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Sun Microsystems Inc.,

Essay by review  •  February 3, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,641 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,019 Views

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Sun Microsystems Inc.,

Customer Focus Is

Their Strategy

Strategic management is the ongoing process of ensuring a competitively superior fit between the organization and its ever-changing environment (Kreitner, G13). Strategic management serves as the competitive edge for the entire management process. It effectively blends strategic planning, implementation, and control. Organizations that are guided by a coherent strategic framework tend to execute even the smallest details of their mission in a coordinated fashion. The strategic management process includes the formulation of a strategy/strategic plans, implementation of the strategy, and strategic control. A clear statement of the organizational mission serves as the focal point for the entire planning process. People inside and outside the organization are given a general idea of why the organization exists and where it is headed. Working from the mission statement, management formulates the organization's strategy, a general explanation of how the organization's mission is to be accomplished. Then general intentions are translated into more concrete and measurable plans, policies, and budget allocations. Implementation is the most important part of the strategy. Strategic plans must be filtered down to lower levels to be success. Strategic plans can go astray, but a formal control system helps keep strategic plans on track. In the strategic management process general managers who adopt a strategic management perspective appreciate that strategic plans require updating and fine-tuning as conditions change. Given today's competitive pressures, management cannot afford to let strategic plans sit as is. A strategic orientation encourages farsightedness. Sun Microsystems Inc. is one company that developed a strategy to become the competitive leader and become the most reliable in the net business. I will explain how Sun's strategy integrates their marketing, management, technology, and service functions into one effective strategy. First I'll discuss who Sun is and what encouraged them to develop their strategy.

Sun Microsystems was incorporated in February 1982. At that time they had four employees. Since that time Sun has opened operations in Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia, Scotland, and Latin America (Sun History, June 23,2003). Sun offers products and services geared for network use. In late June of 1999 eBay Inc. suffered a twenty-two hour outage on its Web site. This was followed by smaller crashes. The CEO, Margaret Whitman, of eBay called to tell Sun's President, Edward Zander, the problem was a bug in Sun's server. After a few days of meeting with eBay, Sun realized eBay did not know how to care for the expensive computer. eBay did not provided cooling for the computer and neglected to install the patch issued to them by Sun for the software problem found months before. Mr. Zander knew things could get much worse since more than forty percent of the servers used by companies with Web sites are Sun's. That is when Mr. Zander wondered how many future eBays were buying computers from Sun. Scott G. McNealy, Sun's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), realized that it was not eBay's fault; it was Sun's fault. Since then, Mr. Zander and Mr. McNealy have been rebuilding Sun to ensure the Net is as reliable as the telephone system. To do this Sun not only provides Web servers, they provide storage products, e-business software, and consultants that supply the technology and walk customers through the process (Borrows, July 24, 2000). Sun's strategy is to supply Web servers, the technology to support the servers, and total customer service. Sun integrates their marketing, management, technology, and service functions into one effective strategy through iForce, iPlanet, and Sun Sigma.

Sun is known for having the strategic vision, slickest sales representatives, and hottest new products, but not the best service. So Sun has made reliability its top priority. This means Sun needs to become an expert service provider and change the way the company designs and sell its products. Sun reduced the number of products it sells from in the thousands to two hundred models. Sun also rewards managers and sales representatives on customer satisfaction. Independent sales operations were combined into one sales organization. Customers deal with one representative for all their needs. Sun must go from an engineering driven company to a full service company (Borrows, July 24, 2000). Sun initiated iForce in 2000. Sun's iForce is an initiative that brings together a community of leading consulting firms and best-of-practice technology vendors. These are experts in developing and refining Net-based solutions (Sun History, June 23,2003). iforce provides a variety of products, programs, solutions, and partners to deliver solutions that help improve their customer's business processes. Several examples of these processes are; decision support systems, supply chain management, product design and development, e-mail, and communications (iforce, May 29, 2003). iForce offers consultation that allows customers to define best of practices for a dot-com strategy, consultants who design an architecture that meets of customer's needs, and services to help ensure maximum availability and reliability. Sun and their partners also help customers integrate dot-com solutions into existing environments. iForce allows Sun to provide customers with the best technology and the best service . iForce brings together the products, technologies, and services customers need to dot-com their businesses fast, easy, and effectively (Connecting The Dots, May 29, 2003). Consulting will allow Sun's customers to build their e-businesses around Sun products and best-of-breed technology vendors offer customers the best products. With iForce Sun has enabled their partners to collaborate on solution development and marketing and helped their customers find these solutions in an easier manner.

Sun believes it can get a jump on competition by offering customers all the software they need to run their e-business in one neat, foolproof package. The boldest element of Mr. McNealy's plan is software. Sun is trying to offer software that combines today's e-business software segments. This includes e-mail, e-commerce portals, and programs for Web pages and wireless applications. The idea

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