“Sun partners are significant, and the opportunity is huge for them,” Oracle vice-president Edge and acquired channel development worldwide alliances and channels, Mark Shapcott, said.
He touted the mass opportunity for both Oracle and Sun partners to sell ‘whole’ software and hardware solutions.
“We want partners that can put the whole solution together, not just the product piece, but also services and integration, and wrap it together for a customer,” Shapcott said. “The opportunity is bigger [for Sun partners] than it was before.”
He said Sun had about 35,000 customers and Oracle 350,000 customers.
“You put those two together and there are about 300,000 Oracle customers that don’t run on Sun,” Shapcott said.
He also ensured traditional Sun partner certifications would be recognised by Oracle, but he didn’t rule out making changes down the track.
“We’re allowing partners to bring across their Sun certifications. We’re recognising them as part of the criteria to become specialised, the skills, customers and the service they’ve been providing historically,” he said. “In any acquisition things are going to change. We’re doing our best to bring across what we can and recognise how Sun partners have invested, and allow them that springboard to keep the business momentum going.”
Huge investments are also being made in research and development relating to integrating Oracle software with Sun hardware, he said.
In May, new Sun specialisations were announced that cover storage and server platforms including Sparc enterprise high-level and midrange servers, Sun Chip Multithreading servers, Sun Storage 7000 Unified storage systems, StorageTek tape libraries and Oracle Solaris.
Other specialisations are based around Oracle application platforms and include policy automation, CRM on-demand, data warehousing, database security and Oracle Fusion Middleware suites such as Essbase, Business Intelligence foundation, Application Grid, Content Management and WebCenter.
The specialisation program is open to recognised gold and platinum partners. Depending on what tier an organisation sits in, benefits available range from exposure across the vendor’s websites and promotional material, access to demonstration services, free support service requests and broader partner support through to enablement initiatives, marketing development funds, discounts on licensing and programs and sales kits. At the time, the vendor claimed 23,000 partners had passed the test and earned their specialisation stripes.
Globally, 70 per cent of Oracle/Sun partners are taking part in the specialisation program, Shapcott said.
Over time, Oracle will add more specialisations to the fold. But Shapcott could not divulge further detail at this point in time other than it was continually evolving.
“The roadmap is big and we’re continuing to develop and invest in them,” he said.
Shapcott nominated business intelligence applications and database as big market drivers. On top of this middleware, Exadata and Software-as-a-Service were growing areas.
“There are opportunities across a variety of areas within the software spectrum,” he said.
“Whether it is large or small customers, we’re looking for partners that can bring value into that equation and partners that are specialised are recognised as being competent and skilled.
Sun partner and system integrator, Frontline Systems built up its Oracle practice and stated it had opened up opportunities for them to sell hardware and associated Oracle software.
"We identified business intelligence as a key issue on the minds of CIOs," Frontline general manager, Bill Frangeskakis, said at the time. "We're specifically looking at Oracle because of its position in the market and our legacy Sun customer base."
Oracle would not provide further details on Sun staff redundancies.