Novell Partners Prepare to Take Linux to the Enterprise
With its acquisition of Suse, a little help from a Big Blue friend--and a lot of support from the channel--Novell is poised to return to the enterprise.Tucked into Novells announcement last week that it was acquiring Suse for $210 million was a paragraph that got little attention in the press but a lot of attention among Novells channel partners. "Novell today also announced that IBM intends to make a $50 million investment in Novell convertible preferred stock. In addition, Novell and IBM are negotiating extensions to the current commercial agreements between IBM and SUSE LINUX for the continued support of SUSE LINUX on IBMs eServer products and middleware products to provide for product and marketing support arrangements related to SUSE LINUX. Both of these agreements will be effective when the acquisition of SUSE LINUX by Novell is completed." The joint embrace of Suse Linux, pairing Novells channel with IBM Global Services, the worlds largest channel organization, as champions of Linux solutions presents a powerful marketing alliance that raises Linuxs credibility in the enterprise and promises a level of enterprise support that was heretofore unavailable for the operating system. Novell partners look to that additional support--and the credibility it brings to enterprise salesto catapult Novell back into a position of market dominance and allow it to make a run at Redhats position as the Number 1 Linux distribution.
Novell partners I talked to were buoyed by the prospect of increased enterprise sales presented by last weeks announcement. Support, said Tim Finnegan, Novell Business Development manager for AlphaNumeric Systems, a certified Novell Platinum partner in Raleigh, NC., is key to the enterprise sale.