IBM Holds All the Sales, Marketing Cards

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-03-18 Print this article Print

The key to it all might be this: IBM might be able to sell Sun's products better than Sun can.

When asked if he thought that statement were true, Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala concurred. "IBM's professional services absolutely should be able to sell Sun's stuff," Kerravala told eWEEK. "Right now, even, they can probably sell Sun better than Sun can."

To be fair, Sun's oft-beleaguered marketing folks have had to take a lot of guff over the years. They've had a much tougher job than most, because many of Sun's innovative and important technologies have been extremely tough to monetize.

Java is the biggest example, along with, and all the other open-source products in its catalog. If Java could have brought Sun, say, $5 billion to $10 billion per year in extra revenue since it was launched in 1995, Sun would be in a much better financial position today.

"In the same way Java provides Sun some influence in markets it simply hasn't been able to take advantage of, it offers that influence to IBM now," Pund-IT Principal Analyst Charles King told eWEEK.

IBM has done a better job in selling services related to Linux and other open-source technologies, King said. "Whether or not they can figure out how to monetize Java, I don't know. It's certainly within the realm of possibility," he said.

Cisco Systems already has shown its cards with the launch of its UCS (Unified Computing System), Kerravala said.

"Acquiring Sun would allow IBM to combine Sun's VDI [Virtual Desktop Infrastructure] technology with IBM's strength in servers, storage and professional services, helping them further the vision of what the 'IBM data center' would look like," Kerravala said.

"As we predicted in our [Yankee Group's] 'Introducing Anywhere IT' report, this transformation will reshape the vendor landscape. We expect to see further consolidation with vendors such as Rackable [Systems], Mellanox [Technologies], Brocade and QLogic being logical acquisition candidates as the larger data center vendors jockey for position in the data center," he said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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