Compaq said it would cease bundling SQL Server with its NT machines, as its relationship with Oracle grows ever closer.
The two companies are spending #2 million over the next six months to set up joint marketing and channel initiatives, and to work on commercialising parallel solutions.
The money will be spent on a joint office/showroom, promotions and training of resellers. The announcement follows Oracle's statement on Wednesday that it will make all its products run on NT, and the formalisation of its relationship with Compaq, as its main NT hardware partner.
Oracle?s marketing manager Rob Bruce said the two would start sharing a channel to customers, both in joint direct sales and marketing and through shared resellers. ?We will be targeting large accounts and playing on both our strengths,? he said. NT growth areas like retail and branch banking will be especially targeted by the joint marketing teams.
The decision places his company in the unusual position of developing its software for Microsoft, which has a rival database in SQL Server. One of the by-products of the partnership is that Compaq will no longer bundle SQL Server with its products.
Early next year the partnership will release an Oracle parallel clustering programme for Compaq NT servers. This will use Compaq's forthcoming NT clustering technology running Oracle Parallel Server. The technologies have already been demonstrated together and will be targeted at enterprise customers.
In a diplomatic answer, given Oracle's Unix strengths, Bruce said he does not expect NT to be a replacement for Unix but sees it as an alternative to other midrange systems, notably the AS/400. ?NT will be the key that unlocks the AS/400 market. With Oracle now putting all its products on an NT platform it could encourage this development further,? he said.
Compaq systems group product manager Hugh Jenkins said resellers should be quick to realise the implications of the Compaq-Oracle partnership. ?It is a big opportunity for them. In six months' time they will be telling us that customers had been asking them for Oracle NT products rather than having to sell them,? he said.
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