Ingres Wants Partners To Push Open-Source Database Into Big Biz

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Ingres wants solution providers to know there's a new channel program in town.

Ingres, the database developer spun off from CA last fall, consulted with existing solution providers to come up with a plan to help them boost usage of its wares.

The database itself, has venerable roots, it was devised by database pioneer Michael Stonebraker.

Executives at the current incarnation of the company say the code has been maintained and improved even during its years with CA, Islandia, New York.

The company is now based in Redwood Shores, Calif., just down the road from database kingpin Oracle, and has recruited several former Oracle execs.

It also seems to be setting itself up as the open-source alternative to Oracle in enterprise-class implementations.

"We have thousands of customers paying for term license, perpetual licenses,:" says Mike Coney, executive vice president of worldwide sales and support.

While he acknowledges that "free is a four-letter word," Coney says the database is available for download under the General Public License for evaluation. "If they decide they want additional support, they can subscribe monthly, pay per CPU," he noted.

Coney says Ingres has more enterprise-worthy roots than other open-source oriented databases like MySQL and PostgreSql and is setting up an enterprise-focused channel to build the installed base and provide pre- and post-sales support.

No one in an enterprise is going to run a piece of software around open source unless it's been indemnified, is supported 24 by 7," he noted.

Ingres support
costs $7,995 per CPU per year, and partners get a discount on that.

Chip Nickolette is a believer. President of Comprehensive Solutions, a Brookfield, Wisc.-based solution provider, he says Ingres will blossom now that it is out of the CA fold.

"The database is better than Oracle 9i but probably not as full featured as [Oracle] 10g," he said.

He worked with the company on the channel program, called Ingres Involve, and said the vendor brings in partners "earlier in the project instead of subbing work out at the last minute."

"We help develop a relationship with the customer and we work to scope out the project in advance. It is more of a solution sell vs. 'here's what we're comped to sell this month," he noted.

Tony Awtrey, CTO of Ideal Technologies, an Orlando-based database specialist shrugged off the new channel entry. He feels he has plenty of work to do with MySQL and PostgreSQL in a vast mid-market, and when it comes to enterprise work "Oracle is typically where you go."

Asked generally what he likes to see from vendor channel programs, Awtrey was blunt: "The biggest thing they do is get out of our way and let us do our work."

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