Hardware and software behemoth Oracle has acted on reseller feedback that it was difficult to do business with, according to its new UK channel boss.
As revealed by ChannelWeb, on 1 June Oracle shook up its sales team so that partners now interface with one account manager for its applications, technology and hardware offerings, where previously they dealt with up to three.
At the start of Oracle's fiscal 2013, partners were also split into three tiers – Strategic, Investment and Managed – based on their skill sets, accreditations, revenue contribution and ability to sell its full stack from application to disk.
Talking to ChannelWeb, David Tweddle (pictured), who took up the UK head of alliances and channels post on 1 June, said the changes were based on face-to-face feedback gathered from more than 100 resellers across EMEA.
"We got a standard answer: You are really hard to do business with," he said.
"They told us there could be three or four people calling on them with three or four different drivers that might be diametrically opposed, even though they all carry an Oracle badge."
Tweddle said the new structure has made Oracle easier to deal with because partners know one Oracle employee will be rewarded based on their overall number.
"Perhaps if they only did software and have an inclination to open up a new business in hardware, [the account manager's] compensation plan will now include hardware," he explained. "This means we are not leaving revenue on the table for our competition."
Tweddle admitted the decision to split its resellers into three tiers initially sparked some reseller hostility, but said all were happy now they understood they do not equate to a first, second and third division. Neither will the change affect their margins.
Oracle will slant its engineering support towards its Strategic partners, which encompass its 12 Diamond partners, including Accenture, Deloitte, IBM GS and HP Services, as well as Computacenter and SCC.
Support for its 40 or so UK Managed partners, which include big-volume resellers Trustmarque, Softcat and Kelway – as well as boutique middleware specialists such as infoMENTUM and Griffiths Waite – will be weighted towards marketing. Oracle is encouraging volume and boutique partners to buddy up on deals if they cannot sell the complete stack.
Partners in the Investment tier, which takes in 30 or so traditional software and hardware VARs, will receive a mixture of both.
"There is a good road map to move around those categories, should they wish," said Tweddle.
Oracle's channel credentials recently came under scrutiny when a small partner accused the vendor of swiping a £24,000-server deal from under its nose.
Although the reseller in question, Interhost, had not registered the deal, Tweddle stressed there would be no slip-ups under his watch.
"We have a very rigorous deal registration system in place and going forward in my tenure I will be religious about ensuring [all staff] adhere to that system and that we have a level playing field," he said.
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