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Novell News Summary - Part III: Offshoring, More Financial Analysis, and SCO

Utah State Capitol Building



Summary: A grouping of Novell news from the past 7 days

AS we showed last week, Novell is offshoring some workforce in a move whose value exceeds $100 million.



Novell's Jeff Jaffe finally wrote about this too, not just the PR department of Novell. They really try to characterise it as a good thing (well, to investors it might be) and there is coverage in some more places, for example:

i. ACS wins $135m Novell contract

IT services provider Affiliated Computer Services has won a five-year $135m contract from Novell to provide IT operations, SAP consulting, applications development and maintenance, and system integration services.


ii. ACS, Novell in strategic tie-up

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) and Novell have entered into a strategic partnership to expand their core technical capabilities and suite of services.

As per the deal, Novell will outsource part of its internal IT operations to ACS which will also provide SAP consulting and applications development and maintenance system integration services as part of a $135m, five-year contract.

Both the companies will each invest in joint engineering, technology, sales and marketing initiatives. Besides, during the first three years, ACS would partner with Novell to enhance its global data centre operations and will purchase approximately $30m in Novell products.


iii. Novell signs two part data center deal with ACS

Affiliated Computer Services is to take over the running of Novell's data center operations in Provo, Utah as part of a global services deal which will see the outsourcer take Novell's data center products to market.


SCO



While Novell offshores its Utah-based workforce, SCO fights to keep what remains of it (roughly in the same area). It is hoping to block its ultimate death (liquidation).

The SCO Group of Lindon is locked in a death grip with IBM and Novell, left to hope a favorable appeals court ruling comes down before a hearing in which a bankruptcy judge could order the company liquidated.

Novell and IBM have petitioned a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware to order the liquidation of the Utah company with which they have been in lawsuits for years over issues related to the ownership of computer software code.

The issues are important because SCO sued IBM in 2003 claiming the computer giant had placed code in the Linux computer operating software that allowed Linux to successfully compete for business clients against SCO's Unix software. Then SCO sued Novell after the Waltham, Mass.-based company claimed that it, not SCO, owned the Unix copyrights at issue in the IBM case.


SJVN shares what he thinks will happen "when SCO is dead and buried."

As Pamela Jones, editor of Groklaw, points out, SCO appears to be heading towards Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. For those of you who don't know, Chapter 7 can be thought of as the Go to Jail card in the game Monopoly. "Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200." Or, go out of business; do not come back; please leave the plumbing in the restrooms on your way out the door.

But now what? Novell owns Unix. There's still some good stuff left in there that isn't duplicated in Linux.


Some of the comments on this article attack SJVN personally. These could be coming from anonymous accounts of SCO-sympathetic people and maybe SCO employees. It's typical. They also attack Pamela Jones, sometimes under these articles from SJVN.

Finance



Last week's analyses of Novell's results [1, 2, 3] can maybe be complemented by newer financial news. It is without a doubt that Novell fell after the results disappointed in places (revenue down more sharply than anticipated). On one day, the following day to be precise, Novell's shares were down 7.5%.

Shares of Novell Inc. (NOVL - Snapshot Report) slipped almost 7.5% today, despite reporting second-quarter earnings per share yesterday that topped Wall Street expectations.


The Boston press, which resides near Novell's main headquarters, wrote about this decline too.

Shares of Novell Inc. slipped after the Waltham company reported mixed results for its fiscal second quarter. The open-source software maker said posted a profit that topped analysts estimates but sales fell nearly 9 percent.


More analysis of Novell's sharp revenue drop:

However, management feels confident that this segment will become profitable over the next 18 months, and this commitment should be easier to monitor once the firm begins publishing operating expenses ant the business unit level in the first quarter of 2010. Our long-term expectations remain subdued for Novell as revenue continues to shift away from profitable legacy systems toward lower-margin open source solutions.


Apart from fairly repetitive or negligible reporting, there were also some more positive reports which looked only at income. See for example:

i. Novell Q2 net income surges to $16m

Novell has reported a net income of $16m, or $0.05 per share for the second quarter ended April 30, 2009, compared to a net income of $6m, or $0.02 per share for the same period last year.


ii. Dell, J Crew Rise; Tiffany, Marvell Fall

Novell, Inc (NOVL) rose 4.0% or 18 cents to $4.61 after the networking software and technology services developer said second quarter revenues fell 9% to $215.6 million from $235.7 million a year ago. Net income in the quarter rose 164% to $15.6 million or 5 cents per diluted share compared to net income of $5.9 million or 2 cents per a year ago.


iii. Daily Digest 29 May

Software firm Novell has posted second-quarter revenue of USD216 million, down from USD236 million in the same period last year. Net income, however, came in at USD16 million for the period -- almost triple the USD6 million reported in 2008. Linux product sales were the star performer, recording a 25 percent year-on-year increase to USD37 million. Revenue in the firm's identity, access and compliance management software segment climbed 2 percent to USD28 million. "Our Linux and identity businesses have the greatest potential to continue to expand operating margins, and we plan to attain profitability within these businesses no later than 12-18 months from today, barring unforeseen circumstances," said Novell chief executive Ron Hovsepian.


Netware



Moving on to some products and starting with the older ones, here we have the pro-Microsoft press speaking about NetWare.

Contrast that with Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL). At one time, NetWare was a pervasive operating system for Windows networks. But developers never really loved it. They didn't play with or extend it. Instead, system administrators were certified to maintain it.


That's an exercise in revisionism. NetWare suffered a demise for other important reasons.

A little more background about what Microsoft did to Novell comes from CRN.

He says the SI business provided software for a vertical market and, at the time, everything was based on Novell Netware, and Windows 95 had only just been released. Crane was also using products like Quattro Pro and Paradox to help customers achieve their needs.

Once he started to realise what Microsoft was offering with Windows 95, Office and NT Crane could see the writing was on the wall for Novell.


Virtualisation



Cassatt has been acquired by CA, a Microsoft ally where crime was running rampant. Here is a report about it which happens to mention Novell as a virtualisation contender.

Coleman’s vision was a precursor of the current trends in cloud computing and data center convergence, which are becoming key areas of competition for such top-tier companies as IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Novell and VMware.


This mixed report seems almost like plagiarism.

Current trends in cloud computing and data centre convergence are becoming key areas of competition for such top-tier companies as IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Novell and VMware.


Notice how both articles, which were separately published around the same time, contain the phrase "becoming key areas of competition for such top-tier companies as IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Novell and VMware." This can't be a coincidence. ITWeb cites eWeek however.

Mail



There is a tool for abandoning Novell GroupWise and moving to Microsoft instead. Here is a new press release about it.

Adding another feather to the cap of Nucleus Data Recovery.Com Pvt. Ltd is the launch of advanced version of Kernel for Novell GroupWise to Exchange 9.05.01, an efficient tool to migrate from Novell GroupWise Server environment to MS Exchange Server environment. With fast, secure, accurate and reliable conversion results, single and multiple user mailboxes are migrated successfully to MS Outlook PST file or MS Exchange Server user mailboxes.


GroupWise was listed as a supported technology in some other articles such as:

i. Verizon Getting BlackBerry Pearl Flip

The handset is still a BlackBerry, which means it will fit in well in a corporate environment for push e-mail services. Verizon's Pearl Flip will provide over-the-air syncing that works with Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus, Novell GroupWise, and a host of other Web-based e-mail providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Like the BlackBerry Pearl, the Flip has a SureType keyboard for composing messages.


ii. BlackBerry Bold or iPhone 3G: Which fits your corporate attire?

It is important to note that BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) supports Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes, while both of those servers support the iPhone only through Web clients, limiting their integration with other iPhone apps such as Contacts and Calendar. Thus, BlackBerry supports more e-mail systems, even though you have to add a dedicated server to get that support.


iii. Disadvantages of In-House Email Solutions

In short, in-house email is having physical on-site emails which means that your business sets up and manages your own email servers. An email server is a computer within a network that basically works as your virtual post office. Popular and most used email servers are Microsoft Exchange Server, Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Domino.


We wrote about OpenChange just a few days ago and also back in February. The relation to Novell (and Fedora) is now mentioned in ZDNet Asia.

Right now, Novell's Evolution client and the KMail and Mailody applications include libmapi libraries, according to the OpenChange project.


Identity Management



Novell wants to grow in this area of managing identities, but it mostly makes an appearance in Microsoft's shadow these days. Here is one such example from the news.

Paoli and Craig Shank, general manager of interoperability strategy at Microsoft, emphasized various interoperability efforts at Microsoft ranging from document format work and collaborating on standards bodies to working with Novell on enabling Microsoft's Silverlight rich media technology to run on Linux. The company also has assisted in such efforts as development of a PHP software development kit for Azure.


More about Microsoft and Novell in online identity:

Microsoft has already built a selector program, called CardSpace, into its Vista operating system. Stand-alone selectors are available from two other companies, Novell and Azigo. Google, Oracle and PayPal have joined the industry foundation and there are a few working sample cards available, but no major retailer or financial institution has implemented the system yet.


Novell's inclusion of AD support in SLED 11 is not news anymore, but some writers still find it worthy of being reported.

Looking for a good way to integrate your company's Linux desktops with Microsoft Active Directory? Novell just might offer the easiest solution -- but it certainly isn't the only game in town.

Last March, Novell rolled out new versions of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) and Server (SLES) products. Both offer a number of interesting new features, and SLED 11 is an especially attractive option for business users. Among other advantages, SLED combines solid driver support (including both ATI and Nvidia graphics cards), a well-rounded set of desktop software packages, and an elegant user interface designed to keep both Mac and Windows users happy.


Security



Novell is mentioned briefly in this page about cybersecurity

Novell Inc. (NasdaqGS:NOVL) delivers the best engineered, most interoperable Linux* platform and a portfolio of integrated IT management software that helps customers around the world reduce cost, complexity and risk. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell harmoniously integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one.


Novell's PR people wrote a few words about the US Cyber Czar, hoping to grab some attention for themselves (and their products).

People



A former Novell/UNIX developer is now somewhat involved with JavaFX, but there is nothing too exciting to say about the coverage.

Kim Topley: I work as a Java consultant in the UK. For most of the last 12 years, I have been developing Swing applications for investment banks in London. Prior to that, I worked on the UNIX operating system kernel for the computer manufacturer ICL (now part of Fujitsu) and for Novell, who owned UNIX at the time that I worked for them.


Marketing



Another Novell advertisement for Teaming + Conferencing has been uploaded.



Yet another old Novell advert was uploaded to YouTube (again). That does not count as much activity however. Novell presence in the news has been exceptionally boring this year. There is no substantial progress; like many other companies, Novell is in "brace" mode.

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