Acer will offer Sun servers and mid-range storage gear to its channel following a new partnership struck between the two vendors.
The arrangement sees accredited Acer partners gain access to Sun's x64 servers including rack-mount hardware, blade servers and tape and disk-based mid-range storage. Acer business manager for enterprise solutions, Richard Johns, said the new deal broadened its broader server market penetration and expanded its hardware range to encompass AMD platforms. Acer has previously focused on Intel-based systems.
"We are extremely strong in pedestal products and have had a lot of success with these in education, but one of the big product categories we don't have on our roadmap is blade servers," he said. "This is where Sun is very attractive. And it's not just the product, but everything associated with that, including channel and strategic customers we have together.
"We're also both committed to an open standards approach to customers."
In order to sell Sun equipment, Acer partners will need to go through a sales and technical training program. Training will be delivered by Acer via Sun. The vendor will also provide quoting and professional services assistance to partners if needed.
Sun products will not be sold through Acer's distributors but through both vendor's online ordering systems. Both vendors will be extending their online product configuration tools.
Johns said partners expected to benefit most will be its mid-tier, or Acer Valued Partners. The vendor has 700 of these partners nationally. Acer will focus on Sun's blade 6000 product first, then extend through the range.
"It's about giving our partners and customer more choice from the blade and server range," he said. "Blade technology has matured to the point where it's easier to deploy and people understand it better to start with."
Johns estimated the new deal could trigger a 20-30 per cent increase in its server revenues.
Sun partner director, Sam Srinivasan, said the vendor had spent the past couple of years expanding its products portfolio with a focus on the x64 platform. The partnership with Acer gave it access to the value end of the market and helped reach customers Sun had not typically had relationships with.
"Acer has played in that market for a long time and understands it well. They also offer products which don't compete with Sun's offering, so we see this as a relationship with strong synergies," he said. "This allows our channel partners the opportunity to address a customer end-to-end in the x64 environment."
Srinivasan said Acer's reach into SMB, education and government also opened new doors.