MOCA Banking On Sun's New Low-End Linux Offerings

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MOCA executives expect increased revenue in 2002 as it focuses 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 based on the Linux operating system. Sun still views its proprietary Solaris OS as the

best for running on any size machine, but it said Linux is an important alternative to Microsoft Windows.

MOCA's Severa: Push into Linux is a dramatic shift for Sun Microsystems.

"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 "stands united against Microsoft and IBM," said Ed Zander, Sun president and COO, at an analyst conference last month.

Although sales during the first two months of 2002 were "pretty soft," MOCA believes solution providers can increase revenue through services opportunities uncovered by its PSR Harvesting online data mining tool, Severa said.

Designed by MOCA, PSR Harvesting gives solution providers access to historical customer data dating back to 1998 and captured from monthly Sun productivity status reports and services agreements.

Metuchen, N.J.-based Sales Strategies was part of a select group of solution providers that previewed PSR Harvesting. Although the company won't use

the product because it keeps its own "tickle file," the tool will be effective for generating more revenue for smaller solution providers that don't have the means to track customer accounts, said Tom Kuni, president and CEO at Sales Strategies.

MOCA also plans to increase its focus on enterprise software, said Severa. The distributor's software business is up 300 percent, with vendors Veritas Software and Network Associates leading the charge, 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, Severa said MOCA gained market share over Sun distributor GE Access as the Sun recruitment period closed last month.

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