Monday, June 1, 2009

Two Signs I Knew Sun Was Serious About Software

The first day I knew Sun was dead serious about Software was Monday August 29th, 2005. Of course Sun has always been extremely dedicated to the Developer and the operating system. This commitment goes back to Sun's founding on February 24th, 1982. Outside of the Developer and the Operating System, we never had a tremendous investment in application software. This made sense because of our strong Partner Network.

So what was it about Monday August 29th, 2005 that made me change my mind? This was the day that Sun Microsystems hired Dave Profozich. Dave came from a 20 year background in software and was a well known author of "Managing Change - with Business Process Simulation".

The reason this was so significant is because it clearly demonstrated to Sun employees that we are going outside of Sun to hire top individuals with significant software experience. The second day was in April 24th, 2006. That was the day when Scott McNealy turned the reins over to Jonathan Schwartz. Jonathan came to Sun via a software acquisition and gained fame at Sun with his fresh and creative look at Sun's software stack.

When I met Dave Profozich on that day in August of 2005, I told him that he picked a perfect time to come to Sun Microsystems. I went on to tell him that he will be a hero or a zero depending on the strength of his Partner program. He delivered, and today we have a very strong Partner Program in the Americas.

Dave Profozich is Sun's Vice President of Sun's Americas Software Practice.

I should also state that I highly recommend his book (plus I get $1 per book sold, since I work for the guy, just kidding :-) This book takes an interesting look at using simulation software to manage change. My favorite Chapters are 1 and 5. Chapter 1 is titled Battling a Random World. The chapter starts out with a quote by George Bernard Shaw, "The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who have not got it." This quote is even more powerful today. This chapter provides real life examples on how to think about this challenge.

Chapter 5 is titled, Competing and Neighboring Technologies. This chapter also starts off with a quote that certainly stands the test of time by Homer. The quote by Homer is "It is not possible to fight beyond your strength, even if you survive." Chapter 5 is extremely rich with great examples discussing optimization technology, scheduling technology, simulation based scheduling, business diagramming, CAD systems, workflow management, and ERP systems.

Even if you are not considering simulation software, I highly would recommend this book because it helps the reader understand the right way to think about managing change.