Sun tells how to stay in the IT game

Sun Microsystems' VP says companies need to ensure they have adequate service infrastructure and skilled personnel in place before jumping on the IT bandwagon, or they may face ruin down the road.

Although the sun was shining in Singapore, the mood was far from bright at Sentosa resort for the more than 60 media and analysts huddled over the future landscape painted by Sun Microsystems.

Singapore - With the US PC market experiencing its first quarter of negative growth and many PC and server manufacturers downgrading profit forecasts, no longer can companies afford to blindly follow in herd mentality when it comes to IT implementation.

The adoption of technology for technologies sake is never a solution. John Loiacono, Sun Microsystems’ Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, warns that if a company adopts IT simply to jump on the IT bandwagon without ensuring that adequate service infrastructure and skilled personnel are in place, they may face ruin down the road.

Explaining further, Masood Jabbar, Executive Vice President of Global Sales Operations for Sun stressed that it has become imperative for companies to understand their core competencies and retain control over these while outsourcing for expertise in areas where they are weaker.

This view was borne out by Sandra Ng from IDC who called outsourcing one of the trends that emerged out of the year 2000. Some of the predictions that IDC has for 2001 include the continuing slowdown of the IT market in Southeast Asia and the inability of Internet stocks to bounce back. This should not, however, according to IDC, affect investment in eBusiness or mergers and acquisitions.

Customer aware

Taking these in its stride, Sun announced no plans to reduce investments or the speed of investment in the IT market.

They feel that for a company to succeed in the competitive IT and telecommunications markets, a company has to be content aware, broadband aware and device aware. This means that in order to satisfy their customers, they must have knowledge of what the customer wants, how to deliver what they want and to what device to deliver it to.

Sun also made known its intention to rollout new products bi-weekly towards a goal of completely revamping its product line by the end of calendar year 2001. With this in mind, they previewed the Cobalt Qube 3 and Sun Cobalt RaQ XTR rack mountable server. With either of these products, you only need 15 to 20 minutes to get the servers up and running. They also plan to increase market share in the highly competitive storage market.

If attendees to the symposium came away with anything it was that there could be no standing still. Even in these days of uncertainty, if you do not invest in development and search for new areas of opportunity, you will fall behind your competitors as they continue to try to break new ground.

The underlying argument that came through was that businesses and consumers have to be smarter in these days of uncertainty. The perfect platform is one where scalability, service implementation and support are the buzzwords for those seeking to survive in these difficult times.

According to Lionel Lim, Vice President and Managing Director for Asia South, the so- called Fourth Wave of computing is here. Characterised by the advent of the Application Service Provider, the challenge for Sun is to manage billions of devices interacting with millions of services predictably, securely and globally.

Sun has also found that contrary to popular opinion, it is the more traditional forms of business, the old ‘brick and mortar’ types that are (finally) adopting and reacting to new technology faster than newer ones.


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