Marketing the System
By John Clingan on Nov 08, 2004
I found the (brief) dialogue in Sunday's blog very intriguing, even if it was mostly between Sun employees (thanks Geoff and Kaiwai) :) Is Sun not doing enough to market our "systems-ness"? What can Sun do to better market one of our greatest assets - the System?
The timing for this dialogue is great because today's featured article at Sun.COM is on Sun's system-ness. If you were Andy Ingram in that article, what would you have emphasized more (or less) to capitalize on Sun's "system" assets?
Before this discussion, I had thought that Sun had done a pretty good job in this area. Every Network Computing event we have tends to focus on "the system" and its value. The "Java Enterprise System", the Java Desktop System, etc.
FYI, the next Network Computing event is November 15th and 12:30pm PST. You can watch it online.
To give you a quick data point on the value of a system, I was with some folks in the recent past who were using a specific version of Linux with a specific version of a driver for a 3rd party PCI card for that distro/version of Linux, running on a 3rd party server connecting 3rd party storage using yet another 3rd party file system (none of which is on our price list and every product was from a different vendor).
The effort they have to go through to get something to work is not trivial. They can't upgrade the old Linux kernel because 3rd party driver X isn't supported there yet. They also can't swap out for newer/faster/cheaper servers because the old version of Linux doesn't directly support it, and the effort to come up with a new kernel configuration is too time consuming (expensive). The roadmaps among all of these 3rd parties is completely inconsistent and moving forward is very difficult and labor intensive. These folks are somewhat locked in for the moment. This is currently the industry norm and it begs the question, is this really cheaper? Is this really more flexible?
Don't think I am picking on Linux because 1) This is a true story. 2) The same thing can happen with any operating system (sans kernel compilation) involved with many, many 3rd parties.
Deploying a Sun "system" (server/storage/filesystem/PCI cards/etc) gets the pieces better in sync as Sun is working diligently to get to a quarterly release cycle of our entire product line.