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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Look out Red Hat -- it appears that Mr. Ellison, Oracle's rock star CEO, may be looking to embed a Linux product into Oracle. Is this good or bad? And who is it good or bad for? According to Matt McKenzie. Editor, Linux Pipeline, a newsletter that I subscribe:

"... this isn't "coopetition," or anything else you can describe with a cutesy moniker -- this is the IT industry's second-richest, and perhaps most ruthless, executive deciding how best to rub out a source of persistent irritation. Assuming Ellison pays attention to his grudge du jour long enough to follow through on his ruminations, the enterprise Linux market a year from now will consist of Oracle -- and three grease spots where Novell, Red Hat, and JBoss were last seen."


Yes, Mr. Ellison does have pretty good reasons for embedding a version of Linux into Oracle's existing software. It all has to do with who owns the stack. And Mr. Ellison wants nothing if not to own the entire stack (based on Linux) and put Microsoft right out of business. IMHO -- that will take some doing. It is certainly no secret that Oracle has been pushing Linux for some time. Why? Well, it does give Oracle users using Microsoft's operating system and applications an alternative stack. Can you see Mr. Ellison drooling yet?

Apparently the acquisition-happy CEO has been casting his eye around to see who he could gobble up to supply the missing pieces in the stack. According to an interview with Financial Times, he has considered purchasing Novell as a quick way to get Oracle's own Linux.

What does this mean to Red Hat? Well, it is not good news, that is for sure. If Oracle does purchase Novell, life becomes suddenly much more difficult for Red Hat – particularly if, as Mr. Ellison stated in the FT article, IBM decided to follow suit - which it most certainly would.

So -- why wouldn't Oracle just buy up Red Hat? According to the man himself in the article: "I don't see how we could possibly buy Red Hat... I'm not going to spend $5 billion, or $6 billion, for something that can just be so completely wiped off the map".

Mr Ellison states that there are two reasons for not buying Red Hat or Novell. The first one (probably the most important one) is price. Apparently open source companies have finally made it into the big league with their price tags. Red Hat’s purchase of JBoss last week was a bit of an eye-opener. By the way, JBoss was a company that Oracle had itself tried to buy.

Mr. Ellison goes on to say in the FT article, “If an open source product gets good enough, we’ll simply take it,” he said. “We can do that, IBM can do that, HP can do that – anyone with a large support organization is free to take that intellectual property and embed it in their own products. You can build a sustainable business [in open source], you just can’t charge a lot for it. There’s brand value – there’s real brand – there’s people, and that’s it." Well, there you have it...

The second reason for not buying a Linux company, according to Mr Ellison, is also quite likely. He believes that as soon as one big company buys a Linux company, all the other big technology vendors would abandon it. “I don’t see how we could possibly buy Red Hat – IBM would just say, ‘Larry, congratulations, we’re going our own way’,” he said.

According to Lisa Vaas, another of my favorite writers, "Novell is too expensive as well. Why pay billions for Novell SUSE Linux when there are much cheaper and more deployed Linux distributions out there, with robust communities in place, to be had for probably what would amount to a few million? Ellison is likely telling us he doesn't have to buy a company with a huge existing open-source presence."

Ari Kaplan, president of the IOUG, stated in a recent conversation with Lisa that Oracle can be trusted not to lock anybody into an Oracle-only setup. "Based on recent history, you can still run PeopleSoft on IBM or other databases," he said.

Ah, I love naivety...

Yours in BI Success,


Posted April 20, 2006 12:20 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

I would like to add to your compelling point of view, that Larry will also benefit by simply engaging the FUDGE factor - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt with Great Expectations. This often employed strategy is used by the giants to reduce/eliminate momentum on new innovations. IBM used this approach extensively during the last several decades.

Oracle benefits greatly by confusing the market during the assimilation of PeopleSoft into its product portfolio. Oracle is also being squeezed on many fronts both by new and existing players (e.g., MS SQLServer 2005).

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