Sun Forms Joint Venture with Channel Partner

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

The new Sun Equity Partner program is designed to beef up the company's presence in emerging markets.

Sun Microsystems will use its channel partner network to create virtual subsidiaries in emerging markets around the world with the first one in Vietnam.

The program, called Sun Equity Partner, or SEP, lets Sun gain a greater presence in particular geographies by creating a joint venture company between Sun and one of its partners in the area, said Tim Pawloski, senior director of the new SEP program.

"This offers the look and feel of a subsidiary," Pawloski said. "SEP will give all partners in the country more resources there that they can leverage like solution centers. There's a place where people with Sun business cards will be walking around and doing presales."

Hear Sun's Channel Chief Bill Cates talk about Sun and the channel in a Channel Insider podcast. Click here.

Sun's new program is the next logical step of similar successful joint ventures with partners in Indonesia and the Philippines. Sun chose Vietnam as the place for the formal launch of the SEP program because it is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, Pawloski said.

Sun is currently evaluating locations and partners for other potential SEPs. Sun said it sells in 160 countries throughout the world, but Pawloski would not pin down how many additional joint ventures are likely in 2008.

Joint ventures with partners to get a leg up in a new geography is not a new idea.

Recently more vendors have been creating such joint ventures with local partners in emerging geographies to beef up their local presences. For example, Symantec recently announced that it had closed a joint venture deal with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies to develop and distribute security and storage appliances to global telecommunications carriers and enterprises.

"You will see more and more of these in the news," Pawloski said.  "It's a more innovative way to penetrate a new market, particularly in an emerging region."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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