Schmidt will continue his role as chairman of the Novell board of directors, with the added role of chief strategist.
One 11-year Novell product user, Dennis Corolla, network analyst at the Metropolitan Sewer District, in Louisville, Ky., cheered the company's directory-centric focus.
"They should get away from [file and print] and use the directory as a service," Corolla said. "I will probably switch all my file and print services to Microsoft because it provides more functionality, but I will use NDS to manage every bit of it."
According to one analyst, Novell's business will be well served by the addition of a strong services organization, but questions still linger about the company's future leadership.
"A company like Novell would do well to have a professional services arm," said Dana Gardner, research director at Aberdeen Group, in Boston.
"However, they still have some vision to generate from a management perspective about how Novell will be run better, leaner, and faster under [the new leadership]," Gardner added.
Novell this week also picked up thin-client technology provider Novetrix, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., for an undisclosed sum. Version 1.5 of Novell OnDemand Services, also introduced this week, integrates this thin-client technology from Novetrix into NDS eDirectory, allowing users to access Windows-based applications across multiple networks. This allows end-users to tap corporate applications, such as Microsoft Office, through a Web browser without having client software deployed on the desktop, Novell officials said.
Version 2.0, expected this summer, will include a workflow policy management feature for applying business policy.