Sitting In: Darren Bibby - Channels Research with IDC

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Hi everyone. My name is Darren Bibby and I run our software channels research practice at IDC, the IT research firm. Congratulations to Judson, Penny, Lydia and the entire team on the December 2nd launch of OPN Specialized.

The last time I saw Judson was at Oracle OpenWorld in October. Actually - I saw him but I'm sure he didn't see me. It was at the first annual partner fun run. Judson was leading the pack and I was making sure no one got left behind at the back. Well that's my story...

We all learned a lot about the new OPN program at OpenWorld. I believe it's a great program the team has come up with for partners. It's a bold yet simple program that doesn't try to be more than it needs to be. It's not gimmicky. It makes sense for many reasons.

The old program made sense for the Oracle of old. But this isn't your father's Oracle-mobile... After almost 60 acquisitions, the Oracle of 2010 doesn't look much like the Oracle of the millennium year. Specializations were needed to allow partners to be recognized for what they're good for.


  • Customers can find partners more easily
  • Oracle field sales can find the best partners for specific deals
  • And partners can more easily find other partners to work with, knowing they can't be all things to all people

Some of the early criticism on the program was that it seemed a little too familiar; that it contained some "borrowed" concepts from other vendors. But who really cares - if it's the right thing to do for partners and customers. Even Oracle's new program levels aren't original. From my quick analysis of twenty of the top software partner programs, 12 (60%) of them have "Gold" and "Silver" as tiers. And 8 (40%) of them have the exact same "Platinum," "Gold" and "Silver". Maybe it's not a lack of creativity or innovation but rather it's just making things easier on customers.

And that's what OPN comes down to for me. It helps customers engage with partners. It makes sense.

Good luck to all the partners out there who will be gunning for some new Specializations. And also to the team at Oracle. Keep up the good work.

Happy Holidays to all. Cheers.

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