8. Restructure your conferences. Between shrinking travel budgets, fluctuating fuel costs, and increased airport security, customers are growing increasingly reluctant to travel to industry trade shows. What's more, with municipalities everywhere facing declining tax revenue, lawmakers are sure to be eyeing hotels and convention centers to take up the slack. Sun spent last year's JavaOne jabbering about RIAs and Web 2.0 -- again. Do we really need a whole show for that? With Sun, Oracle, and BEA now sharing the same address, it's an ideal opportunity to make OpenWorld the premiere destination for Java developers everywhere (and save some cash in the process).
7. License Sun's server technology to a partner. Hardware isn't Oracle's forte. Sun's team brings the technical know-how, but in a shrinking economy its pricey, high-end servers don't stand much chance against the x86-based competition. Oracle should de-emphasize Sun's hardware divisions and renew its relationship with Hewlett-Packard -- or some other partner, such as Fujitsu -- to produce co-branded servers. That would allow it to concentrate on selling end-to-end enterprise application solutions, which is what it does best.
6. Stop pretending Sun can be Google. Did anybody really believe that selling marketing opportunities in software installers was a sensible strategy for the likes of Sun? Ask anyone in the industry what comes to mind when you say the name "Sun Microsystems," and they'll tell you innovative engineering. To see a company with such a proud history reduced to standing on a street corner in fishnets and a leather skirt is just heartbreaking -- and it wastes effort that could be spent on more constructive pursuits. If you keep the Sun brand around, let it stand for something.
5. Make Solaris the preferred OS for Oracle. There was a time when it almost went without saying that you deployed Oracle databases on Sun servers. More recently, however, the market share once held by Solaris and other proprietary Unix variants has been eaten up by Linux. But while Linux tries to be all things to the entire Unix market, Oracle still has an opportunity to market a high-end OS that's custom-tailored for running mission-critical database servers. Give Oracle database customers an unbeatable reason to license Solaris instead of Linux and they will come.