Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Enters a Microsoft Partners Triangle

"That's always difficult to speak on behalf of a partner [Microsoft]..."

--Volker Smid, Novell EMEA General Manager, March 5th 2008



We were not going to mention this SAP product until the weekend, but Matt Asay makes some interesting (and negative) observations. Do have a look.

SAP, Intel, and Novell team up for ERP appliance: What's the end game?



[...]

(As just one data point, Germany is the only country where Alfresco's open-source content collaboration server runs primarily on SUSE instead of Red Hat.)

[...]

If I'm Microsoft, the only prominent Linux distribution I want any of my friends touching is SUSE, given that Ubuntu or Red Hat are a clear and present danger to Microsoft's Windows monopoly. Novell can't afford to hurt Microsoft (even if it had the ability to do so): its recent quarterly boosts absolutely depend on being fast friends with Microsoft.

If SAP truly wants to help the SME market, it will take more than a cute ERP-in-a-box. It will require helping to break Microsoft's monopolies in that market. Cozying up with Microsoft's Linux distribution won't help to do so. Pushing Microsoft to open up, as Red Hat, Ubuntu, the European Commission, and others have is the way to free up the market for itself and others.


Remember the tight relationship between Microsoft and Intel. We were last reminded of it very recently. It's scandalous. SAP is not much of an exception, which might explain the choice of a 'Microsoft-approved' Linux distribution (Ballnux).

This development comes amid intensifying talks about the possibility of a Microsoft-SAP takeover. Here is a recent article from the New York Times which advises Microsoft to stalk SAP, not Yahoo.

Having exhausted its best ideas on how to deal with Google, Microsoft is now working its way down the list to dubious ones — like pursuing a hostile bid for Yahoo. Michael A. Cusumano, who has written several books about the software industry and about Microsoft, is not impressed with Microsoft’s rationale for its Yahoo offer. He said the bid seemed to be a pursuit of “an old-style Internet asset, in decline, and at a premium.”


Only about a week ago, SAP and Microsoft entered a healthcare IT partnership. Text below, in full:


Press ReleaseSource:Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Joins Forces with SAP America for Healthcare IT
Monday February 25, 12:01 am ET

Market strategy launched for Microsoft-based SAP solutions in the healthcare industry.

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2008 Conference & Exhibition, Microsoft Corp. announced it has signed a joint marketing agreement with SAP America Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG, through which the companies have agreed to work together to deliver solutions that meet the unique needs of the healthcare industry. The companies' collaboration will seek to help healthcare organizations increase operational efficiency and reduce costs using software to automate and streamline processes that are today often manual or based on cumbersome legacy technology. The companies will focus their healthcare collaboration activities in the United States.

"Healthcare is a complex industry, with slim margins, tight budgets and high administrative costs," said Tim Smokoff, general manager of healthcare for the Worldwide Public Sector Team at Microsoft. "There is tremendous opportunity for these organizations to lower those costs and create value through the power of software. Together with SAP, we want to help the healthcare industry realize that value."

The combination of solutions from Microsoft and SAP is proven to reduce costs and create operational efficiency, with one of the lowest total costs of ownership on the market today. As an example, with more than 70,000 admissions per year, Montefiore Medical Center is one of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States and the dominant medical system in the Bronx borough of New York City. Working with SAP software enabling technology and utilizing the Microsoft suite of products for communication, Montefiore has been able to overhaul and streamline processes related to procurement including all purchasing activity. Concurrently, Montefiore was able to transform the institution to an online, real-time financial management system, including the budget process, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes clinical and administrative staff to complete non-value activities so that they can spend more time to support patient care.

"Maintaining accurate, complete, up-to-date information on inventory levels and materials needs is critical to hospital operations," said Charles Agins, vice president of finance, Montefiore Medical Center. "By providing this information in an easy-to-use format, our associates can enjoy a flexible work culture and at the same time stay focused on patient care."

For the healthcare market, SAP and Microsoft will collaborate to leverage existing technologies including Duet, the joint product from SAP and Microsoft to provide seamless access to industry-leading SAP business processes and information via the familiar Microsoft Office environment. Health organizations stand to gain a great deal by streamlining processes for their managers with Duet, especially when it comes to people and suppliers.

"SAP helps healthcare organizations integrate industry-specific administrative processes in order to drive efficiency," said David Corbett, vice president of the U.S. Healthcare Practice at SAP America. "Duet is a great example of the groundbreaking co-innovation between SAP and Microsoft; though this joint go-to-market initiative, Microsoft and SAP will enable providers to further streamline processes and drive down costs, all while improving the overall quality of care."

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT - News) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world.

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.






In this context, the company on the side of Linux (strongly against Microsoft and SAP) is probably Oracle, despite its ambivalent or even conflicting views w.r.t. Free software. When it comes to healthcare, Google is worth a mention as well.

BSoD for Novell

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