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Oracle investing in Direct operation

Oracle's CEO has revealed that the firm has been investing heavily in its Direct operation

Oracle has revealed plans to bolster its Direct operation to try and drive more sales as it talked up its position and prospects as a major player in the cloud market.

The firm has released its full year numbers, which delivered revenues of $37bn for the full year to 2016, down by 3%.

The firm’s combined cloud and on-premise software revenue declined by 2% to $29bn, with its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) revenues growing by 49% to $2.2bn.

Inevitably that gave Oracle CTO and executive chairman Larry Ellison the chance to talk about how it would overtake Salesforce.com and for the firm to boast about the depth of its portfolio and its ability to present a genuine alternative to the likes of AWS.

But from a channel perspective it will be the plans to make sure its sales staff can sell across the portfolio into all levels of the market that is of more interest.

In response to analyst questions in a results Q&A Mark Hurd, CEO at Oracle, said that it was spending more to enhance its sales capability.

"We have made an investment, so as I know you know in what we call Oracle Direct. This is selling really a lot of inside sales with a little bit of outside sales that supplement it and we continue to raise the bar for those things. It is a lower cost of sales. It’s a much modern – more modern way of selling and these are primary vehicle into what you would think of as SMB," he said.

"Our objective has been that sales people leave the fiscal year on May 31 that as soon as possible, they get out of the year, they have a quota, they have a comp plan, they have a boss, they have a territory and they’ve been trained on everything we’ve got. And I can tell you as we sit here today, that is almost entirely complete for the entire Oracle Corporation," he added.

Most vendor direct touch sales teams work alongside the channel but the majority don't push aggressively into the SME area, which is seen as the channel heartlands.

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