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How will the Sun acquisition affect Oracle data warehouse strategy?

Find out how Oracle’s acquisition of Sun may affect Oracle data warehouse strategy and what it means for users. Also, see what role packaged BI software plays in Oracle’s strategy.

How do you think Oracle’s acquisition of Sun will affect Oracle data warehouse strategy, and how do you think it will affect Oracle users (if at all)?

As I wrote in a blog post on Oracle’s business intelligence strategy in March 2009, a month before the Sun deal was announced:

“Oracle provides so many options in business intelligence (BI) today that the dilemma sometimes becomes sorting through the tools, the packages and the respective product directions. They are decidedly moving (moved?) in a ’packaged’ BI direction. The theory is that nobody builds an ERP system anymore, nor should they build a BI system – and that Oracle BI Applications provide faster time to value, lower [total cost of ownership] and assured business value.”  

Oracle planted itself firmly in the packaged BI software camp pre-Sun, and its application sales remain pretty strongly in that camp without much consideration for the hardware that the software sits on.

However, Sun hardware is a “tech” product for Oracle, and that requires a different sales force from the one that sells applications. In addition, the prebuilt approach is limited (especially by the source systems that are involved), while Sun hardware is not. Oracle can now go pretty strongly into the reality of the bespoke data warehouse environment with more than just a DBMS and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), the company’s flagship BI software.

Oracle is covered across the board now. But the Sun acquisition is about so much more than data warehousing. It’s all about hardware revenue and a hedge against IBM’s stack penetration into enterprise accounts. Hardware actually is a good entry point: I see both IBM and Oracle (with IBM ahead now) penetrating enterprise accounts with packaged hardware/software models.

You didn’t ask about market share, though – you asked about being an Oracle client out there. Just about every enterprise is an Oracle client, and I don’t know what level client you are. But if you have Sun hardware for your data warehouse, you’re obviously fine. I expect the relationship between the Oracle DBMS and Sun hardware to deepen and for there to be incentives from Oracle to move data warehouse platforms to Sun, as Oracle itself has done with its Exadata V2 system.

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