Sun chairman Scott McNealy is refusing to shift his stance to accommodate channel partners that object to the company's attitude towards resellers that take on competing products.
Speaking at the company's first customer and partner event in Europe, McNealy stressed the importance of its channel to drive revenues.
In an exclusive interview with CRN, he made no secret of the fact that he takes a dim view of those that are less than 100 per cent committed to Sun.
"I would not be upset with my team for working more closely with Sun-only resellers. If someone commits to the Sun platform, I think we should take better care of them," McNealy said.
Leslie Stretch, UK managing director of Sun, admitted that the vendor's relationship with the channel had suffered as a result of the company's focus on cost-cutting.
"In the downturn we pulled all the levers. We were trying to keep our business in healthy financial shape, and it hurt a lot of people, but for the past six months the figures speak for themselves," he said.
"Our relationship with the channel is improving. About 90 per cent of our business in the first quarter went through the channel.
"It's the most powerful channel in the market and [resellers are] very loyal."
Stretch added that initiatives were underway to address channel issues.
Greg Carlow, chief executive of reseller Repton, said: "If Sun rigidly adopted this 100 per cent policy in the UK it would end up with two resellers.
"The reality is that most larger customers have certain standards. They will use IBM for one thing, Sun for another and HP for something else.
"If a reseller is to be of support to these vendors then it's in every one's interest that they provide more than one box.
"There are few, if any, customers that I can think of that are a Sun-only shop."
'Smaller firms may struggle to keep up with Microsoft's innovation with Dynamics' says CEO Stuart Fenton after acquiring assets from Profile Enterprise Solutions
Pete Peterson admits the firm hasn't always been the 'easiest company to do business with'
New chief exec Aaron Painter says 'longer-term strategy' could see firm tackle the Asian market
XMA bosses on becoming a 'performance VAR', pocketing £50m of Misco leftovers, and acquisition near-misses
Lee Hemani and Andy Wright reveal that XMA is aiming to boost net profits to three per cent of revenues as they run through the growth ambitions of the UK's ninth-largest reseller