Enterprise Customers in conflict at Sun Microsystems listening day?

SmugMug’s CEO was at the recent Sun Microsystems “meet with the customers” day held at my house in Half Moon Bay. Well, OK, it wasn’t quite at my house, but down the street at the Half Moon Bay Ritz.

Anyway, I found his post interesting because it demonstrates some of the Enterprise changes that are going on and some of the conflicts between different kinds of customers who showed up at the Sun Microsystems customer day.

I wonder what the Enterprise Irregulars and Nick Carr think of Don MacAskill’s post?

11 thoughts on “Enterprise Customers in conflict at Sun Microsystems listening day?

  1. Hey Simon-

    I’d imagine things in Her Majesty’s Empire are a bit different than here in the colonies. In answer to your the question, “how is Sun faltering, ala DEC ?!?”:

    (1) Ever-changing top management with seemingly contradictory direction, goals, and initiatives. Sun’s strategy du’jour hasn’t won them a lot of analyst [or street] credibility.

    (2) Way, way too much bureaucracy and lack of customer responsiveness (the field teams can’t make meaningful decisions without corporate VP approval). Instead of having an approved budget, deal-by-deal, discounts must be approved.

    (3) Painfully slow recovery from the dot-com hang-over; Mr. McNealy had to move aside (to save face), post multi-billion dollar losses. Sun are still dealing with their [poor] wanderlust decision making from 5-7 years ago.

    (4) Poor supply chain processes/metrics. It takes freaking forever to get product. They’re slower than any [legitimate] competitor by 10 business days, on average.

    (5) Too little, too late. Sun’s Half Moon Bay conference, focused on the needs of perspective and existing customers, is comical. Their arrogance over the preceding decade isn’t lost on their [formerly loyal] customer base. Rhetorically, now that their sales are faltering, they’re in a big rush to ask customers to grade them (and to create the bogus perception that they give a f**k). If they had any real commitment to their install base, this wouldn’t be a new initiative, but rather a continuation of a long (and proven) strategy.

    (6) Pissing off MS in a big way. McNealy had the temerity to tell 60-Minutes (CBS News Show here in North America) that he was going to “take on” MS. How’s that working out?!?

    (7) Dell is eager to make in-roads into the Enterprise space in “non-commodity” verticals. Sun would give them a calling card to sell more than the [poorly engineered] BS they have on their price list, today. Combined with their supply chain savvy (and losing streak vis-a-vis HP), this would seem a natural (though expensive) marriage.

    As an unabashed Sun fan-boy, I’m doubtful that you’re willing to concede any of the aforementioned points, but I do wish you the best.

  2. Hey Simon-

    I’d imagine things in Her Majesty’s Empire are a bit different than here in the colonies. In answer to your the question, “how is Sun faltering, ala DEC ?!?”:

    (1) Ever-changing top management with seemingly contradictory direction, goals, and initiatives. Sun’s strategy du’jour hasn’t won them a lot of analyst [or street] credibility.

    (2) Way, way too much bureaucracy and lack of customer responsiveness (the field teams can’t make meaningful decisions without corporate VP approval). Instead of having an approved budget, deal-by-deal, discounts must be approved.

    (3) Painfully slow recovery from the dot-com hang-over; Mr. McNealy had to move aside (to save face), post multi-billion dollar losses. Sun are still dealing with their [poor] wanderlust decision making from 5-7 years ago.

    (4) Poor supply chain processes/metrics. It takes freaking forever to get product. They’re slower than any [legitimate] competitor by 10 business days, on average.

    (5) Too little, too late. Sun’s Half Moon Bay conference, focused on the needs of perspective and existing customers, is comical. Their arrogance over the preceding decade isn’t lost on their [formerly loyal] customer base. Rhetorically, now that their sales are faltering, they’re in a big rush to ask customers to grade them (and to create the bogus perception that they give a f**k). If they had any real commitment to their install base, this wouldn’t be a new initiative, but rather a continuation of a long (and proven) strategy.

    (6) Pissing off MS in a big way. McNealy had the temerity to tell 60-Minutes (CBS News Show here in North America) that he was going to “take on” MS. How’s that working out?!?

    (7) Dell is eager to make in-roads into the Enterprise space in “non-commodity” verticals. Sun would give them a calling card to sell more than the [poorly engineered] BS they have on their price list, today. Combined with their supply chain savvy (and losing streak vis-a-vis HP), this would seem a natural (though expensive) marriage.

    As an unabashed Sun fan-boy, I’m doubtful that you’re willing to concede any of the aforementioned points, but I do wish you the best.

  3. Please. Sun has some good technology, but, by many measures, they’re DEC in drag. My prediction is that they’re going to *continue* to lose market share and, ultimately, be acquired by Dell.

  4. Please. Sun has some good technology, but, by many measures, they’re DEC in drag. My prediction is that they’re going to *continue* to lose market share and, ultimately, be acquired by Dell.

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