Interview: Farhan Chaudhry, Country Director, Tech Business, Oracle

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry, Country Director - Technology Business Pakistan and Afghanistan, Oracle

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry is Country Director Technology Business, Pakistan, Afghanistan & SAGE-West. Chaudhry is responsible for Field Sales of Technology Licenses.

Chaudhry joined Oracle in 2005, as Regional Business Manager, FSI. As Regional Business Manager, Chaudhry was responsible for Technology Sales Business in Financial Services Industry in SAGE West. Chaudhry has also held the position of Team Leader, Technology Sales covering FSI & MRD industries during his career in Oracle.

Prior to his tenure at Oracle, he held position of Regional Manager Sales, at Autobar (Pvt) Limited, Pakistan. He has also worked in Standard Chartered Bank & Citibank in Corporate Service Delivery and IT. He has also been teaching computer related courses at various educational institutes in Pakistan.

Chaudhry holds an Executive Master of Business Administration with Gold Medal from Imperial College of Business Studies, Pakistan and a Master of Computer Sciences from The National College, Pakistan.

Question: How do you see database management systems market in Pakistan?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: In today’s world, data forms the most valuable source of information asset for an organization. Businesses churn out huge volumes of operational data every hour and are highly dependent on IT for day-to-day operational and strategic decisions.

That’s when this data becomes information. Information has become a critical asset for any company and organizations need to maintain and manage their information to facilitate decision-making and comply with various regulatory requirements. In order to manage and maintain the information, a robust, reliable serving infrastructure is essential, where databases play the critical role

Pakistan houses thousands of companies across various industries e.g; Financial services, Telecom, Utilities, Media, Manufacturing, Retail, Distribution, Government, Health and Education among others. All of these organizations deploy mission critical business applications with diverse & robust technology infrastructure needs such as high availability, scalability, manageability, security & much more.

Hence, Pakistani organizations must invest in robust database management systems to address growing business demands. We also facilitate organizations through our License Management service to utilize the most up to date knowledge, best practices and tools to manage and maximize their Oracle license investment so that they are able drive maximum ROI from the IT investment.

Question: Is there value for local IT companies – those that develop their own solutions or distribute diff. software, to invest in the database business?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: In essence, database is the underlying foundation for all business applications in the data center, be it front office applications like core banking or telecom / utilities billing or a back-office applications like an ERP, FMS or HCM.

Together, Oracle and its local ISV partners offer  several enterprise software solutions to mid-size & large organizations for different business needs, including horizontal applications as well as vertical industry-specific applications across various types of industries such as financial services, media, telecom, utilities, manufacturing, retail, distribution, government, healthcare and many others.

Question: Can you highlight the 5 most salient functionalities of Oracle Database and its additional optional features?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: Oracle Database helps organizations take control of their enterprise information, gain better business insight, and quickly and confidently adapt to an increasingly changing competitive environment.  With secure, highly available and scalable grids of low-cost servers and storage, Oracle customers can tackle the most demanding transaction processing, data warehousing, and content management applications.

Oracle offers a wide range of options to extend the power of Oracle Database to meet specific business requirements. These range of options, combined with Oracle Database’s extensive out-of-the-box capabilities; make Oracle the world’s #1 database.

Some key database options being

  • Real Application Clusters for high availability & scalability of mission critical applications along with significant cost savings due to lower TCO & increased ROI on hardware infrastructure.
  • Partitioning which not only improves application performance but is the foundation of Oracle’s Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategy. Its usage as an ILM enabler translates into significant storage cost savings whilst enabling organizations to fulfill their data retention requirements in online state.
  • Oracle Database Management Solution for ensuring hyper efficient operations & productivity of IT personnel using the self-managing & self-healing capabilities of Oracle Database.
  • Oracle Database Security Solution helps organizations comply with privacy and regulatory mandates and increase the security of existing applications.
  • Oracle DW/BI Solution is the most comprehensive end-to-end offering which covers all aspects of a decision support system from ELT, OLAP, Data Mining to integrated BI applications. It enables the business users to discover hidden gems of information from large volumes of historical data for trend analysis & business insights for timely & accurate decision making. It facilitates organizations to be ahead of the competition through the power of information.

Question: Intellectual Property seems to be a key focus in the country these days, you earlier also mentioned about Oracle License Management Service How does it help Organizations to get maximum benefits of the Oracle license they have purchased?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: Getting the most out of your Enterprise software is not an easy task if you don’t know what you can do with your enterprise software license and what you can’t.

Oracle offers its Oracle License Management Services (LMS) to customers and partners to help them get the most up to date knowledge; best practices and tools to manage and maximize their Oracle license investment. LMS Team works with customers to outline an appropriate process and steps required for each engagement however the length of the engagement is influenced by a number of factors.

Organization globally use LMS to

  • Understand license ownership rights and limitations
  • Obtain education on Oracle licensing and best practices
  • Monitor and optimize license utilization and allocation
  • Understand licensing and budget implications of projects
  • Identify potential needs in meeting regulatory standards
  • Reduce long term license cost

Question: Which are the major organizations using your solution and which vertical you are very in?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: Companies across several industries have selected Oracle Database over other similar products available in the market to power their critical business applications. In Pakistan, Telecom and FSI are two of key industry verticals, where Oracle is a considered by customers to be a strategic technology partner. Majority of the country’s banks and telecom service providers use Oracle Database technology to run their businesses.

For e.g. major business applications at top Pakistani banks like NBP, HBL, ABL, UBL, MCB, Askari & others are powered by Oracle technology solutions. While in the telecom sector, almost all major companies like Mobilink, Warid, Telenor, Ufone & PTCL use Oracle technology to run their mission critical business applications like billing & thereby improve customer satisfaction & experience.

Question: What are the advantages of Oracle Database 11g over others?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: Some of the advantages of Oracle Database 11g are:

  • Oracle solution is available on all Operating systems like Windows, Linux and Unix.
  • The technology is easy to install, configure and manage.
  • The database is preconfigured for production usage, complete with automated space, storage and memory management, automatic backup and recovery.
  • Oracle Database efficiently stores all types of structured & unstructured data.
  • Reduce server costs through a complete enterprise grid architecture.
  • Reduce storage requirements through OLTP compression & inherent information lifecycle management (ILM) features
  • Improve mission critical system performance through state-of-the-art flash cache techniques
  • Eliminate idle redundancy in the primary / production data center
  • ROI of the DR site infrastructure investment can be significantly increased by using it for real-time reporting needs
  • Simplify their overall IT software portfolio.

Question: What kind of solutions does Oracle have to offer for Midsize Companies or SMBs? And Is Oracle technology really suitable for midsized companies?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: Oracle provides industry-specific and best-in-class functionality that is easy to deploy and manage at a price suited for mid-sized companies. Our software for midsized companies delivers the functionality and security of enterprise-class software in an easy-to-deploy and cost-effective package that can scale as the business grows. Our solutions help provide scalable, industry-specific, and best-in-class functionality for fast-growing companies with limited budgets.

Thus midsize companies benefit from proven solutions that implement quickly and have the flexibility needed to scale as a business grows. Oracle solutions are complete, open and integrated. They are affordable, easy-to-own and can be easily integrated in a heterogeneous IT environment. It allows midsize companies with tight budgets to focus on their business objectives of growing their business, while letting IT manage the back end infrastructure, without their intervention

Question: How does Oracle manage its business in Pakistan?

Farhan Ibrahim Chaudhry: In Pakistan, a majority of Oracle’s business is done through partners. Oracle works with more than 75 channel and alliance partners in Pakistan. These are local IT companies who distribute and/or implement and support oracle solutions at customer sites. They are members of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, a community of 20000 partners globally, who deliver innovative software solutions based on Oracle software.

Through access to oracle’s premier products, education, technical services, marketing and sales support, the Oracle PartnerNetwork program provides partners with the resources they need to be successful in today’s global economy.  Oracle partners are able to offer their customers leading-edge solutions backed by Oracle’s position as the world’s largest enterprise software company.

Recently at Oracle’s annual customer event in San Francisco, Oracle OpenWorld 2009 the new OPN Specialized program was announced, which allows partners to formally certify specializations to differentiate themselves and their offerings, be recognized for their expertise, and become preferred solution providers to Oracle customers.

Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized allows Oracle to recognize partners who have made the right investment across a particular portfolio and are able to provide better solutions to their customers. This provides a system of preference for Oracle’s customers to find partners who can provide solutions to their critical business problems This program has been divided in to four new program levels – Remarketers, Silver, Gold, Platinum – are designed to provide the right level of support at every stage of an customers lifecycle. Whether customers consider their primary business activity to develop, sell, or implement, OPN Specialized has the tools, information, and resources to help customers achieve their business goals.