Oracle Opens Its Cloud To Channel Partners

Oracle told its partners on the first day of the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco that its enterprise cloud products -- at least some of them -- will for the first time be opened to the channel via four of the company's value-added distributors.

At Sunday's Oracle PartnerNetwork keynote, VP of Worldwide Alliances and Channels Bruce Chumley highlighted the Redwood City, Calif-based software giant 's commitment to building out its rapidly growing cloud services markets with the help of resellers and introduced a new program.

While the program's launch involves only a handful of Oracle's SaaS products, Dee Dee Lear, VP of cloud solutions and business development for Arrow Electronics, one of the participating distributors that sells exclusively into the channel, expects it will expand across Oracle's suite of cloud products.

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In conjunction with the expanded channel offerings, Oracle introduced the online community Oracle Cloud Connection, which offers cloud resources, including information and tools, for participating partners to better serve their customers.

"Our excitement isn't just about the SaaS offerings but the future around their extended cloud offerings. Our partners are excited and looking forward to how we can help them extend their business beyond the traditional middleware infrastructure space," Lear told CRN.

"It will give them an opportunity to further align with Oracle," she said of Arrow's network of channel partners.

Avnet, NEXTGEN and Tech Data are the three other distributors selected to identify and enable partners to resell Oracle's cloud offerings to enterprises and add services on top of them.

The products Oracle opened to the channel are its CRM, Taleo talent management platform, Human Capital Management (HCM) platform and its customer service automation cloud.

Lear is confident Oracle will bring the remaining products in its cloud suite into the fold in the near future.

"We've certainly asked them, and their response is 'Let us start with these few products and see how we do in the channel and then see about expanding beyond that,'" she told CRN.

Arrow will distribute Oracle's cloud-based services through its ArrowSphere webstore along with traditional distribution channels. The Colorado-based distributor is "fine tuning" the final details around API integration and finalization of contracts with Oracle in preparation for recruiting VARs, Lear said.

"We will target our existing reseller base and firms that we do business with today that are specialized around Oracle applications. That gives us the opportunity to expand our ecosystem and our customer base," Lear said.

Oracle's Chumley said in a prepared statement the expansion "will not only help extend our reach, but also give both our reseller partners and our customers the chance to work with skilled cloud experts in their local markets. It's a win-win for everyone."

"There are many corners of the market and globe Oracle simply cannot reach. Our success relies on our partners' ability to sell and implement Oracle Cloud services in the broad market. For this very reason, we continue to invest more resources in helping partners maximize their cloud-based opportunities, in turn, extending the opportunities for our customers," the statement read.