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Oracle rebuilds partner training

The Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) kick off to Oracle OpenWorld was bigger than ever. And there was some news, other than Ted Bereswill’s move from the direct sales side of the house (The dark side? I kid! I kid!) to the wonderful world of partner-oriented sales.

For one thing, the company is revamping its partner education and training curricula and how it is made available. It will now use third-party delivery partners as well as the traditional Oracle University approach. Trainees can get the training in person or via the Web, Judson Althoff, group vice president of Worldwide Alliances & Channels, told on Sunday.

“Till now, we’ve relied on Oracle University for [all] sales training. We’re now going to a three-tier approach to train our partners,” Althoff said.

Training is critical for a company that’s made over 50 acquisitions in five years and seen its product portfolio explode from 1,000 products to more than ten times that in that same period.

“We need to better enable our partner across all those products,” Althoff said.

One focal point is a series of intensive boot camps that focus on the new products. Boot camps are now available for Siebel 8.1 Loyalty & Marketing, Siebel 8.1 Self Services, WebLogic Server/SOA, Enterprise Content Management, Agile PLM, Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 best practices and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

Coursework is modular so if a partner attending a session thinks he or she has a better white paper or case study, it can be submitted for use. The courses were built from the ground up for partners, they are not reconstituted user training courses, he noted.

The courses and segments run the gamut from five-day, full-day training to night school classes delivered on demand. That’s particularly important for partners who are loathe to take people out of billable hours to get trained. “We know they want them working in the day and learning at night,” Althoff said.

The content is royalty free: designated delivery partners can charge for it.

Delivery partners include value-added distributors such as Avnet. Other partners came to the program via Oracle acquisitions. Domain Systems, Inc., for example, was an Agile Software Corp. partner and will now offering training on Agile product lifecycle management (PLM) technology. Oracle bought Agile in May 2007.
Net, net, net, the three tiers comprise Oracle’s Premium Education, instructor-led training and Web classes delivered via Oracle University. That includes an exclusive Oracle Certification track.

Tier 2 classes come from the third parties in various geographies and include the aforementioned boot camp content (which is still managed by Oracle Alliances & Channels group).

Tier 3 is Oracle-delivered live web classes using the tier 2 content.

The overall program, dubbed Partner Enablement 2.0, also relies on a re-built partner portal .

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