Oracle Corp. has unveiled a new cloud partner program within the broader Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) umbrella. The curious twist: Some new cloud partner designations won't be official until Feb. 1, 2016.
First, some background. Oracle is no stranger to cloud computing, and the company has had cloud-centric partner programs for several years. And the existing efforts are gaining momentum. A prime example: Oracle’s cloud resale program grew 122 percent in the past quarter, the company said.
And Oracle is working to make sure partners increasingly offer the company's entire solution stack (so-called "Red on Red") both on-premises and in the cloud, according to Bill Swales, Oracle’s North America Channel and Alliance Leader.
Oracle has also helped ISVs to migrate from client-server platforms to built-on-Oracle SaaS platforms. In fact, many of the most popular SaaS applications in the world have Oracle's software and databases under the hood.
The larger Oracle challenge involves traditional resellers, VARs and managed services providers that want to do more than "resell" services. Many of those partners want to actually manage those services. Oracle has also been trying to balance on-premises engineered system sales with cloud revenues, while rivals like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have gained serious momentum.
New Oracle Cloud Partner Program
Still, Oracle isn't resting on its laurels. According to today's announcement from Oracle OpenWorld:
"New OPN cloud program designations unveiled today will launch February 1, 2016, offering OPN members the opportunity to showcase expertise, skills and their investment in the Oracle Cloud as well as differentiate themselves with Oracle’s Integrated Cloud Applications and Platform Services."
Moreover, a new Cloud Registered level allows partners to resell Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. VARs and distributors can also leverage OPN incentive rebates across the majority of Oracle’s SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS offerings, the company said.
Oracle hopes partners will also sell multi-year deals -- generating ongoing annuities and renewal revenues. However, I think that could be a bit challenging since cloud customers increasingly push for pay as you go, cancel anytime offerings.
Oracle Cloud Progress and Competition
Oracle's cloud business is certainly in growth mode. Total cloud revenues were $611 million, up 29 percent in Q1 2016. Most of that momentum involves SaaS and PaaS -- up 34 percent. IaaS revenues are growing more modestly, up 16 percent.
While those figures are promising, rival public clouds have serious momentum. Amazon Web Services' sales were $2.085 billion in the company's most recent quarter, while Microsoft's Azure revenue doubled in the company's most recent quarter.