Oracle Wants PeopleSoft, Siebel Partners For SMB Apps Push

Most notably the database giant—now also an enterprise apps giant— wants to turn up the channel effort on PeopleSoft and Siebel apps in the mid market.

"We are recruiting PeopleSoft and Siebel resellers for [the customer] segment under $100 million," said Rauline Ochs, group vice president of North American Alliances and Channels for Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif.

"We just opened up PeopleSoft for the first time to the channel—they're not traditionally in the channel except in the public sector. We are also looking for Siebel resellers and are recruiting Fusion middleware resellers."

Ochs helped kick off the partner day preamble to the annual Oracle OpenWorld extravaganza in San Francisco on Sunday.

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This year Oracle says the event is expected to draw more than 40,000 people, many of which are coming from the PeopleSoft and Siebel constituencies. The $5.6 billion acquisition of Siebel Systems was completed early this year. The $10-plus billion purchase of PeopleSoft was finalized the previous year after a long battle.

With these acquisitions, Oracle, which has seen its share of channel conflict in the past, has brought on board two other companies not necessarily known for their channel friendliness. It is for Ochs and Doug Kennedy, vice president of worldwide alliances and channels to fix that, and they have had some success, several partners said.

The company is also starting to bridge the traditionally different sales models for its technology products (database and middleware) and its applications.

Oracle has long fielded both a partner and direct-sales strategy for databases and middleware. Applications have typically sold direct, although partners get referral fees on new business the bring to the table. Last year, Oracle authorized Avnet and its affiliated VARs to sell applications as well. And, it launched E-Business Suite Special Edition as a channel-only product sold into companies with up to $100 million in revenue.

Ochs said the heretofore silo'd apps and technology products both need business intelligence technology. Accordingly, Oracle's Business Intelligence Suite is now seen as a unifying piece of middleware for both product lines.

"The BI Suite has traditionally been sold by the technology sales force. If we sell correctly we need to bring together the apps and tech products, the sales teams and partners," she said.

Oracle watchers say there has been contention in the past not only between Oracle direct sales and partners but also internally between Oracle direct apps sales and direct technology sales. Hopefully that conflict, which breeds customer confusion, can be eliminated, they said.

Traditional Oracle database partners think they are in the catbird seat as Oracle's applications will rely more and more on the core database and middleware technologies they already know very well.

If Peoplesoft and JD Edwards now go through channels, "that's is good for us," says Mick Gallagher, CEO of LS Technologies, a Fallbrook, Calif.-based Oracle implementation specialist.

Ron Zapar, president of Re-Quest, a Chicago area Oracle partner agreed and said Oracle's Business Intelligence stack is a great add-on sale into existing accounts. "Selling applications drags along sales of technology and vice versa," he said.