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Oracle has been providing leading edge capabilities in software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and data as a service for hundred thousands of customers all over the world, which has placed it as a leader in the ICT field. Senior vice president - Technology, Middle East and Africa at Oracle, Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban told Telecom Review in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of GITEX Technology Week 2018, how he sees the company's role in the Middle East. He also explained the process of shifting to the hybrid cloud, which something many companies are considering.

One of Oracle's technological breakthroughs was the launch of its autonomous database that is highly beneficial to companies at the level of costs and risks reduction and the acceleration of innovation. The world's most popular and technologically advanced database has revolutionized data management; it manages, tunes and patches itself, enabling users to innovate faster on a highly secure platform that allows users to pay for only what they use.

Being a leader in both the cloud and smart cities fields, what is the role of the cloud in smart cities?
Smart cities are not highly dependent on the cloud, however, cloud makes them more efficient for many reasons. In smart cities, we don't deal with one set of data but with silos of data, therefore, you either heavily invest in a data center to manage the platform and then come back with a solution that can help you establish a smart city or you can go to the cloud whereby data goes incremental - it's not necessarily the data you own, it's the data you get from social media, from competitors, peers, etc.

Oracle recently announced the launch of its Autonomous Transaction Processing solution. Can you tell us more about it?
We have launched recently two solutions: the Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) and the Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW). The ADW addresses our requirements related to data analytics whereas the ATP works from a transaction point of view. For example, a system can launch too many transactions and will then go over the ATP.

In your opinion, what role does Oracle play in the Middle East?
We have been in the region for almost 30 years and we are operating in almost every single country of the Middle East and Africa. Our main role is to ensure that we bring the latest technologies to our customers. Market dynamics have changed a lot in the region which has pushed companies and governments to transform and adopt emerging technologies like AI and Blockchain.

Our job is to make sure that our customers maximize the benefits of what Oracle can provide and has been providing regionally and globally.

Many companies are considering now the shift to hybrid cloud. Do you recommend this move?
The shift to the cloud goes through a long journey and not everyone is capable of doing it easily unless some parameters are taken into account. Companies need to maintain whatever they are doing and then move gradually to the cloud. This gradual move means that the company has maintained its on-premise and investment that it has already made. Therefore, it needs a certain balance which is why it came up with the hybrid cloud.

In this regard, Oracle is the only company that provides a unique cloud based on private cloud - if the customer wanted to have its own private cloud using cloud at customer at its own premise and its own firewall - public cloud and hybrid cloud.

How can a company choose if it wants to move to the private, public or hybrid cloud?
We help our customers make their choice. Our qualified team spends time with our customers to understand their current requirements and future direction and we provide them with a roadmap to cloud. The process can be done over several phases, in full-fledge or hybrid mode.

What do you consider as the most important achievements made this year?
This launch was a breakthrough in the industry because it is the first self-driving database. Cloud at customer is also one of our greatest achievements in the IT industry. It allows customers to move to the public cloud without having to wait for the cloud provider because we are offering them their own cloud and own firewall at their own premise while managing it for them to simplify the process and enable them to maximize the benefits of public cloud at your own premise.