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Sun Microsystems today made a somewhat unusual move by acquiring a small software outsourcing firm - SevenSpace.

Sun is looking to have SevenSpace operate as part of its managed services business. SevenSpace specializes in managing business software such as Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft and BEA on a wide variety of operating systems. Sun typically turns to partners for these types of services instead of trying to take the tasks on itself. The company, however, now appears set on building out its in-house services skills.

"It is growing more evident by the day that 'one size fits all' outsourcing is history, replaced by managed services that improve service levels at reduced costs while allowing customers to maintain control of their competitive advantage," said Marissa Peterson, head of Sun services. "Sun is focused on addressing these requirements for all platforms, not simply Sun's. The acquisition of SevenSpace reinforces that commitment, and builds upon Sun's remote servicing expertise to extend to a world of new customers."

Sun expects to acquire SevenSpace in an all cash transaction. It did not release the financial terms of the deal at this time, but did say the buy should close by March of next year. The deal is subject to standard approvals.

SevenSpace is a young company headed up by a former vice president of the infamous Carlyle Group. It has close to 140 customers, with most coming from the financial services, government, retail and manufacturing sectors.

SevenSpace could help Sun move away from its narrow focus on the Solaris operating system. The start-up supports most of the major versions of Unix, Linux and Windows.

In a company fact sheet, SevenSpace notes that some of its key differentiators are flexibility, control and a focus on application management. These qualities are sure to come in handy. ®

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