Monday, December 29, 2008
of saving in electricity and other related expenses...), so it took me a little of time to type everything by myself.
First of all, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (and that our stocks keeps on rising to where they belong, the $200 reign!!).
Well, those are my ideas. And this time, I'm serious.
First of all, we should stop all the layoffs. You all know that layoffs could kill innovation, and in our case it is quite clear! This seems to be the easy solution, but not always it is the effective one (heck, is this the only thing that is taught at the business schools today?).
But it is also quite clear that our company needs a deep restructuring. What does it mean? Quite simple: we need to change the way we do things. If we lay-off people, we will be able to do less business, so we'll earn less money, and then, what is our 'leader' going to do? Fire more people to lessen the loss of money? This is a way to implode Sun until there is nothing else to sell. And the people remaining at Sun, is frighten with the possibility of being fired, so they think of saving their jobs and not in innovating and making more clever business for Sun.
So, what we need is to put people to do the right things, not to layoff people. Then, summarizing my ideas, I think we have to do the following:
1. 'Dellize' Sun (to some extent!): I've talked about this for a long, long time. We cannot use 6 people to build a $5,000 offer of one or two computers... Dell proved that this can be done via Web. We only need a web to sell 90% of our servers (all except the really big iron). That web application would only have two client interfaces and one maintenance interface (to add new products and change the price of the existing ones). The client interfaces would be just one for our customers, accessible from the Internet, and the other one only for sales representatives, where they can do the same as our external users (it is, customers should be able to buy everything from the web), but they -the sales reps.- could also add discounts for special customers or high volumes, as we usually do to our best customers.
2. Build customers relationships: One of our sales people told me one day: 'Sun doesn't pay us to stablish a long term relationship with our customers'.
This is terribly wrong!!! The only way to win loyal customers and to ensure a continuous volume on sales is to establish those long-term relationships.
This is not happening because of two reasons: Sales people are paid to the short term, so they just concentrate on selling the biggest iron possible in the Fiscal Year, and once done to one company, they go for another 'quick win'. This is the used car strategy, but it only works in the used car business because people buying a used car are not likely to come back in one or two years (or even never!), but our customers need IT infrastructure, software and services forever! If we build a serious relationship, they'll trust us and ask us in the first place when a new investment is needed. So this is key to our long-term success in the industry. And to our survival.
The second reason why this is not happening is lack of resources: we have not enough sales reps. and not enough pre-sales people. Some of our sales reps have 200 or 300 customers... This is nonsense! And the same happens to the pre-sales engineers and the people in the practices. You cannot have just 2 people to cover all the storage pre-sales in an area like California (and much less if they are the software guys). So, instead of firing 6,000 people, we should see where are needed those 6,000 people to boost our business (we could divert people from step 1, 'Dellizing Sun' to do real job). At the end of the day we may be needing people to be hired to cover all our targeted business and not firing them!
3. Simplify the organization: There is too much management in some areas of the company and many of the managers are just redundant. Jonathan, you'd be surprised to see how professional and responsible our people is: most of them need no management (and having an Ikea Human Resources department -you have to do most of the job yourself in behalf of HR- helps a lot in such a culture). So, many managers should be, again, diverted to do real job at the end of the day.
4. Focus on partners, but properly done: Yes, we are not an organization intended to be IBM Global Services where IBM gets most of its benefit (Jonathan, we have to discuss it at the Board, we might change our mind...). So, we have to trust our partners for the business, but we also have to dedicate people to take care of our partners: we cannot have one person per GEM taking care of 50 partners: it means at last that no partner is cared about and they'll end up going to Oracle or HP, because they give that kind of care and personal attention!
5. Focus on innovation: Our R&D department is one of the most admired of the Valley, and our customers appreciate it because they know our technology is superior and give them a competitive advantage. Don't divert money or people from this department, is fundamental for Sun, and most of our field Engineers can also help driving innovation, so help them communicate the voice of the field, and the customers, to our R&D.
6. Focus on CxOs: Most of our customers are geeks, and in some cases they are Chief Technology Officers, but that is all. Ok, we are a company made by engineers for engineers, and that shouldn't change. But our sales people (and then again, see point 2), should focus on the high levels of the companies we are trying to sell our stuff. It is frustrating to win in POCs and demos against HP, IBM, Dell, Oracle, BMC... and then the hard work of 6 months in the customer's CPD is spoiled by a two hours dinner between the CEO of the company we are trying to sell our goods and some Palmisano's emissary.
I said once that the best way for an engineer to get promoted at Sun was playing golf... Now, this phrase stands for our sales reps., but they have to play golf with our customer's CEOs. At last it is all about building relationships with our customers.
7. Advertising: For the shake of God, we need advertising!!!! Yesterday somebody showed me one of those old Darwin ads we broadcasted nationwide in the past, and tears started rolling down my face... Those ads helped us selling a lot of workstations, but most of all, they served us to gain awareness! (By the way, I couln't find the link to that fantastic monkey and Darwin ad, so I enclose a one more recent, but also good).
This is key, we need awareness not only in the engineers or the geek community, we need awareness in the CEO, CFO, CIO and every CxO community because one single reason: they are the ones that have the money! And sometimes they are not biased by the company's geek advice, but because of the awareness of the company they are buying the stuff from: 'I just read that HP Invent advert. I don't know what they invent, but if they spend their money in such cool ads, they must be a rock solid company'. The same applies to Oracle, SAP, Dell...
If you think this is too simplistic, if you want to know the way of thinking of the CxOs of the world, you should read Dilbert. Don't you believe me? Well, I find very simplistic to fire 6,000 people just to balance your win/loss balance when you are loosing some money, thinking this is the way of offering something to your stakeholders, and not going to the root of the problem. So, this is the proof that Dilbert is as good economic reading as a Master in Business Administration in many places.
8. Stop the Layoffs: I said it many times (this is why I stepped down as a CEO, I was against firing anybody), and I'll say it louder if it is necessary, but I cannot say it clearer. Layoffs are not the way to cure Sun, are just a way to make-up a little a short term results, but this will harm our ability to win new businesses. We just need to refocus the people to do the right things, as I explained before.
9. Get Scooter back: Well, I guess I deserve that after offering such a clear analysis on what is happening at Sun and how we can recover the company (MY company, remember that). So, I should be back to tidy up all this mess.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Attending to popular demand (mainly Anil's (the fake, I guess) demand), I'll add some comments on that decision from those people.
First of all, we at the Board of Directors are happy with the addition of those two new seats, specially Jonathan and me. As they didn't ask for a replacement, just an addition of two new seats, we won't have to fight with the rest of the members of the Board to keep our seats, so those are good news.
Second, we are not only firing people, we are also hiring, so this is a signal of recovery (and the shares are again over $4!!!).
Third, those people, although they have not experience managing a technology company, they cannot do it worse than Jonathan, so they might be a help with fresh ideas after all.
Fourth, Southeastern is not known to be a 'corporate rider', so if they decide to take more than a 20% of the company (at a very low price to say it all), it is not likely that they will dismantle the company and sell it by pieces, so this is another piece of good news for all of us who love Sun (well, we all hope that they will keep on with such a history of not being corporate riders and are not taking Sun to start being so...).
Fifth, and this is serious: I really hope they'll stop the massive layoff that Jonathan announced. As we all know, layoffs may kill innovation, and Sun is innovation. I agree this company needs restructuring, but axing almost a 20% of its workforce is not the answer, is just fresh blood to content some shareholders. As soon as I can (as soon as Ashok finishes writing it), I'll publish my ideas of the restructuring I think Sun needs.
Good night, and good luck.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Come on, guys, even Jonathan 'Defending Freedonia' Ponytail is able to do better than this. We at Sun have been running a 'Microsoft-Free' desktop for 14 years: Using StarOffice as an Office substitue (is that old, really?) -and now even works fine!-, and Solaris as the operating system. And, of course, the Only Ultra Thin Client in the market: Sun Rays instead of computers, saving power comsumption, cooling and noise (my wife is almost convinced to use one!). If you want to know some of the benefits of our non-Microsoft, non-PC, low-cost, high-productivity and ecological environment, follow the previous Sun links or this one for more information.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I really wanted to answer your letter before, but after reading it I've been crying a whole week. You are so right... but although I'm the Chairman, Jonathan doesn't count on my opinions. I tried to influence about the advertising campaign during the election (Go Hillary!), but when I managed to talk to Ponytail, he had already made the order to purchase the phones for the SunRise, so the marketing budget was used at once in the second quarter of the fiscal year...
I understand your frustration. Last week I was playing golf with the GM CEO, and I told him if he was happy with our new line of products. He didn't even know we are a software maker, AND HE IS ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS! So imagine what happens when I go to a non-Sun customer and start talking about the new storage, the software and the open-source: they start looking at me like if was from Mars and mumble 'Do you have software, really?'
I know you are not asking too much, like those 'Run on SAP' or ORACLE campaigns you can see in every media along the country and other countries too... but just a few well done, well focused advertisements to create some more awareness than the one we can create with Gaagle ADs and just the voice of the geek community.
I long for the day when you tell your mother, your wife or any of your significant other that you work for Sun, and they understand it without further questioning (like Ballmer does with his mother).
Keep pushing my friend, I'll do the same in the next board meeting and every time I see Jonathan in the lobby! (And next time don't forget to add your SunID...)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I have to say we have a bright future (the same was said about Brazil by General De Gaulle: Brazil will always be the country of the future...). I expect Sun will not incur in De Gaulle's damnation, and we'll reach sooner or later (better sooner), our bright future again.
I wanted to add a link to an article in The Register about us, and a couple of comments about it:
-I'm eager to show we are the best and am not seeking retirement (and I'm sure I can say the same about my real me, that it is not me pretending not to be while being me, nor being mini-me. Is that clear?).
-As the article said, once I was able to take the company from less than 5 dollars to more than 80: My time has come (again) to take the reigns of Sun.
P.S.: (Fake) Jonathan, the PBS title of the documentary fits you quite well. If you want to dedicate it all of your time and effort I'll understand it (and with the $11 M of your salary I'll save some useful jobs at Sun).
After seeing the results of the poll, I'm insistently calling the Nestle people, but they don't really understand what is Sun's business (they still think I want to sell them just a few desktops and laptops, as if we had any!). I'll keep you informed about this. About Fujistsu, I don't quite understand them, they are all the time saying "McNealy Sun, wait a moment, yes McNealy Sun", they always end their phrases with 'Sun', but it is the only thing I understand (Ashok doesn't speak a word of Korean!).
UPDATE 2: Ashok told me Fujitsu is a Japanese company, not Korean, so I'll stop calling Kim Jon-Il and the department of Commerce to solve the commercial issues of doing business with North Korea. Ashok doesn't speak Japanese either, so Fujitsu is not so clear candidate now. After all I'm not seeking retirement so soon... (and a buyer is unlikely too...)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A few weeks from now (that's why I've been so busy, I've been traveling all around the World!), I had to go to Hawaii for the SunRise 2008 event, where we give a reward to our sales team after they met their objectives. Many people was intrigued why Jonathan didn't show up to the SunRise event, and only was 'present' via video conference. Well, there were two major reasons: somebody had to stay at the Sun's Headquarters to announce the Q1 disastrous results, and I was first at the airport to grab the corporate jet (and you don't know how much does Jonathan hate to travel in regular airlines!!). No, now talking seriously, the reason why Jonathan didn't come to the SunRise event was because he didn't fulfill his objectives for the FY'08, so he didn't deserve to go. As I said before, the SunRise is for sales reps that have met or overachieved their objectives, and Jonathan was not the case this year. So,while he was at home announcing the bad results and thinking in firing about 6,000 people, I was in Hawaii with my gorgeous wife, delivering $400 Nokia phones to the 2,000 sales reps attending the event, and bearing the absurd rumour that I'm back to take the reigns of the company (well, I have cash enough to buy the whole company today, so maybe it is not so absurd; anyway, I won't be back while Sun is firing people, so I'll wait at least a few months until the dirty job is done).
I wonder how many people are we letting go to pay the Nokias... Well, it is a problem for Jonathan.
So, after the Hawaii event I went to Las Vegas (you know the saying, what happens in Vegas... this time I didn't bring my wife with me ;-) ), to the Customers Engineering Conference, and again Jonathan only showed up by video conf (yes, again I grabbed the corporate jet before, and besides, he was about to announce the firings, and was a little afraid to be assaulted by the engineers present at the event). Well, to be honest, I only stood at the Paris/Bally's swimming pool and went to the Tom Jones show, so I sent Ashok to mix with the engineers and write an accurate report of the state of the morale and so on. The problem is that Jonathan included Ashok in the list of the 6,000 'riffed' people, so now I have to write the posts in the blog by myself and so on (well, not really, because I'm hiring Ashok again, but this time as a contractor so he'll do the same job, earning a 20% less but costing Sun a 15% more because we have to hire him via a third company, but now is not included in the headcount, so Jonathan and the shareholders are happier).
Well, I'll probably talk about that later, Ashok now works less hours for me, so I can't write as often as I did in the past... now I'm sharing him with another two vicepresidents...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Anyhow, I know you have been wondering about the strategies that Jonathan is following lately, about the opensource of software and all such stuff. Here you have the answers. Enjoy...
Thanks Steve Gillmore for such an enlightening experience.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm sorry my dear followers, but after the pre-announce of our -so bad!- results and the way the shares (and my stocks...) are going, I feel too depressed to do some blogging.
Besides, I'm searching for Jonathan, I have a message for him, so until I find him I'll take some time off. Jonathan, my frieeennnd, where are youuu...?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well, as I was saying, our stunning Q1 performance and results will boost our shares (and if it doesn't happen, just turn the charts upside down...)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
As I was telling, I've just won a trip to Dubai, to a technological fair, or something like this, and it seems that the Dubains (is it said this way?) are eager to see me (as you can see in this article: I'm the jewel, the most important asset in this year's event. Using their words: " the most prominent global leader ").
Of course, you do not need to read the rest of the article to get a context or something like that. The only thing you have to know is that when they talk about junk they are not talking about Sun's shares, although we have a value of less than 5 billions in the stock market... I could buy all the shares I still don't own with my chairman salary... whahahahahaha....
By the way Jonathan, it only took me three hours to reserve the tickets through the AMEX corporate travel page (could it be because they use Micro$oft IIS as web server...?). Is it a trick to dissuade employees to reserve travels and cut costs? I assure you it works... but not with me, I worked with 1440Kbits modems... oh, nice old times...
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The main reason is that I'm not the CEO anymore, I'm the Chairman, so it is not my responsibility to decide about rises (fortunately for me, I don't have to fight with the employees). The other reason is that we already spent all the money we had for rises, although we invested in just one man... Yes, you are right. We decided to reward Jonathan for his stunning management of the company during this year, so we raised his salary to $11M.
Again, Jonathan is a sample to all our employees. The stocks are at a historical minimum, the company didn't meet the objectives imposed by Jonathan itself, so he decided to restrict his rise to a mere 44% in relation with his past year compensation package. So, this is a sample for all of you working for Sun: don't dare coming asking for a 12, 7 or even a 4.5% of salary rise to overcome inflaction. We need to restrict our expenses, and the people working for us are the first ones to give a sample (I said people 'working for us', not US; of course Jonathan's chauffer is not included in the people to give sample either).
So, when thinking in asking your boss for a salary rise, remember Dante's words: Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Yes, he was a real star, but not only in Hollywood, he was greater as a man, and he was the man my mother in law was in love apart from his husband, and without my father in law being jealous (he also admired Newman). I will not include here his biography, I just leave here the link to Wikipedia.
We will miss you.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I've been reading this funny story written by John Dvorak ( or DellVorak from now on).
John, in a past post in my blog I asked you to stop having those things for breakfast, but I see you must have doubled the dose instead...
Please, John, don't oblige us to do the same we had to do in the past when you started saying nonsenses about Apple. I still have Jobso sore about you, and he just offered me to send Moshe again to pick you up, you know what I mean...
Maybe we, Sun, should enter in the consumer market -and not only with the Blu-Ray and Java-, as I read in an article in the blogosphere or in the private jet magacine, I'm not sure, I'll comment on that someday around here, but this is just ridiculous.
It is true that I always wanted Sun turning in a more "Dellized" company, as you can read in previous posts, but this means that customers could buy the iron (the small one over all, even the medium size), directly from our web, in the way Dell does it, instead of using 12 people to issue an offer of less than $5,000, as we do now (and analysts ask Jonathan where our margins are!!!!).
I didn't even considered Dell as a company that could buy us, they are not in the poll list!!!
Although they have the money to buy us.. Well, today even Caldera (are they keeping the name?) could try buying Sun according to the shares price...
John, again, reconsider your attitude...
Friday, September 19, 2008
I've order... I mean, asked, Jonathan to have a look to our legal situation to check if we can become a financial corporation instead of what we are. It seems that the government has plenty of money for saving that kind of business (and I thought that we were on the capitalist side of the Cold War, and now it happens that Bush acts like a Marxist! -and I'm not talking about Groucho, although some people think that all this plan is just a comedy-).
Anyhow, if Jonathan plan fails, I already have a B-Plan: We are going to sell mortgages as a way of paying the computers we sell to our customers. It's easy, we sell the iron, then the customer acquires a mortgage to pay the computer, using the very same computer and some other assets from the customer to assure the payment of the debt. Then, you may think 'what happens if the customer doesn't pay?' We get the computer back, and keep the money already payed by the customer.
Then again you may ask: 'What if the value of the computer has decreased and is lower than the debt of the customer? The customer may decide not to pay the debt and buy a newer computer to someone else -or even to Sun again- for less money then the remaining debt'. Yes, it is possible, and this is what assurance companies are for: we are launching immediately, together with Sun Finance, Sun Assurance, so we are going to assure our own mortgage and finance operations with customers. This way all the money remains at Sun at last.
You may then think: 'This is crazy, if customers stop paying, not only Sun would be in dire straits, also the new insurance company will be as they cannot fulfill the debt generated by customers that don't pay their debts. What are you going to do then?'
Easy: the same that Freddy Mac, Fanny Mae, AIG, Merril Lynch... That is why the Federal Reserve is creating that emergency plan for: to buy high risk mortgages and funds (those not payed by the customers, for instance), and assume the debt generated by those naughty (and sometimes even poor) customers. If they are doing it for the financial system, for those who won billions by doing risky business -that are leaving in exchange a black hole in debts-, why are they not going to do that for Sun or even for your mortgage or your medical debts? It would be unfair to rescue those that provoked the major crisis since 1929 and not to the rest of us who pay taxes (well, Jonathan and me do pay taxes in a remote island in the Caribbean, but this is another story).
Monday, September 15, 2008
And not only is more corporate, it's cheaper...
Today Mike Lehman came to show me the results forecast for this quarter...
and I'm thinking if my decision is correct or if I should be offering something stronger to our employees (and myself...).
By the way, I've just realized of something about our CFO that is scaring me really bad: Is he one of the Brothers? Oh my Gosh!!!! We are screwed!!!
Ashok, tequila will not be strong enough... order something more appropriate.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
(Quoting Barbara Gordon in her last speech at Sun in front of hundreds of engineers, five minutes before running to Ballmer's company...). The good news are we have sold several million dollars (I know the exact amount, but I'm not allowed to say it; for sure it is more than one million, as it is a multi-million dollar deal).
It seems that the ERP leader company Stèsud S.A. (sorry, I guess the whole site is in French; I have to ask Jonathan when did he learn French, as it was a phone call he made to the CEO the one that closed the deal; I hope he didn't offer too much discount...).
I know what you are thinking, I didn't know that company before the deal, but if our press release says they are the leading ERP company in the world, I buy it (that's how we ERP in Belgium...).
Next step is sending hundreds of our sales reps to try selling our friggin iron into the customers' ERP installations sold by Stèsud. At last, this is why we are giving software for free, to turn it into a commodity, so we can sell expensive iron, the real added value we can provide in the business so far, not like Dell is doing. Mwahahahahahaha!
This is the transcript of our latest meeting, containing question regarding IBIS, the new ERP-CRM-Expenses-BUGTracker-SoftwareForEveryThingImaginable we are installing at Sun
-(Sun employee -soon to be ex-employee) What the Hell is this S@~T you are imposing us? Why are we doing it in the opposite way it would be done in a project at any other customer? It is ORACLE software and it doesn't work well!!!
(Memo to Ashok: Edit the previous question so it will appera in the following way in the blog):
So, the question is: What is IBIS and how is it helping Sun?
-(Scooter)The answer is easy: just look at the picture aside or check the Wikipedia...
Ok, I'm just joking, I'm so funny... I know what is IBIS at Sun.
We took a decision a long time ago, to substitute all our internal systems related to CRM, ERP, Travel and Expenses, thousands of applications (Siebel, SunTea, etc.), for just one integrated system that would allow us to know in real time the status of the company, of our customers, if we are making money or losing it and where. And, by using just a single system to integrate all, we save in hardware (don't need hundreds of systems doing similar things), save in workforce (less administrators needed...), and save in software support (remember, just one product to be maintained).
Besides, it is back in the 2005-06 when we signed the non-aggression pact with Oracle, so while they bought Bea to eliminate one of our competitors, we had to buy MySQL to do the same, and as we spend much less money than them, we had to compensate Larry by using their software inside Sun, quite fair.
Ok, with this the session is over, and now we are off-the-record.
-(Sun almost ex-worker) Mista Scooter, an additional question. The idea seems right but it is a pain in the ass for the people at Sun, we are suffering a lot until IBIS started working, and the substitute of SunTEA (the Travel and Expenses tool), seems to be designed to make you desist asking for your money!
-(Scooter) Hehehehe, very funny, yes, yes, indeed the idea is to save money to the company because you stop asking for expense reimbursement... Just joking!!! (Ashok, take a picture of this dumb-ass). Maybe you have troubles because you didn't read the wikis (we had manuals, but wikis are much more Internet 2.0). Have a look to this link and you'll have no problem.
-(Sun almost ex-worker) Mista Scooter, it is in Korean!!
-(Scooter) What's the problem? I thought in Bangalore you were taught to understand anything.
-(Another almost ex-worker) It is rumored that the deploying process was done in the reverse way it should be done, and that some GEMs have been a whole month unable to issue offers or to record billings and contracts from customers.
-(Scooter) (Ashok, who the hell has come to this meeting? IBM Global Services!!!!) Well, when you sell a project to install a product, you usually learn the way the customer works, you analyze the internal processes of that customer and then you adapt the product to the customer's processes. But this costs money, and we don't want to waste it, so we decided to it the opposite and cheaper way: we installed the software as-is, with no customization (we even maintained the Oracle logos), and we are adapting our internal processes to be the ones used by default in the tool, so we are teaching our 40,000 employees to the new way we are doing business, the Oracle way. Clever, uh? If you want to know the exact method we follow, Scott Adams was there when we took the decision and illustrated it here.
Ok, the session is over, I have to go to have a little talk to Jonathan on account of an unauthorized use of my parking lot with a Prius he wasn't able to turn on... (we had to bring his wife to do it...again).
(Ashok, rememeber not to publish the later part of the meeting, it is highly confidential; and find out the IDs of the two guys making the questions).
Update1: Ashok was fired this morning and his back was painted in yellow for treason.
Update2: Ashok entered five minutes ago asking why he had so much troubles entering into the office today. It seems that his cousin Vidyacharan impersonated him in the town hall meeting (he is working indeed for HP). I re-admitted Ashok, after all I need someone to write this blog... (I find their faces all the same!!!)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I have fun with the software, although I don't really know what it is for so, I'll enclose the list here:
1.MySQL Database (well, this is not surprising at all, I think we bought them to generate traffic to our site).
2. xVM VirtualBox 1.6 (somebody is getting tired of paying licences to VmWare when they can get it for free).
3. Solaris 10 Operating System (This should be the number one, this is the Jewel of the Crown, after Sparc)
4. Sun Download Manager 2.0 (To manage the previous downloads, cool decision).
5. Sun Studio 12 (of course, the best choice to build software for Sparc -and Solaris- and other systems too).
6. Solaris Express Developer Edition (We are confusing customers: they want to download, and pay support, for the genuine Solaris 10, not this. I'll send a memo to Jonathan tomorrow).
7. Services Tools Bundle (STB) 3.1 (Of course, the set of tools that our Sparc -and Solaris- customers need).
8. Sun Device Detection Tool 2.0 (I laugh at the plug-n-pray capability in Windows, this is cool!!!).
9. Directory Server Enterprise Edition (Of course, the place to authenticate your Solaris users in your huge platform! Now seriously: this is the best software product we had ever, and the corner stone and the best-selling product in the software area. You'll be amazed if you knew how much money we still do with this product compared to Identity Manager and Role Manager!!!).
10. Web Server 7.0 Update 3 (I don't get this... We even distribute Apache in our Solaris -all versions-, we push very hard for SAMP, and we still were not able to kill the Web Server, users still download it... People are strange!).
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The truth is that he has been very busy with all the LinkedIn stuff, I mean, he has been updating his resumé in LinkedIn, but not because he is thinking in going someplace else, no, he is just promoting the deal between them and us, that's all.
Apart from this, as Jonathan posted in his private blog, he has been ill lately and this is why he posted so little lately. What makes me sick is his latest joining to Twitter: would you mind stopping loosing your time and going back to work? (Well, what pisses me off is that he got the idea before than me!!!)
Jonathan: Stop pretending the iPhone is dropping my calls!!! And stop bothering Greg P., he is preparing the dinner tonight. By the way, you should hop by to greet my guests. Don't forget to bring the white wine, please.
Hey, you'd think that this is a very bad news for us in Sun, the shares plunging at $8.50, but it isn't at all, indeed this is great news!
Oh, you may think that I'm furious because I own a lot of Sun shares and that I'm loosing money, but I truly know something you don't know... hehehe. The truth about this is that we are indeed making money, and in particular storage people are quite happy about their results (oh my God, so many time saying that nasty things about the ink that HP was selling, and now I'm happy selling so much magnetic-tape on my own!!!). So, sooner or way much more sooner the shares will boost up again. So, what is happening now? We have about $5billion in cash we don't know what to do with. We are trying to buy some more companies, but after MySQL there seem to be no more options, at least not by now. And there is the risk of being bought by someone (see my poll aside).
This is why we decided to repurchase some of our own stocks, and we need them to be as cheaper as possible to take the most out of the billion we are spending -we'll resell everything as soon as we got again to $50, and our stakeholders will swim in money-. So, there you have it, it is a planned schedule, so if you are smart, you'd all be buying Sun's shares like crazy (Jonathan, don't worry, I won't call to your freaking iPhone to tell you how silly you are, so stop pretending it is not working and answer my calls, I need you to bring some of your white wine stuff to my house right now; we have some executives from a company we are negotiating the selling of Sun; keep it secret, by the way).
Well, maybe this post is just fake and I want you all to rush buying Sun's shares to bring the actions up... Time will say...
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
If you wanna see me with the CEO of Mittal Steel corporation, you can access here to a presentation we did the other day at our headquarters. Hey, I look pretty good next to Stan Lee. I am a Stan Lee fan, but I never figured out that he was into the steel business. I guess this is why we are partnering with them, to use their steel in our servers at a nice price. I didn't read the briefing my secretary prepared as I was coming after playing golf with some customers and I was a little late to the event, but what else would we partnering with a steel maker? In some part of the talk I showed Stan my computer: my id card and my old Palm (I always do the same speech, it comes out automatically...), and he seemed pretty impressed.
Correction: Ah, Ashok came to tell me that I was slightly wrong... the presentation was with Mitel, a VoIP and communications company that just integrated our SunRay with one of their phones (see photo above)... so now it makes sense why they asked me to do the badge number... but I still am surprised that they coudl hire Stan Lee as their chairman, we shoud do something like that and hire some icon like Britney Spears or Lindsay Loohan (I heard Seinfeld is alredy hired... ;-) ).
He is even wearing his classical leather jacket as the one in his "official" Wikipedia picture. I love this man.
What makes me really happy about this is that they are reviving the browser wars we lived in the '90s with Netscape and Microsoft. Why I'm so happy? Back then our shares were about $200, so I truly expect history repeating!!!!
By the way, I really loved the comic explaining the features of this new browser. If it does what they promise, it is going to be a really great stuff (Ballmer, you should be really worry if it proves right, I'm eager to test it). This is one of those days when I really feel proud of having let the car industry for the computer industry. Kids, you did a great job so far, I expect to keep on saying the same after trying the beta.
By the way, Sergey, Larry, as we agreed the meeting is tomorrow evening at my house. I guess we could discuss the financial terms of the fusion at dinner (Jobso recommended an excellent Chardonnay I'm eager to try). Oh, and keep it secret, please.
Friday, August 22, 2008
It is not who you'd like to be buying Sun, but who you think would buy Sun most probably.
I'll give you some clues:
-HP: Well, after buying Compaq and EDS, why not buying the only real competitor left in the market? They'd gain a real operating system of their own and the software they lack in the middleware space. This would ramp them up to match and even overtake IBM. It is said that Don Grantham was negotiating with them and as no agreement was met, they decided to hire him. Who knows...
-IBM: They make a lot of money with Java, so they might want to control it and prevent HP taking control over it and become a formidable enemy.
-Oracle: They buy anything, so, why not entering the server market to complement its database offer? Besides, they'd buy a decent Identity and middleware software to abandon their own crappy one, and again, they'd gain control over Java. Besides that, they'd end up killing MySQL at once...
-Fujitsu: Everybody say that this would be fantastic for Fujitsu, as they'd gain a strong position in EMEA and USA, markets where they are weak selling servers, and complementing the APAC area, where they are pretty stronger than Sun. Besides, they'd get a cool middleware and Identity software and Java, and over all Solaris, would be under their control. But, I think this would be a bad move for them, as there would only be one SPAR vendor in the World, so the offer of this kind of server would be far less attractive.
-SAP: Well, they are getting now into the Identity market, and so buying a real Identity player, and having Java on their own would be an asset for the future. Apart form this, most SAP installations are running over Oracle, so shifting MySQL to be a real alternative to Oracle would be very interesting for them (and they'd kick Oracle for once in a while). What I don't like is that they speak German and I'm a little old to learn it right now...
-Sony: You may not know it, but in every BluRay there is a Java embedded, and we are paid for that. Apart from this, both companies are absolutely complementaries, and would cover the enterprise market and the consumer market (VAIO laptops, Play Stations, etc.). I'll write about this in a further post.
-Google: So far they build their own gear, so they'd be interested in a real hardware maker to improve their design and make a real server, and tweak a little more Solaris and substitute their crappy Google-OS. They are also trying to enter the mobile phone market, so Java-ME is something interesting to count on. And of course, Java would be very interested to be under their control.
-Microsoft: Maybe they are not at last interested in the server market, but they'd might maintain that line of business to gain credibility in the datacenter area, where nobody sane would use Micro$oft for anything really serious, like transfering money. They'd be very interested in Solaris, in using its kernel for future Windows Server versions and gain credibility. Also Java is an interesting asset (as .NET is a cheap copy of it at last), so they'd might make them converge and gain traction among developers. Also, they'd get an interesting stack of Identity and Middleware software to gain installed base, not to mention that they'd kill StarOffice to save their own Office Suite.
-Nestle: Well, why not... they are a big corporation, I can't think of a reason why they should not buy Sun...
I must confess I didn't believe this piece of news until I read it here... (sorry Dan, I should have believed you, but here at Sun the only one that remembers 'yada yada yada' Seinfeld is Tamara from Software -I guess she is from software, she never talks about irons...)
Steve (Ballmer), are you nuts? Are you really spending $300 M in a marketing campaign to save Vista -after you even recognized that it is only worthy as a weapon against its own users? Are you paying $10M to that guy to appear next to Bill Gates to make people think that the system is cool...?
Wait, I know understand your move, I should have supposed so: you are a genius!!! You are afraid that the old man may come back some day to threaten your position, so you are ruining his image by associating him to that retired comic and so he'll never come back to Micro$oft... Brilliant!!!
I have to do something like that with Jonathan when his time arrives... soon...
By the way, save those 300 million, you are gonna need them to hire our Solaris kernel for your Windows 7 (ZFS is for free, in shake of our friendship).
Thursday, August 21, 2008
What puzzles me out most of this article is to be aware that Sybase is still existing... Amazing, I thought they were with Netscape, somewhere in the cyberspace...
I have to say, without no doubt, that this is NOT true (they didn't accept to buy Sun completely, then the price we offer them to sell just the tape division was to high for them, not to mention that they, in no way, agreed to take Jonathan as their new CEO, and I was giving him for free as a bonus to take rid of the Tape and Software divisions, something not mentioned in the piece of news).
So, fear not dear StorageTekers, you'll stay under Sun's realm at least a little bit more...
You know, Sun, the rumor company.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Well, dear Michael, I'm afraid you'll have to think about something different as it seems that the US Patent and Trademark Office is denying the request to trademark the term 'Cloud Computing' to Dell. Is like registering the term 'Computing' or patenting the electrons that run inside the microchips... although sometimes I'm really surprised by the 'inventions' that our Patent Office allows.
Well, after all it is not such a bad idea to patent the electrons... Ashok, I have some homework for you to do about electrons and electricity... After all we can save Sun...
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Ok, here it comes Ashok with the first question:
-Dear Sir Mista McNealy, on account of the implantation of the new ERP-CRM system, we are encouraged to use our corporate credit card, the American Express one. In the past, payments made with AMEX took about
two months to be charged in my account, but it is not happening anymore. So, as Sun doesn't provide any money in advance, and using this card means no advantage to me -my local bank rewards me with 2% of my expenses when using their card with no cost at all- could you explain me why I should finance Sun by paying in advance the expenses generated by my job using the AMEX card?
Ashok, one off-topic memo: ask the security office if they can trace the origin of an e-mail and discover the related SunID of certain person.
Ok, this is my answers: We all love Sun, and we decided this is the best for the company, and I play golf with someone from Amex who promised me some new platinum clubs if we improved the usage of the Amex cards in Sun, and that makes me happy, and if I'm happy, Sun's happy as I'm a great part of the company, and so the employees are happy and the people from Amex are also happy, so happiness around the world is a fantastic reason to keep using Amex cards inside Sun.
Ashok, just another memo: lets prepare a little more the answers before going live, please... I'm not happy at all with the happiness reasoning...
Note: This picture, and some other memorable moments for Sun can be found here...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Anyhow, Jonathan, you have to worry not, I'd never leave you go... would I?
The main reason why we made such bad numbers are indeed on purpose. We realized we were not going to fulfill our established objectives for this FY, so, instead of declaring each and every dollar we made, we took the decision (I cannot tell you who are this 'we'...), to delay the recognition of some important deals until the next quarter -people from legal forgot to sign some contracts on time; people from operations forgot to give the contracts on time to the folks in legal, and son on-. We have some good reasons for that: we will provide a better Q1 than ever, as we sill sum all the good results of our past Q4, so confidence in the company will grow up from our investors. Then, as our employees didn't meet the established objectives, we are not paying bonuses as it was expected, and that means more money for our stakeholders! And, besides that, less sales reps. made the established objectives, so we don't have to invite them to the SunRise FY09 (this year was in Hawaii, so instead of inviting 2,000 reps., it will be only the board: more money saved for the stakeholders as we save in hotels, flights and lost working hours!).
So, as I like to say, a win-win situation.
Have a nice summer.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Oh, I forgot to tell Lehman to check the sandwich machine in the Santa Clara cafeteria... I'll do it myself (every penny counts.. ;-) ).
Stay tunned, we'll publish our results tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Believe it or not, Microsoft seems to be another happy Sun customer!
We cannot say it very loud, as it is a secret, you know, some of our customers don't want to talk about how they are building their infrastructures, but Microsoft is buying our Datacenter in a Box (aka BlackBox) to build some of their new data centers.
Thanks a lot dear Steve. Now I see a bright future to our friendship. You can even run Vista in my boxes if that pleases you (our offer to use the Solaris kernel in the next version of Vista Server stands).
I know some people don't really think this is a good idea, as they feel that the Earth is plenty of space to store an infinite amount of servers wherever we want, but, following that reasoning, there should also not be any problem in finding space for housing, and we all know how much is worthwhile a house in Tribeka or in Georgetown, for instance.
Follow my advice: put a Blacbox in your life (nice iron, and we have it in every color you want, as long as it is black... ;-) I'm joking, for a little extra we can paint it in white too). Oh, and we can add your branding in the walls, where it currently says Sun too just for a few extra bucks.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The whole auditorium froze and nobody else dared making any question related to such a matter that I particularly don't like (I left my position as CEO because I didn't want to fire anybody. I don't even like that euphemysm of calling a layoff a Reduction In Forces). The truth is that this guy was an actor I hired the day before so everybody had a clear picture of what was going to happen and I didn't have to answer innapropriate questions...
Why I'm telling you this story? Well, now I'm not the CEO and so I can answer more freely any question, so I'm opening a virtual Town Hall Meeting: you can send me your questions (reach me by any mean you find most suitable: phone, mail, meet me at the office...), and I'll post here your questions and my answers.
So, I had a little talk to Lehman (I'm working closely with him lately to propose some measures to help boosting our revenue up), and we decided to give some results in advance so our stakeholders could have at least a couple of days of relief untill we deliver the real data.
And yes, we are a profitable company again. Well, or so it seems from the mail Mike sent, as he gave me the raw data I'd rather read the summary in the press (but only those articles that say nice things about us, of course).
Stay tuned, there are many more interesting things to come.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Yeah, a thrilling period of time where everybody is frantic trying to fulfill the objectives to be allowed to stay on board, and where everybody starts making quizzes about what the new Fiscal Year will be, who will get fired, who'll come back to get the reigns of the company again after traveling all around the World, if we'll be sold, which company we'll buy...
You know, there is something in the air... and it'll be until next 1st of July.
Now it is the HPC in a box, we have been able to miniaturize most of the pieces involved in a HPC environment (even the price of it, the part I don't like to minimize...), keeping the power, so we have reached a wonderful 4th position at the top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. And with less cable use than our competitors (I guess this is also part of our green strategy...).
And no Steve, I'm sorry, we are not running Wirus Vista in our servers... but our offer to sell you our Solaris kernel for Windows 7 is still valid (plus a 20%, of course).
Ahhmmm, I just love iron.
Monday, June 16, 2008
and this other picture:
I'll help you: basically they are the same, but in the first picture IBM used a much uglier paint and used huge logos to hide the Sun logo. Oh, and most important at all, the IBM container comes "complete with IBM services", as they say in their video: it is, next to the data center container, they'll install a full city of containers with prefab houses for the zillions of consultants they are going to "install" too in your company (and that will drain your budget).
But not only our paintwork is much better, our box has been tested against 6.7 earthquakes! Top this.
Already tested our SunRays? IBM did, and they liked it very much...
Saturday, June 14, 2008
So, instead of repeating myself I just recall what I already commented about the HP-Compaq merger a while ago... No need to remember my words, should I?, many people does, and even use them for other subjects too.
Bad news for us is that EDS is a huge Sun customer nowadays, so we have decided to be very careful with what we sell them from now on. Well, we'll see if Don does his job -the secret one I committed him- and HP becomes also a Sun customer and distributes Solaris (they are the only ones in industry that do not yet), as they are a little bit aggressive against us (and they shouldn't as their real business are PCs, Laptops, printers and over all things the ink for the printers -much better if is color ink-).
Well, I don't know if this is a good move, as EDS will never be seen again as a independent integrator for customers and HP becomes a mogul in the business. We rather keep our flexibility being the little big one in the business.
Ain't I a cute guy? I don't remember who is the other guy, some politician I guess, but I look terrific!
Asok, a memo to Rebecca, from my office: Update my travel information, the Google map and so on, it is quite outdated...
Well, it is time to get back to work. And it is wonderful, I just came back to the office, and the shares rose up more than 2%! Investors just love me...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I was tempted to call Rebecca, from my office, to terminate Asok contract for this tremendous mistake, when the pilot confirmed we had arrived to Madrid indeed, and that there has been raining like never before during the past weeks.
Later on, after leaving my private jet (I always travel in my private jet, it is much more uncomfortable than regular liners, but I just do it for the sake of the business, you know), then only thing we could see at the road were trucks, hundreds of them, so a 15 minutes trip to the city took us about 2 hours...
As I was told later in the meeting I held with the Industry Minister, it seems that there is a truckers strike in Spain, so they decided to cut the roads. So simple.
Well, what I didn't see all the way was a single policeman, I guess they were pretty busy somewhere else.
The meeting with the Ministers were pretty interesting, although I think they didn't understand yet what are our SunRays for... Well, I hope that the local team at Spain will have the chance to explain that to them in detail. I have to say that I didn't have the chance to meet the Prime Minister in person (nobody could tell if he was busy or just surrounded by trucks in the Parliament), but everybody says he is a very very clever person (for those who don't know him, I enclose one of his most famous pictures).
No, he is not Mr. Bean, I checked that already. This is the real Prime Minister of Spain (what I can't tell is if this is the real photo or he was somehow favored with PhotoShop). I also heard some comments about that this man is a real jinx, but
Apart from the political side of the visit, I also met with the most important CEOs of the country, although someone might have made a mistake with the dossiers distributed before my visit, as they all asked about the 3G iPhone. I think they were somehow disappointed when I showed them my Sun badge, with JavaCard integrated, and told them that this was my computer and then showed the Sun Ray, but I'm sure it will take me less time to convince them to migrate to SunRays than the time I needed to do so with my wife (I'm about to make her abandon that crappy Mac!!!).
Of course I got time to do many other things in my visit, but it would make a quite boring entry in my blog. By the way, I followed my friend Steve's advice, and I won't be traveling to Hungary this time... (Steve, you are my real -fake- friend, be sure of that. The other Steve is my fake -fake- friend, but as they are our laptop provider, I have to be nice to him, otherwise I lose the rebates when buying more than 50 MacBooks...).
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Don't think that I'm one of those illiterate that think that Spain is just south of the border with Mexico and that you can travel there by bus, I know it is in the old Europe (been there a few times before!), although I'm not sure if it is between Greece or Italy or south the UK (thanks, Ashok just showed me Google Maps and I can see it is south France).
Well, I'll have the chance to follow my friend (fake) Steve's advice and go to visit El Bulli after meeting with the ministers, and some Museums in Madrid. I'm visiting the new formed government and as I want to leave a permanent impression I'm giving them a fully new -pre-sales guys swear they had only been used in 345 presentations previously- and personalized SunRays (just as the one in the photo).
As you can see, it has surface enough to add much more drawings than those already painted in the personalized Zunes that both (fake)Steves are showing in their pages.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Well, as I was saying, I'll offer some examples of what is a win-win situation, although some situations seem to be the opposite. In summary, this is a scenario where everybody wins, so it is an ideal situation. That's what we search when we offer our technology to our customers. They pay us good money (which seems bad to them as they spend it, but it isn't!), so we earn our living, and our customers win a lot more because they leverage their businesses with our technology.
Some recent examples of other Win-Win situations, that doesn't seem so, but I'll explain why they are winning scenarios for everybody.
Yesterday, our former executive vice president of global sales and services, Don Grantham, left the company to join HP as chief sales officer. It seems that HP wins here and that we loose, but this is not the case. We all win.
From now on, we have someone in the HP headquarters that will defend Solaris as another operating system to be sold in the HP platform (just take a look at Jonathan's blog, he explains it all), so we are expanding our visibility and gaining a new channel partner.
Besides that, we are restructuring our internal organization, creating new divisions focused on emerging markets, and we are in a huge effort to cut expenses, and as you may imagine Dan had a huuuuge salary... so we are really thankful to HP to take care of Don's salary from now on (well, just after we have delivered Don's severance of about $6M or so... everything to keep my salary untouched).
Another reason why this is a win-win situation: our shares plunged after Don's leaving was announce. This is great as I was planning on buying a huge amount of shares, I mean, Sun is planning to buy its own shares (I cannot do that right now, we are in quiet period and that would not be legal nor fair to our shareholders), so we'll do it by way much less money than we though.
So, finally everybody wins, even HP, that will be compelled to use Solaris, a real OS in their crappy computers... This a clear example of a win-win-win-win... situation, everybody wins.
Want some more example of a win-win situation? A dream ticket, Obama+Hillary. This would be a great win-win: Obama would win, Hillary would win (and would be able to pay her campaign debts), and the Dems would win by going back to the White House.
The picture of the SunRay included here?
Well, I just felt that I had to add some additional pictures to make
the entry more attractive, so I guess it is nice to add some self propaganda.
Another win-win situation...
Monday, May 12, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
The funny thing is that we are loosing just about $34M, it is, what we are paying for MySQL diluted across several quarters, so indeed we are just even at last. Not so bad. The other funny thing is that while all the geographies Sun is present at are profitable (and some like India, China and Eastern Europe countries are very, very profitable), just missing the US target for the quarter has pushed the company to the abyss. So, you know what happens in this case: if we miss the target in the US, we have to fire people all around the World. If it was India, we would just fire people in India and never in the US; the same applies to China, UK, France, and so on: if a GEM does a bad job, they deserve a punishment. It it is the US, the whole company deserves the punishment. Yeah, I'm becoming a fan of that new MBA courses I mentioned before.
But there are some good news. We still have money in the bank, about $2,363M, so we still can buy a couple of MySQLs or so, and even pay the SunRise party this year in Hawaii -I guess there will not be very much people from the States, as you have to sell at least 100% of your target, and then be on the top list to be eligible for the party, so we'll save in hotels and airline tickets-.
Another good piece of news is that we are paying full bonuses for the Q3. Yeah, some people could say that instead of paying bonuses we could not lay-off anybody, but mate, this is not what you learn in modern MBA courses...
Another important thing is relevance. We have gained a lot of relevance, as every analyst was expecting us to provide profits for this quarter, and by not doing so we have provoked a little crash in Wall Street! If we weren't relevant, that would have never happened...
A couple of interesting things to finish: Sun stocks are under $13, so it is your opportunity to invest in Sun (we'll get back to more than $20). And what is more interesting: It is Jonathan who is in charge of this mess, not me, so I still can return to make things work again!!
I'm calling Steve to remember the old times, I guess he brought some European beer form his last trip to Europe. I feel a little depressed today...
Monday, April 28, 2008
Come on, people at The Inquirer, are you kidding? Don't you think that we are the originals here and that it is Apple who is copying us? Remember that it was the real Jobso the one who said that "Good Artists copy, Great artist steal.." -Jobso himself stole this words from Picasso-.
By the way, I love the way The Inquirer calls Apple "the fruit themed toy maker". Nice -and accurate in my opinion- description.
Oh, and don't take credit for what they say about the chip market. Intel, you can rest in peace... I mean, you can rest assure we are not a threat. Well, you know what I mean...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
If it was a software company I would have asked and prepared a poll to know your opinion, so in case of failure I could always say that people gave me a bad advice, but in the case of iron I don't need anybody's advice, I'm pretty sure of what I'm doing and I always do it right.
Welcome home workers of Montalvo Systems, (if there is anybody left at the company so far...) we'll treat you as you deserve!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have a strange feeling lately. I have the rare sensation that there is something in the air (and it is not a Mac), that managers don't tell me the absolute true of what is happening here at Sun (well, I think that taking four flights to go from Las Vegas to San Francisco to make it the "cheapest travel of the world" may give me some clue of what is happening; hitchhiking in this case was a REAL option...). So, I made up my mind and I'm going to spend some time disguised among my people in the company. In this "incognito" I'm going to analyze the management style of my people and how people work at Sun. I think it will be funny :-)
Yeah, it'll be much more funny than this weekend when Hillary took me from Jimmy Carter!
Gosh, we laughed very hard and at last I didn't gave her my donation to her campaign as she was just pleased with my support as a SuperDelegate and some peanuts...
Well, anyhow, I'll go to PA and vote for her again this tuesday, we need her.
Oh, and I'll keep you informed through this blog about my adventures as a regular Sun employee ;-)
By the way, I remind you that I have a mail address (you can see it here in the blog, at the right side) where you can comment management excellence cases, traitor employees or whatever you want to comment about Sun. No disciplinary actions will be taken, I swear.