Q&A: Oracle' s Hurd On Public Cloud, Salesforce.com, And Sales Strategies

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Before you came to Oracle there was not this solution provider clarity. Talk about that.

I think the way to think through it is just for us is an opportunity for us to get more distribution. (Oracle Channel Chief) Judson (Althoff) and I talked about how to go orchestrate this, told our regions: we were going to build a soft ceiling where these accounts are above the line, these accounts are below the line. We have to keep the discipline on that. We have got to move the comp for our channel folks below that. And frankly Judson and his team executed all of this. Not me.

What is your promise to Oracle channel partners who want to hear from the top of Oracle?

It is the same thing I would tell our sales people: just do what I tell you to do and things will be fine. You have got to line up strategy. Here is our strategy. How do you line up the operations with the strategy? Our strategy is we have got a soup to nuts, one stop shopping technology capability that is second to none. We have got to get to all of the buyers. So for us we have got to segregate. And if we do we want channel partners to make money doing it.

We can instrument that. The interesting thing is this stuff is easier to say than it is to do. Some people tend to get confused with all this stuff because back to the soccer game, everybody wants to run to everybody else's demand. If you can keep the discipline and keep the people in the right positions, it is worth it to us to pay more channel comp where our sales force is not. It is just intuitive.

I have some of the best salespeople in this industry - maybe the best. Right on this floor. They are very capable of going into the most sophisticated customers in the world and representing our portfolio and winning. I don't have enough of them to get to all of the buyers. They can't do it! So I need help.

I can't get to Des Moines and get to the community college in Des Moines. In this country there are 5,000 hospitals. What can I get to direct? 50. There is 9,000 banks - 80 banks do 50 percent of all the business in the country. When I get beyond that there is 8,900 left. Who is getting to the community bank of Fayetteville, North Carolina? Not our guys. Do I think they could buy a database? I do. Do I think they could buy an Oracle Database Appliance? I do. Do I want these guys the most sophisticated guys on the planet going to Fayetteville, North Carolina. l Iove Fayetteville, North Carolina by the way. I don't mean anything by that. It is just I can't get to all the buyers.

So I need reach. And so I want that reach to be obviously the best reach it can be and I want it to be compensated. When you do that and you go stay there and go sell there it is worth it to me to compensate you for it.

At Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison pointed out that you often say that you can take your gains from Oracle in either performance or price. Talk a little bit about that.

He is getting good at that. Larry's first instinct is to the core an engineer.To the core. So anytime Larry gets (in front of people) he talks performance, performance, performance. So it is always this is 50X faster. Can you believe it is 50X faster? You know it is also at the same performance level a 50th of the cost. It is the same math.

So if you spent $10 million on something and you say a report took at that $10 million I can now give it to you instead of 50 minutes, I can give it to you in one minute. That was 50X. I can now say that cost is now $200,000 at the same performance level. I took it from $10 million to $200,000. And by the way, you can say give me 30X and give it to me at a higher price. You can dial it in wherever you want to. It is both.

NEXT: Mark Hurd On Channel Strategy As Good Business

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