Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently." Henry Ford

Sun has announced that it is going to vigorously go after the storage market now, and I think it's new ZFS product is a great way to do it. It seems that every couple of days we have customers asking us about the viability of the Sun Thumper as a storage platform and whether Sun will support it strategically for a term of three, five, or seven years.

According to Sun's President.
" I'm radically increasing Sun's focus on storage today."

"Why? Because the market's only going to grow, for as long as we're on this earth, and I believe our talent and assets give us a big sustainable advantage - that we're planning on exploiting. Aggressively. "

The issue as I see it is whether Sun can commit to a long term marketing, sales and support strategy or not. Our customers clearly want to partner with a company that takes a long term view of their strategic infrastructure investments and is not just driven by the commission cycle of its sales teams. If Sun can truly implement a strategic long term service and support strategy there are many customers ready, but if Sun continues to send sales people who are merely box sellers into the field an opportunity for long term stable growth in the storage market will probably be squandered.

Therefore, I have a couple of questions for Sun's president -
1) How are you compensating your newly revamped storage sales team?
2) Will you be compensating your sales people with higher commissions on long term service and support contracts than you do for selling hardware ?
3) Can you clearly define the efforts Sun is making to align your sales goals with your prospective customers long term storage strategies?

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