Sun Microsystems has hit back at criticism that its servicestion. resources are insufficient to keep up with systems sales, which has led to speculation that the manufacturer would be forced into making an acquisition to plug the gap.
Talking exclusively to PC Dealer, Robert Youngjohns, Sun UK MD, said he found potential customers were surprised by the extent of Sun's offerings beyond the public eye.
'The problem is we have all the basics but we don't merchandise it very well. Behind all the glitz of Java and smartcards beats the heart of a very dull company,' he said.
Youngjohns said the services operation had no restraints on new recruitment and had grown into the biggest part of the UK company. Hiring service engineers was not a problem either, he claimed, with Digital a good source of defectors.
Youngjohns admitted Sun had only 10 UK engineers dedicated to high-end Starfire servers but insisted this did not affect customers.
But analysts are not convinced Sun's services can keep up with the rapid growth in its server sales. Jane Doorly, VP and director of research at Dataquest, said: 'Sun does not have anything like the services in-house that it will require. Ultimately, it will be constrained hardware sales. It will have to make the decision quickly whether to have a full-services business or not go that route.'
She pointed out that Sun would have to decide whether an acquisition was necessary, and do it soon.
However, Youngjohns insisted that major takeovers were not part of Sun culture and it would continue to make small acquisitions of niche companies that filled a gap.
'Acquisitions could bring the potential for big conflict. The partnering model is very clear for Sun. Any change in that would be a fundamental shift in Sun's strategy,' he commented.
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