Oracle has reaffirmed its commitment to the reseller model with the announcement that its latest product release will be sold exclusively through the channel.
The Oracle Internet Development Pack (OIDP) is also the first time the database giant will target an internet-based product exclusively at the SME sector, the market which became the focus of Oracle's partner programme when it was established in early 1998.
Commenting on the launch of OIDP, Nigel Thomas, channel marketing manager at Oracle UK, told PC Dealer: 'We've had to shake off our image as a high-end vendor with big, complex and expensive products. Our research indicates that more than two-thirds of the 17,000 businesses in this space do in-house IT development - they are technically very sharp. We also found that resellers have a lot of influence over SMEs, so we have made the OIDP available only through the channel.'
Ian Thomason, sales and marketing director at Leeds reseller Explorer, said: 'Oracle has had the right products in the past for this market, but at the wrong price. The initial cost has been too expensive for small and medium-sized companies.'
Thomason said the channel-only availability of OIDP was a boost for resellers.
'It wouldn't really bother me if it was sold direct as well, but it is proof that Oracle is committed to resellers. It's an important move - we've been telling the company that it needs an internet suite for SMEs for more than a year and now it's listening to us,' he said.
Despite Oracle's statement that the OIDP would be beneficial to SMEs with in-house IT departments, Thomason insisted that this still left room for reseller margin.
'We won't sell one of these and leave them high and dry because the returns are enormous if we look after the customer,' he added.
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