11.28.09

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Novell News Summary – Part III: WordPerfect Changes Hands Again, SCO Case Updates, and More

Posted in Corel, Finance, Identity Management, Mail, Novell, Office Suites, SCO at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Grand Canyon

Summary: Novell’s legal, proprietary, and increasingly SaaS-based business as defined by the past week’s news

IT may seem repetitive, but this week too saw no major announcements from Novell.

Novell’s latest major announcement was probably the one about Pulse, which hardly gets mentioned by this stage. Here is one exception from several days ago:

Novell (NOVL) has an upcoming product called Novel Pulse that makes real-time collaboration more suitable for corporate users by providing companies the tools to limit groups and visibility and structure the type of collaboration that is possible. SAP (SAP) also has an application for Google Wave called Gravity in the works.

The term “PMS” is used to describe a variety of affairs, including this one with Novell.

Over the years, I have been staggered by the emotions and attachment some IT Professionals show to a particular brand. I was even got caught up in it: I bleed Novell red for a decade. I felt like I lost a child when I heard my largest Novell network had switched to Windows. About a year ago, I began to research this topic and I think I have found a bit of understanding of PMS and a possible source….

Here is an unusual mentioning of Novell:

IBM was based on Quaker values, Novell was based on Mormon values and Lotus, we think, was based on atheist values. But neither Microsoft nor Google are based on any religious values at all.

There is also this:

Even one of the industry pioneers, Novell, has moved quickly with a full fledged product line to support solution providers bringing cloud solutions to the market. In fact, Dan Dufault, global director of partner marketing, for Novell, called Novell an “arms dealer” for the cloud computing revolyution that is reshaping the market.

Speaking of those “cloud solutions” (loosely defined), here is another new article of relevance:

“Developing your own cloud-based system gives you choice, power and flexibility. Many companies, including IBM, Novell, Unisys and others, have already begun reaping the financial, business and security benefits of tailoring their own private cloud environments”, he explained.

WordPerfect

Novell is still fighting in court over WordPerfect, which has just changed hands again (with the Corel takeover).

Founded in 1985 with CorelDraw as its linchpin, Corel has struggled to compete with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office after acquiring the WordPerfect software title from Novell Inc. back in 1996. Corel has also produced literally dozens of other software titles over the years, often after acquiring them from other software vendors.

More coverage (which mentions Novell) includes:

i. Corel Saves Itself, WordPerfect, and CorelDraw from Brink

Founded in 1985 with CorelDraw as its linchpin, Corel has struggled to compete with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office after acquiring the WordPerfect software title from Novell back in 1996. Corel has also produced literally dozens of other software titles over the years, often after acquiring them from other software vendors.

ii. Corel Buys Out Corel

This morning, long-time software maker Corel Corporation turned over full ownership to Corel Holdings, a limited partnership controlled by an affiliate of Vector Capital, majority investor of the company behind many familiar software programs like WordPerfect, CorelDRAW, WinZip, Paint Shop Pro and WinDVD (most of them obtained through acquisition of smaller software firms).

SCO

From the WordPerfect case we may as well move on to the SCO case. A very long post was published about SCO’s bankruptcy, followed by some more information and an article from Tom Harvey that says:

SCO Group lawsuit against Novell back on track

[...]

The SCO Group is opposing Novell’s suggestion, and the dispute signals that the case in back on track. In addition, SCO’s response reflects the trustee’s decision to “aggressively” pursue the lawsuits — even after the ouster of SCO boss Darl McBride, who started the legal battles.

[...]

But Edward Cahn, a former federal judge appointed by the judge to oversee the company while it tries to restructure itself and emerge from bankruptcy, opposes the consolidation. Keeping the cases separate would be a simpler and quicker route to trial, he said in a declaration.

The Pelican lawsuit Darl McBride is involved in (read [1, 2, 3, 4] for some background) gets this update from Groklaw.

The Pelican cases inches forward, with Robert V. Brazell, Stephen Norris, Talos Partners, and Rama Ramachandran filing their Answer with Counterclaim [PDF] to Pelican’s First Amended Complaint. The counterclaim alleges fraud. Pelican has quickly filed a motion to dismiss the counterclaim [PDF]. And Darl McBride has filed a Reply Memorandum of Law [PDF] in support of his motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

Finance

Almost nothing about trade, except this.

The J. M. Smucker Company led gainers in the S&P 500 index with a rise of 4.6% followed by gains in E*TRADE Financial Corporation 3.6%, in Novell, Inc of 2.2% and in J. C. Penney Company, Inc of 2.2%.

Mail

Novell’s Groupwise is mentioned in the following article and also in this new video about Blackberry Curve (which supports Groupwise).

Surely you remember groupware, an industry term that referred to suites of networked collaboration tools meant to unite teams and enhance productivity. Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) has been selling GroupWise for more than 20 years. IBM (NYSE: IBM) still calls Lotus Notes collaboration software. And Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has SharePoint, arguably the most popular buy-and-install collaboration platform available today.

Mail servers are in review over at GCN, including Groupwise 8 (direct link). Novell Evolution is mentioned here:

Zmail is compatible with desktop e-mail applications such as Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Desktop and Novell Evolution and has increased storage capabilities for high-res audio and video files. Attachments can be viewed immediately as HTML. Other features available in Zmail are RSS, a powerful search capability, tagging, and conversation views that help prevent inbox clutter.

Identity Management

Novell’s own story about the Western & Southern Financial Group was mentioned many times before, but here it is continuing to reappear.

The press is still parroting many other reports, such as “Novell, Logica partner”. There is little (or none at all) new information there. Sometimes it seems like the press does doing nothing but parrot press releases (no investigation, no fact checking), like in this case.

In other insurance technology news, Western & Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, has agreed to use the Novell Access Governance Suite and Novell Identity Manager systems from Novell Inc., Waltham, Mass., to automate and improve compliance processes.

That’s just repetition of the press release.

Novell’s Access Manager is now receiving support from Nordic Edge, which is actually news.

Nordic Edge has always supported Novell’s Access Manager making it easy for customers who need secure remote access to integrate Nordic Edge solutions with their Access Manager product. Now Nordic Edge provides that support for Access Manager 3.1, ensuring integration is as easy and flexible as before.

People

The press in the west coast shares this story of someone who used to work with Novell.

Two years ago I was a Silicon Valley veteran of nearly twenty years. I’d had a typical whirlwind career, gathering expertise about technology partnerships with Europe and creating software with smart teammates at companies like Novell, Remedy and Borland.

Forbes writes about Eric Schmidt and mentions his past role at Novell.

Schmidt had been a successful chief technology officer at Sun in its glory days. But he had performed poorly in his one stint as a turnaround CEO at Novell. Still, venture capitalist and Google board member John Doerr had a hunch that Schmidt’s patient engineering management style was exactly what was needed at Google.

The newly-appointed CEO of TheInfoPro turns out to have history as a Novell executive.

TheInfoPro offers highly customizable data in the sectors of networking, storage, servers and information security. Prior to joining TheInfoPro, Ruzic was the CEO of Exclaim, a leader in user-generated content, socialization and infotainment community applications for mobile consumers. Ruzic has also held key executive positions at several marquee IT companies, including Borland International, BEA Systems and Novell.

Partners

There are new additions to TMCNet’s PR garbage can and Novell is mentioned there too, mostly in other companies’ press releases. To give an example from Koenig:

With this authorization, Koenig adds another feather to its already impressive list of authorizations which includes: Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Red Hat, Novell, LPI, CIW, CWNP, EC-Council and SCP.

This new article about “top 100 IT projects of 2009″ only mentions Novell as follows:

Avenda for network access control, and Enterasys switches to support a blended Apple, Novell, Linux, Windows, and OS2 server environment.

From the same site we have:

More Matrix templates are planned to be available in early 2010 to cover applications from Citrix, F5, McAfee, MicroStrategy, Novell, Red Hat, SAS, Siemens PLM Software, Inc., SunGard, TIBCO Software Inc. and VMware.

Novell is still mentioned in press releases of other companies but rarely owing to an accomplishment of its own. Unless Novell can generate something new it will continue to diminish.

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A Single Comment

  1. your_friend said,

    November 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Gravatar

    They could have had Corel for $2/share, or less than $50 million. This is a staggering collapse of value.

    For those who did not learn the lesson ten years ago, there’s no money in Windows for anyone but Microsoft and there’s less of that every day. If the market judges all of the software owned by Corel worthless, what do you think your work is worth? You might as well learn free software and real standards if you want to earn a living.

    It is a shame that Corel did not persue Linux. Xandros, despite criminal interference by Microsoft, seems to have done better. The combination would have done better still. Perhaps Corel will liberate the code so as not to leave their user base high and dry. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

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