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Gratitude and pride for all we accomplished together in 2021

Garrett Ilg21 December 2021
Gratitude and pride for all we accomplished together in 2021

When I joined Oracle 20 months ago at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was in a precarious place. Medical researchers and care providers were on red alert. Supply chain partners were starting to figure out ways to reroute essential goods. All private- and public-sector employers were redeploying their workforces and rethinking their priorities.

And yet—business and life went on in the months ahead, thanks to the ingenuity, dedication, and perseverance of professionals everywhere. Looking back on 2021, a year in which the pandemic continued to change lives and disrupt economic progress, we still have much to be thankful for.

As the Singapore-based head of Oracle’s Asia Pacific and Japan operations, I am particularly proud of the profound difference we and our customers in the region are making in the areas that matter most to society. Fighting COVID and other diseases. Advancing environmental and economic sustainability. Offering training and education programs to help organizations build diverse workforces of talented, technically skilled people ready to change the world—or their small part of it.

Inspirational work

One of our many inspirational customers is Australia’s GMDx Genomics, whose groundbreaking analytics platform is helping clinicians detect the onset of cancer and other diseases in patients and determine who is most and least likely to respond to certain kinds of treatments. A promising startup partner, Medexpert Software Solutions, is helping rural hospitals in India get access to specialists via its Oracle Cloud-based Health Hospital Management System.

Another critical area is environmental sustainability. Across the region, countries made modest progress in 2021 in such areas as improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gases, protecting threatened animal species, and ensuring biodiversity, according to a UN report. But an extraordinary amount of work remains.

No less important is the area of sustainable economic development—government-led program to reduce poverty and hunger, ensure quality education, improve access to electricity, communications, water, and other basics. Asia Pacific progress on those fronts in 2021 was also modest, according to the UN report.

A major step forward has been public-private sector co-innovation partnerships. Airtel is supporting the growth of India’s digital economy by bringing a range of industry-leading cloud solutions to more than 1 million enterprise customers. Another example is the Bangladesh government’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, which is implementing digital commerce, banking, education, voting, healthcare, and other e-services to move the country toward becoming a knowledge-based, developed economy by 2041. The state-owned Bangladesh Data Center Company Limited (BDCCL) is helping lead the country’s 4th Industrial Revolution by providing such cloud-based services from the country’s own sovereign data center.

Focus on talent

No look back at 2021 would be complete without an assessment of the Great Resignation. The vast majority of respondents to the recent AI@Work survey said the pandemic has caused them to rethink their careers because they feel “stuck” in their professional lives, a sentiment that is spurring a mass exodus from employers worldwide. With Asia Pacific companies already facing a shortage of close to 50 million technology and other workers, it was hard enough for them to retain their most talented people.

In the Asia Pacific region alone, Oracle is providing technology education and training to more than 4,500 education institutions in 23 countries to prepare millions of students for the rigors of both college and career. Under a separate program, we and our partners provide professional training courses and accreditations to millions more people, at all levels, for our entire cloud product portfolio.

The Singapore region will benefit customers throughout the ASEAN region with access to an extensive array of network partners that enable direct and private connection through OCI FastConnect. FastConnect provides an easy, elastic, and economical way to create a dedicated private network connection with higher bandwidth, lower latency, and more consistent performance versus public Internet-based connections.

The pandemic may have impeded the movement of people and goods, but it hasn’t restrained our collective spirit. In anticipation of countries and economies starting to reopen in 2022, I look forward to seeing many of you in person as we continue building on the technology foundations we’ve laid together. Meantime, I want to thank all our customers, suppliers, and employees. I am truly grateful for your partnership and wish you and your loved ones health and prosperity in the year ahead.

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