Novell Inc’s top management executives are upbeat about the company’s progress over the last year but they view the turnaround as only half-complete, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Although Novell refused to give a corporate growth rate target, the Wall Street brokerage firm, which met with senior members of Novell’s management team […]
Novell Inc’s top management executives are upbeat about the company’s progress over the last year but they view the turnaround as only half-complete, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Although Novell refused to give a corporate growth rate target, the Wall Street brokerage firm, which met with senior members of Novell’s management team last week, said the networking company is now more focused on product flow and profitability. NetWare 5, or Moab, the next version of Novell’s operating system, is on track for summer shipment, although analysts suspect it will be arriving in late summer. In addition to networking software products, Novell has plans to step up a consultancy business. Michael Simpson, Novell’s VP marketing told Computerwire: Increasingly our customers say they want us to be involved in the process right from the beginning, through the consultation phase and to the end, not just selling them the product. To that end, Simpson said that Novell plans to set up a separate business, perhaps through acquisitions, with its own profit and loss responsibility and which isn’t effected by the revenues of Novell. He said Novell was currently putting the management in place but it hopes to have the business up and running within six-to-nine months. Simpson accepts criticism from resellers that Novell doesn’t give them enough marketing support to combat Microsoft’s mindshare with customers. He said that Novell had now set up ‘boot camps’ to train partners in the latest releases of its software as well as communicating more regularly with them through a new field marketing division. He also denied the analysts’ claims that Novell’s CEO Eric Schmidt had downplayed Java in contrast to the company’s earlier aggressive bet on the technology. We’re totally committed to Java, but at the moment our customers are not crying out for it. Eric was simply saying that Novell’s growth is not dependent on the growth of Java but when the technology does take off, we’re fully prepared for it. He said the company had learned from lessons in the past and would not spend all its time and development resources trying to break into new markets. Instead, it will concentrate on extending and enhancing NetWare, and a full product line, focused on security and encryption, is expected in the not-too-distant future. Novell is also talking with several PC manufacturers about shipping servers, pre- configured with NetWare, directly to customers.