Today, at their annual PartnerNetwork online kickoff event, Oracle placed a big bet on the cloud, stressing the importance of cloud transformation to partners. Historically, this event isn’t a big one for announcements around new products or services, which tend to come out at Oracle OpenWorld, but Oracle unveiled a new program for Independent Software Vendors [ISVs] to build applications into the Oracle cloud.
“The core messaging for partners is that we are putting a lot of ammo around our move to the cloud,” said Penny Philpot, Group Vice President, Worldwide Alliances and Channels at Oracle.
“There is a lot more focus on this than before,” Philpot said. “We are encouraging partners to open up platforms in the non-Oracle space. We are basically looking at migrating test and dev to the cloud, including non-Oracle. We see both Infrastructure-as-a-Service [IaaS] and PaaS as being both around Oracle and not Oracle.”
“Kurian talked about opportunities for both ISVs, and SIs, and emphasized that we are committed to the cloud,” Philpot said. “We see a number of different partner opportunities here, including for ISVs, who bring unique IP to Oracle.”
To assist their ISVs with their path to the cloud, Oracle announced Oracle Cloud Platform Ready for ISVs. Open to OPN members of Silver level or higher, Oracle Cloud Platform Ready lets ISV partners quickly register and publish their Oracle Cloud-compatible applications on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. To speed time-to-market, partners can also request access to Oracle Cloud Specialists and other technical resources directly from the Oracle Cloud Platform Ready registration. ISVs with an Oracle Cloud Marketplace are also eligible for OPN Cloud Standard program benefits, including easy access to Oracle Cloud development and test environments.
“The program is designed to handhold ISV partners’ migration into the cloud with a number of tools, including access to demos,” Philpot said.
Philpot said that Oracle’s cloud program has huge momentum, and is proceeding at a fast pace they are expecting partners to keep up with.
“This has been a record-breaking year for new partners joining Oracle, many of them on the back of what they heard about Oracle going into the cloud,” she said. “We now have about 25,000 partners today, with many born-in-the-cloud ones recently coming in. This is what our customers are looking for – thought leadership.”
Philpot emphasized however, that while Oracle is doing all it can to nudge partners into the cloud, it is doing so with carrots rather than a stick.
“We are totally respectful that a good percentage of partners enjoy a solid business in on-prem products, which is why cloud is an extension of our existing program,” she said. “We still have a very strong on-prem business. It’s what pays the bills. We know that, and we want to encourage partners to move at the pace that they want to move. The future for us and our partners is in the cloud, but we know the cash flow in the cloud business is very different. We have that same issue in our own business, and understand those challenges.”
Philpot stressed that while Oracle isn’t going to threaten partners to get them to embrace cloud, it is important for them to emphasize that’s the future.
“Unless you make a stand, and make a statement of strong direction, people won’t think we are serious,” she said. “We are bloody dead serious. But we are giving partners confidence and encouragement rather than force the issue.”
Philpot said that Oracle is also working on being a better partner.
“We know that in the past, things have been clunky,” she said. “We’ve done a huge amount of work steamlining things and making it a smoother process. We want to make it a more motivational process for partners to be working with us. There has never been a better time to work with Oracle. Whether for SIs, ISVs or VARs, we have a solid portfolio of products and a solid program.”