By Sohini Bagchi

srikanth

In recent months, Oracle is making significant strides in the cloud market in India. From large companies such as Adani Ports, Airtel, Genpact, IFFCO, Indian Oil,SBI, Tata Sky, to midsized organizations like CAMS, Dun & Bradstreet, Helpage India, and also digital disruptors like makemytrip.com, Myntra, PVR to name a few, Oracle Cloud is gaining momentum as businesses embark on their digital transformation journeys. The increase in the adoption of Oracle cloud-based solutions across a variety of industry segments is also offering a big growth opportunity to Oracle’s channel partners that are also growing in large numbers.

In an exclusive interaction with ChannelTimes, Srikanth Doranadula, Channel Chief for Oracle India explains the company’s channel engagement, its go-to-market strategies and the road ahead for the company’s channel partners in the coming quarters.

CT: In terms of channel engagement, how was 2017 for Oracle?

Srikanth Doranadula: Partner business has always been a core element of our overall business strategy and we continue to engage with them on an ongoing basis. At Oracle OpenWorld 2017 held in October in San Francisco, US, we announced that we’re continuing to see strong cloud leadership and momentum across our 25,000-member strong partner program globally. Since the launch of Oracle PartnerNetwork Cloud Program in February 2016, more than 2,600 unique partners have come on-board this program. Additionally, cloud resell revenue from our partners increased 105 percent year over year globally.

There was significant momentum in our channel engagement program last year and we expect it to get bigger and better in 2018. A lot of our partners went through a transformation phase with an enhanced focus on cloud. From a Systems perspective, the channel engagement was healthy and on expected lines. From a cloud perspective, the movement has been very encouraging with a lot of existing partners going through the transformation journey, and many more boutique cloud partners continuing to sign up with Oracle. The emphasis clearly is on partner upskilling and reskilling to ensure our customers are happy. Our partners can choose between co-selling and implementing, or just reselling.

CT: Can you update us on Oracle’s go-to-market strategy for Channel partners?
Srikanth Doranadula: Our channel partners are making a significant difference with cloud - reselling of cloud, and implementation of cloud. In addition, growth in the enterprise mobility space offers our channel partners tremendous opportunities for mobile-enabling legacy systems or rolling out new solutions.

Partner enablement is a continuous process for us - via regular training programs delivered through virtual classrooms, hands-on implementation workshops, or partner focused boot camps. We want our Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) partners to continue to invest with us. We want to help partners achieve more specializations, be recognized and win more and more with Oracle across all areas of our solution stack - more importantly in our vertical applications, and in the cloud.

We are investing heavily in OPN programs to help our channel partners succeed in the marketplace with our products and solutions, especially cloud offerings. Through the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, partners can expand the visibility of their applications to 425,000+ Oracle customers and partners.

CT: Can you throw some light on Oracle’s channel roadmap for 2018 and beyond?
Srikanth Doranadula: Clearly cloud will continue to be our focus for 2018 and beyond. There is an opportunity for every partner to choose an area in the cloud, be it IaaS/PaaS or SaaS. Skill enhancement of our partners will be a huge focus for us. We recently concluded a thorough, hands-on implementation partner training workshop at Jaipur, underlining our emphasis on and commitment to fully enabling our partners.

We rely extensively on partners to conduct successful proof of concepts (POCs) with customers, and also play a pivotal role in solution implementations and customer ‘Go lives’. We collaborate closely with partners and reward them for their efforts, especially when they successfully see the customer through PoC to go-live situations.

We certify our partners also through our recently launched Cloud Excellence Implementer Program (CEI) program. The CEI program helps customers make a smooth transition to the cloud through Oracle implementation partners. The new program recognizes and rewards those partners who have invested in building their Oracle Cloud expertise and demonstrate a proven track record for delivering high quality cloud implementation projects across Oracle’s customer base.

Through the OPN Solutions Catalog, customers are now able to easily identify and engage with partner firms that best align to their specific project needs. Access to this information helps customers minimize implementation risk, quickly adopt new cloud functionality, and continuously expand their Oracle Cloud footprint. With the CEI distinction, partners that work with Oracle to implement Oracle Cloud around the globe will be able to further differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and benefit from increased enablement and go-to-market support from Oracle. The CEI program is available to OPN members now and will initially focus on implementations for Oracle’s SaaS Cloud services.