Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sun Shows Partners Its Silver Lining

Sun has taken more than its share of hits lately from Wall Street and the media, but that hasn't stopped the company from putting its best face on its partner event this week. The iForce Partner Summit in San Diego is hosting Sun distributors and resellers from all over the United States, who came to hear about Sun's renewed commitment to the channel.

By all accounts, the vibe at the conference has been very positive. It began with keynote addresses on Monday, April 19, from president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz and chairman Scott McNealy. McNealy's presentation actually wasn't a canned speech, but a one-on-one interview conducted by a member of the media. The press has been a real thorn in McNealy's side lately, but people who witnessed the keynote came away impressed with his determination.

"I saw a tremendous amount of energy, passion and conviction from Scott; he's determined to make sure Sun's partners see where the market is going and how to get there," says Anna McDermott, CEO of GE Access, a Sun distributor in Westminster, Colo. "Overall, there's been great energy at the event, much more than last year."

Partners in the audience who were watching closely for any chinks in the Sun armor came away impressed with the performances of Schwartz and McNealy. "They did a very good job of talking about their partnerships and the reseller community," says Pete Peterson, vice president of product marketing for systems and software at Tech Data, a Sun distributor in Clearwater, Fla. "Sun seems very committed to this, and all the recent messages have been very consistent."

But the show, which runs through Thursday, April 22, has been about more than just putting a positive spin on things. Sun made a host of announcements this week that will significantly impact its current and future partners. The primary change is a unified channel framework for U.S. partners that should simplify the way they do business. The new architecture integrates the formerly separate systems, software and services partner programs so qualified partners can now sell or deliver Sun's products and services through a single contract and a single point of contact within Sun.

  • 1