Oracle Tries to Woo SMBs

In an effort to make itself more competitive with Microsoft on the small business side of the database market, Oracle has announced improvements to its VAR ordering process and will allow resellers to order through distributors without having to join Oracle’s partner program.

The new program lets VARs sell Oracle products through any Oracle value-added distributor and use that distributor for support and training. By going through the distributor instead, solution providers can sell the products without having to pay upfront fees or sign contracts with Oracle.

Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., is calling such VARs “remarketers.”

“For the last few years, we’ve focused on the SMB space, and we’ve had a fair amount of success with medium-sized businesses,” said Judson Athoff, vice president of global platform and distribution sales and head of the Oracle Technology SMB Program Office. “To get to the next horizon penetrating the lower end of the market is critical.”

So Oracle, with the help of industry analysts, embarked on a study of market inhibitors to the company’s success with small business. Costs of the partner program and the complexity of ordering were two of the big offenders. Oracle’s new one-click ordering and the creation of a “remarketer” category of reseller are the first two ways Athoff said Oracle is working to resolve those issues.

“Remarketers can now simply order Oracle SMB technology products through their value-added distributors and deliver Oracle solutions to their smaller accounts with zero barrier to entry, increasing profitability on these deals,” Judson Althoff, vice president of global platform and distribution sales and head of the Oracle Technology SMB Program Office, said in a statement.

Click here to read about Oracle’s fourth-quarter growth.

Separately, distributor Tech Data, based in Clearwater, Fla., announced Go’n Grow, a recruitment and “enablement” initiative for new and existing Oracle resellers that is designed to complement the vendor’s remarketer program. According to Tech Data, the new program makes it easier for resellers to capitalize on the demand for Oracle database solutions among SMBs.

Ingram Micro, based in Santa Ana, Calif., and Williamsville, N.Y., also announced support for the new Oracle program.

Oracle said in a statement that its new one-click ordering program reduces the time required to book and fulfill an order for Oracle SMB technology products—a specific set of products the company is targeting at SMBs.

The new process includes an option to enable the purchaser of software to download it or else order a media kit that includes both Windows and Linux versions of the product on DVD.

Products included as part of the SMB Technology program include Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition and Standard Edition One; Oracle Application Server Java Edition, Standard Edition and Standard Edition One; and Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition and Standard Edition One.

Althoff said likely future expansions of the SMB program would include the addition of new products to the line-up eligible for “remarketers” and one-click ordering.

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