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Novell, security and Reese's Pieces

Novell's acquisition of Senforce suggests that users want solutions that blend desktop management with security management.

Remember that old Reese's peanut butter cup ad? You got chocolate on my peanut butter. You got peanut butter on my chocolate. The obvious goal is to demonstrate how two distinct things can come together.

So it is with desktop security and operations. On Monday, Novell announced its acquisition of Senforce with the intent of integrating its endpoint security management and USB/Wireless security with Novell ZENworks system and resource management solutions. The thought there is that users want Reese's peanut butter cup solutions that blend desktop management (i.e. configuration, patch, software distribution, etc.) with security management (i.e. firewall, encryption, port blocking, etc.).

Is there any logic to this theory? Yup. Enterprise Strategy Group sees more and more overlap between the security guys who set policy and the operations team that baby-sits the technology on a daily basis. You can also see proof points in the industry. McAfee is cramming more and more management capabilities into its Enterprise Policy Orchestator (ePO) management system. CA is moving toward product integration to fulfill its Enterprise IT Management (EITM) vision. Symantec bought Altiris to merge these two areas and Microsoft announced its Stirling security initiative at TechEd. Everyone seems to be headed down the same road.

As for Novell, this is a particularly good move. ZENworks is a strong product offering that doesn't trip all over the NetWare legacy issues. In other words, ZENworks gives Novell reps a product it can sell to anyone, anywhere. With all the threats to the desktop, users are buying this stuff like hot cakes. Novell can now compete in a hot market and then up-sell Senforce customers with ZENworks and ZENworks customers with Senforce. Two great tastes often do taste great together.