Sun Speaks Marketese

7 AM July 24, 2006

Sun have always struggled with marketing to both techies and managers. A major trap here, is when marketing to one group, looking utterly stupid to the other.

If you are a developer, try this: go to, click on “Virtual Tour”, then on the popup window, choose “Experience It” and watch the “Executive Overview”. (Or just click this Direct link.) It begins with business-oriented pseudo-technobabble voiceover, but that’s forgiveable on account of the pictures of totally cool hardware.

However, a few seconds in, it goes wrong. Up pops the talking head of a John Fowler, Executive Vice President, who intones:

These systems are ideal for customers who use IT strategically, who align IT infrastructure with business strategy.

Are Sun’s CIO customers really so insecure as to fall for this piffle? Or do Sun marketing just wish they were? Even John Fowler, talking head, doesn’t sound convinced.

This video makes Sun look truly, deeply clueless.

Here’s my unsolicited advice for the next Sun “Executive Overview”:

  1. Get someone who sounds enthusiastic.
  2. Get that someone to write their own script, in their own words.
  3. Make sure the script doesn’t sound like a press release.
  4. Go down to your local primary school, find the debating team, and get them to put your marketing arguments together.
By alang | # | Comments (1)
(Posted to Software Development and javablogs)


At 11:01, 25 Jul 2006 AndrewR wrote:

To see the x4500 in its natural environment:

Sun makes some good hardware (linux clusters running on Dell boxen are cool I guess but sometimes a 32-cpu server with 30TB of fcal storage is what you need) - it's a shame their marketing is all over the place. I particularly hate how they feel the need to rename their entire product line every 18-months (which makes it _really_ hard to search for documentation).

I think this sort of language is aimed at the guy who has to go to his CFO and ask for $500,000USD for ten x4500s.


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