Attachmate Divides To Integrate Novell Acquisition

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Four divisions will house Attachmate’s products and those gained through its purchase of Novell

Attachmate has disclosed the details of its restructuring following the completion of its Novell take-over.

The company will now have four divisions. One will continue to cover the current Attachmate products, the existing NetIQ section will accommodate Novell’s security products, the traditional Novell enterprise products will form another branch, and SuSE Linux and its open source initiatives will form a division on their own.

New Impetus To Follow Consolidation

Attachmate is keen to show the former Novell customers that radical change is not on the cards and that it will be business-as-usual but with a new energy being placed in the marketing and development of the product lines.

“Customers will see the development of exceptional products and receive unmatched service and support, which we expect to reinvigorate the Novell brand and further encourage loyalty within our long-term customer base,” said Jeff Hawn, chairman and CEO at the Attachmate Group.

Novell users, particularly those that had invested in SuSE products, were shaken when Attachmate cut loose the Mono project. This was an on-going project that Novell had supported which aimed to build an open source version of Microsoft’s .NET platform. The Mono initiative was rapidly divested when the Novell deal was finalised at the end of April and the project has now been established as an independent spin-off Xamarin under the leadership of Mono founder Miguel de Icaza.

The legacy products of Novell will be kept in its traditional Provo, Utah, headquarters under the Novell name but as a division of the Attachmate Group. Attachmate senior vice president of global sales and general manager of host connectivity solutions, Bob Flynn, is to take charge of the subsidiary as president and general manager. Dirk Schmidt becomes vice president of sales for the EMEA region.

Under Flynn, the “undervalued” Novell products Open Enterprise Server (OES)/NetWare, GroupWise, ZENworks, File Management Suite and Vibe will be given a new impetus and development will continue, the company said.

Expanded Security Lines

The move of Novell’s security products to NetIQ will be overseen by Jay Gardner as president and general manager of the existing NetIQ Business Unit. In EMEA, vice president of sales is Ton Musters.

Musters told eWEEK Europe that the merging of Novell’s management products for identity and access, security and compliance, and data centres will create very little overlap with current NetIQ products.

“We had many customers in common with Novell and this means they can now get support from a single source. NetIQ is committed to the development side of the products and the integration will provide a tremendous opportunity going forward.,” he said.

The division will be looking at how the products can be integrated to offer IT automation so that customers will get more out of the product ranges. Over time, Musters said, products such as Novell Sentinel will become rebranded as NetIQ Sentinel but there is currently no pressure to make the move – and it will cause less customer disruption if the change is made gradually.

No Mention Of Further Cuts – Yet

With an expanded workforce, especially on the sales side, job cuts may well follow – but Attachmate is not willing to say anything as yet. Already several former Novell executives left just before the deal was finalised and it is rumoured that, at that time, a number of lay-offs were made. This not only included the Mono-related staff but also many of the Novell legal team.

If Attachmate is as committed to product development as it claims to be, the huge sales team would appear to be an area that could be under scrutiny for future cuts. Musters refused to comment on plans that have yet to be discussed.

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