Novell does the right thing

* Company reverses plan to charge for previously free services, including patches

When a company makes a big mistake I'll call them out on it. And when a company recognizes a mistake and corrects it, I'll give them a big pat on the back. Novell gets a pat on the back today. First, though, there's a bit of a mistake I made that I need to correct.

Omada product manager Bo Abildgren caught me out in the newsletter about Microsoft's Forefront: Identity Manager ("Microsoft to release identity product") a couple of weeks ago. Evidently I had trouble reading my own notes, or perhaps it was the in-line skaters marathon going on outside my hotel room that caused a brain freeze. Either way, I said, "Also, Microsoft finally has a product that can successfully manage SharePoint," when what I really meant was that the FIM Portal is built on SharePoint -- but there's no management utility built in. Omada is working on a Sharepoint governance product for FIM 2010. We'll bring you more about that in an upcoming issue.

Back to Novell, though. I said in the last issue that Senior Vice President of Marketing John Dragoon announced a new policy -- a maintenance contract would be required as of early November to access previously free service packs and patches for most Novell products. And, in early 2010, Novell would extend this requirement to include Technical Information Documents (TIDs) in the Novell Support Knowledgebase. I wasn't able to speak to Dragoon until after we had gone to press, but we did note that Novell had rescinded the need to buy maintenance in order to access the Knowledgebase.

When I did speak to Dragoon, he added that the effective date of requiring maintenance for access to patches was also being pushed back into the new year.

Both of these decisions should be applauded. Novell did listen to its customers and channel partners and did do the right thing. No matter what the reasoning was, it admitted to making a mistake and corrected it. That deserves a kudo or two.

What I couldn't get Dragoon to admit to is that sometimes there are patches to fix problems in a product. He seemed to think that most were for additional functionality. But I'm sure his perception can be changed if enough customers and partners tell him about the problems that they've fixed with patches. And now there's more time to do so.

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Learn more about this topic

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Novell acquisition bolsters ID governance portfolio

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