Tomorrow, the purveyor of high-end Unix systems will expand its programs so that resellers of Sun products also can buy its hardware through auction sites, said Alex Rublowsky, group manager for Sun's auction programs. Previously, only the ultimate end users were allowed to buy through the auctions.
Resellers wanted to be able to participate in the auctions, Rublowsky said. The implication is that resellers will get a lower price than buying the equipment from Sun through the usual channels. "On Tuesday, you might get a better price than Thursday," he said.
The auction program hasn't been a very significant business for Sun, Rublowsky said, but the Palo Alto, Calif., company has higher hopes. "The volume we have done certainly is not going to move any needles from a level of significance. However, we are aggressively investigating what it is this program can do for us," he said.
The biggest advantage for Sun so far has been that 53 percent of buyers through the auction program are new Sun customers, Rublowsky said.
But what of the other 47 percent who are buying directly? Resellers still have services and support to offer those customers, Rublowsky argued. "You can't really auction off that relationship," he said.