At Oracle's recent CloudWorld event, Oracle's CEO Mark Hurd and Senior Vice President Shawn Price both made references to coming changes (scheduled to be announced on February 1) in Oracle's partner program as it relates to cloud, including its highest-level Diamond partners.
Expectations on partner certifications, skills, cloud revenue will be changing
Oracle executives did not offer too many specifics, but there are definite changes coming for partners looking to sell Oracle Cloud to their customers. At this point, it looks like the changes will include new or enhanced requirements on Oracle Cloud certifications and skills, new partner metrics related to the amount of Oracle Cloud revenue generated, and vertical-specific cloud offerings. It is unclear whether there will be new partner program branding or new partner tiers associated with these coming changes.
It is tough to judge the full impact on partners, particularly for its IT services and SI partners, until more details of any changes are announced. However, it is not altogether surprising that Oracle would make significant changes because the company is now moving full throttle down its path to cloud services. As Oracle Cloud offerings continue to expand, particularly into enterprise resource planning (ERP), where the vendor says it has roughly 1,600 customers so far, it needs to ensure that its partners are fully aligned with its cloud agenda. In reality, its global Diamond SI partners are already aligned, and report active Oracle Cloud pipelines across the board. Depending on what changes are coming (if any) in terms of how much Oracle Cloud revenue these partners will be expected to generate, it may be relatively easier for the global partners to adjust to any program changes than other partner types.
We are curious to see exactly what is announced next month. Overall, Oracle has made great strides in improving its partner interactions and programs in the past several years. The trick for Oracle is to ensure that any necessary alterations, based on its all-cloud strategy, does not mean going backward in its partner relations.
Managing and Scaling Digital Practices to Transform the Enterprise, IT0019-003524 (January 2016)
"Digital? Cloud? Automation? Why you should talk to your SI about legacy," IT0019-003483 (August 2015)
John Madden, Practice Leader, IT Services