Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 23rd Oct 2005 03:27 UTC
Novell and Ximian Novell is expected to initiate a major round of layoffs that could cut 1000 or more jobs in an attempt to restore the server software company's financial strength, according to employees familiar with the plan.
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How to Do It
by segedunum on Sun 23rd Oct 2005 15:56 UTC
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1. Fire Jack Messman and get someone in who understands the business and has a vision of how to fit things together. The guy doesn't have a clue, and seems to have inhaled some crack smoke that has made him think Hula is a replacement for Groupwise. I would promote one of the Suse guys, or get one of them back. Without
the right people in charge, forget it.

2. Work out the right open source software to integrate, and get rid of this both-source crap. Keep Zenworks (at least it's original), but groupware is going to go open source fast. Look at partnering with a project like Kolab or something similar as part of a wider solution and retiring, or doing something with, Groupwise. No one is using it. It's an expensive dinosaur.

3. Make sure the desktop migration does not fail. Novell do not seem to realise how critical this is. They need the support infrastructure there, they need to solve some longstanding Linux desktop problems (software installation) and they need to get ISVs flocking to their platform. They can't idle on as they have been doing, and they cannot do everything themselves. Getting bogged down in low-level projects like Mono and maintaining parts of GTK and Gnome for no income isn't an option. It's too much work and making Gnome more efficient certainly doesn't pay - the resources are too much. Partner with companies like Trolltech to make sure the low level development that Novell can't make cost effective is there and they don't have to worry about it.

4. They make a big play of identity management, but they are woeful at it. Look at Active Directory for Windows and make sure their Linux stuff from desktop to server has that kind of support. It's not undoable, as LDAP has provided it for years and stuff like KDE's Kiosk will provide the extra mile on the desktop. They need to provide the necessary management tools are there as well, and make sure they include development in the mix with Java as well (i.e. Component Services, except better). People should be able to be authenticated and log onto any server or desktop, or to be authenticated to use things like Java server apps in a unified way.

5. Package all this up into meaningful, easy to understand components, make it open source, get rid of the proprietary software uncertainty, make sure Novell software is well used (open source is a great channel for doing that) and create lots of volume in terms of selling support as a result. Make a splash, create nice icons, logos and get people excited. Make sure the hype lives up to expectation and you're off an running.

6. Make sure when they sell support that they provide more than just the 'support' tag. Create reading and documentation materials and lots of qualifications for all of those components.

There's a few other things they could do, but that's the core stuff in a nutshell.

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