By Kellsey Ruppel-Oracle on Nov 28, 2011
In competitive marketplaces, your company needs to quickly respond to changes and new trends, in order to open opportunities and build long-term growth. Oracle has a variety of next-generation services, solutions and resources that will leverage the differentiators in your offerings. Name your partnering needs: Oracle has the answer.
This week we’d like to focus on Partners and the value your organization can gain from working with the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The Oracle PartnerNetwork will empower your company with exceptional resources to distinguish your offerings from the competition, seize opportunities, and increase your sales. We’re happy to welcome Christine Kungl, and Brian Buzzell, from Oracle’s World Wide Alliances & Channels (WWA&C) WebCenter Partner Enablement team, as today’s guests on the Oracle WebCenter blog.
Q: What is the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN)?
A: Christine: Oracle’s PartnerNetwork (OPN) is a collaborative partnership which allows registered companies specific added value resources to help differentiate themselves from their competition. Through OPN programs it provides companies the ability to seize and target opportunities, educate and train their teams, and leverage unparalleled opportunity given Oracle’s large market footprint. OPN’s multi-level programs are targeted at different levels allowing companies to grow and evolve with Oracle based on their business needs. As part of their OPN memberships partners are encouraged to become OPN Specialized allowing those partners additional differentiation in Oracle’s Partner Network Community.
Q: What is an OPN Specialization and what resources are available for Specialized Partners?
A: Brian: Oracle wanted a better way for our partners to differentiate their special skills and expertise, as well a more effective way to communicate that difference to customers. Oracle’s expanding product portfolio demanded that we be able to identify partners with significant product knowledge—those who had made an investment in Oracle and a continuing commitment to deliver Oracle solutions. And with more than 30,000 Oracle partners around the world, Oracle needed a way for our customers to choose the right partner for their business.
So how did Oracle meet this need? With the new partner program: Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized.
In this new program, Oracle partners are:
- Specialized : Differentiating themselves from the competition with expertise that set them apart
- Recognized: Being acknowledged for investing in becoming Oracle experts in specialized areas.
- Preferred : Connecting with potential customers who are seeking value-added solutions for their business
OPN Specialized provides all partners with educational opportunities, training, and tools specially designed to build competency and grow business. Partners can serve their customers better through key resources:
OPN Specialized Knowledge Zones –
Located on the updated and enhanced OPN portal— provide a single point of entry for all education and training information for Oracle partners.
Enablement 2.0 Resources —
Enablement 2.0 helps Oracle partners build their competencies and skills through a variety of educational opportunities and expanded training choices.
These resources include:
- Enablement 2.0 “Boot camps” provide three-tiered learning levels that help jump-start partner training
- The role-based training covers Oracle’s application and technology products and offers a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on lab exercises, and case studies.
- Enablement 2.0 Interactive guided learning paths (GLPs) with recommendations on how to achieve specialization
- Upgraded partner solution kits
- Enhanced, specialized business centers available 24/7 around the globe on the OPN portal
OPN Competency Center—Tracking Progress
The OPN Competency Center keeps track as a partner applies for and achieves specialization in selected areas. You start with an assessment that compares your organization’s current skills and experience with the requirements for specialization in the area you have chosen. The OPN Competency Center then provides a roadmap that itemizes the skills and the knowledge you need to earn specialized status.
In summary, OPN Specialization not only includes key training resources but a way to track and show progression for your partner organization.
Q: What is are the OPN Membership Levels and what are the benefits?
A: Christine: The base OPN membership levels are:
At the Remarketer level, retailers can choose to resell select Oracle products with the backing of authorized, regionally located, value-added distributors (VADs). The Remarketer level has no fees and no partner agreement with Oracle, but does offer online training and sales tools through the OPN portal.
Program Details: Remarketer
The Silver level is for Oracle partners who are focused on reselling and developing business with products ordered through the Oracle 1-Click Ordering Program. The Silver level provides a cost-effective, yet scalable way for partners to start an OPN Specialized membership and offers a substantial set of benefits that lets partners increase their competitive positioning.
Program Details: Silver
Gold-level partners have the ability to specialize, helping them grow their business and create differentiation in the marketplace. Oracle partners at the Gold level can develop, sell, or implement the full stack of Oracle solutions and can apply to resell Oracle Applications.
Program Details: Gold
The Platinum level is for Oracle partners who want the highest level of benefits and are committed to reaching a minimum of five specializations. Platinum partners are recognized for their expertise in a broad range of products and technology, and receive dedicated support from Oracle.
Program Details: Platinum
In addition we recently introduced a new level:
This level is the most prestigious level of OPN Specialized. It allows companies to differentiate further because of their focused depth and breadth of their expertise.
Program Details: Diamond
So as you can see there are various levels cost effective ways that Partners can get assistance, differentiation through OPN membership.
Q: What role does the Oracle's World Wide Alliances & Channels (WWA&C), Partner Enablement teams and the WebCenter Community play?
A: Brian: Oracle’s WWA&C teams are responsible for manage relationships, educating their teams, creating go-to-market solutions and fostering communities for Oracle partners worldwide. The WebCenter Partner Enablement Middleware Team is tasked to create, manage and distribute Specialization resources for the WebCenter Partner community.
Q: What WebCenter Specializations are currently available?
A: Christine: As of now here are the following WebCenter Specializations and their availability:
Oracle WebCenter Portal Specialization (Oracle WebCenter Portal): Available Now
The Oracle WebCenter Specialization provides insight into the following products: WebCenter Services, WebCenter Spaces, and WebLogic Portal.
Oracle WebCenter Specialized Partners can efficiently use Oracle WebCenter products to create social applications, enterprise portals, communities, composite applications, and Internet or intranet Web sites on a standards-based, service-oriented architecture (SOA). The suite combines the development of rich internet applications; a multi-channel portal framework; and a suite of horizontal WebCenter applications, which provide content, presence, and social networking capabilities to create a highly interactive user experience.
Oracle WebCenter Content Specialization: Available Now
The Oracle WebCenter Content Specialization provides insight into the following products; Universal Content Management, WebCenter Records Management, WebCenter Imaging, WebCenter Distributed Capture, and WebCenter Capture.
Oracle WebCenter Content Specialized Partners can efficiently build content-rich business applications, reuse content, and integrate hundreds of content services with other business applications. This allows our customers to decrease costs, automate processes, reduce resource bottlenecks, share content effectively, minimize the number of lost documents, and better manage risk.
Oracle WebCenter Sites Specialization: Available Q1 2012
Oracle WebCenter Sites is part of the broader Oracle WebCenter platform that provides organizations with a complete customer experience management solution. Partners that align with the new Oracle WebCenter Sites platform allow their customers organizations to:
- Leverage customer information from all channels and systems
- Manage interactions across all channels
- Unify commerce, merchandising, marketing, and service across all channels
- Provide personalized, choreographed consumer journeys across all channels
- Integrate order orchestration, supply chain management and order fulfillment
Q: What criteria does the Partner organization need to achieve Specialization? What about individual Sales, PreSales & Implementation Specialist/Technical consultants?
A: Brian: Each Oracle WebCenter Specialization has unique Business Criteria that must be met in order to achieve that Specialization. This includes a unique number of transactions (co-sell, re-sell, and referral), customer references and then unique number of specialists as part of a partner team (Sales, Pre-Sales, Implementation, and Support). Each WebCenter Specialization provides training resources (GLPs, BootCamps, Assessments and Exams for individuals on a partner’s staff to fulfill those requirements. That criterion can be found for each Specialization on the Specialize tab for each WebCenter Knowledge Zone.
Here are the sample criteria, recommended courses, exams for the WebCenter Portal Specialization:
Q: Do you have any suggestions on the best way for partners to get started if they would like to know more?
A: Christine: The best way to start is for partners is look at their business and core Oracle team focus and then look to become specialized in one or more areas.
Once you have selected the Specializations that are right for your business, you need to follow the first 3 key steps described below. The fourth step outlines the additional process to follow if you meet the criteria to be Advanced Specialized. Note that Step 4 may not be done without first following Steps 1-3.
1. Join the Knowledge Zone(s) where you want to achieve Specialized status
- Go to the Knowledge Zone
- lick on the "Why Partner" tab
- Click on the "Join Knowledge Zone" link
2. Meet the Specialization criteria - Define and implement plans in your organization to achieve the competency and business criteria targets of the Specialization. (Note: Worldwide OPN members at the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond level and their Associates at the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond level may count their collective resources to meet the business and competency criteria required for specialization in this area.)
3. Apply for Specialization – when you have met the business and competency criteria required, inform Oracle by completing the following steps:
- Click on the "Specialize" tab in the Knowledge Zone
- Click on the "Apply Now" button
- Complete the online application form
Oracle will validate the information provided, and once approved, you will receive notification from Oracle of your awarded Specialized status. Need more information? Access our Step by Step Guide (PDF)
4. Apply for Advanced Specialization (Optional) – If your company has on staff 50 unique Certified Implementation Specialists in your company's approved Specialization's product set, let Oracle know by following these steps:
- Ensure that you have 50 or more unique individuals that are Certified Implementation Specialists in the specific Specialization awarded to your company
- If you are pooling resources from another Associate or Worldwide entity, ensure you know that company’s name and country
- Have your Oracle PRM Administrator complete the online Advanced Specialization Application
- Oracle will validate the information provided, and once approved, you will receive notification from Oracle of your awarded Advanced Specialized status.
There are additional resources on OPN as well as the broader WebCenter Community: