Novell acquisition to foster mobile version of ZENworks

Novell acquisition to foster mobile version of ZENworks

Following on the heels of a corporate restructuring and 1,400 job cuts earlier this month, Novell on Thursday announced plans to acquire a mobile device management company and launched an e-business portal that relies on BEA Systems' WebLogic E-Business Platform.

Attempting to win market share in the wireless management space, Novell officials announced an agreement to buy Callisto Software, a company that develops management solutions for mobile devices.

The deal will allow Novell to produce a mobile version of its ZENworks management solution, to be known as ZENworks for Handhelds. The price tag for the acquisition is "less than US$10 million," said Novell spokesman Kevan Barney on Thursday.

"The move toward mobile access and wireless parallels Novell's strategy to tie all types of networks into one Net and provide users access to the information they need, when they need it," Brad Anderson, Novell's ZENworks business unit manager, said in a statement.

"The Callisto acquisition gives us mobile and wireless device management technologies to increase Novell's remote and mobile offerings, such as the anytime, anywhere access to information currently provided by Novell iFolder and GroupWise Wireless," Anderson added.

Novell said that Callisto's mobile technologies will allow Novell to deliver end-to-end management tools. The company also promised that its ZENworks for Handhelds solution would let network administrators lower management costs and give users access to multiple devices. Further details on the ZENworks for Handhelds initiative are expected early next year.

Novell also announced Secure Partner Portal, designed to help enterprises build secure business relationships over the Internet. The portal builds on Novell's eDirectory identity management technology and uses BEA Systems' WebLogic E-Business Platform as the underlying infrastructure. The portal also takes advantage of services from e-business integration company Cambridge Technology Partners, which Novell acquired in July.

"Companies need ways to not just manage partner relationships, but to expand them," said Martin Deise, senior vice president of solutions at Novell, in a statement. "Paramount to this is the ability to create a trusted environment, with distributed administration, that increases partner loyalty while reducing costs for all parties.

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