Sun To Explain Channel Program Changes At MOCA Event

Greg Stroud, vice president of U.S. alliance sales at Sun, is expected to detail those changes at the event, being held in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Sun offers a number of loyalty programs, such as Storage Elite, which gives a bonus of 3 percent on all Sun sales if at least 30 percent of those sales come from storage, and Sun Fund, a 2 percent soft-dollar rebate of the list price of Sun products.

Those programs are changing as Sun takes a second look at how to better apply the rewards to its partners, said Bill Cate, director of U.S. Partner Programs at Sun.

Cate said the vendor ended the accrual of Sun Fund soft dollars on Sept. 30 but will fund all the channel initiatives promised partners through Jan. 31. The company then will move to a new “op-ex,” or operating expenses-based, program.

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Sun, Santa Clara, Calif., also is looking at changing its Sun Only program, which rewards partners that don&t sell products from IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC and Network Appliance. Cate said that program will no longer focus on whether a partner sells competing products.

Meanwhile, the Storage Elite program will evolve as Sun signs up former StorageTek solution providers that do not do other Sun business. For them, a metric of storage sales as a percentage of total sales would make no sense, Cate said.

Strategic Technologies, Cary, N.C., hopes Sun takes a hard look at how it treats partners who depend on Sun to survive, said President and CEO Michael Shook. “They could end up penalizing some loyal partners,” he said. “And we are very loyal.”

Shook said he understands how, in the wake of its StorageTek acquisition, Sun might not want partners to sell NetApp, but partners also have to respect customers& requirements, he said. “We have to be successful with Sun to survive. If we have certain niche products, Sun shouldn&t consider it an issue of Sun loyalty.”