The rise of Andy’s Sun

The new president of Sun Microsystems of Canada has had a busy five months.

Since landing the job last November, Andy Canham moved his family from Calgary to Toronto and travelled cross-country to better acquaint himself with Sun partners and customers.

CDN recently sat down with Canham, who replaced Stephane Boisvert, to discuss his strategy for Sun and approach to the channel.

CDN: Since joining Sun last year, what have been your key focus areas?

Andy Canham: We have introduced a lot of new technology to the market in the last six months and getting our customers exposed to it and understanding its impact on the server, storage and software side particularly has been number one.

Second priority has been the successful integration of StorageTek. On January 1 we became a single legal entity in Canada and most parts of the world. We formed a division called the Data Management Group, combining Sun storage and the StorageTek business. Executing on our whole ILM (information lifecycle management) strategy is now what we’re emerging with.

Also, helping invest in Sun’s key growth areas, which include identity management, enterprise application integration,new AMD portfolio set, and even though its part of our existing portfolio, this new Sparc technology.

CDN: What are some of Sun’s developments for the channel?

AC: There are two key ones. First is the launch of our Sun Partner Advantage Program, this is a global effort to help ensure we’re rewarding partners for bringing value to our customers.

We’re going to be in full deployment worldwide with that on July 1.

The other is localizing the programs for some of our new technologies, particularly with the AMD Opteron product set and all of the benefits partners can earn by focusing on that technology.

One of the key advantages for partners is that they’re going to have access to our software and be able to help develop and test with their customers. Partners will be in a unique position to get much more involved beyond just the hardware technology, but (also) in the software space.

CDN: How will Sun help increase margin opportunities for the channel?

AC: The first thing we need to do is bring to the table technologies at price performance levels that are significantly better than our competitors.

If we can do that, there’s a value proposition our partners can bring to help customers invest and grow those technologies.

Related to that will be their ability to drive their own services revenue with implementing these new technologies, and that’s where a lot of their skills are already today.

These aren’t new investments for partners, as we succeed with the technology they will succeed with the services around those technologies.

CDN: If Dell and AMD partner, how would you prepare your team for that competition?

AC: AMD has great technology and it doesn’t surprise me at all that Dell would be interested in partnering with them.

We’ve got a great relationship with AMD, we see the opportunity for our market share to grow dramatically.

One of the unique capabilities we bring around AMD is the Sun engineered technology that we have in our servers.

We’re not concerned at all about our ability to compete in that space. Dell entering that space will probably open some doors for us to have discussions with customers about AMD and Sun technology.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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