Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Veritas Software today took the wraps off a three-way partnership under which they will develop certified configurations of their products for E-business applications. The vendors have also created a joint escalation center to handle customer-support issues surrounding the configurations, and they will jointly provide customers with consulting and educational services.
"Our customers are asking for this initiative," Oracle executive VP Gary Bloom says. "They are looking for higher [system] availability, reduced risks, and fewer buying decisions to make."
Ed Zander, Sun's president and chief operating officer, says that as Microsoft and IBM move closer to providing "single-vendor solutions" for E-commerce, "this gives customers the opportunity to pick best of breed." The companies already have certified two configurations, including the Oracle8i and Oracle8.06 databases, Sun's storage platforms and E4500 server, and specific releases of Veritas' Volume Manager and File System software. Another five configurations are in the works and will be announced by year's end.
Customers will continue to buy the products from the individual vendors, and there are no plans to offer price breaks for the configurations. But Bloom says system availability, reduced risk, and faster time to market--not price cuts--are what customers want. "This wasn't about pricing. That's not what our customers were interested in," he says.
The joint escalation center, staffed by engineers from all three companies, is already open for business in Pleasanton, Calif. The consulting services will include availability assessment, where consultants will recommend ways for customers to improve the uptime of their IT systems. Platform development services for customizing the certified configurations will also be offered.