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Oracle Says New Blockchain Platform Can Bring In More Profits For Channel Partners

'Oracle has kind of led the way in this by offering end users or integrators the opportunity to build their own blockchain model and bill it out on either a permanent or transaction basis. That is the innovative part of their offering,' says Mike Piltoff of Champion Solutions Group.

An Oracle executive said the company's new enterprise blockchain platform can give channel partners a chance to rake in more profits.

The Oracle Autonomous Blockchain Cloud Service came out of beta Monday and is now generally available, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company announced. Several global firms were named as early adopters, including Arab Jordan Investment Bank, CargoSmart, Certified Origins and Indian Oil.

Frank Xiong, group vice president of blockchain product development for Oracle, told CRN that Oracle's blockchain offering allows channel partners to run their own blockchain networks, which they can charge customers and other participants to use. Oracle charges network operators 50 or 75 cents per 500 transactions every hour, depending on whether it's paid on the go or paid in advance. This means that network operators get to decide whether to charge per transaction, per month or both, giving them a way to potentially bring in new profits, according to Xiong.

"Blockchain opens a lot of horizons in new business areas for channel partners because they are the experts in their business areas so if they analyze their business cases [and find applicable uses], then they should have a good blockchain model for their own customers," he said.

While blockchain was first conceived as the distributed ledger technology for the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it has emerged as a potentially transformational tool that lets enterprises bring more trust and transparency to businesses. As reported in CRN's June cover story, some solution providers have begun to make early investments and launch new practices around the technology.

Oracle is among several vendors that have begun offering blockchain software tools to channel partners, a group that also includes Microsoft, IBM, Amazon Web Services and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

Mike Piltoff, senior vice president of strategic marketing at Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based Oracle partner and No. 194 in CRN's 2018 Solution Provider 500 list, said Oracle's blockchain platform looks viable from a scalability, security and ease-of-use perspective. He also likes the way it integrates with third-party and other Oracle applications.

"We welcome Oracle's introduction of blockchain, because they have such a large user community, and quite honestly, it just makes a lot of sense to have that Oracle end-to-end capability," he said.

Champion Solutions Group has been offering blockchain development services for roughly 18 months, according to Piltoff, who said the company has been using Microsoft's and IBM's blockchain platforms.

With a focus on manufacturing, supply chain and financial services, Champion Solutions Group so far has eight customers with live blockchain deployments and three with minimum viable products. Piltoff said the company brings in blockchain revenue three ways — business consulting, design integration and maintenance — but the company is looking into the opportunity of being a network operator.

"Oracle has kind of led the way in this by offering end users or integrators the opportunity to build their own blockchain model and bill it out on either a permanent or transaction basis. That is the innovative part of their offering," he said.

Oracle also allows end-customers to run networks, so that suppliers, for instance, can join and share supply chain information that is tamper-proof and up-to-date.

Based on The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric, Oracle's blockchain platform is a fully managed service that allows partners to build and deploy networks within weeks or months, Xiong said.

For channel partner support, Oracle provides online documentation and sales support. But for channel partners that are working on large deals, they can potentially receive additional support for free from the company's product and services development group.

"The important thing is they need to find a good specific business model for their business to start with," he said.

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