Partnerships, Not Purchases, Are Key to Oracle's SMB Strategy

Ann All

Oracle probably gets tired of the idle chatter that the primary way it wins customers is by acquiring other companies.


True, its acquisitions of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel helped it gain a foothold in the SMB community. And Oracle probably isn't done buying. But as Oracle is quick to point out, some 6o percent of its SMB customers use Oracle's own E-Business Suite, while 40 percent use the applications it purchased from the other three firms.


And Oracle's recent expansion of its Accelerate program shows the software giant is serious about SMBs, opines Ovum analyst Warren Wilson.


Oracle's new SMB strategy emphasizes partnerships rather than purchases of other software companies. It plans to recruit service providers that work with SMBs and collaborate with them to create product sets geared toward SMB needs and budgets.


It's throwing in lots of benefits for these partners, including aggressive price discounts, a referral program that offers compensation of up to $50,000 for successful leads and added perks like training, event funding and co-branded marketing campaigns.


Oracle seems to think it has a winner, and points to the decision of five of its partners to create a Results Accelerator Alliance. It plans to promote the program globally. As IDC has pointed out, a strong partner network is the key for companies trying to woo SMBs.


Sounds good. But it will need a strong strategy as other software heavyweights -- notably SAP and Microsoft -- are going after the SMB market -- and partners -- as well.

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