Sun Microsystems’ CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s latest blog is a great example of how to help to cross-sell your biggest partners/customers without it being immediately apparent to everybody that what you’re doing is cross-selling your biggest partners/customers.
In his latest missive Schwartz – who without a scientific calculation to prove the fact, I think blogs a little less often now that he is CEO (though who am I to talk?) – says for the companies that want big, powerful servers, the choice is not between Sun and its server rivals. Instead they should eschew big, powerful servers and buy Software as a Service from salesforce.com.
As Schwartz puts it: “…a flower shop in a shopping mall. Or a dentist’s office or restaurant. They want a cheap box. But that’s not our core market, that’s someone else’s. In my view, they’re both going to stop buying infrastructure, anyways. Here’s my CRM advice for both: shut down your servers, go directly to salesforce.com.”
It’s not exactly a big secret that Sun and salesforce.com are buddies. As far back as 2001 Sun announced that salesforce.com had bought a load of Sun kit, including servers, storage and services, to run its service.
In September 2003 salesforce.com announced the sforce Portal Toolkit, based on Sun’s portals software, Java and the sforce platform. Explaining the move, Jim Cavalieri, CIO of salesforce.com said: “Sun’s consistent track record in delivering the most scalable and highest quality servers in the marketplace made it the obvious choice for us.” Love was in the air.
The only fly in the Sun-salesforce.com ointment is the fact that salesforce.com has shown it is prepared to steal Sun staff if it fancies them – a while back it announced it was hiring Patricia Sueltz, who led the services unit at Sun (and was one of the names thought to be on the list of possibles to replace McNealy as Sun CEO) to become its new president of marketing, technology and systems.
But if Schwartz’s latest blog is anything to go by, the relationship between the two is as cosy as ever.