MOCA Stands Firm

Distributor says it will keep focus on enterprise as Sun eyes SMBs

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MOCA plans to stick with enterprise customers, even as Sun Microsystems moves to attract more small- and midsize-business customers with Linux products.

MOCA, a Sun-focused division of distributor Arrow Electronics' North American Computer Products group, may look to Linux but only if it meets the needs of larger customers, said Rich Severa, president of MOCA.

"We're not looking to jump into a new segment of customer that wants to buy everything," Severa said. "If we can add more opportunities to end users patronizing our resellers, that's fine."

MOCA's Severa banks on enterprise solution providers to fuel revenue growth.

Severa's comments come as El Segundo-based MOCA will gather about 250 solution provider partners this week for its annual Net@Work conference in Amelia Island, Fla., where Sun's channel strategy will be the usual hot topic, according to solution providers.

"The thing we're most excited about is the Murderers' Row of executive talent representing Sun to the partner community that will be there," said Hank Johnson, vice president of the Enterprise Partner Services group at Dallas-based solution provider Stonebridge Technologies.

Johnson said he expects to hear details about long-rumored changes to some MOCA programs in the areas of business development and how partners are compensated for performance.

In addition, solution providers are expected to ask about the possibility of Sun adding thousands of partners to sell its low-end products to small businesses.

Sun has made it clear it plans to take market share from Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft with its new Linux server and a new desktop Linux client. However, Severa said, Dell, HP and Microsoft have made very few gains in MOCA's main market.

A couple of years ago, MOCA was a billion-dollar Sun distributor but its sales fell more than 30 percent when the dot-com boom,fulfilled in large measure by Sun products,went bust. The distributor is counting on enterprise solution providers to fuel revenue growth.

"MOCA has had a pretty good year in 2002," Severa said. "[Distributors are typically slightly out ahead of manufacturers. We're now able to talk about year-over-year growth instead of year-over-year decline."

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