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Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized Debuts

New program includes partner specializations, resources and a bigger emphasis on social media.

In its continuing effort to build and grow its channel organization, Oracle Corp. revamped the Oracle PartnerNetwork in December with new specializations and resources and a new emphasis on social media tools.

The company formally launched the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized, an enhancement to the existing 22,000-member OPN, in early December. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database and applications giant had unveiled the new OPN Specialized program a few months earlier at Oracle OpenWorld 2009 and opened registration for the program in November.

Judson Althoff, Oracle senior vice president of Worldwide Alliances and Channels, explained the changes as a way to help partners differentiate their expertise within Oracle's large range of technologies and markets.

Althoff said that a new set of tools will help partners "achieve specialization, more easily conduct business with both Oracle and customers, and gain the valuable training they need to grow their business and profit with Oracle."

Those tools include a new Programs & Enrollments system for managing their profiles and specializations, Partner Ordering Portal, training platform, solutions catalog and calendar of events. The OPN now integrates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube into its communications, joining the existing Oracle Mix partner-to-partner collaboration platform. Oracle used social media extensively in launching OPN Specialized on Dec. 2, an online event that the company said had 4,500 participants.

The 25 initial specializations include 13 application categories, eight database categories and four middleware categories. Examples of database specializations include Oracle Database 11g, Database Security, Data Warehousing, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Enterprise Linux. The program also highlights partners' industry concentrations such as health care, retail, public sector and high technology.

Levels in the new OPN Specialized include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Remarketer. The Platinum level is for partner companies that demonstrate expertise across five or more of the solution areas. A few key Oracle partners had already earned the Platinum level in time for the official OPN Specialized launch: B2Br, CedarCrestone, SolStonePlus, Symatrix and Tilsore.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.