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Monday, April 27, 2009

Oracle Gets Some Sun: Why Platforms Need More than Technology

There was a time when Sun Microsystems was a rising, shining force in Silicon Valley, parlaying its variation of the Unix operating system running on its proprietary hardware into quite a tidy empire of servers, workstations and software services for many major enterprises and Web publishers. Topping off Sun's holdings was the promising Java platform-independent applications environment, which enabled more than a decade's worth of software on many platform's beyond Sun's own. And recently Sun's acquisition of MySQL gave them a key component in Web-oriented database development. Great stuff, but not great enough to drive Sun into a more competitive position against giants such as Microsoft and IBM.

It makes perfect sense, then, for Oracle to have picked up Sun to offer them more leverage against those same giants. With cloud computing and other forces commoditizing network server hardware, the pressure is on for most technology companies to add more value further up the technology "stack" as cost-effectively as possible. Be it MySQL, Oracle's own database offerings or a cross-platform programming environment such as Java, it takes a very full kit of technology offerings these days to be able to devise solutions that command premium investments from most enterprises. Sun's traditional hardware and systems assets may be of some use to Oracle to protect its databases running on those platforms, but the far greater value to Oracle is to give it components that will enable it to attach its databases and value-add services to the applications development environments that allow for rapid, cost-effective services development.

In other words, having excellent software is a good thing, but these days it's more important to help your clients to have excellent solutions. Increasingly this means ensuring that you have every resource at your disposal that could contribute to those solutions. That includes, of course, access to all of the content sources that they need to deliver the right information at the right time in the right applications on the right platforms. It's simply no longer possible to capture all of those content sources in a single database or Web server. There are too many legacy platforms and databases and too many new and rapidly changing technologies collecting new sources of content to risk any technology company's future on a handful of content assets. Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems is a key acknowledgment that the future of computing technology makes effective content integration an absolute necessity.

No wonder, then, that MuseGlobal finds itself a certified Oracle partner. Our MuseConnect for Oracle Secure Enterprise Search uses our world-leading OEM content integration technologies to enable content from key databases, subscription information services and search engines to integrate with all of the sources already accessible via Oracle's own Secure Enterprise Search software. The MuseGlobal technologies behind MuseConnect for Oracle Secure Enterprise search have enabled hundreds of technology companies and publishers to connect their technology platforms to the content sources that they need at thousands of installations around the world. With over 6,000 Smart Connectors to a very wide variety of content types and sources, MuseGlobal enables any content-delivering platform to push its way up the technology "stack" to higher levels of value rapidly and very cost-effectively.

Certainly Oracle's acquisition of Sun bodes well for a marketplace that needs more powerful and cost-effective publishing solutions that can be delivered on a wider array of enterprise, home and mobile platforms than ever before. It's nice to know, though, that MuseGlobal's content connector solutions are a key component in just about every imaginable major information publishing platform available today. I expect that we'll be seeing a lot more healthy competition amongst the technology giants with this key move by Oracle. In the meantime, we're glad here at MuseGlobal that our rapidly deployed and highly cost-effective Smart Connector content solutions help them all to compete more effectively.

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