Novell also plans to put its entire ecosystem behind Linux and these products by offering technical support, training, education and consulting services. It will also offer support for and with its partners for Enterprise Linux Services and other future products in the suite on both Red Hat and SuSE Linux distributions. Novell CTO Alan Nugent also told eWEEK in an interview that this Linux initiative has reinvigorated its relationship with the Independent Hardware Vendors (IHV), which had soured over the past few years. "This has really jazzed things up between Novell, HP and Dell, so were on a good strategic path with them and others across our products. Pretty much across the board weve rekindled a lot of these relationships," he said.Sometimes I think we are the best kept secret in the IT industry, but we are addressing that. However, its still a work in progress," he said. But Hawkins stressed that this Linux momentum did not in any way detract from its support for its NetWare operating system. Netware 6.5 is due for release later this year. "We are continuing strongly with our NetWare line, and what this Linux product does is put us on parallel paths for supporting both of these operating system platforms. So, to be clear, were not dropping NetWare, were adding Linux and fully embracing it and the community," he said. "The Nterprise Linux Services product will include the Novell eDirectory as well as DirXML with some base connectors for Microsofts Active Directory and NT domains. We want to break down any barriers that exist in an organization in and around a directory. "Our message is that users dont have to pick one, we want them to know that this product embraces any directory that you have and with eDirectory and DirXML we can connect to all of your systems and all of their directories and keep them up to date," he said.
Novell has also concentrated for too long on selling its products at the infrastructure level rather than to the CIO and CTO at the strategy level. To address this it has been focusing its marketing efforts and retraining its sales organization to get up higher in IT shop management.