MOCA executives expect stronger revenue in 2002 with a focused push on services and opportunities gained from Sun Microsystems' plan to incorporate Linux into low-end products.
Sun recently said it plans to offer a new line of lower-cost servers that are based on the Linux operating system as opposed to its proprietary Solaris system. Sun still views Solaris as the best for running on any size machine, but it added that Linux is an important alternative to Microsoft's Windows system.
"That's a significant change in Sun's view of the world," said Rich Severa, MOCA president. "If done right, it could really extend out the bottom of Sun's marketplace."
Sun wants to ensure that the open systems community--the open-source community--"stands united against Microsoft and IBM," said Ed Zander, Sun COO, at an analyst conference last month.
Although sales during the first two months of 2002 were "pretty soft," MOCA executives believe solution providers can increase revenue through services opportunities uncovered by its PSR Harvesting online data mining tool. Designed by MOCA, PSR Harvesting gives solution providers access to historical customer data captured from their monthly Sun productivity status reports and services agreements back to 1998.
The data will expose missed sales opportunities for solution providers, such as upgrades, maintenance, licensing agreements and tech refreshes. MOCA executives believe the tool becomes particularly useful when solution providers electronically match up those opportunities with current Sun promotions, end-of-life products and services opportunities.
"It's like bending over to pick up the money laying at your feet," said Severa, calling the services business is "pretty lucrative."
MOCA also plans to increase its focus on enterprise software, said Severa. The distributor's software business is up 300 percent, with key vendors being Veritas and Network Associates, said Severa. Margins are also better with services and software sales, and MOCA will work with solution providers to take advantage of those opportunities, he added.
Meanwhile, MOCA executives say they gained more market share over rival Sun distributor GE Access as the Sun recruitment period closed last month, said Severa. MOCA executives did not disclose how many additional solution providers the company recruited from GE Access, but they noted that MOCA has gained share every year except one.