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Oracle cloud strategy leverages two-tier distribution

After a year-long pilot test to smooth out transaction problems and process kinks, Oracle has signed SaaS distribution agreements with Arrow, Avnet, Tech Data and NextGen.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 here this week a new relationship with several key distributors and a new two-tier distribution model for its Oracle Cloud suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications to enable new partner opportunities in the cloud.

By signing distribution agreements with Arrow Electronics, Avnet Technology Solutions, Tech Data and Australian distributor NextGen Distribution, distributors take on a role in the Oracle cloud strategy. The announcement goes hand in hand with Oracle's new OPN Cloud Connection community, where new and existing partners will find tools and resources to launch or expand a cloud practice.

These new agreements are the result of a year-long distribution pilot that Oracle ran with NextGen to work out the kinks of implementing two-tier distribution for cloud solutions. "We wanted to learn how to transact, how to make it a smooth process and profitable process for partners," said Jeff Porter, director of worldwide alliances and channels, go to market and cloud programs at Oracle.

With the rollout of the global program, Oracle jumps into the market in a big way to drive scale and reach with its suite of Oracle Cloud offerings among its worldwide partners.

According to Porter, each of the distributors will initially roll out a subset of the vendor's suite of cloud offerings, eventually rolling out the entire suite relatively quickly.

Acknowledging that partners' transformation to the cloud will take some heavy lifting, Bruce Chumley, group vice president of channel distribution sales at Oracle, noted that the Oracle cloud strategy involves leaning on the company's VAD partners to help train, educate, and build up business processes and back-end support to help VARs get to the point where they can execute a profitable business in the cloud.

"We want all of our partners to be successful in the transformation to the cloud," he said. Working with VADs helps reduce complexity in this process, Chumley said.

Oracle is also rolling out a plan over the next three quarters to help partners become successful in the cloud. That plan includes offering training, education, business planning and operational support, he added.

Chumley is one of three executives (the other two are Troy Richardson, senior vice president of global strategic alliances, and Steve Biondi, group vice president of ISV and OEM sales) recently hired by Oracle to beef up its senior channel leadership and the company's strategy around system integrators, VADs and ISVs.

According to Oracle, more than 15,000 individuals have achieved Oracle Cloud specialist certifications and 600 partners have achieved Cloud Specialization.

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