Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

McNealy: "Sun Does Not Favor Mega-Mergers"

Sun's CEO and Chairman Holds Forth On His M&A Philosophy

According to Sun, its mergers and acquisitions – unlike Oracle's, Adobe's, and AT&T's – aren't quick fixes aimed at instantly growing its customer base. They're "thoughtful, strategic acquisitions that complement and enhance our historic strengths." Sun Microsystems, McNealy claims in a memo sent to Sun's customers this week, takes a different approach from the rest of the industry giants.

But hold on. Sun has completed no fewer than nine acquisitions during the past three years. McNealy points out as much in his memo. So what's so different between its approach and the approach of, say, Adobe/Macromedia, Oracle/PeopleSoft, HP/Compaq, and the pending AT&T/SBC deal? According to McNealy, it's this:

"Our team ... looks to acquire companies that will give Sun a strategic advantage in terms of intellectual property, new technologies, and human capital. We are looking for big ideas and bright leaders who will push Sun forward."

Still not convinced that this is any different from hoovering up companies merely to instantly grow one's customer base? Then how about this:

"Since our founding, we have acquired numerous companies, deals that have helped strengthen our server, storage, and software products and helped us develop big concepts like grid computing. Not every deal we've done has worked out the way we thought, but each acquisition was undertaken for a set of very specific reasons — needs on our part, and abilities and assets on theirs."

Refreshingly honest, huh? Sun's M&A philosophy, McNealy writes, is predicated upon a zest for what he calls "true investments," in terms of time and intellect and passion. Sun's interest is in companies "that have great technology and great people."

So it's not that McNealy hides the fact that, like all the other giants, Sun has become a consolidator in the market swallowing companies that it views will help it become "the technology infrastructure provider of choice to companies and individuals that rely on the network for opportunity." It's that he contends Sun's kinder, gentler approach to the process ought to earn it kudos.

Here is a list of Sun's "thoughtful, strategic acquisitions" in the past three years - which seem to add up to fourteen not nine as McNealy mentioned but hey who's counting:

Clustra Systems (networking)
Afara Websystems (chip design)
Terraspring (utility computing)
Pirus Networks (storage)
Pixo (digital rights management)
CenterRun (utility computing)
Nauticus (hardware/switching)
Kealia (2/4/8-way AMD Opteron processor products)
SevenSpace (services)
Waveset (identity management)
Tarantella (thin client technology)
StorageTek (archival storage)
SeeBeyond (business integration software)
Procom (NAS assets)

It's good to know that, in what Sun's chairman and CEO calls "an era of tech mega-mergers and acquisitions," Sun is so at odds with the prevailing zeitgeist of slash-and-burn. But Wall Street does not always reward long-term strategic management. And Sun shareholders are not wild with the firm’s sub-$4 share price. But McNealy, as ever, is undaunted.

"We currently have the strongest product portfolio ever," he declared in his memo; Sun's M&A efforts, he wrote, are in part what makes the company successful both today "and in the years and decades to come."

JDJ hopes and believes he is right. But Sun shareholders at its annual general meeting in Santa Clara just voted in favor of revoking the company’s "poison pill," Sun’s defense against any possible hostile takeover bid. A staggering 84% of votes cast were in favor of giving Sun's management this bloody nose. Defiant to the last, however - according to the San Jose Mercury News - McNealy said at that annual general meeting that he will work at Sun until the board asks him to do otherwise:

"I am working my tail off. There are no heels dug in here."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
HonestyPays?Not! 10/29/05 06:42:39 AM EDT

When he says "Not every deal we've done has worked out the way we thought," I wonder what that does to the stock price of Sun? He's in charge, right? Kinda scary.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.