Sun weighs up green channel program

Sun weighs up green channel program

US launch of Sun's Eco Advantage program triggers discussions about its viability in Australia

The local Sun channels team is weighing up the viability of launching a green partner program in Australia.

The Eco Advantage program was unveiled in the US last month as a branch of the Sun Partner Advantage program. It encompasses training and education for partners around building eco-friendly IT and will cover selling and implementing more efficient datacentre, cooling and environmental practices and stems from Sun's main concepts - innovate, share and grow, partner director, Sam Srinivasan, said.

"Sun has done a lot of work as an organisation around eco initiatives and developed a lot of best practices through our own consolidation and datacentre refreshes around the world," he said. "What we did is converted some of those practices into an eco partner program to enable key partners to take that message and deliver those services to customers as an extension of the Sun sales force."

Srinivasan said it was now talking to Australian partners to see whether some were willing to invest in developing expertise around eco-related skills.

"A lot of the services actually require a level of expertise in the partner around understanding datacentre as a whole and not just the IT. You need to understand cooling, what causes hot spots, power efficiency and all of those kinds of things," he said.

Srinivasan said the Australian team could wind up picking elements of the US program which were more feasible to the A/NZ market, rather than launching a full suite. He also flagged the possibility of distributors or certain partners offering these services and partnering with other partners.

"The question is whether you can keep someone busy enough delivering these services. And I don't believe there's a right answer for that yet," he said. "Customers are going through the process of deciding what they want to do in terms of being environmentally responsible in their own computing environments and partners are looking at whether they can make a buck out of it.

"Once that naval gazing is finished we'll have a better sense of whether there's a true market opportunity or not. The investment required will be reasonable and the return might not be immediately apparent. It might only be a handful of partners that skill up and the rest of the channel could leverage those services."

Srinivasan said the vendor hoped to make a decision in the next couple of months.

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