Oracle ISVs to get helping hand in database app market

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ISVs have been tipped as major beneficiaries of an expected marketing boost by Oracle via its reseller partners, including NSW VAD Attain IT.

Robin Habgood, director at Attain IT, said the niche Oracle distributor had just added two staff and is anticipating further growth as a result of a marketing boost from Oracle that would target ISV partners.

"Oracle says that if they want to push down in the mid-market, they need ISVs to drag their product along," he said.

Oracle was expected to announce the initiative this week at the OracleWorld forum in Melbourne, he said.

ISVs were expected to be a focus for Oracle for the next six months to a year. ISVs also represented "a hell of a lot" of Attain IT's own business, Habgood said.

"The issue that ISVs have is that Oracle technology is too expensive and they say, 'well, I can't take my product to market on Oracle'. It's too much baggage to drag along," he said.

Frequently, ISV partners of Oracle's core technology had hit a brick wall when trying to sell their own applications. Customers often found ISV applications useful - but only if they had the relevant Oracle database.

"Clients were saying, 'oooh, you have to go and buy a database'," Habgood said.

Resellers, ISVs and Oracle would now combine their efforts, bundling their offerings together, he said.

"We will offer [ISVs] full technical assistance. And [Oracle] will offer the business assistance," Habgood said. "We work with their salesforce. We don't want them to be Oracle sales people."

ISVs would also be able to sell Oracle core technologies themselves for the same price Oracle itself would offer to customers.

ISVs would also be able to retain ownership of the deal, while all three partners gained added opportunities to increase sales, Habgood said.

As a result, Attain IT would likely seek more ISVs to add to its 250-partner channel, he added.

"In the Linux market, [Oracle's] going gangbusters [and] ... working with Red Hat," Habgood said. "We have also signed up recently as a Red Hat business partner."

Oracle would hold seminars in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane mid-July to promote the initiative to ISV partners, Habgood said.

Norman Weaver, director of channels and alliances at Oracle, confirmed the new global initiative was about helping out Oracle's ISV partners, locally via distributors Alstom IT, Igatech and Attain IT.

"ISVs have always been important to Oracle," he said. "But over the last couple of years, we haven't been putting as much attention into the ISV marketplace as perhaps we used to."

The initiative was focused on Oracle databases and on Oracle application servers, Weaver said.

"We're also going to have an ISV showcase of ISV products and getting customers to come in and have a look at ISV solutions," he said. "And we will be doing a lot more in helping partners migrate their applications to Oracle."

Weaver said that Oracle believed the time was ripe to ramp up its challenge to Microsoft. Meanwhile, ISVs needed applications to be both Linux- and Windows-friendly, he said.

"It's no secret that Microsoft ... has been trying to woo ISVs away from us and grow their ISV business. But the problem Microsoft has is that it doesn't run on Linux," he said.

He said that Oracle's latest database, dubbed 10G, had many features attractive to developers. For example, it could do a silent install and could be embedded totally in an application so that you didn't need to do a separate Oracle install, Weaver said.

Oracle had been doing very well, he said, with market research firm Gartner registering its marketshare as having grown 320 percent in the past year.

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