Oracle, VMware Casting Wide Net For Partners To Tackle New Business


Data center bigwigs Oracle and VMware are both stepping up partner recruitment as they look to take their business into new areas. On Monday, executives from both vendors explained how they're going about their recruitment in a session at XChange 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Oracle, over the past decade, has spent around $50 billion to acquire companies to build its enterprise software stack. It also has spent some $24 billion on R&D during that time.

But Oracle has never bought a services company, preferring instead to focus on being a technology pure-play and relying on partners for services, Jeff Barteld, Oracle's senior director of global channel strategy and operations, said in a conference session.

[Related: Microsoft Opens Office 365 Licensing Program To Partners That Sell To Enterprises]

"We're not IBM with IBM Global Services, we're not HP with EDS and we're not Dell with Perot Systems. We're a technology pure-play," Barteld told attendees.

Oracle has a "large and aggressive and very capable" sales force, but even it can't cover all of the market segments it wants to hit, said Barteld. By going through partners, he said, Oracle is hoping to get more revenue going through the channel.

For partners, benefits include "competitive transaction margins" and Oracle Partner Network incentives, Barteld said.

Partners also get a rebate for selling Oracle support packages, and another from selling certain types of hardware Oracle deems strategic, he said.

When partners sell Oracle hardware and software to a single customer, the rebate can be as high as 10 percent, Barteld said.

"It can be a very lucrative business on the financial front," he said of being an Oracle partner.

VMware also is telling what it believes is a compelling story for the channel. It's focusing on hybrid cloud, end-user computing and software-defined data center, Frank Rauch, vice president of VMware's Americas Partners Organization, told XChange 2013 attendees.

"These three categories have a lot of runway and a lot of growth left," Rauch said.

VMware is looking for partners to help push its vision. The vendor has brought in seasoned channel vets to help, like Rauch, who joined last year from HP, and David O'Callaghan, a former Cisco channel executive who joined in May.

Mark Henson, national VMware practice manager at ePlus, said VMware's mobile and cloud services partnership with Verizon is helping his company transition to new business.

"As this market shifts, we have to shift with it. We've got to protect our revenue and our customer base," Henson told Rauch in an on-stage interview at XChange.

PUBLISHED AUG. 20, 2013