Oracle used last week’s annual OpenWorld conference to team up with a hardware partner and boost delivery of its E-Business Suite to the reseller community.

Hewlett-Packard, whose chief executive Carly Fiorina was among the San Francisco event’s keynote speakers, said it will work with Oracle

to provide the suite to VARs selling its ProLiant server hardware. HP has already tested Oracle E-Business Suite 11i on the ProLiant ML350G4, and is providing validated configurations for up to 50 users.

Oracle announced a slew of enhancements to 11i at OpenWorld, including business intelligence capabilities, procurement modules to streamline contract creation and compliance, HR and business-to-business selling tools. The idea, according to Oracle president Chuck Phillips, is to offer something that an information-driven enterprise can use to facilitate alignment between IT and business, collaboration among employees, measurement and transparency.

”It’s just a matter of time before you have to document the information that you based a decision on,” he said. “When we introduced the E-Business Suite five years ago, (those needs) weren’t that common.”

Oracle will offer sales support for partners on proof of concept and sales consulting, as well as a series of training sessions on all facets of customer service. HP and Oracle will also assist partners with demand generation and marketing, the companies said.

Although a few U.S. resellers were announced as early participants in the joint initiative, news of the Oracle-HP partnership drew lukewarm response from some Canadian VARs.

Daryl Lowe, vice-president of sales at Quartet Service Inc. in Toronto, offers HP ProLiant prodcuts, primarily to small and medium businesses with 100 desktops or less. He wasn’t sure the program would be a fit for his firm.

”There are very few customers – we only have one that runs Oracle, and it’s bundled with an application from a service provider down in the U.S. This would probably geared more towards full system/service providers that would already have an application running on the Oracle platform. Or development shops that would provide this as a turnkey solution.”

Another Canadian HP partner agreed.

”No, not Oracle — we don’t sell any of that,” he said. “It’s probably just another vertical market solution,” said Brad McMillan, president of Toronto-based Paradigm Network Solutions Inc.

Meanwhile in a discussion with selected international media following his keynote address, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said he was aware of unrest among channel partners who sometimes felt they are at odds with the company’s direct sales force.

“There are some companies that almost exclusively sell through the channel, and some that sell direct,” Ellison said. “In Japan, obviously, it makes sense for us to go through VARs. In the U.S., we are predominantly a direct business. We do have some accounts around various practices . . . we’re trying to take conflict out of the system by partitioning the market.””

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