Dell, Sun Ink Deals With Retailers

Both companies continue push into new market segments.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 14, 2003

2 Min Read

Dell Computer and Sun Microsystems have signed separate deals with major retailers, boosting the companies' push into new market segments.

Dell said Tuesday that supermarket chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. bought a PowerEdge server and a PowerVault NAS (network-attached storage) system for nearly each of its stores. Also Tuesday, Sun said clothing retailer Gap Inc. purchased high-end Fire servers to run Oracle financial applications and Sun Enterprise Servers for its merchandise planning and supply-chain software. The values of the deals weren't disclosed.

Winn-Dixie bought 1,060 PowerEdge servers and an equal number of PowerVault systems. The servers, all running Microsoft Windows 2000, will conduct daily backups of data, including inventory information and customer data from the company's pharmacy department. Winn-Dixie has 1,070 stores in 12 states and the Bahamas.

In addition, Winn-Dixie licensed OpenManage, Dell's software for systems management, and contracted Dell's services to install the servers. "These Dell systems provide Winn-Dixie's pharmacy customers the security of knowing their prescriptions, medical information, and other critical data are backed up and retrievable," Joe Marengi, senior VP for Dell Americas, said in a prepared statement.

Sun said Gap purchased a multiyear, 24-hour support contract for the Sun Fire Servers. In addition to Sun hardware, Gap is deploying 360Commerce Inc.'s software for point-of-sale terminals, sales records, and store management.

The deals are important to both companies because they fall outside their traditional customer base. Dell has said it plans to establish itself in storage and other areas outside its traditional PC market. On Monday, the company said it plans to sell a new line of electronic cash registers in its first foray into the retail point-of-sale equipment market. The announcement was made at the National Retail Federation's Convention & Expo in New York.

For Sun, the Winn-Dixie deal reflects its push into markets outside financial services and telecommunications, where the company has been hurt by weak sales. Areas targeted by Sun include retail, health care, manufacturing, energy, and government. In retail, Sun faces staunch competition from IBM, which has been historically strong in the market.

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