Oracle, HP make 10g, management app play

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HP and Oracle have introduced a global marketing initiative dubbed "Optimise for Agility" that the vendors claim will boost channel sales and adoption of grid computing.

Fred King, channel manager at Oracle, said the initiative would help the channel better position Oracle and HP products and services.

"It's a new opportunity. It's got some engineering deliverables, services deliverables and marketing deliverables. So a lot of collateral and training has been put together," he said.

King said Optimise for Agility would grow the net marketing collateral available for Oracle and HP initiatives.

"And on the back of that, we will be doing some demand generation, which partners are very keen on," he said.

The vendors had been partners for a long time, King said.

Trevor Armstrong, Oracle alliances manager at HP, said a "major part" of the vendors' strategy was to engage more actively with their resellers in the commercial, midsize-business marketplace.

"We want to provide them with more skills," he said.

The initiative was the "most significant" move by HP and Oracle as partners for years, he added.

Armstrong said HP solutions around packaged clusters that complemented Oracle's strategy around scaleouts using Real Application Clusters (RACs) were the main focus.

HP would focus on delivering tools and services that furthered that cause, he said.

"There's work being done around our respective management offerings, HP OpenView and Oracle Enterprise Manager," Armstrong said.

Oracle announced the "Optimise for Agility" initiative at its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco mid-September.

The initiative was based on an engineering, services and marketing agreement to deliver service and support to customers.

The giant vendor was promoting the initiative as able to help enterprises lower IT costs, optimise IT service levels and improve business agility.

Customers wanted better returns from their IT investment and greater alignment of IT service levels with business needs, according to Oracle.

"Optimise for Agility" promoted, in particular, Oracle's 10g grid platform, HP OpenView management solutions and Oracle Enterprise Manager.

The vendors claim such products enable richer root-cause analysis and problem solving across grid infrastructures.

"Integration, enabled via exchange of models using web services, gives users the ability to detect and avert IT performance degradations before they affect business users," Oracle said in a statement.

Customers could use such products to automatically scale software and hardware resources to meet demand, the company said.

Associated service and support offerings were being delivered by 950 Oracle-trained HP Services specialists.

Grid accelerator HP Express Services would provide accelerated deployment of Oracle 10g databases on HP servers, the company said.

Ron Eller, vice-president of solution alliances at HP, said the initiative would boost adoption of grid technology.

"We believe it will enable companies to move more quickly towards becoming an Adaptive Enterprise," Eller said.

Oracle began shipping its 10g database offering early 2004. A second release --which reports have claimed was more reliable and secure -- was made available mid-2005.

The vendor posted US$509 million in net income for the first quarter ended 31 August 2005, 16 percent up on the same period a year ago. Licensing sales were up seven percent, led by strong sales of the 10g database but sales of business management software fell 36 percent to US$69 million, the company reported.

US analysts have said Oracle is increasingly relying on profits from product support, software upgrades and maintenance.
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