Novell reports its fiscal fourth quarter earnings today after market close. Analysts expect the Waltham, Mass.-based networking software maker to earn 3 cents per share for the quarter on $300.39 million in revenue; and 9 cents per share for the year on $1.18 billion in revenue.
Novell laid off officially 600 employees last quarter (I know it was more than 600) in restructering plans. They also announced Ron Hovsepian as President. Ron has a great reputation in and out of Novell. I hope this helps their management pains. They've lost some great Open Source management this last quarter.
The biggest problem in a nutshell is the legacy NetWare business is falling faster than the growth business of Open Source and Identity Mangement is able to keep up with. Novell technology is great and I think it's awesome that they have acquired SuSE and Ximian, two leading Open Source companies. The strategy of creating Open Enterprise Server, the mix of NetWare and Linux is great. It makes it much easier for Legacy NetWare Administrators like myself to ease into Open Source. We get the same Browser Based Management products and eDirectory to work with Linux. Very nice Novell!
However what about the customers that have no strategy to go Open Source? For example one of my former customers, EDAW headquartered in San Francisco with an operation here in Denver, had no wish to go Open Source and this fueled the fire to drop Novell and go Microsoft. I see this happening too often. In the next two years EDAW will be migrating from Novell and GroupWise to Microsoft and Exchange.
Still I think the TCO to go Open Source and stick with Novell is a sound strategy. I have hope in Novell. Yes I'm a Novell Supporter! Now if Novell can get their Management and Marketing Strategy in place I will have more warm fuzzies for the future.
I'll post the Novell Fourth Quarter year end here later today.