James Governor's Monkchips

Sun as a Grown up Company

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

I am at Java One and just had a discussion with Sun president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz and a few other analysts. It was a knockabout session, as we had a chance to chat to Jonathan in his new role as CEO.

I asked Jonathan what I thought was a softball question with a somewhat obvious response

“How much are you enjoying Dell’s current misfortune, and why aren’t you doing more to kick the firm while its down?”

Jonathan looked me in the eye and expressed exactly how Sun will be different under his stewardship.

We don’t need to be anti-anyone. Why does the story always have to be Sun slaps somebody?”

That is a big change. Scott McNealy was always trying to “kill” somebody, and seemingly came from the Everybody Else Miust Fail school of management.

Jonathan on the other hand, pointed out that Dell is a potential partner, and generates a lot of Solaris installs…

One customer running Solaris on Dell hardware is Wells Fargo…. that has to be a nice opportunity.

Jonathan said that when he became CEO the first thing he did was call the likes of Matthew Szulik (RedHat), Marc Fleury (JBoss), and Kevin Rollins (Dell).

Take note – Jonathan didn’t call customers straightaway, as per the new tech CEO playbook – he called the people that Sun couldn’t have a sensible conversation with while Scott was still in charge…

Most other industry players have long responded to coopetition, both competing and cooperating with other major firms, and changed their business models accordingly.

Sun on the other hand often looked somewhat isolated. Vertically integrated yes, but isolated also.

It seems like Sun is now finally making that transition. Take note…. Sun working closely with AMD was a big wake up call for the firm. We may well see more deals like that…

Jonathan is evidently about value creation, rather than negativity, and it’s a good look.

Sun – participation requires partners, some of which are not best of friends. It will be interesting to see whether the non confrontational approach to Dell bears fruit. Solaris pre-installed on Dell? Stranger things have happened, especially when customers ask for it.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *