Sun Microsystems Drives Partners to Deliver Innovative Solutions

4/21/2004 - Underscoring its commitment to put partners first, Sun Microsystems, Inc. kicks off its annual iForce Partner Summit for U.S. sales, development and delivery partners with a slate of programs aimed to enable partners to create and deliver innovative solutions based on Sun technology while simplifying the engagement process, increasing partner margins and recognizing partner investment in Sun's business.

"Putting Partners First is more than a tag line or a rebate program– it's Sun's commitment to share risks and rewards with its partners," said Robert Youngjohns, executive vice president of Global Sales Operations at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "As the depth and breadth of Sun's product and services portfolios expand, it is paramount that we continue to recognize the contributions of our partners and that we make it simple and profitable for them to work with Sun."

Sun Simplifies the Engagement Process with Unified iForce Partner Program
Empowering partners to sell higher-value solutions to their customers, Sun unveiled a unified channel framework for U.S. partners that is designed to dramatically simplify the way partners do business with Sun. The comprehensive new architecture integrates previously disparate systems, software and services partner programs from across the company, allowing qualified partners to sell or deliver any -- or all -- of Sun's products and services through a single contract and a single point of contact within Sun.

The unified framework allows partners to engage with Sun at three distinct levels: Foundation, Premier and Elite. The Foundation level is designed to support entry-level partners focused on the mid-market. The Premier level is a mid-tier program for existing partners that have made significant investments in selling Sun's entire product line. The Elite level is designed to reward partners that have made extraordinary investments in helping Sun deliver technology and business solutions to all customers and markets.

Sun's Growing Managed Services Business Extended to iForce Partners
Through the integrated framework, partners will now be able to refer and resell new Sun Site Support Managed Services, giving customers a proven alternative to traditional IT outsourcing. This offering provides a comprehensive portfolio of resources, including site resident engineers, a dedicated account manager and on-site managed parts inventory.

Sun Site Support Managed Services allows qualified partners to leverage Sun Managed Services, a fast growing business line for Sun. Sun Managed Services offers customers both short- and long-term engagements geared to a customer's specific business goals, offering them maximum choice and control over their strategic IT resources.

Sun Pays Millions in Return for Partner Investments in Sun's Business
As part of Sun's efforts to recognize partner contributions to Sun's business, the company launched its "Putting Partners First" initiative in November 2002 and the iForce Opportunity Registration (OpReg) program in September 2003, aiming to reward partners for their investments in strategic opportunities with Sun. Comprised of multiple programs including the Target Account and Vertical Solution Rebate Programs, and the Competitive Knockout Program, the iForce OpReg initiative, now with more than 1,000 partner registrants, provides rebates and up-front discounts on Sun products to iForce partners who register qualifying opportunities that result in Sun product sales. Via the Putting Partners First and OpReg initiatives, Sun has paid out more than $53 million in rebates (as of March 2004) to partners.

Sun Recognizes Innovation Through iForce Partner Excellence Awards
Sun also recognizes its partners through its iForce Partner Excellence Awards, which honor iForce partners and their customers for achievement in bringing innovative Sun-based solutions to market. Judged by a panel including Sun executives and independent members of the media and analyst community, this year's awards will recognize partners in eight categories and will be presented on April 21.

Additionally, through June 30, 2004, Sun Microsystems plans to reward qualified iForce partners leasing Sun systems, software and services with a cash bonus of up to two percent of the total purchase price. Qualified state and local government agencies leasing Sun technology solutions before May 31, 2004 are eligible for zero percent financing on 24-month leases and 1.65 percent financing on 36-month leases. These special offers are applicable to transactions financed through Sun Microsystems Financing (SMF) and total $100,000 or more. Both plans are available in the U.S. through Sun sales and authorized iForce partners. All transactions are subject to SMP credit and investment approval. Full details are available at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- 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 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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