Oracle is looking to get more out of its channels and for new leadership to get the job done. Rich Geraffo, a former HP and VMware executive, is to head its worldwide alliances and channels, reporting directly to president Mark Hurd.
Geraffo, who most recently served as senior vice president and managing director of HP's Enterprise Business unit, will oversee the 25,000-partner Oracle PartnerNetwork, and is charged with driving new initiatives to stimulate channel sales.
"Rich Geraffo's industry expertise and leadership experience will be instrumental in driving new growth for Oracle and our partners. We are thrilled he has chosen to join Oracle," said Oracle president Mark Hurd (pictured, right) in a statement. "PartnerNetwork is an incredibly valuable part of our business."
Geraffo comes to Oracle with extensive experience in technology sales and vendor operations. In addition to his time at HP, he served as VMware's vice president and general manager of the Americas, where he oversaw sales, professional services, channel, marketing and field operations.
He has also held executive and sales positions at BEA Systems, IBM and Merrill Lynch.
"Oracle has one of the most extensive and enviable partner communities in the industry," said Geraffo.
"I am honoured by the opportunity to lead such an organisation and look forward to working closely with our partners to deliver new innovations and value to joint customers worldwide."
The appointment of Geraffo comes as Oracle is trying to get its partners to sell more of its broad software, hardware and cloud portfolio. At last month's OracleWorld conference, North America channel chief Tom LaRocca, also a former HP executive, implored partners to expand their capabilities and conduct more attached sales.
"Today, we have a lot of hardware partners that are good at delivering an infrastructure solution in the datacentre. I have a lot of partners that are great at selling middleware and applications. Partner nirvana for me is one [that] can go in and sell an application all the way down to the disk and sell everything in between; he can sell the entire 'red stack'," LaRocca said.
Oracle remains the world's largest database and business software company. However, it is playing catch-up in cloud computing products and services.
And its hardware business, the former Sun Microsystems, continues to drag down overall sales and revenue performance. Oracle believes getting traditional software partners to push hardware products, and vice versa, will jump-start and accelerate overall growth.
Geraffo reports directly to Hurd, who is charged with improving Oracle's hardware sales. Hurd, who spent six years at the helm of HP, is well known for engaging channel partners to reverse product declines and accelerate revenue increases.
All this adds up to Oracle getting more aggressive in driving channel sales and, potentially, displacing rivals in VAR priorities.
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