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No more tiers, says Oracle

Stefan Diedericks, Oracle

Oracle has rebuilt its partner programme to make it easier for customers to find a partner with the relevant skills.

Oracle is introducing a new channel programme on December 1 that does away with partner tiering, one that it hopes will reduce complexity.

The ‘metal’ tiers will be replaced with ‘tracks’ that will better match partners’ go-to-market strategies, it’s thought.

Adv. Stefan Diedericks, Oracle alliances and channels director for Africa, told The Margin it had canvassed customers as well as partners in drafting the new programme, and had asked them what had worked, and what hadn’t.

The issue of complexity arose, and it emerged that customers needed greater insight into which partner would be the best fit with their business. It also makes it easier for customers to compare partners’ offerings side-by-side.

“They gave us some really good guidance on how to prioritise customer success. And what we then found was really important. It was not only to eliminate the tiers – the precious gems and rhinestones – but also the complexity,” he says.

Getting on track

Every partner, regardless of their size, will now join the programme as an OPN (Oracle Partner Network) member. They’ll then join one or more of a number of tracks, which have been built around particular business models.

There are three cloud tracks: ‘build’, ’sell’ and ’services’, as well as a ‘licence and hardware’ track for partners maintaining their current programme investments.

Oracle has about 12 000 partners in EMEA, from its global total of between 20 000 and 25 000. In South Africa, it has about 300 to 400 partners, from a total number of about 1 000 in Africa.
He envisages partners moving over to the new system in the course of the next year.

Once they’ve joined a track, they’re provided with some enablers, such as cloud environments as well as access to Oracle universal cloud credits for Software- and Platform-as-a-Service providers.
And if they run out of that, and need more, there are substantial discounts, he says. It also provides cloud learning subscriptions at Oracle’s online university and training at its Oracle Cloud Centres of Excellence. It has centres in Kenya and Nigeria, and operates a ‘virtual model’ in South Africa.

Partners are also granted early access to new services and features.

Partner refresh
He says partners are advised to peruse the network portal and familiarise themselves with the whole programme and understand how their business can fit in.

While the programme goes live on December 1, partners with renewal dates after this should have enough time to plan their transition, he says. For those with renewal dates closer to December 1, Oracle will provide support to ensure they meet certification criteria.

Certification could then be done when the partner upgrades to the new programme, or they can renew at a later stage. In the meantime, they can prepare for the new programme.

He envisages that its entire partner ecosystem would be ‘refreshed’ in the next 12-month cycle.

He says there is much more collaboration in the cloud market than in years past, and highlights its partnership with Microsoft and VMware.

“This means our partners don’t need to be locked into one vendor’s cloud; they can operate across cloud. And that speaks to the promise of multi-cloud delivery.”

This, for him, marks a transition from an on-premises environment, to one of service delivery.

“And that comes back to the expertise of the partner leveraging tool sets.”

Diedericks  also has a new job in the company, for which he has worked for the last 13 years. He says the title is simply ‘senior director’, and he’s responsible for learning, coaching and communication. He will be based in Utrecht.

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