Oracle Australia boss: it's time to get out of grey suits in the fight for cloud business

Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates after defending the America’s Cup against New Zealand in 2013. Justin Sullivan/Getty Image

It’s suddenly become cool to work for Oracle again, according to reports from the US.

And locally, the technology company has started to hire a different type of person.

Tim Ebbeck, the recently appointed managing director for Oracle in Australia, is determined to get rid of the conservative atmosphere in the local Oracle office.

The former chief commercial officer of NBN and a former CEO of SAP in Australia is about to add one-third more sales staff in Australia, another 150 on top of 450, in the next couple of months.

“I don’t need 45-year-old men in suits,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of those.”

Oracle is gearing up across Asia and Australia, hiring a total of 1,000 new sales staff, to take on other cloud-based platform vendors such as Amazon and Azure.

“It’s (the business) ours for the taking,” he said. “We just need the right attitude.”

In Australia, Ebbeck wants diversity among his team. It’s about mindset, not age. “We want the best, we want the brightest, we want awesome people,” he said.

“This is a company which is now going to become attractive to the next generation.”

To change the culture, he’s running his current staff through the company induction program.

Staff tend to wear the grey suits, white shirts and ties as a mark of respect to the customer. But the business has changed.

“I think a lot of the big deals aren’t there anymore,” Ebbeck said. They are now smaller and tend to close faster.

“One of the things I am riding into Oracle is a sense of urgency,” he said.

“It’s different from the old days when you would help someone draft a tender, you would respond to the RFP (request for a proposal) and two years later you would get an outcome.

“Now we’re doing deals in the SAS world, in 18 days or 30 days. Things are changing rather rapidly.”

Oracle believes the cloud opportunity in Asia-Pacific is fed by strong economic growth and an excellent broadband and mobile infrastructure.

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