December 16, 2010
When it comes to SaaS productivity suites like Google Apps and the forthcoming Microsoft Office 365, we’ve been pushing to learn where the channel fits in. Well, Oracle seems to have taken that into account with the introduction of Oracle Cloud Office, which can be deployed on-premise, on-demand or as a SaaS offering.
At the same time, Oracle launched Open Office 3.3. As you may recall, Oracle acquired Open Office as part of the Sun Microsystems purchase. Some skeptics wondered if Oracle would let Open Office fade away. But the Oracle Cloud Office and Open Office 3.3 launches suggest Oracle is getting serious about competing with Microsoft and Google in the SaaS and on-premise personal productivity markets.
Oracle Cloud Office is based on the Open Document Format (ODF) and other similar standards. Plus, Oracle promises full compatibility with Microsoft Office. What’s more, Oracle promises mobile access to Oracle Cloud Office in addition to the standard web interface. And Oracle Cloud Office can be deployed on-premises and behind the firewall for organizations unwilling to use a public cloud.
What’s the channel strategy here? The first obvious answer: VARs, MSPs and cloud services providers will be able to host Oracle Cloud Office on their own. Google doesn’t offer that option for Google Apps. And Microsoft Office Web is available from Microsoft or on-premise; to the best of our knowledge partners are not hosting Office Web (we’re double-checking to see if that has changed in recent months).
Oracle Cloud Office may be untested, but the ability to put the partner back into the cloud revenue equation for more than a referral fee has a lot of appeal. Still, plenty of Oracle Cloud Office questions remain. Oracle has been in a quiet period most of December so Channel Chief Judson Althoff has not been available for media comment. But pursuing him to discuss Oracle Cloud Office in the near future.
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Follow Talkin’ Cloud via RSS, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Talkin’ Cloud’s Weekly Newsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Read our editorial disclosures here.
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