Enterprise Software

What does the Oracle-Sun news mean for enterprise CTOs?

Bob Gourley of CTOvision.com reflects on the significance of the Oracle-Sun merger. In light of this new development, he has some suggestions for enterprise CIOs and CTOs.

Okay, sometimes I get emotionally attached to great technology. I need to watch that; I know humans are what is important. But science is cool too, and it gets really really exciting to watch great humans create and

field great technologies. That is why I have long been a fan of both Oracle and Sun. I like many other powerhouse IT companies as well, but those are the two names dominating this week's news and it has been the topic of dozens of conversations with other CTOs since the announcement that Oracle Buys Sun.

Here is some of the significance of the announcement, in my opinion:

  • This is a $7.4B purchase. Oracle would only have done this if they realized there is incredible value for IT customers in this transaction. The value of Sun is in far more than just intellectual property. It is in incredible thought leadership of Sun's talented people and terrific, visionary data center experience. It is also because of the tremendous community leadership in the open source world. And of course there is the hardware production, distribution and service — and, as emphasized in the release, Java and Solaris.
  • You can believe Larry Ellison when he says, "The acquisition of Sun transforms the IT industry, combining best-in-class enterprise software and mission-critical computing systems." He also said, "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system - applications to disk - where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves. Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability and security go up." All of this rings true.

There are some immediate steps enterprise CIOs and CTOs should take because of this announcement:

  • Continue your plans to accelerate open source software into your enterprise. Move faster now. Your risk is lower than ever.
  • Understand that market dynamics are going to change. Oracle is a great company that will ensure Java and Solaris and MySQL continue to improve (with backing by and leadership of the great open source software community, of course). But understand the dynamics may change the equation when it comes to software support costs.
  • Move now to lock in your service and support plans for open source Solaris, MySQL, Java Composite Applications Platform Suite (CAPS) and Java Enterprise Services (JES). Lock in at today's rates if you can. And extend today's rates out for more years if you can.
  • The leading operating system for the Oracle database is Solaris. Since Solaris is now open and since its use is growing, there are huge numbers of trained administrators with mastery over Solaris. But this is a good time to re-evaluate how many trained masters you have. If you have an enterprise support agreement with Sun it might have training options on it that you are not using. Now is the time to max out your training. Clearly this is going to pay off for your enterprise long term. And after the acquisition is complete, there is a chance that if you have not locked in your training rates that some of this cost may go up.
  • With this agreement, enterprises are now faced with easy choices for identity management solutions. Sun Identity Management solutions already form about 60 percent of the identity management stack in the enterprise-class federal space. Oracle is their fusion middleware account for much of the rest of the enterprise-grade solutions space. Accelerate your Sun Identity Management solutions. I believe, just based on personal experience, that Oracle and their policy management capabilities are best of breed, and they can already be engineered to work with open enterprise class leaders like Sun. I imagine that will be a much smoother integration in the future, which leads to the next key point:
  • While now is the time to lock in rapidly your Solaris, JES, and MySQL support licenses, and take advantage of any Solaris/Java training available to you, you should also aggressively review the entire Oracle Fusion Middleware stack. There are some really GREAT capabilities there.

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