Sun flexes iForce muscle to assist indies

Sun flexes iForce muscle to assist indies

Sun Microsystems has added more meat to its iForce software developer partner program, offering ISVs better sales and marketing support.

The revamp will see ISVs given access to account mapping, online tools and resources, sales campaigns, opportunity identification sessions, and marketing gigs including branding and promotional campaigns targeted at Sun customers.

Sun partner sales director, Paul O’Connor, said the program was designed to help companies move from the development phase and into the tricky land of market engagement.

“This program is all about leveraging best practices in terms of helping these companies get to market,” he said.

Software developers often found it hard to navigate the business planning process, O’Connor said, and needed help identifying target markets.

“The program makes it simple and gives them everything they need in one place to understand the specifics to help them get to market and sell,” he said. “It’s everything around knowledge about Sun, who we are and where we’re operating, who our customers and sales staff are, which partners we have and where in the marketplace they’re working.”

Acting as a business advisor, Sun wants to help a wide range of companies from those in start-up mode to established vendors that had not yet gone to market, according to its business development manager for software partners, James Eagleton.

Globally, there are an estimated four million Java developers.

There are 20,000 in Australia and New Zealand; with 80 ISVs from all walks of life having so far jumped on board the latest program, Eagleton said.

“There are vertically focused business solutions in the finance, telco, government and education space through to a lot of horizontal solution vendors such as ERP and CRM, as well as security solution vendors having expressed a willingness to join,” he said.

Within this space, the development of mobile applications is a hot trend amongst the Java developer community, said Eagleton. A local Australian partner catering to the mobile space is BrightSoftware, a maturing software partner that’s developed a mobile application delivery solution.

“The company offers the delivery of backend applications out to mobile devices whether they are Java-enabled handsets or PDAs or even laptops in the field,” Eagleton said.

Sun was helping BrightSoftware uncover the value of the Java-enabled handset market (and the company’s potential growth path), and then helping it build its go-to-market campaign, Eagleton said.

“One of the things a maturing software partner is looking for as they grow is how do they go about scaling their implementation or delivery model,” he said.

“As a software company grows, most of them want to look at how to sell our licenses and how we can enable them to go and do the sales and implementation.”

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