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Stephen Shankland


SAN FRANCISCO–Hewlett-Packard and Oracle announced on Monday a partnership to try to reach more small and medium-size businesses.

The companies will cooperate to unify their relationships with the resellers who reach smaller customers, to jointly develop and certify Oracle’s software with HP’s ProLiant servers, and to expand programs for reseller training, sales and marketing.

“We are a partner by strategy, personality and choice. It is part of our DNA,” said HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina during a speech at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference.

Small and medium-size businesses are a priority for both companies. Oracle’s software is popular chiefly with large companies, but when Oracle released its new 10g database version earlier this year, it made smaller customers a priority.

And HP’s ProLiant servers, which use processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, are often sold by resellers to smaller HP customers. Those ProLiant business partners are crucial allies in HP’s fight to fend off Dell Computer, which sells directly to customers.

HP and Oracle now jointly offer a pretested combination of the ProLiant ML350 G4 server and Oracle’s E-Business Suite 11i business applications. The product is geared for customers with up to 50 users who tap into the software.

Oracle and HP have more than 88,000 mutual customers, and HP’s servers are the most widely used to run Oracle’s database, Fiorina said. In addition, about 70 percent of HP’s Unix customers run Oracle software.

Oracle doesn’t have tight ties only with HP, however. The company also loudly trumpets its partnerships with Dell and Sun Microsystems, companies whose top executives also will deliver keynote speeches at the show this week.