Sun Microsystems has recently come out of deep-thought mode and made
sweeping changes to a whole bunch of things. In case you've missed them, here's
a quick summary:
has renamed most of its forgetable software products. So all those
applications you couldn't remember before are now called "Sun" plus "something".
Remembering half the name is better than remembering none. But wait a minute!
Solaris, which was previously called SunOS, is still called Solaris. Now there's
a flaw in the naming convention which no one else seems to have spotted yet.
Microsystems has started up a marketing organization. Most start-ups have
one in place before they do their IPO, but this is a sign of maturity in the 20
year old Sun, that it can learn from benchmarking the best practise of other
organizations. I think some management consultants may have been involved here,
possibly the clever ones which split off from Anderson and became called
something with an accent which I can't reproduce on this keyboard, long before
the Enron fiasco made it an even better idea.
Now, I know that many influential people in Sun,
SPARC Product Directory,
and look for new business ideas in these columns. So here are a few free
suggestions guys and gals for the next few steps to take, while Dell is still
drooling about taking over Compaq's PC and server business, and while HP does a
deja vu in acquisition a la HP acquiring Apollo, and Compaq acquiring DEC.
(There's a lot of foreign words in there, but I'm sure you take my point, and we
do have some European readers who we want to feel comfortable here.) The
strategic ideas below are not in any particular order, and are freely
contributed in the spirit of open source/ open systems to be used whenever the
circumstances seem appropriate / desperate.
- Good idea #1 - rename all the "SPARC
chips" to "Sun chips". So the "UltraSPARC 4" would
become the "SunCPU 1". That will make it easier for all your younger
customers whose memories don't stretch back far enough into all that exciting
SPARC stuff in the 1980's. It will also be compatible with all the new "Sun"
plus "something else" naming conventions.
Now I realise
there is a small problem here, because other companies, most notably Fujitsu
also make SPARC chips, and they may cry "foul". But let's be honest,
they also do a lot of that "Intel Inside" stuff. So they aren't as
totally committed to the Sun success idea as Sun itself. But I've thought of a
way around this problem as well. In the spirit of complete and utter equality,
you can agree to let them call their chips, the "FujitsuCPU" family.
No one could object to that, could they? And it will be a lot clearer for all
end-users... Now there is a slight flaw with this plan if we look at Sun's other
into the Intel Server market. I forgot to mention that one above, but it is
true. I didn't make it up. The grit in the ointment here is that I don't think
Intel will agree to Sun renaming its Pentium processors, just because they
happen to be operating inside a Sun server. But that's where "thinking
outside the box" becomes important.
Sun could market the new
Intel based servers as "Sun Outside."
Eureka! I don't claim
any royalty fees for that idea either.
- Good idea #2 - concerns another software
product which again seems to have missed the first round of software renaming,
and we all know I'm talking about that coffee stuff. Now I've never been a great
fan of Java, partly because the hype in the early days seemed to go a little bit
too far when Sun's dumb terminal was named the JavaStation. Let's just admit
that I was wrong, a lot of people do actually use Java, but actually on PCs.
The dumb terminal idea was just, well, dumb... The problem with Java is that
Sun doesn't get enough credit for the idea. So let's just rename "Java"
to "Sun C" or Sun/PL (Sun Programming Language) and start all over.
- Good idea #3 - a long time ago Sun used to
feature a dog in its ads. That made the company seem a lot more friendly and
approachable. So think about introducing a new animal into all Sun's ads. But
not a mouse...
already been done.
Otherwise people may mistakenly think that Sun is a storage company.
And that would be a bad thing. The whole point of all these changes in Sun is
to avoid confusing people.
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Sun Moves into the Online Storage Market with "Sun Connection"|
May 3, 2005 - Sun Microsystems today announced new storage services as
part of a roll-out of IT services which have been imaginatively named "Sun
The Sun Java StorEdge Software program is a
unique way for customers to acquire and deploy Sun's comprehensive suite of
storage and data management software and services in-house. Through its simple,
affordable and predictable licensing model, customers are able to purchase the
right bundle of Sun storage software to manage their heterogeneous environments.
For the complete Java StorEdge Software package, customers can pay either $350
per employee per year, or purchase storage capacity, starting at $400,000 for
five terabytes per year. Sun claims this licensing model offers customers a
potential cost savings of at least 30% in comparison to typical, point-product
online backup and storage
comments:- a recent
article in the SPARC
Product Directory reveals that storage is now pivotal to Sun's business, and
that Sun has reversed its earlier storage strategies which I correctly
predicted would fail in an article in
Sun's new strategy is to become one of the world's largest resellers of
storage systems, and to leverage its position as a credible reseller of storage
to the Linux market. Whether today's announced entry into the storage services
market will succeed remains to be seen. But my guess is it's too closely tied to
Sun's proprietary server business to be of any relevance to most users.