"We've been seeing good sales (of the product) so far," said Andy Woo, general manager of Novell Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., adding that the growing demand included both sales of NetWare 5.1 and upgrades from previous NetWare versions. However, he declined to reveal any figures.
Speaking to reporters at the Novell 'e-Volve to e-Business' seminar on Thursday, Woo said NetWare 5.1 was "not just an incremental release." He explained that the product came with several new features providing the latest technology for using open, Web-based e-business applications and the latest Web-based network management and resources.
Novell says that its latest server OS provides customers with a single solution for key net technologies including the latest Novell Directory Services eDirectory, to extend the reach of their existing computer networks across the Net to employees, customers and supply-chain partners.
The company says that the product is the first server OS providing customers access to corporate networks from anywhere in the world with the New NetWare Management Portal.
This portal provides secure access through a Web browser to NetWare 5.1 servers, allowing administrators to manage and monitor their networks at anytime and from any place, Novell claims.
Woo said Novell had not identified any particular market segment for NetWare 5.1. "Anyone who needs a network or Internet connection and needs to use the Internet on a wide scale will find our product useful," he explained.
NetWare 5.1 is immediately available in Malaysia from Novell's authorised resellers. In the United States, customers can order the product online, but Woo said this practice is yet to be made available in Malaysia.
"We are working with our resellers on this issue, and we should have something in place by the fourth quarter of this year," he said, adding that the resellers would be responsible for delivering the product to customers.
On the issue of growth, Woo said Novell Malaysia grew about 30% on a year-to-year basis for fiscal year 1999, and sales of NetWare alone contributed about 70% of the company's revenue.
He also said that Microsoft's endorsement of the need for directory services had ironically helped to boost sales and "increase the size of the pie".
Microsoft is positioning its soon-to-ship Windows 2000 and Active Directory as a viable alternative to Novell's NetWare and NDS eDirectory platform. However, Novell remains unperturbed by the challenge.
"We've had years of experience as far as directories are concerned, and we are already the clear leaders in this area," Woo said. -- Maxis Net 2000