Oracle Channel Chief Rich Geraffo Talks Strategy

Oracle Channel Chief Rich Geraffo talks cloud services, Engineered Systems and partner strategies with The VAR Guy.

The VAR Guy

March 25, 2014

3 Min Read
Oracle Channel Chief Rich Geraffo Talks Strategy

New Oracle Channel Chief Rich Geraffo, an HP and VMware veteran, touched base with The VAR Guy earlier today. Geraffo reports directly to Oracle President Mark Hurd — which means channel partners have mind share in the company’s C-suite. But why did Geraffo jump to Oracle in November 2013 — and what has he been up to? The VAR Guy got the answers this morning.

Geraffo says Oracle’s leadership and strategy attracted him to the company. “The industry is at an inflection point trying to figure out where growth is going to come from,” he said. “When you look at the Oracle portfolio, it’s really a complete stack from applications to middleware, database, OS — and the investments in Engineered Systems, servers and storage. The company is really well positioned to take advantage of those solutions.”

Plus, Oracle has made a big bet on the cloud, he added — whether Oracle’s public cloud or the opportunity to help customers build private clouds. “This is a company on a mission to really show value to the enterprise. Innovation will drive the company’s success going forward.”

Sound Bites

Geraffo spent his first few months traveling to visit partners and customers worldwide. Among the routes to market and solutions that have demanded his focus:

  • Big systems integrators that are making software investments both on-premises and via cloud rollouts.

  • Distributors and resellers: “If you look at the traditional two-tier distribution model, we’re looking to reach markets we can’t normally reach on our own.”

  • ISVs: “The strength of the ISV business surprised me the most. We see ISVs taking our middleware and database and bundling and going to market.” A lot of the ISVs are now looking to deliver via hosting — “whether private or public cloud.”

  • Cloud: “A lot of partners are trying to figure out how to build a business around the cloud. Our partners can resell or refer our cloud services. We saw 300 percent growth from cloud resale last quarter.”

  • Engineered Systems: “I always like to come back to the customer. We’re seeing great success with a few areas. Partner’s are saying ‘let’s start with Oracle on Oracle [software on hardware].'” He mentioned server consolidation projects and Engineered Systems deployments.

  • On Java and the Internet of Things: He described a world where Java-enabled devices are linked to Big Data systems. “This is part of the channel strategy in which we work with the device manufacturers” and Big Data ISV specialists.

  • On competition with other big IT vendors: “We’ve got a tremendous middleware platform and a tremendous database installed base. Now we’ve made application and Engineered Systems bets. We’re not just a database company. We can be a complete provider. Put us up against HP and they can’t talk about the applications. VMware can’t talk about device to the data center.”

So what are his remaining priorities for fiscal 2014? “It’s all about making it easier to do business with us. We also need partners to understand the enablement and emerging opportunities we have. We want to help partners invest in education and enablement.”

Among the areas of momentum to note: More than 14,000 individuals are now Oracle cloud specialists.

And what’s in store for Oracle’s fiscal 2015 — which starts this stummer? The VAR Guy is already poking around for answers.

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