EDS, Sun form heavyweight alliance

A pair of technology heavyweights announced a formal partnership agreement July 16 that they are banking on, literally.

Through a new Continuum of Services program, Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. will jointly offer services ranging from Web site management, data-center outsourcing and application hosting, according to company releases. The firms are expecting $3 billion in sales over the next five years.

Sun and EDS will team to develop and deliver customized solutions for clients in seven target industries, including government and education, said Darlene Yaplee, vice president of global solution integrators for Sun.

The Sun/EDS Continuum of Services program uses products and services from both companies in their respective areas of expertise. Sun provides hardware, software, architecture and technical consulting, while EDS provides systems implementation, integration, consulting and outsourcing.

The Sun/EDS program includes joint work in promotion, marketing, revenue targets, planned cross-training, account planning, development and marketing strategies.

Sun and EDS have been working together for about 15 years and are formalizing that relationship to address customer requirements for "one-stop solutions...and outsourcing," Yaplee said. "We're being proactive and stepping up to the opportunity. It's kind of synchronistic."

"Customers demand speed, expertise and the type of relationship that brings all solution elements together — hardware, software, services and integration," John Wilkerson, vice president of EDS Global Alliances and Indirect Market Strategies, said in a release. "The strength of EDS' integration, consulting and outsourcing capabilities combined with Sun's strength in products and services creates an unbeatable offering for our customers."

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