TRANSFORMING MEXICO THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Mexico 2018 | TELECOMS & IT | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Javier Cordero, CEO of Oracle Mexico, on the cloud revolution, research priorities, and short-term growth projections.

What is your assessment of the current penetration of cloud services in Mexican companies, and what are the challenges or further development?

In terms of the IT industry, the principle was to deliver solutions where the complexity remained on the user's side. In other words, as a company when we used to sell products and not services, you used to deliver business solutions where there was a good platform but the complexity of implementing and operating the solution was kept to the customer side rather than the provider side. After this, it was the individual customer's problem, and that is how the industry operated in the past. With the cloud solutions two things happened; one the complexity went away so companies could concentrate on their core business. The other important thing was that the cost dropped dramatically with the cloud because it became easier to advantage of economies of scale. The cloud is growing in Mexico by three digits, as is Oracle. We are making it more accessible to people, and now companies that are part of the middle or lower tier can afford to purchase a solution. The other aspect is complexity; if I compare the adoption rate of cloud in Mexico versus the US or any other large economies, I would say it is exactly the same or perhaps higher, because companies have leapfrogged to the cloud. We are therefore reaching a market that we could not reach before. We improve data security by reducing the danger of losing information or the danger of someone hacking into a system and stealing information. The main constraints were security, as people were afraid they could not have their information at their facilities; however, people are starting to realize that it is much more secure in the cloud than in their own infrastructure.

What are your priorities in terms of research and development?

Customer experience is one of the main aspects, as the world is changing based on customer experience; every single business will need to have behind its walls the traditional systems and ERP. However, as a customer I want to interact through a cell phone and make a reservation or buy something. The second aspect is big data. With the Internet of Things (IoT), every single device is now connected to the internet and provides information. For example, if I open my phone then it shows my heart rate; this is real time information that is being stored in the cloud as we speak. We need to be able to take advantage of that information by analyzing and getting ahead of the competition by understanding patterns of marketing intelligence. The other important thing that Oracle just announced is that we need to have certain intelligence embedded in the systems so that we can do things before we realize they need to get done. The system starts to learn and that is having artificial intelligence embedded in the technology, which is another big trend currently. The cloud is performing well in Mexico because of these issues. Economies that were more mature are taking more time and economies that did not have much technology are becoming more interested in those solutions. Only a few companies can deliver these box solutions in the arena of changing the customer experience.

What new opportunities did the communication reform in Mexico create for Oracle?

The reforms were necessary, and one of the main achievements of this administration is the reforms. We are facing a problem, however, with the implementation of the reforms, as they are intended to produce a better industry with more affordable prices etc. Are we seeing the results yet? No, we have not. I believe that those reforms were needed but to implement those reforms we need to have technology. We cannot do this by hand and need to have technology. The reforms were important for this industry and are generating a lot of business. Every aspect the new reforms require companies to do is done through technology. For example, in the telecommunications industry, companies are now required to report how many minutes they were giving if they are the market leader; this was not previously possible without technology. Reforms require a lot of IT technology and are therefore benefiting the industry.

What are your short-term growth projections?

I predict the industry to grow between 5% and 8%, and our growth is currently double-digit. Therefore, I am extremely optimistic as we are growing much faster than the industry average. What is driving this growth is the cloud. The public sector is not growing as fast as in previous years because we are in a year of elections and power change. Therefore, most IT investments in the federal government will not grow as fast; although, on the other hand, we will be growing in terms of regulators and reforms. I truly believe that the money spent in IT technology will grow no matter what; with or without the public expenditure as it is enabling new business forms.

What are the pillars of your corporate social responsibility strategy?

Our purpose is transversal to our business. Around a year and a half ago, we thought about what our purpose should be. We came up with a simple purpose and that is we will transform Mexico—by enabling our customers to transform themselves through new technologies. There are many publications that show countries that invest in technology have faster economic growth than others. We can change Mexico by enabling our customers with innovative technology to come up with new business models and new ideas and by being more competitive. For example, we work with a health institution that used to take six or seven hours to help a patient, requiring them to invest half of his or her day in a medical checkup. Now, because of our technology, these visits will only take a couple of hours. This is a transformative—we are transforming the lives of Mexicans. We are focusing not only in growing our business, but also having a social impact.