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ShadowRAM: November 18, 2002

  • ORACLE DISSES MCNEALY AND MAKES NICE WITH DELL
  • ELLISON CONNECTS WITH SHOW ATTENDEES VIA SATELLITE
  • HP TAKES SOME DISTRIBUTION EXECS ON A WILD RIDE

    • ORACLE DISSES MCNEALY AND MAKES NICE WITH DELL
    • ELLISON CONNECTS WITH SHOW ATTENDEES VIA SATELLITE
    • HP TAKES SOME DISTRIBUTION EXECS ON A WILD RIDE

      Oracle used last week's OracleWorld show to stick it to longtime partner Sun Microsystems and its CEO Scott McNealy. It's the first time in memory that McNealy wasn't a keynote speaker at the show. Rumor has it McNealy was miffed about Oracle's aggressive Linux-on-Intel stance and nixed his usual speech.

      Oracle turned around and nailed Michael Dell for the slot. Oracle partner sources tell us McNealy then had second thoughts, and Sun tried to regain the keynote slot, to no avail. Oracle rubbed salt in the wound by touting the performance and reliability of Dell systems. As for the Dell CEO, he used his keynote to bash what he called Sun's pricey systems and proprietary Unix.

      But wait, there's more scuttlebutt out of OracleWorld. Oddly enough, attendance at OracleWorld this year actually appeared to be up. Exhibitors were happy about floor traffic, and eyeball estimations indicated there were more people at the opening keynote by Oracle CFO Jeff Henley than at last year's keynote by Larry Ellison. Cynics might attribute that to the fact that Ellison couldn't be bothered to show up in person.

      His Thursday keynote was piped in via satellite. Attendees guffawed openly at a contention in a national newspaper by an Oracle spokesperson that Ellison's effort to phone in his keynote from New Zealand, where he is competing for a slot in the America's Cup yacht race, shows how "connected" he is to the company. "Geez," opined one partner, "if he were any more connected, he'd leave the company."

      Is Hewlett-Packard plotting to kill off all of its North American commercial distributors? That's what the Shadow has deduced based on an incident at HP's recent Worldwide Channel Services Advisory Council meeting in Half Moon Bay, Calif. It seems HP decided to squire all of the participants to dinner at a local vineyard using vintage automobiles. Ingram Micro's Bob Stegner, Tech Data's Joe Serra, Synnex Information Technologies' Bob Bennett and HP's Jo Ann Andry all hitched a ride in a vintage Rolls Royce Ambassador once thought to be owned by Britain's royal family.

      The car pulled away from the hotel, located atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As the classic limo approached the first stop sign, the driver suddenly shouted in a panic-stricken voice, "C'mon brakes!"

      People in trailing vehicles swear screams of terror erupted from the passengers, although sources inside the Rolls say it was mostly laughter. Luckily, the brakes had enough grab to stop the car and avert a tragedy.

      We're not really into conspiracy theories, so we'll just call the incident an unfortunate event.

      Besides, we think safety is of utmost concern to HP executives. Take, for example, the planned giveaway of a Harley Davidson motorcycle at last week's HP national sales meeting in Las Vegas. Judging by the e-mail traffic, the HP sales force was wildly enthusiastic about the giveaway. But at the 11th hour, Bill Weaver, HP's vice president of U.S. enterprise and commercial sales, apparently nixed the giveaway. The only thing we can figure out is that Weaver must have felt motorcycles are inherently dangerous.

      Now that Michael Capellas has left HP, hopefully the vendor won't equate improving channel relationships solely in terms of increased inventory turns. There always was an odd disconnect displayed whenever questions about the channel posed to Capellas resulted in a discussion of distribution velocity and inventory turns.

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