HP vs. Oracle: Here Comes Michael Dell...HP vs. Oracle: Here Comes Michael Dell...
The feud between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard over Mark Hurd's employment status already has plenty of drama. Now, let's toss Michael Dell into the mix. As the Oracle-HP relationship shows signs of strain, Michael Dell is confirmed to speak at Oracle OpenWorld, the major gathering of Oracle partners and customers. Will Dell emerge as Oracle's most favorite third-party server partner? Here are some clues.
September 10, 2010
The feud between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard over Mark Hurd’s employment status already has plenty of drama. Now, let’s toss Michael Dell into the mix. As the Oracle-HP relationship shows signs of strain, Michael Dell is confirmed to speak at Oracle OpenWorld, the major gathering of Oracle partners and customers. Will Dell emerge as Oracle’s most favorite third-party server partner? Here are some clues.
First, the back story: Anyone with an Internet connection should know former HP CEO Mark Hurd has joined Oracle as co-president, a move that triggered a war of words between HP and Oracle.
Act II At Oracle OpenWorld
But the drama doesn’t end there. The massive Oracle OpenWorld conference is set to run Sept. 19-23 in San Francisco.
And the confirmed keynote speaker list should offer plenty of fireworks. The lineup includes:
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Last year at Oracle OpenWorld, Ellison and former Sun CEO Scott McNealy spent plenty of time attacking IBM… even though IBM sponsored the event.
Oracle Co-President Safra Catz, who will work closely with Ellison and Hurd to drive Oracle forward.
Oracle Co-President Mark Hurd, who targeted IBM in his first public words about joining Oracle.
Dell CEO Michael Dell, who may look to exploit the strained HP-Oracle relationship by describing new Dell offerings with Oracle’s software stack.
Oracle’s Hardware Balancing Act
From CEO Larry Ellison to Channel Chief Judson Althoff, Oracle has clearly communicated its business strategy going forward: Oracle software will run best on Oracle’s Sun hardware.
Of course, Oracle’s software continues to support Unix, Linux and Windows across IBM, HP, Cisco, Dell and other third-party hardware. But if you look closely at the competitive landscape, Dell could emerge as Oracle’s closest third-party server partner.
Dell does not play in the high-end Unix or RISC markets, a shrinking but sizable ecosystem where IBM, HP and Oracle-Sun continue to compete.
Dell does not compete in the enterprise software market, where IBM (database and middleware) and HP (operating systems and management software) run into Oracle and Sun regularly.
Still, The VAR Guy also is closely watching the Oracle-Cisco relationship, where there’s talk about a closer working relationship involving virtualization and the Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS).
Looking ahead, Oracle OpenWorld should deliver plenty of drama for Oracle, HP… and even Dell.
After all, Michael Dell has been dealing with personal and professional drama for several weeks. Dell (the company) in July 2010 paid the SEC $100 million to settle accounting fraud charges. The PC giant didn’t admit any wrongdoing, nor did Michael Dell, who paid a $4 million penalty for failing to disclose a secret financial arrangement involving Intel payments to Dell. A large number of Dell shareholders questioned Michael Dell’s leadership in August 2010.
At OpenWorld, Dell will have the opportunity to prove his company is more than a PC supplier with an efficient supply chain. If Michael plays his cards right, he could establish Dell as Oracle’s preferred third-party server partner.
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