6/26/2002 - Sun Microsystems, widely recognized for its successful partner-based business model, has teamed with the leading software, service and solution providers in retail to build a real-world retail environment that retailers can leverage to quickly, cost effectively and reliably define and solve integration and interoperability issues across multi-vendor solutions.

Available through Sun iForce[sm] Ready Centers, the Retail solutions environment enables companies to pre-test and integrate processes, applications and information affecting every aspect of their business -- from the stores, to headquarters, through to their distribution centers -- with less risk. Through this type of collaboration, Sun and its iForce partners are helping enterprises speed time to deployment and more quickly realize a return on their IT investment.

This physical retail environment enables retailers to build custom proof-of-concept demonstrations and architectural blueprints tailored to their own IT environment. The Centers can today replicate nearly any customer multi-vendor environment, and have access to hundreds of applications from best-in-class technology partners to build additional in-store systems, financial planning, forecasting, supply chain and distribution, distance learning and data warehousing functionality into any retail solution.

"Time is money and demonstration centers can save retailers both," said Don Gilbert of the National Retail Federation. "By working with Sun in its iForce Ready Center, retailers can shorten their development and deployment schedule by several months and ultimately save a lot of man-hours. The iForce Center can also help us, the NRF, to identify integration and interoperability issues prior to full-scale deployment, and to ensure that the solution retailers walk out with will be able to scale to handle the retail industry's peak seasonal loads. It is a tremendous benefit."

"By investing in our customers and making the Retail solutions environment available in our iForce Centers, Sun and our partners are providing a risk-free environment for mutual customers to innovate and enhance business efficiency and lower costs by leveraging a network," said Bob DeLaney, director, retail industry solutions worldwide, Sun Microsystems. "iForce is about Collaborating for Customer Success - enabling relationships, delivering proven solutions, and providing access to Centers worldwide for our retail customers."

The iForce Ready Centers simulate real business environments and customer scenarios, allowing enterprises the opportunity to see how proposed solutions can perform, with minimal investment, in a risk-free environment, and using the latest in Sun technology and end-to-end computing platforms. To date, there are more than 65 Sun and partner-run iForce Centers worldwide that provide customers with hands-on, in-person help for the design, development and deployment of smart services. These Centers enable customers to leverage the combined expertise of a team of technology and service providers based on customer preference and need rather than by vendor lock-in.

Some of the retail software partners who have solutions available in the iForce Partner Community include ADS, AfterBOT, Apunix, ATG, BroadVision, Blue Martini Sofware, Covergent Media, Digital Think, e.Piphany, Epson, IBM, Intentia, i2, Manhatten, Manugistics, MarketMax, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP Retail, SAS, Triversity, WebMethods and Wincor Nixdorf.

Sun's retail solutions are built on a proven, reliable and standards-based platform comprised of Sun Enterprise[tm] servers, Sun StorEdge[tm] arrays and Sun[tm] Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) software, and leverage Sun technical consulting, training and support services.

A version of the Retail Solutions environment, which demonstrates solution integration from the point of customer interaction through headquarters and to the distribution center, will be on exhibit at Sun booth #809 at the Retail Systems conference in Chicago on June 25-27.

Sun in Retail
Sun's global retail clients include hard and soft goods specialty businesses, discount and mass merchandisers, department stores, food service, grocery businesses, convenience store businesses, chain drug stores, electronic retailing merchants, catalog and home shopping. Fast-growing retailers are building their technology foundations on Sun Enterprise[tm] servers and Sun StorEdge[tm] arrays. Sun offers the scalability to help ensure retailers can meet the extreme load demands they experience in seasonal peaks throughout the year. Additionally, with its iForce Initiative, strong partner relationships, its open systems and software infrastructure, and best-in-class solutions, Sun can help support the retail enterprise, from the store to headquarters to distribution centers.

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 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Sun StorEdge, Sun Enterprise, iForce 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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