one Net: Novell diversifies

one Net: Novell diversifies

Change is afoot in the Novell market, according to the company's soon-to-be chairman and chief strategist, Eric Schmidt.

At the Brainshare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah he declaired victory in the Web services space, with 139 million eDirectory users after only 18 months on the market. Schmidt is also evangelising his one Net strategy has opened the door to $US78.3billion in future market opportunities.

The much talked about one Net, last year referred to as DENIM (Directory Enabled Net Infrastructure Model), appears finally to be eventuating.

Schmidt referred to eDirectory as one of the "single most important architecture change we'll see in networks for years."

It forms the core of Novell's one Net strategy allowing the technical and administrative management of scattered networks from anywhere, anytime using the web. Its strength, according to Novell is its ability to solve mundane but cost draining efficiency issues such as creating and replicating new employee details or software upgrades across all company systems from a central point through a Web interface anywhere, anytime. "We're replacing local area networks because there is only one network in the one Net," says Ledbetter.

Meanwhile, the company is desperately trying to shake its image as a products-only vendor through the recent merger with consulting firm, Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP). Schmidt denied the CTP merger would create conflict with Novell's existing partnerships saying it played in different markets. However, consulting will become an integral part of how Novell goes to market with a predicted two to four fold growth in consulting contracts, creating huge demand in this sector. The merger with CTP will see Novell's revenue from consulting vault from five per cent to 37 per cent of total vendor earnings immediately.

At the same time Cap Gemini Ernst&Young (CGE&Y), one of Novell's largest consulting partners says it doesn't want to be viewed as a reseller and has flatly refused to sign a reseller contract, according to Andy Mulholland, chief technology officer for CGE&Y. Mulholland says the consultants job is to manage projects not sell products and do the groundwork. He also adds that the market has lost its simplicity of five years ago and has become more heterogenous, requiring a high level of cooperation between essentially competitive corporations.

Novell's commitment to the channel is also increasing due to the increased complexity of integrating several different brands, applications and technologies together. Novell is dedicating more educational resources to resellers while tightening the partner requirements. "Understanding is key to selling the Novell solution so it's more detrimental than ever that our channel is competent with our products," says Jo McCausland, director of consultant and systems integration alliance for Novell.

Photograph: Novell's Eric Schmidt.

Agnes King attended the Novell Brainshare conference in Salt Lake City as a guest of Novell.

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