The death of Hitachi/Sun alliance was decided long ago

The bottom line for Oracle with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems is they have plenty of storage options for customers and did not need Hitachi Data Systems any longer.

Today Oracle has storage tape solutions from StorageTek, they have Open Storage from Sun along with mid-range storage from the LSI OEM agreement. And, while not officially part of Oracle, Pillar Data Systems is also in the mix.

The alliance officially expired on Dec. 31, 2009 only to be extended another 90 days by both vendors only to support Oracle through the European Union approval, according to Barry Morrison, regional vice-president and GM Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Canada.

“In all honesty the relationship has been slowly winding down after the announcement of the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. We have communicated to our mutual clients and our partners that we will do the right thing for our mutual clients,” Morrison said.

That communications came in the form of a “Dear Valued Partner” letter to channel partners sent by HDS that had the channel all a buzz with speculation that the nine year arrangement was suddenly coming to shocking halt. In the HDS letter, the company was clear to address concerns regarding service obligations to the installed base. HDS has told the channel that transition programs will be in place, but the focus will now be on meeting the demands of the market with HDS products.

Long time HDS and Sun channel partner Bradley Brodkin, president of HighVail Systems believes he now has a new, better opportunity, one that he’s never had before with HDS’s high end product line. “We are going to lean towards HDS rather than Oracle Sun. In the Sun world you have to deal with pure Sun customers and at HighVail we preach the multi-vendor, value add model. We are not a single vendor solution provider and as a result we promote that,” Brodkin said.

He realizes that Oracle/Sun will try to win over these customers but that he believes customers are not interested in a one source solution. With that Brodkin strategy is to try and convert Sun-only customers to HDS now that the agreement is finally over.

HDS Canada, in the letter issued to channel partners vows to be forthcoming on new programs and processes to help guide channel partners and customers with the transition.

The unknown, according to Brodkin, is Pillar Data, an independently operated vendor that is owned by Oracle chairman and founder Larry Ellison.

“Pillar Data is independently run sure, but it’s still Larry Ellison’s money and that is something to consider for Sun partners.

Also unclear is what the role of Sun Canada’s Independent Marketing Organizations (IMO) will be going forward. This group has struggled during the Oracle/Sun acquisition and approval process that lasted more than a year; during a down economy.

Two sources told CDN that this group, created 18 years ago by Sun Canada president Everett Anstey to cover non-strategic customers (originally named Independent Sales Organizations or ISO), was dead. Recently, there has been talk that Sun’s IMO would not be discontinued. CDN made calls to Ed Wilton, a Sun IMO based in the Maritimes for comment, but those calls have not yet been returned.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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