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Nimble - Q3 2007

Recently Novell organized its product engineering teams into separate business units. This allows product organizations to deeply understand customer needs and market demands, and to nimbly target products to emerging needs. Given the diverse set of market segments addressed by Novell's products, each team can finely tune its own products.

While these products are tuned to individual customer needs, they all relate to Novell’s core strategy of Enterprise Linux and Enterprise Management. The combination of a corporate strategy and a business-unit focus provides the right balance to address immediate customer needs and opportunities, while still having a cohesive long-term value proposition for the integrated set of products.

Recently, each of Novell’s business units made announcements which illustrate this nimbleness. Novell’s Open Source strategy helps us to be nimble. Several of these announcements illustrate the way Novell participates in the community and leverages the power of the community.

Novell’s Workgroup Business Unit consists of stellar products such as Open Enterprise Server. Unarguably, one of the hottest topics in IT right now is virtualization. Everyone in the industry is blowing the virtualization horn. It’s a technology that can help you save money and improve the efficiencies in an IT environment. Novell has led the charge with the recent enhancements to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 and Open Enterprise Server 2.

But when does it really make sense to jump into that hot technology? If you’re still wondering whether or not to add virtualization to your IT environment, Jason Williams, one of our resident virtualization experts, can shed some light on when it’s right and what conditions make your environment the ideal candidate for virtualization in Big Wheel of Fortune.

In addition, if you haven’t made the full leap to Linux yet and are still running NetWare, Squeeze explains how to run your trusted NetWare in a virtualized environment using the new SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 kernel that is included in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2.

Novell’s Identity and Security Management business unit launched the Bandit project more than a year ago to provide open source assets for identity management. This has been expanded more recently to provide a basis for Open Identity Services. As we looked at the market, we saw a need for users to be able to control their own identity, especially against a backdrop of disparate identity management systems by providers.

As a result, the Bandit Project recently announced an enhancement to give more control to users. It’s an open source implementation of an information card selector, called DigitalMe, that allows a user to control how their identity information is presented. The user manages multiple identity cards and can select which one to use for each transaction. To address emerging needs such as the support of Windows Cardspace, it was beneficial for Novell to do the work in an open source context. You can read more about this great technology in Push the Right Identity Button.

ZENworks is a very popular platform for management which Novell has often extended with new functions. Over the last several years, Novell has added patch management, asset management, and Linux management as three examples. Earlier this year, Novell announced the availability of ZENworks Configuration Management—an outstanding manager for desktops that integrates with multiple directories. (These examples are aside from the new ZENworks products for data center and virtualization management.) A Shoe-In covers this product in more depth and walks you through its functionality.

Novell has undergone several transformations in recent years. Among the most impactful is the stronger customer and market-based perspective, illustrated by the way Novell’s business units have been addressing customer needs. Open source as an innovation methodology is critical to this nimbleness.

To read more from Jeff Jaffe, follow his blog at novell.com/ctoblog.

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