Oracle has increased its number of partners by more than 20 per cent and has almost doubled its sales through the channel. The firm has also boosted its channel programme by adding incentives for its partners.
Trudy Norris-Grey, vice-president of multi-channel sales at Oracle UK, said the firm had recruited more than 240 partners in the past 12 months, a 20 per cent increase on the year before.
"Last fiscal year we put 19 per cent of our business through partners," said Norris-Grey. "Currently more than 30 per cent of our business is going through the channel. We want resellers that are strong in particular industries or in key accounts."
In order to lure more VARs into its channel, Oracle has launched a series of benefits for accredited resellers, including migration services, marketing funds and sales training.
Norris-Grey said Oracle's direct salesforce, which earns commission whether it sells direct or through partners, is also being encouraged to use the channel. "I attend every direct sales manager's quarterly meeting and explain the benefits of using partners," she said. "The sales managers have now started presenting at channel meetings in return."
VARs agreed that Oracle has renewed its interest in the channel, but said this was likely to be a response to overall market conditions.
"We have seen a lot more activity from Oracle recently; we got a new account manager from them just the other day," said Jonathan Taylor, marketing manager at TrustMarque Solutions. "But recently we've seen a lot more contact from software firms across the board."
Taylor attributed the increased channel activity to a slower market.
"The software vendors need to broaden their market. They have realised they need to sell a lot lower down, into SMEs," he said. "They have also realised that resellers hold this area, so they have done things to encourage their partners and boost the channel."
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