Oracle chooses India for key overseas site

Oracle Corp. plans to make India its key product software development and customer services base outside the US, according to an executive of the company.

The Redwood Shores, California, software vendor which currently employs around 2,225 people at its centers in Bangalore and Hyderabad, aims to take its India head count to over 4,000 over an unspecified period, said Derek Williams, Oracle's executive vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan. "We are growing the Indian center faster than anywhere else, but that just recognizes the potential of the Indian capability," he said. "We will put headcount in whatever place makes the most sense in terms of product development and whatever else we are doing."

The company, which set up operations in India to do product software development, is now expanding to deliver services from India to its customers worldwide. "Both are based on technology and require intellectual capability, and there is hence a synergy between both operations," said Williams.

Besides hiring software developers for product development, Oracle is also hiring staff in India for its services businesses such as Oracle E-business Outsourcing, and to run some of the back office and customer support operations for Oracle worldwide. Oracle's Internet Sales division, e-consulting, and other businesses are also setting up operations in India, according to Williams. "Outside of the United States, India has more Oracle operations than any other country in the world, and we are continuing to expand," he said.

Oracle set up a development center in Shenzhen in China in June this year, with another coming up in Beijing in six months. Both these centers are expected to have a total staff of 200. "The centers in China are purely for the development of products and localization of products for the China market alone, and not for exports," said Williams.

Oracle set up its India Development Center (IDC) in 1994 in Bangalore, with a focus on product software development, and later set up another center in Hyderabad in 1999. While the Bangalore center works on Oracle's database, development tools, and Web technologies, the Hyderabad unit is focused on Oracle's enterprise resource planning (ERP) products. Some of the key projects underway at the IDC include work on the Oracle 9i database and database appliance, the eBusiness Suite and eBusiness infrastructure technology, Oracle Mobile, Oracle Portal, Discoverer, iLearning, and the Oracle Student System. The center has filed for over 10 patents.

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