The Ecosystem of the Cloud: The Roles and Requirements of the Next Generation Solution Provider

August 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

A Candid Conversation with Kevin O’Brien from Oracle

Beth Vanni, Director, Market Intelligence

Kevin O’Brien, Oracle’s senior director, ISV and SaaS Strategy, Worldwide Channels & Alliances, and I recently sat down to discuss issues that relate to cloud services partners, in conjunction with the Amazon Consulting series of publications, Ecosystem of the Cloud. Kevin outlined Oracle’s cloud strategy and how important solution providers are to that strategy.

Oracle’s partner strategy regarding cloud solutions delivery:
“[There] are the four main areas we’re looking at: expanding our ISV/SaaS opportunity; working with service providers in the public cloud space; working with systems integrators in the private cloud space; and, working with the channel/VAR/solution builders/etc. in the integration space in between public and private clouds.”

“From a private cloud standpoint, we are working extensively with a lot of our closest integrator partners that are helping customers sort out their private cloud strategies and how they want to move forward there. What we’re seeing a lot right now is there is quite a bit of upfront strategy work. CIO’s, large companies are trying to sort out what their next generation data center is going to look like, how they’re going to leverage both private cloud computing as well as public cloud computing. So we’re working very closely with our partners there.”

Evolving partner models:
“We’re seeing new players and new types of partners and new types of partner models evolve. But we’re also seeing a lot of our traditional partners—people we’ve been working with for quite some time—evolving their business models as well.”

“I think more and more the straight resell it just isn’t there. Our customers that are going to buy from a reseller want a high level of expertise in the product….. and, quite frankly, implementation skills.”

“So many of the larger traditional ISVs that we work with have expanded their deployment of SaaS applications [to] where they’re really looking for a highly scalable architecture where they can run multiple different applications. We’re seeing over the last 12-18 months a pretty interesting shift where historically the ISVs that we were working with were deploying one maybe two isolated SaaS applications. But now we’re seeing more and more ISVs jumping into the deep end, where they’re not looking to set up one-off applications at SaaS but they’re really looking to Oracle to help them set up a platform where they can run a dozen different SaaS applications. In some cases we’ve seen two dozen or even three dozen applications being run on one platform.”

Partner to partner collaboration:
“Most of these SaaS companies are not running within their own data centers; they’re running in some kind of third party data center—whether it’s a fully managed hosting environment or whether it’s a co-host type facility. SaaS/ISVs or ISV partners often look to us for recommendations on who to work with here.”

“Our customers are really looking for us to identify and deliver to them partners that are highly specialized in specific product areas so that they’re on message, they know what the Oracle strategy is with those products, and they can install it. We’re looking for partners that have solid implementation skills and can help expand what we have in terms of field coverage model.

Oracle cloud opportunities:
“As you look at the cloud, the key opportunities that [Solution Providers] are going to have to take advantage of are rooted in their deep expertise in things like Oracle database, Oracle rack, Oracle VM, coherence and application grid, and Oracle Enterprise Manager.”

Kevin had many more things to say about the cloud channel and Oracle’s broader partnering models. To read more or to download a transcript of the entire conversation, please click here.

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The Ecosystem of the Cloud: The Roles and Requirements of the Next Generation Solution Provider VMworld 2010 Eve – Day 0

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