Oracle is introducing a Certified Solutions Partner programme in Europe on 1 March, aiming to offer quality guarantees to users that choose to buy Oracle software and services via the channel.
The move would appear to be crucial to organisations with turnover of less than $500 million since the database supplier mandated last June that it would no longer handle their accounts directly, but would pass all such business over to third parties (see VNU Newswire 18 June, 1997).
Oscar Rook, Oracle?s head of alliances marketing, said: ?The aim is to enhance the quality of partners, skills and knowledge and provide them with business benefits in return. It?s also to give users a statement of quality. People have been forced to buy our products and related services blind in the past because there was no certification. There?s been no differentiation before and it was up to users to work it out for themselves.?
The scheme will be introduced in the UK, France, Germany and Italy initially, but will be rolled out elsewhere, including the US, over the next six months or so.
Oracle expects 300 of its 1,000 UK partners to become certified over the next year and 2,000 of its 4,000 European partners over the next two years.
The programme will cover resellers, systems integrators (SI), and solutions developers or ISVs, which must have been working with Oracle for at least a year.
Resellers must employ at least one pre-sales and product manager, plus at least one salesperson, who must have undertaken two Oracle Sales Champion days. Integrators and ISVs must have a minimum of one Oracle Certified Professional and one trained Oracle salesperson.
In return, they are entitled to use the Oracle Certified Solution Partner logo, to obtain discounts for training and for Oracle events, and to use marketing kits based on Oracle?s own corporate and product material.
Certified Partners also have the right to apply for marketing and development funds for specific business or market development plans, and will be marked up as special partners on Oracle?s Web site.
The database supplier also intends to introduce a second tier to the scheme in future, but Solution Partners will only be able to apply to join the Oracle Certified Solution Masters programme after they have been certified for a year.
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