Ten years ago, Pierre-Alain Baetz moved from the grayness of the Paris region to the sunshine of Malaga. Head of Oracle’s Southern Europe hub, he tells us how they help companies ‘make data speak’ so that people can make the right decisions. Technology, now driven by artificial intelligence, at the service of society.
Like it or not, technology has burst into our lives and Covid has only accelerated the process. This is particularly true for individuals but also for businesses. Pierre-Alain Baetz, Oracle’s Southern Europe Manager for the Mid Market (SME & ETI market) is well aware of the many challenges raised by digital transformation.
Oracle is not there to make the decisions. Its job is to process data, make it speak. It’s the man who decides
“Faced with a digital mutation that has exploded– explains Pierre-Alain Baetz-, companies are faced with an unprecedented amount of data. The volume is such that they have no choice but to use process automation and artificial intelligence to analyze this data, use it, ensure its quality, and of course, above all, secure it, at a time when cybersecurity is at the heart of every discussion“.
Do not confuse cloud technology and file backup in a cloud
Oracle, an American software publisher, created in 1977 by the famous Larry Ellison, is one of the world’s leading specialists in data management and cloud technology. For neophytes, it should not be confused with simple outsourced file backup. In this case, in the Oracle cloud, it is indeed enterprise applications up to the entire infrastructure layer, thus potentially covering the entire core business of the company.
Artificial Intelligence at the service of beekeepers!
This technology is also beginning to be used for anticipate or predict events or actions to be implemented, to avoid incidents, and in many cases, make the best decisions. All sectors of activity are concerned but the most unexpected example of the use of Oracle technologies in the daily world is certainly the World Bee Project in which the American company collaborates with a research laboratory in Great Britain.
“We know it – says Pierre-Alain Baetz-, bees have an essential role, since most of the food in the world is made through pollination. We connected the hives with sensors that record variables such as temperature, humidity, sound level, and vibrations emitted by the hive“.
Normally the mission in Malaga was to last about three years and finally it was more than ten years, and we are very well here
These millions of data collected and analyzed in real time allow us to better understand bees as well as the threats related to their safety (hornet attacks for example) and their development (swarming). With this information, the beekeeper can then decide what actions to take.. In short, a concrete example of artificial intelligence at the service of society.
Tech for Good: helping society through technology
“We see it –explains Pierre-Alain Baetz-, the starting point for Oracle is to help companies around the world manage billions of data, whatever their field of activity. Data is our DNA. But we must also understand that technology is at the service of good and of society as a whole, this is called Tech For Good.“.
The millions of data collected and analyzed in real time allow us to better understand bees, the threats related to their safety and their development.
Technology at the service of sport
Additionally, and for sports fans, Oracle has invested in three major sporting events which show how this technology can also be very useful. For the formula 1 championship, Oracle has been a partner since last year of the Honda Red Bull team, which undoubtedly helped them win the championship. “The Formula 1 car – says Pierre-Alain Baetz– is connected, and sends back in real time thousands of information on accelerations, trajectory, and a multitude of other essential constants, during the course of the race. Thanks to fine analysis, boosted by artificial intelligence and the performance of the Oracle Cloud, the best racing decisions can be made by the entire Team & driver Max Verstappen, leading to winning the 2021 Drivers’ Championship“.
Oracle technologies are also used as part of the SailGP water race, of which Oracle is the initiator. All the boats, real Formula 1 of the seas, are identical and covered with sensors which send the data back to the skipper. “That means –explains the head of Oracle– that they are all on the same footing, with the same boat, the same data that everyone must interpret and cis the best who wins, the one who made the best decisions. In other words, it is the man who decides. Oracle is not there to make the decisions. Oracle’s job is to process the data, to make it speak, to extract the quintessence of the data, but not to decide. The man really remains at the center of the decisions”.
Another significant example is the use of Oracle technology within the English football league, Premier League. There too, it is the same concept of data which is analyzed in real time and which makes it possible to offer fans statistics and even make a goal prediction thanks also to artificial intelligence.
“All these initiatives – points out Pierre-Alain Baetz– also make it possible to bring Oracle closer to the general public through very concrete use cases of the technology, because Oracle is obviously well known to companies, the business world, but is much less known to individuals“.
Oracle has chosen Malaga for its Southern Europe hub
Oracle’s Southern Europe hub space is located in Malaga, meaning that from Spain, Oracle covers a good part of Southern and Central Europe overall. But why Malaga? “In fact –explains Pierre-Alain Baetz-. Oracle was looking to expand the existing Dublin hub to other, more central locations in Europe. And quite naturally, by its geographical, climatic, but also economic attractiveness, Malaga was chosen, alongside the other hubs of Dubai or Amsterdam which respectively address more of the Middle East & Africa regions, or Northern Europe”.
I started with a small team of 6 people and ten years later we are 650 on the site
Expatriation to Spain: a wonderful opportunity
A chance for Pierre-Alain Baetz and a dream opportunity he seized. “Jstarted working in the 2000s –does he remember– and it is precisely at the time when there was, remember, the famous bug of the year 2000, with the Internet bubble, a hectic time in the world of IT. Then, in 2011, after a 5-year stint at BEA Systems followed by its takeover by Oracle, I had a realization. I could perfectly well stay in Paris for another 10 or 20 years and continue to perfect my career, which was going well, but from a personal point of view I wanted something else, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and try a professional experience abroad, this time in a real international environmentI”.
And by chance, Oracle was in the process of setting up and developing this additional European center (hub) in Malaga. “I am became the first French manager to work for the European center and I started with a small team of 6 people specialized in Middleware, then quickly around fifty people and ten years later, we are 650 on the site of which I am now the leader. At first I didn’t know a word of Spanish having chosen German as a second language, and so I learned the language, without any academic basis. That doesn’t mean that I speak very well today, moreover, and especially with the “little” Malaga accent!but this is largely enough to make myself understood, and to have developed a personal and professional network local, in the language of Cervantes”
Pierre-Alain Baetz currently combines two functions: the first, as director of Southern Europe for the technological part on the Mid Market (SME & ETI market) and moreover, director of the Malaga site, in particular in charge of communication and local affairs.
Everything suggests that he made the right decision in 2011. Between the greyness of the Parisian sky and the Malaga sun, but above all his quality of life, there is no comparison! “When I landed in Malaga with my wife and four children, we put them in the Lycée Français, because normally the mission was supposed to last about three years and finally it was more than ten years, and we are very, very well here”. Certainly, an expatriate who will make people envious!