(Source: R Wang & Software Insider POV, Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved.)
Oracle Open World kicked off today with major announcements that beef up the 21,000 member strong Oracle Partner program. Throughout the day, Oracle executives kept reminding everyone that path to success would be specialization and that Oracle partners played a key role in driving revenue. In fact, partners contributed to 59% of North American Revenue in fiscal year 2009. Key takeaways include:
- Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Program. Oracle revamps its program to create four partner levels including Oracle Remarketer, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Status must be earned across Oracle’s 35 apps, middleware, database, and industry solutions. The higher the status, the more engagement Oracle will provide.
POV: Partners and customers will benefit from a distinct status program. OPN Specialized will force partners to invest in a few differentiated competencies. With 3000 products, Oracle feels partners wlll need to go deep in order to win in the market place. However, forcing partners to stay specialized will leave them vulnerable as Oracle Consulting Services will still have capacity to provide a full service of solutions. At least Oracle eases the transition by smartly decoupling education from certification. Partners can opt to take the certification exam without having to take unnecessary training. This should help some larger partners to keep their competencies.
- Oracle Partner Business Center. Oracle demonstrates its commitment to supporting customers by expanding the Partner Enablement 2.0 program. Key features include a global Twitter support channel, 24/7 support in 24 different languages, and access to partner business consultants. Access to support will be based on partner levels with Platinum partners receiving inbound call and e-mail assistance, support service request logging, pro-active outbound engagement including business and administrative support and priority renewal, and dedicated virtual account management and channels to assist with joint business plans and top priority renewals.
POV: Oracle’s putting its money where its mouth is. No longer an all hat no cattle partner program, last year Oracle claims to have conducted 44,530 apps and 16,423 tech training sessions. Partners expect the new business center to serve as a key enablement resource and a significant improvement over the patchwork program of previous years.
- Oracle Exadata Partner Program. Partners will be able to resell Exadata Storage servers and Sun Oracle Database machines starting December 1st, 2009. Oracle will be providing enablement resources to expand the solution offering into verticals as well as key horizontals such as data warehousing and business intelligence. Oracle plans to provide training materials via a new Exadata Knowledge Zone that will include Guided Learning Paths.
POV: At the partner keynote, Charles Phillips reemphasized how Oracle will be the first company to go from apps to disk. As Oracle attempts to attack TCO by owning the wh0le stack, expect its competitors to respond to this new stack play with more diversified partnerships among Oracle’s competitors. Oracle’s strategy is brilliant but they will not be left to their own devices by its new competitors in hardware and software.
A few questions to partners:
- Are you a partner with Oracle?
- How do you feel about the changes to the partnership program?
- As an acquired partner what do you think Oracle does well, poorly?
- Are you a Sun Partner moving to Oracle?
Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.