Oracle’s SaaS strategy for the channel

Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) main goal for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) channel strategy is to move Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) over to a SaaS model as quickly as possible.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software giant who just acquired Sun Microsystems also wants ISVs working on the Oracle platform.

According to Kevin O’Brien, senior director, ISV and SaaS strategy for Oracle’s Worldwide Alliances & Channels team, by helping ISVs move to SaaS deployment models it in a sense ensures those deployments will be on an Oracle platform.

Oracle also will not discriminate as to the size of ISVs. O’Brien told CDN that all ISV types are welcomed to work with Oracle.

This summer the company launched a new model for ISVs allowing them to license components from Oracle’s platform for SaaS.

“There are zero start up costs. They can start building and deploying SaaS solutions and pay Oracle on a monthly basis for usage,” he said.

O’Brien added that Oracle has seen the trend towards SaaS for several years now and the company has provided more dedicated resources to its partner network in the development of SaaS.

This SaaS program has been able to identify new channel partners and ISVs and with that Oracle has built a partner ecosystem. “We work with a set of hosting providers and system integrators to help them transition ISVs to SaaS. A lot of ISVs start in the data centre and realize quickly that they are staffed out and can’t do 24/7 SLA (service level agreements) business,” he said.

Oracle’s program helps ISVs connect with partners in the managed data centre hosting space and SIs. “ISVs do not have the resources to transition to SaaS and they help them with services work and getting SaaS apps set up,” O’Brien said.

The Oracle Platform for SaaS licensing program will also include cloud computing partners. In this program channel partners do not have to make any upfront investments for perpetual licenses. The monthly licensing model enables SaaS ISVs to scale investments in Oracle technology based on end-user demand.

One requirement of the program is that ISVs must be able to deliver a SaaS application in a one-to-many commercial deployment on Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Application Server.

The Oracle Platform for SaaS includes the database and Oracle Fusion Middleware, Enterprise Manager and VM. All these products are open and integrated enabling ISVs to build, deploy and manage SaaS applications along with cloud-based applications.

The SaaS platform leverages Oracle’s Grid Computing technology allowing ISVs and supporting channel partners to offer security and customization for customers, Oracle said.

Oracle also announced it has completed more than 500 validations of integration to third party software though the Oracle Partner Network Application Integration Architecture for Partners (AIAP) initiative.

This program has so far more than 170 ISVs signed up. This network has pushed through validated solutions on Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, Siebel and other Oracle applications.

“This program is set up to reduce risk so customers know the solutions are integrated and tested and seem to fit and work based on best practices. That’s the focus of the program along with getting more visibility with partners doing joint solutions,” O’Brien said.

According to him, this strategy has made it easier for channel partners from a SOA perspective and reduced the amount of work involved.

The plan now is to keep increasing the awareness level of the AIAP program and bring that type of awareness to the SaaS initiative.

“They build it right once and then there is less work in subsequent releases,” he said.

O’Brien said that the program is not specific to any one region. Oracle’s Canadian plans are aligned with its North American strategy, but the company is looking to work with more Canadian based partners, he added.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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