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Oracle CEO: Middle East data centre 'under consideration'

Mark Hurd hints at possibility of opening a local data centre as Oracle eyes regional cloud growth

Oracle CEO: Middle East data centre 'under consideration'
Hurd: This is one of those areas we're very much considering expanding with a data centre into

Oracle is "very much considering" opening up a data centre in the Middle East, as it hopes to woo more regional customers with its cloud offerings, the company's co-CEO, Mark Hurd, said on Tuesday.

Speaking to ITP.net in Dubai, Hurd said that Oracle had seen "tremendous" growth in its cloud offerings over the last financial quarter, and that it had over 300 Middle Eastern customers using its software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications as of this financial year. SaaS growth for the wider EMEA region was at 80% in Q2 2015, according to the company's last financial statement.

Hurd explained that Middle Eastern customers mostly have their services hosted at data centres in Europe, depending on the type of application.

However, when asked if Oracle's cloud ambitions in the Middle East were realistic, given laws that prevent some organisations from hosting data out-of-country, Hurd said that a Middle Eastern data centre was under consideration.

"We are always looking. We've expanded pretty quick. Just in the past year, we've opened up data centres in Canada, in Germany, in Brazil," he said.

"And the more success we have in a market like this, the more likely you'll see us do that here. This is one of those areas we're very much considering expanding with a data centre into."

Without going as far as making a commitment to the opening a data centre in the region, Hurd said that he was excited about the growth prospects that Oracle sees in the Middle East. He also pointed out that he was happy with the accelerating adoption of cloud services among Middle Eastern customers.

"There are other dimensions to just putting a data centre here. It also becomes about putting one here relative to it being a priority somewhere else. I would say the growth here is pretty exciting, so without me giving you a commitment, it's something that we're very, very much considering," he said.

Hurd said that Oracle wanted to push further into the cloud sphere, proclaiming that the vendor would eventually become the number-one player in the space. He said that this would be achieved by offering a full suite of "best-in-class" applications via SaaS, as well as a differentiated PaaS offering, and an IaaS product, which would be priced similarly to competitors such as Amazon Web Services.

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