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Novell merges product groups, shuffles execs

Sep 07, 20043 mins
Enterprise Applications

* How NetWare fits into the new order at Novell

There were quite a few stories in the press last week about an executive reorganization at Novell. Evidently no one lost their job – quite a difference from previous re-orgs – but a number of folks lost “clout,” as four distinct product groups were merged into two, and two of the product group heads were elevated in status while the other two moved down in the pecking order.

There was no public announcement, by the way. Instead, a memo from Chris Stone explaining the changes were leaked to the press. By whom? I’ll speculate on that in a moment.

First, let’s look at the impact on NetWare, the topic we all hold near and dear. The word NetWare doesn’t even appear in the memo. Not a particularly good sign, of course, but to be expected these days. After all, Stone does say that Linux, open source and identity services are the future of the company. The people running the NetWare program are now one more step removed from the office of the CEO – and they weren’t all that close before these changes.

Two years ago, Novell splurged on publicity announcing the creation of four divisions of the company: Nterprise, Nsure, Extend and Ngage. Last year’s acquisitions of SuSE Linux and Ximian, though, never quite fit in that arrangement so – very quietly – the company moved to four product groups (Resource Management, Secure iServices, Nterprise and SuSE) which, at least to an outsider looking in, had little logic to their organization. For example, “Secure iServices” included both eDirectory (and its related products, such as Nsure Identity Manager) and Extend (and all of the products acquired as part of the Ximian purchase). But there was no synergy between these products – and very little in common.

Now the Resource Management and Secure iServices teams will be united in an Identity Services group while the former Nterprise and SuSE units will become Platform and Application Services. As far as products go, the breakdown of the new organization should be something like this:

Identity Services – secure identity management (eDirectory and related products) and resource management (ZENworks and BorderManager)

Platform and Application Services – servers (Linux and NetWare), desktops, application integration (SilverStream products) and collaboration (GroupWise and NetMail)

David Patrick, acquired along with Ximian, will head the Platform group, while David Litwack, acquired along with SilverStream, will be in charge of Identity Services.

Reporting to Patrick will be Markus Rex (vice president for SuSE), Nat Friedman (vice president for the desktop), Angie Anderson (vice president of applications and services), Ed Anderson (vice president of product marketing), and Rob Kain (director of product management). Litwack will have Kent Erickson (vice president of identity-based solutions), Frank Auger (vice president of product management and marketing of identity-based solutions), Carlos Montero-Luque (vice president of resource management development) and Alan Murray (director of product management and marketing, resource management) reporting to him. At least until the next re-org.

Sometimes, though, a re-org isn’t about streamlining anything. Considering all the press play this one got – especially in the Linux-oriented press – you might almost think Chris Stone himself leaked it.