XChange: Oracle Spotlights Services Play, SMB Products


Oracle now has more than 6,000 products in its portfolio, thanks in part to more than 90 acquisitions since 2004. It's a portfolio that now includes plenty of solutions to meet the needs of small and midsize customers, said Lydia Smyers, group vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle.

"We don't have enough feet on the street to bring this story out to the marketplace. Fundamentally, there's a compelling economic proposition for you. Not only [does Oracle have] a highly profitable services play, but there's an incentive program that rewards partners handsomely," Smyers told a crowd of solution providers during a Tech Symposium session at XChange Solution Provider 2013 in Orlando, Fla., Monday.

Smyers made note of Oracle's enterprise-focused heritage but said many products now scale down to customers with 200 seats, and that even small businesses are seeking partners and solutions to help them manage ever-expanding IT management.

"Complexity has overtaken their IT departments. It's difficult for them to administer and manage," she said.

Smyers cited a Gartner study that found 63 percent of companies' resources go to running the business, while only 21 percent go to growing the business, and 16 percent go to transforming the business.

"That's 63 percent to keep the status quo. And companies are spending four times as much to keep the status quo as to transform," she said. "Customers tell us they want to bring in innovation and that innovation is critical to their success."

Businesses need to transform to survive, she said, adding that 239 companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1999 were gone from the list in 2009. "That doesn't mean status quo is OK," she said.

To help those customers, Oracle has developed solutions "in every level of the stack to make sure they meet modern business requirements," Smyers said.

Oracle has spent more than $24 billion in research and development since 2004, including $4.6 billion in fiscal 2012, she said. And while Oracle invests in technology, it's not investing in services operations that compete with partners, she said.

"There's one company type we have not acquired. That is you. We have not have acquired services companies. Our services are being delivered by partners. We look to you to bring value-added differentiation to customers. You understand customer needs. You have vertical industry expertise in certain areas," she said. "We need to bring partners to the marketplace."

PUBLISHED MARCH 11, 2013