Interview with Ian Abramson – IOUG Forum to Spotlight Oracle and Sun Technologies at COLLABORATE 10

COLLABORATE 10 will at long last bring together Sun and Oracle users for the first time under one roof. Ian Abramson, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, recently talked with Database Trends and Applications about what the group is planning for the April conference in Las Vegas, and how the integration of customers and technology is being handled by Oracle and the IOUG.

DBTA: Certainly, Oracle is no stranger to the process of accepting new companies and technologies into the fold and integrating them within its organization, and by extension, the same is true for the IOUG. How is this acquisition or merger different from others that Oracle and the IOUG have dealt with in the past?
Abramson: I think this acquisition is very much the same as other acquisitions. Obviously, the scale is much larger. From a user group perspective, there are a lot of user groups - the Java user groups, Solaris, large tape users groups, MySQL user groups. But they were very much supported by Sun. So, for them it is a bit of a change of environment or just in the way that they are going to be getting services.

Oracle is really working with all the Sun groups to try and integrate them in and bring them into this Oracle environment and make them feel comfortable. It is a little different in that the scale is much different. It is happening very much on a productized basis. We are going to be working pretty quickly through the groups to find the ones that make the most sense for the various communities and integrate them in or start them as a new community. It is no different than when Oracle acquired Stellent and brought the content management people to the IOUG. That has been a very successful acquisition and very successful integration. We expect more of that with Sun.

DBTA: COLLABORATE is the first opportunity for customers and partners of Sun Microsystems to join with Oracle customers and partners. What is planned to bring the two groups together and to allow Oracle database and technology professionals to learn more about Sun's role and how it will affect business?
Abramson: We are definitely doing a lot of programming to support people who are Sun technologists around MySQL, OpenSolaris, and we are looking at some other stuff even potentially for the large tape users right now. The key is that this will be the first event since the acquisition so it really is the first place for Oracle to start speaking about how the integration is going to work. We are expecting a lot of direction from Oracle. A lot of those people providing direction will be there. As well, we are going to have technical presentations for people who are Sun users and for Oracle users to start learning about this technology that is about to enter their world. The training for the Sun people will be there as well as the training for Oracle people, so they can start understanding both sides of the technology which, obviously, is very important to Oracle going forward ... full article.