Doug Kennedy, Oracle

Two months ago, Doug Kennedy assumed the role of vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle. In that position, the 14-year Oracle veteran is charged with bringing maturity and discipline to Oracle&'s global channel efforts. He talked with West Coast Bureau Chief Rochelle Garner about the changes partners can expect in the coming months.

CRN: I understand you&'re planning new initiatives for the coming months. Can you tell us what to expect?

KENNEDY: This year we&'ll spend a lot of time and focus on the big systems integrators. You&'ll see them more fully included as a partner in our campaigns, especially on the applications side. We tend to have the hardware vendors involved and occasionally the regional systems integrators. Now, you will see us lead with the global systems integrators. That&'s new. We have not before focused on the key partners that drive new business. I&'m talking about our big 12 global integrators.

CRN: What about further down the food chain, in the SMB market?

KENNEDY: I&'m working with marketing on the budgets for promoting our products in the SMB market. There, we&'ll be spending more dollars creating the pull for the solution providers and the VARs selling our products. And we need to push things to the channel—training them on how to position and implement our products.

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We are also working on some key distribution agreements we hope to announce before Oracle OpenWorld [which will be held Sept. 17–22 in San Francisco]. Charles [Phillips, Oracle&'s president] and I sat down in early June to formulate an early strategy to go into the SMB space in a broader way than we&'ve done. We want to build out a highly leveraged, volume sales and distribution channel for both our technology products and our applications.

Today we have more than 15,200 partners, of all types, including ISVs, systems integrators, hosting partners and VARs. That number is up 13 percent, year over year, and we want to continue that trajectory. We can no longer afford to have a one-to-one relationship with every entity that sells our products.

This is a maturation of our efforts. You&'ll see the distribution [agreements] and the campaigns in the [next] quarter. The big message from us is we understand we can&'t do the SMB space by ourselves. We need partners.