Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Larry Ellison Speaks on Sun


The last speaker of the day is inevitably the one that everyone who is attending in person and online today the Oracle-Sun update that everyone is waiting to hear from.

Up until we have heard about how Oracle will support and integrate Sun technology into the Oracle stack.  We heard how support will adjust to the new support needs and how support will change for Sun customers who will now need to follow the Oracle support and pricing models. This will change things for some. We heard of how the the company will be fully integrated as a company as Oracle does with all acquisitions.

The Larry took to the stage set to a backdrop of his America’s Cup boat. Larry stated that Oracle’s vision is the same as IBM has in 1960 and at that time made IBM the most important company in the world. Oracle and Larry would like to be seen that same way in the future.


The goal will be the integrated products that Oracle will be able to deliver that will leverage the best of the hardware and the software to deliver more products like the Sun-Oracle Exedata server. You should expect to see many more examples of this going forward. They will continue to support the full spectrum of servers, but you should expect the best performance and reliability from the Oracle stack; or at  least that’s the idea.

Larry answered the concern about Sun employees and said that he was not planning to lay off half the staff. The reality is that Oracle plans to hire 2,000 new employees focused on Sun, while he expects only a 1,000 layoffs. This is quite a change from what was originally suspected.

Ellison also said that the Sun business will be profitable in February and they will be profitable in the first month which they own it. Larry stated that he expects that the first year profit of 1.5 billion as originally set. He also expect that the business WILL grow and that includes the Sun hardware.

The questions focused on how Oracle will owkr with other companies. Such as why would an SAP customer pick Oracle and Sun or why would they not. Larry stated that you should expect that Oracle and Sun will provide the highest performance and be reliable. He felt that customers will lead the charge to ensure that SAP and others continue to work on and do it well on other platforms but that they work best on Oracle and would ensure that things will continue as is.

On his journey to the top, Larry said that he is not at the top of the mountain yet, but the journey continues towards the top of the software mountain.

The Fun is in the Details

The Sun deal is  one that is a real game changer for Oracle. It now allows them to get into the hardware business. So now they are responsible for enhancing the overall Sun Sparc hardware strategy.

The key will be performance, compatibility, scalability, availability and security. The new roadmap also now includes how to improve application performance and co-engineering with Oracle software. You can already see the first example of this as the Exadata machine shows some of what is possible. Considering that at the time of the Exadata, Oracle and Sun had very different agendas at the time, but yet developed a very interesting product offering that continues to improve. The acquisition will also allow Sun to develop newer chips quicker and more effectively. Where in the past Sun would have been developing one or two new processors at a time, with Oracle support they will be able to begin development on four chips which will allow new technology will arrive sooner and be more reliable, this accelerated roadmap means that Sun/Oracle engineering is also hiring.

Other products like WebCenter has benefited from teh relationship. Sun runs WebCenter faster than other hardware vendors. This is the message that I expected today, Sun is fastest and even fast when it runs Oracle or is that the other way? Does it apply accross the board, is still an outstanding question, but Sun does tell a good story. The focus going forward will include storage, tape archives with teh StorageTek product as well the innovations will include the higher use of Flash technologies will help make thing faster as we move forward

The Sun is Finally Rising for Oracle

Today I am at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores in California. This is ground-zero for the latest on what is the next evolution of the acquisition of Sun by Oracle.
Today is a big day in San Francisco; Steve Jobs from Apple will be showing off their new palette computer. So how will Oracle counter this news? This is what we are here in California find out. The announcement of a final Sun/Oracle deal was made official yesterday, but today we get to learn how it will be done.
here is Oracle’s President Charles Phillips as he presents to us today:

Charles Phillips discussed the new theme for Oracle with the completed deal: Software, Hardware; Complete. I like this new message and in its simplicity it truly shows want to expect. They will be providing complete, engineered and integrated systems. The focus will be on open standards, which is no surprise and to improve customer service. The key will be to achieve the highest level of partnership if you really want to leverage Oracle’s sale force. Oracle also announced that they are hiring. They are looking for sales reps for storage, tape and other Sun technologies. If you listen to Charles’ message, he says that these people will be the highest paid in the industry. It will be interesting how sales and partners work together in the new Oracle/Sun world.

From an Oracle partner perspective, things are evolving. You will now need to provide significant added-value to become involved with Oracle. Their focus is partners providing services and products that add value to Oracle or that are no in an area which Oracle performs well within.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Success….Oracle and Sun a Reality

The story of the day has to be the information that the Oracle Sun deal may finally be coming to a close.

So what are the sign? The first was this morning when ComputerWorld that the European Union has cleared the deal that will allow Oracle and Sun to complete the deal and get on with business. The other was an invitation to be at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores next week when we will get an update on the “progress” of the deal.

I feel that I have a vested interest in this deal finally being completed as it was envisioned as I had the great privilege to speak on the Oracle user’s behalf at the EU Competition Commission as part of the Oracle team. Being in the room on that day, I had been convinced that this was right decision and that the vision was nearly unanimous that this a good deal to go ahead with. It is an industry that loves to go their own way and competition will continue and open source will continue to be open.

I am so happy for Safra Catz who lead the Oracle team through this journey. I have the chance to see her leadership and now have a better appreciation for the tough job she has and how successfully she does it. I have to thank Oracle for allowing me to strike off one more thing on my list of “1000 Things To Do Before You Die”. I still have some Belgium Chocolate left….maybe I should bring it next week. Might be good for the celebration.

So it looks like everything is finally a go. You should expect to see more about it next week as I will be blogging from Oracle HQ. As well COLLABORATE 10 will have sessions on MySQL. It’s a good time to be part of the Oracle community.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The New Year is Here…..So What’s Next?

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2010 is one that arrives with much anticipation and with hope that we will recover from the tough year that was. The coming year is one that we can expect to build on much of the work we did last year, but start to more fully leverage technology to help us achieve our goals. So what are the themes for 2010? Let’s take a look:

The first theme will be the more effective use of resources. In the past few years we have experienced downsizing and staff freezes, but somehow our workloads increased. This year we will look to ways to improve and optimize productivity. I expect that we will see a higher degree of automation in the area of data management. System and data administrators will need to better leverage the manageability components of their software. I expect to see more people move to proactive monitoring and use the capabilities that are provided in a Web 2.0 world. Now we are not looking for issues, we are preparing to avoid them.

Next, I expect a greater use of off-the-shelf solutions that will allow business to perform 95% of the tasks needed. I expect that the time of large customized solutions is limited. As you may see from Oracle’s Fusion direction we see that software solutions will provide significant process support and will require few customizations. The affect on the business intelligence world is one where most of the “standard” reporting that is needed will be provided and tightly linked to your applications and that the only customizations will be extending these capabilities to provide competitive advantage and reduce complexity and maintenance.  The age of custom applications is nearing a close.

The final theme for me today is one that is more a wish. I hope that 2010 will be the year where that Art of Networking is embraced. The new decade will be one where social networking will continue to evolve. I expect we will see greater use for personal and professional reasons of Facebook and LinkedIn. I am still not convinced that Tweets are the wave of the future, but it has been a game-changer. I am just not convinced that most things that are said in 140 characters is useful or important. Sometimes it seems like too much chatter. So my hope is that 2010 will be the year when Gen Y decides that in-person networking is like no other and of course the best place to see it and understand this is by attending COLLABORATE 10 in Las Vegas.

The year has just begun, but few have started with such great promise and need for change.