The acquisition of Sun Microsystems could turn Oracle into an effective IT systems competitor against giants IBM – ironically, the company that started the bidding for Sun and then walked away from talks just two weeks ago – and HP.
Oracle chief Larry Ellison says the main attractions that Sun offers are its Java programming language and Solaris operating systems.
However, the acquisition could also help Oracle get into bigger corporate data centres by giving it access to a broader range of both hardware and software products and services.
Analysts says the buy heralds a move from Oracle to become a more comprehensive IT supplier rather than a niche application software developer.
With Sun in its stable, Oracle will be able to offer a complete software set, from operating systems and programming tools to database and application solutions.
Meanwhile, Sun also has the ability to build hardware systems that can take full advantage of the software.
As Ellison says: "The acquisition of Sun transforms the industry. Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system, applications to disk, where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves."
Although neither company will talk about potential jobs losses, analysts believe as many as one-third of Sun's employees could be at risk.