Oracle customers reimagine businesses, what’s possible with the cloud

Oracle customers, including Uber, Loblaw Companies, and Emerson, speak with CEO Safra Catz about how they’re evolving to succeed amid uncertainty.

Ian McCue | September 20, 2023

For businesses around the globe, inflation, uncertainty about the economy, and a persistent labor shortage have dialed up the pressure to do more with less. In the face of that formidable challenge, some of the world’s most successful enterprises have found creative ways to innovate and drive value in their businesses.

“Instead of shying away from change and opportunities, they embrace them,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said. “They see challenges, and they adjust to them. And they use those things as motivation to move forward and to advance.”

Oracle has reoriented itself around customer success, Catz said. So, who better to explain the company’s journey than customers themselves? Six Oracle customers joined Catz onstage at Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas on September 19 to share how their businesses are evolving and the critical role of cloud technology in their achievements.

Uber’s expanding services leverage OCI

Since 2010, the Uber name has become ubiquitous with ride-sharing and their drivers have completed more than 39 billion trips. The company expanded into delivery of things, most notably Uber Eats, a unit that has grown from 5% to 50% of their business since CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joined six years ago.

Uber recently recorded their first profitable quarter and continues to target aggressive growth powered by new services and modes of transportation. That includes motorcycles in Brazil and three-wheelers in India as well as Uber Direct, which builds on the company’s immense logistics network to offer same-day, on-demand delivery from 3,500 brands. To achieve the growth Uber is targeting, they must complete an additional 1.5 billion trips every year, Khosrowshahi noted.

“Now we are really the go-get company,” he said. “Anywhere you want to go, anything you want to get, we want to be that operating system for your everyday life. Push a button, and then good things come to you.”

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) supports the work required to deliver Uber’s services while offering the predictable and sustainable hosting costs that their executives want.

“With some of these newer products, it's impossible to predict how quickly they're going to scale, how quickly they're going to grow,” Khosrowshahi said. “So being able to monetize our back end and ecosystem and work with Oracle Cloud, for example, has allowed us to be able to scale these products in a way that we could have never before.”

Consolidating systems on Oracle Cloud

American solar panel producer First Solar is on the cutting edge of the world’s increasing adoption of solar energy. In 2017, they made a big strategic shift by narrowing their focus to solar technology and manufacturing. That required divesting several business units and overhauling their factories.

First Solar used that moment as an opportunity to replace 26 different systems, including software from SAP, Workday, and Salesforce, with Oracle Cloud Applications. The solar provider sought a system that could handle end-to-end processes and a partner they could trust.

Anywhere you want to go, anything you want to get, we want to be that operating system for your everyday life. Push a button, and then good things come to you.”

Dara Khosrowshahi Uber CEO

“Oracle listens,” CIO Aaron Bly said. “They helped, they advised. And so along that way, [the partnership] was very valuable.”

Bly specifically called out the value of Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM, which First Solar has used for two years.

“As an associate or as a manager…I'm the center of attention. The HCM is all based on what I as an individual need to do or I as a manager need to do with my staff,” he said.

For consulting and professional services firm Aon, success requires understanding clients at a deeper level than ever before, Chief Client Officer and CEO of Global Enterprise Clients Lori Goltermann said. This was exceedingly difficult when the firm had 30 regional and local CRM systems and six global platforms, so Aon consolidated that software on Oracle Customer Experience (CX).

“Now, we can actually serve our clients with everyday, immediate action around their highest and most complex needs,” Goltermann said. “And we never could have done that before.”

Like many of the companies they serve, Aon sees tremendous potential for AI in their own operations. Goltermann expects it will help speed up the calculations their actuaries work on daily and help unlock the insights their clients need to run their businesses better.

Technology supports evolving business models

Emerson is an industrial technology enterprise that runs 130 factories and delivers systems that drive half of all power generation in the United States. Emerson is also reimagining their business. COO Ram Krishnan said the company is on a path to becoming an end-to-end automation provider, making the sensors, controls, and software that companies need to power next-generation factories.

“Every one of our customers is looking to unlock more capacity and more production while balancing their aspirations to run their operations more sustainably,” Krishnan said. “Automation, and that complete tech stack, has a very, very important role to play. So we sensed that opportunity, and we repositioned the company to be a pure-play automation company.”

Emerson made this happen with the help of Oracle technology. They use Oracle E-Business Suite to standardize critical processes globally and complementary Oracle apps to manage their regional supply chains and factories. Krishnan also sees a centralized suite as critical to the company’s “factories of the future” because they can “harness that data into actionable insights, which can unlock a lot of value.”

Loblaw Companies, Canada’s largest retailer, has expanded beyond traditional verticals such as food, apparel, beauty, and pharmaceuticals into financial services and health services. Six years ago, Chief Technology and Analytics Officer David Markwell spearheaded Loblaw’s move to the cloud, including migrating their massive 180-terabyte SAP database.

“I had a few criteria that had to be met. The first were around making sure that we had a platform in the cloud that was performant enough and cost-effective enough to run at the profile we needed to,” Markwell said. “We also needed to be able to mitigate operational and migration risk.”

Markwell found the right solution in OCI. Six months later, workloads run “much, much faster,” he said. The system has automated much of platform maintenance to increase the security of sensitive customer data while boosting resiliency.

Moving all workloads to the cloud

TIM Brasil, a leading mobile carrier in a country of more than 200 million, was the first Brazilian carrier to move all workloads to the cloud. This transition came at a seminal moment: It was the middle of the pandemic, and TIM Brasil was in the midst of a big M&A deal while figuring out how to roll out 5G. The company still took the leap, inspired by their commitment to “evolve with courage, transform technology into freedom,” CTIO Leonardo Capdeville said.

The results were impressive. TIM Brasil lowered the total cost of their IT infrastructure by 30%, and the company responds to customer service cases twice as fast. With technology infrastructure less of a concern, TIM Brasil can focus on becoming a data-driven organization, Capdeville said.

The company also saw tremendous value in the Oracle-Microsoft partnership with Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, which lets TIM Brasil take advantage of the unique strengths of each technology.

“The single most exciting period in technology in decades”

These remarkable customer stories highlight impressive results, but Catz said she thinks the future looks even more promising.

“We have waited for this moment where the data and the compute and the GPUs and all the technology come together,” Catz said. “And I would say it’s probably the single most exciting period in technology in decades.”

View more Oracle Connect articles

Putting customer success at the heart of everything

During her keynote at Oracle CloudWorld, Safra Catz spoke with customers about their achievements with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and applications.

  • Ready to move to the cloud?

    Realize the benefits of better performance and reliability for any and all enterprise workloads with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Choose the next-generation cloud that works for your business—dedicated cloud, multicloud, hybrid cloud, or public cloud.

  • Get the critical insights you need

    Centralize mission-critical business functions, including finance and accounting, supply chain, and human resources, in a single cloud suite. Oracle Cloud Applications give you the valuable data you need to improve your decision-making, helping boost efficiency and reduce costs.