Sun is to change the way it sells its products to involve users more in the process and direct more of its business to the Internet.
Together with most of its rivals, Sun has been quicker to persuade its customers that the Internet is the future of business than to embrace it itself. The eSun project should change that.
"Its true we are not yet practising what we preach but I think it is intelligent not to engage too early; we didn't want to make the same mistakes as others may have done," said Lieven Jaspaert, Sun's director of volume product sales.
Sun claims it will not use the Internet to boost its direct sales to customers. Rather, it is hoping to include its resellers and customers in its Ecommerce efforts.
"We have no intention of disenfranchising the channel," claimed Jaspaert.
eSun is not just about Ecommerce, but about setting up communities of like-minded users, developers and resellers, he explained. Examples of such communities could be around applications such as PeopleSoft or technologies such as Java or Jini.
Compaq also at last confirmed its decision to sell direct over the Internet in Europe. Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer said that Internet sales would co-exist with the company's traditional indirect selling model. The Internet sales scheme will come to the UK first because of the higher acceptance of online business here than on the European mainland.
Both IBM and Hewlett-Packard are planning to introduce a similar hybrid model.
These manufacturers are hoping to emulate the Internet sales success of Dell. Dell vice president Kevin Rollins claimed that its Internet-enabled sales amounted to $14 million (#8.6 million) per day but did not say how many are true Ecommerce transactions.
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