Global CIO: Larry Ellison And HP CEO: Courtroom Showdown Looming - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
07:45 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Global CIO: Larry Ellison And HP CEO: Courtroom Showdown Looming

The damages phase of the Oracle-SAP lawsuit, prominently featuring new HP CEO Apotheker, begins in a few weeks—and the sparks will be flying.

As we've all watched the apparent unraveling of the 25-year-old Oracle-Hewlett-Packard partnership, and their subsequent reconciliation that was followed rapidly by an even more dangerous squabble, a lot of questions are swirling around. I'd love to get your help in coming up with some reasonable answers—after all, as I've proven, I'm eminently capable of coming up unreasonable answers all by myself.

I believe that plowing through these questions will help shed some light on what is currently a fairly bizarre situation in which the two companies themselves seem to have much to gain by continuing to work together, but the two CEOs have some unresolved bad blood—very bad blood, in fact—from the days when HP CEO Leo Apotheker was at SAP and competed very directly against Larry Ellison and Oracle.

The exercise will also allow us to get a sense of just how big that Oracle-HP alliance is, and how big by comparison the SAP-HP alliance is, and whether SAP has a big opportunity there or not.

IBM becomes a factor as well, depending on what Oracle and HP do or don't do.

And then of course there's Microsoft, which earlier this year signed a blood oath of fealty with HP for $250 million of shared development and brotherhood that's still in place but has been a little less warm and fuzzy ever since HP decided not to be a huge supporter of Microsoft's Windows mobile strategy.

So here's an open-book, 10-question essay test:

1) It's a dead-set certainty that HP, regardless of who the CEO is today or at any point in the next five years, will drive more deeply into services. If Oracle and SAP can't resolve their current CEO-level issues, and the two companies dissolve their broad and deep relationship, can SAP deliver to HP all of the types of software that Oracle did? Answer: no way.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

That means either Microsoft plays a bigger role with databases and some related products, or HP turns to, uh, well, uh, to IBM for databases and middleware and more. Anybody think that might get a little uncomfortable?

2) HP and Oracle's partnership serves more than 100,000 customers, according to HP's website: would Oracle and/or HP really put 100,000 customers and that much revenue at risk? That depends, I guess, on the seriousness of the issue that Ellison has with Apotheker from back in Apotheker's days as a top executive at SAP. It's worth noting that Ellison raised that very same customer angle a few weeks ago when HP sued former CEO Mark Hurd to try to prevent him from joining Oracle as co-president, and here's how that went:

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll