12/11/2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. will host the iForce[sm] Partner Excellence Awards, a new awards program co-sponsored by Computerworld to honor U.S. iForce partners who have excelled in providing quality products, innovative solutions and superior services to customers. The awards program is part of Sun's commitment to increase channel partner recognition, as well as help increase profitability. Partners and customers may submit entries online until January 31, 2003.

"Sun partner activities revolve around three goals: profitability for our iForce partners, simplification of Sun's business processes, and recognition for those business partners who invest in and grow their business with Sun," said Michael Walsh, director of marketing for Sun's U.S. partner management and sales organization. "The iForce Partner Excellence Awards give our partners yet another opportunity to tell their customers and prospects, 'We're the best, and here's proof.'"

Winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on April 9, 2003, at the iForce Partner Summit in Orlando, Fla. Partners, with permission from their customers, can submit entries in six categories.

Best iForce Partner Collaboration -- Awarded to complementary independent software vendor and reseller partners who have collaborated to create and deliver customer-driven solutions.

Best Business Transformation -- Awarded to the iForce partner whose Sun platform-based solution helped create the most radical business transformation for an end-user customer.

Most Innovative Solution -- Awarded to the iForce partner who has developed and deployed an innovative solution that uses Sun products in a new market or in a unique way to help a customer.

Best Sun ONE Enterprise Software Integration -- Awarded to the iForce partner who solved a serious business challenge through a comprehensive or innovative integration of Sun ONE products into a complex IT environment.

Best Collaboration with Third-Party Software Providers -- Awarded to the iForce partner who builds complementary solutions based on the Sun ONE products and collaborates the most effectively with third-party software providers.

Best Storage Consolidation Solution -- Awarded to the iForce partner who has provided the best storage consolidation solution utilizing Sun's storage hardware and data management software architectures.

The entries will be judged by a panel of Sun executives and members of the press and analyst community. Each category will have one winner, and one of the six category winners will receive the Grand Solution of the Year award. Sun will provide honorees additional Sun Funds to promote the award recognition to customers and prospects, as well as a specialized marketing tag added to the iForce Partner logo for partners' Web sites and printed sales materials. Winners will be featured in a special insert in Computerworld.

The iForce Excellence Awards recognize partners that have leveraged the iForce initiative to achieve customer success. The iForce initiative is the program that brings together under one umbrella Sun systems, software, services and best-in-class iForce partners to create and deliver customer-driven solutions that enable our customers to leverage the network to improve business processes.

About Computerworld
Computerworld is a vital and respected source of news,business and technology information and analysis for IT executives and professionals who are at the forefront their industries. Computerworld reaches these IT leaders at medium to large corporations daily - through the web site - and weekly through the award-winning newspaper. Computerworld's coverage emphasizes and advocates for the user perspective, providing balanced, objective reporting on a wide range of technologies, business trends, career topics and management issues.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- 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 and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, iForce, SunFund and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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