Senior Vice President, Systems, Oracle EMEA
Luigi Freguia is Senior Vice President of systems for Oracle in EMEA. Before joining Oracle in August 2011, he held senior positions at a number of other high-profile technology companies, notably HP, Microsoft and IBM.
What do you see as the key value propositions of the new Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) for Oracle partners?
With ODA our partners are providing their customers with a unique and very appealing total solution rather than a 'me too' solution sold solely on price. It's an engineered system that none of our competitors are able to offer. The ODA delivers significantly lower costs, extreme simplicity, and performance that all customers will appreciate, but particularly midmarket businesses that typically would not engineer this type of solution on their own. The ODA grows with customers as their needs grow, offering vertical integration in a single self-contained appliance and just one number to call for vendor support. In the real-world it takes Oracle partners just two hours to install an exceptional pre-built system, not the two days it would take other partners to integrate the traditional 'bag of components'. Furthermore, because the ODA is on the Strategic Product List, it offers partners higher margins, plus they are entitled to extra rebates.
How does the ODA further expand existing joint hardware/software opportunities for partners?
ODA is the perfect starting point for our partners to embrace our 'Engineered to Work Together' strategy. For our traditional software partners it is an easy way to expand their portfolios and offer more value to their customers. ODA is one single unit, one single configuration and is very easy to install and manage. That means that our partners need not invest in totally new skills before they can take it to market. They can quickly and easily leverage their extensive existing skills.
What competitive advantages does ODA bring to Oracle partners in crowded markets?
You need to consider that we hear about customers wanting to deploy a highly-available Oracle Database thousands of times every month. Often twelve competing partners will offer these customers various assemblages of components that are all very similar. But now our partners come in with ODA. They are able to offer the highest availability of all, up to ten times faster installation, roughly five times lower cost to start in year one, and let's say 40 percent lower total cost of ownership overall. Oracle partners can also push the fact that the ODA comes with Oracle's unique pay-as-you grow licensing, allowing customers to scale up when they need to, ensuring they only pay for what they'll really use. Pay-as-you grow lets customers seamlessly scale from two to 24 processor cores, without the cost and downtime usually associated with hardware upgrades. This lets customers save from $10,000 to $60,000 compared to competitors' solutions based on list pricing—and that's without other savings. Anyone buying our competitors' 'solutions' will need to buy all 24-cores for licensing from day one, and will not be able to gradually scale up as with ODA.
Which partner types do you believe will benefit most from including the ODA in their portfolios?
All of them, but specifically those specialised in selling Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, RAC and Linux will find they have the complementary skills to give them the edge, so we encourage those partners to adopt an ODA strategy now. Partners have customers wanting to migrate their database from Standard to Enterprise Edition as it's now more convenient on ODA. Competitively ODA offers a great way for a partner to differentiate from its competitors by offering a full engineered solution. An ISV can of course engineer its solution to run on ODA, but the greatest demand will come from partners that sell.
What customer types are likely to find the ODA most compelling?
I think any customers looking for high performance and high availability who at the same time want to reduce their installation and management costs. So everyone really, but in reality we believe that the midmarket can benefit particularly, as well many departmental organisations within our very largest customers that wish to run their own reliable, secure, high-availability database to support specific applications. There's also a great focus on customer hardware refresh cycles, and every organisation trying to lower the overall costs of datacentres would benefit from consolidation like this, making savings in terms of energy, cooling, space and more.
How can partners discover more about the ODA sales and marketing proposition and gain further support from Oracle?
The first thing partners must do is to register to resell ODA, then go to our OPN website and ensure that they have studied all the ODA materials available. Next, they should contact their VAD to discuss how best to take the ODA to market as well as joint marketing initiatives that share best practice and bundle resources.
What feedback have you had from pioneering Oracle partners who have already begun successfully selling/integrating ODA?
Essentially every customer who has bought the ODA through our partners really likes it and the engineered systems message resonates with them very well. It fills an important need, so practically every time our partners have the opportunity to explain the benefits, they find that customers accept the proposition readily and new sales opportunities follow. In EMEA partners have already been successful, especially with: Oracle Database customers going through a hardware refresh cycle; those interested in higher performance from their existing applications; anyone looking to consolidate IT assets including servers, storage and databases; and customers who liked the appliance concept already but didn't feel they required the scale or extreme performance of Oracle Exadata.
Finally, what calls to action would you like to give partners still considering the ODA proposition?
Engage with us and talk with us about anything that is unclear. We can provide any and all additional information you need. Just let us or your VAD know that you are considering ODA and we'll do the rest. Since ODA's introduction we have signed more than 300 partners across the EMEA region and are now adding a further 30-50 partners each week. Make sure you are not left out because you may well find yourself competing against adopting partners in the near future. You could consider purchasing an ODA as a proof of concept (PoC) to familiarise your teams with the technology—there's nothing better than a real-life demonstration for in-house staff and customers. Contact your regional VAD today.
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