My Own Private Idaho
By stern on Jan 24, 2007
The primary insight I gleaned was first-hand accounts of how our Try and Buy Program is creating growth opportunities. Digitar, the customer testimonial on our Innovating@Sun story, is based in Boise. Turns out they're not the only customers using the free systems to test out new configurations for Sun in existing applications. One customer told me about using Sun's Opteron servers with VMware and Windows, and feeling much more comfortable getting the hardware through try and buy because they could put whatever stack they wanted on the metal.
Before my own session at the Boise Business and Technolgy Expo, a local Boise hosting company was talking about their choice of platform for web, application and managed network services targetting retail, auto dealers, and the hospitality industry. It's build on Solaris and Sun Opteron servers, and a full-up "SAMP" stack -- Solaris, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, along with their custom network management scripts. And they got the servers through Try and Buy, because it was an easy way to get started quickly, and test out new stacks.
What's the big deal? It's not quite the bottom of the bottomless blue that Fred Schneider sings about, rather, it's an example of a Blue Ocean strategy. However much it pains me to reference anything having to do with Harvard, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne highlight the ability to grow an existing large business (say, Sun) through non-consumptive markets. You need to find those attributes of a product that are valued more by the customers, and then over-rotate on them. That's what struck me about the two Try and Buy examples -- neither was cannibalizing existing Sun business; it was pure new business.
Apologies to the B-52s, but when in Boise, there's no need to get out of the state you're in. We're spinning round and round, but with opportunity.