Interesting observations

In our weekly district meeting this morning, (It was donut Monday, so I had to attend. I'm not technically part of the district team, but I go anyways.), we had the regional sales director sit in our service meeting to talk about what's going on with the sales force and what the message is going forward. I had heard a chunk of the pitch before the end of the fiscal year, but this was for the rest of the district team.

Sounds like some things that have been broken for a while may actually change. Or at least there is now the understanding that these things are broken. A good sized chunk of them were things that we let customers do to themselves.

Lets take for instance brokered parts (aka. gray-market parts). We've got a few customers that will go and buy parts and system boards from brokers for their equipment. In some cases, these parts will go into the big boxes like SF15k's or E10k's. The policy used to be that if it ran fine for 90 days that we'd bring it under a support contract.

The big problem here is that we don't know the history of these parts. These boards could have come from a lease return, or from a competitive trade in. I think that I've even seen some that were scrapped by our logistics. (Which is why we sometimes refer to these boards as coming from "Al's Junkyard"). I know of one case in which a customer ordered some E10k boards and they came in a box, without ESD protection, stacked 3 to a box. After 3 months, we'd act like there was nothing wrong with the boards and happily replace them if they died after that.

This would be like deciding that you wanted the updated transmission or a turbo charger on your new Audi and instead of going to the dealer to get it, you go to the scrap yard and get one. Then when it breaks, you're expecting the dealer to repair it under your new car warranty! Not a good business thing for the dealer to do so.

The big thing that stuck into my head was this. Sun is the only major computer manufacturer with no consumer business. You can go to Best Buy or Wal-Mart and buy computers or products from IBM, Hewlitt-Packard, or Dell. Does Sun have a presence there? Outside of StarOffice in a few places and some Java Desktop Systems on Walmart.com there isn't any consumer presence.

Need to work on that.

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Phil is an Area Technical Engineer in the Central Area of Oracle's Field Service in North America. He has 15 years of experience supporting Sun's entire product line.

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