AUSTIN, TEXAS—State capital. One of the world’s premier destinations for live music. And now, with the opening of Oracle’s sprawling 40-acre campus on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, a global center of cloud computing innovation.
The centerpiece of the new Oracle complex, a 560,000-square-foot office building, is home initially to 2,500 employees, but that number is expected to grow. At the March 22 launch ceremony, Larry Ellison, Oracle’s executive chairman and chief technology officer, said as many as 10,000 employees could eventually work there. “We have big plans,” Ellison said.
The state-of-the-art complex—with a full-service restaurant, food truck, Starbucks coffee shop, game rooms, fitness center, and 295-unit apartment compound—was designed to help Oracle recruit top talent, including recent college graduates hired as part of the company’s immersive “Class Of” sales training program. “Oracle is expanding in Austin to attract, hire, and train the best talent to support the unprecedented growth of our cloud business,” CEO Mark Hurd said.
The building will include the first of Oracle’s Next-Generation Contact Centers, designed to support fast, efficient customer interactions using the latest technologies, including curved, wide-screen monitors, real-time intelligence with contextual data, and click-to-call capability. “It’s a powerful way to expand our reach and make it easier for our reps to do their jobs,” says Downs Deering, senior vice president of the Oracle Digital sales team. “They have information at their fingertips.”
A new Oracle Cloud Solution Hub, staffed by Oracle engineers, will demonstrate innovative projects built with and for customers using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. The hub, and three more like it at other Oracle locations, will help customers conceive their own ideas for digital transformation.
Austin is also the first US site of the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program, launched in 2016 and already operating in Brazil, England, France, India, Israel, and Singapore. The six-month program gives startups access to Oracle resources, including mentoring, workspace, and free Oracle Cloud credits, as well as to Oracle customers.
With a metro area population of 2 million and growing, Austin thrives on its decades-long heritage of food, music, the outdoors, and a creative, entrepreneurial spirit. Oracle’s campus will help the company not just fit into the local scene, but also compete with other tech companies looking to hire from universities in the state, including Baylor, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas at Austin.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Ellison said it is important for Oracle to be situated in the heart of Austin, and in particular near the water so that employees can kayak and hike. (Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River.) “Austin is one of the places we want to be because we think that’s where our people want to be,” he said. “We want to develop the kind of facilities where you feel good about coming to work every day.”
Ellison refused to consider sites on the outskirts of the city, and he shared an anecdote about his search for the right location. When the car he and Hurd were in to go view real estate headed miles out of town, Ellison told the driver to turn around: “I said, ‘This isn’t Austin. I’m not getting out of the car.’”
The site on Lady Bird Lake was just what Ellison and Hurd were looking for. “We think this is a phenomenal facility to house fantastic people, who hopefully will come to Oracle whether they’re experienced or right out of college, and be able to develop their careers, learn new technologies, and grow as the company grows,” Ellison said.
Deering describes Oracle’s new digs—including a rock-climbing wall, outdoor collaboration spaces, and Austin-themed murals—as an “experience” that goes well beyond the new furnishing and workspaces. “This is the first place I’ve ever worked at,” he says, “that my kids will think is cool.”
John Foley is director of strategic communications for Oracle.
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