Oracle is looking to the channel to spearhead its attack on the mid-market, the vendor announced at its Oracle OpenWorld event in London last week.
Its latest weapon for partners, unveiled at the event, is a cheaper, simplified version of its 10g database for mid-market customers, which it expects to sell mostly indirect. The launch was accompanied by improvements to Oracle's partner programme and the introduction of a fast-track scheme to give the new software an early sales boost.
Stein Surlien, vice-president of alliances and channels at Oracle EMEA, said the vendor has doubled its indirect licence business to 43 per cent of total sales in the past two years. It also nearly doubled the number of Oracle resellers and ISVs to 8,600.
But Surlien admitted that as their number increases, partners could find themselves competing with each other in Europe. He said resellers do not organise their pan-European business in the same way as Oracle, so confusion may arise over which partners sell in which countries.
Surlien added that Oracle could not stop resellers from selling where they want, but said Oracle "can focus more on the partners it wants to work with".
Despite criticisms earlier this year that Oracle had competed with its partners, Trudy Norris-Grey, vice- president of alliances and channels at Oracle, said company sales teams had been given equal incentives for working with the channel and that there was no longer a problem.
Most of Oracle's indirect growth has come from its ISVs, which have increased by half in the past two years.
Steven Feldman, managing director of GDC, an Oracle ISV, said: "We've built our business partnering with firms such as Oracle. It has the best-thought-out partnering model."
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