IBM Would Do Everybody a Favor by Buying Sun - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/18/2009
03:41 PM
Rajan Chandras
Rajan Chandras
Commentary
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IBM Would Do Everybody a Favor by Buying Sun

So what would IBM get for what is expected to be a $6.5 billion deal?... Sun does hardware, storage, operating systems, programming languages, databases, integration middleware, business process management, open source, office productivity tools and more. Come to think of it, who else but IBM could even think of purchasing Sun?

Sun's been getting battered in the high seas of technology for a while now. Who else but IBM could find value in this flotsam and jetsam?

There's an easy way to find out if a company has lost its way: try to define the company in one, reasonably compact sentence. For example, how would you describe Sun and CA, without tying the sentence up in multiple, complex subclauses?Sun lost its sense of direction long, long ago, and attempts to make changes at the helm, adopt a different masthead or realign the rudder haven't paid off. The stock has languished -- loitering in between about $15 and $20 for roughly seven years now -- and is a lowly fraction of it's heavenly highs ($250 or so, circa September 2000).

Reportedly, Sun has been trying to sell itself off for a while -- a sad finale to a very inspiring story of smart entrepreneurs and smarter technologists. If there is one thing we know, it is that IBM is always available to buy a technology company -- any technology company. Provided, of course, IBM finds value in the purchase.

So what would IBM get in what is expected to be a $6.5 billion deal (IBM was still dismissing as "rumors" reports of a deal in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal )? The list is way too big to cover in this blog, but suffice it to say... a smaller version of itself. Sun does hardware, storage, operating systems, programming languages, databases, integration middleware, business process management, open source, office productivity tools and more. Come to think of it, who else but IBM could even think of purchasing Sun?

What is the impact of this acquisition? Here's a rough analogy; what is the impact if, say, a fairly large meteorite hits the earth? To be sure, not all life is destroyed... but equally surely, nearly all life is impacted.

No matter whether you are a Sun customer or competitor, this acquisition will impact you at some point. With IBM controlling everything that Sun owns today -- which includes Java, MySQL and StarOffice -- how could anybody escape the long-term effects of the acquisition? Sun employees -- those who survive the scythe -- can, at last, look forward to being part an organization with momentum.

And if you are a Sun stockholder (as I was recently, until I sold off the tired stock at a hefty loss), there's some consolation that IBM could do in an instant what Sun executives couldn't do for years: make you a bit of profit on the stock.So what would IBM get for what is expected to be a $6.5 billion deal?... Sun does hardware, storage, operating systems, programming languages, databases, integration middleware, business process management, open source, office productivity tools and more. Come to think of it, who else but IBM could even think of purchasing Sun?

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