Backdrop of Drama

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Oracle opened its Oracle OpenWorld conference will the announcement of Oracle Exalogic which combines server, storage and networking technology together with Oracle enterprise software to create a "cloud in a box," a solution that will go up against offerings from IBM, HP and Cisco.

The OpenWorld conference -- which attracts more than 40,000 people -- is expected to feature more drama than in years past because of Mark Hurd, the recently ousted CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who Ellison has just hired as president.

The move prompted HP to sue Hurd, and Ellison to fire some harsh words HP's way. The two companies have been partners for more than two decades -- with more than 140,000 joint customers -- but the relationship has appeared strained.

The spat did not prevent HP from making a high-profile appearance at the Oracle conference, although Ellison did not appear on stage with any HP executives.

Ann Livermore, who runs HP's enterprise business, had been scheduled to speak at OpenWorld long before the Hurd controversy erupted.

Livermore noted how connected the two companies' businesses are. HP has roughly 12,000 IT services employees who do nothing but work on Oracle systems, she said.

Oracle's software runs on HP servers and storage products, but the companies are now competing more directly, as Oracle pushes into the server market.

Oracle on Thursday reported better-than-expected net profit and sales, helped by strong demand for its new business software and faster-than-expected growth of its new hardware business.

Hurd was named co-president of Oracle on Sept. 6, replacing Charles Phillips. Oracle shares surged when his hiring was announced. (Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)