Sun To Use All Distribution Channels For New Opteron Servers

Sun is growing its distribution base to include smaller solution providers who can handle entry-level Opeteron-based servers.

February 19, 2004

2 Min Read
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Sun Microsystems is busy formulating a channel strategy for its entry-level servers, including the recently announced Opteron-based models.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor is building a distribution base for midmarket solution providers not normally able to work with Sun products, getting the servers to its current iForce partner base and building on its relationship with CDW, said Bill Cate, director of the company's U.S. iForce program office.

GE Access and the Moca Division of Arrow Electronics continue to carry the entire line of Sun products, including its entry-level SPARC-based, Intel-based and AMD-based server lines, Cate said.

Tech Data is ramping up quickly to bring the entry-level servers with the Linux and Solaris operating systems to its solution providers, he said. The distributor also is offering its customers its software suite, including JES, Java Studio, and StarOffice, as well as suitable storage for its hardware and software up to and including its StorEdge 3000 series, he said.

In the past three months, Tech Data has brought between 20 and 30 new midmarket solution providers to Sun and expects to bring in a total of 200 solution providers by the end of the year, Cate said. "We are redefining a new foundation of products, not only for Tech Data, but for a host of partners who don't want to go up into the high-end servers," he said.CDW has brought Sun into parts of the midmarket where it had not played before, Cate said. So Sun plans to continue working with CDW to sell servers up to four-way models, he said. "I hope they sell a boatload of [the Opteron servers]," he said. "They've done a nice job for us."

While Sun has not seen the kind of channel conflict between CDW and its other solution providers that Cate expected, he said that could change. "As we add Opteron to the mix, we may see more conflict," he said. "But the partners they run into are iForce partners. Its up to [the iForce partners] to sell their value-add."

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