Oracle ‘must address complexity and trust’ after Sun acquisition

Having successfully acquired Sun Microsystems, Oracle must now address the fears of its customers by encouraging trust and simplifying licensing agreements, according to a company that advises Oracle customers on getting the most out of their relationship with the company.

“We’ve already seen some customers thinking ‘we’re going to lose leverage, and become too dependent on Oracle’ and therefore adopting IBM or HP as knee jerk reaction,” Martin Mutch, CEO of Rocela, told Information Age this morning. “Oracle has got to reverse that.”

Although “nothing is going to change over night”, he said, Oracle must simplify its licensing agreements in future. These are already complex and will only get more so as it integrates more layers of the enterprise IT stack into its product set.

Mutch argued that this makes it difficult for customers to assess the return they receive from their Oracle investments. “This has been a thorn in [Oracle’s] side when it comes to developing trust among customers,” he said. “And for Oracle, the next 12 months is going to be all about getting its customers to trust it.”

He advises that Oracle and Sun customers assess their dependencies on the joint company, and familiarise themselves with its product road map in detail, however daunting a task that may be. “It might take up to 18 months before we really know where this is going to go,” he said.

Oracle announced its post-Sun acquisition strategy yesterday in a five hour presentation. The company reiterated its intention to maintain investment in all of Sun’s technologies, but had bad news for its channel partners: Oracle will sell Sun products directly to the acquired company’s 4,000 biggest customers – which together account for 70% of Sun’s revenues.

Oracle president Charles Philips said that the company was looking to hire 2,000 extra sales staff to support this strategy.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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