10/29/2002 - Sun Microsystems is growing its presence in the mid-market through continued investment in its iForceSM Community. Over the next 15-18 months, the company expects to make a substantial investment and increase collaboration with its iForce partners. The objective is to help midsize enterprises worldwide optimize their existing architectures and lower their total cost of ownership with pre-tested, integratable and easy-to-implement vertical and horizontal solutions that address their specific business needs. The solutions will leverage Sun and its partners' expertise in addressing such critical enterprise issues as security, scalability, performance, service and support.
"Partnerships with the mid-sized enterprises' trusted advisor network are key to success in this market," said Mika Yamamoto Krammer, Gartner's senior small and medium business analyst. "Vendors who recognize that gains in this market only come with time and investment, understand that the key to cracking this multi-billion dollar opportunity is partnerships."
Sun plans to create a midsize enterprise end-user advisory council and offer a portal for midsize enterprises on its Web site. Sun's Midsize Enterprise Customer Advisory Board, composed of key customers from various industries around the world, will offer input and advice regarding Sun's ongoing and future mid-market programs and strategy. The portal enables potential customers to search partner solutions by industry or horizontal application and access information on Sun's growing line of products ideally suited for midsize enterprises. Sun mid-market product offering includes the recently-introduced Sun LX50 system, which runs the Linux and SolarisTM operating environments, and the UltraSPARC&3174/Solaris platform-based Sun FireTM V100, V120, 280R, V480, V880, 3800, 4800 and 6800 servers.
Sun's commitment to the mid-market also includes special partner and marketing programs, and business development incentives for its iForce partner community.
Additionally, a portion of Sun's growing network of iForce Solution Centers will offer industry-specific solutions that help midsize enterprises make informed decisions about solutions to their business issues before they buy. Already more than 100 solutions and reference architectures are installed in the company's global network of iForce Solution Centers, which can help midsize enterprises reduce the complexity, cost, time and risk of deploying new technology.
For example, Sun and its partners are helping mid-market companies secure their IT environment with Sun iForce Solutions for Security: Perimeter Security and Secure Web Server. Perimeter Security provides a multi-layer defense that prevents, detects and responds to internal and external threats from a single console. Secure Web Server provides a robust web server solution that includes web application security.
Sun's iForce Community Builds Customer Momentum in the Mid-Market
Sun and the iForce Community's investment in understanding and delivering solutions for midsize customers is paying off. Working with key iForce partners, Sun recently closed deals with midsize enterprises including Global Electric Motorcars LLC (GEM), Landrum Company, Mack Technologies and Miller County Hospital.
SAP, Sun and itelligence collaborated to deliver an easily-integratable solution that leverages a pre-packaged mySAP All-in-One for Automotive solution to help reduce costs and increase margins for automotive suppliers. "The itelligence it.auto solution enabled GEM, with no previous ERP experience, to benefit from the full scope of the functionality of Sun and SAP solutions, address our unique needs as an automotive company, and still accomplish full implementation, training and roll-out — all in a matter of 10 weeks from the time the decision was made," said Kelly Mortensen, information systems manager, Global Electric Motorcars LLC.
When the Landrum Company, an $850 million, Missouri-based bank holding company, wanted greater functionality than its existing platform could provide, it turned to Sun and Kirchman Corporation, a banking industry leader in automation and compliance. "The Sun alternative was the solution to several problems. It gave us all the new application functionality we were seeking while saving costs in many areas compared with the mainframe maintenance, operating system license fees, floor space, electricity and more," said Jim Stock, chief information officer and senior vice president, The Landrum Company. "Sun's reliability, scalability and performance was an added bonus."
Creative Healthcare Systems recently worked with Sun to implement its MedGenix Health Information System at Miller County Hospital in Colquitt, Georgia. "MedGenix on a Sun server and Sun Ray thin clients provides us the ability to network all of our patient care facilities securely to a central database at a very competitive price point," stated Harley Smith, administrator, Miller County Hospital. "The low maintenance required by the Sun Ray thin clients and the portability of the smart card will be a big benefit to us. You can just insert your smart card into any Sun Ray appliance and your working screen follows you. The system insures that patient data is easily accessible to caregivers, yet still protects patient privacy and confidentiality."
When faced with the challenge of competing against low cost Asian manufacturers, Mack technologies, an electronics manufacturing service provider, deployed a Teradyne on Sun solution. "The Teradyne on Sun solution has delivered a reliable and scalable solution for our contract manufacturing operation - allowing us to achieve exceptionally high uptime," said Rick Anselmo, Manager of Information Systems/Services at Mack Technologies. "We require flexibility in managing a complex product mix, and very fluid customer demand. Teradyne's manufacturing execution solution on Sun gave us all of that and more."
About the iForce Initiative
The iForce Initiative is a community of Sun, its customers and best-in-class iForce partners working together to create and deliver customer-driven solutions that enable our customers to leverage the network to improve business processes. Built around a dynamic, interactive relationship model and providing access to a global network of more than 70 iForce Centers, this program helps customers engage with Sun and its industry partners to reduce risk when deploying solutions. By establishing its iForce Initiative, Sun is able to help its customers improve time-to-market with proven integratable, easy-to-deploy iForce Solutions.
About Sun Microsystems
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — "The Network Is The ComputerTM" — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries.
Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the US and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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