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August 31, 2005

StorageTek colonizes Sun storage

Announcing that its acquisition of Storage Technology Corp closed, Sun Microsystems Inc surprised nobody yesterday when it made it clear that StorageTek will be a heavy influence on Sun's future storage efforts.

By CBR Staff Writer

Although Sun’s executive vice president Mark Canepa will continue as overall head of Sun’s storage business, four of the five chiefs running that organization and reporting to Canepa will be former StorageTek executives.

Over time Sun’s storage brand StorEdge will be replaced by the name StorageTek. Sun has also abandoned the regional structure of its sales force, in favor of StorageTek’s more monolithic organization as the basis for a post-merger storage sales-force.

This probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The vst majority of the sales-force are former StorageTek people. It’s all goodness. It’s a recognition of the reality that they knew what they were doing, said Canepa.

StorageTek’s business is heavily skewed towards the slow growing tape market, and tape products accounted for 76% of its revenue in its latest quarter. Sun is widely assumed to have bought StorageTek for its well-regarded sales and services organization.

Canepa told ComputerWire: I now have over well over 1,000 people compared to very few people before who can tell the story of data management from cradle to grave.

Sun’s storage sales were formerly split into 15 worldwide regions, in the same way as the rest of Sun’s sales-force. But now Sun’s 500-odd SE’s will part of a single worldwide sales organization that will also embrace around 1,000 StorageTek sales people.

The overall storage business of Sun has been renamed as the Data Management Group, and now consists of Disk, Tape, and ILM Solutions groups. The disk group will be led by existing Sun executive Kathleen Holmgren, while former StorageTek chiefs Nigel Dessau and Brenda Zawatski will run the tape and ILM groups respectively.

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Storage sales will be run by StorageTek’s former sales chief Michael McLay, and services by StorageTek’s former services chief Eula Adams.

StorageTek’s former CEO, Pat Martin, will not be joining the combined company. In April this year Martin made it clear that he was set to leave StorageTek when his employment contract expired. Martin leaves with a halo, having first turned StorageTek around, and then negotiated a good price for its sale to Sun.

On a more tactical front, Canepa hinted that Sun will axe an OEM deal with Quantum Corp, a rival of StorageTek’s. Don’t be surprised if relationships with component or product makers don’t continue, he said.

Canepa said that Sun has no intention of ending its OEM relationship with SRM software supplier AppIQ Inc.

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