Oracle: Balancing Hardware Relationships at OpenWorld
Oracle is taking coopetition to the max at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell all are major sponsors of the event. But Oracle CEO Larry Ellison apparently will share the stage with Sun Microsystems Co-founder Scott McNealy tonight during a keynote that starts shortly. Here’s the scoop.
Even as Oracle works to finalize the Sun Microsystems acquisition, Oracle is working behind the scenes here to maintain strong relationships with HP, IBM and Dell. The efforts include carefully scripted on-stage thank yous, keynote opportunities and educational sessions for the four major hardware providers.
During a media briefing earlier today, Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff conceded that there will be a learning curve as Oracle and its hardware partners work to balance cooperation and competition. Althoff noted that Oracle has cooperated and competed with IBM on multiple fronts for multiple years. But now, given Oracle’s pending buyout of Sun, the software giant faces similar competitive challenges with HP and Dell.
McNealy’s Big Moment
Things could get a little tense shortly, when Sun co-founder Scott McNealy apparently will take the stage with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The VAR Guy has been seated in the keynote area for about 90 minutes, watching multiple practice runs of Oracle- and Sun-produced videos.
Many of the videos celebrate Sun’s engineering heritage, McNealy’s fast wit, Sun’s Java efforts, and a new hardware offering from Sun and Oracle. For rivals in the audience it could be an awkward evening.
Still, Oracle is trying to show its hardware partners some love. HP Executive VP Ann Livermore and Dell CEO Michael Dell both will deliver keynotes at Oracle OpenWorld this week. And Oracle has already applauded IBM multiple times from the stage.
But tonight, the keynote apparently involves McNealy and Ellison. This should be entertaining — assuming you don’t compete with Oracle-Sun.