Sun, Deloitte Consulting renew services partnership

Sun Microsystems's partnership with Deloitte Consulting to combine business and technology consulting has been extended as the two companies look to capitalize on data center consolidation opportunities, they announced Wednesday.

Sun and Deloitte announced in March of 2002 an alliance to sell Sun hardware and Deloitte Consulting services. The two companies will now work together on consolidation projects as businesses attempt to reduce the complexity of their IT environments, the companies said during a presentation to analysts and reporters at Sun's Burlington, Massachusetts, offices.

Fed up with the costs and effort of managing multiple servers and storage devices, IT managers are looking to reduce the number of servers in their environment, said Ken Won, director of Sun's data center program and channel development. Sun advocates that those managers place their databases and applications on a few large Sun servers, rather than spreading them across several Unix servers, he said.

The Santa Clara, California, company brought a recent consolidation customer to the event. Susan Sparks, director of corporate information systems for the Canadian province of Nova Scotia's department of finance, migrated her Unix servers to a single Sun Fire 15k server last year to reduce headaches caused by managing a heterogenous environment, she said.

The province had used mostly HP 9000 servers from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), but decided to go with Sun due to the steep discounts they received, and Sun's technical support services, she said. HP and IBM Corp. also bid for Nova Scotia's consolidation project, she said.

Server consolidation is not a new concept, as many vendors have tried to help customers integrate and reduce their existing IT infrastructure to match reduced IT budgets. Sun thinks it differentiates itself from HP and IBM in the current consolidation market through its partnership with Deloitte Consulting, said Steve Campbell, vice president of marketing for Sun's enterprise system products group.

Both HP and IBM have large services organizations, but Deloitte Consulting's focus is on the business processes behind the technology, said Robert Frazzini, global leader of Deloitte Consulting's technology integration group. Deloitte Consulting can help Sun sell its products to nontechnical executives at potential customers, such as the chief financial officer, he said.

Sun needed more of this type of business-level consulting expertise, said Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The new partnership will be known as Rightsizing Consolidation Program, and will be delivered by consultants from both Sun and Deloitte Consulting, Frazzini said.

Deloitte Consulting is the business and IT consulting division of accounting giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

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