Sun: Can it grow services?

Summary:Sun Microsystems is looking to grow its $5 billion a year services business by taking a no strings attached approach. Ted Hoy, Sun's vice president of services, said at the company's New York office that the company is looking to distinguish itself in services by going easy on the hardware pitch.

Sun Microsystems is looking to grow its $5 billion a year services business by taking a no strings attached approach.

Ted Hoy, Sun's vice president of services, said at the company's New York office that the company is looking to distinguish itself in services by going easy on the hardware pitch. Instead, Sun's services group will work with whatever hardware a customer wants. "Whatever a customer has we can work with," says Hoy.

Hoy compared his services group with IBM's--the big dog in the industry. He maintained that IBM is interested in selling its hardware and software via services--a contention that's true to a degree, but Big Blue will also do whatever a customer wants. Hoy also said Sun wants to distinguish itself by allowing customers to exit a relationship easily, something he called "no barrier exiting

."

Sun, which launched joint Sparc servers with Fujitsu on Tuesday (gallery at right), is also targeting a nuts and bolts approach to services that will the company money without irking partners like EDS. For instance, Sun plans to announce a host of services packages focused on Solaris 10 adoption, high availability computing services, consolidation and virtualization and disaster recovery. Sun also doesn't sound interested in acquiring a lot of assets to run for customers in big outsourcing deals. "IBM wants to fish for you. We want to teach the customer to fish," says Hoy. 

Hoy also noted that Sun can bring in its architecture and software development experience to help customers become more efficient. He cited the State of Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth as an example of a customer that used Sun's consolidation services to save $500,000 annually. Michigan had a mix of hardware and versions of Solaris.

Of course, Hoy isn't going to complain if Sun sells some more hardware along the way. To that end, Sun plans to announce free installation and architecture services for Sun's enterprise M4000 and M5000 servers. The rationale: "We want to make sure they get a good experience."

So they can buy more Sun servers.

Topics: Oracle

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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