Perhaps the highest profile item on the agenda is the news that Oracle plans to preserve Sun's UltraSparc processor family and include the chips in future server offerings. "This will be an industry transforming event. We will talk a lot about complete systems, from the application all the way down to the disk drive," said Bob Shimp, Oracle senior vice president, speaking on Tuesday evening.
At the same time, he said there would be no announcement of a major layoff or massive scaling back of personnel at Sun. Shimp said there were areas of duplication between the staffs of Oracle and Sun that will necessitate some layoffs but "past reports of large employee layoffs are incorrect. There will be additional new hiring in certain areas."
Oracle will continue to be a software company, selling separate software products, but plans to transform itself into a supplier of optimized packages of hardware and software designed to work together. The primary operating system for such packages will be Sun's Solaris, already in use at many locations in the Oracle customer base.
Shimp said Oracle's acquisition of Sun offered Oracle an opportunity to create vertical software stacks designed to work with particular industry segments, such as telecommunications, where Sun's and Oracle's customer bases heavily overlap.
Oracle's acquisition of Sun left it in a unique position of being able to supply an integrated package that its primary competitors can't match. "IBM doesn't have the applications. SAP doesn't have the infrastructure software Microsoft doesn't have the hardware," he noted.
"We will continue to invest in Sparc and Solaris. We will spend more on them than Sun did. We will protect Sun's customers' interests," he said.
Shimp also said Oracle will reverse Sun's increasing dependence on third party resellers to move its products. It had been steadily reducing its sales force and relying on such resellers but Oracle "will move back to direct sales" with a sales force trained to sell Sun products and engaged in "a much higher touch relationship with customers." One measure of that will be a tour of 70 cities with an event staged in each for Sun customers to get acquainted with Oracle's plans for managing the product lines, he said.