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Analysis Way way more significant than some tablet Steve Jobs will introduce today is a repositioning of Oracle that will shake the mighty pillars of the IT industry.
Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, is a shrewd cookie who has built Oracle into a giant that towers above any other character in the IT industry – even the sainted Steve Jobs.
Today Oracle has completed the acquisition of Sun Microsystems and Ellison has already set out his stall by repositioning Oracle as a company that can now offer everything from software stacks to databases to hardware.
This is a message that may go unnoticed by the world press, consumed as it is by the introduction of Mr Jobs tablet, but will certainly shake the foundations of a number of other industry giants including IBM, Hewlett Packard, EMC and the rest.
By successfully completing the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Ellison and Oracle now have practically everything in place to compete successfully against the giants of the industry.
Oracle blazoned that all over its site today with the banner message: Software. Hardware. Complete.
The man who flies fighter jets for fun and sails the seven seas on a very expensive barque crystallized his mission in the following way.
Oracle will transform the way companies buy, run and manage their businesses; will offer a broad range of products including servers, storage, networking and software; integrate hardware operating system, database, middleware and applications; simplify IT management and reduce system deployment and integration costs; and continue to develop SPARC, Solaris, the Java platform and many other technologies.
Effectively, and overnight, Ellison has transformed Oracle from its overall perception as a database company into a mammoth that can take on the giants on their own terms. There are no doubt some elements that Ellison will need to shape the way he wants them shaped, but he has several things on his side for the New Oracle. The first is that he is a very driven man indeed – he’s never bothered to hide his contempt for received tradition and practice. That means that Oracle will negotiate with players like Intel on equal terms – he bargains hard. He’s expressed his dislike of Microsoft software and lest you forget, Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems is his close friend, and Intel effectively took Sun’s share of the workstation business away.
Here’s some quotes from him about Microsoft: “If an innovative piece of software comes along, Microsoft copies it and makes it part of Windows. This is not innovation. This is the end of innovation”. And “Microsoft is already the most powerful company on earth, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Some years ago, I sat at the feet of Larry Ellison in a press conference in Paris. I was at eye level with his shoes, and slowly scanned up his body to the top of his head. I realized that his shoes were worth more than my entire wardrobe. And I mean my entire wardrobe for 15 years.
Variously described as vain and egotistical, no one can deny he’s effective. In his own words: “I love sailing. I like it more when I’m winning.” The fact is that his ambition is boundless and he’s proven that over the years his formula works. The industry will quake.
Mike Magee is the Editor at Large at TG Daily, the editor of Techeye.net, and a columnist on CPU Magazine.