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Mr. Gabriel Marin was interviewed for October edition of Oracle

VAD Newsletter

2012-11-12 10:52:52


Gabriel Marin
OmniLogic Ltd.

Gabriel Marin
CEO, OmniLogic Ltd.

Please tell us about your history involvement with Oracle and why you decided to distribute Oracle?

We are currently celebrating 20 years of IT&C excellence at OmniLogic. Distribution was our core competence from the very beginning, but about seven or eight years ago we realised that simple commodity distribution based largely on price and availability was no longer sustainable. So we worked hard to fully understand the whole concept of value added distribution, and then we implemented that concept. We progressed from distributing commodity products, such as memory and hard drives, to forging alliances with vendors that could bring a high degree of value add. Oracle was one of the leading choices, so we began partnering with them in around 2005. Nobody buys Oracle systems from us just because we have licenses available at the right prices, but they do because of the superior pre-sales technical and commercial support we offer to our channel partners. We share a business intimacy regarding our partners' end customers so we can work with partners to build the most effective solutions possible. I believe that helping our channel partners build solutions is the core of the VAD concept.

What opportunities have been created for you and your partners by extending your portfolio to embrace both hardware and software?

OmniLogic has deep roots in the high-tech industry, so we worked with Sun Microsystems before the acquisition. But we were very happy with the integration, and the wise alignment of truly complementary technologies and a shared business culture. Certainly the Oracle concept of offering a full stack from processor to application is the best. The range of business opportunities we now see for 'Oracle-on-Oracle' is huge. Businesses today want to concentrate on their core business, they want to interact with one technology partner, one point of contact, and have no integration issues between their hardware and software. Through our Oracle partnership we have a very smooth service model, and I believe customers will continue to develop in that direction of simply acquiring services and not choosing to enter into those technical hardware/software issues. One vendor that delivers the whole stack - it's so simple. We feel OmniLogic is in the right position today to offer the integrated solutions customers will demand for the next five to ten years. In the long term, Oracle will be the pillar of the market because it is the only one vendor that currently offers its partners and customers everything they need to succeed.

Please describe your own channel management strategy and how you see OPN Specialized supporting this?

We currently have a portfolio of 1,000 channel partners. Of course, many of these are from hardware commodity business and will stay in that area. But our main objective for our partners has been to identify those with which we share a common ground that are ready to invest in the relationship. It is those partners that we address first. We identify partners with vision and who want to go in the same direction as us. Traditionally we have had strong exclusive hardware distribution partners, as well as some who only distribute software, so we try and develop the opposite side in both of these partner types. Most importantly we manage the Oracle Partner Hub in our region. This is a common investment with Oracle and our partners. It serves as a migration centre, and provides demonstration units, free education and many supplementary services only available to partners. ISVs that need to test their solutions or port them to Oracle platforms can do so free of charge with us. If they want to test new Oracle hardware, they can here. It's a €1 million project that saw us buy an Oracle Exadata Database Machine proof of concept for our partners to use for the benefit of their customers. The Oracle Partner Hub has proven to be a great way of addressing the needs of all our Oracle partners; ISVs and SIs. We also use it as a very effective education centre as well as a testing centre, so those partners can come here to get their Specialized accreditations at the same centre.

What is the market like in your region at present and what is your advice for partners in this global climate?

The economy is certainly tough, like most in the world, but we seek a balance between austerity and a vibrant growth strategy so we can continue to build our business. In Romania our addressable market is now €500-600 million, down from €1.5 billion in 2008, that's 35-40% fewer opportunities, which is dramatic. In response at OmniLogic, if we cannot grow organically by more than single figure percentages, we work hard to take more market share by adding more value than our competitors. The concept of the Oracle Partner Hub and value added distribution are certainly thriving in Romania, and we see no reason not to expand this business model to Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria as well. Geographically these territories are very close - just one hour by plane to any of those countries – and it would sustain and maximise the investment of the Hub. Romania is a big country but sharing this resource with the wider region would benefit those other countries as well as OmniLogic.

Finally, in what other ways are you planning to expand the business moving forward?

We are doing well operating as a VAD in Romania. Over the next 16 months we will expand into other Adriatic regions, and after that look at Central Europe. Our services are cost-effective, we are profitable and those markets are demanding, so why not?