Sun has hit back at IBM's claim that it is poaching Sun's top resellers.
In December, IBM said it was on the verge of signing 10 of Sun's top reseller partners. At the time, Mark Hughes, channel development manager at IBM, told CRN Sun had "taken its eye off the ball in the channel and its feet off the streets".
However, Gary Nugent, iForce partner and mid-market sales manager at Sun, said IBM's entry into his channel seems to have been good news.
"Our latest results break down by region, so they are there for everyone to see," Nugent said. "We grew our product business in the UK by 22 per cent year-on-year in our third quarter, and overall business by 19 per cent year-on-year.
"When I took over 10 months ago, the channel made up 77 per cent of UK sales. In Q3, this figure had risen to 85 per cent. Not only have I grown my business, but partners have grown their businesses too. I think IBM should continue to sign up my partners because it seems to focus their minds wonderfully."
Simon Welch, marketing manager at Sun Channel Development Partner Clarity, said: "Sun is very partner-centric and has had to cut back staff quite a bit as well, so there's even more of a need for resellers."
However, Patrick Lawton, chief executive of IBM ISV Digital Union, said: "We are involved in developing a lot of pSeries revenue. The market for pSeries and Linux is pretty prevalent. We just don't see Sun supported. IBM is also putting pressure on Solaris with its Linux drive."
Jane Dance, marketing manager at Sun and IBM reseller Repton, said: "We are doing extremely well with both Sun and IBM. A multi-vendor model works for us because our sector is finance. Most customers use many different platforms, so it's good to be able to offer more than one manufacturer."
IBM was unavailable for comment.
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