View RSS Feed


Changes at Novell

Rate this Entry
Novell Data Systems began life in 1979 as a computer manufacturer and maker of disk operating systems. In January 1983, Safeguard Scientifics, a venture capital firm, reincorporated NDSI as Novell, Inc. Novell eventually moved out of the hardware business and concentrated on software. Since that time Novell has bought and sold companies and technologies. Change is inevitable. The recent acquisition of Novell by the Attachmate group is just another one of these changes. Novell still exists as a company. The major difference is the funding and control. Whereas before the merger Novell was owned by individual stock holders and was controlled by a board of directors who worked for those stock holders, Novell is now owned by the Attachmate Group and is controlled by that entity.

I've been a part of the Novell family since 1991 and have lived through many of the changes at the company. On a smaller scale, I took over the community management when we were "NetWire" on CompuServe. I helped the community move off of CompuServe and onto our first NNTP server and, for the first time, our community members were able to access the forums with no charges other than their local connection charges. Since we received a hefty check each month from CompuServe, this was a hit to immediate revenue, but a boon to the openness, collaboration, and feedback that the community and Novell experienced together. We eventually moved our main forum interface off of NNTP (though we still retain an NNTP interface) to the web at forums.novell.com. As you can see, our forum functionality and interface are still under a state of change and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

As manager of the forums, I've sometimes struggled to keep up with the changing product portfolio of Novell. It was so much easier when our product was NetWare and the only thing I had to worry about was NetWare 2 vs. NetWare 3. When NetWare Lite came out it threw a wrench in my works. :-) The splitting off of our identity products to NetIQ and our Linux products to SUSE makes a lot of sense to me. Each one of those companies (who are still part of the Attachmate Group) will now be able to focus on those products and those customers. Novell will now be able to focus on our reduced product portfolio and give the products, and our customers who use those products, the attention they deserve. I've felt the pain of the challenges Novell has experienced in the past few years and it's been a long time since I really felt we were headed in a focused direction. I feel that now. I'm very optimistic that the recent changes will enable us to better provide you with the quality products and services you need. We've had many internal meetings and the tone of those internal meetings have changed since the merger. They're much more focused on doing the job RIGHT than just keep doing the job as we were told by the old executive management team. I feel the new energy. The bigger the ship, the harder it is to turn. Everything can't change overnight, but we're definitely turning and heading on a better course.

I've interacted with many here on the forums and have become friends with many as well. My facebook and LinkedIn friend lists consist of many members of the community here. One of the best parts of my job is running the Novell Knowledge Partner program. Interacting daily with these stalwarts of the online community is fun, rewarding, and enriching. It's also often a learning experience for me.

If you are reading this blog post, you are interested in Novell. That gives us something in common. My goal is to help keep the interaction between Novell and Novell's customers on a personal level. I don't have control over many aspects of the company but I and the Novell people that work beside me here to support these forums have influence. The weight of your voice gives us influence. I hope to maintain this relationship with the community for years to come. Thanks for being here.

Submit "Changes at Novell" to Twitter Submit "Changes at Novell" to Facebook Submit "Changes at Novell" to Google Submit "Changes at Novell" to Digg Submit "Changes at Novell" to del.icio.us Submit "Changes at Novell" to StumbleUpon

Tags: change, company
About the company