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The cost of Oracle platinum

Oracle partners are still chewing over  the Oracle Partner Network’s new partner tiering and specialization program.

Cost of making the top tier is considerably higher than before. To attain the new Platinum designation baseline cost to join will be $4,995 till April 30, 2010 when it will rise to a list price of $9.995. But that’s just the base fee to get in. To attain Platinum status, partners will have to get five “expertise certifications”–basically to prove their competency in certain technology or vertical areas.

Those five certs cost real money, said one long-time Oracle partner. His fear is that bigger VARs or systems integrators will be able to “buy their way in” leapfrogging smaller VARs that have hung in and delivered for a long time.

Contrast that to the outgoing Oracle Certified Advantage designation, the top tier of the old OPN. To qualify for OCA status, partners paid $1,995 and had to train up for and get one Product Focus Area Certification.

Oracle worldwide channel chief Judson Althoff said partners will get credit for their existing skills. If they have database or BI whiz kids on staff who can pass the test, they can skip the time and money training would take and just test in, he said.

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