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Have you ever wondered why people are willing to stand in line in the freezing cold at five in the morning the day after Thanksgiving—and all to buy a toy that was available the previous week during the hours that sane people normally shop? It’s all about great deals they just can’t pass up. And why do the stores offer those great deals? Because store owners know that once the customers are in their store buying that great deal, they’ll usually have money left over to buy other things at regular prices. As a result, it turns out to be a great deal for both the customer and the store owner.

Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is a lot like that. It’s a great deal for the customer and a great deal for the Novell partners that sell it. When customers take advantage of its low cost and high value, they’ll be able to invest the money they saved on the suite in value-added services from the Novell channel partners that introduced them to the great deal.

But the suite is not just about low price. Its power and simplicity of use make it a deal too great to pass up, especially when compared to competing small business solutions. (See Show Me the Value.) As a comprehensive small business suite with full-featured components, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition includes the advanced workgroup services of Novell Open Enterprise Server, the robust SUSE Linux Enterprise Server platform, secure collaboration from Novell GroupWise, the business-ready desktop environment in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, the Novell edition productivity tools, and the following industry-leading open source solutions backed by Novell support: (See Comprehensive Suite.)

  • Amanda— Single master backup server for backing up to a tape or disk-based storage system multiple Linux, UNIX or Windows workstations and servers.
  • HylaFAX— Fax system that supports the sending and receiving of faxes as well as text pages, on any scale from low to very high volumes.
  • MailScanner— Anti-spam filter that scans all e-mail for viruses, spam and attacks against security vulnerabilities.
  • ClamAV— Anti-virus e-mail scanner designed especially for e-mail scanning on mail gateways.
  • iptables—A fully configurable network firewall service to keep out unwanted traffic and intruders.
  • OpenVPN— Full-featured SSL Virtual Private Network that enables secure remote connections into an internal network.
  • TightVNC— Remote control software for controlling, monitoring and interacting with client computers.

> More Budget for More Services
Many small businesses need to refresh their desktop-to-server IT infrastructure to stay competitive, but struggle with budget constraints. Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition presents a huge opportunity for channel partners to offer budget-conscious small businesses a low-cost, yet comprehensive, offering that delivers everything from a business-ready desktop operating system to workgroup productivity tools to a secure and robust server platform.

The suite is not just about low price. Its power and simplicity of use make it a deal too great to pass up, especially when compared to competing small business solutions.

Priced at $475 for a five-user license with maintenance, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition can save your customers up to 80 percent in software acquisition costs when compared to Microsoft Small Business Server and Microsoft Small Business Office 2007. They can also save $280 per desktop just by deploying the suite’s productivity suite instead of Microsoft Small Business Office 2007. The additional open source applications included in the suite drive down cost and raise value even further for your customers.

Lower software acquisition costs free up budget for training, consulting, installation, migration, support and other services that you can provide them. This provides greater revenue opportunities for you and a higher level of satisfaction and return on investment for your customers.

> Built with Partners in Mind
Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition was crafted with partners in mind. In addition to freeing up the budget for you to provide value-added services, the suite provides some nice tools and functionality to help you provide those services. One of the best examples is the simplified, integrated and streamlined installation of all suite components. It’s a simple matter of inserting the DVD, installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and then selecting the suite components you want to install.

Even though the wizard-driven functionality greatly simplifies the install, you can still get a real-time peek at what's going on behind the scenes. The installation process logs to a single file that shows all the command lines that are being run in the background, giving you a detailed view of how things are being configured. You can view the log file in real-time by logging into the server via ssh and entering tail -f /var/log/simba/server.log at the command line.

When you do install the suite, best practices dictate that you only select the components you know you really want. Otherwise, you’ll unnecessarily increase installation time, because once the component install process begins, there’s really no way to interrupt it. However, it’s very easy to add additional components you later decide you really need.
(See Figure 1.)

The Installer Toolkit for Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is what simplifies and streamlines the installation of the suite’s components. The toolkit abstracts out the more technical details and command line configurations of the software installation and then packages them into a file format used by the suite’s installation program. All of the suite’s software—including all of the Novell components and the open source software—has been packaged in this manner.

The suite also makes it easy for you to provide your customers with the latest updates to the solution’s Novell and third-party software components. Component updates appear in the suite’s admin page as if they actually exist on the DVD. In actuality, these updates are made available to the suite’s interface through an RSS feed that Novell hosts. In the admin page, you simply select either Novell or Third Party on the Component Update panel, and the interface will automatically display any available updates. (See Figure 2.)

This same feed is also used to deliver complementary third-party applications. Such is the case with Intuit QuickBooks. Novell worked with Intuit to package QuickBooks Enterprise into a suite-compatible file format, and Novell hosts the package on its RSS feed. So, when customers select Third Party on the Component Update panel, the interface automatically displays the availability of the Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise trial version.

This means a much easier install of the QuickBooks product. The standard install for the QuickBooks Linux server component normally requires about 20 pages of installation instructions with a number of command line calls to configure it properly. With the help of the Installer Toolkit, all of that command line complexity has been extracted out. The install flows with very little user interaction, using intelligent defaults to configure the necessary services, set up a Samba share and everything else the solution requires. Once the server piece is installed, users can download QuickBooks clients and purchase any necessary licenses.

In addition to Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise, Novell is pursuing similar solutions with a number of other commercial and open source software vendors in areas such as CRM, VOIP solutions, document management and more. (See Developer Partner Opportunities.) The goal of these ventures is to make it even easier for you to provide your customers with the additional software and tools they need.

Priced at $475 for a five-user license with maintenance, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition can save your customers up to 80 percent in software acquisition costs when compared to Microsoft Small Business Server and Microsoft Small Business Office 2007

> Management Made Easy
The suite includes straightforward management tools that make basic administration tasks easy to perform. Partners familiar with NetWare will have no problem administering Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition environments for their customers. The solution leverages eDirectory to facilitate your management of user identities and their associated rights and privileges. It also includes iManager, giving you a consolidated Web interface to perform role-based management of your customer’s networks and systems.

From the administration page in the solution’s Web interface you can easily install, uninstall, configure and update any of the suite’s components. And as described above, from that same page you can check for any updates to the suite, including Novell component updates and patches, third-party component updates and patches, and even newly developed third-party applications that have been designed to work with Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition.

Finally, the suite’s inclusion of the OpenVPN and TightVNC open source tools facilitate your ability to provide management and support services from anywhere. OpenVPN offers full-featured SSL virtual private network services, while TightVNC enables secure remote control, monitoring and interaction with client computers.

> Helpdesk Services
A helpdesk component has been built into Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition that uses a simple, browser-based interface to let end users submit trouble tickets when they need your help. Depending on the size of the organizations you’re supporting, there are two main options for deploying the helpdesk. When supporting clients with about 10 users or less, you’ll probably want to install the helpdesk at your own site and set up accounts for each client to log into when they have issues to report. For larger clients with several users, you'll likely want to deploy the helpdesk component at the client’s site and then use the OpenVPN connection to log into it to manage tickets.

To use the helpdesk, users browse to the helpdesk Web page, log in, and then submit a trouble ticket. On the ticket submission page, users can provide a detailed description of the problem they’re experiencing, mark a check box to indicate its problem category (i.e., general, network, server or workstation), and then choose a priority level of either fatal, critical, urgent, high, medium, low or informational. Users also have the option to add an attachment to the ticket, such as a log file or screen shot of an error message they might have received.

The purpose of the helpdesk component is to make it easy for IT teams and partners like you to service users in a small business environment. To this end, it provides a variety of ways to make it easy for you to track tickets, monitor open issues and generate a number of reports on trouble ticket status. (See Figure 3.) You can look up submitted tickets by assigned technician, priority, status, date or ID. The helpdesk also provides a ticket knowledgebase that can be searched via keyword, making it simple to get information on past tickets.

The solution also gives you the ability to create an e-mail account associated with the helpdesk. Every time an e-mail is sent to that account, a helpdesk ticket is generated. There are a variety of ways that this e-mail capability can be leveraged, but one would be to set up alert traps to monitor certain processes in the environment. When an event of concern occurs, the trap could automatically send an e-mail to the helpdesk and generate a ticket. Using the helpdesk e-mail account in this manner enables you to be more proactive in servicing your clients because you can detect and resolve issues before they actually affect end users.

> Scoring Big Savings
Just like that great 5 a.m. day-after-Thanksgiving sale, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is a great deal that small business customers can’t afford to pass up. And the savings of up to 80 percent on software acquisition costs is only the beginning. By using the included open source components for essential capabilities like backup, anti-virus scanning and Spam filtering, customers can save even more. The big difference is that, unlike that must-have holiday toy, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is available any day of the year, giving Novell partners and third-party developers an ongoing opportunity to offer value-added services and solutions to those customers who just scored big savings on their small business infrastructure.

>Show Me the Value
To help your customers understand the value that Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition might offer them in addition to the services you can provide, you might ask them to consider the following questions:

  • How much are they paying for their desktop and office productivity tools? Often up to 30 percent of IT expenses are used to provide Microsoft Office to all users.
  • Are there fixed-function workers in their organization that don’t really need a Windows desktop? (e.g., call centers, order takers, customer service staff)
  • Are they struggling to keep up with frequent security updates and other Windows patches?
  • What are they currently paying for on-site support? How much can you save them by providing remote support with the tools in Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition?

> Developer Partner Opportunities
In addition to creating opportunities for channel partners to grow their business, Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition provides opportunities for open source and commercial developers as well. One of the most attractive features of the suite to small businesses is its streamlined and simplified installation. It makes otherwise complex installs very simple to perform via the Installer Toolkit, which Novell makes available to interested developers.

The Installer Toolkit provides a framework for creating simplified installations and integrating them into the suite’s administration interface. Once packaged into the toolkit’s file format, there are two potential ways to get your application into the hands of suite customers:

  • Third-party component update
  • Package upload

The third-party component update feature is the next best thing to being on the suite’s actual DVD. In addition to updates, it allows complete third-party applications to show up in the suite’s admin page through a Novell-hosted RSS feed. Software developers or channel partners interested in having them hosted on the Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition RSS feed for third-party component updates should send an e-mail to This creates a huge value add for those developers and partners Novell opts to work with, giving them a forum to advertise their commercial solutions right from within the suite’s admin interface.

Partners familiar with NetWare will have no problem administering Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition environments for their customers.

The Upload Packages option also makes it easy for developers to integrate their applications with Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition. To take advantage of this option, developers use the Installer Toolkit to streamline their install and package their application into the appropriate format, as they do with the third-party component update option. Once in this format, developers simply make the package available for download from their own Web sites. After customers have downloaded the packaged application, they just go to the suite’s admin page, select Upload Packages from the Tasks panel, and then browse to the packaged application’s location and upload it. After it’s uploaded, the application can be deployed from within the suite using its now streamlined install process.

> Comprehensive Suite
Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition includes the following components.

  • Novell Open Enterprise Server: A powerful and flexible Linux-based server platform to host workgroup services and other applications.
  • Novell GroupWise: A secure and reliable collaboration solution that provides e-mail and calendaring capabilities.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server: An enterprise-quality Linux server to run mission critical business applications and other workloads.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop: A business-ready Linux desktop that can replace Windows for most users.
  • Novell Edition: The leading open source productivity suite that runs on Windows and Linux.
  • Open Source Components: Used for backup, anti-virus scanning, VPN services and much more.

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