Schwartz' Challenge For Palmisano

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Sun President Jonathan Schwartz is one of the few high-ranking tech executives to regularly blog, and, by appearances, he's starting to have fun with it.

As Sun launched its grid computing initiative this week to compete with IBM, reporters questioned Schwartz about the value of Sun's compute-power-for-rent offering versus IBM's.

So Schwartz put all the details on his blog ($1 per hour gets 1 Gig of RAM per CPU, 20 Gig of cache storage, and use of either an Opteron-based or SPARC-based Sun server, among other things).

He invited his competitor to spell out what IBM grid customers get, in detail, for comparison sake.

"Sam, we hereby invite you to fill in the blanks..." Schwartz wrote.

Palmisano hasn't blogged back anything that can immediately be found. But that doesn't mean he's not up for a good challenge.

Dave Shearon writes about a company-wide effort Palmisano took to discuss company values with all of its employees. He had a "ValuesJam" set up on IBM's intranet. Shearon writes:

The responses were initially so caustic and cynical that one top executive wanted to pull the plug after less than 24 hours. But, Mr. Palmisano let it run, and ultimately the conversation found a balance and input (and ownership) toward the values developed.

It's unlikely that Palmisano will be as patient to let a dialogue run with Schwartz.

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