It’s in the numbers: Novell bounces back

It’s in the numbers: Novell bounces back

A GREATER focus on open source technologies, wins on the identity management front and stronger relationships with partners and customers are helping 2004 shape up to be good year for Novell in New Zealand.

Revenue is up 34.7% in its third quarter ending July 31, and the company expects to end the year with sales between 17% and 20% up on the year before.

Novell New Zealand has outstripped its Australian counterpart in the third quarter; across the ditch sales grew 19.2%.

Novell New Zealand manager Matthew Christie says the boom can be attributed to the addition of SuSE Linux to the Novell stable and rapid growth in its Nsure identity management range.

“Revenue from the strong SuSE installed base started to become visible in the New Zealand business in the last quarter,” says Christie, while appointing of Express Data to distribute the SuSE range in April has also contributed.

Novell acquired SuSE, one of the main suppliers of Linux operating systems to big business, for $US210 million last November after buying Linux developer Ximian earlier last year.

Christie says the commitment to open source has bolstered Novell’s business, which had been plagued with questions over its relevance in the market.

“We are building a very strong and sustainable business. Novell as a corporation was profitable in the third quarter and acquiring the two [open source] companies in the last 18 months ensured we are relevant and marketable,” he says.

“The Linux acquisition has killed comments that Novell is on its way out off. These were primarily related to Netware, which is still an important part of our business, but we now also have huge growth in Linux and the operating system market. Customer interest is massive in open source technology and the cost benefits it can mean to their business.”

Nsure wins at Telecom New Zealand and a number of other sites through Novell partners have also boosted business here, as well as sales of its exteNd web application development tools.

“Novell used to have a traditional infrastructure line only, but we now have three business lines in New Zealand so we have a much stronger business all round.”

Better focus on channel partners and forging new relationships with Linux shops are also having a positive impact, says Christie.

Novell has meanwhile established a dedicated team to service the Upper North Island, where there is a large open source community and greater uptake of Linux.

“We are interacting better with partners and customers in that region and as a result are seeing revenue growth.”

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