RealTime IT News

Sun Pads Relationship With Manugistics

As part of Sun Microsystems' attempts to provide what it calls "one throat to choke," the company has extended its relationship with long-time collaborator Manugistics Group .

The new partnership means Manugistics moves from an independent systems vendor (ISV) to a role as a certified reseller. The Rockville, MD-based supply chain management software supplier will specialize in Sun's Java System Application Server as well the Sun Java Web Server. The company will also offer Sun's Java System Identity Server and Sun Java System Directory Server as the preferred platform for user profile management and secure authentication respectively.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun recently simplified its Java-based server software lineup; whittling it down to a mere six platforms. For example, Sun's Java Application Server adds in development tools such as Sun Java Studio 5; and the Sun Java System Identity Server supports Liberty Alliance federated identity and SAML Web services security and is expected to insert WS-I-enhanced J2EE version 1.4 as soon as it becomes available.

In the companies' five-year relationship Manugistics has helped install systems for Sun, usually as a independent contractor spending as much as a month to install systems. Now, execs say by pre-bundling the software, it can significantly cut down on installation times and save money.

"It's a proof point in it enables the customer to have the choice but have it delivered in one package instead of dealing with multiple vendors," Manugistics senior director John Vronkovich said. "A lot of time we would be integrating in the field instead of having it ready in the package."

Sun says the expanded partnership is one more example of its ISV partners are also trying to "shrink wrap" their solutions around Sun solutions.

"Together, Sun and Manugistics can help customers eradicate complexity and make enterprise infrastructure software more predictable in its delivery, more accessible for evaluation and even more affordable for our customers to purchase," Sun senior vice president Stuart Wells said in a statement. "With first hand experience using Manugistics' solutions on the Java Systems platform, Sun looks forward to passing on those benefits to customers."

Sun stands to gain some clout as Manugistics' clients include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Brown & Williamson, Cisco Systems, Circuit City, Coca-Cola Bottling, Continental Airlines, Diageo, DuPont, Fairchild Semiconductor, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, Kraft, Nestle, RadioShack and Unilever.

However, the partnership is non-exclusive as Manugistics also has systems contracts with IBM , BEA and Hewlett-Packard .

The situation is especially sticky with the recent tensions between Sun and HP. Recently, Sun drew first blood with its "HP Away" campaign hoping to migrate the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker's customers. HP viciously countered with its own "Linux lifeline to Sun customers," complete with a $25,000 incentive. The campaign was ironically timed the same week Sun reported it would have to write down a charge for more than $1 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter.

When asked if there might be a conflict of interest between its partners and its customers, Vronkovich told internetnews.com Manugistics has many relationships and approaches each situation on a case-by-case basis.