Tom LaRocca, a 12-year HP channel veteran who jumped ship in January to join Oracle as vice president of worldwide programs and go to market alliances, made his first pitch to recruit partners this week at the XChange Solution Provider 2012 conference in Los Angeles.
LaRocca, a one-time architect of HP’s PartnerOne Channel Program, is looking closely at the Oracle partner program in a bid to assure the database kingpin has best-in-class margins and compensation for partners. LaRocca was mixing with a number of HP partners who were congratulating him on his new job.
LaRocca will be attending tonight’s CRN Channel Champions award event, where he’s sure to bump into former colleagues, including HP Vice President and General Manager US Channel Sales Mike Parrottino and Ken Archer, vice president of Americas channels and alliances.
LaRocca’s knowledge of HP’s PartnerOne program pain points could be critical as he builds out the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) program. The big question is: What kind of changes he will make in OPN to snatch away HP partners?
LaRocca, for his part, told partners he is squarely focused on taking the Oracle channel program to the next level. “I’m looking at all the [channel] program elements in terms of how we go to market with margins, profiles and compensation,” LaRocca told a crowd of several hundred partners. “We want to make life easier for you guys and build successful relationships.”
XChange has a different feel for LaRocca this time around. He’s used to having lots of friends in the room. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. In his former role, LaRocca said, about 75 percent of the partners at the show would be in the HP fold. With Oracle, he said, the vast majority of solution providers at the show are not partners. “We want to invest in you guys,” he said. “We want you to invest with us.”