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Novell furthers service push with Whittman-Hart stake

Novell announces a $100 million investment in Whittman-Hart, the first move in a new initiative to expand its partnerships with consulting firms and systems integrators.

In an effort to target the middle market, Novell today announced it will invest $100 million in management consulting firm and systems integrator Whittman-Hart.

Whittman-Hart said it will help deliver and implement Novell Directory Services (NDS), which includes Novell's flagship network software products, for small to midsized businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Provo, Utah-based Novell will purchase $100 million worth of Whittman-Hart stock, the companies said in a statement. The investment will also represent approximately 6 percent of Whittman-Hart's outstanding capitalization.

Novell said the Whittman-Hart alliance marks its first investment in a new initiative to expand its partnerships with consulting firms and systems integrators.

In addition, both companies said they will jointly develop customized NDS products and services for the middle market. The products will integrate NDS with other business management applications, such as customer relationship management, supply chain management, and enterprise resource planning software.

Whittman-Hart said it will set up a development center to train employees on the new products as well as demonstrate them to customers. The Chicago-based firm said it will also train over 600 consultants in NDS and other Novell products.

Each company's board of directors has voted to approve the investment, and they expect to close the deal by next month, the two companies said.