Oracle Gets Competent

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

The vendor launches its Competency Center for VAR training.

Oracle is bringing its Competency Center training strategy to the United States, following roll out across Europe earlier this year.

The vendor, which has admitted recently that shipments through the channel are down, said VARs were finding it challenging to locate all the Oracle training available, and the Competency Center brings its educational and training programs under one roof.

The center will sit in the Oracle Partner Network portal and is free for Partner network members, the vendor said. Doug Kennedy, senior vice president of worldwide channel at Oracle, said the center is aimed at individuals within solution providers and is similar to a university-style careers advisory service.

"Within the center there is the Guided Learning Path, which is a tailored training and education schedule for the individual. Some of the courses are at the Oracle university, some are online through the portal and some are in the field. We wanted to make it as self-service as possible," he said.

Individuals can enter their current skill levels, and learning path advises where the person should pursue further study, which the vendor said saves them the time of searching through hundreds of online courses.

Greg Carlow, managing director of U.K.-based VAR Repton, said he has members of staff using the center. "Previously it was tough to find all the training for Oracle products, and what we needed to get our guys certified on. Now it's all in one place and more focused," he said.

"Online training can really work. It saves any of the sales or technical team having to be out [for] whole chunks of the time and it also means they can do it in the evening if they so wish," he said. "But there are drawbacks to it, too. It means there is no one to ask a question if you need to and it also means that people can go off and learn what they like, get to a certain level and then leave the company."

Carlow said retaining staff after training was a big issue for the channel.

"Most VARs can't afford to pay top wages and don't have a career road map for people," he said. "But there is not an easy solution to this."

Kennedy said Oracle will not publicize who the individuals are that are becoming certified, and added that "everyone being after the best engineer is a fact of life. We are making it easier for more people to get better trained."

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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