Sun is firmly scotching talk of a dramatic expansion of its reseller channels in preparation for the launch of its ground-breaking Javastation clients and Netra j servers next month.
Although the workstation giant expects the new networked computer model to take the enterprise computing world by storm over the next 12 month-period, it maintains that it is not engaging in any changes to its UK channels - just yet.
Currently, Sun's 350 resellers get all their service, support and product through one master reseller, Tplc. But rival value-added distributors, such as the newly revamped Datech 2000, are positioning themselves for possible changes to Sun's channel plans.
Sun channel development manager Pete Deane told Internet Dealer: 'Our strategy is still very much based around one master reseller, which has put a great deal of investment into us. Why should we change while they fulfil the functions we need - logistics, supply, market coverage and investment in growing the market? We're happy with things as they are.
But he added: 'We're at the beginning of a completely new phase in the industry, and of course we will watch how things develop, and we will massage or change the channel in response. That doesn't preclude Datech or any of the other potential master resellers from being part of that in the future.'
Deane said Sun's current concern was quickly transitioning its dealers and partners on to Java-based application development for the new client/server machines. A recent survey of Fortune 1000 companies showed that 42 per cent expect Java client/server networks to be playing a strategic role in their organisations within a year, which suggests Sun's indirect channels are about to reap the rewards of a dramatic shift in IT deployment.
'We're saying to our resellers that they have to think very carefully about how the computing world is moving away from fat clients (high-spec PCs) to the thin computing model. It's attractive to IT managers because of the low-maintenance overhead on thin clients, and our resellers are recognising that there is change and that they need to move with us,' he said.
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