Hurd Should Bolster Oracle Services Arm

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print


One of the things Hurd also understands very well is the professional services business, Staten said.

"Oracle really doesn't have the depth or experience [in services] to the degree that HP does," Staten said. "That's also what they inherited that was pretty good from Sun [Microsystems]. Sun had a very nice professional services business-albeit mostly around their own products. But a lot of professional services people they picked up from StorageTek [a 2005 Sun acquisition] had deep expertise in Windows storage management, and some of the higher-end, off-platform Unix [systems].

"So all of those things are things Mark should be able to help them [Oracle] leverage more effectively."

Regarding how Hurd will fit into the overall Oracle leadership team, Staten said that "there are some very big question marks there."

"The first question is this: It's highly likely that Charles [Phillips, Oracle co-president who announced his resignation Sept. 6] realized that he was never going to be CEO, and he wanted that next step in his career, which I think logically he should want. That would be reason to move on.

"Should their other executives be thinking the same way, if they have such ambitions? Yeah."

The other question that has to be raised is that Hurd has never had to work for another CEO, Staten said.

"He's been the CEO. How's this [working on the level with co-President Safra Catz] going to work? The dynamic historically has been Larry [Ellison] being extremely hands-on on things he feels are strategic. And that can go all the way down to pricing changes on individual products," Staten said.

"That degree of hands-on probably won't change. I'm not sure how Mark's going to adapt to that."

Hurd may get Oracle to open its wallet

Hurd's initial value to Oracle will be his ability to cut the fat of what has been acquired from Sun without cutting away at bone or muscle, Greg Richardson, an analyst with Technology Business Research, told eWEEK.

"After cleaning operations and making the best out of what is already on the table, Hurd will likely drive a similar strategy to what has been done at HP: spend the company's way into an integrated portfolio," Richardson said. "Much like HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy, Oracle will leverage Hurd's expertise to efficiently and effectively expand its portfolio into areas which it deems necessary to be able to offer integrated solutions."

As evidenced by HP's acquisition spending spree-including the large acquisitions of EDS, 3Com and, most recently, 3PAR-the company enacted a strategy of flexing its muscles and pushing its way into new markets where it can drive revenue and profit growth, Richardson said.

"Don't be surprised to see Oracle opening its wallet again once the dust settles from the Sun integration and the addition of Mark Hurd," Richardson said. "This is particularly true in the storage market, where Oracle can leverage attached storage offerings on its compute hardware, better supporting hardware profitability-a key concern for Oracle."

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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