Oracle’s head of alliances and channels in the UK has hailed the vendor’s indirect business rejig a success after it moved to simplify its partner strategy following extensive feedback.
David Tweddle (pictured), head of alliances and channels at Oracle UK, said: “The biggest change for us over the past 12 months was to realign the channel organisation and make it easier for partners to engage with Oracle. We have made leaps and bounds in executing our aims.
“If you look at the programmes we have launched over the period, there is now a very competitive rebate programme in place for VADs and partners which rewards them for extending their offerings into the SaaS stack. We now have one of the most compelling rebate models and commercial incentives for partners.”
Tweddle explained that although there is no specific reseller programme set up yet for its SaaS offerings, Oracle has set up a referral programme for partners, which enables them to stay locked into the customer for at least three years.
“This makes a huge difference for partners because they can continue to expand the offerings to that customer over that period, wheras with the competition they only get one year to do this. Already this is being much embraced by our channel.”
He added that the vendor’s VAD partners Arrow and Avnet were also providing invaluable support to its 1,500-strong partner network, with both opening accredited service centres allowing resellers to get hands-on experience with Oracle technology and demonstrate the technology to their own customers.
He said the vendor has worked hard to make it simpler to do business with Oracle.
“When you look at Oracle historically, we have made $86bn-worth (£55.4bn) of acquisitions and we have every piece of technology from the application down to the virtual networking software. That kind of investment has delivered 3,000 products to our list and it can be very confusing to navigate.
“We had to remove the complexity, and this has been driven by requests from partners. That is why we made the decision not to have product specialisations or industry specifications, instead we would have one channel account manager who will work out how to engage with the partners, open up opportunities for those partners to generate services revenue and renewable revenue.”
Partners are divided into three groups, he explained: system integrators, traditional VARs and finally new technology providers such as those working in cloud/SaaS. Tweddle said partners should expect exciting things to come from Oracle.
“Going forward we are going to see a lot of new initiatives such as new commercial models for partners to engage and we are also beginning to see partners selling up the stack and application resellers moving into the hardware stack. There are some dynamic changes in the market.
“We are going to see new technology sold into businesses, not through CIOs or FDs, but through marketing or sales departments, that will enable them to monitise all the information caught on their huge databanks – partners are going to be able to mine that data and deliver it back to customers with business benefits. My job is to help bring it together for the retail industry, banking industry and telcos – the list goes on.
“It is an exciting time for the channel. We believe we are at a moment of change – another inflection point – which will open up new markets and give them something to take to customers.”
The enthusiasm for Oracle's changes has definitely worn off on James Anthony, technology director at partner e-DBA.
"Having one account manager to engage with has been a positive change for our organisation, and it means more personalised attention. Our account manager understands what drives us and all the areas we are focusing on and feeds this back into Oracle to engage the right resources," he said.
"In the past the relationship was more tactical, now it is much more strategic. We are working with a wider slice of the Oracle organisation than ever before," he added. "Historically our focus areas have been database and middleware. Currently we are working on integrated solutions, including hardware and applications, which provide greater customer benefits.
"Working with both Oracle and the other partners in the ecosystem that Oracle has created, has allowed us to increase sales both vertically and horizontally."
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