Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sun Sets Goal of $7 Billion in Channel Business by 2010

Touting the best product and solution portfolio in its 25-history, Sun is aimed at growing its channel business from $3 billion to $7 billion by 2010, and eventually to $10 billion, Sun executives said at this year's New Frontiers conference for Sun partners.

“We're heavily channel-focused and channel centric,” said Tom Wagner, Sun's vice-president of Americas partner sales, reported Jeff Jedras with IT Business. “We're not getting requisitions from the board of directors to go build-out a more extensive direct sales organization, that's just not in our DNA.”

Wagner says Sun is focused on real, organic growth, and not just re-routing direct business through the channel. Currently, Sun does 65 percent of its business through the channel.

“This is about creating a much bigger pie for the company," he said. "As a company we need to grow, and one of the central ways we achieve that growth is through the channel.”

One of the solutions Sun is counting on to help drive growth is its new Partner Growth Fund that will award partners with dollars, based on revenue, that can then be used to purchase equipment for in-house demonstration centers, proof of concepts and other uses.

Three years ago, Sun canceled a similar program, but partners have been requesting its return.

“When you can put that technology in front of the customers, its sold,” said Cheryl Marfia, director of U.S. partner programs for Sun. “Now partners really get to focus on building-out their solutions.”

Deal registration was also introduced as a complement to its teaming agreements program. With Sun's business focus shifting into new markets, Marfia said it was time to offer deal registration.

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