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Thursday,09-July-2020

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Oracle opens 2nd Cloud region in India to help firms stay afloat

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Oracle logo.

In a bid to help enterprises maintain business continuity and stay on the path of digital transformation in these tough Covid-19 times, Oracle on Monday announced the opening of its second Cloud region in India.

The Hyderabad Cloud region will help Indian customers and partners access all Oracle Cloud services, including Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Autonomous Linux, as well as Oracle Cloud Applications, to unlock innovation and drive business.

“The Covid-19 and ensuing lockdowns have disrupted several businesses in India. The Hyderabad Cloud region will help a large number of Indian organisations realise their digital transformation dreams,” Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India, told IANS.

The Oracle’s enterprise-grade Gen 2 Cloud regions are already helping hundreds of customers realize three-five time performance improvements using secure cloud services.

Over 100 enterprise customers in the country moved their workloads onto the Gen 2 Cloud data centre in Mumbai with its launch in October last year, which is being run solely by Oracle without any third-party involvement.

“With two Oracle Cloud regions live in India, we’re fully geared to support our 15,000 plus customers in their innovation journey, with adequate support by nearly 1,000 specialised Oracle partners,” informed Kumar.

The two Cloud regions would help enterprises effectively meet increasing demand for secure and stable enterprise cloud services.

“We congratulate Oracle India on opening their second Cloud region in Hyderabad. This will surely help both public and private enterprises in our state to take advantage of Oracle cloud services,” said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT), Telangana.

Equipped with strengthened capabilities for business continuity and disaster recovery, Oracle will provide enterprise customers in India better performance, pricing, and security based on its second-generation Cloud.

“With Oracle opening dual cloud regions in Australia, Japan, Korea and now India, we are further renewing our commitment to support growth in the new decade,” added Garrett Ilg, Executive Vice President, Japan and Asia Pacific, Oracle.

The Hyderabad opening is part of Oracle’s global plans to operate 36 second generation Cloud regions by the end of this year.

“This Cloud region will help scores of Indian firms adjust to the new normal,” said Kumar.

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Business

WhatsApp Business hits 50 million users globally, 15mn in India

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WhatsApp Business app.

With the Covid-19 disruptions bringing more businesses online, WhatsApp Business has reached a new milestone of 50 million monthly users globally with almost a third of them being in India, the Facebook-owned platform said on Thursday.

In India, there are more than 15 million monthly WhatsApp Business app users.

The platform on Thursday also introduced new features to start a chat with a business on WhatsApp like starting a chat with a business using QR codes.

Scanning a QR code will open a chat with an optional pre-populated message created by the business to start the conversation, WhatsApp Business said in a blog post.

With the app’s messaging tools, businesses can quickly send information such as their catalog to get the conversation going.

QR codes are available for businesses around the world using the WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Business API starting Thursday, the company said.

WhatsApp Business said that more than 40 million people view a business catalog on the platform each month, while more than three million users in India do so each month.

“To make it easier for people to discover products, we’re making catalogs and individual items available to be shared as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere,” said the blog post.

“If people want to share a catalog or item they find with friends or family, they can simply copy the link and send it on WhatsApp or other places as well,” it added.

Additionally, WhatsApp also launched new “Open for Business” sticker packs to help people and businesses stay connected, say thanks and get business done.

WhatsApp which has over 400 million users in India said these sticker packs will be available to all of its more than two billion users worldwide as well as the 50 million users of the WhatsApp Business app.

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Business

Oil and Gas: OMCs set to start FY21 with a bang in Q1

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Petrol. (File Photo: IANS)

The Covid-19 demand suppression in early part of the year is likely to abate for oil marketing companies, now with state-run companies — IOC, HPCL and BPCL making a strong beginning to FY21 returning high levels of earnings per share between 37 and 266 per cent in three months, ICICI Securities has said in a report.

The report on refining and marketing has said that the companies shares would be flying on stock exchanges on the back of record auto fuel marketing margin, inventory gain and in case of BPCL and HPCL, surge in GRM (gross refining margin) on a low base.

Net auto fuel marketing margin (on sale of petrol and diesel) is estimated at Rs 6.1 per litre in Q1FY21 and Rs 2 per litre in Q2FY21. The higher margin is on account of upwards revision of fuel prices that started on June 7 and continued for 22 continuous days raising petrol and diesel prices by about Rs 9.17 and 11.39 per litre respectively.

According to the brokerage report, in FY21 margin may be higher than earlier estimate of Rs 2.5 litre. This would provide higher earnings for the companies as auto fuel sales is a major component of revenue for OMCs.

The main earning driver for OMCs is not only higher margins but also inventory gain that they will make this year. In Q1 the inventory gains for companies are estimated at Rs 550-850 crore against loss or smaller gain in Q1FY20. BPCL and HPCL’s GRM is estimated to be up between two and nine times YoY at $5.9-6.9 per barrel boosted by discounts on crude ($3.4-3.6/bbl) but that of IOC at $4.3/bbl to be down 9 per cent YoY.

OMCs’ Q1 GRM is estimated at $4.3-6.9/bbl including gain from crude at discount to Dubai of $3.4-3.6/bbl. However, GRM in Q2 is weak at $3.0-3.8/bbl (including inventory gain of $0.7-0.8/bbl) due to shrinking of crude discounts. Core GRM may be weak in Q2 and FY21, but that including inventory gain would be higher, the ICICI Securities said.

OMCs’ FY21 product inventory gain is estimated at Rs 1100-2300 crore.

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Business

Flipkart Group invests Rs 260 crore in Arvind Fashions’ arm

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Rupees

The Flipkart Group on Thursday announced it has invested Rs 260 crore to purchase a significant minority stake in Arvind Youth Brands, a subsidiary of Arvind Fashions (AFL).

Arvind Youth Brands owns the popular Flying Machine denim brand that has been retailing on Flipkart and Myntra for more than six years.

With this investment, the Flipkart Group and Arvind Fashions will work collaboratively to identify opportunities and synergies to innovate and develop products with strong value propositions at attractive price points, the ecommerce platform said in a statement.

“We look forward to partnering with the team at Arvind Youth Brands to continue to grow the market for its portfolio of products and enhance the strong brand equity that has been built over the last few decades,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group.

Arvind Fashions Ltd has a portfolio of renowned brands, both international and indigenous, like US Polo Assn., Arrow, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Flying Machine, Aeropostale, The Children’s Place and Ed Hardy.

It is also India’s leading beauty retailer in partnership with Sephora and owns and runs the value fashion retail chain, Unlimited.

“Given the strong existing relationship with the Flipkart Group, and their presence in online fashion, it was an obvious choice for us to enter into this engagement through which Flipkart and Myntra will be our preferred online partner for the Flying Machine brand,” said J. Suresh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Arvind Fashions.

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