Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The future of Sun Microsystems

I have loved Sun Microsystems from the first day I started working for them. I could literally gush about how awesome Sun is, the cool history behind the company, the amazing leadership and go on but the future of Sun is heavy on my mind right now.

I credit my friend Courtney for 'inspiring' me to start blogging but Courtney's blog was not the first blog I had followed, she just inspired me to create my own. The first blog I followed was Sun's CEO and President, Jonathan Schwartz. I started to follow Jonathan's blog in 2005 because it was easy access to the thoughts of our CEO. As the video mentioned, he was one of few Fortune 500 CEO's who 'Blogged' and true to form, it was another Sun idea that blazed a trail for others to follow. Other prominent CEO's started to blog as well after Johnathan received much media attention for it.

I write all that, to explain what's heavy on my mind right now, makes it appropriate to blog about. Early this morning, Sun stock shot up from $4.97 a share to a high $9.27. I only needed to check the headlines to find out what was going on...

Whammy #1: Well, I've been sitting white knuckled on the edge of my seat about MY future at Sun since December when Sun employees were notified of a huge upcoming RIF (Reduction In Force (layoff) ) that would occur in phases over the 3rd quarter. My organization, Global Sales Ops, will be impacted on March 31st....D-day.

Whammy #2: Sun always 'restructures' the U.S. employee workforce at the end of our fiscal year, every July. It's like a that I'm not really fond of. This time frame always has my team sweating because we like our boss so much and the restructure could impact who we report to if our manager is moved to another organization. 'Restructuring' talk has already started and July is fast approaching.

Whammy #3: Today's headlines. While there would be great benefits to IBM buying Sun, something sentimental would instantly be stripped from the company. Sun has held a fierce underdog status in the hardware and technology sector since its inception and yet the company has remarkably held it's position in the market alongside notable names like HP, Dell, IBM & Microsoft.

All these Whammy's got me thinking about everything work related. As my team and I speculate on the future of Sun and our place in the future, it's only natural that we become sentimental and nostalgic...

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Before I started working from home full time, I had 'assigned' workspace and this was my desk in the Dallas office. Now, I'm a 'flex' employee and if I go to a Sun office and need a desk, I login to 'SunReserve' to and reserve a desk to work at for the day.

Every flex space has a 'SunRay'. My badge has an embedded Java chip (technology Sun created) which contains and freezes my work desktop. I insert my badge into the SunRay and my desktop instantly pulls up. It works that way for every office, so if I'm in the middle of reading an email in Arizona and then I travel to the Sun office in Dublin, Ireland. I insert my badge, my desktop comes up and I pick right up where I left off reading that same email.

This picture goes back to May 2005. I was at Sun's Santa Clara campus and our manager had given us tiara's for a project we just completed. You can see my badge sticking out of the right side of the SunRay. I have one of these at home now, so the technology works the same. Whatever I'm working on at home, I can open it up and work on from any Sun office.

This is some of my team in Florida where we run a lab for Sun's U.S. Sales meeting every August. Our team was shocked when our Latin America counterpart, Claudio, who is sitting down on the far left, was laid off a couple of weeks ago. He was a good guy, hard worker.

Here we are with the 'boss' in D.C. for the same meeting in August of last year. Colleen, my boss, is standing behind me in the white shirt.

This is my least favorite part of the job, standing up in front of these people and presenting material for a meeting we host in Dallas every year.

But I get them back...I make them take pictures...and I actually get them to do 'Hey' pictures - it's crazy that I have this kind of authority!

Last but not least. Here's my picture with Scott McNealy, Sun's founder and Chairman of the Board. I just wish I could tell you a few stories about this man, ask me if your curious cause I'd love to tell you about the time Scott testified against Microsoft, sitting shoulder to shoulder next to Bill Gates in court!

Sigh. I don't know what the future of Sun looks like. I don't know what MY future with Sun looks like. I just know that I love the company, I hope it stays intact and I hope I get to continue to be part of it. And Sun's stock closed at $8.89 today..........................................................................