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Not only that, but Oracle's indirect channel sales growth over the last three years has charted higher than sales gains from the Oracle direct sales effort, said Jeff Barteld, senior director of channel operations and strategy. He said more than 40 percent of Oracle's worldwide sales and 80 percent of Oracle worldwide transactions now go through partners.
Barteld said the channel gains have come with Oracle drawing a line in the sand with the direct sales force focused on the top 2,000 accounts, leaving the broad small medium business market to Oracle partners. "That is a pretty important change," he said. "You need to drink that in and think about what that means to your business."
A major theme of Oracle OpenWorld is getting partners to sell integrated, pre-engineered Oracle hardware - software solutions. Oracle estimates that it has 380,000 customers with as many as 300,000 not running Oracle hardware. But as many as 30 percent of the partner base depending on the geography now sell integrated Oracle hardware-software solutions, said Althoff.
James Menon, a strategic business development executive for Serac Technologies, a Gold certified Oracle partner, said he sees more Oracle customers looking at moving to Sun hardware. Serac's integrated Sun hardware-software sales pipeline has doubled in the last year, he said. "The midmarket to upper tier customers see the value in it," he said.
The key to the integrated Oracle hardware-software solution sale is making sure customers understand the "value of having pre-packaged, pre-built" solutions, said Menon. "It's a lot simpler when customers know it is going to work out of the box," he said.
Piscataway, N.J.-based solution provider Bluenog is making plans to begin reselling Oracle's Exalogic Elastic Cloud Server, which combines Sun hardware with Oracle middleware. That product fits well with Bluenog's emphasis on service and systems integration work, said Sales Director Daniel DeVenio.
Ted Bereswill, senior vice president of North America Alliances and Channels for Oracle, said there simply has not been a better time to partner with the company. "I have been running the North American channel for a little over three years and I have never seen this level of excitement from our channel partners or from our (top) executives," he said. "Our executives are very keen on what is going on in the channel and it wasn't necessarily always that way."