Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:09 UTC, submitted by Flatline
Novell and Ximian Novell's board of directors on Thursday named Ron Hovsepian CEO and president to replace Jack Messman, and ousted the company's chief financial officer. In a conference call on Thursday, company executives said the changes were made to accelerate the growth at Novell, which has had disappointing financial results, particularly in its Linux business.
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Ouch
by Sphinx on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:37 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Kicked violently to the curb, that's gonna leave a mark.

Reply Score: 1

I wasn't surprised
by Flatline on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:38 UTC
Flatline
Member since:
2006-03-06

I've been expecting something like this for a while, considering what their stock price is.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I wasn't surprised
by Sphinx on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 13:32 UTC in reply to "I wasn't surprised"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Time to buy?

Reply Score: 1

Not a matter of speed but direction
by pjjmartin on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:39 UTC
pjjmartin
Member since:
2005-07-08

All this talk about narrowing focus is worrisome. I think Novell needs to be widening its focus and branching out in search of more opportunities, whether that's breathing some life back into Netware (still overpriced, even after being beaten into a pulp by Win NT). Their Desktop Linux looks promising, but most software firms that have (arguably) lost money. Remember Corel. And Red Hat makes money through its server software and support.

Narrowing focus is really doublespeak for "shrinking the company." What if you narrow down to something that doesn't make money? Think of poor Be and their focus shift to the BeIA. How did that work out for them?

Edited 2006-06-22 14:40

Reply Score: 4

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

All this talk about narrowing focus is worrisome. I think Novell needs to be widening its focus and branching out in search of more opportunities, whether that's breathing some life back into Netware (still overpriced, even after being beaten into a pulp by Win NT). Their Desktop Linux looks promising, but most software firms that have (arguably) lost money. Remember Corel. And Red Hat makes money through its server software and support.

No, Novell's problem has been that they're trying to embrace a new product/technology paradigm, but they're encumbered with a legacy old-school sales and management structure that won't let go of those Netware renewals that still roll in every year (in ever-shrinking numbers). Throwing sh!t at the wall to see what sticks isn't necessarily the best operating strategy unless you've got hordes of capital to burn through and can afford to experiment, a la google.

They need a focus, whether it's Netware/proprietary or whether it's OSS-Love everywhere, just make the decision and then restructure appropriately. The guys tagged with selling the new-tech this-is-our-future products are second-class citizens to the legacy 10+ year-under-their-belts corporate Netware guys who are simply waiting to be packaged out anyways.

This is likely just the first move in a necessary overhaul of Novell's structure so it will be interesting to see.

Whether they can really succeed with their linux strategy still remains to be seen, but without a proper focus, strategy and structure, then it would be doomed to fail anyways, so I'm cautiously optimistic, though a lot of work remains to be done.

Reply Score: 3

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Netware, the old 386 based kernel system, is dead. Those who absolutely must have it can do so in a Xen-style environment running under SLES 10. This is the official stance.

Now, the core services of netware, file (NSS), print (NDPS/iPrint), Groupwise, Zenworks, Identity Management, and of course eDirectory, have all been ported to other platforms, either through java, mono, or native code, in the case of eDir and NSS.

So the kernel's dead as a dodo, and honestly, should have died about 5 years ago. NW 6.5 is proof that they've reached the limits of what the old kernel design can handle.

Moving to a linux based kernel makes a lot of sense for them, and I hope it works.

But without an agressive marketing campaign, and a solid product (SLES 9 is good, but Open Enterprise Server/Linux is obviously a bolt on) that looks like a unified system to deliver to the customers, with a standardized management interface, that works with existing solutions, they're doomed.

OES has the functionality, but it's a bit schizoid as to whether it's a linux server or a linux server with Novell applications bolted on top. You configure some things in Yast, some in iManager, and some from the command line-- which just isn't a good setup. iManager keeps getting better, and between it and a fully functional Yast system, OES 2.0 (I have no idea what the next OES release is called) should be pretty spiffy.

Now they need to work on the marketing. Having managed hundreds of workstations via eDir/Zenworks and AD/SMS, there is absolutely no comparison-- Microsoft is 5-10 years behind the curve. Problem is, nobody knows what Zenworks can do.

Reply Score: 5

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Netware, the old 386 based kernel system, is dead. Those who absolutely must have it can do so in a Xen-style environment running under SLES 10. This is the official stance.

There's only one tiny flaw with that official stance Novell is taking. The revenue brought in by Linux is a tiny splash in a large ocean when compared with Novell's core Netware business. Netware is what's keeping Novell afloat. Novell are nowhere near being as much a Linux business as Red Hat is, and it is doubtful they'll ever catch up.

Running Netware in a VM under Xen is not enough at all, and is a fatal mistake. What Novell needed to do was continue to support Netware and continue to give it undivided attention, because that's where the money comes from, and work out a way of migrating customers from Netware to a Linux based system with little to no effort required from them. This Linux based system would have a wealth of software and admin tools they'd never had before, making sure they stayed with Novell, and attracting new customers into the bargain. They're a million miles away from this.

Novell thought their Netware customers would simply move over to Linux and endure the pain for them. They won't, and given the choice they will move to something else.

that looks like a unified system to deliver to the customers, with a standardized management interface, that works with existing solutions, they're doomed.

Novell have traditionally changed management interfaces every other day of the week.

Reply Score: 5

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

There's only one tiny flaw with that official stance Novell is taking. The revenue brought in by Linux is a tiny splash in a large ocean when compared with Novell's core Netware business. Netware is what's keeping Novell afloat. Novell are nowhere near being as much a Linux business as Red Hat is, and it is doubtful they'll ever catch up.

no, microsoft is keeping novell alive. or to be more precise the 70mio they sued out of ms.

i predict that novell will follow sgi.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

no, microsoft is keeping novell alive. or to be more precise the 70mio they sued out of ms.

True. They have got a sizeable cash pile made out of settlements in lawsuits of various kinds that they're effectively living off, but any revenue that Novell is generating is all coming from the last remnants of Netware, eDirectory and Zenworks users. Satisfying those people is their only hope.

You can also argue that Microsoft is keeping Novell alive in another way. All Netware, eDirectory and Zenworks setups out there support Microsoft Active Directory and Windows infrastructures underneath. That's where Novell have always been outflanked.

i predict that novell will follow sgi.

Your prediction probably won't be far off. I think Novell will survive on perhaps a few tens of millions of dollars per year, because enough companies will still continue to use them, but eventually we'll see that dwindle and the line graph will dip and get ever closer to 0 - as has happened with SGI.

Whatever happens and whatever is left though, it will be a far, far cry from the hundreds of millions in revenue each year and Messman's self proclaimed 'only billion dollar Linux company'.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Their desktop does have potential, but if there aren't the ISV's there to provide the very software which companies rely to run their business on, then the whole exercise is a waste of time.

In a nutshell, their marketing is crap, their products are unfocused, their direction is questionable - putting all the eggs into one basket in regards to mono, and worse still, they've done little to actually integrate the SuSE product line up into a single, coherient Linux straterg that convinces customers that there is some longevity in their roadmap, rather than it being a half-hearted attempt to stay alive.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Their desktop does have potential, but if there aren't the ISV's there to provide the very software which companies rely to run their business on, then the whole exercise is a waste of time....putting all the eggs into one basket in regards to mono

Quite right too. I can't fathom why Novell hasn't got this. OK, maybe I can. But the only way to attract ISVs is to build up a large enough userbase, and there's no way a large userbase will be built up with Novell hoping that OEMs like HP and Dell will simply wake up one morning and decide to ship their OS.

To build up the userbase Novell need a desktop distribution to give away for free over the internet, and also the ISV programming infrastructure needs to be there. It doesn't take a genius to work out that you need the right technology to do that, and if you have a whole division devoted to Mono, a division of people devoted to the underlying desktop components and a division of people devoted to producing meaningful applications out of that technology then you're not exactly going to get far.

Edited 2006-06-23 15:39

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Quite right too. I can't fathom why Novell hasn't got this. OK, maybe I can. But the only way to attract ISVs is to build up a large enough userbase, and there's no way a large userbase will be built up with Novell hoping that OEMs like HP and Dell will simply wake up one morning and decide to ship their OS.

But the user base won't come unless there is the software there for them to use, thus you're stuck in a chicken before the egg scenario.

The only way to break this, is for Novell to talk to some key customers, find a common list of applications that they all need, approach the said vendors and work out a way to get the applications to the Novell platform, be it licencing the source code and Novell porting it, or Novell simply writing a cheque for the company which will pay for the porting costs.

For example, in Australia and New Zealand, MYOB has a 88% strangle hold on the market; the average small business vendor relies on three key applications, MYOB, Office and Publisher.

If Novell can get MYOB ported and bought exclusively to their platform, fix OpenOffice.org up with a decent array of ready to use templates and macro's, along with a decent selection of clipart, and a desktop publisher with lots of templates etc. you would be able to grab the small business market over night, and given that they make up more of the economy, in terms of employment, in most countries, it would be an easy gold mine to pull teasure out of.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

But the user base won't come unless there is the software there for them to use, thus you're stuck in a chicken before the egg scenario.

The userbase gets built up little by little. At first there is no third party software, but through giving a good quality distribution away for free that does a good job for many people the userbase is ever so gradually built up to the point where ISVs sit up and take notice. It's important to have the right infrastructure in place for when that happens. Things then snowball from there.

It's a very gradual process, and it's not some big bang, overnight storming enterprise and corporate success story. That's the point there.

Reply Score: 1

perhaps the timing is right
by halfmanhalfamazing on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:50 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

New CEO at the same time HP is evaluating and certifying SUSE for it's laptops.(no pre-installs tho)

http://www.crn.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=ZYH2BUAX3JYIMQSNDLO...

You can choose to think they're isolated incedents, I don't. I've heard in quite a few places that Novell spooks didn't see messman as agressive enough with respect to linux. Linux is growing. Netware is not. From what I've seen, Hovsepian wants to grow the linux/Suse part of the business, it's the part that has the greatest chance for success.

Reply Score: 3

Background
by Googlesaurus on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 15:58 UTC
Googlesaurus
Member since:
2005-10-19

Consider Hovsepian's former position as Managing Director with Bear Stearns Asset Management. This could give a clear indication of things to come.

He is a financial type. He will ditch anything likely unprofitable to the future of the company.

I wouldn't consider anything sacred at the moment.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Background
by chemical_scum on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 16:38 UTC in reply to "Background"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Consider Hovsepian's former position as Managing Director with Bear Stearns Asset Management. This could give a clear indication of things to come

He spent the two years before joining Novell working in venture capital investment management. He spent the preceeding 17 years working for IBM. I think that 17 years experience is a more likely indication of the direction he intends to go.

In particular he worked at IBM during the period of its turn around after it being shafted by you know who on the pacific north west.

Reply Score: 1

Really funny
by edasque on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 16:18 UTC
edasque
Member since:
2006-01-23

Hah hah,

this is really funny. Hovsepian is such a shark, he's been manipulating people at all level for this purpose only.


Not that Jack was any better (he was clueless about the product, direction and Linux) but the new CEO is only interested in his own carreer, not the company, nor its employees. Novell is even more borked now than it was after the Suse acquisition (an all time high).


After the tumultuous Suse/Ximian in fighting (KDE vs Gnome, SLUX vs Groupwise vs Hula, Red Carpet vs whatever the Suse thingie is called, SUSE management vs Ximian management), it's a new year of failure for Novell.

I hope Mono & Hula get out unscathed.

Edited 2006-06-22 16:20

Reply Score: 1

RE: Really funny
by segedunum on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "Really funny"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

this is really funny. Hovsepian is such a shark, he's been manipulating people at all level for this purpose only.

It would be funny if only that Novell are flushing their whole business away. Hovsepian is a real shark, and has no core understanding of what's going on at all. Take Hovsepian's statement since becoming CEO:

"I want to assure you that Novell will remain focused on aggressively executing our Open Enterprise strategy. This is an enterprise that leverages a mixed source environment and takes advantage of open standards-based commercial software and the best the open source world has to offer. We have already made an excellent start. We're working with customers around the world that service multiple industries and institutions to ensure that our Open Enterprise strategy is customized to meet their needs."

All the same buzzwords and all this mixed source and standards-based rubbish. It could have been written by Messman. Hovsepian is a guy who hasn't been at Novell very long at all, other people have been passed over for him and he's still regurgitating what he's heard. What Kind of message does that send out to Novell's employees. I always think companies should recruit from within for a position like this, and if they can't, well, the whole company is screwed.

Edited 2006-06-22 18:23

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Really funny
by cendrizzi on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 20:59 UTC in reply to "Really funny"
cendrizzi Member since:
2005-07-08

edasque,

Funny that you seem to be against (?) Novell enough to actually post the same thing twice.

http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=189220&cid=15583874

Kinda silly really.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Really funny
by edasque on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:37 UTC in reply to "Really funny"
edasque Member since:
2006-01-23

Why would I be against Novell ? Both OSnews & /. posted the same thing and I posted the same comment ? What's wrong about that ?

As for being against Novell, I am not sure why you say that. I do however know the actors in this drama pretty well.

Reply Score: 1

Novell's death throws?
by BFGoodrich on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 17:42 UTC
BFGoodrich
Member since:
2005-06-30

Novell is spiraling into obsolescence. They are trying to push a distribution that no one really cares about, trying to make a new desktop OS that no one wants because everyone has a Windows desktop. When they drop NetWare what will be left but a second rate Linux company.

They are clinging onto their NetWare and eDirectory products like a life vest when in reality it is a block of lead. If they would have retooled their OS 5 years ago and based it on the Linux kernel (or even licensed Solaris x86) and open-sourced their products, then they may still be alive. RedHat has the right model, but Novell had a lot of technology they could have open-sourced and maintained through support contracts. Even now most of their income is through "legacy" software licensing. Earlier they may have recovered, at this point their products have little meaning in the marketplace.

They should have predicted the rise of Linux, but instead they bought into it only at the height of the Linux "buzz". RedHat has already established itself as the predominent Linux vendor for Enterprise. Now the Linux saturation point seems to be near and the growth numbers for linux are down. I don't see Novell going anywhere but down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Novell's death throws?
by segedunum on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 19:10 UTC in reply to "Novell's death throws?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

RedHat has the right model, but Novell had a lot of technology they could have open-sourced and maintained through support contracts.

What's most important for Novell is not just that they make money, but for them to have a future they need their software to get used more widely. I certainly think Novell should have open sourced a lot of their software and allowed people and other Linux distributions to package it up and use it. Their existing customers would still have bought support and it would not have threatened them. I think most Linux distros could do with a good well set up LDAP system for distributed authentication. As it is, Red Hat's Directory Services will probably be that software and Red Hat will steadily start taking customers from Novell and eDirectory.

Groupwise, they should have dropped totally. I know many Novell using companies, and none of them use Groupwise. The open source groupware wave has been happening and they should have invested their time in that to fight back against Exchange.

Novell seem to have got confused with this 'both source' thing. This confusion gets passed on to customers to the point where they're wondering just what is or isn't open sourced in a Novell Linux distribution.

Now the Linux saturation point seems to be near and the growth numbers for linux are down.

One point I'll make there. Novell do have a customer base that would carry them through if they treated them right, and that's Netware. Unfortunately, Novell have seen fit to leave them in the cold, making them make a choice for themselves about moving to Linux rather than actually helping them move and giving them the things they need.

The really dangerous thing is that Novell are moving into this Linux world at the expense of the customers who got them where they are, and that Linux world is worth practically nothing for them. Their Linux revenues are worth about $10 million at best each quarter, which is a miniscule, microscopic amount of their total revenue. It's also a fraction of the revenue Suse would have had as an independent company had they continued their own growth, and they would have been a far, far bigger competitor for Red Hat. That's something I find sad.

Reply Score: 4

2006 : Linux year for the desktop :-)
by Vai777 on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 18:06 UTC
Vai777
Member since:
2005-09-02

2006 : Linux year for the desktop :-)

Reply Score: 1

mixed source
by butters on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 19:14 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

In a world where it is usually more successful to be consistent than to be correct, this concept of "mixed source" has as much chance at building a strong image as flip-flopping did for John Kerry. If you are committed to proprietary software, like Microsoft is, for example, than you have nothing to lose by throwing a bone to the FOSS community (i.e. "Shared Source"). But if you are a company that is basing its future on OSS, you cannot afford to mince words. You must be strong and unwavering in your support of OSS and make a committment to open source every internally developed software that is unencumbered. Mixed source implies that we have another leech in the FOSS ecosystem.

Jack Messman is 66 years old, and I doubt he feels slighted by this move. If he is being terminated for any particular shortcoming it was that he didn't initiate the transition to Linux-based platforms until NT had fully crushed Netware. I'm not sure that Novell could have been more aggressive in their transitional strategy once it began, and you could succesfully defend the argument that they made mistakes primarily because they moved too aggressively. They overpaid for SUSE (you could argue that they didn't really need to buy a distribution at all because they already had name recognition), they bought an aggressive OSS firm (Ximian) that had a natural disagreement with the newly acquired SUSE, and they created a marketing strategy that tries to migrate whole businesses rather than helping them migrate piece by piece.

I wouldn't overlook the possibility that this new guy is trying to position Novell for acquisition or even one of those "leveraged buy-outs," given he was groomed by the master, Lou Gerstner.

Reply Score: 3

RE: mixed source
by kaiwai on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 09:41 UTC in reply to "mixed source"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't overlook the possibility that this new guy is trying to position Novell for acquisition or even one of those "leveraged buy-outs," given he was groomed by the master, Lou Gerstner.

Ah, old Lou, what a bloody idiot he was; ran Nabisco into the ground; was the number one biscuit company in the US, by the time he left, it was bought up by Kraft, who was number 3 when Lou originally took over - so indebted, Nabisco sold off assets, in the case of New Zealand, Griffins was sold to the French food group, Danone.

Lou, yet another over rated MBA halfwitt, who could take the most successful companies in the world, and run their down into the toilet.

IBM is *just* recovering after Lou start killing of R&D, hardware development, product development and all those bloody annoying things that result in real product and services being delivered.

Reply Score: 1

TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought they are doing pretty well in Linux!!! They recently grab good deal in China and Europe... They are seriously challanging Redhat...

Reply Score: 1

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

I thought they are doing pretty well in Linux!!!

Yes you are right here and Thom has got it wrong. Their Linux revenues are increasing significantly. However it is by far the smaller part of their revenue, the larger part being from the remaining Netware licensing.

Novells problem is that the Netware side of the business is declining, in absolute cash terms, faster than the Linux side is growing.

Reply Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Yes you are right here and Thom has got it wrong. Their Linux revenues are increasing significantly. However it is by far the smaller part of their revenue, the larger part being from the remaining Netware licensing.

It's all relative. There linux revenue is up 20% year-over-year, which sounds impressive, but still only amounts to $10M, which is hardly impressive.

Novell paid $210M cash for Suse, and an undisclosed but likely much lower amount for Ximian. Given that they allowed many of the core Suse people to flee in disgust and have had to work to rebuild their EMEA linux business to an extent because of that, and given that they continue to pour so many of their resources into mono, which has yet to translate into a tangible benefit and likely never will, it's questionable as to why Novell even bothered acquiring and didn't just do what other commercial distros do and leach from Debian.

Even being generous and considering OES utilizes Suse but is recognized seperately, they are still a long way from recouping those investments.

Don't forget that last year Messman was predicting this would be the year Novell knocked out Microsoft on the desktop. Remember all the noise about being the only $1B linux company? They're still running a far distant second to Red Hat.

So in that context, I would say their linux financial results have been and continue to be very disappointing.

They need to quit talking about how they're going to lead, and start actually doing something to make it happen.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""it's questionable as to why Novell even bothered acquiring and didn't just do what other commercial distros do and leach from Debian."""

Just a small nit. I'm a big believer in making the license actually say what is expected of the user. (In this case, the packager/distributor.) If the license puts forth terms and those terms are followed, the user really can't be called a "leacher". If the author does consider the users who are following the terms of the license to be leachers, then his choice of license was wrong.

For example, if a project like OpenSSH released under a BSD license and then complained that companies were not giving enough back, that would just mean that the license did not match what the authors were really expecting and would indicate a poor choice of license on their part.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

There linux revenue is up 20% year-over-year, which sounds impressive, but still only amounts to $10M....Novell paid $210M cash for Suse, and an undisclosed but likely much lower amount for Ximian.

Just think how many years it will take to recoup that investment.

Given that they allowed many of the core Suse people to flee in disgust

They've lost an awful lot of their own people like Chris Stone and Alan Nugent as well. Both those guys left in strange circumstances, and just seem to have been forced out. Juergen Geck was a very highly respected CTO at Suse by all accounts, particularly by the people Suse worked with at IBM and he seemed to have a good handle on where things would be in a few years' time - grounded in reality. Contrast that with Novell's new CTO Jeffrey Jaffe, who seems to be picking up every soundbite thrown off the back of a lorry (truck) - and blogging about it.

In short, they've lost all the good people who could have got them out of this sorry mess.

and given that they continue to pour so many of their resources into mono

If Mono is going to be the development technology that will enable Novell to write the applications and graphical tools they need without sapping away resources, then fine - all religious issues and technical dislikes put aside. However, they're going to have to have a whole division pouring developers, time, money and resources into developing and maintaining it just to make it good enough for Novell internally to use, let alone third-party ISVs.

Looking at how much Microsoft has to pour into maintaining and developing .Net you would have to say that Novell maintaining their own version is a non-starter. Certainly, no one like IBM, Red Hat or Sun is interested. What they need is to use development technology maintained in a real community, or partner with another company.

Even being generous and considering OES utilizes Suse but is recognized seperately

I think few people have any idea of what OES is. Is it Linux? Is it Netware? Which one am I supposed to be using Novell? People have better things to do than choose kernels.

Don't forget that last year Messman was predicting this would be the year Novell knocked out Microsoft on the desktop.

As Novell have been saying for a good two years now, which they seem to have picked up from Ximian who were saying it a good three years before Novell. I think it's done no end of harm to the general perception of desktop Linux, which in many unpublicised places, is doing a good job for people.

Reply Score: 1

No surprise
by cendrizzi on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 19:26 UTC
cendrizzi
Member since:
2005-07-08

Many people were assuming these same changes. Hovsepian seemed to always be a stronger candidate than Messman.

As for Novell not being able to compete with Redhat, I have to disagree. Novell *could* destroy Redhat if they would get their strategy together. They have more money, more programmers, and a much stronger technology set. The problem is they aren't put together in any kind of cohesive manner. Why do I have to install eDirectory as a seperate product (etc, etc)? MS wins big in this categary. Install Win2k3 and you're presetned with a simply dialogue asking you what roles you want to add. It's easy, very easy! And when you're an overworked IT worker it can really help out.

Novell's problem is they are divided between legacy and future (in more ways than Novell and Linux, just look at ConsoleOne and iManager). Linux is the clear future but they have yet to execute their Linux strategy in a meaningful way.

Their next set of enterprise products look to be a step in the right direction but I doubt they're far enough.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No surprise
by Googlesaurus on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 06:29 UTC in reply to "No surprise"
Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

"As for Novell not being able to compete with Redhat, I have to disagree. Novell *could* destroy Redhat if they would get their strategy together."

Novell "could" have destroyed Microsoft on the server front too. "IF", they would have had their strategy together. Nearly a decade later, they still have no strategy or clear pathway back to the market.

I don't believe anyone here is questioning the programming and software capabilities of Novell. What most seem to be saying is their marketing department is lost in the distant past.

Reply Score: 1

Novell is a study case for Microsoft
by negativity on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 22:40 UTC
negativity
Member since:
2006-02-23

Microsoft with their Windows based products will have a hard time serving two kings, Linux and Windows, thus any move by them at supporting more than their Windows platform will always cost them a lot...

I don't have an easy solution to them, though. As Novell shows, it's hard either way.

Reply Score: 1

This is actually a good sign...
by tomcat on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 00:31 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Novell's board is clearly willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure profitability. Better to change course now than to wait another year.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is actually a good sign...
by grat on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 01:03 UTC in reply to "This is actually a good sign..."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

I almost agree. In 10 years, I have yet to see an effective marketing campaign by Novell. The best they've managed was when they took a strong anti-SCO stance, and gained instant Slashdot fame.

Up until that point, most people assumed they'd gone out of business years ago.

Novell knows they have some of the best directory services around, and some seriously good products to go with them. Unfortunately, outside the server room, that's a well kept secret, and management only sees Microsoft on the map.

At least with SLED 10, Novell is gaining some market visibility, even if it's for the wrong product.

Reply Score: 1

Novell should change their name
by Jeroenverh on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 07:20 UTC
Jeroenverh
Member since:
2006-05-21

Novell has a bad name and people see it as an old company with old products. They should change their name an maybe people will be interessted again. They have a lot of good open source software and they can make a really nice distribution.

Does anyone know why the yet don't use the smart package manger and why they still use yast and Red Carpet?

Reply Score: 1

Not sure...
by IanSVT on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 13:47 UTC
IanSVT
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not sure what to think. The idea that the new CEO seems to come from a backround of profit only decision making scares me a bit. I'm also concerned about using another retread business school executive picked by the board of directors to increase profit above all else. They need a Steve Jobs type of CEO. Jobs might be a complete jackass, but he knows how to market. They need someone with some fire for the company and what it can offer, not how much he or she can make for the board of directors.

Which brings me to the board and various other share holders. I hate the fact that all the decision making has been in large part to increase profit for share holders. I know the objective of any company is to make money, but I've got a novel way of doing it. How about doing right by your customers? If you do right by your customers, you will make money. A name change won't help. They have good products and good engineers. I can't say I have ever used any of red hats enterprise offerings, but I highly doubt they have anything which can match eDirectory, Zenworks, Groupwise or Identity Manager.

Novell has to realize one very important thing. The reason their Linux strategy is slow is a testement to Netware and its longevity. Netware, in a lot of shops, is solid. Adding linux based OES servers is a gamble. First and foremost, Novell isn't pushing training for their linux based produts. And by not pushing, I mean charging $2600 for a few days worth of classes. Having a linux install fest is great and all, but that doesn't help. Someone who can't install SuSE linux these days shouldn't really be in any decision making or sys admin position. I might be a small shop, but there are tons of shops like mine. I can't justify to my bosses that I need thousands of dollars worth of training to start integrating OES Linux into my existing Netware based network with any sort of degree of comfort. How about throwing a bone to us "loyal" users? You can offer cheaper training and support at a small hit to your overall revenue in hopes that it starts to generate good PR for your company which leads to other shops willing to take a chance on you.

We will see. I just hope this doesn't turn into a "let's sell our company and make lots of money on our shares". That's the final nail in the coffin. Selling a company with good products to a conglomerate full of idiots is a sure fire way to kill anything good that has been done. Just look at anything Computer Associates, Network Associates, or Symantec get a hold of. They turn it to crap in record time!

Edited 2006-06-23 13:49

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not sure...
by segedunum on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 15:04 UTC in reply to "Not sure..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The idea that the new CEO seems to come from a backround of profit only decision making scares me a bit.

It not only scares you, but in a technical company of any description, it's a disaster. Any technical company has to have a good technical executive on the board who can give good quality advice to the chairman and CEO (many US effectively companies combine the positions of chairman and CEO, which I've never liked). The chairman and CEO must be totally open to this advice. If not, then the the board and all the key decision makers are walking blind, and are very susceptible to suggestions from the flavour of the month. Also, listening to a bunch of open source hackers with ideas that have never amounted to anything tangible is not a great idea.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not sure...
by kaiwai on Fri 23rd Jun 2006 19:02 UTC in reply to "Not sure..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Which brings me to the board and various other share holders. I hate the fact that all the decision making has been in large part to increase profit for share holders. I know the objective of any company is to make money, but I've got a novel way of doing it. How about doing right by your customers? If you do right by your customers, you will make money. A name change won't help. They have good products and good engineers. I can't say I have ever used any of red hats enterprise offerings, but I highly doubt they have anything which can match eDirectory, Zenworks, Groupwise or Identity Manager.

Its the old saying, "look after the products, and the profits will follow" - too many managers are slash, slash, slash when there is little or no effort made to work out WHY their products aren't makeing the impact on the market that they should.

Are they poorly marketed? are they delivering to the customer what they want? there are loads of questions they need to ask themselves before culling the workforce - Sun has the same problem, they're all to willing to run off and either slash jobs or blame something else rather than saying, "hey, we're not selling as much as we expected, what are we doing wrong with our products" - find out what you're doing wrong, and correct them.

Reply Score: 1