Comments

  1. It’s interesting – so many people who know about computers actually *want* buy Sun hardware. Sun has someinteresting products at the moment.

    But, Sun really doesn’t help itself when it comes to the buying experience. It’s just so much easier (and cheaper!) to buy from Dell from a CAPEX perspective.

    Here’s the kind of thing that happens when you buy a Dell server.

    Customer: Can I have a quote for a server?

    Dell Account Manager (about five minutes after you’ve sent the request): Here’s the quote. I’ve given you a 20% discount compared to the on-line price, and put an extra CPU in there for you.

    Customer: Great! Here’s the purchase order!

    I won’t write what happens when you try to buy from a Sun reseller. Let’s just say – they never seem to be that keen to compete in the market place (despite saying to customers that they are), or to take your money.

    Maybe Jonathan should hire some “secret shoppers” to try to get a handle on how buying from Sun compares to buying from Dell. I bet the information he gets from his sales team doesn’t match too closely with reality.

  2. It’s interesting – so many people who know about computers actually *want* buy Sun hardware. Sun has someinteresting products at the moment.

    But, Sun really doesn’t help itself when it comes to the buying experience. It’s just so much easier (and cheaper!) to buy from Dell from a CAPEX perspective.

    Here’s the kind of thing that happens when you buy a Dell server.

    Customer: Can I have a quote for a server?

    Dell Account Manager (about five minutes after you’ve sent the request): Here’s the quote. I’ve given you a 20% discount compared to the on-line price, and put an extra CPU in there for you.

    Customer: Great! Here’s the purchase order!

    I won’t write what happens when you try to buy from a Sun reseller. Let’s just say – they never seem to be that keen to compete in the market place (despite saying to customers that they are), or to take your money.

    Maybe Jonathan should hire some “secret shoppers” to try to get a handle on how buying from Sun compares to buying from Dell. I bet the information he gets from his sales team doesn’t match too closely with reality.

  3. All very good, but if the purchasing experience is the determining factor in your platform selection, how important can your application be?

    Serious servers are there for one thing and one thing only – uptime. I’ve been responsible for Sun servers and Dell servers, and the ones that are just there, month after month after year are the Suns.

    Which isn’t to say that it’s a good idea for anyone to say to their customers “Scr_w you, take it or leave it” – Sun does compete with IBM and HP.

    Just as an aside, we recently got one of those amazingly fast Dell quotes that included Enterprise SQL Server 2005 processor licenses for “only” $21,000 each – close to a 30% premium over the street price. Easy to get but insanely painful to pay for!

  4. All very good, but if the purchasing experience is the determining factor in your platform selection, how important can your application be?

    Serious servers are there for one thing and one thing only – uptime. I’ve been responsible for Sun servers and Dell servers, and the ones that are just there, month after month after year are the Suns.

    Which isn’t to say that it’s a good idea for anyone to say to their customers “Scr_w you, take it or leave it” – Sun does compete with IBM and HP.

    Just as an aside, we recently got one of those amazingly fast Dell quotes that included Enterprise SQL Server 2005 processor licenses for “only” $21,000 each – close to a 30% premium over the street price. Easy to get but insanely painful to pay for!

  5. “Serious servers are there for one thing and one thing only – uptime.”

    Well sometimes. But, in any case, industry standard servers from all the major vendors are assembled from similar parts, and all are pretty reliable these days.

    However, you’re right – Sun makes better hardware than Dell, for sure. And Sun hardware support is *way* better than Dell. And Sun can be pretty price competitive with Dell when they want. And a Sun box’s TCO may well be less than a Dell box.

    All things being equal, then, I suspect most people would actually *prefer*, in principle, to buy from Sun than from Dell.

    So, you have to ask: why does Dell sell more iron than Sun? I suspect a big part of this is that it’s so much easier to buy from Dell than it is from Sun.

  6. “Serious servers are there for one thing and one thing only – uptime.”

    Well sometimes. But, in any case, industry standard servers from all the major vendors are assembled from similar parts, and all are pretty reliable these days.

    However, you’re right – Sun makes better hardware than Dell, for sure. And Sun hardware support is *way* better than Dell. And Sun can be pretty price competitive with Dell when they want. And a Sun box’s TCO may well be less than a Dell box.

    All things being equal, then, I suspect most people would actually *prefer*, in principle, to buy from Sun than from Dell.

    So, you have to ask: why does Dell sell more iron than Sun? I suspect a big part of this is that it’s so much easier to buy from Dell than it is from Sun.

  7. […] Robert Scoble mentioned that “Now we know that this blog isn’t written by a PR team. I’ve never seen a PR team recommend apologizing in public for messing up a customer.” I agree — it’s certainly not normal to bring attention to a mistake. This makes me wonder: Is the PR landscape changing? Well, I know blogs have had an effect on Public Relations by giving a voice to the little guy (all it takes for something to explode in the blogosphere is one person writing about it & one A-lister who finds it) – but I don’t think the change is really revolutionary yet. […]