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Oracle evangelizes new partner program; more news

Oracle takes to Web to launch 'OPN Specialized'; VM pros debate unified computing; other headlines.

IT channel news in brief, Dec. 4, 2009

Oracle takes to Web to launch 'OPN Specialized'

Oracle kicked off its new Oracle Partner Network (OPN) Specialized partner program with online events this week.

The web-based conferences, which incorporated Twitter and Facebook tie-ins, were to acclimate Oracle partners with the company's new tiered partner system and specializations. As first reported last spring by, the new program stresses specializations in key technologies and verticals and rewards partners who invest in them. But that investment is significant, several Oracle partners said. To attain the top "Platinum" level, a qualifying VAR must kick in nearly $10,000 annually. Gold-level partners pay $2,500 per year. Those fees do not include training. More on the program here.

VM pros debate merits of unified computing systems

Cisco, EMC and VMware say their combined hardware and software will ease virtualization and save customers' money. But, the advisory council members see pros and cons to this approach. This so-called unified data center hardware might appeal to companies wanting a one-stop shop, but it could also raise prices and even increase complexities if deployed in data centers that don't fit the right profile. More on unified data center hardware here.

BSA will pay PC users to rat out employers/pirates

The Business Software Alliance now offers U.K. workers up to $32,000 to blow the whistle on employers who violate software piracy policies. The program has been around for a few years, but the BSA doubled the potential payout from $16,000 through the end of this year. The theory is that employees -- particularly disgruntled or laid-off employees -- will expose illegal software usage.

Check out last week's IT channel news in brief.

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