Elena Kennedy in the cafeteria of Oracle Direct, in the Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía. :: F.G.
For the last three years this Irishwoman has been in charge of 350 professionals in the Malaga base of multinational Oracle
Every worker has placed, in full view of the others, a small flag of their country of origin. With these vivid colours in a grey landscape of desks separated by panels, the staff have highlighted their individual nationality in the Oracle family, although their common language is English. Each one’s workspace is limited, with barely room for papers or conversations aside from those with clients. In the PTA (Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía or Andalusian technology park, in Campanillas) based offices of Oracle, (a global corporation specialising in information technology and computing solutions for businesses), lunchtime begins at one o’clock on the dot. The cafeteria is full of light and groups of thirty-year-olds chatting in English.
–How did your arrival in Malaga go?
–I arrived in 2011, but Oracle has been in Malaga since 2007. It began with about 50 staff members and then in 2010 the organisation decided to enlarge the centre here and created Oracle Direct, which is a specific sales venture. Now there are more than 350 employees. I came here to help with the growth and new global objectives. I started working for Oracle 17 years ago in Dublin, which has the largest centre of Oracle Direct. This one in Malaga is the second largest in size and we have plans to grow further.
-This is surely the company with the most different nationalities working for it in the PTA. Does it also have the highest levels of IQ? Is your recruitment process very rigorous?
-The truth is that to be a global organisation like Oracle, you have to be multicultural too. We always search out the best staff because we want the best workforce. Everyone who works here has English as a first language as well as that of the country which they are working in and so most speak three languages. We have 23 nationalities here.
- What does the company in Malaga do?
-We work with presales, consultancy and what we call ‘generating demand’, which is a specific area of marketing.
-Is the business profile of your staff technological?
- Yes. Our field is information technology. More than half the workforce are salespeople with specific training in using our technology.
-What sectors have been identified as being the most lucrative in terms of business?
-I believe that with social media and mobility and ‘big data’ there are opportunities for everyone. We can offer services to any business that wants to innovate, grow its client base or change its experience with them. For us it is the same, whether they are a bank or a telecommunications firm - Oracle is here to help.
-With your three years here do you think Oracle was right to choose Malaga as a base from a dozen other cities?
-Absolutely. I have already proved that we can grow here as a company. And Malaga has a wide range of attractions as a place to work and live.
-What international markets do you deal with from here in Malaga?
-Countries from eastern and northern Europe. Finland, Sweden, Norway, France...
-The majority of the staff have work experience before they get here?
-Yes and in general the experience of working in Malaga is a very positive one. The climate is very different to that of Scandinavia, for example.
-How old are they on average? How many are female?
-They are mostly about thirty and a third are women.
-I suppose the salaries are good?
-We cannot give exact details but our salaries are competitive because what we demand is also high. We work hard on creating the best climate outside of work also. We have groups such as “Malaga beyond work” which gives our staff a chance to learn more about the city in which they live. Last year we had two staff rock groups and had a concert in the Gibralfaro, raising 5000 euros for ‘Pozos sin Fronteras’. We have a social programme called “leadership in society” and we have worked together with Cudeca and Triple A. With ‘Junior Achievement’ volunteer staff show schoolchildren what we do and things like how to write a good CV.
-How is your relationship with Malaga University?
-We have already discussed what we can do together. We have an ‘Oracle Academy’ which offers universities in Andalucía and Spain a specific type of education in ‘cloud computing’ and ‘big data’ so that future professionals can train in these fields.
-Is Malaga a good place for technology businesses to invest in?
-For us that is now evident.