Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized: A Closer Look
Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff (pictured), as expected, launched the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized program on December 2. Big surprises? Nope. Big implications? Yes. Here’s a look at Oracle’s latest partner program and potential implications for solutions providers.
Let’s start with the basic premise: Oracle’s product diversity is both a blessing and a burden, especially as customers try to track down qualified partners for specific application projects or vertical market engagements.
As Oracle President Charles Phillips put it during Oracle OpenWorld in October 2009:
“We have an embarrassment of riches at Oracle. We have 9,000 products. Between the $3 billion a year we’re spending in development and the 50-something acquisitions [Oracle has made] we’ve come a long way and we have the breadth of products. Our key challenge right now is two things: Educating people on what we have — customers and partners. And secondly, distributing those products and getting in front of the right people and solving the right needs. We can’t do it ourselves.”
In response, Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized enables Oracle’s “more than 22,000 global partners to better differentiate, compete and succeed to today’s dynamic marketplace,” Oracle asserts.
But what exactly does the specialization effort involve? Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff offered some answers in this FastChat video with The VAR Guy:
No surprise, the OPN Specialized partner program includes Platinum, Gold, Silver and Remarketer levels. Platinum level partners have established a depth and breadth of the expertise across five or more key Oracle solution areas. Oracle points to several partners — including B2Br, CedarCrestone, SolStonePlus, Symatrix and Tilsor — that have already achieved Platinum-level status.
OPN Specialized is more than a North American effort. It’s a global initiative. For example, Stein Surlien, senior VP, Alliances & Channels for Oracle in EMEA, launched the OPN Specialized program at the Nordic OPN Days in Stockholm. You can get a feel for Surlien’s thoughts here:
For those who believe Oracle remains overly dependent on its aggressive direct sales force, Phillips at OpenWorld offered up the following two stats: Partners represent 40 percent of Oracle’s revenues and 80 percent of Oracle’s transactions. Phillips told the audience of solutions providers: “It’s not lost on anyone in Oracle management how important you’ve been in our success.”
Here’s a look at his complete comments:
As part of the OPN Specialized launch, Oracle has introduced the following new and/or enhanced tools:
- P&E System: A new Programs & Enrollments system provides partners with an automated way to manage their partner profiles.
- Partner Ordering Portal (PoP): The Oracle Partner Ordering Portal, now available in 35 countries and eight languages, allows partners and Value-Added Distributors (VADs) to enter their Oracle orders online.
- OPN Enablement Environment: A platform for partner training activity including hands-on Oracle Boot Camp labs.
- Enhanced Solutions Catalog: Partners can upload Flash file demos and embed YouTube videos in the Solutions Catalog, allowing them to showcase visual images of their solutions, as well as speak to potential users directly through pre-recorded videos.
- Events Calendar: An enriched online searchable events calendar with RSS capabilities, allows partners to more easily track, identify and attend relevant events, either locally or virtually.
December 2, 2009, was perhaps the most significant day in Oracle’s Partner Program history. But The VAR Guy will be watching to see if Oracle partners embrace the new OPN Specialized program in 2010.