Oracle chairman Larry Ellison has blasted systems integrators that offer 'best of breed' solutions - a statement seemingly at odds with the firm's recent announcement that it has doubled sales through its partners.
In a letter to The Economist, Ellison attacked best of breed, or multi-vendor solutions, and the systems integrators that sell them.
"The biggest promoters of best of breed are the systems integrators that are paid huge sums to stitch this stuff together," Ellison wrote.
"For the customer, it is a constant treadmill of expensive and disruptive upgrades. For the integrator, it is the gift that keeps on giving."
Oracle, which partners with systems integrators, resellers, managed service providers and independent software vendors, announced last week that it has added an extra 150 partners to its UK community over the past six months.
Trudy Norris-Grey, vice president of multi-channel sales at Oracle UK, said partners were essential to the firm's business. "In terms of Oracle's view of systems integrators, they are essential to what we do," she said.
"We believe partners are vital and our strategy requires us to work hand-in-hand with our partner community."
But Greg Carlo, managing director of VAR Repton, challenged Ellison's statement.
"A customer can easily change systems integrators but cannot easily move vendor," he said. "An integrator must be transparent, loyal and dependable to customers. Ellison is suggesting the inverse of that."
Despite Ellison's comments, other channel players have said Oracle's new channel focus has paid off. Mark Hatton, managing director of Oracle distributor Sphinx, said there had been positive changes inside the vendor.
"Since Oracle announced its channel intentions there have been changes within it that have led to it working more effectively with partners," he said.
Hatton said there is now more value for resellers that join Oracle's partner programme. "The company restructured internally and it is now better for its direct-sales people to work with partners," he said.
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