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Novell Layoffs Coming This Month?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the tighten-your-belt dept.

Businesses 139

Roblimo writes "Multiple sources close to and inside Novell have told us the company expects to lay off between 10% and 15% of all employees by the end of October. '...shareholders have suggested that Novell divest itself of its consulting group and GroupWise division, while at the same time instituting personnel cuts across the board to bring expenses more in line with revenues,' writes business columnist Lauren Rudd at NewsForge, who also notes that '[Novell's] NetWare revenue stream continues to deteriorate, declining by $36 million in fiscal 2004, excluding the impact of favorable foreign exchange rates.'" NewsForge is part of the same family of companies as Slashdot.

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139 comments

Cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843640)

Hope that means the death of Mono.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843798)

Who cares? No-one uses Mono. It's a buggy, dog-slow piece of shit. Fuck, even Java is faster in certain circumstances.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843881)

Lol... I'm hooked on Mono, and I am a Java developer. It's better than Java already in most areas IMO, and when we get to the next milestone, it's going to blow the socks off most other environments. Even Microsoft's implementation is going to look weak in comparison once the windows forms are complete, and there is full C# V3 support.

Re:Cool (1)

Tanaka (37812) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843901)

Yeah, I agree. Just wish there was a decent IDE for Linux. SharpDevelop is very cool, but MonoDevelop has a long way to go to compete. At least when the Windows Forms are complete in Mono, SharpDevelop should run on Linux.

Your Rights Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843661)

And this article is posted on "Your Rights Online" why?

Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843671)

Is every time a company lays off its employees a civil rights issue? Maybe (as the cliche goes) in Soviet Russia. Or in an EU country like France or Germany, where workers get to enjoy lifetime employment (if they're able to get a job; given their high rate of unemployment, that's no sure thing) in exchange for a stagnant economy and a crushing tax burden. Here in our still-mostly-free capitalist economy, companies can hire and fire based on economic need rather than being stuck with bloated payroll that make them uncompetative in the global economy.

So again, why is Novell laying off people "Your Rights Online"?

For the confused, they just changed the headline (1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843686)

Naturally, right after I posted, they stripped out the "Your Rights Online" in the headline. As Emily Latella used to say, "Never mind."

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843774)

Or in an EU country like France or Germany, where workers get to enjoy lifetime employment

Please, add this to the "cliché" bin.

Here in our still-mostly-free capitalist economy

And while you're at it, this too. At least as viewn from ol' Europe, the "mostly-free" part is mostly not true. If the same things were happening, say, in Germany, I'm quite sure who'd be screaming loudest... and no, this is not supposed to be flamebait, but simple statement of fact.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843818)

How exactly is our economy not free? Or are you ignorantly referring to stuff that has nothing to do with the economy? And what things are you talking about, the layoffs?

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843845)

Stagnant Economy ? I suppose the USA does not have a stagnant economy , Its moving fairly fluidly down the toilet .
We may have higher taxes , but on average we have a lot less debt . Low taxes in the USA are causing it to hemorrhage like a sliced artery

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843927)

Thanks to global warming, we'll all be dead before we actually have to pay off any of that debt (:

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843988)

Get some facts...our unemployment is less than half that of most EU countries, and *despite* fuel prices our GDP is still steadily growing. The US economy is just fine.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

xrobertcmx (802547) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844080)

Except that most of the wage increases since 1975 have only gone to the to 20% of the population. There is also a growing disparety in wages earned between those who have access to education and those who do not. I wouldn't say all is well with the Republic. As an American who is putting himself through college on his low wages and the remainder of the GI-Bill and College fund I can see why too. Tuition goes up every semester at a rate higher then my merit increases, and if I hadn't done three I would never have been able to afford it. Without that education I would probably be stuck in one of the dead end jobs I have held since getting laid off twice in 6 months back in '01. Oh, and the cost of gasoline for my Hyundai doesn't help either. $40 weekly fill ups with no access to reliable public transportation don't make paying for those $300 worth of books any easier if I want to eat at the same time.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844911)

Just out of curiosity, were you able to qualify for any type of student loans? Even though you'd be paying on them forever, the increased earnings potential should be able to offset the payments. Or am I missing something here? (I didn't do the 4-year expensive university thing, instead I did part-time community college a number of years ago, and managed to "fall into" some good jobs)

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

xrobertcmx (802547) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845073)

I'm holding off the student loans until I get to the 4 year university. I'm 5 classes from my associates at a community college that is running over $1000 a semester including books and parking for three classes at 3 credits per class. I also live in Northern Virginia which means $1120 a month for a 1 bedroom in a neighborhood where you can make the run from your car to the front door is affordable because I make just over the limit to qualify for affordable housing. I'm looking for a new job, do in home tech support in my free time, and live comfortably within my means. Which is why I have a Hyundai, voip over the community dsl, and a 1 bedroom. I also get my books off Amazon usually for less then the buy back price. Tuition has gone from ~60 a credit hour to roughly $80.00 a credit hour this comming semester. Parking has gone from $25 to $45 and books go up every semester. I priced last semester at the bookstore and it would have run $320 giver or take before sales tax. I expect to spend at or around $3000 a semester this time next year when I switch over to a four year. My main complaint is that without the GI-Bill and College Fund I wouldn't have the discretionary income to afford the classes I take now and I know people who didn't qualify for assistance who have been priced out of community college.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (2, Insightful)

nickos (91443) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844111)

Apart from the steady decline in the value of the dollar and record levels of national debt you're absolutely right - the US economy is just fine. LOL

I'm glad you said that, Bob... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843947)

You see...well, there's no real easy way to put this. You know that performance in our area has been down for the last two quarters and, well, the board has really been pushing me hard on streamlining our processes...and, so, I'm afraid we've had to make some real tough personel decisions. I hope you understand that this is not a reflection of your work. We really do value you highly around here. It's just that...the board and all...

-Eric

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843972)

I'm European and, frankly, even if our system has a lot of faults yours isn't better, either. And I don't try to conceal the problems of my country pointing the finger at the USA - frankly, I prefer to leave you people alone and worry about myself and the person next door.

But, there is one thing I can assure you: even in the EU, the prospect of getting a lifetime job is getting gradually worse, day by day. By one way or the other we are being forced to live with that and learn to adapt to a new social and economic structure.

Do we blame China our India for our problems ? How can we, when a big part part of the problem is our fault ? And how can you - the USA (and American corporations, in general) practically alone invented and promoted massively the practice of outsourcing jobs, creating an hemorragic flow of unemployment than even your country is unable to sustain ?

So, is yours a better system ? I don't think so.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (2, Informative)

ahillen (45680) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843997)

Or in an EU country like France or Germany, where workers get to enjoy lifetime employment (if they're able to get a job; given their high rate of unemployment, that's no sure thing) in exchange for a stagnant economy and a crushing tax burden.

Lifetime employment in German companies? I hope, this was ment to be another cliche, but this was is not apparent from your wording. It probably is more difficult to lay off workers in Germany (and companies say it is too difficult), but it is of course possible and happens frequently. You probably got confused by the fact that certain jobs offered by the state are indeed life time positions. But no company will grant you something like this.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843999)

> Or in an EU country like France or Germany, where workers get to enjoy lifetime
> employment

You're an idiot.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844215)

Go outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy nature and your family for a while instead of staring so hard at your monitor. Otherwise your eyes might squish closer together than they already are. Unlike you, most people don't consider being married to a cubical the pinnacle of their existence. What's the most creative thing you've ever done? Play an instrument? Paint? Build furniture? Write a book? Let me guess: the most creative thing you've ever done is spend a bunch of money on fancy-boy car. You're the envy of teenage boys and like-minded middle-aged commuters. Enjoy the traffic jam, boot-licking corporate toady.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844786)

A reported 45% is "crushing"?

Better check that U.S. pay stub again, Buddy - it's pretty much the same deal here in the states. And that's not all, what of all of the hidden excise taxes we pay too?

And what, you are another free market fanatic? Care to show me a country that actually has a free market anywhere in the world? Pretty please...?

Right. You can't - mainly because it's all smoke and mirrors that favors the monied elites.

Anyway, employment is a rights issue. Have you ever stopped to think that being given equal opportunity should mean having the same basic wealth, education, medical care, and social acceptance as anyone else enjoys? But that's not exactly how it works in reality is it? Without those basics it is hard to rise to the level of fundamental dignity. And no, people do not lack those things just because people are created differently, with different strengths and weaknesses - a lot of it has to do with social circumstances, inheritance, and so on. And the monied elite have been enjoying lives of privilege in the states denied to many others for far too long.

I see no reason why those with the most capital should actually be able to dictate to the rest of us how we live our lives. And that's pretty much how it's working out now. Without labor you can't accomplish shit.

Your degree of apparent conformity, misinformation, and possible xenophobia would likely have shocked William Burroughs, whose memory you denigrate by appropriating the title of one of his finest works. Or is the point that you are the Ugly American? Maybe that might have been a better screen name for you and your "fantasy" publication...

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

Natholin (633426) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845001)

ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL.
You honestly believe that you should be given a job, money and personal wealth.
How about get up and work for it yourself.
See that is the thing here in the US. If you do your homework you will see time after time that the wealthy and rich in our country also started out as poor people. (The Great American Dream) It is possible.
Well maybe not for people who think they should be given the spoils of someone eles hard labor.
If you are too lazy to get up and fight for it then you do not deserve it.
(And do not lecture me about being poor. I lived in LA right outside a freaking swamp, in a trailer that had no floor, with a single room, and now I own my own 4 bed room house, car, and a fairly good job, and I was never given anything, I earned it, and you and everyone else should too.)

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13845084)

Um, if it's a trailer, why didn't it have a floor? Did you take it out because you liked dirt?

I don't understand.

Re:Why is this "Your Rights Online"? (1)

Natholin (633426) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845231)

No it was in bad repair and the floor had been routed out. So my step father removed the routed wood. We had some boards that crossed the floor bracing to walk on. We lived there till the bath tub fell threw the bracing. ROFL my step dad was in there when it fell threw. I remember we did a lot of fishing and eating of crawfish. As a kid though to be honest I did not think anything of it. I moved when I was a kid to my fathers house and though we had better things we where not middle class much less rish, then I moved in with my mom after she left my step dad and we lived in some crappy apartments, I moved out when I was 15 and have been on my own ever sense.

FOSS development effected? (3, Interesting)

fak3r (917687) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843672)

Let's hope all the FOSS projects they support won't be effected; Hula / Beagle / Evolution / GNOME / LDTP / MONO / Mozilla / OpenOffice and UDDI are worked on by many employees. Last I heard they employed about 50 people just to work on Hula, and their overall view to FOSS has been excellent. Having worked with some of them on the project, I am amazed at the support they've recieved from Novell; let's hope it continues.

Re:FOSS development effected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843752)

My guess is that they will be cut back. While helping out the community is good for the warm fuzzies, it makes little to no sense at the bottom line. Why am I (the company) spending resources to give something away that my competators can use? The GPL doesn't protect me from losing business.

Code reuse and open source are wonderful for an engineer, but make little sense at the business level.

Re:FOSS development effected? (1)

JStrike (922592) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843842)

I really doubt it. FOSS is what Novell is betting the business on. They will be scaling back on their older, more obselete divisions and products, rather than what they see to be the companies future.

Re:FOSS development effected? (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844776)

"FOSS is what Novell is betting the business on."

I am a very, very small investor in NOVL, but I bought their shares based on their prospects of reinventing themselves as a FOSS company. It sure wasn't because I expected them to revitalized Netware!

Speaking only for myself, cutbacks in the non-FOSS areas of the company would increase my level of confidence that they have a future in FOSS. Conversely, cutbacks in FOSS would tell me that they are losing confidence in the concept. In that case, they will need to convince investors that they have a way to make money, because we all know that their traditional products are fading.

Consider "The Walmart Syndrome". If you are going to sell retail products, it helps alot if you sell something that Walmart doesn't. If you are going to manufacture software products, it helps alot if you make something that Microsoft doesn't (or at least use a business model that MS can't match).

Everyone would like to own the next Red Hat; nobody wants to buy the next WordPerfect.

Re:FOSS development effected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843865)

I think it's the huge Netware support and development group that will feel the pain the most. And things like iFolder (if you now say "What!?", you know why I think those 40-odd folks should fear for their jobs). SUSE, on the other hand, is hiring people. What does that tell you? ;-)

Re:FOSS development effected? (1)

xrobertcmx (802547) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844096)

Wasn't that included in SuSE 10? I've just scratched the surface of that release so I've not gotten to everything yet.

Re:FOSS development effected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843941)

Good. Half of the above projects (particularly those started by the former Ximian people) are "me too" efforts that have done more to fragment the community than to help it. I hope Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza are wandering the streets of Boston begging for food by next week.

Re:FOSS development effected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844419)

All of those except Mozilla I can do without. :)

Divest GroupWise??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843673)

Well, I can't say that I'm surprised. It was only a matter of time before investors started demanding returns and realized that a bunch of kids selling free stuff (Ximian) don't make good business managers. BUt, Novell doesn't have a whole lot left for a product line. Sure they have SuSE and Novell Linux of a dozen flavors but these are all free products. Netware is withering under the assault of Windows and Novells' strategy shift to Linux so, it's dead. eDirectory, Novell's best product ever, continues to be marginalized by Microsoft's included Active Directory and the fact that by time you add on all of the necessary eDirectory components needed to properly manage a Windows network, the cost is outrageous.

So, that only leaves Novell's GroupWise as a saleable product. It seems like divesting GroupWise would be a massive mistake. Almost as big a mistake as allowing the Ximian crew to direct its development, as occurred with the latest version 7.

Re:Divest GroupWise??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843731)

Sorry, but if NetWare is dying, it's going to take Groupwise with it to the grave. Nobody ever bought GW for any reason other than the fact that it was the only decent mail system that ran on Netware/NDS.

Also, the writing has been on the wall for NetWare for 10 years. Novell had plenty of time to build up other revenue streams, and the fact that they're belatedly farting around with profit-free Linux products just means they are going to get what's been coming to them for a long time.

Re:Divest GroupWise??? (1)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843812)

Did we read the same article? The article I read stated that the shareholders were pushing them away from legacy offerings and wanted them to focus on Linux oriented strategies. The shareholders apparently think that's the most profitable course, but you seem to be implying Linux is a dead end. And I really don't understand where the comment about free software business managers came from. Did any of the Ximian crew end up as business managers? As far as I know they may be in senior technical positions, but none of them are running the business.

Re:Divest GroupWise??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843884)

I am not the AC from the original post. The only thing I see in that post that made any sense was the title: Divest Groupwise? Groupwise now runs on Linux so it wouldn't make sense to divest themselves from it. And it is much improved over the pre-6 products. We are using Groupwise 6.5 and the support issues are maybe one quarter as many as when we used Groupwise 5.5. Throwing out an improving product that runs on the new platform you are moving toward wouldn't make sense. I don't forsee it happening.

Re:Divest GroupWise??? (1)

buraianto (841292) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845091)

Quote from TFA:
Technically, the company's cash belongs to the shareholders, and the largest among them do not want to see it dissipated while management pursues what some might consider to be either dead-end paths or paths that diverge from Novell's current strength, which is to capitalize on its Linux offerings.

When I read this I read it as the author's educated guess as to what people are thinking and pushing, not what they actually are thinking and pushing; and that it is the author's opinion that their "current strength" is to capitalize on its Linux offerings." Really, though, now that I read it again, I think it could go either way -- either the author's guesses/opinions, or the actual shareholders'.

not novel (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843675)

novell needs to change it's name....it's been along time since novell was novel....

What the future holds (1)

xgadflyx (828530) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843679)

I would think that the next year will really show us the future of Novell in the enterprise. With all that Novell has been doing with Suse. Not one my favorite distros nor is Novell my prefered directory service. As in the past, my prediction is that it will be a slow and painful death for Novell. Either that or it will be bought up in chunks, not really coming out the same company in the end.

Re:What the future holds (1)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843732)

"Civilization, the death of dreams."

How true, you wouldn't believe the number of sleepless nights spent on Civilization. I can only imagine that version 4 would lead to more of the same as well!

That's sad. (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843704)

Having in mind that only now Kontact and Korganizer finally has means to provide seamless integration with GroupWise...
I wish Novell good luck and wise decisions.

I don't doubt NetWare revenue continues to slip. (5, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843706)

I worked at a University campus for a while where we used NetWare extensively. When I started there, Novell folks thought the world of NetWare. By the time I left, there were some serious concerns among the NetWare crowd. NWAdmin was being phased out by ConsoleOne (which is fine) but then the Wed-based manager (forget the name) came in and they claimed they were phasing out ConsoleOne. ConsoleOne was only a year or so old! At that time, we had to run three different admin frontends because each had their own quirks and were incompatible with some stuff. Their NetMail system was a bit of a disappointment performance-wise (but not feature-wise). It took them a LONG time to work out some serious kinks in IFolder (like changing the default directory of the local folder). There's also the problem that NetWare != Novell. A lot of the more popular pieces of Novell's lineup (GroupWise, ZenWorks, NetMail) can be run from a Windows server over Active Directory now.

Re:I don't doubt NetWare revenue continues to slip (2, Funny)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843762)

A lot of the more popular pieces of Novell's lineup (GroupWise, ZenWorks, NetMail) can be run from a Windows server over Active Directory now.


Difference is that AD sucks, whereas Netware/eDirectory does not. I'm pretty sure that if I ever get an ulcer, it's because of the stress AD gives me... Wanna do something relatively simple (like, create a group with certain members, and give that group access to certain folders)? Here, go through these zillion dialog-boxes, and click around dozens of times! Oh, if you need to change group-permissions afterwards, please note how those forementioned dialog-boxes freeze and die, making this relatively simple procedure an experiment in agony!

Burn in hell, AD! Burn in hell! Oh Netware, how I loved thee....

Re:I don't doubt NetWare revenue continues to slip (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844013)

A couple of weeks ago I did the (adv.) Netware 6.5 training. The (2) other guys were mcse and everything. they did the training because their company was moving from NT4 and W2000 to Windows2003, with Novell E-directory. At first I could not believe this, because it defies market trends. Their decision was based on scalability and performance, and E-directory outperforms AD on both accounts. So we're talking about an all-microsoft shop, that is using E-directory instead of AD. They do exist. The teacher told me that it is quite common for companies to use Microsoft servers with Novell E-directory instead of AD. But still, I'm gonna keep my linux skills up-to date.

Re:I don't doubt NetWare revenue continues to slip (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844815)

I think consolidation would be good for Novell at this point. They offer A LOT of services and software. Not all of them being highly profitable. However, though not seeing the numbers, I can't imagine groupwise being a loser for them. In fact, I consider it to be one of their stronger products. Instead of dumping certain services all together, I think certain products should be dropped and their engineers refocused. For example, they used to (still might?) have a radius server. Currently they put resources into freeradius to help it interact with e-directory. Bam. A full fledged radius server better than their own with minimal of effort.

They could dump their printing services and integrate with cups rather easily I think. Also, border manager should be dumped in favor of iptables and squid. They should phase out their current myriad of configuration tools in favor of yast. Give it an online component that is fully compatable with yast modules. Hell, don't tell anyone and just revamp iManager to do this. Groupwise really has no open source analog imo. It provides pop,imap,smtp,news, and client reader abilities all in one. These are all available as individual open source projects. However, none are as integrated as groupwise. If anything, revamp it and make it use edirectory natively.

Ideally it would be nice for Novell to develop a few of their key services and attempt to integrate with other open source projects on others. This way they have a few really kickass services that integrate really well with some kick ass open source projects. We're doing Freeradius + edirectory for Wifi and it's working really well for us. I'd like to see more of this!

Novell's Long Term Status? (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843750)

The writing has been on the wall for them. They've got Microsoft, Sun, Red Hat and a few others desperate to eat their lunch.

My understanding is they have some good products, but when you've got Microsoft paying to switch your best resellers over to MS, I don't really see where Novell's got a defensible market position.

I have a feeling that Novell's success would be viewed as a substantial failure on Microsoft's part.

Re:Novell's Long Term Status? (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844081)

All of what you said may or may not be true, but regardless, Novell is a highly mismanaged company. Most investors are jumping ship until Novell revamps. They've consistenly been severly underperforming for quite a few quarters now. I wouldn't be surprised if Novell jumped ship on the Linux train and sold Suse off. Novell is just testing the linux waters, if it turns out not to be as good as they thought, they will simply move on to the next thing as they've always done. Anyway, in the next few months expect more than just layoffs, investors are nearly demanding a change in management and demanding the Novell focus more on getting a stronghold in at least one market, either that or a bigger fish will buy them.
Regards,
Steve

Novell's Long Term Status? Good (2, Informative)

eGuy (545520) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845217)

Nonsense. The long term status for Novell is great. They are not in the red nor have they been for some time. Yes, NetWare could be in the toilet, but they have known that for quite some time now - Duh, that is why they went to Linux. That is one reason they are relevant for the long term.

It is the short term that the investors are concerned about. Novell's total revenue has remained steady but not growing as everyone thought it should and the investors are getting ansy.

Common everyone, keep it in perspective. Yes it is sad that they have to layoff people and they probably won't be able to contribute as much to open source as they have recently. This does not mean Novell is dead or that others will be "eating their lunch", or that their commitment to OSS has changed. They still make more money than they spend. They still have a sizable chunck of change in the bank that is not diminishing. That bank account is the primary reason their long term status is just fine.

Good idea (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843751)

instituting personnel cuts across the board

What a good idea .. think of how much money getting rid of half the directors sitting on the company's board would save! Not just from their salaries, but also from their inability to utilize workers to gain revenue growth and customer satisifaction. This would also block them from getting rid of people who will actually do work.

I am going to buy Novell stock when they do this.

Re:Good idea (1)

Klivian (850755) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843830)

What a good idea .. think of how much money getting rid of half the directors sitting on the company's board would save!

Agreed and not only those. There are a few wielding director of something or other titles, actually regularly spreading FUD against main Novel products and part of their company product portfolio. I think it's time to get rid of those too.

Topheavy in a big way (1)

Vinnster (572111) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844754)

I live in the Provo, Utah area, and I am close to several people who *currently* work for Novell. Laying people off is not a new trend for Novell, but has been going on for many years, and will likely continue for many more, as long as the current CEO Jack Messman and his current collection of board members stick around.

Despite the steady decline in company profits, the head management of Novell continue to draw (relatively) massive paychecks every year. This isn't a question of whether they deserve it, but it's obvious that a few extra million dollars cut from the top would save hundreds of jobs a year. Even if they were to cut the CEO's salary by 50-60%, he would still be making high 6 figures a year. Novell is working on some very amazing projects, and it's sad to know that by cutting the workforce like this, they will be dropping several of their current projects.

In a more general sense, by laying off workers almost yearly for some time now, a culture of FUD about job security has put a huge damper on morale at Novell. The stories I hear are chilling, and simply scary. Employees don't feel any sort of long-term commitment to the company anymore because they could get the axe next week, or next year. It's sickening. Slice the fat off the top, and save the company, before it's too late, Novell!

By the way, letting the CEO go isn't really an option in this case... his contract says that he gets somewhere around $7M when he leaves... which makes it difficult.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844921)

don't be an idiot! look at the appreciation of the stock over the last couple of months. it has been appreciating exactly because saavy investors KNEW this was coming. in other words, at the time of the layoffs, all the appreciation will have been factored in.

Rudderless Ship (3, Insightful)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843757)

Novell has all the components of a solid business, just not the vision. Just look at their homepage [novell.com] - does it tell you who they are or what they have planned for the future?

Re:Rudderless Ship (1)

strike_svl (619216) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843916)

Well, the first line on the page says: Software for the open enterprise. And as for not telling you who they are or what they have planned, the same seems to be true for the Microsoft homepage.

No, but I can get a free T-shirt (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843962)

All I have to do now is "Learn about a complete Linux solution."

That should be interesting, since I've never seen one of those.

-Eric

Re:Rudderless Ship (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844008)

does it tell you who they are or what they have planned for the future?

Actually, yes, it does tell you a fair bit about who they are and what their vision is. It's just not flashy. but all the information's right there on the first page.

Shame, SUSE, NetWare had potential! (1)

foolinator (611098) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843771)

NetWare *was* way ahead of it's time. 10 years ago, it did things (with an ugly gui and expensive admin) that the MS world didn't start until only a few years ago.

SUSE had a lot of potential. These days, for me, it's much easier to install Linux than Windows (assuming you don't have wacky hardware).

I especially liked SUSE for being the first to include Handicap accessibility features into KDE.

SUSE is still out there and a major player, I just hope they don't get hit too hard - I really think they have a chance to be really successful.

Re:Shame, SUSE, NetWare had potential! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845059)

Only thing great about Netware was its heavy use of IPX. Years ago, it did seem to be 2 to 3x the speed of TCP/IP.

Corporate Greedy (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843785)

Great Cut the feet right out from under them.. Lets see how well novel can compete in the linux market place with not enough people to do the job.. People will be stressed out and production and serivce will suffer, thus customers will leave and new customers will shy away.

Hey Share holders: That's one great way to kill a company!

Relevance.... (1)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843797)

It's like an 80s band that maybe stayed around too late. I was at a tech conference in Orlando this week for IT in higher ed. and Novell was representing in the exhibitor hall. Admittedly, they're trying hard, just no one was sitting through their presentations (even with the standard t-shirt/ipod giveaways...

--pete

Long time coming (0, Flamebait)

Lxy (80823) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843799)

So long Novell. Your once great networking empire has been squashed. Your great software will no longer be known to the world. Rest in peace.

Novell has been in a downward spiral ever since Eric Shmidt left to start Google. Netware 4 was the best freaking NOS on the planet. It was stable, it was light, and it's still compatible with most of Netware's product line to date.

Since then, Novell quality has been slipping. Netware 6.5 is absolutely abismal. It's bloated, it's slow, it's unstable, it's Windows NT. Not to mention, Novell raising prices of eDriectory licenses to the point where it's too expensive to license. Novell used to stand for fast, cheap, manageable software. Now they look like Microsoft, if it wasn't for the big red N on their startup screen I wouldn't know the difference.

eDirectory and Zenworks are all that is left of a once great company. While they are still two of the greatest products on the market, that will diminish in time. These layoffs are the first step. We saw it with Corel, now we see it with Novell. Once eDirectory slips, Red Hat may finally have their directory service off the ground and customers will have a path away from gawdawful active directory.

Novell, I once loved thee, take care of yourself.

Re:Long time coming (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844229)

Exactly.

Netware 4 was the best but Novell just started blowing it in the late 90s. I came on as a Netware admin in 1996-97 and once you got the thing set up, Netware admining consisted of surfing /. and once in a while going up stairs, flicking on the monitors to make sure the "snakes" were still crawling around the screens.

Migrating to 5 was a disappointment, we had some migration issues in the spring of '00 and Novell was already sliding, Macintosh support was garbage, they outsourced the client and charged you twice. Groupwise started to sink and in '01 I got out of the Novell shop I was at and moved on.

They also priced themselves out of the market with thier client and server licences.

Re:Long time coming (2, Informative)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844817)

WTF are you talking about?

Netware 4.0, 4.01 and 4.02 were POS horrible things with terrible stability and NDS was as steady as Jell-o

Netware 4 was one of the main reasons people didn't upgrade from the rock-solid Netware 3.11, giving MS plenty of time to create a nice upgrade path to NT 3.51 complete with license-busting MS Netware gateways.

Only when Netware 4.1 came along did it start to get good. By then, fewer people cared, having been scarred by the experiences with the previous versions.

I've been a CNE for 12 years. But not for very much longer.

No wonder we have Web 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13843814)

It's because there are tons of layed off people. All of them coming together starting bubble companies based on web 2.0 hoping some VCs would fund their bubble ventures.

Seriously, where are all the layed off workers working? Are they still working in the technology sector?

Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (2, Informative)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843825)

When Cambridge Technology Partners merged with Novell, one of the major selling points was that combining consulting services with Novell's products would produce growth. If Novell's investors have decided to split off the consulting business, this is an admission that Novell's entire strategy for however long it's been since the CTP purchase has been a failure.

I don't know what proportion of Novell's employees are in the Linux/OSS area, but in my opinion these are the only ones to keep. The rest of the business has been in shrinkage mode for many years. I used to work at a large manufacturing company near Novell's operations in Utah, and that company switched from Netware to Microsoft server software about 10 years ago. At the time, I thought that if Novell couldn't keep customers in its own backyard, it was probably doomed. It is amazing how long it takes to kill off an enterprise.

Ironically, Novell finished building about a 12 story office tower in Provo around the time that the Cambridge Technology Partners merger went through. That building is probably worth as much as the IP rights to Netware now.

Re:Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (1)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843886)

Postscript to my previous script: I went and read the linked story and the key quote from that is that the author estimates that Novell has enough cash for 1 year of operations. If that is the case, in my opinion the company should just be liquidated. The company is obviously not bringing in any significant amount of cash through its Linux based operations. Perhaps they could get a little bit of cash by selling the Linux operations. The only company that I can think of that would be a candidate would perhaps be IBM...

Re:Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844531)

Having enough cash for one year of operations is a sign of strength, not weakness. Lots of companies couldn't survive a single quarter of no sales.

Re:Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844978)

Some people might argue that having that much cash in the bank is a waste. That's money that could be used to grow the company instead of sitting in the bank doing nothing.

Re:Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845163)

Yes, that's a valid opinion. I'm not sure where I stand on it; if I were in charge of a company, and if I didn't know how to grow it without wasting tons of money, I'd be inclined to let it sit in the bank. (Or retire in favor of somebody competent and enjoy my golden parachute.)

Re:Total failure of Jack Messman's strategy (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845276)

CTP is not Novell's entire strategy. It was a failed bid to sell more comprehensive services to existing customers. Novell's real strategy is to use SuSE as a migration path away from Netware for Netware customers. The problem is that SuSE revenues don't come anywhere near replacing the declining Netware revenues.

Novell is, however, flush with cash, slightly profitable, and nowhere close to going bankrupt. Nor is the Netware revenue in such steep decline that bankruptcy is even conceivable at this point. This layoff would be basically targeted at making the profit margins look far better. For a software company, they can be much better than Novell's 33%. IBM's software margins are around 80%, iirc. Not that 33% is awful-- the real situation is that you've just got ivory tower shareholders telling the ivory tower corporate types in Massachusetts to lay off a few thousand folks in Utah so that some random mutual funds can go up a little bit in value.

It's really too bad (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843832)

Novell had a pretty good server level product from 3.12 on. But then they stagnated.

But there is hope. At least the world is starting to embrace open source.

Who wants to start the betting on how soon MS will have to wipe 30% of its workforce?

Lol, stockholders (4, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843838)

"...shareholders have suggested that Novell divest itself of its consulting group and GroupWise division..."

In other news, shareholders have also suggested that Microsoft needs to dump Office, and Apple should just stop with the iPod thing already.

You know, eDirectory is nice and all, but I promise you there are more than a few Netware shops out there who continue to be Netware shops primarly because of Groupwise.

Re:Lol, stockholders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844023)

yup...that would be us.

Re:Lol, stockholders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844057)

I agree. The main reason we've seemed to keep Novell around this place (besides justifying the investment) is because the admins like Novell directory services, and they've even mentioned that if we switch to all Windows, we'd still probably keep GroupWise (as long as it's around).

I personally think Novell is a pile of shit. BorderMangler and CornholeOne be damned.

Re:Lol, stockholders (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844092)

"I promise you there are more than a few Netware shops out there who continue to be Netware shops primarly because of Groupwise."

Yeah I always liked groupwise. In fact Novell just sent me a demo copy of Groupwise for Linux. I have been looking forward to playing with it next time I am home.

My wishful thinking says... (2, Interesting)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843851)

That it is really transition and how far I have seen and heard, shareholders all agree that Linux is Novell future. They just want management to know that they have to do very best not to slip in minuses - which is quite ok, because it _is_ their money, really.

About layoffs - so far I am only worried about Groupwise, which I see a only real-life replacement (in price and features) for Exchange. Yes, there are lot of open source solutions, but none of them perfectly integrates with Outlook - which is and will be important for some 10 - 15 years. I just hope that they know what they do. It would be sad that they would discontinue that product.

In overall, I wish Novell luck and get some real big contracts in RedHat style and then I hope their future will be in brighter colours.

Re:My wishful thinking says... (1)

jred (111898) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844175)

... Yes, there are lot of open source solutions, but none of them perfectly integrates with Outlook ...

Darn. I was really hoping there would be 10 replies to this saying "Nuh-uh! What about supergreatopensourceproject.com?!?!?!?"

I love that plan. (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843854)

Revenue isn't aligned with expenses, so you cut expenses. Still not aligned. So you cut more. Still not aligned, so you cut to the bare bone, you cut the group that creates revenue. Yeah that's a long term solution.

Why do we need? (1)

jkind (922585) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843874)

"NewsForge is part of the same family of companies as Slashdot."
Do some people feel the actual slashdot headline will be biased since there is a relationship there?

to be honest.... (1)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843920)

I'm surprises Novell is still around. I haven't had a client choosing to use them in a long long time. I've had some that have legacy novell, but even that was a few years a go.

Any Admins out their choosing to use Novell? If so, what's the selling point for you?

Groupwise is the worst product known to man (-1, Troll)

nborders (574461) | more than 7 years ago | (#13843944)

I love my job and my company. However, the one thing my company has made a HUGE mistake on is installing Groupwise as it's email system. This product makes me feel like I'm in Windows 95. I must say after using groupwise for around a year, I truely miss Exchange. I believe it is the only Microsoft product I truely think is top-notch. Groupwise does not share appointments, their email notification is a joke and their email editor is from the stone age. I have never said this before in my life. I support all working people. However, I must say that Novell has put-out the worst product EVER, and should just get out now. Lets hope that they will drop groupwise and my company will be forced to change to something... ANYTHING diffrent! ~n

Novell (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844000)

Is that still around? How? Who actally pays for this stuff? I never understood installing a secondary network client on a OS that nativly supports networks, is there some purpose I'm missing? I mean other than devoted Novell IT Departments wasting company money to keep themselves employeed? ... I guess I'll never understand... Banyan I understood... It was actually designed to do something other than the samething the native network OS did.

EUA, EU and wy I hate some comparisons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13844103)

I'm European and, frankly, even if our system has a lot of faults yours isn't better, either. And I don't try to conceal the problems of my country pointing the finger at the USA - frankly, I prefer to leave you people alone and worry about myself and the person next door.

But, there is one thing I can assure you: even in the EU, the prospect of getting a lifetime job is getting gradually worse, day by day. By one way or the other we are being forced to live with that and learn to adapt to a new social and economic structure.

Do we blame China our India for our problems ? How can we, when a big part part of the problem is our fault ? And how can you, when the USA (and American corporations, in general) practically alone invented and promoted massively the practice of outsourcing jobs, creating an hemorragic flow of unemployment than even your country is unable to sustain ?

The USA is a great Country (with a big "C") and a great nation but it also has it share of internal problems that every true American must be simultaneously aware of and ready do to something about. And that's the true difference between the EU and the USA - in the USA some people still fight for their rights despite suffering from the same problems we have in the EU (corruption at all levels, media manipulation, corporate lobbying, etc).

Maybe one day we could abbdicate from reductive statements, excessive pragmatism and, for a change, learn something from each other ? The EU needs the USA - the opposite is also true - and only together we can stand up and fight for our place in this century. Pointing fingers at each other does not solve anything.

This is quite ironic... (1)

borawjm (747876) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844149)

..considering that my office is switching from a Novell server to a Windows server this evening.

Personally, I don't mind. Right now we have to maintain two seperate user bases, our US domain and the Novell server. Which becomes a pain when a user resets their US domain password after it expires and calls up saying that they can't login to their computer when really it's because their domain and novell passwords are not synchronized.

One annoying thing that I can forsee with the change is that, with our Novell server, a user can only see folders that they have access to where as, on a Windows server, all folders are listed and, when a user tries to access a folder in which they do not have permissions, they receive an error message.

cat /proc/bankaccount; echo omg! (2, Insightful)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844433)

Well, our thoughts are with Novell's staffers, surely. Losing your job is horrible.

That said, there have been articles about Novell's financial outlook for a long while now and they've all pointed in the same direction: cash out greater than cash in, result misery. It's Mr Micawber all over.

Hard to feel much sympathy for the major stockholders, though. Novell's strategy has always been a real gamble: growing a Linux base fast enough to offset the declining Netware and other bases. In essence, a race against time that the stockholders would have known was a real gamble. Even so, the recovery strategy outlined doesn't really add up. If you return the cash pile to the stockholders and sell off non-core and non-performing assets, you aren't left with much. And if you decimate R&D then Netware (which still has a lot of customers) could start to decline very fast indeed as users decide en masse that they are dealing with a husk or shell. That means Novell would be left standing with little more than Linux and therefore a juicy morsel for a takeover.

Hmmn, I wonder if the Wall Street sharks are busy circling, sensing rich pickings from a squabble because damage to SUSE would be a tremendous embarrassment to a lender of last resort, namely IBM.

Either way, in SUSE Linux Novell has one of the real jewels of the f/oss world, imho. They've put a lot of funds into SUSE and into other aspects of open source that benefit us all.

Revenue is down because of things like.... (3, Insightful)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844483)

When I spoke with a salesmen about becoming a potential reseller/OEM of Suse, the salesman I was speaking with said "If you're only going to sell 2 or 3 licenses a month it's not worth my time. We want large deployments." He said that about 5 times in a 15 minute conversation.

I might not be a $1mil/mth salesman, but I can tell you from a purchaser's perspective it doesn't matter how much or how little you sell, being told @#$% like that really just flat out ticks a person off. The specific job I was bidding on would have been 50 desktop licenses and 2 servers, but because of that kind of comments that were repeatedly said to me...well, Redhat won the contract instead of Suse.

I've never really been impressed with Suse in the first place, but the customer had heard good things about it and wanted to go that direction to replace MS desktops and Novell servers in their business. After explaining the situation I had run into with the Suse sale tactics, they decided to follow my previous suggestion. So not only did they lose a customer that had specifically requested it, they lost a company that would have been selling their products and promoting it.

So yeah, doing B.S. like that is going to hurt the bottom line and one can only hope that the salesman I spoke with is one that ends up on the unemployment line. Granted, it would take ALOT more than that to make me consider Suse again simply because that guy should NEVER have been allowed to be talking to the public about buying products.

Re:Revenue is down because of things like.... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845131)


When I spoke with a salesmen about becoming a potential reseller/OEM of Suse, the salesman I was speaking with said "If you're only going to sell 2 or 3 licenses a month it's not worth my time. We want large deployments." He said that about 5 times in a 15 minute conversation.


It is sad, but I think large companies thinks in similar way. However, for salesman it's not acceptable behavour, because he could politely describe their company policy on resales. I think it is worth to let some higher at the company to know that.

Re:Revenue is down because of things like.... (1)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845430)

Oh, I did. I sent emails out to 3 different people including the sales director, and wrote a letter to corp headquarters explaining why I would no longer consider using Suse in any small or large deployments. I was also good enough to include the salesman's name :)

Sure large companies will want it that way, but turning away even one customer for sales is usually a bad idea no matter what your goals are. You never know when a small sale will turn into multi-million dollars.

For example, MAS90 has a buttload of resellers everywhere. I recently ran into a problem with it and terminal services. The company I was working for had 21 licenses and they purchased it from a "smaller" reseller. We were having problems with getting it working under terminal services and finally after several weeks of phone tag (and support charges for doing nothing) I contacted another company for some support assistance. They charged a fee since we hadn't purchased through them, of course, but they were able to resolve the problem in a timely manner. In the 2 months since then, I have sent that company about $100k worth of sales, not to mention the additional for support contracts and other services they may offer.

Similar experiences with all kinds of companies even. Like XO, I purchased a T1 from them to see how well they handle things. No return phone calls, no delivery date (finally found out from the SBC line tech of all places when it would be up). Ended up having to relocated the line during the contract, so we were smacked with a $750 contract change fee, and again, no delivery date, no return phone calls. So here it is more than 30 days after putting in the transfer, I don't know if the line's up, when it will be...nothing. I still haven't heard from the rep. So since this guy can't seem to return a phone call for a simple request for a delivery date on a T1, they won't be getting the OC3 and OC12 contracts I will be moving/renewing at the beginning of next year.

Moral to the story? Never turn something away because it's too small, Never treat a small client like @#$% because it could be a test of your services before much larger purchases are made. I would never invest my companies reputation on a first time contract with a company that could potentially cost me tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

A few years overdue (0, Troll)

spycker (812466) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844932)

Somewhere in the mid-90's at an Atlanta Comdex Microsoft had a booth right across from Novell. Microsoft was hawking its wares to replace all the NOS (Network Operating System for those too young) functionality that Novell offered. Literally right across the aisle.

The writing was on the wall!!! It took 7 years before Novell made any move to Linux. As far as I'm concerned if this is the vision inherent in Novell, except for the projects they BOUGHT into, its time for Novell to GO!!!

Novell's future (2, Insightful)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#13844954)

A little history first. In the early 90s Novell was doing less than $500 million in revenue, but they were experiencing astounding growth. They were pulling in profit margins in the 80% range and the net income was in the hundreds of millions. By 1995 they were doing $2 billion in sales, after that things aren't quite so rosey. In two years Novell lost half of their 1995 revenue and were down to $1 billion in sales and net income on average was in the tens of millions. The peachy days of 80% profit margins and 50% year over year growth were gone. Up to today Novell has done a good job of maintaining their level of revenue at around $1 billion per year, however, the margins and net income are still in the gutter.

As one of the average guys I hate it when we get nailed with layoffs, however, in 1995 when revenues were at the $2 billion level there were just over 7,000 employees at Novell, today at $1 billion in revenue there are over 6,000. To bring expenses in line with revenues I think there is no choice but to cut the head count. It sucks but its a fact.

I don't think this spells the end for Novell and I don't think the open source projects supported by Novell need to worry, that is where Novell's future will be made. And Novell does have a future. If you look at how well Novell managed to hang on to their business with $1 billion in revenue from 1995 to 2005 with Microsoft trying to kill them off I think its obvious they still have lots of fight left in them. Now with open source upsetting the balance in the market Novell seems to be aligning themselves with the change. I think they are doing the right thing and they will succeed.

Novell is the next big takeover target (4, Interesting)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#13845221)

It has great products, but a lousy, overbureaucratized management structure with lots and lots of layers of people whose sole functions are to shaft the people below them and survive the next purge by the people above. This makes for a fanatically strong political system, with lots and lots of people looking over their shoulders instead of looking forward.

It is also centrally managed, Soviet-style, complete with multi-year plans and targets and Novell employees are regularly gathered together to compliment their leader for the overperformance on this meaningless metric, and the achievement of "difficult" targets in the teeth of a bitter competitive wind. As is usual in command enterprises, everywhere else other than Provo is treated as a satellite state. Only from Provo do all the ideas come, so if you're bright and have a great idea and don't work in Provo, don't bother telling anyone about it because they don't want to know. And if you persist they'll park you in a shitty job until you get the message and leave. Lots did.

There should be a sign on all offices "Abandon initiative all ye who enter here". They have lots of meetings whose purpose is to crush all ideas from below and praise the crappy ones from above. Rebranding, corporate restructuring, departmental changes, layering, delayering, change management etc are regular 3-6 month occurences. During my five years there, I moved desks 16 times. Eventually you don't bother emptying boxes into your drawers because you know that another org change is just around the corner. The people adminsitering these changes never moved. It was uncanny.

Initiatives come thick and fast from above and your only choices are to keep your mouth shut or be drowned in the slurry. At one time, everyone in Novell went through the Kepner-Trego rational decision making course, complete with little cards and posters on the wall and papers for people to do rational decisions on. The only problem with that, is in order for rational decision making, there must be rational decision makers, which in Novell is a joke. One month after the course nobody mentioned, let alone used, Kepner-Trego again.

Then Novell merged with Cambridge Consulting (or was it Cambridge Consulting reversed into Novell?) Cambridge weren't doing very well. Novell weren't doing very well - the result would be a world-beater? Like to guess?

Cambridge added a lot more consultants that Novell didn't need. In order to employ those extra consultants, Novell did the most obvious thing: it screwed its partners. So the partners who had done such sterling work promoting the Novell brand found that Novell itself was competing for those same customers to order to employ those extra consultants that Novell didn't need.

With all of this could Novell make a profit through its Consulting arm? No. It charged twice as much and still managed to lose money because most of the time, it pitched for delivery times that were too short and had to use up all of the profit and then some to pay its consultants past the end date in order to deliver at all. Thus Novell managed to screw its partners and fail to make a profit. The perfect result for its competitors. One customer I consulted for that after their experience, they would never use Novell Consulting again (this was one of the largest privately-held companies on the planet).

Novell joined the Linux field too late and bought the wrong company (should have been Red Hat). It bought SilverStream for too much money. It's been behind the curve for lots of new products too often.

It's testing and quality of software are terrible. More often than not, products would be shipped with key pieces of functionality missing pending the first or second service pack. The software would work, but you had to wait to be able to deploy it meaningfully.

Novell should be bought by somebody who knows how to run an enterprise for profit. Instead its run by people who know only how to cover their own asses and rule by fear. I guarantee you, any turnaround specialist would perform a decapitation of Novell's byzantine management structure to stand any chance.

You read it here first on /.

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