Oracle PartnerNetwork Forum

November 13, 2007 at 12:46 am Leave a comment

By Diane Krakora

I attend a lot of vendor partner conferences in a year. I listen to the presentations by executives, have several one-on-ones to dig into the details and meet with about a hundred partners. My participation typically that means I’ll be writing an industry brief on the direction of the partner program and the profitability of their partners, be quoted in the press and be talking with the executive team and innovative ideas for increasing partner satisfaction. I’ve been thinking about the PartnerNetwork Forum I attended on Sunday as part of Oracle OpenWorld for a couple days, because I don’t want to sound too critical. They’ve certainly come a long way from the Oracle of 5 years ago when then didn’t even have a partner gathering and they are doing some great work. I guess my evaluations are clouded by the major channel companies (Microsoft, Cisco, IBM).

Oracle OpenWorld is an end-user conference, drawing about 40,000 people into San Francisco. They take over all three halls of Moscone Center and every other open space in that area for a week (yes, including blocking one of the main thoroughfares for the locals). The PartnerNetwork Forum feels like its just tacked on to this major, yearly, global event. The partner event was held Sunday, before the official launch of OpenWorld and it was held in the ballroom of the Marriott across the street. The partner event was small for the size of Oracles revenues, only about 2,000 people attended (not including the Oracle people) and it didn’t really seem to be discussing global issues.

As I said, I’m likely too critical by comparing this to my past partner summit experiences, but it definitely seemed to be a side thought. Safra Catz, president and CFO, did make a 5 minute appearance to say “thank you” to the partners. Doug Kennedy, the VP of global channels and alliances, kicked off the event and was the MC. But there was no key note by the president or CEO and more than half the day was spent discussing North America issues. We in the channel community certainly wrote our fair share when Sam Palmisano didn’t make an appearance at last year’s PartnerWorld (which he rectified this year).

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Entry filed under: Live from Events.

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