Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sun-Oracle Channel: We're Just Not That Into You

Similar to the 2009 movie about a Baltimore-based group of interconnected, twenty- and thirty-somethings navigating their relationships from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep waters of married life, trying to read the signs of the opposite sex--and hoping to be the exceptions to the "no-exceptions" rule, a group of interconnected North America-based, legacy Sun channel partners are navigating their new relationships with Oracle, hoping to get exceptions to Oracle's "one-size-fits-all" (aka no exceptions) policies.

Oracle's response (assuming you ever get one)... NO, and BTW, We're Just Not That Into You.

It was very telling when I read an article today about HP's former channel chief, Adrian Jones, taking a new job at Oracle where he'll join his former boss and current Oracle Co-President, Mark Hurd. The telling part is that Adrian has nothing to do with the channel at Oracle. Rather, he's a senior vice president of Asia Pacific/Japan. I suspect he'll be spending a lot of time nurturing the relationship with Softbank since they were among Oracle's first public Exadata reference customers.

Exadata in general, and growing the $2 billion pipeline within Oracle's direct accounts in particular, is all the rage these days. And the channel isn't welcome in those accounts which are pretty much the only customers likely to pony up to Exadata's multi-million dollar price tag.

So there will be no channel renaissance like there was during Adrian's tenure at HP. That's not the Oracle way. The channel is merely part of the Oracle ecosystem to perform those messy, labor-intensive tasks like fixing Oracle hardware-software installations-gone-wrong. Oh, and
soothing customers after they've experienced Oracle's sub-standard support at premium prices.

Yes, all you legacy Sun channel partners, you need to face the facts. Oracle Is Just Not That Into You. But take comfort in the thought that if things don't work out according to Oracle's plan, they may decide to Get Into You.

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