You’ll remember Ellison lashing out at HP for forcing Mark Hurd to resign, and then after Oracle hired Hurd as co-president, you remember Ellison lashing out at HP for suing Mark Hurd, a legal fracas that settled quickly. So now the lashing continues.
“I’m speechless,” Ellison wrote in an email to the Wall Street Journal. “HP had several good internal candidates…but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP.”
Ellison continued: “The HP board needs to resign en masse … right away. The madness must stop.”]]>
One of the formerly Sun, now Oracle, folks asked roughly “Larry hired Hurd, saying that fudging his expense report wasn’t grounds for dismissal; does that mean that all Oracle employees now have permission to fudge their expense reports?”.
And on Oracle salespeople:
One of the more entertaining lines I heard was at a cocktail party held by some 3rd party partners. “We love the Oracle sales force!” (what?? surprised look on my face) “They’re so nasty, their prices are so high, and their tactics so obnoxious that all we have to do is be credible and treat the customer with respect – then the deal is ours!”.
The word is that HP wouldn’t have had much of a case in court, with some saying that HP’s partnership with Oracle is too valuable to HP to drag out a lawsuit. All of it helps to confirm Oracle’s potential status as the world’s scariest software company.
Hurd resigned from HP in August amid allegations of sexual harassment of an HP employee and discrepancies of up to $20,000 on Hurd’s expense reports. Upon the news, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison lashed out against the HP board for forcing the resignation of Hurd, who often plays tennis with Ellison. Shortly later, Ellison hired Hurd as co-president of Oracle, replacing Charles Phillips.
That’s called a one-two punch.
The next day, HP sued Oracle, saying Hurd violated his severance agreement. Ellison then said the lawsuit would put a strain on the partnership between HP and Oracle.
Now it’s three weeks later, and the two have settled. In a regulatory filing yesterday, HP said Hurd agreed to return almost 350,000 HP shares that was part of his severance, which also included about $12 million in cash.
People I’ve talked to here at Oracle OpenWorld said a strain on the partnership between HP and Oracle would put more of a strain on HP than it would Oracle. HP simply provides the hardware that Oracle Database runs on. Ask most IT people out there, and they’ll tell you that they are much willing to switch to a different hardware vendor than rip-and-replace their Oracle infrastructure.
If HP dragged on the lawsuit, would Oracle have positioned itself as even more of a competitor to HP than it already has? That’s likely. In Ellison’s eyes, HP just provides commodity hardware that Oracle Database runs on. It would be better for Oracle if its customers ran on Oracle/Sun hardware anyway, so they would have just ratcheted up the sales pitch even more.
End users’ reaction to all this hullabaloo? Most don’t really care.]]>
Teradata isn’t really a hardware company–at least not in the general-purpose hardware sense of HP, Dell, etc. It’s more an appliance company; like NetApp or Netezza; what you’re buying is the software intelligence about solving a particular problem, but the way it’s bought and sold is tied to specific (hardware) systems. Some call this “iron-wrapped software.”
Exadata is a great analogy; a relational DBMS plus the pre-configured hardware to run it–so the system can be highly optimized for the task at hand, but more important, so that the customer doesn’t have to bother with the nuts and bolts. Hurd has experience selling this kind of appliance-ized technology at Teradata, and HP ramped up similar thoughts during Hurd’s tenure, including its Neoview data warehousing play and BladeSystem Matrix.
While the “infrastructure by the pound” model is definitely on the rise, Oracle’s probably more interested in the fact that Hurd has now worked with a large number of premier global enterprises at two different vendors. He has a lot of contacts and friends among customers. He’s been talking to them for years about what they want in data processing and analytics, and he knows the competitive landscape well. He also was highly effective as an operational manager at HP, bringing it discipline and much-improved results. Finally, he knows exactly how Teradata (an Oracle enemy) and HP (a huge route-to-market for, and leading frenemy of, Oracle) work from the inside. So if you can get over the ‘stepping out with a contractor’ and ‘diddling his expense claims’ issues, he can be a great asset for Oracle.]]>