Exclusive Interview: Doug Smith, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Global Partner Ecosystem, Oracle

In an exclusive interview with DQ Channels, Doug Smith, SVP, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Global Partner Ecosystem Oracle

Ankit Parashar
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Doug Smith

In an exclusive interview with DQ Channels, Doug Smith, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Global Partner Ecosystem at Oracle shared insights on Oracle's growing partnership with ISVs and how Oracle is fulfilling its digitization agenda.


What is the importance of partners that offer expertise in specific technologies, industries, and geographies to meet the unique needs of customers?

Today more than ever, customers are looking for solutions. They're often not really looking for products, they're looking for partners to deliver solutions that help them drive the outcomes that they need to drive. Oracle has so many different relevant technologies to help and deliver solutions. But one of the things that we know is that delivering a solution on a holistic end-to-end basis is so much more than just Oracle products and services. And that's where our partner ecosystem comes into play and why the partners are so important.

Partners may integrate and plug into Oracle technologies, like our human capital management applications, our ERP, our supply chain, and industry vertical technologies that we have in healthcare and banking and manufacturing, and in many other different areas. When you look at a customer, who needs to deliver or needs the benefit of an end-to-end solution, it's Oracle technologies and services, but it's also partners who bring their own specific technologies and services to bear. It enables us to support customer choice and enables us to provide the end-to-end experiences the customers are looking for.


How is Oracle investing in partners’ growing expertise through robust training?

We have something called Oracle University, which is our approach for how we deliver training and certifications into the market, and, customers and partners get the benefits of that. We've been working with some of our partners who have seen a lot of growth in the use of certifications, it's really important because when partners are training and certifying their employees in Oracle technologies, or people are, who are looking to build their career, they want to go make themselves more valuable in the marketplace. They're investing in building the skills through Oracle University to get trained and certified in our products. Lots of our services partners take very seriously their investment in making sure they're building the trained and certified folks that provide the expertise, they need to do their job very well for customers.

Please talk about Oracle's growing partnership with ISVs and how Oracle is fulfilling its digitization agenda.


In a world of cloud services, it's really important to customers that we work with the ISVs that they want to rely on. And especially if those ISVs are taking a dependency, we help those ISVs, integrate, and get value from the data that's sitting in the system. So as a customer, your data sitting in Oracle systems or in other systems, you want that data to be integrated and used across and a lot of times, you may want to run analytics workloads or artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads that really help the customer get more value from that data.

We work with ISV maybe they're running on our OCI Cloud Platform. They're integrating with other Oracle technologies, and customers are able to get the benefit of all of that data in those tools working together. And so that's exciting for a lot of ISVs who see Oracle has an incredibly large and important customer base across so many different industries. The technologies are relevant, let's integrate with those technologies and they make sure that our applications are running just right alongside Oracle Applications and the Oracle Cloud. And so that's one of the key ways that ISVs are getting or gaining benefits from it. There are many others, including the performance of our cloud, the pricing, the security, and other investments that we make to make sure that our generation 2 Oracle Cloud infrastructure is really world-class.

What are the various benefits for ISVs, that you have realised post-leveraging Oracle?


We've got a multi-cloud which is very important to us. We have a relationship with Microsoft, where customers can very seamlessly operate across their Microsoft Azure environment, as well as their Oracle database and OCI environments. One of the other things that are really important about our generation 2 cloud is, we really support the ability to get a fully functioning cloud experience, but do it in a way that may not be in the public cloud, for example, with our DRCC, or in some alloy, which was an announcement we made in October, of Cloud@Customer, some of our offerings there, what we're doing is enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of the cloud. But maybe there are situations where they really care about data sovereignty, where they're not ready to put or willing to put some of their most important data in the public cloud environment, and that's okay. You can experience all the benefits of the cloud but do it in a way on-prem or where you care to have those physical servers located and we can support that. So that's very exciting to a lot of our customers especially in industries, where the privacy of the data is incredibly important, financial services, health care, government, and public sector being a few of those. So, we're seeing a lot of interest in that approach from customers. And then if you're a partner, then say, wow maybe I offer, banking, a banking software ISV, and, or, a healthcare-related ecosystem player.

What is your overall roadmap for 2023? The next 12 to 18 months?

There are three primary ways that we see the value that gets created with and through partners. The first of those three ways is around solution innovation. So as customers want access to these solutions, we work with partners to jointly create a solution together. In the last year and a half, we've launched 40 industry solutions with some of our professional services partners, and then we've launched these globally so that we've got the opportunities for customers to enjoy all the benefits of Oracle technologies, along with deep integration and co-creation with our services partners and so that's one of the ways that we've done it.  We'll incorporate ISVs into those equations, because we're really looking at providing that right holistic customer experience and we'll work with every partner, or customer would like to work with, we'll be happy to work with them to bring them into the ecosystem and make sure that we're meeting customer needs.

Customers spend an enormous amount of money and resources and time and investment of their people in planning and in deploying and procuring Technology Services, and we need to make sure those customers are getting maximum value. They're maximizing their access to the innovations that we're delivering. They're getting the efficiencies and effectiveness and, they're able to take as those technologies continue to evolve, they're able to get all the benefits from that. We're making a lot of investments in working with our partners around customer success. Oracle University and some of the training that we offer into the market and make sure that we're helping those folks get trained and certified. It also means that we're proactively working with our partners to track all of the customer engagements.  The feedback from our partner community has been fantastic, the partners that we've worked with, see value in this, they see how we're leaning into their success, and they're leaning into ours.