Sun's Uncertain Future Creates Opportunity for IBM & HP VARs

The merger between Sun Microsystems and Oracle is still in process, and the close date is estimated to be after late summer. Uncertainty and doubt are in the air, since there’s a question as to whether Oracle will keep Sun’s hardware business.  A wise sales manager once said "When uncertainty surrounds, opportunity abounds". 

The buzz in Silicon Valley is that HP (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) are aggressively chasing after Sun’s customers. These two are offering sweet deals (read discounts) including discounted consulting when Sun customers switch over to a competitive server platform.  Given IBM’s thrust to lead with consulting, this could work out very well for both customers and VARs.  Customers will have an easier migration, and VARs can pick up new customers while taking advantage of IBM’s consultants when they work together on deals.  HP is also highlighting an offer of technical assistance and advice and is wooing customers with the headline “HP to Sun Customers: We’ve Got Your Back”. 

How’s it working out?  Rumor has it HP has switched 100 Sun customers over to its server platforms in the last six months.  And IBM is touting over 250 Sun customer wins in the first half of 2009.  Looks like there’s still some nervousness in Sun’s customer base, and Sun customers are inclined to explore options.  The longer the merger is delayed, the more time VARs have to make inroads. This presents a golden opportunity for HP’s and IBM’s VARs as well for those with other competitive products. VARs can still grab market share and need to act quickly.


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