Oracle reassures Sun partners over direct sales concerns

Sun Microsystem's partners have been given assurances that new owners Oracle will not cut them out of the largest customer accounts and sell to those clients directly. The database giant set the cat among the pigeons last month at a conference call to discuss its acquisition of Sun when CEO Larry E

Sun Microsystem's partners have been given assurances that new owners Oracle will not cut them out of the largest customer accounts and sell to those clients directly.

The database giant set the cat among the pigeons last month at a conference call to discuss its acquisition of Sun when CEO Larry Ellison indicated that it planned to hire more staff and tap up the top accounts.

However Sun partner Morse reckons there is nothing to fear. "Oracle wants a direct relationship with the largest Sun customers as opposed to a direct sales channel," said chief executive Mike Phillips.

"This is something that has not been done historically at Sun but I am not surprised because Oracle clearly has a vested interest [in developing close relationships with customer," he added.

Alastair Kitching, COO at mid-market focused Esteem Systems said it only had a "handful" of customers that Oracle may want to nurture closer links with directly but he too had received clarification of his firm's place in the supply chain.

"If you as a partner can add value you will not be eliminated from the opportunity," he said.

Sun and Oracle were unavailable to comment despite repeated attempts.

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