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Clarity in the Clouds: Real Opportunities for Channel Partners

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While there’s certainly been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm (some would say “hype”) surrounding cloud computing, there’s also been a considerable amount of skepticism . . . particularly regarding near term business opportunities for channel partners. Well, I’m pleased to report that not only are there solid, near term opportunities for the channel to deliver on the promise of cloud computing, there are also several compelling examples of Oracle partners already delivering on these opportunities and building successful lines of business. Here’s how to get started.

Our best partners are focusing on solutions that address basic business needs, and which enable their customers to effectively solve for specific business and IT challenges, such as: increasing data center and IT asset efficiency; accelerating internal development and test cycles; and improving internal project accounting. Rather than building new cloud infrastructures in the hopes that their prospective customers will eventually find valuable uses for them, these channel partners are responding to real, near term requirements for improving their customers’ operations and adding value to their overall businesses.

Private Clouds

Two instructive examples of the opportunities for channel partners to deliver compelling cloud computing solutions include CSC’s Cloud Foundation Services for Oracle, and Siemens IT Solutions and Services’ Oracle Test and Development Cloud. Both represent forms of private cloud computing. Private and public cloud computing models are differentiated based on who uses the services. Private clouds are (as the name implies) developed, deployed and managed for a single organization, often running in that organization’s own data centers and controlled and managed by that organization’s IT department. Conversely, public clouds are accessed by multiple end customers, each running their own IT workloads on the same shared environment provided by a service provider.

CSC’s Cloud Foundation Services for Oracle are designed to assist customers with selecting and transforming applications for cloud based deployments, as well as establishing their own private cloud environments based on Oracle technologies – including storage, servers, virtualization software, databases, middleware, application and management software. A key feature of this offering is the development of a demonstrable reference architecture that provisions Oracle applications, middleware and infrastructure through virtual instances in minutes.

The Test & Development Cloud for Oracle available from Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS) is similarly focused on a specific set of end customer requirements, and provides a platform on which new applications can be rapidly designed, developed and tested. The offering includes a web-based self-service portal from which users can select the software assets and tools required for a particular project (including Oracle VM, Oracle Linux, Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic and Oracle Enterprise Manager), and then flexibly combine them to rapidly instantiate new environments. In addition to accelerating their internal IT projects, customers using the Test & Development Cloud for Oracle are able to effectively meter their usage and, in doing so, pay only for the resources they consume.

Resources for Channel Partners

The Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) provides a comprehensive set of technical enablement resources and related materials for channel partners to build their implementation expertise across a broad range of Oracle technologies for cloud computing, including: Oracle VM, Oracle Linux, Oracle Database, Oracle Application Grid and Oracle Enterprise Manager. Available resources include guided learning paths, solution kits, and boot camps . . . all designed specifically for partners to accelerate their training and grow their Oracle businesses. Channel partners also have the opportunity to pursue OPN Specializations for each of these core product areas and, in doing so, brand their Oracle expertise. More information about the full range of Oracle offerings for cloud computing, as well as the related OPN Specializations, can be found on the OPN Cloud Computing & SaaS Knowledge Zone.

Matt Chivers is director, strategic alliances at Oracle Corp. Monthly guest blogs such as this are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.

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