Channel programs News
Hyperion Resellers See Opportunities, Few Glitches After Oracle Acquisition
Oracle bought Hyperion in April for $3.3 billion and completed the "legal entity merger" process on July 1. Since then Oracle has been making changes in Hyperion's personnel and business processes, but resellers say Oracle has allowed them to continue using old processes and policies " including Hyperion's product price list. "That gives us time to adjust to the Oracle policies and processes," said Mike Williams, director of strategic alliances at Palladium Group, a Lincoln, Mass.-based solution provider that was a Hyperion partner and is now an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner " Oracle's highest channel partner ranking.
One of the biggest changes for Hyperion resellers is Oracle's two-tier distribution model. Instead of acquiring Hyperion products for resale directly from the vendor, resellers must now go through distributors Arrow, Avnet, Ingram Micro and Tech Data. While some resellers say that adds a bit to their costs of doing business, most are taking that change in stride. Some, such as Hyperion channel partner Answerthink, even see the change as an opportunity to increase the scope of products they carry. "It leaves the door open for us to expand our reseller footprint," said John Moser, Answerthink managing director, citing Oracle's Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition as an example.
Resellers say Oracle has retained most Hyperion sales representatives. Oracle, which organizes its sales reps along the company's technology (database and related software) and application product lines, has divided responsibility for selling Hyperion's products between those groups. Hyperion's Essbase is sold by the technology sales group, for example, while Hyperion's financial planning software is carried by the applications sales representatives. And partners have been aligned with one sales group or the other " or both " based on the products they carry. Still, one reseller says there were problems processing sales in July and August while sales reps were assigned new territories and order-processing procedures were ironed out.
About 30 percent of Hyperion's resellers were already Oracle channel partners " Miami-based Answerthink, for example, has been a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork since 1995. But the other 70 percent have had to be brought into the OPN. "I think that has gone fairly well," said Doug Kennedy, Oracle senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels. Since the acquisition Oracle has been helping channel partners get oriented through Webcasts and on-site meetings at the company's Redwood Shores, Calif., headquarters.
And while there's some overlap between Oracle and Hyperion products, Oracle seems unconcerned about that. One reseller who attended a channel partner briefing at Oracle headquarters said a presentation included a slide showing an increased research and development budget for Hyperion products.
"Oracle, in general, seems to be easier to work with," said Tim Tow, president of Applied OLAP, a Huntsville, Ala., reseller of Essbase and other Hyperion products. "The sales model seems simpler." He noted that Oracle posts its software prices online while Hyperion was not always so transparent. "And the Oracle discount seems to be more favorable to us, so we're excited about that," Palladium's Williams said.