Partners Success

By Michael Hickins  |  Posted 2008-02-06 Print this article Print


How critical to your success is your partners' success?

I think it's critical for us to fully embrace the partner community as never before. We're trying to innovate with partners, we're trying to build high-fidelity relationships with them, we're trying to show them what we're going to do so that we don't cross swords with them.

Also, there'll be business and technology models to participate in with them. You saw that we have this new per-log-in pricing-I think that will be very important for partners. We've also previously announced OEM-edition pricing. We want to do more with partners-as much as we can. ...

[Developers] think you have to buy a server, you have to buy a database, you have to buy an application server, you have to buy your IDE [integrated development environment], you have to buy your visualization technology, and on and on and on. And then you have to run it, you have to host it. We have to kind of show them that there's an alternative.

Look, for some companies, they're going to do that-like us. We do that. We have the big data centers and the big servers, the big iron, and we're doing that-that's our business. But for a lot of companies, they don't have to be in that business-they can be in a different business.

Gartner says that 25 percent of the whole enterprise software industry, which is a $250 billion industry, will be software as a service by 2012, and that's right around the corner. These companies are jumping in to fill that. ... You've seen even new software-as-a-service companies that recently went public that only have one data center because they can't afford the second data center, or they don't have the disaster recovery in place, or they're saying it's coming because they're waiting.

Well, those are relatively good-size companies, but they are startups-they can't sell to corporations without having backup data centers and disaster recovery and SAS 70 Type II security. We can provide that for them, and I think that's a tremendous business opportunity for us, and that's why I really am passionate about this area. And I don't think we're going to be the only ones in this area. ... I think the stuff we're doing as platform as a service can really be a supercharger for the whole software-as-a-service industry, and, of course, we're the leader in that. So, if we can make that bigger, it's better for us, as well.


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