03.20.10

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Novell News Summary – Part III: Clarifications from Elliott Associates, Hosted Conferencing, and BrainShare 20TEN

Posted in Finance, Google, Mail, Novell, Virtualisation at 2:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mountains

Summary: Elliott Associates still insists that Novell will stay in tact; Utah prepares for the annual Novell pilgrimage

EXCEPT for many articles about the SCO case, Novell hardly appeared in the news. There’s this one new case study and also an analytical report of many companies that include Novell:

*The report covers the following IT systems management vendors: BMC, CA, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell and Symantec.

Novell’s future is still very much unknown although the 'vulture fund' which wants to buy Novell keeps saying that it wouldn't sell Novell in pieces (if it was bought). The VAR Guy writes:

Elliott Associates, the hedge fund that’s seeking to acquire Novell and SUSE Linux, is denying a report that it plans to break up Novell and sell off the pieces. Hmmm… But The VAR Guy still wonders: Will Novell and Elliott Associates reach a buyout agreement in time for Novell BrainShare — a big customer and partner that starts March 21? Here’s some speculation.

[...]

The VAR Guy has also wondered if a white knight — IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, or CA Inc. — would emerge to buy Novell. But the best potential fit on that list — CA, which has a bunch of security and system management synergies with Novell — seems to be out of the running, The VAR Guy believes.

The reason: CA just opened its wallet to acquire Nimsoft, the managed services software provider, for $350 million. The VAR Guy doubts CA would open its wallet even wider only a few days later to buy Novell.

He does make some valid points. Jarrad Zalkin says that Novell might be acquired by SAP (we have heard this before from another person who was quoted a lot by the mainstream press).

Jarrad Zalkin, a vice-president at investment bank TM Capital who works on technology deals, says he believes McDermott and Snabe will follow through. He says Novell (NOVL) and privately held SAS Institute are among potential targets for SAP. McDermott and Snabe didn’t say which companies might pique SAP’s interest.

Finance

On the financial side, Novell is keeping steady as a stock. Coverage from the past week includes:

Unusual Trading Activity for Novell Inc (NOVL)

Biggest Technology Losers (Sprint, BRCD, YHOO, NOVL)

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVL) also fell 1.38% to close at $5.72 on 14.82 million shares. The stock is up over 55% in the last one year of trading sessions.

A post-earnings checkup on McAfee, Inc.; MFE, NOVL, CHKP

Top Software Stocks Trading Higher (CHRD, ORCL, CTXS, NOVL, VRSN)

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVL) climbed 0.87% over its previous day’s price and now trades at $5.77. The stock has a 52-week range of $3.52-$6.15. So far in this year the stock went up over 39%.

A post-earnings checkup on McAfee, Inc.; MFE, NOVL, CHKP

MFE peer Novell Inc. (NOVL) has seen a 19.42% stock price gain over about the last month, while another peer, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP) saw a 6.14% gain. So with a return of 11.30%, McAfee, Inc. saw less price gain than NOVL and beat CHKP’s price performance over the last month.

Market Has Rebounded Though Number of M&A Same as 2009

Granted, not all of the announced deals will get closed (Upek’s unsolicited bid for publicly traded rival AuthenTec (AUTH) comes to mind), and not all of the bids will play out smoothly (the hedge fund agitation against Novell (NOVL), for instance), but it does indicate a rebound in activity from this time last year.

Novell gains highlight mixed day for tech stocks

Owners Research Group Announces Results of Investor Consensus Study for Novell, Inc.

No new owner has been found for Novell (yet), except a shell that’s not even a company.

Netware

Novell is being dumped at Melbourne college.

Bannan said Novell was no longer continuing to develop the platform.

Another new article bears the headline: “NetWare is dead. Long live NetWare?”

Just how much NetWare, which saw its last major update seven years ago, is out there? “A ton,” said Adam Gray, CTO of Novacoast, a Santa Barbara, Calif., IT specialist with a strong Linux and open source focus.

Here’s one person bragging about login speed. It’s a new video.

Virtualisation

The partnership of Citrix and Novell is still being brought up and in the Indian press there are non-event reports. None of this is new.

Talking about SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10/11, Mishra asserted that it has best in class RAS features, can host most popular ISV products, comes with a Virtual Machine Driver Pack, provides enhanced application security using AppArmor, network detection, monitoring, and filtering, comes with certified workloads like SAP and Oracle, and has Active Directory integration, migration tools for UNIX/Windows amongst other features.

Some advertisements for Novell are now embedded in ZDNet ‘articles’:

I haven’t had a chance to speak with anyone from Novell in a while. Dipto Chakravarty, Novell’s General Manager, Cloud Security, and VP WW Engineering, reached out to me and after a rousing game of calendar alignment, we spoke about the Cloud Security Alliance, its goals and how it plans to go about achieving those goals.

Another new example of borderline advertisements comes from Forbes.

So what’s the next step? Let’s move those servers to the cloud so we only need them when they are running applications. Let’s move the work to where it is cheapest and easiest to perform. Justin Steinman, vice president of solution and product marketing at Novell, calls this vision Intelligent Workload Management, but here’s where the challenges start to surface.

None of the above is news. They begrudgingly repeat old announcements.

Mail/Collaboration

GroupWise is mentioned here and there, but probably the biggest announcement is that of hosted conferencing (also in [1, 2, 3]:

Novell today announced the availability of a hosted version of Novell Conferencing. This new conferencing solution enables users to conduct virtual meetings, demos and Webinars using a Web browser. With this Web conferencing technology, organizations can significantly reduce the cost and time required for face-to-face travel by instantly sharing documents, desktops, applications, Web pages, whiteboards, audio, video-even record meetings-without installing any software.

This announcement was largely ignored by the press on the face of it. Here is Google’s attempt to grab even more of Novell’s GroupWise customers. It’s a new video (with an HD version that was added later).

Identity Management

“Will Google Tip the Scale Toward OpenID?”

That’s the question that IDG asks when it mentions Higgins:

There are other standard and open source identity efforts like Project Higgins (backed by IBM and Novell) and Microsoft’s recently announced U-Prove technology. Now that Google is on board with OpenID, I hope we can start to merge these efforts and get the most out of each.

Security

Apart from security holes in Novell’s proprietary software, there’s still some of the whole ‘cloud’ security malarkey in parts of the press:

Other industry players have also made recent moves to beef up cloud security. The Cloud Security Alliance and Novell announced on March 1 a certification, education and outreach program targeted at cloud providers.

More in CRN:

Already, Novell has teamed up with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to give a secure seal of approval to cloud solutions; McAfee this week unveiled its cloud security assessment program, dubbed the McAfee Cloud Secure program; and CompTIA offers a security best practices program in its CompTIA Security Trustmark, which can be applied to cloud computing.

People

Novell pays Sys-Con to participate with talks such as this one and here we have a former Novell Vice President speaking about his new business venture. From the video’s description:

Mr Burton has played a leadership role in the development of US technology policy for over twenty years. Prior to joining salesforce.com in January 2006, he was Vice President of Government Affairs for Entrust (2000-2005) and Vice President for Government Relations for Novell (1995-2000). Previously, he was President of the Council on Competitiveness where he was a pioneer in the effort to establish government technology policies for the US high-tech industry.

Partners

Novell still makes partners in India.

Novell has announced that ‘the Novell India Partner Academy, a training programme for Novell’s partners in selling, distributing and supporting of Novell’s suite of enterprise IT solutions, held for the first time in Colombo, was a major success. Novell partners graduating from the training will be able to provide pre-sales consulting and professional services, post-sales support and training to their customers.

Novell was also mentioned in conjunction with some other companies in [1, 2, 3, 4].

Marketing

Novell’s CMO John Dragoon can be seen with his latest spin that’s implicitly favouring the relationship with Microsoft. Additionally, some new Novell videos found their way into YouTube a few days ago, namely:

Clockwork – Novell Zenworks

How to resolve Intermittent Errors in complex applications by LucyMonahan of Novell

BrainShare

BrainShare 2010 starts very shortly and some companies announce speakers of theirs who will be at the event. Examples include Clerity [1, 2] and GroundWork [1, 2]. There’s some promotion of the latter and also a guest post from GroundWork at Novell’s PR blog.

According to this report from IDG, Novell will announce the beta of Pulse at BrainShare.

Attendees at next week’s BrainShare conference will be the first to get access to the beta preview version of Pulse, which Novell plans to launch in final form in the second half of this year.

Wendy Steinle delivers the last part of her videos about Pulse (we posted the first and second parts in previous weeks).

This video got promoted by Novell’s PR people, who also commented on BrainShare a couple of times. BrainShare has quite a stunning new video which we include below. Due to constraints imposed by copyright law, we have not produced Ogg alternatives and we apologise for that.

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