Hurd Appointment Will Ignite Oracle Channel Fire: VARs

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Partners foresee Oracle reversing its course as a faint-hearted channel player with only 43 percent of its $27 billion in annual sales coming from the channel to becoming a powerhouse that drives the majority of its sales through the channel.

Convery said Hurd is known to engage channel partners and takes a hands-on approach to help them win business.

"He not only visits partners, he has a process in place for follow-ups and he executes on it," Convery said, adding that Hurd has twice visited Denali for roundtable discussions with customers. "After the meetings, he called the customers and asked them about us on the channel side, asked them what help they needed. And he asked us what he needs to do to drive growth."

Jim Carter, manager, solution architecture, for dcVAST Inc., a Downers Grove, Ill.-based solution provider is hopeful that Hurd, who Carter agreed is well known to visit VARs and end users and be a big channel advocate, can bring some of that partner-friendly touch to Oracle.

"It's pretty obvious where Oracle likes the channel and where Oracle doesn't want the channel to participate," he said. "It will be interesting to see if he can make some [headway] in that area."

Another important strategy of Hurd's is to build a strong sales force, Convery said.

"But it's not just a direct sales force. It's a sales force that supports the channel," he said.

But it isn't just Hurd's channel friendliness that has partners pumped about his surfacing at Oracle. Equally important to Oracle VARs as they jockey to compete with the likes of IBM and HP, is how Hurd flexes Oracle's new-found hardware muscle that came with the addition of Sun Microsystems to the fold, which Oracle acquired last year for $7.4 billion.

"He's familiar with hardware," Pyle said. "He can marry the hardware and software stack together."

The ability for Hurd to wed hardware and software, skills Hurd leveraged at HP and in his previous role as head of Teredata, is a "valuable asset" to Oracle at a time when companies are looking to compete with a complete end-to-end lifecycle of software and hardware offerings.


Next: Acquisitions And Innovation Are Hurd's Bread And Butter

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