Sun Microsystems is making a play for the customer relationship management (CRM) market by signing a multimillion dollar alliance with Epiphany to create software especially for Sun platforms.
As well as jointly developing the technology, both companies are investing in related marketing activities. Epiphany's E5 applications give users an array of so-called touch points that include fax, desktop and telephony, with email, chat and wireless features to be added shortly.
The partnership represents one of Sun's first moves into the crowded CRM space, which is being hotly contested by Siebel Systems and enterprise resource players Oracle and Peoplesoft.
Ed Zander, chief executive at Sun, said: "As we have done with other companies in other spaces, we try to pick the leader. This is similar to what we did in the 1990s by getting in on enterprise resource planning vendors, which gave rise to much of our server growth."
Roger Siboni, chief executive at Epiphany, said: "What Epiphany and Sun are trying to accomplish in the marketplace is to develop a holistic approach to what the Fortune 1000 companies are demanding for CRM solutions.
"They want massively scalable systems that can drive real-time interaction in a secure way, but also require applications that deliver every aspect of customer analytics, marketing, sales and service in a suite of real-time applications that they can drive to their enterprises."
Although Siboni was careful to point out that Epiphany will continue to support Microsoft's SQL Server and Oracle's Unix offerings, he said: "What the majority of our customers are telling us is that the environment of choice for them is Sun."
Matthew Polly says CrowdStrike is looking to branch out from the UK and into mainland Europe
Southampton-based VAR states that further acquisitions are in the pipeline
With UKFast launching a public cloud consultancy, Tom Wright asks if this is the way forward for all local hosting providers
Reseller joins HP and Cisco in pledging to boost the tech sector's diversity