Oracle’s next channel chief will have to deal with the age-old conflicts the company has always faced.
Many Oracle partners credit the recently departed Rauline Ochs with moving in the right direction with her All Partner Territory game plan. But most say that the company hasn’t gone far enough; that Oracle’s bred-in-the-bone direct sales culture still stymies their own sales efforts.
A northern California partner says his company has seen no new deals from the two APTs in his area and he probably should have. His knickers aren’t in too much of a twist about that because Oracle funnels APT deals to designated partners. What does boost his blood pressure increased competition with Dell and CDW. Both companies continue to cut the margin out of Oracle software to win hardware deals. This is not a new phenomenon, but it’s getting worse, at least in his territory, he says.
A Midwest partner says channel conflict between his sales force and Oracle’s field people is likewise ramping up. He says he brings new business to Oracle, only to have Oracle declare the company a “named account” and take the business direct.
To be clear, the rate of conflict varies according to territory and regional manager. And, in a world where companies like Dell and CDW and potentially Best Buy etc. up the heat on business accounts, there will be more channel-on-channel strife as well. VARs and solution providers have long considered Dell the enemy. Very few believe Dell’s new-found channel friendliness. CDW has always been part of the channel however, and VARs view that company as a real threat.
“They take the software margin down to zero to sell hardware,” says one Oracle partner. “I cannot sell Oracle software at no margin.”
Barbara Darrow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.