Oracle OpenWorld: Oracle Seeks 5,000 New Partners
At Oracle OpenWorld, Channel Chief Judson Althoff said he wants to boost Oracle’s partner ranks to 25,000 companies, up from 20,000 today. To do so, Oracle will likely raid the Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft partner channels. Althoff didn’t exactly mention those rivals by name, but he said enough to put both companies in Oracle’s crosshairs. Here are nine highlights from Althoff and Oracle Partner Forum, part of Oracle OpenWorld (Oct. 2-6, San Francisc0).
1. Software Partners: Keep a close eye on an Oracle Optimized initiative involving the Exadata and Exalogic platforms. Partners can take the basic step of being certified as “Ready” for those Oracle platforms. But Oracle is working with some key ISVs on an “Optimized” strategy that ensures the ISVs run best on Exadata and Exalogic, Althoff claimed.
(Side note: Althoff has been sharing clues about the Optimized effort since January 2011.)
2. Bigger Numbers: Around this time this year, Oracle had certified 9,000 professionals worldwide. Today, the figure is 30,000 individual professionals. “In a year’s time we’ve tripled the base,” asserted Althoff. “We will double the number of certified implementations specialists again this year.”
3. IT Services? Not: Althoff said Oracle still has no plans to acquire major IT services companies. “It’s clear all the way up to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison” that Oracle would never make such an acquisition, said Althoff. The statement was an indirect jab at IBM and Hewlett-Packard, each of which continue to push deeper into IT services and potentially compete against partners.
4. Partner Incentives: Althoff reiterated Oracle’s focus on the Competitive OPN Incentive Program, which rewards partners for selling the right products into the right markets. The apparent reward? Higher margins. The incentive program sounds a bit like Cisco VIP program. At least that’s The VAR Guy’s spin on the situation.
5. Appliance Chatter: Althoff reiterated his belief that the new Oracle Database Appliance, announced two weeks ago, is the “most groundbreaking product for the channel” that Oracle has ever introduced. The appliance, as The VAR Guy has mentioned, has four processors, each with six cores. The total horsepower is 24 cores of Intel processing power with 12 terabytes of raw storage, all triple mirrored, Althoff has previously stated. The goal: Help partners and customers to consolidate Microsoft SQL Server departmental servers onto Oracle’s Database Appliance.
6. The Forecast?: Althoff didn’t mention cloud computing during his opening statements. But it’s a safe bet Oracle will talk up its hybrid cloud strategy, Oracle President Mark Hurd told The VAR Guy last week.
7. Seeking Partner Growth: CRN‘s Craig Zarley asked how Oracle’s partners have evolved since the Sun acquisition. “We have certainly done a tremendous amount of work in cross-pollinating the ecosystem,” said Althoff, getting VARs to cross-sell solutions. He added: “A good amount of our software base is now consuming the hardware. Roughly 25 to 30 percent of the VAR base has gotten to the point where they’re selling [both hardware and software].”
Ultimately, Oracle plans to raise its partner ranks from the current base of 20,000 partners to a target of roughly 25,000 partners in the next year. Also, Oracle now has 10 Diamond partners — a designation typically reserved for the world’s largest system integrators.
8. Attacking Rivals: Althoff said Oracle simply has “a better offering” than such rivals as HP and Microsoft in the server and database markets. Admittedly, Althoff didn’t mention the rivals by name but he took some indirect shots at both companies. More details soon.
9. Oracle Managed Services: “Our approach will be similar to selling products,” said Althoff. “Our focus will be to focus on top 2,000 customers; we’ll harness that first. And we’ll be working with partners to established a [managed services] beachhead in the broader market. We’re not likely to stand up data centers for targeting midmarket customers. So we’ll team with partners.”
That’s all from Althoff’s press briefing. The VAR Guty will be back soon with a recap of Althoff’s keynote, which starts soon.