At best go private at worst go back to SUNW as a stock ticker.
Focus absolutely all of innovation efforts on a new core value proposition – The Storage Is The Computer. The Network used to be the computer, but now its the storage. Everything runs on everything. What matters is how fast you get to the bits and how flexibly you can work with them. That is why FOX and wikimedia have recently made major purchases of Sun gear. Data is like wine, Apps are like fish. I was very impressed to see this new Sun data erasure service – I can imagine some financial services companies are desperate to remove any data they aren’t legally obliged to hold at this point…
Put Marten Mickos in charge of the new app platform group, with Anil Gadre as consigliere. Sun acquired MySQL for a reason- and Mickos was a big part of it. Anil’s background for the last many years has been marketing. But APM needs to be about sales execution and hardcore operational rigour.
Go balls out for WebSphere, WebSphere and Oracle database offload. Budgets are getting slashed next year. Currently the enterprise really doesn’t have many options in that regard. Glassfish works. MySQL is a great bucket of bits. Partner closely with GreenPlum and Terracotta here. Does MySQL compete with Oracle as an OLTP engine? No. Are thousands of Oracle sticking data in Oracle as a matter of course when they could just be using a bucket of bits. Absolutely. And don’t even get me started on companies thinking the only possible app platform is a JEE server from IBM or Oracle. If its not EJB run it somewhere else. Use Tomcat or whatever- or maybe Glassfish
Don’t worry about pissing off Oracle- it leads with Linux and has done for years.
If you love something, set it free. I wll just quote Tim here:
As for Sun’s role as Steward of Java, and in particular the Java Community Process, let it go already. Java has mostly won and is mostly the establishment, and the community is smart and conservative enough to keep anyone from doing what Microsoft tried last millennium, or in any other way to subvert Java’s interoperability. In 2008, the JCP is costing Sun opportunities and friends and gaining us very little that I can see.
So I’d like Sun to set the JCP free, turn it over to the community, and when we develop some cool Java-based technology in-house, take it to market, try to make some money with it, and after it’s caught on and the bugs are shaken out, consider whether or not it ought to be taken to the JCP.
I disagree somewhat with Tim about the sales force. It should be selling more effectively than it is. Then again it could be the sales force is addicted to the margins of the old legacy products (the very problem which led StorageTek into Sun’s arms).
Get behind Sun Ray. Market the hell out of it. It works. Not as a Microsoft replacement, but as part of a secure enterprise infrastructure, delivering Microsoft Office as a managed service. The pull through there is with Identity, another Sun software bright spot.
Bill Joy was wrong. Innovation doesn’t happen elsewhere. It happens at Sun. The portfolio is in better shape than ever. The retooling of a tired mess into a clean and solid portfolio is complete. I was therefore surprised at this story by Dawn Kawamoto on CNET last week. Quoting an unnamed investment bank source that Sun’s “lack of product innovation is hurting them”. Then quoting an unnamed private equity player… Let me just say – it is really not such a journalistic challenge to get on the record negative comments about Sun right now.
Say what you like about Jonathan – the portfolio overhaul has been a success. There is the small matter of being able to collaborate effectively with Intel and Microsoft. But it all comes down to making money and selling stuff, not building slick products.
[update: I forgot to say. Get behind Hudson is a big way. Developers really like it. It just works. It makes managing your builds a relatively painless experience. It is even, dare I say it, "pretty" - at least that was the adjective Dan McWeeney from Adobe used for it when he demoed it to me]. Oh yeah – and the server tweets too, with a check box, which just has to be a good thing…]
disclosure: IBM is a client. Sun is a client. Terracotta is a client. GreenPlum has been a client and will be again. Jonathan Schwartz is a friend of mine.