Another Way for Sun VARs to Profit
Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems is old news by now. And although Oracle now says Sun’s business is profitable, I believe their approach to the existing Sun Microsystems channel has not been well received. But there are some clear opportunities for Sun VARs to generate profits. Here’s how.
As you may recall, Oracle has taken 4,000 of Sun’s biggest customers direct and intends to service them directly; creating additional channel challenges. To further enrage Sun VAR’s, Oracle End-of-Life’s Sun Spectrum Service and replaces it with one service option with a premium service level, 24/7 support. (Read the fine print: if the location is not within two hours of Parts depot the service level will never be met.)
Finally, the latest out of the Sun VAR camp is the non-payment of Sun hardware rebates. This is just the latest in a series of worries Sun hardware partners have faced since the change of ownership. They were already smarting from Oracle’s plan to take more hardware business direct and from changes to the Sun hardware support policy.
Here are some points of interest for you to consider when it comes to the EOSL opportunities. The confusion continues and creates challenges for you and your customers.
Did you know the following or better yet, do your customers:
- Sun does not guarantee the quality or availability of replacement parts. Cosmetic components, including, but not limited to logos, doors, panels, latch assemblies, structural parts, surface finishes, are not eligible for replacement.
- If parts are no longer available, Sun’s sole obligation will be to provide credit on the service contract line item. Sun will not provide any software or hardware updates.
Sun may, at its sole option, provide error corrections for software or hardware errors.
Sun may require service level agreement adjustment at any time during the EOSL period.
Sun will publish notice of service level agreement adjustments and updated pricing at least thirty (30) days in advance.
- Mission Critical Escalation Support is not available for Products after the End of Sun Spectrum Support Life Date. Mission Critical Escalation Support includes Sun engaging with Customer in cooperative management of technical resources, action plans and time frames supporting resolution of Priority 1 (as defined in the applicable Service Listing) malfunctions for the selected covered systems mutually agreed between Customer and Sun.
For VAR’s with a strong and loyal install base, and there are lots of you out there, this is a no-brainer service sale opportunity. The EOL/EOSL is outlined by the OEM, you have an alternative service option with ISMO; and by the way the ISMO program promotes the partner transparently as the service provider. You own your customers and your reoccurring revenue.
VAR’s can ease long term support worries and save customers money by providing an ISMO (Independent Service Maintenance Organization) service option. This is a simple way for partners to profit and maintain the relationship that you have established with your customers. To learn more visit, www.servicekeytss.com/sunservice.html or call 866-441-0496.
Christine Callahan (pictured) manages channel and alliance programs for ServiceKey. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s 2010 sponsorship program. Read all of her guest blogs here.