Ovum recently (June 2018) attended the Oracle Partner Summit – North America, where Oracle shared its vision, strategy, and programs with its partner community but also invited a few analysts to participate. Oracle provided full access to its extensive program, facilitated meetings with some partners, and set up sessions with its executive leadership team and Ovum.
Oracle has been investing in its partner ecosystem and program for the past few years. The recent partner summit is just more evidence of this investment and expansion of the program. In addition to the numerous programs, promotions, and support offered to the partners, Oracle has recruited and brought in some top talent to develop programs, create new promotions, and manage the broad variety of partners. The partner program is growing in so many dimensions that one of the few complaints may be confusion around having so many programs, promotions, and certifications (CEI, Generate, SOAR, Velocity) that partners must vet, review, and decide to engage with. Just understanding the multitude of three- and four-letter acronyms was part of the challenge for the new partners and some analysts.
Oracle clearly sees the need for a robust and broad partner ecosystem for its legacy services, but more importantly it requires the same for its transition to cloud services. For example, Oracle offered a session about building a personalized path to Oracle Cloud. Like most major cloud providers, having a robust partner ecosystem is critical to growth and to addressing the broadest reach of customers from SOHO to MNC. It’s interesting that the Oracle Consulting group was included in the program, which may still be dark territory for some of its partners who live off consulting business. Oracle does need to be careful in this area as many partners are generating major revenue from consulting in addition to integration services. This Oracle Consulting group offer provides additional support, but more partner interaction may reveal where and how it makes sense to a subset of partners.
Oracle has come a long way in this investment in its partner programs, so it is good to see the new faces with years of experience in integration and managing channels to add to the mix. Multicloud, hybrid cloud, and increasing solutions focus all make sense when the enterprise customers are now living in those worlds with few exceptions. Overall the program demonstrated Oracle’s commitment to the partners, offering some new programs and positioning the partners as key to its success in coverage, integration capacity, and fulfillment of solutions.
Mike Sapien, Chief Analyst, Enterprise Services