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When Oracle came to putting together a cloud programme for partners one of the first things it did was gather a group of resellers from across the globe to get their views on its proposed plans.
Vendors are increasingly turning to the channel on a more regular basis to get input into partner programmes, future product plans as well as general feedback on their activities.
It not only gives those at the top tiers of a vendor's channel programme with the chance to feel they have an impact but also reduces drastically the potential for a programme or product to get the thumbs down from those it is meant to appeal to.
Sean Price, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud, said that it went out of its way to make sure it could gain insights from the channel before launching its Oracle Partner Network (OPN) Cloud programme.
The OPN cloud programme
The Oracle programme has four levels with different requirements and rewards on offer
Cloud Elite - the top tier is given to those recognised as the most committed and competent and comes with a $20m revenue requirement. Those that reach that level will get access to free cloud development resources for testing and demos.
Cloud Premier - for those partners with significant expertise along with a $6m revenue target and a need for certified professionals. Aimed at Gold level or above it will also provide a raft of training and marketing support.
Cloud Select - a programme that should provide support to those developing their cloud practices with a $2m revenue bar. Again partners will be expected to be gold or above and will get access to heavily discounted cloud computing resources.
Cloud Standard - the entry point for the programme is for those resellers that are making their initial investments in the cloud. Ideally those who are already at silver level in the OPN will go for this.
"We took the top global SIs and the top regionals and our own experts and created an advisory board," he added "They needed help and wanted to know what were the best practices for adoption."
"This is a market that is at an inflection point and that is demonstrable. We are accelerating and we want to invest in the partners that invest in us for the cloud," he added.
Price is keen to stress that although it expects to add partners to its roster, particularly the born-in-the-cloud emerging players, but it was also confident that its existing partners were in a prime position to take advantage of the emerging opportunities.
Simon Hill, head of partner business and strategy in the UKI region at Oracle, said that the OPN cloud programme had become a "reference point" that resellers used to base their own strategy on and may more would now be able to develop their own businesses.
"The OPN cloud programme is something for existing partners and the new born in the cloud players along with ISVs," he added.