By Alison Weiss
Businesses tend to succeed and expand when the economy is booming, but it’s challenging to keep afloat—let alone grow—during a downturn. Nevertheless, four Oracle partners are defying economic conditions and expect to accelerate their businesses in 2009. While DAZ Systems, Zanett Services, Lucidity Consulting Group, and Jibe Consulting each have specific areas of niche expertise, they all share a strategic understanding of their markets and customers. In addition, all four are taking part in the Oracle Accelerate initiative and credit the two-year-old program with helping to redefine and expand their businesses by enabling industry-focused solutions for midsize companies.
According to Mark Johnson, vice president for Oracle Accelerate applications marketing and business development, two years ago management addressed the fact that while two-thirds of Oracle’s customers are in the midsize space, the company lacked a formal program to deliver midsize solutions. Since then, Oracle Accelerate has emerged as a strong program to help channel partners bring rapid time to value to midsize organizations. Oracle Accelerate provides a standardized, industry-leading practice delivery mechanism that enables Oracle’s partners to offer fixed-price, fixed-scope business software solutions that are highly tailored to specific industries and geographies. “We now have more than 230 Oracle Accelerate solutions in the market worldwide,” says Johnson, citing Oracle’s significant growth in the midsize space over the past year. “No one expected this in tough economic times. It’s due to what our partners are doing.“
Reengineering Businesses with Oracle Accelerate
Johnson believes a big part of Oracle Accelerate’s success is that it inspired partners to re-engineer their businesses. A new emphasis was placed on lowering the time and cost of sales and delivery. The most-successful partners went from doing 3 or 4 large implementations a year to doing 8, 10, or even 12 implementations, quickly and inexpensively.
“We’ve been told by partners that if they hadn’t made the change, they’d have been out of business,” Johnson says. “We’re in a rough spot in the economy, but Oracle Accelerate partners will get through it because they are in a better position to compete and help customers.”
Recent market analysis substantiates Johnson’s perspective regarding continued growth in the midsize arena—despite tough economic conditions. An IDC survey of midsize companies found that only 14 percent indicated they were likely to hold off making enterprise software purchases in 2009, and 41 percent were only moderately likely to stall purchases. Midsize companies realize that they must continue to be efficient in their operations, and a well-integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is one significant way to achieve this goal. What leaders at DAZ, Zanett, Lucidity, and Jibe Consulting all understand is that compared to 10 years ago, midsize firms are more complex.
“A lot of the midsize companies we work with have pretty complex processes, and many of them are multinational, but they don’t necessarily have the internal IT budget or the appetite to do enterprise-class systems,” says Shane Moncrieff, president of Jibe. “By using accelerators, people can get into a best-of-class ERP system and save some of the implementation costs.”
“Oracle Accelerate was easy to embrace at DAZ Systems,” says Deborah Arnold, DAZ Systems’ founder. “Customers like the tight time frame and scope that Oracle Accelerate offers as it helps control the project. Projects are affordable enough that even a startup company doesn’t have to settle on a tier-two or tier-three ERP package that will need to be replaced in a few years. We focus on vertical industries that we have tremendous experience with and that are related. We are primarily in manufacturing and distribution, and we’ve extended it to consumer products, high tech, clean energy, and apparel.”
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