Monday May 14, 2012

Issue 14: The New OPN Solutions Catalog



The New Oracle PartnerNetwork
Solutions Catalog

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson
Director, Alliances and Solutions Partner Programs
Oracle EMEA Alliances & Channels

Earlier this year, Oracle announced its enhanced OPN Solutions Catalog. This improved, centralised online directory provides all of our partners and customers with instant access to Oracle partner solutions and services worldwide. If you're an Oracle partner, you should already be using this excellent resource to ensure greater visibility and preference with the Oracle prospective customer base. Any partner that hasn't already updated its profile on the OPN Solutions Catalog is certainly missing a trick in identifying itself as an exceptional, formally accredited Oracle partner.

The Solutions Catalog is one of the most visited OPN sites with over 30,000 unique visitors each month. It is translated into more than 13 languages and is accessible to the global user communities of, OPN and Oracle Technology Network. Tightly integrated with Oracle's numerous marketing campaigns, the OPN Solutions Catalog now showcases more than 21,000 partners, making it easier for customers to find the solutions and service providers that best meet their specific business needs, regardless of industry or location.

"Oracle Specialized partners are of course front-and-centre, with potential customers clearly directed to those partners and to Exadata Ready partners as a matter of priority."

Using the updated OPN Solutions Catalog, partners are now able to tailor their listings with rich multimedia and social media assets, unique company information and resources, customer references and more. This extra depth of information allows partners to better differentiate their offerings and expertise to customers and fellow partners. Enhanced search capabilities and a new user review system make it easier than ever for customers to search keywords and assets and explore community feedback to locate the right partner at the right time. It is also now easier for customers to identify partners that have achieved Specialization in their chosen technologies or industry, or to find partner applications that leverage new features, support the latest major releases of Oracle products and are a part of the Oracle Exastack programme.

In a recent research article, Christine Dover, Research Manager, Software Channels Research, at leading analyst firm IDC, said: "Today, companies have very specific business needs and often a short window and set parameters in which to get a project done. Finding the right partner for the job is crucial, but often times extremely difficult. The new Solutions Catalog helps enable Oracle's partners to increase their exposure to prospective customers across the Oracle network as well as differentiate themselves from competitors and build profiles with all the assets and information customers need to make informed decisions."

"ISE won a new customer for the ISE Managed Services department with the help of the OPN Solutions Catalog."

Thomas Mossmann, Business Development Director, ISE

The fresh customer experience the OPN Solutions Catalog provides is intuitive, flexible and practical. The majority of customers visit the Catalog in order to find and research the best partner solution for their needs. They are invited to search by partner name, Specialization, type, location, solution, initiative or to browse Oracle Specialized or Exastack Optimized and Ready partners. For example, a business in Germany interested in Oracle Exadata now has three simple ways to jump into the customer experience and find that ideal partner. They might already know the name of a respected partner and simply look them up directly. Or perhaps they'd like to look at a list of Oracle partners in Germany and surrounding regions. Finally, they could use the Catalog to browse through all Oracle Exadata Specialized partners, assessing each on the basis of their full profiles. Recent keyword searches and recently viewed profiles can also be accessed to assess the criteria that other partners are currently finding interesting.

Thomas Mossmann, Business Development Director for Oracle Exadata partner Information Systems Engineering (ISE), also featuring in the Partner Focus article in this issue of Partner Insight, said: "The OPN Solutions Catalog is an important platform that helps our potential customers get a first overview about the service capabilities of ISE. The Catalog shows the customer all the Specializations that ISE has achieved with Oracle. ISE won a new customer for the ISE Managed Services department with the help of the OPN Solutions Catalog."

Partners making the best use of the OPN Solutions Catalog will certainly prove to be the most attractive candidates for existing Oracle customers and new prospects searching or browsing for the best possible partner. Oracle has fine-tuned the partner experience of the OPN Solutions Catalog to ensure that creating, enhancing and maintaining an attractive profile is as simple and intuitive as possible for all partners. Basic partner profiles are created automatically by Oracle from OPN registration and membership information. But from that point partners must add their own solution profiles to ensure that they appear appropriately in the OPN Solutions Catalog, including marketing information, multimedia and social media links, as well as any up-to-date insights that enable customers to make their informed choice. Oracle Specialized partners are of course 'front-and-centre', with potential customers clearly directed to those partners and to Exadata Ready partners as a matter of priority.

It's now simpler than ever for partners to create or update their profiles. From the main OPN Solutions Catalog page, the first step is to click the 'For Partners' tab on the right-hand side, then click on 'Manage Profile' to access the partner dashboard. In this area partners with admin rights can create a company profile in multiple languages, flag Specializations, and add value in the form of links to YouTube videos, whitepapers, solutions assets, contacts, events, searchable metadata and more. The 'Update Profile' tab accesses the Catalog partner profile editor and the Site Studio Contributor page. Once partners are happy with their refreshed profile, they can click the 'Submit for Approval' tab to see their new profile go live in 24-48 hours. A similar process is followed for updating solutions profile pages, where new solutions can be added and old solutions removed in just a few clicks. FAQ and support documents are on-hand to advise and guide partners in managing their own profile, while a more detailed step-by-step training video to help partners manage their OPN Solutions Catalog account is also available.

So if you are a partner that is new to the OPN Solutions Catalog, or perhaps haven't updated and maintained your Catalog profile as recently as you would have liked, please be assured that Oracle is here to guide you and help you at each stage of the process. Together we can dramatically boost your company's visibility in the eyes of customers and prospects, who will welcome every piece of information you can offer to help them select you as their preferred Oracle partner.

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