Bonum Certa Men Certa

New Problems at Novell: Media Backlash, Layoffs, Pension Takeaways

Novell bleeds
“Novell is bleeding to Death” --Segedunum



Summary: Novell announces more layoffs, 401K pensions suspended as more business continues to be lost

SEVERAL people turned against Novell after it had insulted a GroupWise customer, the city of Los Angeles [1, 2, 3]. It's not quite over yet. IDG News Service has this new article which is titled "Novell to Los Angeles: Drop Dead!" In conclusion it remarks:

How many of those CIOs do you think are looking for a graceful way to bail on Novell ASAP, lest they find themselves in the company's crosshairs when change finally comes? If this is Novell's idea of public relations, never mind, it's hopeless.


Novell too is hopeless. Law.com has just published a new case study about a firm that abandons Novell's GroupWise. Here is the relevant part:

The firm was using an outdated Novell GroupWise installation that was buckling under the massive amount of e-mail going back and forth between attorneys, staff and clients. To make matters worse, it didn't integrate well with the firm's BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Given that most of the firm's 120 lawyers use BlackBerry devices as a primary means of communication, an outage on that end could mean the difference between getting a 200-page M&A agreement to the client with time to spare and missing the deadline altogether.

The firm decided to migrate from GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange 2007, but Cabreja had several concerns about both the migration and the subsequent management of the new Exchange site.


And finally arrive more Novell layoffs. We wrote about this last week after getting a word about it in IRC. The Register reveals that pensions too are affected, which means that a huge number of people are hurt.

The cuts come across geographies and departments and staff are getting severance packages based on length of service, a spokesman for the firm told CNet.

Novell is also suspending contributions to employees' 401K pension pots.


The original report (the 'scoop') came from a former Novell employee, Matt Asay. He attempts to put some positive spin on it and he also mentions the treasonous patent racket with Microsoft, calling is a "partnership".

Novell has spent the past few years attempting to reinvent itself as a Linux company, and it has managed to string together several quarters with strong earnings in its Linux business on the back of its controversial partnership with Microsoft. The company has struggled to compete effectively with Linux-leader Red Hat.


The first (and only) comment cheekily says: "Novell is still around?"

According to its latest press release (with a copy in Reuters), Novell has less than a month before the next financial report. It almost mentioned the "L" word (layoffs, not Linux) a couple of quarters ago.

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) today announced it will issue a press release providing its fourth fiscal quarter and full fiscal year 2009 financial results on Thursday, December 3, 2009, following the market close.


Watch what is happening at Novell's board. Common stock transaction involving Novell's director.

In other news, Rob Enderle congratulates his friend Steve Ballmer (they are secretly mailing each other) and takes a shot at Novell while he's at it, saying that "Eric Schmidt belly flopped at Novell (granted Novell was on its death bed when he got it)..."

Microsoft's hatred of both Novell and Google could not be made more obvious. It was just over a decade ago that Eric Schmidt joined Novell and Novell is still around, this time however serving as a Microsoft department, apparently to avoid bankruptcy. Here is the Microsoft CodePlex Foundation's Miguel de Icaza getting some karma points from SD Times for his work to advance .NET. That's the type of news we find about Novell these days:

Windows & .NET Watch: A touch of Mono



If you track Microsoft technologies, you are probably aware of the Mono Project, an open-source implementation of the .NET development stack that runs on Linux and Mac as well as on Windows. The project is led by Miguel de Icaza and is sponsored by Novell.


Novell has come a long way, but even as a vassal of Microsoft it cannot avoid further layoffs. And now that pensions too are cut, maybe it's time for remaining Novell employees to look for a different employer.

Miguel de Icaza
via Wikipedia

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