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RealTime IT News

HP Dangles Oracle in Front of VARs

SAN FRANCISCO -- HP's Carly Fiorina is making no bones about her company's relationship with Oracle .

The chief executive said the two companies will unite their value added resellers (VARs) to entice small to medium sized business (SMB) to buy more HP ProLiant servers.

The first phase includes selling HP ProLiant servers pre-bundled with Oracle E-Business Suite Special Edition North America software. The servers include HP's ProLiant ML350G4 (for 30 users) and its ProLiant ML350G4 (for 50 users). The company said it will take a region-by-region approach to start off with but could expand the offer to the rest of the world next year.

Oracle's E-Business Suite includes a sampling of such 11i business applications as Oracle Financials, Oracle Inventory, Oracle Discrete Manufacturing, Oracle Order Management, Oracle Purchasing, Oracle Tele-Sales, Oracle Tele-Service, Oracle Field Sales and Oracle Daily Business Intelligence.

HP and Oracle have a strong history together since HP offers a broad support of operating systems like Windows, Unix and Linux. Fiorina said unlike her rivals with Dell and Sun, HP also has a better track record of support for Oracle software.

"If you put HP's Darwin architecture side by side with the Oracle architecture, you would see how similar the two sides are and how our tools and solutions synchronize," Fiorina said during her keynote at Oracle's product and technology conference here.

The two companies also share a large number of customers, including a large percentage of Oracle 10g Grid partners, which now make up half of Oracle's application sales. Fiorina referred to the relationship as the Grid-enabled Adaptive Enterprise. But the companies clearly said they want to focus on smaller customers, a quickly growing marketplace according to IT research firm IDC.

"Oracle and HP both recognize the upside in selling to the SMB community," Jean Bozman, research vice president with IDC, told internetnews.com. "There are a lot of older machines out there. Many of them are x86 systems that run not only Windows but also Netware and SCO Unix. People have held off on updating until they could find something they could use based on off-the-shelf components and parts. And since HP and Oracle have a very large install base, most would rather upgrade than rip and replace."

Oracle co-president Charles Philips said the timing was right because Oracle -- through its vice president Chuck Rozwat -- figured out how to package Oracle's applications on a smaller scale.

"We had a product and the growth prospect is great," Philips said.

The relationship may not be as tight as HP would like to admit. Oracle's new road show to "Develop a Blueprint for Data Center of the Future" includes Intel, Dell, Red Hat and Novell, but not HP or Sun.

In two separate items, HP said it is now the first server vendor to offer 10 Gigabit Ethernet adaptors thanks to a partnership with Cupertino, Calif.-based S2io's Xframe adapters. The contract is only for HP 9000 PA-RISC processor-based servers and HP Integrity Itanium 2 based servers with the PCI-X 1.0 extension bus and running on HP-UX 11i OS.

The company has also expanded its ProCurve EDGE Fabric family to now include two ProCurve Switch 6400cl series stackables. The next generation of 10GbE switches should make it to market in the second quarter of 2005. HP said its new 6400cl Copper and the 6410cl X2 can handle full layer 3 and layer 4 routing protocols. The additions dovetail with the ProCurve 3400x series of switches announced last month.