Given Oracle has a complete stack of cloud solutions from comprehensive hybrid options, IaaS, PaaS, to SaaS and vast enterprise customers. The company feels the addressable market for its partners is huge. Under the Modern OPN program, Cloud partners are no longer grouped in tiers based on fees and revenue. Instead, new certifications allow them to demonstrate relevant expertise to customers along with superior cloud economics. Lalit Malik, Group Vice President – Alliances & Channels, APAC, Oracle discusses the modern OPN and channel directions for its partners
- What has been the contribution of partners in the growth of Oracle’s cloud business in FY 21?
We work with more than 3,000 partners in APAC, and they account for nearly 80 percent of all Oracle transactions in the region. In FY21, partners led 70 percent of successful implementations for our SaaS customers. On an average, a partner was involved in almost 2/3rd of all SaaS deals. And for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), cloud consumption for partner-led customer projects grew 91 percent year-on-year, accounting for more than 50 percent of our cloud infrastructure consumption across the region. We remain focused on growing our cloud business in FY22. We will continue to work with committed and capable partners to drive better outcomes for customers in their cloud journey.
- What are some of the key differentiations Oracle’s partners enjoy over its competitors?
Oracle is the only hyper-scale cloud provider with a complete stack of cloud solutions: from comprehensive hybrid options, IaaS, PaaS, to SaaS. Given Oracle’s vast enterprise customer base across APAC, the addressable market for our partners is huge. Traditionally, Oracle has focused on driving industry-specific solutions: from banking to telcos, hospitality to healthcare. We are starting to see customers deploy these industry-specific solutions on our cloud platform.
We are making it very easy for customers and partners to do business with Oracle. Our unique universal credits for OCI services allow partners and customers to use many different cloud services seamlessly throughout their project life cycle or deployment seasonality – switching from server to storage to any of our industry-leading PaaS solutions as and when needed – and only pay for what they truly use.
Oracle Support Rewards program is a new initiative to help customers increase the speed of their cloud adoption while simultaneously reducing their software support spends. All Oracle technology license support customers will be able to earn at least 25 cents of Support Rewards for each dollar of OCI Universal Credits they purchase and consume. Further, a ULA customer with an Oracle technology license support bill of $500,000 could eliminate that bill entirely, by migrating $1.5M of workloads to OCI.
Last but not the least, we also offer a highly differentiated set of partner incentives and innovative rewards to help customers move to our cloud, and improve their IT operations while lowering costs.
- How can partners make your – and their – cloud business more profitable and predictable?
The Modern Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) program supports our partners to attain published expertise quickly. Criteria for partners include a good track record of successful customer go-lives and customers’ explicit endorsement of their satisfaction. With more capable partners, implementation success is better assured, and partners’ profitability is safeguarded.
Partners can take advantage of our unique range of Autonomous Database solutions – which automatically take care of all the routine (but essential) tasks such as software patching, upgrading, and tuning – to enable their workforce to focus on higher value-added services and help drive more business value for our customers. This in turn will help partners improve their margins. Further, embedded AI/ML and advanced automation capabilities in our Autonomous Database solutions help partners to detect exceptions and problems arising more quickly, and eliminate human errors that might occur from untimely or improper upgrades, patching, or tuning.
- How Oracle chooses its partners for its cloud business?
An ecosystem of very competent partners with a proven track record is very important to help our customers succeed in their cloud journey. Customers typically seek partners with quality talent, expertise and good implementation knowledge. Such partners must have:
- Prior experience in delivering similar programs successfully in region.
- Necessary bandwidth and locally available certified resources to complete projects on time. By choosing the right partners with published expertise, our customers can better succeed in their cloud journey.
- What’s new under the Modern OPN program?
The Modern OPN program is designed to help customers get faster, more value from using cloud services. Through this program, we empower partners to help customers protect and optimize their legacy IT investments and design a path to the cloud. We have made the program very simple, with three Cloud tracks: Build Track, Sell Track, and Service Track. For some of our traditional partners, we also have one License and Hardware Track. Each track offers a very clear focus, role, and set of capabilities around which a partner can develop their expertise. By joining a track, a partner gets a set of targeted enablers that help them accelerate their growth – based on their business plan and go-to-market strategy. Key enablers include test demo environments, unlimited cloud learning subscriptions, technical assistance, skills transfer, amongst others.
Can you explain your cloud partner ecosystem in JAPAC? Share perspectives on the Indian landscape as well.
We are working closely with a rich set of ISVs who had traditionally been providing enterprise-grade applications to our customers. We are helping these ISVs leverage OCI to pivot to the cloud quickly and effectively to remain competitive. In parallel, we are also collaborating with many new and emerging cloud-native ISVs in the region. Many of our key SIs are not just SIs but are also ISVs themselves; they are also hosting managed services providers for some enterprise customers – either locally or around the world. We are working closely with them to accelerate their cloud journey. We are collaborating closely with their delivery teams to enhance their services capability and capacity to support our common customers.
How is Oracle’s overall cloud strategy benefiting the partner ecosystem across JAPAC in general – and India in particular?
We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of partners signing up for our Modern OPN and attaining their cloud service expertise. Today in APAC, we already have 62 partners who have cleared all the very stringent criteria to have at least one published expertise. We also have a total of 122 expertise areas published amongst all these partners. So together with our partners, we are helping customers reduce risks, lower costs, and better align IT initiatives to business objectives.
From an India market perspective, our superior cloud economics proposition is resonating very well with Indian partners and customers. Apart from predictable and transparent pricing, extreme performance with enterprise-class SLAs is another aspect that partners and customers highlight as a key difference Oracle offers vis-à-vis other cloud providers. Partners also appreciate the unparalleled flexibility of deployment we offer customers. PWC, Deloitte, Infosys, Edgeverve, TCS, Path Infotech, Clover Infotech, OneGlobe, Sunera Tech, Sify, L&T Infotech, Birlasoft, IBM, Sonata, Cloud4C and Wizertech, to name a few.
- Can you share 2-3 key opportunity areas partners should focus on in the next 12 months?
Four key opportunity areas we believe are important for our partners to focus on in the near term:
- Hybrid cloud is a trend gaining significant traction among Indian enterprises. Oracle is best poised to help customers with a range of deployment options, including Oracle Cloud at Customer and Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer, where we bring the cloud into customers’ (or their third party managed) datacenters, behind their firewall. Customers will look to partners who have the right integration experience to help them succeed with their hybrid cloud strategies.
- We see enterprises ramp up their cloud-native development and deployment plans. With modern, agile Oracle Cloud Native services, we make it easier for developers to build enterprise-class applications for the new decade using cloud-native, no-code, low-code services available in OCI. Partners with expertise in these services will be sought after more by customers.
- Oracle Cloud VMware solution is the best option for enterprises looking to pivot their VMware environment to the cloud for scalability and expansion. The opportunity for partners who can help customers in this area is huge.
- Oracle provides customers 10TB of free data egress per month. Partners should leverage this key differentiator – OCI’s superior cloud economics proposition – to help customers with large volumes of outbound data, to move to OCI. This is one key reason why global customers like Zoom and 8×8 moved to OCI and are getting better price-performance benefits. In India, Impartus Innovations is a great example. Impartus has partnered with leading universities to provide virtual classrooms for 530,000 plus students in India. By running their virtual classrooms on OCI, Impartus expects improved application performance along with 40% cost savings.