HP targets local Sun shops with direct campaign

HP has started its campaign to help Sun users to migrate off Solaris systems to its Intel-based servers, according to the company’s Australia and New Zealand business critical systems manager, Steve Williamson.

Following HP’s announcement of the program earlier this month in the US, details of what will be happing locally were sketchy.

“When we announced the program in the US three Sun customers here asked us if we could be part of it here,” Williamson said. “We have now launched the campaign locally and will begin marketing it directly to existing customers.”

Williamson said a direct campaign was most appropriate as “most Proliant users have some Sun in their organisation”.

“We will also go off base to market the program to Sun users who don’t have HP systems,” he said. “This will likely to be 30 to 40 large Sun customers, but most of the marketing will be to our existing customers.”

Although HP would target large Sun customers, Williamson said the offer was open to “any Sun account”.

As part of the program, HP will port one Solaris application to a HP supported platform (Windows, Linux, and HP-UX) and give migration services for up to three applications.

“We will assess the customer’s requirements in moving from Solaris to Proliant or Integrity including how long it is likely to take,” Williamson said. “Also, we will provide the required tools so that customers have the choice of migrating applications themselves, and lend them a system for 30 days at no cost.”

When asked if this program was in response to Sun’s recent “HP Away” campaign to lure HP’s Alpha customers to Solaris, Williamson said “definitely not”.

“This is not a response to the ‘HP Away’ program and it is easy to see why that failed,” he said. “The ‘HP Away’ program failed because it questioned the skill and knowledge of HP customers. It had a ‘get off Alpha because you’ve made the wrong decision’ attitude.”

Williamson said the resounding trend in the server market was a move to industry standard platforms and users didn’t want to move from one proprietary platform to another.

“We won’t get much traction in telling customers to move from Solaris to Tru64 on Alpha either,” he said. “The majority of interest is in going from Solaris to Linux on Proliant or Itanium. The program will support Solaris wishing to move to Windows or HP-UX but from a technology perspective it will be easier to migrate to Linux.”

Williamson said about 80 per cent of Solaris users were interested in 64-bit Linux.

“The campaign will run through until the end of the year but I have a feeling with the amount of interest it will gain we will be doing work well into next year,” he said.

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