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Oracle News | February 5, 2016

Cloud Partners Wanted: Oracle Rolls Out Four-Tier Program

By: Rob Preston

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Oracle is developing a program to help partners deliver its cloud software, platform, and infrastructure services to customers worldwide.

The new Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Cloud Program is open to the company's 25,000 current OPN partners, including consultants, integrators, and value-added resellers, as well as to new partners. Benefits to partners include access to Oracle Cloud demonstration environments, Oracle expertise, and joint marketing, while for Oracle the program will bring increased scale and speed to market, as well as local and industry-specific know-how. The cloud program should also help Oracle, known for serving large enterprise customers, move further downstream to small-midsize businesses.

"Partners have never played a more important role in our global economy," says Shawn Price, Oracle senior vice president of cloud. Partner services are moving from "implementation to specification," he says.

Partners participating in OPN Cloud Program can, for example, help customers get more out of their Oracle SaaS (software-as-a-service) investments with additional capabilities developed using Oracle PaaS (platform as a service). Or partners may start with a core "pillar"—cloud HR applications, for instance—and take a customer through to cloud financial applications. Those two sets of apps in particular share a range of "touch points," Price notes.

Oracle CEO Safra Catz, speaking in Mumbai, India, earlier this month to announce company plans to build a new state-of-the-art campus in Bangaluru and open nine regional incubation centers in the country, talked about the critical role of Oracle's partners in transitioning joint customers to the cloud.

Under the old model, she said, companies accumulated custom-built on-premises software and myriad silos of data over decades, and they must avoid making the same mistakes in multiple clouds. "That's a challenge that most of us in this room will have to tackle together," Catz told an audience that included many Oracle partners.

Four Tiers

Partners qualify for—and derive benefits from—OPN Cloud Program according to four membership tiers that reflect their level of expertise and investment in deploying Oracle Cloud services, as well as the "annual recurring revenue" they generate, says Penny Philpot, Oracle global vice president, worldwide A&C partner services.

  • Cloud Standard: This entry-level tier is designed to help partners begin to differentiate themselves in the market. These partners typically have developed expertise in a specialized cloud solution within one of Oracle's main product pillars and have a minimum of one offering on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Oracle said it's committed to helping Cloud Standard partners build their expertise and start growing their Oracle Cloud business.
  • Cloud Select: These partners have achieved a specialization and shown success working with customers to launch Oracle Cloud services. Cloud Select partners earn basic sales, implementation, support, development, and/or marketing assistance from Oracle.
  • Cloud Premier: Partners under this tier have oriented their businesses to focus specifically on delivering Oracle Cloud services, and they have developed repeatable use cases that they (and Oracle) can take to other customers. Benefits to this tier of partners include high levels of Oracle implementation, go-to-market, and engagement support within their regions.
  • Cloud Elite: The highest OPN Cloud Program designation is reserved for highly skilled partners that have demonstrated considerable investment in the breadth of Oracle Cloud services and dedication to delivering them to joint customers. Oracle considers them priority go-to-market partners, earning the company's highest levels of engagement and support.

Philpot emphasizes that Oracle will be "constantly evolving this program" and encourages partner feedback.

When it comes to offering cloud services, Oracle isn't "opportunity—or engagement—constrained," says Dave Callaghan, Oracle senior vice president of EMEA alliances and channels. "That's why we need partners."

Rob Preston is editorial director in Oracle's Content Central organization, where he provides insights and analysis on a range of issues important to CIOs and other business technology executives. Rob was previously editor in chief of InformationWeek. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @robpreston.

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