Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle + Sun = More SaaS Options (Especially for SMBs)?

As I discussed with my learned and respected industry colleague Frederic Paul of earlier today, Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems could result in nifty new software as a service (SaaS) offerings for SMBs and larger enterprises as well. Here's how.

1. Oracle's Fusion Middleware platform is built entirely upon Java, for which Sun is the principal commercial shepherd. Java's a great solution for building and delivering new applications, SaaS-enabled and otherwise. Greater integration among Java, Fusion Middleware, and applications and databases could and should make SaaS-enabled solutions easier and faster to build and deliver.

2. Sun is fairly experienced at delivering SaaS and cloud computing solutions, especially to large customers and in concert with partners.

3. Both Sun and Oracle understand what larger companies want and need to make SaaS and cloud computing solutions "enterprise-ready." At the same time, each has had some success at packaging and delivering solutions for smaller enterprises, often scaled down from those enterprise solutions. And each has partners good at supporting SMBs.

3. Despite public pronouncements to the contrary, Oracle leadership understands that SaaS and cloud computing are going to be significant alternatives to traditional "bits on disks" and premises-based servers. (Oracle still holds a big stake in, as I understand it.)

4. The combination of Java, Fusion Middleware, Oracle applications and databases, and Sun servers and services means that Oracle could offer a range of premises-based, SaaS, and cloud computing solutions through its significant partner ecosystem. Many of these solutions could be scaled down, integrated, and pre-configured into SMB-ready offerings, much as IBM does now with its "Express" portfolio. But the ability to deliver software and services AS services bodes well for Oracle plus Sun, and perhaps for users seeking alternatives to expensive and difficult-to-manage premises-based IT infrastructures.

As we analysts love to say, "stay tuned..."