Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Chander Damodaran

Related Topics: Server Monitoring, Java IoT, IBM Cloud, Recurring Revenue, Log Management

Server Monitoring: Blog Post

IBM Sitting Pretty on Oracle-Sun Debacle

Big blue feels cozy on sidelines as Oracle-Sun deal languishes in anti-trust purgatory

Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer

You have to know when to hold them, and when to fold them. That's the not just slightly smug assessment by IBM executives as they reflect -- with twinkles in their eyes -- on the months-stalled Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems, a deal that IBM initially sought but then declined earlier this year.

Chatting over drinks at the end of day one of the Software Analyst Connect 2009 conference in Stamford, Conn., IBM Senior Vice President and IBM Software Group Executive Steve Mills (pictured below) told me last night he thinks the Oracle-Sun deal will go through, but it won't necessarily be worth $9.50 a share to Oracle when it does.



"He (Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison) didn't understand the hardware business. It's a very different business from software," said Mills.

Mills seemed very much at ease with IBM's late-date jilt of Sun (Sun was apparently playing hard to get in order to get more than $9.40/share from Big Blue's coffers). IBM's stock price these days is homing in on $130, quite a nice turn of events given the global economy.

Sun is trading at $8.70, a significant discount to Oracle's $9.50 bid, reflecting investor worries about the fate of the deal now under scrutiny by European regulators, Mills's views notwithstanding.

IBM Software Group Vice President of Emerging Technology Rod Smith noted the irony -- perhaps ancient Greek tragedy-caliber irony -- that a low market share open source

product is holding up the biggest commercial transaction of Sun's history. "That open source stuff is tricky on who actually makes money and how much," Smith chorused.

Should Mills's prediction that Oracle successfully maintains its bid for Sun prove incorrect, it could mean bankruptcy for Sun. And that may mean many of Sun's considerable intellectual property assets would go at fire-sale prices to ... perhaps a few piecemeal bidders, including IBM. Smith just smiled, easily shrugging off the chill (socks in tact) from the towering "IBM" logo ice sculpture a few steps away.

And wouldn't this hold up go away if Sun and/or Oracle jettisoned MySQL? Is it pride or hubris that makes a deal sour for one mere grape? Was the deal (and $7.4 billion) all about MySQL? Hardly.

Many observers think that Sun's Java technology -- and not its MySQL open source database franchise -- should be of primary concern to European (and U.S.) anti-trust mandarins. I have to agree. But Mills isn't too concerned with Oracle's probable iron-grip on Java ..., err licensing. IBM has a long-term license on the technology, the renewal of which is many years out. "We have plenty of time," said Mills.

Yes, plenty of time to make Apache Harmony a Java doppelganger -- not to mention the Java market-soothing effects of OSGi and Eclipse RCP. [Hey, IBM invented Java for the server for Sun, it can re-invent it for something else ... SAP?]

Unlike some software titans, Mills is clearly not living in a "reality distortion field" when it comes to Oracle's situation.

"We're in this for the long haul," said Mills, noting that he and IBM have have been competing with Oracle since August 1993 when IBM launched its distributed DB2 product. "All of our market share comes at the expense of Oracle's," said Mills. "And we love to do benchmarks again Oracle."

Even as the Fates seem to be on IBM's side nowadays, the stakes remain high for the users of these high-end database technologies and products. It's my contention that we're only now entering the true data-driven decade. And all that data needs to run somewhere. And it's not going to be in MySQL, no matter who ends up owning it.

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
AI and machine learning disruption for Enterprises started happening in the areas such as IT operations management (ITOPs) and Cloud management and SaaS apps. In 2019 CIOs will see disruptive solutions for Cloud & Devops, AI/ML driven IT Ops and Cloud Ops. Customers want AI-driven multi-cloud operations for monitoring, detection, prevention of disruptions. Disruptions cause revenue loss, unhappy users, impacts brand reputation etc.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility.
Today's workforce is trading their cubicles and corporate desktops in favor of an any-location, any-device work style. And as digital natives make up more and more of the modern workforce, the appetite for user-friendly, cloud-based services grows. The center of work is shifting to the user and to the cloud. But managing a proliferation of SaaS, web, and mobile apps running on any number of clouds and devices is unwieldy and increases security risks. Steve Wilson, Citrix Vice President of Cloud,...