In my last post I talked about Fujitsu's achievement in obtaining SOA and other specializations, but I have heard murmurings from other partners about what just is the value? I think Oracle have to do more to advertise the benefits to customers, we need to see customers asking for specialization for it to really work, but Oracle have made great promises about only recommending those partners who are specialized.
For us there was another benefit. Oracle was sponsoring the 3rd Annual SOA Symposium in Berlin and invited us as their first specialized partner to take part. There is a great blog about the symposium on the SOA community blog site.
This is real commitment from Oracle and we have other marketing opportunities being worked on with Jürgen. This does generate leads so my message to other Oracle Partners is, you need to do this, it is worthwhile.
Just before Oracle Open World I found out that Fujitsu had achieved the first SOA Specialization globally.
I think most partners know what the requirements are for Specialization and that in itself is challenging but the bureaucracy around the actual submission is an exercise in tenacity. I won’t go into that now; I have had my dig at Oracle this month, but enough to say the process could be improved.
As a platinum partner we needed 5 specializations and we decided to go for SOA first. The reasoning behind this is that our Oracle Practice is known for being applications centric. We have always had an excellent technical capability but no one ever talked about that, it was just part and parcel of an implementation. However today we have just as many bids that are technology lead as there is applications lead, so it seemed a good plan to work on the areas we were not known for.
We appointed a capability lead to be responsible for putting the team through the training and testing and Rosemary (Kell) was excellent, she ensured that everyone was on track and that it wasn’t just getting put into the ‘to do list’. In Fujitsu everyone in the Oracle Practice has an objective to achieve the competency tests in their area, so achieving the 2 pre sales, 2 sales and 1 support was no problem at all. We actually had 22 with the support capability proficiency. The implementation specialist exams are much harder, more like OCP in the database area.
We had help from the Oracle SOA Community; Jürgen Kress who runs this in EMEA is really motivational. At the time we started SOA was a beta exam which means you do not get the results immediately but again we put forward more than we needed. Manjit Chopra, Sukhraj Sahota, Emely Patra, Ian Scorrer and Sunny Sidhu all took the exam and eventually got the results they wanted they had passed. Congratulations.
Here is Jurgen expalining why specialization is important.
After the tests came the submissions where you need to include deals and experience, this was my bit, and persuading Oracle we really deserved the specialization. Finally we got the news we had been awarded the specialization, and a few days later that we were first globally. I am very proud. However there is no rest for the wicked and we plodded on to make the 5 specializations needed for Platinum and now we are working on the new Diamond status and I think SOA will be one of our 5 ‘super specializations’. This is a global Fujitsu initiative and I work closely with my colleague in Germany Jessika Weiss. It was nice to be able to have a press release about this and a comment from Judson Althoff head of Oracle Alliances.