A Bright Tomorrow

How the Sun acquisition will impact Oracle customers and applications

May 2010

At the Oracle + Sun launch event in January 2010, John Fowler, executive vice president of systems at Oracle, said Oracle’s acquisition of Sun will allow the company to deliver even stronger products and services. “The thing that gets me excited is the innovation side of this,” said Fowler, formerly an executive vice president at Sun, at the event.

Here, Fowler answers queries submitted by Profit readers through Twitter. Find out what he has to say about the acquisition’s impact on both customers and applications.

@luillopr: What do you think is the major win for Oracle’s and Sun’s existing client base?

FOWLER: First of all, this is a huge boon for existing Sun customers. All of our customers are engaged in mission-critical enterprise computing and have built all of their business-critical computing around Sun. The acquisition means a continued and increased investment in all the core technologies—storage, servers, and software.

Secondly, we have a huge number of customers who use the Sun platform to run Oracle applications, middleware, and databases. By combining into a single engineering team, we are working very hard to increase everything from performance to serviceability to reliability for all those customers. You’ll see a lot more news about that heading into Oracle OpenWorld later this year.

@alexgorbachev: How does Oracle plan to get Sun’s hardware business back in the profit zone?

FOWLER: Oracle’s acquisition of Sun wasn’t a cost-cutting exercise. The drive behind it was to invest in certain core technologies and to increase direct sales and service presence around Sun products. Oracle’s intent is to sell and service these products much more aggressively, using its larger scale and customer base in order to drive great profitability.

Historically, Sun has earned a high degree of respect for its engineering and products, but we’re obviously not just here to have a hardware business. The true business of hardware is to run a broad range of applications as well as possible. We’re here to do additional engineering to make Sun hardware the best place from a value perspective for running Oracle software.

@johnbryden: Oracle is now positioned to be huge in corporate SaaS [software as a service]. But what about open source SaaS? Playing or walking away?

FOWLER: SaaS is one of the most important trends in software today. Whether it’s internal to your corporate network or expressed out to external customers, the ability to access applications over the Web and drive value from them is one of the most cost-effective ways to speed up your operations and grow your business.

Oracle is absolutely uniquely positioned here by having the world’s leading enterprise software stack. Now with Sun storage hardware and operating systems, as well as management assets, customers can create and most efficiently deliver SaaS in virtually any setting.

As it relates to open source or commercial solutions, customers are going to choose where they fit. Because Oracle is built on open interfaces, we work extremely well across the board in any of these environments.

@prabhakar1729: How has the acquisition affected ERP [enterprise resource planning] applications?

FOWLER: It is a huge benefit to customers to have one company deliver and service both leading ERP applications as well as the infrastructure on which they deploy. As combined companies, we can now take the technology to an entirely new level as far as testing, service, providing solutions, understanding the performance, and ensuring that customers are getting an extremely rapid deployment and extremely high degree of success.

In fact, when customers purchase any Oracle software and combine it with Sun hardware, they are going to save an enormous amount of money, because they’re not going to have to do their own testing, service management, or performance work.


Thanks to @luillopr (Luis R. Moreira; Fajardo, Puerto Rico), @alexgorbachev (Alex Gorbachev; Ottawa, Canada), @johnbryden (John Bryden; Glasgow, Scotland), and @prabhakar1729 (Prabhakar Surya; Luknow, India).


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