As it evolves, Dell plans closer partnership with Oracle [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 25--Dell Inc. on Wednesday unveiled an expanded alliance with software giant Oracle Corp. -- a move that appears to be a significant part of the Round Rock company's plan to remake its business.
Company founder and CEO Michael Dell talked about the new alliance in a speech at Oracle Open World, the Oracle-backed trade show in San Francisco.
"With deep partners like Oracle, we can bring the power of Oracle's information platform and our infrastructure, systems management, security and servos to more customers than ever before," Michael Dell said. "We can jointly innovate and engineer to make technology less complex and easier to own and operate."
Oracle Corp. is the third-largest software maker in the world with annual revenue of $37 billion. It is best known for its database software.
The Dell Inc.-Oracle alliance includes tighter integration of Oracle's Enterprise Manager software with Dell Inc.'s server hardware and software to enable customers to manage their hardware and software infrastructure from a single management console. Dell Inc. also has updated its software development tools to work closely with a range of Oracle software.
"Our relationship with Oracle is about simplifying IT (information technology) and pre-engineering solutions to work together to reduce integration costs for customers and enabling them to stand up applications more quickly," said Samuel Greenblatt, chief architect and technologist for Dell Inc.'s Enterprise Solutions Group. "The engineering work between Oracle and Dell demonstrates how we're helping customers achieve that vision."
Dell Inc. is in the process of a significant makeover in the wake of shareholders approving a $24.9 billion buyout of the company led by Michael Dell and his financial ally, Silver Lake Partners. Michael Dell has told shareholders that the computer maker needed to go private in order to give it more freedom and speed in taking bigger risks to reshape the business.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead with Moor Insights & Strategy said the tighter Dell-Oracle alliance helps each company and makes customers' life easier.
"Customers of all sizes are demanding more than ever that their technology vendors work together to remove the pain of systems integration before the products arrive at their site," Moorhead said. "This is true of hardware, software and applications and databases."
Dell Inc., he said, is offering a way to reduce the work involved in getting new hardware and software running together smoothly and in reducing the work required for systems administration.
Dell Inc. and Oracle are natural partners, Moorhead said, because each company needs the other's capabilities. Dell Inc., the second-largest maker of Intel Corp.-based "x86" servers, can benefit for closer ties to Oracle's established base of corporate customers. And Oracle, despite its acquisition of hardware maker Sun Microsystems Corp. in 2010, needs a bigger hardware maker to integrate its software with.
Moorhead noted that Sun Microsystems concentrates on making its own Unix-based computers that run with different hardware and software than the x86 servers most commonly found in big enterprise data centers and cloud service centers. While Sun Microsystems also has an x86-based product line, the analyst said, that is not a strong part of its business.
"We believe that Dell needs a better software and services play to increase their enterprise IT share of wallet and credibly challenge Hewlett-Packard Co. at classic enterprise accounts," Moorhead wrote in a report issued Wednesday. "And Dell has the enterprise-grade server technology and volume server business model to do credit to Oracle's volume software stack."
There is another reason for the Dell-Oracle alliance, analysts say. That's because in recent years, Oracle's relations with HP, the biggest x86 server maker, have grown increasingly acrimonious. The No. 2 executive at Oracle is Mark Hurd, who was forced out as Hewlett-Packard's CEO in 2010.
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