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Executive Interview

Gilbert Saggia, Oracle Country Leader


Software company targets corporate Kenya with its cloud enterprise environment service
BY AAMERA JIWAJI

t would be easy to describe Gilbert Saggia as a man with his head in the clouds since as country leader of Oracle, he champions the application of Cloud solutions in Kenya. But such a description would be far from the truth. Mr Saggias feet are well grounded, as are his expectations about the future of ICT and the possibilities that Cloud technology can oer to the Kenyan corporate sector. At the launch of Oracles cloud enterprise environment last month, the 36 year old jazz enthusiast was vocal about Kenyas potential within the region, from both a policy and an infrastructure perspective. If you look at the speed of adoption of ICT and the innovations that have come because of ICT, Kenya is leading that curve in Africa so it is the place to be, he said. He expects the change in government to enhance this trend by driving cost reduction, eciency and productivity. And while these initiatives will inuence the operations of public sector, he also expects it to have a knock on eect on private sector. Government holds a lot of data as far as the public is concerned, and them being able to create an open platform where you can interact with the government as business to government, will drive innovation. So it is not just about how government works with government but also about how it works with other [private] sectors, he said. As the head of a multinational corporation, Mr Saggia looks forward to Oracle engaging government on a deeper level,

Oracles Gilbert Saggia led a cloud based training for Kenyan businesses last month

Cloud is not an option anymore. In one way or another we are using it: on Gmail, on Twitter, on Facebook
especially in relation to skill and enterprise development, although he added that to drive a digital economy, a lot would be required in terms of building a strong skills base. Traditionally, Oracle has engaged with corporate Kenya as an infrastructure provider which runs its data centre, database and applications. The enterprise software company is now looking at running the infrastructure, the platform and the software as a service each of which is a model within cloud. Cloud is not an option anymore, Mr Saggia said. In one way or another we are using it: on Gmail, on Twitter, on Facebook. But while as individuals we are trusting consumers of cloud technology, the challenge is translating this trust to

our behaviour as a corporate. He noted that smaller enterprises adapt quicker to cloud technology, and that system heavy larger institutions face a longer journey. Its not a question anymore of Am I going to adopt cloud, he said. Its a question of where am I on the journey because it is already here with us. He added that Oracle planned to walk the journey of transition with its corporate clients, and help them to identify where they start the journey and where it ends. While cloud has become a buzzword in ICT circles, Mr Saggia insists that it is composed of hardware and software that individuals and companies are already familiar with, such as servers, storage, applications and database. The dierence is how one companys data is secured vis a vis anothers. And this is where the dierence between a private and a public cloud comes into play since it allows dierent security options to be applied based on the needs of the client such as, for instance, a company hosting its own servers or occupying separate storage compartments to reduce risk.

May

Nairobi Business Monthly |