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Sun, EDS Offer Combined Solution

EDS and Sun Microsystems Inc. today unveiled a joint "Continuum of Services" program, expected to generate $3 billion in sales over the next five years.

The program will offer customers an array of complementary, on-demand IT offerings, including web site management, data center outsourcing and ASP hosting services based on Sun's platform. The companies expect the "Continuum of Services" program to generate $3 billion in future sales over the next five years.

Under their agreement, Sun and EDS will team to develop and deliver customized solutions for Global 500 customers. Sun provides the hardware, software and architecture – Sun Enterprise servers, Sun StorEdge products, the Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) architecture, Java technology and technical consulting expertise and iPlanet software. EDS provides services including systems implementation, integration, consulting and outsourcing. Both companies are developing, deploying and supporting the solutions that result from their joint Continuum of Services program.

"This alliance fundamentally changes the rules by allowing customers to easily build solutions without making the usual compromises required under a single source model," said Masood Jabbar, executive vice president of Global Sales Operations for Sun Microsystems. "The Sun and EDS model enables choice and flexibility so customers can select the solution that is right for them."

The Sun-EDS program includes joint marketing initiatives including development, promotion, marketing, revenue targets, planned cross-training, account planning, offering development and marketing strategies. The two have been working together for 15 years, but this is a closer relationship than in the past. There are about 100 people from both companies dedicated to this partnership, Jabbar said in a joint press conference today.

"We believe the strategic selling model has changed. Customers demand speed, expertise and the type of relationship that bring all solution elements together – hardware, software, services and integration," said John Wilkerson, vice president, EDS Global Alliances and Indirect Market Strategies. "The strength of EDS' integration, consulting and outsourcing capabilities combined with Sun's strength in products and services creates an unbeatable offering for our customers."

Wilkerson today explained the unique benefits of having two companies work for a common goal. "When it comes down to it, we have to perform. It creates a series of checks and balances. We both have everything to gain, and everything to lose. It comes down to what the best choice is for the customer," he said.

The program will develop a set of packaged solutions, including services and technology from EDS, Sun, and other partners, such as SAP. The global alliance will have a focus on vertical markets that include healthcare, government, finance, telecommunications, and manufacturing, Jabbar said.

The partnership will allow EDS to bring its solutions down-market, as well as cement its position in the Global 2000, Wilkerson said.