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I’ve wrestled with this topic for a few days: whether or not to write about the appointment of former Oracle channel chief Rauline Ochs to the top spot at Everything Channel’s Institute for Partner Education and Development. Competitors rarely like to write about each other except when something bad or embarrassing happens. In this case, though, Ochs’ appointment transcends the norm and deserves the recognition.

When we last hear from Ochs, she was head of sales, distribution and marketing at Safeco, the insurance giant based in the Pacific Northwest. She left Oracle as head of North America channels, seeking a change in her career. Change came faster than even she could have predicted. She departed the job just months later after Safeco was acquired by Liberty Mutual Group.

Ochs is one of those rare individuals in the channel, a person who is passionately committed to the success of solution providers and channel partners. She is credited with reforming Oracle’s anemic North America channel and navigating the integration of disparate channel partners gained through Oracle’s many mega-acquisitions. Her intellect, poise and business achievements have earned her the praise and respect of her partners and peers. She was also Everything Channel’s 2007 Channel Executive of the Year, which is truly an industry honor.

Ochs will succeed Toni Clayton-Hine, who built IPED into the research and consulting practice it is today. Clayton-Hine left IPED and Everything Channel in June to take the chief marketing officer post at CA’s storage division.

I ran into Ochs at CompTIA’s Breakaway conference last week in Las Vegas, where she was tight-lipped about her future but obviously excited about the prospects for her undisclosed future endeavors. The buzz around the industry is that Ochs will no doubt have her challenges in the new role, but she will have instant credibility since she brings the operational and field experience that IPED has lacked since its inception.

Channel Insider congratulates Rauline Ochs on her appointment and wishes her well.

Now back to the regularly scheduled competition.