Novell and partners focus on integrated network plans

By Stephanie Sanborn, InfoWorld |  Development

The impetus behind one Net stems from Novell's mixed results in marketing their products to enterprise companies, which has been a source of frustration for the company and users alike.

"I've always been a big, strong proponent for Novell -- my biggest gripe about them has been marketing," said Kurt Mounteer, assistant systems manager at Marriott Guest Services in Salt Lake City. "I think their product has been far superior, but who can compete with Microsoft's advertising dollars?"

Dan Kusnetsky, vice president of systems software research with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., believes Novell missed its window of opportunity during Microsoft's Active Directory delays, and now must fight to hold its place in the enterprise.

"Novell is in a position where they're reeally in three different businesses and have been trying to find a unifying theme," Kusnetsky said. "They're in the operating system and infrastructure software business, they're in the directory service with NDS, and they're in the collaborative software business with GroupWise, and it's difficult for them to present a unified message."

Phil Schacter, director of consultancy the Burton Group, in Midvale, Utah, agrees that it will be up to Novell users to decide if this new strategy sinks or swims.

"If [Novell's] channel gets fed up with them or the customers decide that Novell really doesn't 'get it,' that they don't have a solid strategy going forward, then we'll see the attrition of the Novell customer base move much more quickly than otherwise," Schacter said.

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