CloudOriginal article by Jack Gilbert at channelweb.co.uk

Head of UK channel says he wants partners to bring Oracle’s cloud offering to ‘a much wider marketplace’

Oracle is looking to take its partners into the “new world order” of the cloud, and bring its public cloud offerings to the masses, including in the mid-market and below.

Cloud was a key focus of this year’s OpenWorld event, with CTO Larry Ellison revealing over a dozen new cloud services, and CEO Mark Hurd saying 80% of all production apps will be in the cloud by 2025, compared to 25% today.

And speaking with CRN, Oracle’s newly appointed head of its UK and Ireland channel, Simon Hill, said he wants a new “breadth and depth” with its partners, to take cloud offerings into new customer segments.

“We have been enterprise-customer focused, even with our partner base, but we are looking to take that integrated cloud message and product set into a much wider marketplace,” he said. “Staying in the enterprise, but getting that breadth and depth through our partners, into medium and smaller customers.”

Hill said the product set will be the same for Oracle’s wider market ambitions, but because the delivery mechanism of the cloud is different to on-premise, it’s “far more pertinent now more than ever to medium and small sized [customers]”.

This cloud strategy from Oracle focuses on its integrated cloud offering, which Hill said can be split into: software-as-a service, such as ERP; underpinned by platform-as-a service, such as database; and its infrastructure-as-a service, which is its storage and the hardware-as-a service.

Hill said he is hoping to reach out to what Oracle calls the broad market that sits below the enterprise.

“Once they are in the broad market, there is all that medium sized and small business,” he said. “So have we set a definition of how low we go? No, the cloud can service one man and his dog through to the big FTSE 500, so we are not restricting in that respect.”

 In order to achieve this market scope, Hill said Oracle is on a “huge recruitment drive through our distributors”, in which it hopes to add to its current 800 UK resellers. He also said he wants existing partners to go on this new “cloud journey”, and bring cloud-based offerings to their existing customers.

He added that Oracle now has the right capabilities to win in the cloud.

“I have been at Oracle for five years, and we have been talking about cloud for a long time,” he said. “The industry has been talking about cloud for a long time [too]. But now, what has changed is Oracle has got this product suite, from a public cloud perspective.

 “OpenWorld this year was different; the cloud is here and everyone is talking about how they can enable it, and partners want to take it to their customers. We now have that integrated cloud product which is fit for purpose, right across every customer and every industry, and that’s what’s changed.”

When asked how Oracle can shake its enterprise reputation and reach out to new customers, Hill said the company needs to make sure the partners are delivering the right message.

“We are challenging ourselves and our partners to come up with new ways of communication,” he said. “We need to make sure our partners are well versed in our offerings that service that market, but also looking at new ways of communicating to meet those customers. The traditional way of meeting enterprise [customers], is very different to mid and small [customers].”

In order to achieve this cloud transition, Oracle is bringing out its Cloud Elite Programme which is due to go live on 1 February 2016.

Hill said Oracle is currently asking feedback from partners about what they want from this programme, but said the overriding objective of the new scheme is to ensure partners are “heavily invested with Oracle”.

He said that there will be investment around specialisations and enablement for partners, but with the programme the barriers to entry will be higher.