Programs Benefit Companies, Partners

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Slowing enterprise IT spending is prompting many large software vendors to step up their SMB channel efforts to maintain revenues. IBM, Oracle and SAP are examples of large companies with support programs focused on ISVs.


Turnkey software includes solutions like SAP's Fast Start Now, which speeds solution providers' ability to discover the customer's needs and the cost of deploying software, hardware and services. SAP says it can make a critical difference to solution providers facing a tough sale.

Stiles adds that the Inform Now program is also key for solution providers looking to deliver business intelligence solutions, and that financing options are also included, based on geography, to remove cost constraints from the equation.

The programs are most certainly timely, but won't be phased out if the economy suddenly improves, he says, since they're critical to partners and to SAP's own success.

"These are programs that will persist, at the very least through Q1 and beyond. They're not intended to be just a one-shot deal; this is SAP extending our hands and our resources for partners to help them succeed in the long term," Stiles says.

At Oracle, the Accelerate program reflects the increased importance that software companies are placing on their ISV channels. Accelerate has grown to include more than 200 solutions in just under a year since its introduction.

Oracle Certified and Certified Advantage partners that participate in the program build industry-specific solutions that combine Oracle enterprise applications and rapid-implementation tools with the partners' own industry expertise or software, according to Warren Wilson, research director at consulting company Ovum, who has followed the program closely.

The program aims to reduce the time, complexity and cost of deploying Oracle solutions to make them more palatable for midmarket companies, Wilson says.

The rapid growth testifies to the program's attractiveness to solution providers, Wilson says, whose smaller margins as a result of faster deployments and lower costs are offset by faster sales cycles and implementations that require fewer consultants for shorter periods of time.

For Oracle, the Accelerate program is primarily a way to reach a lucrative market segment more effectively by relying more on ISV partners that traditionally target SMBs. But Wilson says as the global economy continues to weaken, leveraging channel partners in this way also helps to make Oracle more efficient and competitive in new markets, as well as to drive increased revenue to ISV partners.

There's no real solution to the economic crisis all companies are facing. But Oracle, IBM and SAP are, as Wilson says, "insulating their organizations" as much as possible by leveraging their channels, diversifying markets and streamlining operations, as much for their own benefit as that of their ISVs.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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