Novell Inc is on the look out for acquisitions in the team and real-time collaboration space as it positions its GroupWise collaboration server for new opportunities.
The Waltham, Massachusetts-based identity and Linux operating system vendor is doing a lot of research into the two areas, according to platform services group product manager, Rick Fowler. GroupWise product manager, Phillip Karren, confirmed that acquisitions are imminent.
Novell has long targeted team collaboration as a future development for GroupWise, having detailed it as one of the key development focused for the next GroupWise release, codenamed Aspen, and scheduled for delivery this fall.
Karren said that Novell is looking at a number of potential candidates in the team collaboration market, as well as real-time, where Novell wants to build on its existing instant messenger functionality to enable things like VoIP calls.
We’re looking at some open source and proprietary options, Karren added. Open source is the favorite of the execs right now. Another source of potential new functionality is project Hula, the open source collaboration server project created in February 2005.
Karren said the company was still thinking about whether it will commercialize the Hula project as Maui, but either way Hula technologies are likely to find their way in to GroupWise. When it’s ready we’ll take a look at it [Maui], he said, noting that the new Open Workgroup Suite software bundle could also see some Hula code added to it.
They’re working on a CalDAV server and we want that, they’re working on a Web 2.0 client, we’re interested in that, he said. If any good ideas come out of Maui, we’ll include them.
Novell’s president and COO, Ron Hovsepian, also noted that over-time he expects to see convergence between the inter-enterprise focused GroupWise, and intra-enterprise Hula. What will happen over time is really the question, he said. Over time there’ll be some convergence.