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Oracle boosts OPN Incentive Program and builds two-tier distribution for cloud

Oracle laid out its partner strategy for fiscal year 2015 including new programs, enablement resources and compensation changes, and it highlighted expanded opportunities around Oracle Cloud.

At today's global virtual Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) kickoff event, the vendor laid out its partner strategy for fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015), including new programs, enablement resources and compensation, and highlighted key product focus areas for the year ahead, including expanded opportunities with Oracle Cloud.

The sixth virtual event of its kind for Oracle's 25,000 partners worldwide was hosted by Rich Geraffo, senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels and Oracle's new channel chief, and also featured Oracle President Mark Hurd, Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development, and John Fowler, executive vice president of systems, as key speakers, in addition to other Oracle executives.

Top of mind for partners is compensation. Today, Oracle announced changes to the OPN Incentive Program, namely, improving on how it pays partner rebates. Going into effect with FY 2015 business, the vendor will move from quarterly to monthly partner rebate payments.

Partners will also be able to receive incremental rebates for selling Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance, an integrated, software-defined converged infrastructure system, which has been added to the vendor's Strategic Product List. 

Yesterday, Oracle introduced the latest version of the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, an engineered system offering.

In FY 2015, expect to hear Oracle provide details on how it promises to simplify the OPN Incentive Program for partners selling Oracle software on Oracle hardware systems.

Cloud was a strategic focus for Oracle in FY 2014, and the vendor vows to build momentum in FY 2015 in cloud solutions, including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, according to Joanne Olsen, senior vice president of North American sales, consulting and global channel services, who noted that without partners, Oracle wouldn't have ended the recent quarter with its best cloud bookings to date. Earlier this month, Oracle reported generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) Cloud SaaS and PaaS revenues were up 25% to $322 million, and IaaS revenues were up 13% to $128 million in the fourth quarter.

"Co-selling as a percentage of SaaS bookings grew every quarter through FY 2014. That means that partners grew in participation, influence and in winning deals with Oracle," she said.

According to the vendor, more than 600 partner organizations have achieved Cloud Specializations and 15,000 individuals have achieved Oracle Cloud specialist certifications.

Today, Oracle announced a new two-tier distribution program for the Oracle Cloud portfolio and will reach out to value-added distributors (VADs) to reach more partners and more customers. In particular, Oracle will rely on these VADs to identify and enable partners that are best suited to deliver cloud implementations and managed services.

Like cloud, Oracle's engineered systems, vertically integrated hardware and software offerings, is a key strategic product focus for the vendor. According to Oracle, ISVs play a key role in the market penetration of these systems.

Oracle today announced that it expanded certifications for the Oracle Exastack Program for ISVs. Partners can now become certified as Exastack Ready or Exastack Optimized in Oracle Database Appliance and Oracle Big Data Appliance.

Event attendees were also reminded that on June 10, the vendor launched a mobile version of its OPN Solutions Catalog for companies to identify Oracle partners for their business.

To optimize their OPN Solutions Catalog profile, partners may want to take Oracle's Solutions Catalog Training for best practices. More than 30,000 customers search the OPN Solutions Catalog each month, the company said.

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