Novell: Focus, Grasshopper.

Summary:Novell released its quarterly earnings yesterday, and some in the press are calling them "disappointing." Of course, that's what I notice -- but first to the numbers...

Novell released its quarterly earnings yesterday, and some in the press are calling them "disappointing." Of course, that's not what I notice -- but first to the numbers:

OES and Netware sales, down 16%; Netware-Linux Enterprise Server, up 6%; Linux Platform Products, down 1%; Security products, up 16%; and Identity and Access Management products up 37 percent.

The message is what we're hearing on the street from various parties -- companies with "identity products" are experiencing very good growth. And in light of Novell's other units, the Identity products are showing *tremendous* growth.

All of that raises the question: Why doesn't Novell become the "identity company" that it should become? The stories of the quality of Novell's identity products are in the marketplace, but I keep waiting for Novell the company to *focus* on what is clearly their core growth business.

Its not inconsequential that Novell has always been on the leading edge of identity technology since the days of the early directory --- anyone remember DigitalME? Now, though, we're all collectively looking to Novell's management (not their engineers). Will they focus on the core of their business? Will they realize that identity is their engine of growth?

We shall see.

Topics: Enterprise Software

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