Sun Microsystems' solution providers are in revolt after the vendor unveiled a two-week promotion that cut prices for many of its server, storage, software and services products by 50 percent and more, but only for customers who purchase those products direct from Sun. The promotion, which Sun announced in an email to customers -- including clients of its solution providers -- has already resulted in lost deals for VARs and customer pressure to renegotiate deals to match the promotional prices.
The promotion has "created a tremendous amount of problems for us since Sun blasted that e-mail to the community," said Amy Rao, CEO of Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider. "Sun is not respecting the partner who developed the business. It's very difficult to understand how they can do this to partners who worked weeks or months on a deal." Tom Kuni, president of SSI hubcity, a Metuchen, N.J.-based solution provider and past co-president of Sun's national VAR council, said it was hard to believe that Sun was doing this promotion. "In all my experience in channel sales, I've never before witnessed a more disruptive, discouraging and distrustful act self-inflicted by a manufacturer on its own reseller community," Kuni said. "The program timing and unintended consequences all have real disaster potential."