Oracle is stepping up efforts to sell its 9iAS Java application server through solution providers, company executives said.
In the past year, Oracle has redefined its channel strategy around 9iAS, said John Gawkowski, senior director for Oracle 9iAS business development. Among new resources for partners are free technical training and sales kits.
In addition, Oracle in December began co-hosting marketing events with its resellers and distributors. The events are designed to educate potential customers about 9iAS, said David Chu, director of business development at Oracle. Anywhere from 30 to 100 potential customers usually attend the seminars, Chu said. Oracle passes all generated leads to the partner co-hosting the event.
Of Oracle's 3,000-plus solution providers, about half resell 9iAS, he said.
The ability to resell 9iAS, combined with Oracle's renewed partner focus, may give BEA Systems a run for its money in the Java app server market, solution providers said. David Auerweck, vice president of corporate development at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Helio Solutions, said that although BEA WebLogic is still a technology leader, his "real money is being made with Oracle" because he is able to make margins with Oracle's program.
BEA works with some VARs but doesn't have a broad reseller program, a BEA spokeswoman said. However, since the fall, BEA has permitted select partners in the West and South regions to resell its product line through a pilot targeting midmarket and regional accounts. When the program ends in April, BEA will decide whether to launch a larger one.
Auerweck said that without more resellers, BEA could lose market share to Oracle.
A recent report by Peerstone Research said Oracle could displace BEA this year, giving it the No. 2 spot in the app server market behind IBM.