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Philippine freight firm signs on Sun

Freight and logistics company Air21 invests some US$1.2 million to put new Sun Microsystems' StorageTek servers in its data storage facility.
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Written by Joel D. Pinaroc, Contributor on

PHILIPPINES--Sun Microsystems has clinched a new deal to provide its StorageTek servers to Philippine freight and logistics company Air21, officials said.

In a press conference last week, Air21--the exclusive partner of global freight giant Federal Express (FedEx) in the country--said the new machines will complement the company's existing Sun servers at its data storage facility.

Bert Lina, chairman of Air21 disclosed that the company invested "at least 50 million peso" (US$1.2 million) for the servers. "In total, we already have invested some 200 million peso (US$4.9 million) on our technology-related investments in the last two years," Lina said.

Sun's Philippine subsidiary is a regular business partner of Air21's technology endeavors, supplying the freight company's network of servers and storage boxes. The current batch of StorageTek servers will run on SAP's enterprise applications, Air21 said.

Sun Philippines (SunPhil) President Cynthia Mamon said this is the first time Air21 is acquiring Sun's StorageTek product line, following the company's StorageTek acquisition in 2005.

According to Mamon, the Air21 deal is Sun's first major contract win in 2008, following a "positive" 2007 for the company's local operations.

More Lina to come
And SunPhil is expecting to get another windfall in the near future. Lina Group, a 21-company conglomerate that includes Air21, is looking to upgrade its existing IT infrastructure with Sun's products.

However, Lina--who heads the group--said the upgrade and investment roadmap for the conglomerate, remains under wraps.

He added that Air21 is planning to expand abroad, particularly in the Middle East, but does not intend to fight FedEx for the same market space.

"We are not going to compete with FedEx… What will happen is that we will complement FedEx's existing network," Lina said.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.


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