Split Novell?

Split Novell?

Summary: In an earlier post about Novell's Earnings, Larry Dignan wrote that Novell's identity and access management business is only up 5% over last year. This isn't the first time that such news has clouded the Novell annual report either.

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In an earlier post about Novell's Earnings, Larry Dignan wrote that Novell's identity and access management business is only up 5% over last year. This isn't the first time that such news has clouded the Novell annual report either. Novell consistently has trouble capitalizing on their expertise in the identity space. This should be especially troublesome to shareholders given that there's never been a time when identity has had more mindshare.

I'm most familiar with Novell's efforts in this area at the pointy end of the spear--I know several of the engineers and product managers who work in this area at Novell. I'm usually impressed with what I see. Case in point: at the Internet Identity Workshops Novell is one of the main players. Their efforts are noteworthy and innovative. I've so been a happy customer in their enterprise product space.

I'm left to conclude that the strategy, not the products, is the problem. Frankly, I see little synergy between the identity products and the rest of Novell. As a consequence, they're probably holding each other back as executives struggle to manage and resource two very different businesses. Novell's shareholders would be better off with two Novells: one focusing on their identity business and one concentrating on Linux.

This is especially true with identity moving beyond the firewall. Freeing Novell's identity expertise from the constraints of traditional enterprise sales thinking is just the kind of outside the box thinking Novell needs right now.

Topics: Open Source, Software

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7 comments
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  • We're not falling for it

    Sure, you'd love to slice up Novell because it's destroying Microsoft's business bit by bit. Of course the ZDNET apparatchniks would advocate that.

    Meanwhile, SUSE continues to prosper.
    jabailo1
    • hmmm.

      another day, another zealot. Well, history has taught well the fate of the radicals.
      xuniL_z
      • Speaking of zealots...

        I see it's the regular time to suggest "splitting" Novell. Last time it was splitting off its collaboration efforts from the main company.

        The time before that, it was splitting off its consulting division.

        Has anyone sounded the trumpets of Novell's death knell yet again as well?
        Dave P.
    • Novell's best Linux seller is...

      ... Microsoft. That's the same company that has defeated Novell in other lines and has a competitor in the enterprise server market which has grown far more in sales (as measured by dollars) than all varieties of Linux combined.

      If you're serious, then I suggest you take another look.
      Anton Philidor
    • better split M$

      M$ is the problem more than Novell.
      Linux Geek
  • Not the Only Thing

    Identity management is the only thing. Novell has literally reinvented itself. European, Asian, and Latin American users get this more than Americans. Brainshare this year showed a revitalized, focused, and innovative company that understands that there will be a mixed OS environment and that currently the bread and butter is in windows desktops, but Linux Desktops are coming on strong thanks to Novell and SLES 10.1 is a solid, enterprise solution. Smart players know that Novell adds value to any environment. I encourage you to look at what they are doing in the virtualization space, and in a variety of major OSS initiatives. Novell has already suffered through reinventing itself, Microsoft hasn't.
    rjacksix
  • Not the Only Thing (fixed)

    Identity management is not the only thing. Novell has literally reinvented itself. European, Asian, and Latin American users get this more than Americans. Brainshare this year showed a revitalized, focused, and innovative company that understands that there will be a mixed OS environment and that currently the bread and butter is in windows desktops, but Linux Desktops are coming on strong thanks to Novell and SLES 10.1 is a solid, enterprise solution. Smart players know that Novell adds value to any environment. I encourage you to look at what they are doing in the virtualization space, and in a variety of major OSS initiatives. Novell has already suffered through reinventing itself, Microsoft hasn't.
    rjacksix