Novell inks SAP deal

By Reuters
New York, 16 May 2007

Novell has signed beefed-up marketing deals with Dell and SAP AG in recent weeks, and is looking at acquisitions in key markets as it works to revive investor trust, its chief executive said yesterday.

Novell CEO Ronald Hovsepian told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York that the company, which is awaiting results from a stock options back-dating probe stretching back a decade, is weighing different ways to use cash, with acquisitions part of the equation.

Novell is one of the world's largest distributors of the Linux operating system since its 2004 acquisition of Germany's Suse. Hovsepian said any Linux deals would be focused on the core operating system and not extend into application markets.

The company also has identity management software business, which organisations use to ensure only qualified users have access to network services, and systems management software, which companies use to track digital assets.

"I would like to be acquiring in a couple of markets. Anything in the Linux market, systems and resources management and in the identity business," Hovsepian said.

Early Tuesday, business planning software leader SAP, Europe's largest software maker, unveiled a plan to resell customer support for Novell's Suse brand of Linux. Some 70% of SAP clients running Linux use the Suse brand.

The SAP tie-up comes a week after Novell announced a new marketing agreement with both Microsoft and Dell. Novell announced that Dell will help market products sold as part of its partnership with Microsoft.