Sun Offers Factory Integration Services

Plans to dub partners SunTone builders

Sun Microsystems is offering factory integration services to create customized systems spanning hardware, software, storage subsystems, racks, and cabling.

Suns Floor Tile Ready integration program, announced Tuesday, has been in beta test for more than a year. Sun officials say the goal of the program is to make it easier for customers to order and deploy Sun equipment. Sun will provide pre-configured and pre-tested products that the company says can be rapidly installed.

Gary Beck, vice president of Suns Integrated Products Group, says without pre-configuration, systems could take ten days to deploy. With the Floor Tile Ready program, the task can be accomplished in less than one day, he says. "The main thing we are trying to do is address total cost of ownership for our customers," he adds.

Suns integrators, as well as end customers, can order the pre-configured systems. With Sun doing the factory integration work, partners can focus on customizing the solution for specific vertical niches, according to Sun.

In addition, Sun plans to begin certifying Channels Development Partners as SunTone builders, a status that would let certified companies provide factory integration services under the Floor Tile Ready program. SunTone is Suns certification initiative for service providers and integrators.

While Floor Tile Ready is somewhat reminiscent of the PC makers largely unsuccessful channel assembly programs, Beck says Suns effort is fundamentally different. Channel assembly, he says, focused on pulling together CPUs, memory, and other components to create systems. Suns program, he contends, pushes beyond the box to address such issues as storage subsystems, systems management, and clustering.