Sun Microsystems is aggressively growing its mid-range reseller business following the launch of its x86-based servers, aiming to add more than 100 new partners by the end of the year.
Alstom IT will be spearheading the recruitment drive through its dedicated account management unit and will finalise plans for meet those targets in the next few weeks, according to Alstom’s national sales manager, Danny Harwood.
“With Sun’s assistance we’ve put together a focused recruitment plan,” he said. “It will involve a lot more face-to-face activity following the success of a pilot event held in Adelaide.”
The recruitment effort, which begins next month, aims to rapidly build what Sun calls its volume reseller business — those selling to smaller companies that would not normally be interested in Sun’s traditionally high-end solutions.
Through a partnership with AMD announced last October, Sun’s product range includes the Sun Java Enterprise System and Solaris operating system on AMD’s 64-bit Opteron processors — much more suited to organisations with a need for less powerful solutions than its SPARC family of processors.
Making no secret of its intentions, Sun plans to take market share away from rivals Dell, HP and IBM, which have so far cornered the traditionally lower-end x86-based server market.
Sun’s ‘disruptive pricing model’ pitches the entry-level Sun Fire V20z with a three-year subscription to Solaris x86 and Silver Spectrum support services for nearly 40 per cent less than Dell’s nearest equivalent, according to a press statement.
“We’re delighted by the reaction from resellers, mainly because they have been disenchanted by other tier-one players,” Sun A/NZ business manager, Robert Becker, said.
“There has been an oversubscription of channels, and vendors have ended up going direct to buyers.
“We know they are not happy and we are committed to growing this market. The products also give our partners the ability to talk to customers that they couldn’t before.”
Harwood is looking forward to the inevitable brawl that lies ahead between Sun and the more seasoned players in the space.
“Sun is pushing its Opteron machines to compete against those that are well established,” he said. “Opteron’s biggest advantage is that it can run 32-bit and 64-bit applications. If a customer was to use Intel and wanted to migrate to 64-bit they would have to recompile their application stack. Alternatively, there would be no hardware upgrade and better return on investment if they buy the Sun server now and want to move down the 64-bit path later.”
Alstom will be growing its dedicated Sun account management team over the coming weeks to support the products, adding staff to its Melbourne and Sydney offices.