Hewlett-Packard Co has denied that its services arm’s latest extension of its reseller and partnership deal with Oracle Corp’s Fusion Middleware is a snub to its former preferred middleware vendor, BEA Systems Inc. But ComputerWire has established that BEA no longer enjoys preferred middleware partner status with HP Services.
HP on Tuesday announced that it plans to incorporate Oracle Fusion Middleware into the HP Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) portfolio. Using Oracle’s software and the HP OpenView management software suite, HP said it plans to develop and deliver SOA-based business services that help customers automate business processes and integrate disparate data and applications. The deal builds on HP’s existing ability to resell Oracle Fusion Middleware.
However the news raised the question of where this leaves HP’s former preferred vendor in the middleware space, BEA. An HP spokesperson told ComputerWire that, We do not feel that we have selected Oracle over BEA. We have a very strong and strategic relationship with BEA and will continue to do so.
But while HP denies that its latest deal with Oracle is a snub to BEA, it seems clear BEA no longer enjoys its former status as HP’s preferred middleware partner. BEA refused to comment on the issue when approached by ComputerWire.
ComputerWire also asked HP to confirm that BEA is no longer its preferred partner, and to explain when and why the change occurred. HP chose not to answer those questions directly, but did provide this statement attributed to Terri Schoenrock, program director, Enterprise Application Services, HP Services: HP is committed to offering our customers a choice of solutions in the middleware space. HP leverages partnerships with multiple middleware providers to offer customers choice and flexibility in building a service-oriented architecture whether it’s based on J2EE or .NET.
As recently as March last year HP and BEA said they were working on tighter integration across their WebLogic and OpenView platforms, but BEA had enjoyed preferred middleware partner status from 2002. BEA was one of only two HP services preferred middleware partners, with BEA being preferred for all environments except perhaps Microsoft .NET, where HP services also partnered with Microsoft, as you would expect. BEA became HP Services’ preferred middleware partner in 2002 after HP abandoned its own acquired Bluestone middleware business.
As an HP web page advising its middleware customers of possible migration strategies explained: Why did HP choose BEA as its preferred strategic partner for HP Middleware product migration? HP has selected BEA Systems Inc because it is the world’s leading provider in application infrastructure software. In August 2003, Jennie Grimes, director of HP Services’ worldwide enterprise integration practice, confirmed that BEA was one of only two HP Services preferred partners for middleware – Microsoft being the other.
In another document dating from 2002, HP stated that, As preferred technology partners, HP and BEA have teamed to offer pre-integrated, proven J2EE-based solutions that provide the foundation for an open and unified application infrastructure. . . In fact, only HP and BEA offer the most complete approach to integrating your new Web-based and legacy applications across multiple, heterogeneous environments.
By September 2003, BEA was able to trumpet the fact that within just a year, the amount of new BEA software deployed on HP hardware had jumped by 31% thanks at least partly to its HP Services preferred partner status.
At some point though HP must have decided that instead of predominantly working with BEA in the middleware space, it would work with several of the key vendors. HP’s Schoenrock pointed out that HP Services has since worked with SAP, JBoss, Microsoft, Systinet, WebMethods and Tibco as well as Oracle and BEA.
HP Services counts over 6,500 services professionals, and BEA will surely be at least a little disappointed that HP Services now have just as tight a relationship with Oracle as they used to exclusively share with BEA. While all three of BEA’s co-founders came from Sun Microsystems and most BEA software was at one time sold on Sun hardware, BEA put more emphasis on HP after Sun began competing in the middleware space with BEA with what was then called Sun ONE middleware. Now though it seems likely BEA will need to be less reliant on HP Services to introduce it to new deals.
As for Oracle, it sounded pretty pleased with the news. The company’s Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Server Technologies, said: HP’s adoption and support of Oracle Fusion Middleware and its SOA components are a testament to the market momentum we’ve experienced, and we are confident that our HP relationship will build on this momentum.