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IBM Takes Aim at Oracle's Sun

IBM has taken a swipe at Oracle/Sun, dangling a big financial carrot in front of Sun's partners.



) --


(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report

has taken a swipe at


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report


Sun (JAVA) acquisition

, dangling a big financial carrot in front of the server giant's partners.

Oracle finally




$7.4 billion purchase

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of Sun earlier this year, and it looks like IBM is trying to turn the deal to its own advantage.

IBM announced that it is offering up to $500 million worth of financing to Sun partners through its Global Financing division, a clear attempt to lure Sun's buddies into the IBM camp.

"We have dozens

of Sun business partners that have moved or are in the process of moving," Bernie Spang, director of IBM's information management strategy, told


. "What we're looking to do here is to accelerate that process and encourage more to do so."

With the U.S. economy emerging from the recession, Spang explained that IBM is offering attractive terms to Sun's partners. The tech bellwether is also hoping to tap into any lingering unease surrounding the Oracle deal, he added.

Oracle had to overcome antitrust concerns from

EU regulators

before finally finalizing the deal to buy Sun, which at one point had been an IBM acquisition target.

The deal has already

shifted the dynamics of the tech sector

, taking the database giant deeper into servers and storage hardware. Sun's OEM deal with storage maker


, for example, has now expired, and HDS told


that it is now considering "more of an alliance agreement" with Oracle/Sun.

A number of Sun's rivals, including IBM and


(HPQ) - Get HP Inc. Report

, have already pounced on the

Oracle deal

as an opportunity to grab new customers, much to the annoyance of

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison


Sun uses its SPARC processor technology within much of its hardware, whereas IBM sells systems based on its own chips, called Power. The two companies are gearing up for a major battle.

Oracle has not yet responded to


request for comment on this story, although


has already touted Sun's SPARC technology as an IBM-killer.

IBM also announced the launch of its Smart Analytics System on Tuesday. The System is a mix of hardware and software designed for partners selling technology into areas such as healthcare, energy, retail and the financial sector.

Shares of IBM, which gave a bullish

2010 earnings projection

, rose 16 cents, or 0.12%, to $129.09 on Tuesday, mirroring the Nasdaq's rise of 0.18%.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York


>>Oracle Revamps Sun, Sees Upside

>>Oracle Gains on New Software Licenses

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