Sun Microsystems has denied criticisms that its services resources are inadequate to keep up with systems sales.
Such comments have led to speculation that Sun would be forced into making a mega-acquisition to plug the gap.
Talking exclusively to 'VNU Newswire', Sun's UK managing director Robert Youngjohns said he found potential customers were generally surprised about the extent of Sun's offerings beyond what was often in the public eye.
"Problem is we have all the basics but we don't merchandise it very well. Behind all the glitz of Java and smartcards beats the heart of a very dull company," he joked.
Youngjohns said the services operation had no restraints on new recruitment and had grown into the biggest part of the company in the UK. He said they were not having trouble hiring service engineers, particularly as Digital was currently a good source of defectors.
Youngjohns did admit reports that Sun currently only had 10 engineers in the UK dedicated to its high end Starfire servers could be true but insisted that this had not affected customers.
Many analysts are not convinced that Sun's services offerings can keep up with the rapid growth in sales of its servers.
"Sun does not have anything like the services inhouse it will require. Ultimately it will be constrained on sales of hardware. It will have to make a decision quickly whether it is going to have a full services business or not go that route," said Jane Doorly, vice president and director of research at Dataquest.
Doorly said the company would have to decide whether an acquisition was necessary and do it quickly.
Youngjohns insisted, however, that major takeovers were not part of the Sun culture and it would continue to make small acquisitions of niche companies that filled a gap.
"Acquisitions could bring the potential for big conflict. The partnering model is very clear for Sun. Any change in that would be a pretty fundamental shift in Sun's strategy," he said.
He said this year would see further server products given more competitive list pricing as it did with the E450 workgroup server last year, despite minor conflict with the channel.
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