05.16.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Novell Board Shuffles, Deals and Partnerships

Posted in Google, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, SUN at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Crandall

A long and hard look at the following change of roles does not reveal anything conspicuously missing. Here is how it’s summed up:

Software company Novell Inc. said Thursday it named Richard L. Crandall as its non-executive chairman, succeeding Thomas G. Plaskett, who has served since 2006.

From the press release:

Mr. Plaskett will continue to serve on Novell’s Board.

Also from the press:

Crandall is a founding managing director of Arbor Partners, a high technology venture capital firm.

Eric Schmidt

Older leaders of Novell fascinate a little because some actually fight against Microsoft rather than believe that Microsoft wants to help its partners (rather than help itself). It’s a fallacy. While Novell goes into bed with Microsoft, Novell’s former CEO tackles the giant.

Sanity check: Has Eric Schmidt finally outmaneuvered Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer?

[...]

When Eric Schmidt left his job as the chairman and CEO of Novell to become the top executive at Google in 2001 he privately told journalist John Battelle that one of the things he was looking forward to was no longer competing with Microsoft.

[...]

Like it not, Eric Schmidt is destined to go down in history as one of the most active opponents to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and the Microsoft legacy. During the past seven years, Schmidt’s role in that saga has changed from whipping boy to white knight, and unless something dramatic happens it’s very likely that Google and Schmidt will ultimately be portrayed as the good guys — and the winners.

You can find out a little more about Schmidt’s legacy at Novell in this new CNN article:

Employee turnover is the norm in Silicon Valley, especially at companies where early hires get rich enough to do whatever they want (and post-jackpot hires don’t). For his part, Google CEO Eric Schmidt – who left Sun Microsystems for Novell and then Novell for Google – brushes off the effects of all those departures. “We’ve been hiring on the order of 100 people a week,” he says. “So in one week we hire more people than the people you just named.”

UNIX-based

Corporate Affairs

Speaking of Sun (Schmidt’s previous company as well), its relationship with Novell is explained in a slightly trollish analysis from Jason Perlow.

While a number of seemingly insurmountable political and ideological hurdles need to be overcome in order for this to happen, many who are close to the industry and who are responsible for “thought leadership” believe that this will in fact be the inevitable outcome, over time. Aside from getting Sun to GPLv3 its Solaris code and getting Linus to rev the license from GPLv2 to GPLv3, there is the matter of the ownership of the AT&T UNIX System V intellectual property — which is currently being settled in the courts in the form of SCO vs. Novell.

[...]

I don’t want to compare Ron Hovsepian and crew to Tony Soprano and his Bada Bing gang, but stay with me here — Sun gets the rights to GPLv3 Solaris and anything else UNIX-related, and Novell gets the right to a bundle of stuff to re-license and use in perpetuity. Signed in blood, with an alliance commitment to support each other’s customers. A technology omerta, if you will. Sun and Novell already have alliances with Microsoft. Put the three together, and you get,well… the North Side gang (Redmond), the West Side (Santa Clara) and the East side (Waltham).

How about the Yahoo/Microsoft axis, which Steve Ballmer is forcibly trying to establish in order to topple Schmidt’s Google? Here is an article about it which happens to mention Novell too.

Investors are running out of patience with chief executive Jerry Wang after the collapse of talks with Microsoft, write Kristy Dorsey in the US and Bill Magee.

[...]

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is well-known for hedging his bets. Smack in the middle of the takeover bid period, he found time to consolidate the software giant’s presence in Asia, by extending its alliance with Novell in the Chinese marketplace.

Microsoft’s five-year partnership with Novell started in November 2006. Aimed at making its Windows operating system more interoperable with Linux, the firms collect a fee from software systems that mingle open source programs with products, including Vista and Office.

Caution is required because this doesn’t make much sense. There’s no “Jerry Wang” in Yahoo and the explanation of fees collection is also very inaccurate. See the analysis in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Partnerships

There are a couple of technical partnerships or development that were announced using press releases. Here they are:

1. Sonian Joins Novell PartnerNet for Technology Partners

Sonian today announced becoming a member of Novell PartnerNet for Technology Partners. Through membership in Novell PartnerNet, Sonian receives development, support and marketing resources to deliver new and innovative products to market that are compatible with Novell products, specifically GroupWise.

2. Messaging Architects Releases M+Extranet 3.5 for Enhanced Web 2.0-Enabled Collaboration of Novell GroupWise Users

Messaging Architects, the experts in email lifecycle management and compliance, today announced the release of M+Extranet 3.5. M+Extranet, formerly known as GWExtranet, is a powerful, web publishing solution that enables organizations running Novell GroupWise to collaborate more efficiently with both GroupWise and non-GroupWise users, while taking advantage of the latest web 2.0-based social networking software.

Novell Teaming

Another press release (this time from Novell) was about Teaming collaboration.

Responding to industry needs for cost-effective, next-generation collaboration tools, Novell today announced the worldwide availability of Novell(R) Open Workgroup Suite with Novell Teaming included.

There appears to be only one prominent article about it:

Enterprise software vendor Novell has added its Teaming collaboration software to its Open Workgroup Suite. The move is aimed at making it easier for companies to form ad-hoc teams or to set up knowledge-sharing initiatives, without the cost of installing specialist tools.

Novell Training

In the following article about training myths, Novell products receive a mention.

To keep your company from making the costly mistake Intraware did, we at BrainStorm, Inc., the Novell Authorized End-User Training Partner, have addressed the most-common excuses for not training end users. So whether you’re upgrading or migrating to GroupWise 7, read below to find out why you shouldn’t skimp on end-user training.

[...]

Further, the return on investment for end-user training shows that without training, you won’t capture the productivity gains you were planning on when you bought the software. If you use the results from the above mentioned BrainStorm and Novell study and say that conservatively, each trained employee saves at least one hour per week, then training one employee making $40,000 a year will save the company about $1,000 in the first year. Further, for every 100 trained employees that make $100,000 your company will save $250,000 a year. (See chart.) That’s saving ten to twenty-five times more than a half-day instructor-led training course costs, which may be more justifiable than even your original software purchase.

There is also this newly-announced acquisition of a company that specialises in such Novell technologies.

iQ Consulting specialized in Microsoft and Novell products, and planning, design and implementation of I.T. solutions. The company’s customer base will become part of Trivalent’s, according to the agreement announcement.

Marketing and Publicity

Novell gets itself a new tagline: “Making IT work as one.”

Novell’s new campaign, with the tagline “Making IT work as one,” is part of an overhaul of its brand positioning, said Phil Juliano, VP-global brand management and corporate communications. In addition to traditional ad vehicles, such as direct mail and print ads, and online avenues, such as search, Novell is busy revamping its Web site, he said, adding that about half of the company’s budget is spent online.

Continuing its tradition, Novell plays the role of a host in Provo. It’s another lecture.

TUESDAY

• The Utah Valley Entrepreneurs’ Forum; Omniture; the Open Source Technology Center at Novell; the Provo Business Development Corp.; Utah Science, Technology and Research; and the Utah Fund of Funds will host a free lecture series featuring speaker Josh Coates, who will discuss “Corporate Governance and Financial Exits.” Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Location: Mountain View room, Novell Cafeteria, 1800 S. Novell Place, Provo. Please purchase your own lunch at the Novell cafeteria prior to these events.

The third part of this Saturday’s postings contains a video, so it’ll take a little while to transcode (for an Ogg Theora option). If you are not interested in these posts, please set up your reader to discard entries with “Do-No-Evil Saturday ” in the headline.

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer

One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave. “

Ray Noorda, Novell

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