SUMMARY: Alternatives to SunService

From: B. Shorter (
Date: Mon Jan 02 1995 - 11:26:26 CST

Hello from Allentown, PA.:

This message is an attempt at a brief summary on the topic,
"Alternatives to SunService" which was posted on Wednesday,
December 21, 1994. In this posting, I asked the community
about alternatives to SunService for SOFTWARE support on
Sun platforms.

The issue is (briefly) this. We obtain software support
(software updates, bugfixes, documentation, and hotline call
service) from SunService. Our facilities are distributed across
several geographic locations in Eastern Pennsylvania and
Northern New Jersey. There are approximately 1600 Sun
workstations in them, being primarily used for ECAD applications
and software development (of CAD applications). There is
also a substantial community of General Purpose UNIX users
who work on large, shared Sun platforms.

Our cost of SunService support rises dramatically for 1995.
Therefore, my management wishes to look at alternatives. Although
we are a part of AT&T, we are organized into business units which
must each turn a profit each year. The Integrated Circuit business
is cut throat. And in the name of controlling costs, 280 employees
in our little business were "put at risk" in November. (They have
until February to find another job within AT&T, or they are off role.)
When such things happen, you work hard at cutting costs.

Here's what I learned about Alternatives to SunService:

(1) Computervision Services - 1-(800)-786-2231 ext. 3345
Known to be an "Authorized Service Provider" (ASP) and ISO certified.
Other phone numbers 1-(617)-275-1800 [Bedford, MA] and 1-(707)-434-3606
[Fairfield, CA]. This sounds like a plausible alternative to

(2) Honeywell - mentioned by one respondent, but it seemed that
this was a reference to HARDWARE support. Does anyone know if Honeywell
does SOFTWARE only support for Sun platforms?

(3) Control Data -
Gary Schiebe responded from Control Data. Control Data is an ASP.
Gary invites discussion on support from Control Data.

(4) Intergraph -
John Delmarle mentions Intergraph as a cad/cam/cae provider and
service organization. In a sense, we are competitors, as we are
CAD providers too. But, we also have contracts with Intergraph
concerning CAD. The question here is, "Does Intergraph provide
SunService-like support for the SunOS/Solaris, compilers, SunLink
products, etc.? - software support separate of CAD products?"

(5) Concorde Group -
Srini Yalavarthy works for Concorde Group. They are an ASP and
support a wide range of Sun based software. Concorde sounds
reasonably equivalent to SunService from Srini's description.

(6) Access Graphics (in Colorado) was briefly mentioned by one
respondent. No details.

(7) Novadyne Computer Systems -
Larry Springer of Novadyne responded. Novadyne is an ASP which
appears to be reasonably equivalent to SunService from Larry's

If there is more input, please write to me. Where I work, costs
must be cut to a minimum. Jobs do depend upon it. Mine included.
In January, we begin the search.

Bill Shorter
AT&T-Bell Labs.
Allentown, PA.

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