SAN FRANCISCO–The Moscone Center North hall –which funnels the thousands of Oracle OpenWorld attendees into the keynotes was festooned with Exadata machines, knights-in-armor and a huge poster touting Exadata and Exalogic. The latter–perhaps a business intelligence appliance?–is probably the next hardware/software system soon to be announced by Larry Ellison.
Stay tuned to find out what Exalogic is and what’s up with the knights? (Update: Oops! They’re not knights but Iron Men.)
Newly-minted Oracle co-president Mark Hurd introduced himself to a few thousand Oracle partners Sunday afternoon. And he reiterated what they’ve heard for months now from other Oracle execs:
Specialize and sell more of Oracle’s stuff, er stack.
SAN FRANCISCO–As the masses gather for Oracle OpenWorld here it’ll be interesting to see how much of the big show will highlight more integrated systems, more Exadatas, perhaps the “VM Machine.” More ZFS appliances. You know, the “Software. Hardware. Complete” vision of Larry Ellison’s dreams.
On its first quarter conference call last week, the Oracle CEO talked up integration big time–reiterating his iPod-for-the-data-center message but also played up the need for Oracle to make nice with services companies–yes–even IBM. Actually, especially IBM.
Asked if Oracle needed to purchase a big services company as HP did with EDS, he demurred. “IBM’s services business seems to be the dominant part [of the company and] their product business is important but secondary. We look at it just the reverse.”
“One thing we want to to do is obviate the need for services so if we do a good job integrating our apps together, making them easy to install and upgrade, you don’t need as many services…hardware and software together..storage and server and the OS and apps you don’t need as much integration services, he said.
On the other hand, he said Oracle has a good rapport with IBM’s aforementioned services business and looks for that relationship to expand–most notably in banking where Oracle has vertical application expertise, he said.
Oracle’s earnings calls are great entertainment. Aside from the usual boasts about profitability there are valuable asides, like Larry Ellison’s impromptu recommendation of Hasso Plattner’s new movie in which Hasso interviews Hasso. Hasso Plattner is co-founder of Oracle competitor SAP AG.
But, back to business. Here are the top five takeaways from today’s Oracle call.
With apologies to Google and Microsoft, Oracle may be the scariest software company on the planet.
Moffat joined IBM in 1978, just out of school. At various points during that long career, he was general manager of IBM’s huge Systems Group and was a board member of Lenovo, the Chinese company that took over IBM’s ThinkPad PC line. He, among many other IBM execs, had at times been touted as an possible “heir apparent” to CEO Sam Palmisano.
More than a dozen people were caught up in charges relating to this case. Eleven, including Moffat, pleaded guilty. Alleged masterminds Raj Rajaratnam and Danielle Chiesi still await trial. The judge levied the maximum jail time for Moffat but did defer it till June of 2011.
Hewlett-Packard is reportedly poised to buy ArcSight for about $1.5 billion. The Wall Street Journal and others reported Sunday that a deal is near. (Update: The deal is now official, according to a post to the HP Website.)
ArcSight, which makes security software that monitors computer networks for unusual activity, had been shopping itself around, looking for $42 per share. Its stock was trading for just over $35 on Friday.
Back in April, I wrote about how some technology solution providers are using various asset management portals to manage their customers’ service contracts and warranties and when stuff is up for renewal. The idea is to get a deeper peek into everything that might be part of their clients’ technology infrastructure — not just the stuff that the VAR itself might handle. This insight might be used toward future sales. At least that’s the theories.
One of the asset management portal tools and services companies that I included in that story, Managed Maintenance Inc., has just released a new product called IMSelect. The idea behind the IMSelect solution is to help VARs, resellers, MSPS and other members of the value-added channel help their customers attack investment management more methodically on an ongoing basis. IMSelect includes both the company’s portal management tool along with a dedicated “contract specialist” who helps the technology solution provider proactively manage contracts and figure out what might need attention.
I happen to know that the folks who created the service and solution have a whole bunch of background with IBM products, so that’s the initial focus for its partner relationships. But IMSelect certainly isn’t limited to IBM technology. And, as my original story indicates, tools like these could help with the ultimate holy grail for many IT solution providers: building a steady monthly, recurring revenue stream.
I guess CompTIA, the high-tech industry association, is getting pretty serious about recruitment. The organization has appointed close to 50 members as “ambassadors” who are charged with improving its engagement with members and potential members throughout the industry. You even get your own personalized “ambassador” logo on your business card!
Once again Larry Ellison is weighing in on Hewlett-Packard’s boardroom moves. This time though, he has a real vested interest.
In response to a civil suit HP launched against Mark Hurd, the former HP CEO who is joining Oracle as co-president and director, Ellison issued the following statement:
“Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner. By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership,our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The HP board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace.”
This soap opera unfolds just a week before Oracle OpenWorld opens its doors in San Francisco. Oddly enough, Mark Hurd–as CEO of HP–was slated to keynote already. Now it’s safe to say he will keynote, but as an Oracle insider.