Transforming channels

Akshay Jain, alliances & channels manager - Technologies, Gulf at Oracle Middle East, explains how the software and hardware vendor is changing its channels in the Middle East region

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Transforming channels
By  Manda Banda Published  November 16, 2012

Akshay Jain, alliances & channels manager - Technologies, Gulf at Oracle Middle East, explains how the software and hardware vendor is changing its channels in the Middle East geography.

Channel: Outline to us Oracle’s channel strategy for the Middle East region?

AKSHAY JAIN: As the region’s IT landscape continues to evolve, Oracle channels are playing a pivotal role in leading this change by delivering cutting edge solutions and service offerings around Oracle’s complete and innovative portfolio of products. The customers today are increasingly looking at technologically advancing their IT environments to offer better performance at reduced costs. Besides, with the rapid expansion within the IT space, the customers are also keen on securing their IT investments by selecting best in class product and service providers with specialised skill-sets and domain knowledge.

With these dynamics in mind, Oracle’s channel strategy in the region is designed to accelerate the potential of our partnerships while offering solid business value to our customers. We are committed to building well synchronised joint go-to-market (GTM) strategies with our partners that deliver increased market coverage, best of breed joint offerings and commensurate innovation to bring the next generation of information iechnologies to our customers. We have also been transferring tools, knowledge and skills through our exhaustive enablement and other industry leading programmes such as Oracle Specialisations, Oracle Business Accelerate and Exastack ready to comprehensively develop partner product capabilities across sales, pre-sales, implementation and support functions, enabling them to build fundamentally strong businesses on Oracle products.

Channel: How is the company developing its channel base now that the product integration with Sun’s hardware business is complete?

AJ: Our acquisitions and engineering strategy over the last decade has led us to having one of the most comprehensive, progressive and diverse portfolio of offerings across applications, technologies and infrastructure. This distinctive stack of solutions has offered us a great opportunity to build next generation of solutions that have been engineered to work together across multiple platforms delivering class leading performance at unmatched value.

As part of our combined strategy for software and hardware, we are transforming our channel landscape by helping our partners get exposed to new markets through development of multi-dimensional offerings that deliver even greater performance at better value to customers. Our partners are embracing these new opportunities very well by holistically developing their competencies, coverage and offerings to deliver synergised value across multiple platforms. These revolutionary solutions have also been very well received by our customers as they look forward to integrated solutions that are actually engineered (not customised) to work together offering increased productivity at lower costs.

Channel: What has been Oracle’s focus in the Middle East IT market and channel this year?

AJ: The Middle East continues to be one of our growth oriented markets wherein the technological landscape is rapidly evolving and demanding constant innovation from ICT vendors. Oracle is instrumental in driving this change and as a result has invested considerably in bringing the ever expanding portfolio of innovative offerings to this region. We have witnessed diversification of our product landscape beyond the traditional realms of ERP, DB and Infrastructure with strong incremental traction being driven around Fusion Apps, CRM, EPM, BI, Fusion Middleware, Vertical Applications and Engineered Systems. Our partner eco-system has also been keeping pace with this diversification by holistically developing qualitative offerings and sales strategies on these rapidly developing market segments.

Channel: How many distributors do you have in the Middle East and how do they address the market at the moment?

AJ: Oracle has three value-added distributors including Avnet, Tech Access and Track Distribution responsible for distribution of Oracle software and hardware solutions within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region. Distribution is an integral part of our channel business as our VADs play a strong role in developing the channel landscape, maximising market coverage and offering great value-added services to our partners across the entire spectrum of Oracle products and processes. The last few years have witnessed significant growth in the distribution portion of our overall channel landscape. As an example, our VADs today offer state of the art demo labs that help our customers and partners experience some of our most advanced and fastest growing product portfolios such as Oracle engineered systems including Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics.

Channel: How has Oracle positioned its channel programme in the post Sun merger in the region?

AJ: Software and hardware have strong synergies within our solution deployments as customers drive demand better performance at lower costs. Oracle has been instrumental in addressing this market through a series of strategies and product lines like the Engineered Systems portfolio which includes Oracle hardware engineered for different software products. As a result, Oracle software or hardware partners have been keen on addressing this business requirement and leveraging this opportunity by actively pursuing product strategies that complement their existing hardware or software business.

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