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Novell responds to my acquisition questions

Who would have thought that anyone actually reads this drivel?

I appreciate that John Dragoon, Novell's CMO commented on my post about the company's recent acquisitions. Had I read his blog earlier I probably would have had more insight. And really, I have no desire to pick on's just an easy target :>

The fact that John took the time to address this is an example of high-quality, new-school marketing. If you are not part of the conversation you are irrelevant.

The post is here, the full comment below for your reading pleasure.


Allow me to offer my perspective on your opinions on our latest acquisitions being "off strategy".

Specifically, your comments re:

At this point, what is Novell? It's clearly not an open source company.

We've never tried to position Novell as solely an open source company. We are an infrastructure software company with a mixed portfolio of open source and open standards based software. While we may all prefer a world where the entire software stack that customers need to run their businesses be based on open source's simply not a reality of most if not all customer environments (today). Accordingly, we offer technologies that solve certain problems independent of the business model that created and licenses them. We clearly believe, as do you, in the power of the open source model and are major contributors to it. But it's inaccurate to suggest that Novell acquisitions that aren't pure open source are off strategy or ill founded.

We are positioning Novell as the leader in interoperability....and as you know we strongly believe the preferred operating system platform be Linux...yes SUSE Linux....and we also offer a portfolio of up the stack IT management solutions....yes most NOT open source developed or based. So the message from us is how we help clients leverage and extend their IT investments...not rip and replace. Again I respect your point of view, given your passion for MuleSource, for open source as the answer to all....we just don't think the market is quite there yet.

Neither of the recent Novell acquisitions:
-Have a large volume of customers
-Are open source
-Have complimentary architectures (I think they are both Java but not sure)

SiteScape. This acquisition has been very well received by clients and the analysts who cover the collaboration space. It also has very significant roots in open source (ICEcorp project, a commitment we will maintain and extend. It's not the largest acquisition we have made but it's very important to our Groupwise franchise and was a logical next step in the partnership we had previously with SiteScape.

PlateSpin. I've said a lot about this....more at

This is VERY on strategy for us. With this acquisition, we'll extend our next generation data center capabilities by giving customers the ability to manage workloads across both physical and virtual infrastructures. It very nicely compliments our virtualization platform (SUSE Linux with XEN) and our management tools (ZENworks Orchestrator). PlateSpin has been sold to a "a large volume of customers" and now we have a solution that the over 2 million SUSE virtual servers in the market place can take advantage of (not to manage VMware, Citrix, Virtual Iron, Microsoft, etc).

Finally....I'm fine if you find it entertaining or instructive to "pick on " (your words) Novell on your podcasts. I'll just use, as you are, the open forum to react to opinion represented as fact.


John Dragoon
Link: John Dragoon's Blog