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Oracle is gearing up to certify partners to resell its cloud services, processing orders as early as the end of August, the company announced in a June 24 webcast kicking off its partner sales efforts for fiscal year 2014.
The Oracle Cloud Resale Program was one of several new programs, including a referral program, the software company announced Oct. 2 at OpenWorld 2012 event.
Early momentum for the referral program, which started last fall, portends pent-up demand from partners to resell cloud services, said Jeff Porter, Oracle's director of go-to-market programs, in an interview with Channel Partners following the kickoff webcast.
The referral program is open to any member of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) and now includes 100 referral partners and boasts more than 500 deals in the pipeline, he said. "The referral program was mean to have a low barrier to entry," Porter said, noting that partners refer the deal to the Oracle Cloud direct sales team and are paid a one-time spiff equal to a percentage of the deal value over a one- or three-year term subscription. They are not paid on renewals.
In contrast the new resale program offer partners the ability to participate in what Porter calls the "lifetime value" of the account, including the initial sale, add-ons and renewals. For those perks, Oracle requires a higher level of commitment from its partners -- specialization and creation of a "fixed scope" implementation package.
Porter explained that the specialization requires about 80 hours of training on cloud in general; the specific Oracle Cloud service the partner wants to sell; and best practices for configuration, customization, provisioning, reporting, data migration and out-of-the-box integration. Partners must achieve specialization in pre-sales, sales, implementation and consulting. This could be done by one person or four people.
A fixed-scope implementation package is simply a fixed fee for a predetermined set of professional services required to implement the cloud service. Porter said it's usually a "gateway" for other integration work that's outside the scope.
Oracle has been rolling out specializations for all Oracle Cloud Services. There are 20 services, and eight specializations available so far. These include: Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle Taleo, Oracle RightNow CX, Oracle CRM On Demand, Oracle Endeca Commerce Applications, Oracle ATG Commerce Suite Application, Oracle Cloud Application Foundation and Oracle Cloud Builder.
Porter said some partners already have begun training in anticipation of the resale program. However, the company won't begin accepting applications for resellers until August when the contracts are ready. Each resale partner must sign a distribution agreement as well as validate their specialization and fixed scope implementation.
Resellers will buy Oracle Cloud services at a discount and rebill their clients. They also will provide Tier 1 support; Oracle Cloud will provide Tier 2 and 3 support to the partner. They also must ask the customer to sign a services agreement directly with Oracle Cloud; this document will convey Oracle's obligations to the customer and also provides an opportunity for the customer to assign rights to the partner to manage their account. The Oracle Cloud Services Resale Program does not have a white-label option.