Oracle PartnerNetwork offers training, industry-specific resources

Oracle will now offer channel partners customized training curriculums and sales and marketing resources for work in specific vertical industries through the Oracle PartnerNetwork.

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Oracle Corp. today expanded two of its PartnerNetwork programs, the latest move in an ongoing effort to give partners the same opportunities as its direct sales staff.

The Oracle PartnerNetwork Competency Center, previously offered only in Europe, is now available in North America, providing customized training curriculums for channel partners. The Oracle PartnerNetwork Industry Initiatives, which offer Oracle training courses and sales resources to partners who work in specific vertical markets, has also expanded. The program now covers 20 different industries, up from 12 previously.

Both programs are available to all Oracle PartnerNetwork members, at no additional cost, and are accessible on the network's online portal.

Employees at CD Group, an Oracle software reseller and technology partner in Norcross, Ga., already use the standard Guided Learning Paths that Oracle provides, vice president Don Landrum said.

"If they are enhancing those, it's all good for partners," he said.

Oracle has increased its partner training by 50% in the past year, thanks to the work of a task force formed two years ago that identified easy access to training as a problem in the channel, according to Doug Kennedy, the company's senior vice president of worldwide channels and alliances. Oracle has added more training courses, improved access to the courses and nearly doubled its number of training curriculum offerings, called Guided Learning Paths.

Oracle's revenue from products and services sold or co-sold by partners is up 50% this year, an improvement Kennedy partly attributes to better-trained partners. About 40% of Oracle's revenue came through partners, and of the other 60%, partners helped co-sell a "significant" amount, he said.

The Competency Center gives an assessment test to partners, then uses a content management system to analyze what Oracle training courses they have already taken and customize a curriculum called a Guided Learning Path. The paths are lists of courses that partners should take to function more effectively in their specific areas of business. Oracle internal salespeople and partners can also use the Competency Center to track their progress on the Guided Learning Paths.

Participating partners will have access to Oracle solutions kits, live and online training courses, webcasts with industry experts, industry discussion boards and additional sales and marketing resources.

Aerospace and defense, engineering and construction, financial services, healthcare, life sciences and the public sector are some of the vertical markets covered by the program. Landrum said his staff will be able to take advantage of the additional resources for working in the wholesale distribution and industrial manufacturing markets.

The Industry Initiatives are designed to give partners the same training, sales and marketing resources that Oracle's direct staff receives, Kennedy said.

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