Oracle Outlines How It Will Meld Sun into Its Culture

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-01-27 Print this article Print

Oracle executives, including President Charles Phillips, EVP of Hardware Engineering John Fowler and EVP of Product Development Thomas Kurian, addressed a standing-room-only audience at Oracle's on-campus auditorium here on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Oracle, which earlier in the day closed its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems following nine months of thorny legal exercises, Jan. 27 explained to the media how it is morphing the creator of Java, Solaris and the Zettabyte File System and its 27,600 employees into its own database-driven world.

Oracle executives, including President Charles Phillips, EVP of Hardware Engineering John Fowler, EVP of Product Development Thomas Kurian, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Epstein, addressed a standing-room-only audience at Oracle's on-campus auditorium here on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay.

The press and media presentation was to last a full five hours. Oracle seemed to have no problem whatsoever filling up the time slot.

Because Oracle is now one of the world's elite full-service information technology providers -- the most prominent others being IBM and Hewlett-Packard -- topics at the nearly daylong press event ran the gamut of IT: from SOA to storage, from chips to content management, and from portals to patch management.

Phillips, who made a different kind of news during the past several days through the public revelation that he had an extramarital affair for eight years, was the designated welcomer for media and analysts.

To his credit, he immediately diffused the issue about his embarrassing -- and well-publicized -- personal peccadillo by simply saying: "Welcome. Hopefully you all had a smoother week than I did."

There was a lot of new information -- if not pure news -- for enterprise IT people brought to the stage by Fowler, Kurian, and Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven.

Key points from the presentation

For simplicity's sake, we'll go with bullet points here on some of the key items -- including what was not said:

--No mention was made about layoffs in the morning session. It has been been speculated -- and subsequently denied by both Oracle and Sun -- that as many as 14,000 Sun employees may lose their jobs in the transition.

--Oracle will not only maintain the open source Web database MySQL, it stipulated that it will maintain and bolster the MySQL sales/marketing and development teams in order to "make it better," Screven said. The future of MySQL was a major sticking point in Oracle obtaining international antitrust approval from the European Commission to do business in the 27 EU nations.

--With the addition of Sun's substantial IP assets, Oracle now claims it is the "only" complete IT vendor, because it makes vertical applications that competitors IBM and Hewlett-Packard do not make.

--Oracle is now hiring for engineering, marketing and other development help in all departments.

--Never known to be a particular good friend to open-source projects that did not help its own bottom line, Oracle professed that it will support Sun open source products such as the Glassfish portal server and the office productivity suite with all of its resources.

--Oracle's Screvens remarked that "VMware integrates with nothing -- it's a point solution only."

--Oracle will move from Sun's "build-to-stock" channel-marketing and supply strategy to one of "build-to-order." As a result, it will close Sun's distribution centers in the United States and in EMEA.

--Oracle intends to invest much in the development of NAND flash-based storage: "Flash will turn the storage industry upside down because everything is designed for disks," Fowler said.

--Fowler again: "For those of you who have read lurid press clippings about Sparc [processors], we're going to increase our investment there."

--Phillips on staffing up: "We want to hire the best engineers to make this work. We want to hire the Derek Jeters of the software business."

Senior Writer Chris Preimesberger is tweeting at this event.



Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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