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"HP is not able to talk to customers about the Oracle lawsuit, but they can talk about Odyssey," Sequel Data Systems' Case said. "Customers say Odyssey is interesting. But one customer said, 'Oh, you're hedging your bet on the Oracle lawsuit.' HP said it couldn't comment."
In the end, however, customers are not concerned about HP as a company because they have Sequel to go to bat for them, Case said.
"Customers can't count how many changes they've had in their HP reps, or how many HP acquisitions they've seen," he said. "But as far as they are concerned, we're their consistent partner. The only thing that might concern them is if one day we said we are closing shop."
The negative impact to HP's Integrity Unix server line may have been Oracle's strategy all along, said Dhruv Gulati, executive vice president of Lilien Systems, a Larkspur, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime HP partner.
However, Gulati said, that strategy has backfired.
"If you assume Oracle wanted more market share for their Sun servers, they weren't successful," he said. "There is a major move to Linux going on. Some larger customers are looking to IBM's AIX [Unix]. So what was in it for Oracle?"
HP is unlikely to regain its Itanium processor-based server momentum and probably does not expect to do so, Gulati said. However, he said, people also assumed IBM's mainframe business would die, but it has continued to do well.
"There are customers running HP-UX without Oracle applications," he said. "And there will be some who are satisfied with new arrangements between HP and Oracle. But that is a minority. ... It's really too bad. HP-UX is a good operating system, right there with [IBM's] AIX and [Oracle's] Solaris."
HP's Project Odyssey makes sense in that it combines Linux and Unix, Gulati said. "It's still too early for customers to comment on Odyssey," he said. "They think it's interesting. But they're still waiting for pricing and features."
John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali Advanced Integration, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider and longtime HP partner, said in an emailed response to questions from CRN that his company's goal is to provide customers with the results they require.
NEXT: Origin Of The HP-Oracle Dispute