Oracle's product portfolio isn't the only thing that has grown in the past year - its partner Specialization program is growing as well.
It has been a big year for Oracle's army of partners, some of whom packed
the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Forum event Sunday in San
There has been significant change in Oracle in the year since the last
OPN Forum, most notably the $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The
deal has not only changed Oracle's product portfolio, but also altered the
dynamics of Oracle's partner program-something that has created
opportunities for value-add service providers, Pythian Group Executive Chairman
Paul Vallee told eWEEK.
"I'm also very excited about the impact of the Sun acquisition on
Oracle's partnering model and how it makes our partnering model with Oracle
much more compatible and consistent and congruent with what the higher-ups want
to find in a partner," he said today. "Because of the margins on
hardware as opposed to software, there's a broad de-emphasis on resellers and
channel and a new emphasis on value-added services. ... And, of course, that's
where we've been playing for 10 years. But we've kind of been in the outhouse
for most of those, and we suddenly are hitting our stride."
According to Oracle, about 2,000 partners from around the world attended the
forum to learn more about the company's Specialization program, new OPN
resources and how to work more profitably with Oracle.
Introduced last year, the OPN Specialization program already has more
than 50 options, 200 specialized partners, 25,000 certified OPN
specialists and 5,000 implementation specialists. In addition, Oracle
announced today it has expanded the program by launching a new "Diamond"
level for partners with at least 20 specializations across Oracle's extensive
product portfolio and have achieved at least five "Advanced
"We have worked tirelessly with our partner community to turn our
technologies into solutions and enable our partners to provide the value-added
services behind those solutions," said Judson Althoff, Oracle's senior
vice president of Worldwide Alliances and Channels and Embedded Sales,
during his keynote Sunday. "Being able to deliver on these services is the
greatest source of profitability for our value-added reseller partners. And
with more than 300,000 Oracle customers that are not using Oracle hardware,
this represents a huge opportunity for our partner base."
Services represent a big opportunity for partners to make money, said Oracle
co-President Mark Hurd, during the event Sunday.
"Oracle is a product company," he said. "Partners have the
ability to specialize across the portfolio to build services around it and grow
in markets we don't get to-with complete solutions we don't have in our basket.
When they do, they will find a supportive Oracle ready to help them succeed.
When we align products and solutions as a group, we become more powerful."