Oracle 's Sun Merger Done, Partners Look For Details8:00 AM EST Wed. Jan. 27, 2010
More than nine months after Oracle said it would buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion, the acquisition is complete.
In a brief statement issued Wednesday morning, Oracle said it had completed the acquisition after receiving final approval from regulatory authorities.
CEO Larry Ellison and other Oracle executives are providing a roadmap for how the two companies will be combined in a marathon five-hour Webcast Wednesday from its Redwood Shores, Calif., headquarters.
Sun channel partners now will be looking for a little reassurance about Oracle's commitment to them.
"I think I'd like to see Oracle remove some of the uncertainty in the channel [and] be clear what their channel program will look like in 2010," said Bob Olwig, vice president of corporate business development at World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based Sun and Oracle channel partner. Noting that Sun had an excellent partner program, "We'd just like to see that continue and we hope to get signals from Oracle that they intend to remain channel friendly," he said.
A tentative agenda for the event runs like this: President Safra Catz will deliver opening remarks, followed by co-president Charles Phillips discussing "Oracle + Sun: transforming the industry." Sun executive vice president John Fowler will discuss the combined company's hardware strategy while Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of Oracle server technologies development, will lay out the software strategy.
Chief corporate architect Edward Screven will detail the roadmap for Oracle's operating systems and virtualization technologies, followed by Juergen Rottler, executive vice president of customer services, discussing customer service and support. Ellison is slated to wrap up the event.
World Wide Technology sells a broad range of Sun servers and storage products, particularly to federal government agency customers. Olwig said he doesn't have concerns about the future of specific Sun products.
N'compass, a Minneapolis-based Sun partner, recently became an Oracle partner as well "to stay ahead of the curve," said co-founder and vice president Gerry Hansen. He's looking for information about how the two companies' systems management toolsets, Sun's xVM Ops Center and the Oracle Enterprise Manager, will be combined. "And I expect to see a lot of talk about virtualization," he said.
Ellison has publicly said that Oracle does not intend to compete with Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the low-end, volume server market, focusing instead on combining Sun hardware with Oracle software to create high-performance appliances modeled after the Exadata Database Machine.
"My expectation is that there will be more Exadata-like offerings," Hansen said.
It's possible -- but by no means assured -- that we also might learn more about the fate of Sun's workforce and management team. It's a pretty fair bet that Sun CEO Jon Schwartz won't be sticking around. Last week he sent all Sun employees a memo with "a few final thoughts" that clearly sounded like a farewell. He's also eligible for a $12.8 million severance payment, according to a Definitive Proxy Statement Sun filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.