Global CIO: As Regulators Jam Oracle, IBM And HP Snatch Sun Customers - InformationWeek

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8/9/2009
09:23 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: As Regulators Jam Oracle, IBM And HP Snatch Sun Customers

While Oracle sits in legal limbo, IBM and HP are blitzing Sun's customers in a prime example of the superb buyers' market that exists for CIOs today.

In the meantime, Oracle is soldiering on without so much as a blink. Late last night as this column was being written, a look at the Oracle Corp. homepage revealed a giant boldfaced headline across the top of the page shouting "Oracle Buys Sun." Adjacent are links to a wealth of information about all the good things the purchase of Sun is supposed to portend for the company and its customers and partners: a transcript of an interview with CEO Larry Ellison about the deal; a letter to customers and partners from president Charles Phillips outlining the benefits of the acquisition; and a collection of favorable comments from Oracle and Sun customers.

In the meantime, HP continues to tout its "Sun Customers: We've Got Your Back" message while IBM is telling them, "Don't settle for an uncertain future."

Dell has also gotten in on the efforts to woo Sun customers although, consistent with Dell's low-key approach to the enterprise market, it has eschewed any catchy slogans and instead simply promises "a comprehensive set of services, as well as tools, guidelines and other resources to help businesses effectively migrate from RISC-based systems.

HP has dubbed its campaign the Sun Complete Care program, and if HP's delivery sounds even half as good as its promise, it can expect to see its number of Sun recruits jump significantly.

HP says it's offering Sun customers "... a wide variety of specialized services, support programs and financial incentives. These include business case development, assessment, design, migration and support to financing options, as well as education programs and trade-in opportunities on hardware and software. Additionally, as part of the company's 'green' initiative, HP will dispose of customers' retired or obsolete technology assets."

In addition, HP trashes the pricing and performance of some of Sun's products, particularly with respect to how they perform running Oracle databases: "On average, Sun customers are paying up to 80 percent more in total cost of ownership (TCO) for Sun SPARC servers than customers using HP Integrity servers. Many applications are also significantly more expensive to run on SPARC servers compared with HP servers. It costs 50 percent more per core to run Oracle’s database software on SPARC than on HP Integrity."

Now, that's tough talk, even if those numbers can be replicated in every example. And you have to wonder if that type of eye-gouging will have any impact on the cuddly relationship Oracle and HP seem to have with their new Exabyte database machine, which Ellison has referred to on more than one occasion as the "most exciting product the company has had in many, many years."

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