Can you tell us about this initiative?
"The Java Schools Programme is a joint initiative between the Western Cape Departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Education, Oracle, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and training provider On The Ball College. The Ministries partnered with Oracle in 2014 to train 160 Grade 11 and 12 learners in the Java programming language. This year, 40 of the top-performing matriculants were selected for further training in advanced Java through Oracle University. They will also be completing a six-month internship through the Media, Information & Communication Technologies Sector Education & Training Authority."