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Novell: What’s there to be thankful for?

Nov 22, 20053 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Thanksgiving with Novell

A Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers (and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends, who celebrated the holiday six weeks ago). It’s a good time to pause and reflect on what we – Novell users, Novell employees and (sadly, too many these days) former Novell employees – have to be thankful for.

The easiest group to find potential good news for is the one you might least expect – those no longer working for the former networking leader. With stockholders, business analysts, technology pundits (such as myself) and even Linux stalwarts (see “Is It Deja Deja Novell All Over Again, Again?”) dumping all over the company, it might be beginning to take on the appearance of “Fortress Novell” with the survivors adopting a bunker mentality as a response. The tension and stress can be overwhelming. Give thanks that you are out from under that pressure.

Still, for those employees who are left, there should be a sense of real value when they realize that they are the ones the company has chosen going forward. In a sense, you are the ones personally chosen by CEO Jack Messman (“Jack’s Pack”) to lead the company out of the desert and into the promised land of hope and glory so that you can build the new empire based on Linux and identity services. For that, you should be thankful.

Most of you, though, are neither current, former, or even future Novell employees. Most of you are simply network managers trying to keep your head down and get the job done. You toil in one of the most thankless areas of both business and technology. You consider that you’re doing your job well when the phone doesn’t ring, when the CEO doesn’t recognize you and when you can walk down the hallway without anyone making rude noises or gestures in your general direction. You should be thankful that Novell and NetWare have made it all possible. You should also be thankful that today’s global marketplace and 24/7 operation make the Thanksgiving weekend no longer the preferred time for updates and upgrades. You can actually enjoy the turkey dinner the first time it’s served, not only through the endless round of leftovers.

As for me, I’m thankful that you’re all reading this and are always willing to drop a note to me to tell me what you think, what you’ve heard and what you’d like to know. Not only are you my readers, but you’re also one of the best sources of stories that there is. Thank you.