Ray Noorda, one of the founders of Novell and a legend in the networking business, died yesterday at 82. I never knew Ray, but, arriving at Novell in 1999, a full five years after he left the company, I certainly learned about him quickly. The story of Ray’s early collaboration with Drew Major and the SuperSet around a strange new technology to tie computers together and exchange files and information has become one of the enduring founding legends of the tech sector. His tech vision, combined with strong business skills, helped make Novell one of the most successful software companies in the industry. He’s largely credited with inventing the software channel, now a standard component of every software company’s go-to-market strategy. He’s also credited with inventing the term “co-opetition” to explain an industry in which companies compete, but also have to cooperate to deliver technologies that work together for customers.
There are many employees still at Novell who knew and worked with Ray. They talk about him as an inspirational leader, a visionary, and, most importanly, someone who cared personally about employees, customers and partners. Not a bad legacy to leave behind”¦.