Generally speaking, I don't hear much about Oracle in the managed services market. But that could change over the next few months. At the Avnet Technology Solutions Partner Summit this week, Oracle is talking up Oracle Enterprise Manager -- which offers a single dashboard for maintaining servers, middleware and applications. But that's not all...

In a related step, Oracle is preparing to push deeper into the Vertical Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) market, MSPmentor has heard. It sounds like the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized partner program will soon include some VDI components.

The net result: Oracle Enterprise Manager ultimately will be able to manage VDI instances running in customer data centers, according to Nick Kritikos, VP of partner enablement at Oracle. Not by coincidence, Kritikos says a growing number of service providers and hosting providers use Oracle Enterprise Manager to proactively maintain customer environments.

I realize small VARs and small MSPs focus mostly on Microsoft-centric managed services -- maintaining desktops, mobile devices and Wintel servers. But as you move into larger end-customer settings, MSPmentor is starting to see Cisco-centric MSPs emerge. I wonder if a similar but separate niche -- involving Oracle-centric MSPs -- will emerge.

No doubt, Oracle's direct sales force worries some channel partners. Eager to address those concerns, Oracle is working overtime at the Avnet partner conference to describe how Sun partners can pursue roughly 130,000 Oracle customers in North America.

Will MSPs participate in that customer pursuit? I'm not sure. But Oracle Enterprise Manager has me intrigued. And I'm trying to learn more about Oracle's VDI strategy.

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