Last month, Sun and IBM each opened a showcase customer center in the San Francisco Bay area. Although the centers were built by different companies, they share the same goal: attracting and servicing clients.
Suns iForce Solution Center, at its Menlo Park campus, has a series of interesting displays showing Suns software and hardware being used in a wide range of target markets, including service stations, grocery stores and financial centers. The iForce center also acts as a resource for customers that want to design and stage technology implementations before rolling them out on their sites.
The IBM Design Center, which opened at the companys Silicon Valley Laboratory, in San Jose, specializes in e-business infrastructure design. The facility features a usability center, where developers can observe how users interact with new designs for Web sites. The lab itself has numerous servers, ranging from mainframe-class to smaller Linux models. Also plentiful are Shark storage arrays. For more information about IBMs Design Center, go to www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/design_center. More information about the Sun center is at www.sun.com/executives/iforce/centers.