"There are two customers we see [in the market]," Schwartz said. "Customers that look at information technology as a competitive weapon, and those that look at information technology as a cost centre. We're obsessed with and focused on the former."
While he said his first 100-days as CEO "honeymoon is over," he claimed the company is just beginning to see the fruits of a comeback strategy it's been crafting since it took the dot.com bust on the chin in 2001.
The company seems to be finally climbing – albeit slowly – out of unprofitability, and has shown promising revenue growth over the last couple of quarters as it cut costs by shedding employees.
Schwartz said the company even expects to achieve sustainable profitability by its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends June 30, 2007.
The new CEO continued to stress Sun's commitment to offering a mix of hardware systems, software, storage and services, and helping customers combine those products in heterogeneous IT environments so Sun's products run seamlessly alongside competitive offerings.
Schwartz pointed to the success of Sun's open-source version of its Solaris OS as proof that Sun is happy to play well with others if it means winning customers. Since the company open sourced Solaris last year, nearly 70 percent of its implementations have been on competing hardware from IBM, Dell and HP, not Sun's own servers.
Jonathan Eunice, an Illuminata analyst said the event’s true intent was to show Sun's investment in open source and new products over the past several years, including its early adoption of AMD’s Opteron chips for its Galaxy server line, is finally beginning to pay off.
"This is a drumbeat event," Eunice said. "This was not about the product pipeline, but about customer connections. [This is Sun saying:] ‘We continue to do the work, continue to get back with quality customers.'"
Sun's announcement Wednesday that it has renewed its relationship with systems integrator Accenture Ltd., which is setting up an identity management practice on Sun's technology, is particularly important to reaching new customers or some it has lost since its downturn, Eunice said.
"It's a very critical way for Sun to get new business and revenue," he said of the Accenture deal.