RealTime IT News

Sun Snags Office Depot Deal

Making inroads in the retail sector, Sun Microsystems today announced a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal with Office Depot for Unix-based servers and storage systems. Specific terms were not disclosed.

"We've been working with this retailer for six months to help them solve problems and transform their business," Sun spokesman Aaron Cohen told internetnews.com.

In recent months, Sun has focused on the sector, pitching potential customers on upgrading and integrating systems using hardware, software and radio frequency identification technology from the Santa Clara, Calif., company and its partners.

Other customers include clothing seller Benetton and outdoor equipment chain Sportsman's Warehouse.

Besides bolstering its retail sector presence and experience, the win is significant because Sun beat out industry heavyweights Hewlett Packard and IBM, both of whom compete fiercely with Sun for Unix server market share.

Brian Levine, a spokesman for Delray Beach, Fla.'s Office Depot, confirmed that the two IT giants were in the running. Sun got the nod because in an "apples to apples comparison on price, performance and commitment to customer satisfaction, Sun was the best choice."

The play shows that there is still an interest in Unix, which many say is being threatened by the adoption of less expensive machines based on Linux in the enterprise space.

The Office Depot project, which will be implemented by Sun's services arm, includes:

  • Swapping a homegrown application running on a IBM Mainframe for Retek software on Sun servers to give Office Depot demand-forecasting and other productivity tools.
  • Installing Manhattan Associate's warehouse management software on Sun sercers to give Office Depot a more efficient tool to manage its invesntory and shipping processes.
  • Rolling out a global content applications with Documentum to unite people, processes and information and tie into Sun storage systems.

Sun also recently announced that the retailer will resell StarOffice 7, the latest release of Sun's multi-platform, open source-based office productivity suite.