Oracle tunes ISVs into Exastack with new program

Judson Althoff Oracle

Oracle channel chief Judson Althoff

Oracle kicked off its annual Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) global event with the launch of a new partner program for ISVs that will give ISV partners the certifications needed for Oracle Exastack and Oracle Exalogic products. The company also announced the new OPN Incentive Program to provide rebates to authorized Oracle resellers.

The cornerstone of Oracle’s channel strategy for its fiscal 2012 year is the Oracle Exastack Program for ISVs. The program was designed to help ISVs run their software on Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, which are systems in which software and hardware are engineered to work together, according to Oracle. The purpose of the new program is to provide partners with a lower cost and high performance infrastructure for database and application workloads through on-premise and cloud-based environments.

“In order to effectively differentiate their software applications in the marketplace, ISVs need to rapidly deliver new capabilities and performance improvements,” said Judson Althoff, senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels and embedded sales at Oracle, in a statement. “With Oracle Exastack, ISVs have the ability to optimize and deploy their applications with a complete, integrated and cloud-ready infrastructure that will help them accelerate innovation, unlock new features and functionality, and deliver superior value to customers.”

ISVs can get their applications certified as Oracle Exastack Ready through the new program, which gives them the permissions needed to market their applications as being able to run on (as well as offer support) Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. Additionally, ISVs that join the program get access to other options for certifying their applications on Oracle Exalogic and Exadata. There’s the Oracle Exastack Ready certification and Oracle Exastack Optimized (for Gold level partners and above, giving such partners further access to technical resources and dedicated Oracle lab environments).

Michelle Warren, president of MW Research & Consulting, noted that the new programs from Oracle are an extension of what Oracle is already doing in the channel, which she noted is a different kind of channel relationship than is typical for IT vendors. As she pointed out, Oracle partner sales tend to be longer term and more of a solution sale rather than a point product sale.

The new ISV program does bring with it a bit of a chicken-and-egg mentality that will likely forge stronger relationships between Oracle and Gold partners but leave sub-Gold partners with fewer resources and accessibility to Oracle staff than they might like.

“It’s a bit of a delicate relationship because Oracle’s partners would have invested time and money in getting trained and well-versed on Oracle products, but then they also need to have access to Oracle technical staff and have access to their labs, but they can only get that when they show a certain level of commitment with Oracle,” Warren said.

It’s a balancing act in channel relationships, but Oracle will provide more specific details on the new ISV program in the fall.