After a long wait, and before the last obstacle of EU Antitrust Commission we are seeing some signs of life from the Oracle/Sun deal. You can see (here and here) the new aggressive marketing campaign.
Last months have been an awful period for Sun, the lack of informations, rumors about a sellout of hardware business to HP, and the deafening silence resulted in bad Qs with other vendors fighting like sharks for doubtful customers! During this period of recession customers are very careful in investments and they prefer to reward most solid vendors (in the last Qs, IBM gained more market share than any other in big enterprise servers market.).
Now things are changing, or it seems so!
The Sun’s Point of view.Larry wanted to reassure Sun customers about the future of their beloved products and technologies (Solaris and even SPARC), trying to quiet the rumors and beginning a campaign to get more attention on its new toy and trying to keep as many customers as possible! (His monster catamaran for the next America’s Cup has a structural problem, so he has more time to spend in business during repairs, 😉 ).
But there is more to it: the marketing campaign is a direct assault to IBM! and i think it’s only a first shoot, we will see much more in the near future!
Why IBM? and not HP? My first thought went to EDS (recently acquired from HP). EDS is one of the Sun’s biggest customers/resellers in the world and now Oracle can sell software and hardware to HP. Moreover, we can add HP has no a brighter future for his Itanic servers, so Oracle (via EDS) can try to sell more SPARC/Oracle in the future.IBM is also a big customer but they trying to swap Oracle products with their own every time it’s possible!So, IBM is the first target but, who will be the next?
Not only competition but the near/mid-term strategy!Sun announced some months ago a complete cloud strategy (never deployed) and now enterprise customers are looking with more interest to cloud computing and Sun need to deliver solutions as soon as possible… Sun need to do more brand awareness as possible… and more, Recession winds are calming and this is the season of next year budgets evaluation! Sun’s needs a slice of those budgets and a good end of this year (Q4/09) to survive!!!!
And what about the Oracle’s Point of view?It’s difficult for me to imagine the thoughts of Oracle in this moment… they are were a software company but now they need to understand what they want to do with Sun!!! Sun was bought primary for his software (Java first of all), hardware is a completely new business for Oracle.
Oracle wants to become a new IBM? It can be but is it the right way? IBM sells services more than hardware or software and their religion is to have an answer for every problem (not the better answer but at least an answer!). IBM is a complex company with a lot of business units (many more than Oracle/Sun) and with a lot of internal competition…Sun can be a black hole for Oracle if they not find a way to produce money in few months. And, at least, Storage… Larry needs to monetize Pillar, will Pillar become the new Storage OEM for Sun? contributing to the Larry’s dreams?!