Oracle Partner Net


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The low down from IDC on Oracle’s PartnerNetwork program. Structure, numbers, benefits, requirements.

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Oracle Partner Net

  1. 1. EXCERPT Channel and ISV Partner Program Review: Oracle PartnerNetwork Darren Bibby Christine Dover IN THIS EXCERPT The content for this excerpt was taken directly from the IDC Vendor Profile Report, Channel and ISV Partner Program Review: Oracle Partner Network, by Darren and Christine Dover (Doc # 226493). All or part of the following sections are included in this excerpt: IDC Opinion, In This Study, Situation Overview, Future Outlook, Vendor Profile, and Essential Guidance. Also included are Table 1,2 and 3F.508.935.4015 IDC OPINION Oracle Corp., from its beginnings in 1977 as a four-person start-up with an idea based on research done by IBM, has grown into the "worlds most complete, open,P.508.872.8200 and integrated business software and hardware systems company" by its own description. Oracles reputation for being an overly direct, partner-unfriendly vendor continues to slowly fade away. It has made definite strides forward in the past five years to become a vendor that partners would want to do business with. Many of the most significant changes to the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) have come in the pastGlobal Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA two years with the launches of Enablement 2.0 in 2008 and OPN Specialized in 2009 and the consolidation of regional call centers and other resources into a centrally managed team. These changes have brought alignment and consistency to partners whose own businesses span the globe as well as cross multiple Oracle technology and application solutions. A few highlights of OPN include:  OPN has a worldwide community of more than 20,000 partners.  Membership is open to all companies seeking to do business through and with Oracle. Depending on how they choose to work with Oracle, partners may choose to work as a Remarketer through a Remarketer Authorized Value-Added Distributor (VAD) or join OPN at the Silver or Gold level. Partners may move up to the Platinum level by achieving a minimum of five Specializations in areas such as Oracle Database 11g or Sun SPARC Enterprise High-End Servers.. Specialization criteria are based on staff competency plus achievement of business criteria such as revenue, customer references, and/or validated integrations of partner products. In September 2010, Oracle announced the Diamond level, which is intended for the top-tier global partners.  Highlights of partner benefits for OPN members are Enablement 2.0 boot camps, offering partners a jump start to educating staff on Oracle technologies and applications; OPN Competency Center, offering role-based learning and assessments to guide the partner to the appropriate education; Partner Business Filing Information: May 2011, IDC #226493E : Excerpt
  2. 2. Center, providing partner support at all hours, around the globe, and in up to 24 languages; and free Service Requests for partners that achieve Specialization.IN THIS VENDOR PROFILEThis IDC Vendor Profile presents a review of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), theoverall program for all Oracle partner activities across all Oracle geographic divisionsand business units.SITUATION OVERVIEWCompany OverviewOracle has been a leader in the software industry since 1977 when Larry Ellison,along with cofounders Bob Miner and Ed Oates of the company then known asSoftware Development Laboratories, realized the business potential of the relationaldatabase model. The team released Oracle version 2, the first commercial SQLrelational database management system in 1979 (version 1 was never released). In1982, the company got a new name — Oracle Systems. Over the years, Oraclecontinued to innovate database and application technology through its own effortsand occasional acquisitions.In 2004, Oracle launched an aggressive cycle of acquisitions beginning with rivalPeopleSoft, which launched an era of consolidation in the software industry. Since2005, Oracle has completed more than 60 acquisitions and successfully merged theacquired company products, processes, and employees into Oracle. Now in 2011,and with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2009, Oracle describes itself as the"worlds most complete, open, and integrated business software and hardwaresystems company." Oracles reach extends to 145 countries with approximately105,000 employees on record as of May 31, 2010.Table 1 provides a brief company snapshot. TABLE 1 Oracle Company Snapshot Category Details Company name Oracle Corp. Head office Redwood Shores, California Total company revenue US$26.8 billion Total software revenue US$20.6 billion2 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  3. 3. TABLE 1 Oracle Company Snapshot Category Details Web site Source: Oracle, 2010Partner Program HistoryOracles programmatic partner management began as the Oracle Partner Program(OPP) in 1998. The original program brought together disparate partner programs inexistence across the company into a single program with a consistent framework,agreements, and processes. OPP was originally focused on partner companies thatwere reselling Oracle technology products (i.e., database and application server); onindependent software vendors (ISVs) that were building their own packagedsolutions, which ran on the Oracle technology stack; and on systems integrators (SIs)that were building custom technology solutions for their clients.In 2003, the name of the program changed to the Oracle PartnerNetwork and theOracle E-Business Suite was made available to qualified partners for resale. In 2005,as part of Oracles acquisition strategy, OPN continued to grow and expand as theacquired company products (e.g., PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion, BEA, Retek, andSun) were made available to OPN members. Benefits and services were alsoexpanded particularly in the areas of partner enablement and competency. Duringthis time, Oracle continued to grow the size of the partner community from 13,000companies in 2004 to more than 20,000 companies in 2010.Partner Program OverviewOPN is Oracles partner community, with membership of over 20,000 companies. Theprogram is global and supports Oracles partners throughout their business life cycle.The program is open to all types of companies, but the most common areindependent software vendors, value-added resellers (VARs), and systemsintegrators.Table 2 offers quick access to some Oracle Partner Program data points. TABLE 2 Oracle Partner Program Snapshot Category Details Official name of the partner program Oracle PartnerNetwork Main partner program Web site Worldwide percentage of software revenue sold through partners 40.0%©2011 IDC #226493E 3
  4. 4. TABLE 2 Oracle Partner Program Snapshot Category Details Worldwide percentage of software transactions sold through partners 80.0% Source: Oracle, 2010Oracle PartnerNetwork Program MembershipThe OPN program is global, with regional operations in North America; Latin America;Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Asia/Pacific; and Japan. Alliance and channel teamsalso report into the industry-based global business units such as retail, tax andutilities, and communications. All partners join the global OPN program.The OPN program marketing materials generally describe five levels at whichcompanies may engage with Oracle: Remarketer. The Remarketer level is often described as the entry level to OPN, although it is not actually an OPN membership level. Remarketers must be registered through a Remarketer Authorized VAD, may resell only from a specific list of selected Oracle technology products, and have no access to the secure OPN portal for tools and resources (although Remarketers can access some public information on the OPN portal). A Remarketer has no membership fees or partner agreement with Oracle. Silver. A partner may join OPN at the Silver level. This is a cost-effective and scalable way to get started with the Oracle product set. The Silver level also opens up the OPN Portal to partners and allows them to start taking advantage of software licenses and enablement resources. Gold. A partner may also join OPN at the Gold level. Actually, a partner that wants to work with more than just the 1-Click products must start at the Gold level. At the Gold level, partners start to develop their Specializations, which enable them to identify and increase their expertise and create differentiation in the marketplace. Gold partners are limited to earning four Specializations. Platinum. Partners earn the right to move up to the Platinum level by achieving five or more OPN Specializations. The Platinum-level partners receive the highest level of engagement, commitment, and benefits available in OPN Specialized. A Platinum partner must have at least five Specializations. Diamond. Announced in September 2010, the Diamond level is intended for the top-tier global alliance partners. The criteria are significant, but reflect what the target partners are already doing, and provide a clear road map for the partners that want to attain the Diamond status. Diamond-level partners must have at least 20 Specializations, and five of those Specializations must be Advanced Specializations (described in the sections that follow). The criteria also include annual cosell and resell revenue goals across three or more regions, have 154 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  5. 5. qualified solution offerings, and have dedicated business development representatives in each region.There are two types of OPN membership — Standard and Worldwide withAssociates. Standard membership is very straightforward. It is one companyoperating in a single country, although the partners products may be sold globally.Companies that operate in multiple countries could have their subsidiaries working asassociates of their worldwide partner.Table 3 offers an at-a-glance breakdown of the worldwide reseller/SI, ISV, and othermemberships by program level. As of January 2011, there are over 1,000 partnersthat have earned at least one Specialization. This number is growing rapidly with theadoption of OPN Specialized. TABLE 3 Oracle PartnerNetwork Worldwide Membership Breakdown Category Reseller + SI ISV Other Total Diamond New NA NA NA Platinum 700 800 500 2,000 Gold 5,600 6,400 4,000 16,000 Silver 700 800 500 2,000 Remarketer 1,000 NA NA 1,000 Source: Oracle, 2011Oracle PartnerNetwork Program FeesThe OPN program offers opportunities to engage with Oracle with and withoutmembership fees: Remarketer. There are no fees to begin reselling select Oracle software as a Remarketer.. Silver. The annual fee for the Silver-level membership is US$500. Gold. The annual fee for the Gold-level membership is US$2,500. Additionally, Gold-level members can have their associate members join OPN for a 50% discount on the annual membership fee. Platinum. The annual fee for the Platinum-level membership is US$9,995, but there are a number of annual program benefits that offset that annual fee. Additionally, Platinum-level partners can have their associate members join OPN©2011 IDC #226493E 5
  6. 6. for free, which may represent a tremendous savings for partners with subsidiaries in multiple countries. Diamond. The annual fee for the Diamond level is US$9,995.There are also some optional OPN offerings that may also have a fee or other cost forparticipation.:Oracles acquisition strategy has been a key ingredient to Oracles tremendousgrowth since 2005. While not explicitly a benefit of OPN membership, Oracle partnershave and continue to benefit from this strategy. The strength of the larger and broaderOPN program often brings additional benefits than were available in the acquiredcompany program. Finally the partners, both organic OPN members and those newfrom acquisition, have an opportunity to expand their business and explore the newtechnology solutions acquired by Oracle ( PartnerNetwork Program Entry RequirementsOPN membership is open to all companies that choose to do business throughOracle. Generally, companies apply for membership in OPN by creating account, creating a company profile, completing an online application,agreeing to the terms and conditions of the OPN Agreement, agreeing to adhere tothe Partner Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, and paying an annual fee.To move up in the OPN program, primarily to earn Specializations and move to thePlatinum level, the partner needs to meet the Specialization criteria, which may varyby Specialization. The Specialization criteria generally include staff competency,customer references, and revenue. Finally, depending on the Specialization beingsought, the partner may need only one or as many as three Sales Specialists whohave passed the applicable exams.With OPN Specialized, partners can differentiate themselves in more ways than justby the OPN program levels of Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Now the partners candistinguish themselves by spotlighting their strengths and special skills in 55Specialization areas (as of December 2010, with many more scheduled through May31, 2012). The following lists examples of available Specializations from each of thefive knowledge zone groupings: Database - Oracle Database release 11g Middleware – Service-Oriented Architecture release 11g Applications – Oracle E-Business Suite Financial Management release 12.1: Industries - Healthcare Server and storage systems – Oracle Sun SPARC Enterprise Entry Level and Midrange Servers:6 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  7. 7. Each of the Specializations requires individuals at the company to pass the followingtypes of exams (number of individuals varies by Specialization): Sales Specialist Presales Specialist Support Specialist Certified Implementation Specialist Industry Specialist (available only for industry-based Specializations)In September 2010, Oracle announced Advanced Specializations that are intended torecognize the depth of resources and bench strength. An Advanced Specialization,which can be earned for any of the available Specializations, requires that the partnerhas 50 or more Certified Implementation Specialists. This means that to earn anAdvanced Specialization in Oracle Database 11g, the partner must meet the usualSpecialization criteria, plus have sufficient qualified individuals who have passed atleast 50 applicable Certified Implementation Specialist exams.Oracle counts the number of passed assessments and certifications, not the numberof individuals. It is possible that an individual pass more than one assessment in asingle Specialization area.. Finally, there are no country-based boundaries to meetingthe criteria. If the partners resources are spread across the United States, India,Belgium, and the Netherlands, they all count toward meeting the Specializationcriteria. What Oracle is looking at is the overall capability and knowledge base withinthe partner company, not the number of people in a specific country.An overview of Specialization, including the Specialization Competency ReadinessGuide (with a complete list of available and planned Specializations through May2012) is available at StrategyPartner Program BenefitsThe sections that follow describe some of the the main benefits and resources forpartners in the OPN program. Note that the benefits described are core benefits ofthe partner program that certain partner tiers, or even all partners, may access.Benefits for very small subsegments of the partner community and other ad hocbenefits for partners may not be listed here. The benefits fall into five key categories:sales, marketing, technical, and partner development and relationship.Partner Program Benefits — SalesDistribution Rights and Resale Description: Partners earn top-line revenue by reselling Oracle products and services and profit from the margin between the sale price to the customer and©2011 IDC #226493E 7
  8. 8. the royalty to Oracle. Specific information about discount amounts is not publicly available. Additionally, Oracle may provide rebates or incentives for a limited time and for a select set of products. The following distribution opportunities are available to partners:  Full Use Distribution Agreement (FUDA). The Full Use license is Oracles least restrictive license type and grants the end user full rights to develop custom applications with the Oracle software and hardware. The FUDA is, generally speaking, the most appropriate distribution agreement for systems integrators and value-added resellers.  Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) Program Distribution Agreement. The ASFU Distribution Agreement entitles partners to resell Oracle software as part of their named application package. An ASFU license may be used only with a single-named partner application package. The ASFU is the most appropriate license level for an independent software vendor.  Embedded Software License (ESL) Distribution Agreement. An ESL is a restricted type of license sold primarily by an independent software vendor where Oracle technology is embedded in its application package. The Oracle products must not be apparent to the end user and may only be used by the end user to execute the solution providers designated application package.  Reselling Support. With each Oracle license distributed, partners may also distribute the end users right to receive first-year technical support from Oracle. The partner may decide how to price the first-year support but must also communicate Oracles price for second-year support. Partners are not allowed to resell support for second and subsequent years.  Reselling Oracle Support for ASFU and ESL. Partners must provide first- line end-user support on the Oracle programs contained in their application package to those end users that want technical support and may contact Oracle for assistance with a customer query that is related to an Oracle program using the CSI for the applicable OPN-supported development licenses. Fees for support are due to Oracle when partners provide support to their end users.  Reselling Oracle Enterprise Linux and VM Support. Oracle allows its partners to resell Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM Support.  Reselling Oracle Education. The Oracle University Reseller program enables qualified organizations to offer Oracle education products and training for resale. Requirements: OPN members at the Silver level have the ability to resell only the 1-Click products. Gold, Platinum, and Diamond OPN members may resell any of the products included in the knowledge zones to which their company is accepted, has achieved the reseller criteria, and has completed the appropriate distribution agreements. To resell Oracle University products and services, the8 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  9. 9. partner needs to submit an application and complete an OPN Education Distribution Agreement.Open Market Model Description: In an effort to optimize its distribution channel, Oracle instituted the Open Market Model (OMM) that offers three distinct initiatives, which acknowledge and reward partners for registering transactions with Oracle:  Resale initiative. The resale initiative is open to all eligible OPN members to register net-new opportunities for any Oracle program, service, and/or license levels for which the partner has a valid Oracle distribution agreement. If Oracle closes the deal that was registered and accepted under the resale initiative, the registered partner will qualify for a fee from Oracle. The fee varies by product and/or geography but is generally 10% of the value of the opportunity with a cap at US$100,000.  Referral initiative. The referral initiative is open to all OPN members that have knowledge of a net-new opportunity to license any Oracle programs and/or services. Upon successful closure of the transaction, Oracle will pay a fee to the approved referring partner. The fee varies by product and/or geography but is generally 5% or 10% with caps at US$25,000, US$50,000, or US$100,000.  Non-commission cosell initiative. Sometimes it is necessary or appropriate for a partner to register a potential opportunity, but not be eligible for a fee or commission as is available in the resale and referral initiatives. The non-commission cosell initiative allows partners to register net-new opportunities, existing and active sales opportunities, or single large transactions that encompass a partner deal or supersede it. Registering these deals gains the partner important recognition within the OPN program and the Oracle sales teams. OMM offers an alternative to the Oracle partners to earn recognition and compensation for deals they found but did not have the opportunity to resell as described in the Distribution Rights and Resale section. Requirements: The Open Market Model is available to all OPN members. More complete details of the OMM program are found at Program Benefits — MarketingLogos and Branding Description: Oracle provides a variety of logos to the OPN membership. Specific criteria must be met before the partner can download and use the logo:  Oracle Partner is available to partners in the Silver level of membership in OPN or partners that choose only to work with the 1-Click products. This is the membership entry level.©2011 IDC #226493E 9
  10. 10.  Oracle Gold Partner is available to partners that have achieved the Gold level of membership in OPN and have begun on the path to Specialization.  Oracle Platinum Partner is available to partners that have achieved the Platinum level of membership in OPN.  Oracle Diamond Partner is available to partners that have achieved the Diamond level of membership in OPN. This is the most prestigious OPN logo.  Oracle Validated Integration is available to partners that have had Oracle validate their solution with one of the Oracle applications.  Oracle Accelerate Solution is available to partners that have their prepackaged bundle that pairs with Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications reviewed and approved by Oracle.  Oracle Certified Professional is available from Oracle University to those individuals who have passed the necessary OCP exams.  Value-Added Distributor is available to partners that are authorized as Oracles value-added distributors.  Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Global Awards logos recognize partner excellence in a number of categories including technology, applications, industry, and midsize. The OPN logos provide recognized market credibility of the partners relationship with Oracle. Partners use the logos on their own Web sites, presentations, marketing collaterals, business cards, and trade show booths. Requirements: OPN logos are available to all OPN members, although the logo varies based on partnership level. Additional logos for Specialization are available once the partner has met the specific Specialization criteria.Market Development Funds Description: The OPN Market Development Funds (MDF) is a marketing budget allocated to fund partner marketing programs. MDF may be used toward Oracle- related revenue activities such as advertising, collateral, demand generation, events, and telemarketing. Platinum-level OPN members may apply for funding marketing activities that highlight the Oracle partnership and extend the Oracle message. Through MDF, Oracle will fund up to 50% of eligible costs for a joint partner/OPN activity and up to 30% of eligible costs if two partners are involved. Requirements: Only Platinum-level partners are eligible to apply for MDF benefits. Diamond-level partners receive an annual MDF allocation.Joint Customer Success Stories Description: Gold- and Platinum-level partners can nominate their customer success story (having first obtained the customers permission to do so). Once10 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  11. 11. accepted, partners receive professional services to write and publish their customer success story. The story is made available on and linked to the partner Web site. The partners market credibility is increased because the partner, Oracle, and the customer are publically validating the positive joint success. Requirements: Customer success stories are available only to Gold-, Platinum-, and Diamond-level members of OPN, although it is not clear that all of the partners listed on the Partner Success Stories have actually achieved this status. Including the OPN partner logos on this page would be a nice addition to continue the branding of OPN Specialized (see Program Benefits — TechnicalEnablement 2.0 Boot Camps Description: To complement the training available from Oracle University, in 2008, OPN developed the Enablement 2.0 Boot Camp series. The boot camp classes are role specific for sales, presales, and implementation, with implementation boot camps being the most commonly scheduled events. Most of the classes are in-person, but there are also live virtual events. Course descriptions generally state that the class provides an in-depth understanding of the architectural, technical, and functional content while providing an understanding of the installation, implementation, configuration, and/or extension of the product. Sample topics are:  Database Security Options Implementation — 2 days  Service-Oriented Architecture Implementation — 3 days  E-Business Suite Financial Management 11i to 12i Delta Implementation — 5 days   Oracle VM Overview and Implementation — 2 days Oracle also has an innovative program that allows partners to improve the curriculum. Oracle uses "delivery partners" to develop and teach some of the boot camps. These partners have access to a delivery dashboard to access content and improve it. Also, partner staff members who attend OPN classes can provide feedback on courses or assessments through the OPN Competency Center. Requirements: Silver-level partners are eligible only for boot camps specific to the 1-Click products. Gold, Platinum, and Diamond partners may attend any of the boot camp offerings. Fees, ranging from free to US$2,250 for a five-day virtual class, vary based on boot camp topic and geographic region. See the current Boot Camp Schedule on the "Most Popular Resources" at©2011 IDC #226493E 11
  12. 12. OPN Competency Center Description: The OPN Competency Center is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that guides partner employees through a role-based path in order to learn how to sell, demo, implement, develop on, and support Oracle products. The model for the user interface is the London Underground map, with students choosing a "track" (Oracle calls them Guided Learning Paths [GLPs]) and stopping at courses on their journey. Preassessments are available so students can test their existing knowledge and determine where they should actually spend their time learning new subjects. Students can track their progress through the GLPs and then begin to earn "Specialization" by successfully completing an OPN Specialist assessment. The OPN Competency Center also includes a dashboard that the partners OPN administrator can use to track overall progress toward achieving Specialization. The administrator may also create workgroups and assign training to employees to fulfill the education requirements for Specialization using a feature called Training Manager. Requirements: The OPN Competency Center is available to all OPN members.Development and Integration Licenses Description: OPN provides an unlimited number of development and integration licenses to OPN members to enable partners to lower their development costs for building products that run on the Oracle stack or integrate to Oracle applications. These development and integration licenses also include software updates and patches, ensuring that the partner always has access to the most current Oracle software. The development licenses are limited to technology products (please note that development licenses are not available for application programs). Integration licenses are limited to the application programs identified in the knowledge zone(s) for which the partner has applied and been accepted. Requirements: Silver-level OPN members have access to development licenses for 1-Click products. Development licenses for technology products are available to all OPN members at Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels. Availability of application integration licenses are limited to Gold-, Platinum-, and Diamond- level partners and to acceptance in applicable knowledge zones.Support Discounts Description: There are times when access to self-service support tools and knowledge bases are not enough and the partner really needs to log a service request. Support resources are expensive, so this type of benefit is rarely offered at no cost. In detail:  100 free Service Requests to use with development, demonstration, and integration licenses on any Oracle technology or application product. 100 free SRs are available to Platinum- and Diamond-level partners. Additionally, Specialized partners receive 50 free SRs per Specialization for use with development, demonstration, and integration12 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  13. 13. licenses for Oracle technology and application programs in addition to any free SRs received as part of the Support benefits discussed previously (up to a maximum of 250 free SRs per membership year). The free SRs are renewed each year.  Purchase Service Request Packs at a discount. Gold-level partners that have not yet earned a Specialization, as well as partners that have used up their free SRs, may purchase packs of Service Requests for Oracles application and technology products. SRs are sold in packs of 10 for US$650 and 25 for US$1,400 and may be purchased through the Partner Business Center.  Free Service Requests for Oracles Enterprise Linux Support. 100 free SRs are available to Gold Specialized partners, and 200 free SRs are available to Platinum- and Diamond-level partners. The free SRs are renewed each year.  Discount on Oracles Enterprise Linux Support. Gold-level partners that have not yet earned a Specialization, as well as partners that have used up their free SRs, may purchase packs of Service Requests for Enterprise Linux Support. SRs are sold in packs of 10 for US$650 and 25 for US$1,400 and may be purchased through the Partner Business Center. At the Platinum and Diamond levels, the annual renewal of free SRs is a terrific benefit. Plus, Oracle provides some number of free SRs to the Gold-level partners that have achieved at least one Specialization. Most large software vendors require partners to pay for this generous level of support. Requirements: Free service requests are provided to Gold Specialized, Platinum, and Diamond partners only. All other service requests may be purchased at a discount. These service requests are only for use with the partners demonstration, development, and integration licenses. They are not to be used for customer projects or Oracle products that may be used internally by the partner.Oracle University Discounts Description:  Discounts on products and services. Through its partnership with Oracle University, OPN offers discounts of 20% to Silver partners and 25% to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond partners on all Oracle University products and services including classroom training and self-study CDs.  Learning Credit discounts. If a company can plan ahead for its training requirements, it often makes sense to prepurchase Learning Credits. If purchased within 30 days of signing up or renewing an OPN membership, OPN members can purchase Learning Credits at a 35% discount. However, these Learning Credits must be purchased within the first 30 days of OPN membership or renewal and must be used by the next renewal date or within 12 months, whichever is earlier.©2011 IDC #226493E 13
  14. 14.  Live virtual discounts. Platinum- and Diamond-level OPN members are offered an additional 5% discount, over the regular 25% discount, for these live virtual events.  Oracle University Knowledge Center Passport. Typically accessed via the OPN Competency Center, the OUKCP is the library of online courses and assessments. The courses are developed by Oracle University, Oracles product development and support organizations, Oracle Consulting, Oracle Sales, and the OPN Enablement team. Requirements: The OUKCP is available to all OPN members, as are the additional discounts for purchasing learning credits. Discounts on Oracle University products and services vary by partner level. It is important to note that these training discounts are for use with the development of the partners own skills in developing and deliver solutions to their customers, not as a pass through to customers.Oracle Certified Professional Assessments/Exam Vouchers Description: The Oracle Certified Professional is one of the most established badges of credibility for an individual in the information technology industry. Oracle provides a wide variety of OCP programs through Oracle University. Exams, for which there is a fee ranging from US$125 to US$300, may be taken at testing centers worldwide. Complete details are available at Requirements: The OCP voucher is available only to Gold- (two vouchers per year) and Platinum/Diamond-level (six vouchers per year) OPN members. Partners receive two additional vouchers once they achieve their first Specialization.Partner Program Benefits — Relationship andDevelopmentPartner Business Center Description: Stationed in four business centers (Bangalore, India; Beijing, China; Bucharest, Romania; and Buenos Aries, Argentina), the Partner Business Centers provide around-the-clock partner support in up to 24 languages, via phone, email, and Twitter. The team provides a variety of services including business and administrative support, site navigation, membership updates, order placement, and technical support assistance:  Silver. Free inbound call and email assistance including assistance logging Service Requests  Gold. Proactive outbound engagement including business and administrative support functions and priority renewal  Platinum. Dedicated virtual account management and channels to optimize the Oracle PartnerNetwork and Specialized benefits, development of joint14 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  15. 15. business plans, and top priority renewal (The most senior members of the team staff use these dedicated phone lines.) The Partner Business Center uses a methodology titled Programmatic Partner Enablement (PPE) to work proactively with new OPN partners to help them get started using their OPN membership benefits, meeting resale criteria, developing business plans, and so on. Its a very structured process that moves the partners toward their first and subsequent sale of Oracle technology. This PPE process has been in place since 2007 and has proved to be a very effective way to get the partners to grow their business and become self-sufficient while also growing Oracles business. Requirements: The Partner Business Center is available to OPN members at all levels, but the specific benefits vary by level as described previously. Partners are nominated by the field to participate in the Programmatic Partner Enablement process.Assigned Oracle Global Alliance Manager and Global Oracle ExecutiveSponsor Description: The assigned Global Alliance Manager is often the most valued benefit of any partner program. The addition of the Global Oracle Executive Sponsor provides direct access to Oracles executive management team. Requirements: Assigned Oracle Global Alliance Managers and Global Oracle Executive Sponsors are available only to Diamond-level partners.Social Media Description: The OPN team has been very active in using social media as a method of communication with the OPN membership. OPNhasbecome a leader among the software vendors in using these types of tools. OPN primarily uses the following resources — Oracle wiki, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube:  Oracle wiki. The Oracle wiki has an active section for OPN Specialized program (see  Facebook. The OPN group on Facebook is named "Oracle PartnerNetwork". The postings include lots of event announcements, links to blogs, and media announcements.  Twitter. Oracle has two Twitter groups for OPN. @oraclepartners is the official Twitter group for OPN. The Oracle Partner Business Center manages the Twitter group @ORCLPartnerBiz. Many of the postings are event announcements, but issues and queries are also posted by OPN members.  LinkedIn. The OPN team manages a corporate group named "Oracle Partner Network". The LinkedIn group is primarily used for event announcements and training offers from Oracle, but there is some good©2011 IDC #226493E 15
  16. 16. participation on discussions for OPN benefit utilization and improvements, meeting agendas, and so on.  YouTube. OPN is an active user of YouTube, with many video blogs, interviews, and tutorials, on a specific Oracle PartnerNetwork YouTube channel. Requirements: The Oracle wiki, Oracle PartnerNetwork on Facebook, ORCLPartnerBiz on Twitter, Oracle Partner Network on LinkedIn, and Oracle Partner Network on YouTube are public groups.FUTURE OUTLOOKAs announced at the OPN PartnerForum during Oracle OpenWorld in September2010, Oracle is continuing to follow through on the commitment to Specialization. Theannouncements of the Diamond-level and Advanced Specializations emphasize thiscommitment. Oracle has also made public commitments to adding and maintainingthe number of available Specializations through May 2012 and, it is expected,beyond. Oracle will continue to fold regional initiatives (e.g., the Pillar program) intoSpecializations. IDC applauds this decision as it makes the overall partner programconsistent and easier for the partners to decide how best to work with Oracle.In October 2010, the Sun PartnerAdvantage program ceased to exist and the Sunpartners needed to decide if they were going to join OPN if they want to continue towork with the Sun products. It is expected that Oracle will continue with its acquisitionstrategy and its practice of absorbing the acquired partners into the OPN program.The OPN team has developed a smooth and effective process for managing theseacquisitions and is very efficient at it.Oracle has long had a broad number of products available for partners to work with.The acquisitions have and will continue to increase the number of products. A majorfocus in the future will be getting the partners to cross-sell more of these products totheir customers. For example, if the partner is only selling Sun hardware solutionstoday, they will be encouraged to add higher-margin database products to the mix. Allof this helps the partners and Oracle to continue to grow their mutual businesses.ESSENTIAL GUIDANCERecommendations for OracleThe OPN Specialized launch in October 2009 was long needed for Oracles partnercommunity. Oracle has created a strong program with clear guidelines and criteria formoving up in the membership levels and differentiated benefits for the partners thatdo the work to achieve the Specializations. Achievement of a Specialized statusallows partners to be recognized for the breadth of knowledge, while the addition ofAdvanced Specializations in September 2010 provides a way for partners to clearlydemonstrate their depth of resource. The move from Partner, Certified Partner, andCertified Advantage Partner to Silver, Gold, and Platinum is much easier tounderstand by the Oracle sales teams, the partner community and, most importantly,16 #226493E ©2011 IDC
  17. 17. the customer base. The September 2010 announcement of the Diamond level is also extremely welcome. For too long, the criteria to be one of the truly top-tier global partners was unpublished and unclear. Oracles openness about the criteria will strengthen these partners and provide clear direction for those emerging partners that aspire to these levels. However, as it launched OPN Specialized, Oracle initially relabeled its existing Certified Advantage Partners as Platinum and the Certified Partners and many of the partners as Gold. Oracle gave the partners until December 2010 to actually achieve the Specialization criteria required by the updated program (although some partners have longer depending on their membership agreement dates). It is important that Oracle stick to its guns and demand that the criteria be met to maintain the coveted Platinum status. Other software vendors have caved in the past in this situation and slipstreamed partners into top levels based on long-ago achievements. Additionally, Oracle needs to maintain the differentiation of benefits by partner levels. It is tempting for the regional teams, let alone the marketing and development organizations, to make exceptions and grant Platinum-level benefits to lower-level partners. Recommendations for Partners Oracle is a huge and complex organization, so its easy to feel lost. But the OPN Specialized program has a lot to offer to the partners that really want to drive their business forward and not just have another vendor plaque on the wall of their lobby. Whats important at Oracle is revenue and transactions. This is what gets you noticed. Beginning as a Remarketer and at the Silver level, you have the opportunity to do lots of transactions and a growing amount of revenue. Transactions are important as they create volume and an opportunity to develop customer relationships that grow revenue. Gold-level partners should also seriously look at the Specializations and focus on earning those that make sense for their business. The Oracle field sales organization has been very receptive to the concept of Specialization, and its trust in the channel is growing. Current and potential OPN members at the Gold and Platinum levels today should ensure that they meet the criteria to earn and retain the Platinum status. The annual fee at the Platinum level seems high, but the benefits really provide an excellent return on investment. Contact Us If you have any feedback on this document, contact Christine Dover at or Darren Bibby at ©2011 IDC #226493E 17
  18. 18. Copyright NoticeThis IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligenceservice, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, andconferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consultingservices. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Pleasecontact the IDC Hotline at 800.343.4952, ext. 7988 (or +1.508.988.7988) for information on applying the price of this document toward thepurchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights.Copyright 2011 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.18 #226493E ©2011 IDC