Oracle promises channel: we won't abandon you this time

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Senior Oracle executives have used the opening keynote at the company's Australian user conference to reassure channel partners that its often confusing approach to indirect sales has finally solidified.

Senior Oracle executives have used the opening keynote at the company's Australian user conference to reassure channel partners that its often confusing approach to indirect sales has finally solidified.

'There's been doubt in the past,' Oracle president Charles Phillips told attendees at Oracle World in Melbourne, saying that the company had alternated between using a partner-based model and primarily relying on an internal sales force around 15 times in his recollection.

'We've been in and we've been out -- now we're definitely in,' he said. 'We're here to stay on partners.'

Despite its recent and at times litigious push into the applications space, Oracle's cash cow remains its database server, and many of its key enterprise database accounts continue to be handled internally.

That appears to be changing slowly. Phillips said that 40 per cent of global database licence revenue now comes via partners.

Regionally, the channel already plays a dominant role. 'More than 80 percent of all our revenues in Asia-Pacific come from the indirect sales channel,' said Derek Williams, executive vice president for Oracle Asia Pacific. Australia is Oracle's fourth-largest market.

Around 40 per cent of regional sales are into the SME space, Williams noted, an area where Oracle is likely to increasingly rely on the channel to manage rollouts.

Around 51 per cent of its application implementations are handled by partners and the company wants to attract more partners with vertical market expertise, Phillips said.

Disclosure: Angus Kidman travelled to Oracle World as a guest of Oracle.

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