Oracle Channel Exec: Cloud Is A Midmarket Partner Goldmine

Oracle has spent billions of dollars in a bid to become the No. 1 cloud software company and is putting significant partner incentives behind its mid-market cloud partner offensive.

That was the message from Oracle Director of Worldwide Alliances and Channels Tim Dwyer in a tech symposium address Monday before several hundred partners at XChange 2015 at the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C.

"This is a huge opportunity [for partners]," said Dwyer, an 18-year Oracle veteran. "These mid-market companies are places that didn't think they could afford Oracle scalability and security. It is a huge market that we don't cover at all with our salesforce."

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Solution providers, he said, are in a prime position to become Oracle's "feet on the street" to power the Oracle cloud revolution. "We don’t have the capacity we need," he said.

Among the partner plays: a referral program which pays partners for finding new deals; a co-seller model with partners acting as a systems integrator teaming with Oracle's direct sales team; and a reseller program with aggressive up-front margin on deals with recurring revenue on renewals and upgrades, said Dwyer. Oracle also is providing customers cloud credits on large software purchases to help drive cloud sales growth

Besides the upfront margin, partners working with an Oracle Value Added Distributor get lucrative rebates, said Dwyer. "It is very aggressive," he said "It is worth looking into. I promise you. It is more aggressive than you have seen from Oracle in years. We want to be No. 1 in the cloud, and we are going to get there with partners."

Dwyer urged partners to act as trusted advisors for Oracle customers, mapping out a step-by-step path to the cloud for customers. "This is about providing a cloud vision," he said. "It is not about selling 10 licenses of an Oracle database. It is about being that consultative sales expert and trusted advisor who can look at a customer and think about how to move that customer into the cloud. If it makes sense, how it makes sense, why it makes sense and how as a trusted advisor you can get them there."

Dwyer stressed that Oracle now has the exact same technology muscle powering its on premise enterprise database and applications and its cloud offerings. "It is no longer a question of functionality and what you want out of an application," he said. "It is now a consumption choice and what makes sense for the business. As trusted advisors for customers, you are looking at three- to five-year plans."

Carl Gersh, director of sales and marketing for Synergy, a Miramar, Fla., solution provider, said he sees Oracle providing the big investments necessary to drive the cloud transformation for customers and partners. "The investments they are making are critical," he said. "That is going to help solution providers be successful. We are definitely going to start evaluating Oracle cloud.

Michael Agboh, CTO for Signature Technology Solutions Inc., a Plymouth, Minn, solution provider, said he was impressed by Oracle's on-premise/off-premise cloud story. "I see us doing more Oracle now," he said. "I didn't know they had invested that much in the cloud. I was excited that they are working to get the channel involved."