services on an as-needed basis. company has. We have tools set up around those industry
PROFIT: How does Oracle’s approach to midsize customers requirements that can be preconfigured to 80 percent of what
differ from the competition? that kind of company needs. We don’t know the remaining
KENDER: Most companies have a tendency to offer midsize 20 percent, so the implementing partner uses a wizard that
companies watered-down software that lacks the functional- asks the customer a series of questions. You load the answers
ity that they need, and that’s really a dis- into the wizard and it creates the remain-service. We asked ourselves, ‘What if we TONY KENDER has more than 26 years of ing 20 percent.
could give midsize companies the best PROFIT: What benefits have customers
software at a low price—and the ability to experience in the applications software/ seen to date?
implement it inexpensively?’ As a result, information systems industry. Currently KENDER: Customers get what they really
Oracle created a global program office spe- senior vice president of Oracle’s Global need—the ability to use software that’s
cifically to focus on the needs of midsize Accelerate Program Office, his organi- tailored to their industry and company
customers, and Oracle Accelerate is the zation has responsibility for the Oracle requirements. And partners are also
overarching program that has come out of reporting benefits—the speed with which
that organization. Applications midsize customer strategy, partners can get the software implemented
PROFIT: What is Oracle Accelerate? including Oracle Accelerate and Oracle means that customers can use a vital busi-
KENDER: It’s a program designed to Business Accelerators, Oracle’s rapid ness tool that much more quickly. The
deliver pinpoint solutions to both midsize implementation tools; and global business keyword we’re hearing is ‘easy.’ Oracle
customers and the resellers that support development for midsize customers. Accelerate lets customers get software
them. We want to deliver three things: that’s easy to buy, easy to implement, and
software that is not only the best in the easy to use. At the same time, it is com-segment, but that can be delivered in prehensive software—not dumbed-down
bundles that are very specifically targeted at industry seg- enterprise applications.
ments. We want to make sure that the software is really built The partners, meanwhile, are raving about the speed at
to answer specific business requirements, be they by industry, which they can implement software—we have partners tell
geographic region, or a specific area of partner expertise. And us that they have been able to go to a complete conference
we were determined to deliver those packages at midsize room pilot in 24 hours. They also like some of the support
customer-friendly prices, as well as with strong partner services that we’ve created for them. Our pricing model
support. As a result, partners who are working with each of allows partners special discounts and flexibility for the
our customers can build packages that are customized to each bundling of appropriate products for each solution, so they
company’s needs. can offer each bundle at a great price. We are also giving
A big part of Oracle Accelerate is the Oracle Business marketing support to help partners expand their markets
Accelerator tools. Based on more than 1,200 business flows and promote their Oracle Accelerate solutions, as well as a
from industry practices that Oracle and its partners have partner loyalty program that will allow partners to qualify for
accumulated, the tools allow our applications to be preconfig- increasing levels of training. This helps partners gain more
ured and implemented rapidly. For example, we know what traction within their market, as well as building tighter rela-kind of business and information flows a professional services tionships with Oracle. <>
NUCLEUS RESEARCH TALKS TO ORACLE AND SAP CUSTOMERS TO GET THE INSIDE
STORY ON THEIR BUSINESS APPLICATION IMPLEMENTATIONS.
Many software vendors are targeting the midsize market these PROFIT: What made you engage in this research project?
days, but who is succeeding? Nucleus Research, a Wellesley, WETTEMANN: Given that most of the large applications
Massachusetts–based research and advisory firm, took a look at players have recognized that the next battlefield is the mid-
two companies’ strategies in its recent report, SAP and Oracle: market, we wanted to look at how successful Oracle and SAP
Who’s Ready for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses? Profit were, what their weak points are, and where we can expect
sat down with coauthor and Nucleus Research Vice President them to be more competitive in the future.
Rebecca Wettemann to find out more about the results. PROFIT: Can you tell us about the methodology?