Sun Microsystems’ (Nasdaq: JAVA) board of directors has unanimously approved the approximately $7.4 billion transaction for Oracle to acquire the Mountain View, Calif.-based Silicon Valley pioneer and so has the Canadian channel.
According to Sun channel partner HighVail Systems, a former Top Newcomer award winner on CDN’s Top 100 Solution Providers list, Oracle acquiring Sun makes a lot of sense.
“Oracle has been investing heavily into Java, and a lot of the challenge to Oracle lately has been from MySQL,” said Bradley Brodkin, president of HighVail, based in Toronto.
“Solaris is still the prevalent OS for most Oracle environments. Oracle’s biggest nemesis in the market was MySQL and IBM’s DB2. IBM has an infrastructure play that Oracle themselves don’t, although they’ve been trying to expand their capabilities by becoming a primary support provider for Linux. At the end of the day, this really does make Oracle a much more viable data centre partner.”
Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle, said as much yesterday in his conference call announcing the historic deal.
“There are substantial long-term strategic customer advantages to Oracle owning two key Sun software assets: Java and Solaris. Java is one of the computer industry’s best-known brands and most widely deployed technologies, and it is the most important software Oracle has ever acquired,” he said.
Oracle Fusion Middleware, which is currently the fastest growing business at the company, according to company sources, is built on top of Sun’s Java language and software.
On the other hand, Solaris is one of the most used platforms for the Oracle database. Oracle can now optimize its database with Solaris, while still supporting Linux.
But, not all agree. Theresa Lanowitz, former lead analyst for Gartner Group and current industry analyst and founder of Voke Inc. of Minden, Nev., said the software giant Oracle lacks a hardware portfolio, so the key Oracle/Sun overlaps are far fewer except for the $1 billion acquisition of MySQL by Sun in 2008. “Given Oracle’s tendency to be proprietary in its markets, ownership of MySQL by Oracle would be perceived as a great risk in the open source community,” she said.
Brodkin of HighVail, which is not an Oracle channel partner, expects larger Oracle solution providers will look to collaborate with him and other Sun partners.
“The fact we’re not an Oracle partner today or a player in applications services may very well play into our favour with some of the bigger Oracle partners, because the majority of them aren’t infrastructure players,” he added.
Currently all of HighVail’s client base are Oracle customers and on that fact alone Brodkin believes this deal will end up being a positive one for his company.
“I think (Oracle being the buyer) is better in some ways than it being a big infrastructure player. Dell was one name mentioned. That wouldn’t have been as good for us.”He said IBM would have been equally good for HighVail, but for different reasons. It’s a different play, and many HighVail customers are also IBM customers.
Meanwhile, Calgary-based Oracle and IBM partner iSP3 was exciting over the Sun acquisition even thought the company has traditionally been hardware agnostic.
Company president William Liu said having Sun as part of the Oracle footprint will allow his business to offer a full end-to-end solution, while not having to rely on other hardware vendors.
Liu does not believe this deal will initially have him selling more Sun hardware. However, he said if the opportunity arises where Sun is the right fit for the customer, there would be no reason for iSP3 not to bundle hardware into the overall offering.
“As with any acquisition that Oracle executes, if we are to be a full service provider to our clients, we will need to diversify and ensure we have expertise on all platforms,” Liu said, who’s company was one of CDN’s Top Five Channel Partners to Watch last year.
He added that an Oracle/Sun combination would open up his business to more opportunities in the long term such as the integration of Java with Oracle Fusion Middleware.
“Our development team have expertise integrating Java with Fusion middleware today. Moving forward, with Sun being part of Oracle’s footprint offering, we will see more and more opportunities leaning towards that technology and opening up more business opportunities for us,” he said.
Another thing that Liu is glad for is that IBM did not acquire Sun. Liu said customers today want a “one stop shop” and Oracle is providing that. Being an Oracle Certified Partner will make iSP3’s job a lot easier having only to deal with one vendor.