Targeted Business Strategies While the Oracle Accelerate program is a good fit even in the current environment, Oracle partners know that they need to use strategic approaches with customers. DAZ Systems’ Arnold observes that the economy means customers are scared—and they are taking longer to make decisions. But she notes that stable companies often use a market slowdown to make IT improvements that could not be scheduled previously—adding new application modules, changing systems, or upgrading. “When business is good, systems are not always on the top of the list,” she says. “When times are tighter, businesses have the time to sit down and determine what they can do to be better, faster, and more streamlined.”
One of the most valuable lessons partners have learned from the Oracle Accelerate program is to specialize in particular industries. “What is truly important is to go in understanding a customer’s specific business problem and to be able to show how to adapt technology to it,” says Vince Vickers, Zanett senior vice president for consulting delivery. “The reality is that clients need to see that you understand how an IT solution is going to help them with their specific industry’s challenges, and when they are going to get value out of it.”
Oracle Accelerate has also helped partners create offerings that address new trends. Jibe and DAZ have targeted the green technology market with Oracle Accelerate solutions. According to Moncrieff, Jibe used Oracle Accelerate to do a financials implementation in 12 weeks for a renewable energy company in the northwestern U.S. DAZ created a clean-energy vertical solution after it realized it already had five clean-energy industry customers. “We put it together with a go-to-market strategy and in-depth knowledge of the industry,” says Arnold.
“Partners are talented and resourceful,” says Johnson. “They get into the Oracle Accelerate program and introduce industry solutions, and then they look at the market and think about what solutions to create that are similar to what they’ve already done.”
Think Globally, Act Locally Oracle Accelerate is also helping partners target new markets by addressing the unique needs of local geographic areas. Johnson says, “We rely on local partners to have in-depth knowledge of their markets. They need that knowledge to avoid wasting time in an implementation. Longer projects mean more costs and more risk—two things that midsize organizations have to avoid if they want to deploy tier-one application suites.”
Arnold says that midsize customers fear they won’t get the same level of support available to Fortune 500 companies. But DAZ, which has strategically expanded from California to the entire West Coast and now across the U.S., addresses this concern by hiring local employees to help focus on issues in each region. “You have to make a financial and business commitment because it takes six to nine months to build a territory,” Arnold says.
New York, New York-based Zanett currently provides services within three regions and has eight offices east of the Mississippi. The company’s acquisition strategy allows for westward growth via additional regional firms. “We try to support those organizations in the midsize market with industry experience and product expertise, but also working within a regional geography,” says Vickers.
Lucidity, which is primarily based in the central U.S., is also looking to expand. As Lucidity Managing Partner Bret Hatfield notes, “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to go out and cherry-pick top talent to lead new service offerings.”
Jibe mainly serves customers on the West Coast of the U.S., but in the last four years it has delivered services to customers throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Australia, and China. According to Moncrieff, “Our team members live in the same communities as our customers. We can build institutional knowledge of our customers into our teams.”