Osterman Research Blog

The Future of Novell and GroupWise
September 16, 2010, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday’s news that Novell is in talks to sell its operations to a couple of different companies came as no surprise, following an announcement earlier this year that a hedge fund had made an unsolicited bid for the company.  While Novell did not sell at that time, it left the door open to any future offers for the company.

Novell is a quite solvent company with projected 2010 revenues somewhere slightly north of $800 million and profit that should be about $70-75 million for the year.  The company’s market capitalization is in excess of $2 billion, it has lots of cash in the bank, and it has some great technology in GroupWise, Pulse, etc.

GroupWise, Novell’s flagship messaging system, is a solid platform and is used by about 30 million people worldwide.  Admins rave about its ease of management, the lack of admin time required to keep it up and running, and the very large number of users that can be supported by a single IT staff member.  Novell’s recently introduced Pulse offering includes a number of useful collaboration features, including instant messaging functionality, social networking capabilities and real time group document editing.

Unfortunately for Novell, GroupWise is perceived to be in use by a dwindling number of companies, although market numbers indicate that GroupWise is generally holding its own.  However, its competitors are investing huge amounts in their respective platforms, making it difficult for Novell to maintain market share against a variety of much larger and better-funded companies; as well as an up-and-coming group of smaller competitors.  Novell’s integration with third party offerings is perceived by many not to be as robust as it should be.  Plus, there are few hosted GroupWise providers, although a major new entrant to the market has informally announced that it will be providing a hosted GroupWise offering in the near future.

What about the future of GroupWise, Pulse and other messaging- and collaboration-related technologies owned by Novell (the focus of Osterman Research’s work)?  I believe they will be purchased by VMware (rumored to be a suitor of Novell according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal), HP or Apple.  I’m particularly intrigued by an Apple acquisition of the messaging assets of Novell, given that Apple has never really done much in this space and the company is one of the largest software vendors (yes, Apple is arguably primarily a software company) not to have a credible messaging and collaboration strategy for either the SMB or enterprise markets.

Your thoughts?  Please email me at michael@ostermanresearch.com.

About these ads

1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Hi Michael,

I also hope that whoever ends up picking up the GroupWise component takes good care of it – we still have a lot of customers using it who would hate to see it die.

Additionally, there are other really strong pieces: the entire ZENworks family of products, for example, or all of the Identity & Security stuff. I sincerely hope that whoever picks it all up will put money into it and turn Novell into the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Apple? Hm. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Apple is doing extremely well (and I’m a Mac junkie on top of it!), so that wouldn’t be too bad, but I’d still prefer that Novell not be chopped up into tiny little pieces.

My two cents.

Comment by Jacques Sauve

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,462 other followers

%d bloggers like this: