Sun targets digital content to boost growth

Sun Microsystems says it is focusing its future strategy on digital content delivery, high-performance computing and selling to service providers working in the SME market.

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Sun Microsystems says it is focusing its future strategy on digital content delivery, high-performance computing and selling to service providers working in the SME market.

Sun executives discussed a strategy they call Redshift last week. The idea is to stay ahead of Moore's Law, the technology industry calculation that computing power will double every 18 months while the cost keeps coming down, Sun's chief technology officer, Greg Papadopoulos said.

Sun said a number of core areas of enterpise IT were now commoditised and would not see dramatic growth. These include hardware and software to do accounting, payroll and other general automated business functions.

"They're just not the ones at individual companies that are going to create the dominant demand for computing. Therefore, they will not have the pole position in leading how we design [IT] architecture going forward," he said.

The pole position will go to customers delivering digital content over networks to end users, such as the video-sharing website YouTube.com or telephone service providers delivering video to mobile phones.

Sun will also pursue more opportunities in high-performance computing in automotive design, oil exploration, financial services and other fields.

It also sees potential in selling to companies that serve the small-to-medium business markets. Examples Papadopoulos gave include Salesforce.com, which sells sales process automation software, WebEx Communications, the Web meetings company that is in the process of being acquired by Cisco Systems and eBay, whose auction Web site is used by SMBs, as well as individuals, to buy and sell products.

The notion that technology advances start at large enterprises and trickle down to smaller ones is "being entirely turned around," Papadopoulos said, with business services.

"The SMBs are leading the charge in terms of how they really want to go and consume computing. The large scale enterprises are kind of waking up and going 'Hey, why do I run my own e-mail server?' It's not a competitive advantage anymore," he said.

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