About a year and a half ago, I met with several members of Sun's data warehouse marketing group at one of the data warehousing shows. At the time I was in the process of working on our first data warehousing/decision support study, Large-Scale Database Solutions, and I wanted to learn more about Sun's future directions in that market. I also wanted to check the validity of the revenue numbers I was attributing to Sun.
When the Sun people saw my numbers, the immediate reaction was that our estimate was too low. In the course of the discussion, it came out that Sun was concentrating its marketing effort on the very low end--small data marts and the like. Since at the time I was interested only in the high end of the market, they grudgingly admitted that my (relatively low) estimate for Sun was on target. The clear message from that discussion was that Sun believed that the high end of the market was too small and too crowded with competitors and that the way to make money in decision support was to sell jillions of little UNIX-based data marts at fifty grand a clip.
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