Sun Aligns With ACS

Advancing its services agenda on two fronts today, Sun formed a new services alliance with systems integrator Affiliated Computer Services and an expanded alliance with NCR.

Sun Microsystems Inc. advanced its services agenda on two fronts today in creating a new services alliance with systems integrator Affiliated Computer Services Inc. and an expanded alliance with NCR Corp.

The new ACS alliance will extend utility computing services based on Sun hardware, software and services to ACS clients, allowing them to pay for computing as their business requires.

"ACS will use that infrastructure to provide IT and outsourcing solutions to scale up or down to meet client needs on a pay per use basis," described Bill Mooz, senior director for utility computing at Sun in Broomfield, Colo.

The alliance gives ACS clients an expanded "range of choices" for those who want to consume computing resources on a pay-per-use basis, Mooz said. This is the first time the Dallas, Texas, systems integrator has offered outsourcing services on a pay-per-use basis.

One key component of the agreement call for ACS to periodically provide guaranteed cost reductions to its clients who enter long-term deals, allowing those clients to share in the benefits of improved efficiencies. As ACS offers such reductions, Sun has also pledged to follow suit.

"Sun has committed to sharing the risk of utility computing venture with ACS. To the extent they commit to cost reductions with partners, Sun commits to our share of the cost reduction as well," said Mooz.

The deal also calls for Sun and ACS to work together to refresh computing equipment to insure that ACS clients are kept on the most appropriate equipment and latest technology. That will insure that ACS clients receive the benefits of reduced equipment costs and enhanced quality of services features.

Finally, both are incented to keep costs low, because ACS clients only pay when they are consuming computing resources, and ACS only pays Sun when its infrastructure is being used.

Pricing for the utility computing service, which will be offered out of unspecified ACS data centers, will be flexible for ACS clients. Clients could pay per transaction, per infrastructure use, or they could pay on a per-seat or per-employee basis. ACS will pay Sun based on usage of bandwidth, networking, CPU and storage, according to Ashif Dhanani, director of market development for utility computing at Sun in Broomfield, Colo.

In contrast to the utility computing deal, Sun expanded its NCR Corp. alliance to create specific services and applications for retail, financial and telecommunications customers. The global arrangement also calls for joint sales and delivery of installation and support services for the full range of Suns entry-level and mid-range servers and storage systems.

"NCR will launch a legacy trade in program to replace its Unix servers with Sun systems running Solaris. They will integrate Sun technology into their IT infrastructure solutions (for the three vertical industries)," described Elizabeth King, Director for Solutions Partners, Global Partner Sales at Sun in Menlo Park, Calif.

They Dayton, Ohio-based NCR uses Suns Solaris operating system in its ImageMark Archive offering for banks, which allows transactions such as checks and remittance to be digitally captured, processed and maintained in an image warehouse. For banks and retailers, NCR also uses Sun technology in its eCommerce and network security service offerings.

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