Vodafone Makes Sun Its Preferred IT Vendor

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-10-26 Print this article Print

Vodafone signs a global purchasing agreement with Sun that gives Vodafone consistent terms for Sun's hardware, software and services product line.

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Vodafone Group, one of the worlds largest mobile carriers, have strengthened their existing relationship by signing a global framework agreement that gives Vodafone consistent terms for Suns hardware, software and services product line. The deal, to be announced on Tuesday, also includes specific extensions for the Sun Java Enterprise System and the Sun Java Desktop System, and allows Vodafone to use Sun software in providing services and support to customers in more than 26 countries worldwide. Click here to read eWEEK Labs review of Java Desktop System 2.
In essence, the global purchasing agreement means that Vodafone is selecting Sun as its preferred IT vendor of choice. "The global purchasing agreement makes it easier for Vodafone operating companies around the world to evaluate, acquire and deploy Java Enterprise System and Java Desktop System," said Joe Keller, a Sun vice president for Java Web Services and Development Platform Strategy.
"Vodafone signed this deal with Sun to pay one fee, upfront, and can then deploy as much software, depending on needs, over time. Vodafone currently has almost all of Suns hardware products in use around their global business," he said. Sun and Vodafone already have a longstanding relationship, and this announcement means that Vodafone is now further committed to developing new applications and services on Sun systems, Keller said, adding that Vodafone, with some 75,000 employees worldwide, plans to fully migrate to Sun software to reduce licensing costs and complexity, and streamline communications across its operating companies around the globe. The company will use the Java Enterprise System as a platform to deliver mobile applications to users, including ring tones and games. The contract is a rolling agreement that will be continually renewed unless Vodafone cancels its requirement for it, Keller said. Detlef Schultz, Vodafones global supply chain director, said in a statement that the company anticipates significant cost and synergy savings over the next few years due to reduced support and deployment costs as a result of this agreement. Suns Keller added that the Vodafone deal is an important and strategic one for Sun, but he declined to give the dollar amount of the deal, saying only that "it is quite large due to the scope of the agreement and amount of employees at Vodafone." While Vodafone is in the evaluation stages for Java Desktop System, which is covered under the global framework agreement, Vodafone operating companies in Greece, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands have purchased Java Enterprise System licenses and are in varying stages of deployment, Keller said, but he declined to give specific numbers. Check out eWEEK.coms Mobile & Wireless Center for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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