Monday, 12 October 2009

Oracle – Salesforce’s our friend but IBM’s our enemy

(By Philip Carnelley, 12 Oct 09, 22:00) Oracle’s big OpenWorld tradeshow has got under way in San Francisco, accompanied by the usual blizzard of press announcements about applications, middleware and database. Picking through the entrails, the most notable item is that there will be a speech tomorrow (Tuesday) by Marc Benioff, CEO of, whose company is a gold sponsor of the event. It’s a curious relationship – Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was an early investor in Salesforce and yet, just last Wednesday, he reportedly called its offering an “itty bitty” application, and has often trumpeted competitive wins against the company.

The other item of note is that, while the Sun deal isn’t yet done, it’s clearly top of Larry Ellison’s agenda. Larry’s opening speech (shared with Sun founder Scott McNealy) focused on Oracle’s intentions for Sun, describing Solaris as “the world’s best enterprise operating system”, and he spoke about how he intended to invest in its Sparc technology. Ellison reportedly said he was fighting back against “lies” from IBM about the future of Sun & Solaris under Oracle’s ownership. In characteristic fashion, Oracle announced a $10m challenge – saying if it can’t run a company’s application at least twice as fast on the Oracle-Sun Exadata database machine, as it can be run on an IBM system, it will hand over the $10m.

Meantime on the basis that the best defence is offence, we note that IBM today announced “DB2 pureScale”, a technology to optimise transaction processing across multiple servers. War is definitely escalating. On the other hand, Ann Livermore, EVP of HP’s Enterprise Business division is giving a keynote at the event, so it seems the putative Sun deal – including the move to host Exadata on Sun kit (it was originally on HP machines) – hasn’t soured the Oracle-HP relationship as much as might be expected. Tomorrow is supposed to be about applications. We will keep you posted if anything else notable happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment