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Amid the profusion of announcements from BrainShare 2006, the new Novell Open Workgroup Suite was a constant topic of discussion among many of the Novell customers, resellers and technology partners in attendance. Novell CEO Jack Messman unveiled the suite in his Monday keynote, outlining its role as a comprehensive bundle of core network infrastructure and knowledge worker productivity software that provides an open, cost-effective alternative to Microsoft or other workgroup product sets. Targeted to meet the needs of organizations of every size, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite includes:

  • Open Enterprise Server
  • GroupWise
  • ZENworks Suite
  • Novell Linux Desktop
  • for Windows
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Available in May 2006, the suite provides server and desktop platforms in Open Enterprise Server and the Novell Linux Desktop, complete management tools with ZENworks Suite, e-mail and collaboration with GroupWise and office productivity software with The Novell-enhanced Linux version of is built into Novell Linux Desktop, but the suite also provides support for those users who need to continue running office productivity software on a Windows desktop.

For more information on the Novell Open Workgroup Suite, including the latest product developments, visit

As the number of organizations worldwide adding Linux to their network and office infrastructures continues to grow, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite provides an ideal way to meet their needs. In fact, whether an organization has deployed Linux completely, has added Linux servers to a NetWare or Windows network, or has only begun to consider the myriad of benefits that Linux can provide, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite delivers immediate and long-term benefits.

> Delivering Benefits on Several Fronts
Depending on the specific configuration, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite can save organizations anywhere from 46–72 percent in Microsoft licensing fees alone. (See Save Yourself Some Money.) Even if you still need to purchase Windows desktop or server licenses for certain users, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite is a very compelling option. And regardless of the desktop environment, organizations can save significantly on office productivity suite licensing fees by switching to In fact, by replacing Microsoft Office with, organizations can eliminate what is often their single largest IT bill: Microsoft Office licensing and maintenance fees.

But lower overall cost is only one consideration. Another factor that makes the suite attractive is its mixed-source core, combining innovative contributions from the open source world with proven networking technologies Novell has developed during the last 20 years.

A final consideration is the potential of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite to deliver a viable alternative to an "all-or-nothing" Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Core CAL licensing approach. The new Novell suite allows you to re-evaluate your commitment to the rigid licensing agreements imposed by Microsoft, and determine if an alternative path would better meet your needs.

> A Real Office Alternative
The momentum of as a legitimate challenger to Microsoft Office in the desktop productivity space is astounding. In fact, according to the statistics maintained at, there have been more than 60 million downloads of worldwide in the less than six years it has been available. Novell enthusiastically supports the work of by adding enhancements to it, providing full support for the product and utilizing the product internally as its corporate standard office suite for its more than 5,000 employees worldwide. (For more information on how Novell is making the switch, see the "Building Blocks" three-part series in the July/Aug, Sept/Oct and Nov/Dec issues of Novell Connection magazine at

For many users, running on a Linux desktop is a viable option. And for those users who need to maintain a Windows desktop because of application dependencies, the suite also includes supported on Windows.

For even broader Microsoft support, the applications in can read and even save files in Microsoft Office format. For example, a document created in the Presentation product, can easily be saved as a Microsoft PowerPoint document.

> Pricing and Licensing
For organizations that choose to deploy the Open Enterprise Server and GroupWise components of the suite on a SUSE Linux back end, the price is US$110 per user or device and US$75 Maintenance* per user or device per year.

Another option is an annual Maintenance subscription to the suite (effectively, "renting" it) for US$80 per user or device per year.

For those interested in deploying the component products of the suite on any supported platform, the price is US$150 per user or device and US$106 Maintenance per user or device per year. This option is available to Novell customers with existing deployments of NetWare, Open Enterprise Server, GroupWise or ZENworks—or any competing products.

> Here to Stay
A frequent question among BrainShare attendees was, "How long will the 'promotion' last?" Novell makes it clear: the Novell Open Workgroup Suite is a permanent product offering and not a limited-time promotion. In fact, Novell intends to expand on the suite to include new components and tighter integration between products in the future.

In addition, the Novell Open Workgroup Suite enables customers with Maintenance agreements to receive updates to the component products as soon as new versions are released. This means Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers with Maintenance agreements can be assured that they will be up to date not only with patches and RPMs, but with the latest Novell features in the products that compose the suite. red N

* Maintenance is required for upgrades and support of all products with the suite.

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