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08.27.10

“Merely Slapping the WorkloadIQ Name… Cannot Change“ Novell’s Demise

Posted in Finance, Marketing, Novell at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Raven Matrix
“An example of one kind of IQ test item, modeled after items in the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test.” [via Wikipedia]

Summary: Novell’s attempt to associate itself with wisdom is proving to be a dumb strategy which alleviates none of the worries customers have

A FEW DAYS ago we argued that Novell tried branding — not new products — to rescue itself. Euphemisms, a new motto, and labels like “intelligent” and “IQ” are being used sparingly (and even echoed by this nice and informative show, LNLP). Timothy, one of the few insightful writers who are left at The Register, makes the same observations in relation to Novell’s poor results from last night.

While it’s convenient to say that the softness in Novell’s business is due to a rejected and unsolicited takeover bid from New York hedge fund Elliott Associates back in March, there very well could be something else going on here — such as customers preferring the integrated stacks of software from Microsoft or Red Hat, just to name one possibility.

And merely slapping the WorkloadIQ name on the operating systems, appliance spinners, security, provisioning, and access control programs that Novell has sold separately — as it announced it was doing last week in order to have something positive to say during the Q3 call with Wall Street — cannot change that. Novell needs to be a safe place to invest in the long term to win that kind of deal.

But throwing all possible futures in the air — including selling the company, breaking it up, distributing some of its $1bn cash hoard to investors, or keeping on doing what it has been doing — and not picking one for five months does not make Novell seem safe. That’s probably why Novell is wilting a bit in a Linux market that is growing nicely.

Jan Wildeboer pokes fun at Novell by writing that ‘Novell said its quarterly revenue dip “is principally related to customer uncertainty”‘ and ‘”while customers are intrigued by Novell’s technology, too many of them don’t feel confident finalizing a purchase”‘ (whose purchase? Novell's?).

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