Users: Support Already Suffering

FRAMINGHAM (04/03/2000) - The NetDynamics application server may be supported through the Sun/Netscape iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions organization through 2002, but some customers said they're already having trouble getting assistance.

One major retailer, for example, was told it would have to wait a week for help when its Web application went up and down after receiving a high volume of hits the day after Thanksgiving, according to the retailer's former CIO.

Mat Stickler, director of information technology at the natural gas subsidiary of PG&E Corp., complained that support has waned for NetDynamics on Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Unix platform. He said his salesman often doesn't call back, and support staffers sometimes suggest that he switch to Sun Solaris,"which we didn't find all that helpful, since we had over a half-million dollars invested in HP-UX."

"The bottom line is, NetDynamics is dead. I'm going to have to switch," said Stickler, whose company spent $650,000 on its NetDynamics Web application. "And I'm having a hard time bringing myself to go with iPlanet, just because of the way I've been treated."

The Home Depot's Mike Anderson, vice president of IS, said he had also gotten the Solaris suggestion, which did not sit well with him because he has already invested $150,000 in HP servers.When he couldn't get a timely resolution to one problem, he said, he finally called Sun President Ed Zander.

Each one of the users said they received better support from NetDynamics prior to the Sun acquisition and the formation of the Sun/Netscape Alliance.

Sanjay Sarathy, iPlanet's director of application server marketing, wouldn't comment on specific instances of problems. But he said support has always been and will continue to be a top priority and that support resources actually have increased. He couldn't provide specific figures on those increases.