As usual, I've left the six monthly Desktop Practice meeting feeling pretty positive about the future of the product line we have and the improvements that are coming into Solaris and JDS to provide a decent desktop experience 'out of the box'.
What makes me particularly happy is the increased focus on how best to sell the products that we have. Product quality's never been the main reason why Sun and partner sales teams haven't focused as much as I think they should on the desktop space. The problem's traditionally been more to do with a scattergun approach pushing the message to customers where it doesn't resonate, as opposed to concentrating on those areas where Sun Ray and SGD fit best. Another problem has been the a lack of strightforward sales tools to give the average sales guy something concrete to latch on to and give to his customers to get things going.
We've now got some more solutions focused material to plug that gap, covering healthcare and telco, which I'm really looking forward to promoting to the field.
On a personal note, it was nice to see some familiar faces, as well as to put a face to Craig Thin Guy
Bender's name. I'd known of Craig for several years via internal email aliases. Since rejoining Sun I've had various email exchanges with him, read his blog, etc, etc, but had never met him face to face. As he pointed out in a similar blog entry, we got on well and share a similar sense of humour. We also both have sideburns, a stylish essential found amongst a disproportionally high number of Sun Ray fans around the world that I've met. Another thing we have in common is that his phone got pinched during the week, whilst mine was nicked the week before. Let's hope noone steals his jeans as well over the coming weeks :)