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Independent studies quantify ROI, detail benefits of Microsoft-Novell interoperability solutions

Some early adopters of interoperability solutions achieve 82% ROI.

Johannesburg, 24 Jun 2010
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Two newly published customer studies by independent research firms, Forrester Consulting and Oliver Wyman Group, further quantify and detail benefits of Microsoft Corp and Novell's joint business and technical collaboration, and detail the significant return on investment (ROI) customers have realised by investing in the partnership.

According to a recent Total Economic Impact (TEI) study from Forrester Consulting, some early adopters of Microsoft-Novell interoperability solutions have achieved 82% ROI in under a year with regard to licensing fees, implementation and hardware.*

In addition, a white paper developed by global strategy consulting firm Oliver Wyman Group found that Expanded Support Service (ESS) from Novell - whereby Novell provides support for third-party Linux distributions, such as Red Hat, as customer migrate to SUSE Linux Enterprise - offers unique benefits by providing customers immediate support for their current Linux environment, while easing their transition to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.**

Forrester Consulting quantifies ROI for Microsoft-Novell interoperability solutions

Customer response to the Microsoft-Novell interoperability model has been significant, with more than 500 customers since the relationship was first announced in November 2006.

Improved interoperability solutions for Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise, combined with more flexible support for Linux distributions, have provided greater efficiency and flexibility while reducing costs within the IT infrastructure. Further, customers have noted improved system reliability, and greater optimisation of their IT infrastructure as additional benefits of the interoperability between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Forrester Consulting evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the companies' interoperability solutions in the areas of virtualisation, systems management, identity management and document compatibility, as well as analysed the benefits that an organisation might realise by deploying these solutions. The TEI study found that within heterogeneous data centres, utilising SUSE Linux Enterprise and Windows platforms, in addition to meaningful cost savings and productivity gains, companies adopting some or all of these interoperability solutions can expect to realise improvements in operational efficiency and system availability, as well as achieve greater agility in the data centre.

After evaluating the financial impact of interoperability within the heterogeneous data centre utilising SUSE Linux Enterprise and Windows platforms, Forrester noted that organisations seeking to implement some, or all, of the companies' interoperability solutions may experience cost savings and productivity gains. The TEI study results demonstrate that there are potential financial and operational benefits to the interoperability solutions developed jointly by Microsoft and Novell.

“These studies demonstrate that, when you do the math, interoperability between Windows and Linux is beneficial to our customers,” said Ted MacLean, general manager for strategic partnerships and licensing at Microsoft. “In today's changing business environment, having the right tools and support to help companies utilise existing IT investments while improving performance is critical.”

Oliver Wyman paper details benefits of third-party Linux support

The Oliver Wyman paper, commissioned by Novell to look specifically at the impact of Novell's Expanded Support offering from the IT executives' perspective, confirmed that customers who have switched to SUSE Linux with the help of ESS have realised improved flexibility in how they manage their Linux environments. Novell's ESS offering gives customers choice and flexibility in how they support existing distributions of Linux, while migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise over time - often at a significant cost savings compared with other leading Linux distributors, including Red Hat.

“IT executives and decision-makers from large enterprises worldwide echo some common themes - namely concern about the level of Linux support matching cost,” said Mark Wohlfarth, lead partner for the Oliver Wyman paper. “Our study found that Novell expanded support breaks from the traditional Linux model, increasing the range of options IT executives have for managing their Linux environment and creating new opportunities to better integrate Linux into the overall server environment.”

“We recognised that companies using other distributions of Linux, such as Red Hat, wanted choice and the ability to take advantage of our joint interoperability solutions, but needed help in easing their transition to SUSE Linux Enterprise, as such, we developed our Expanded Support Service offering to give customers confidence in knowing they will be fully supported over the course of their Linux migration,” said Joe Wagner, senior vice-president and general manager of global alliances at Novell. “Based on the results from Oliver Wyman, it's clear our Expanded Support offering is helping to resolve the challenges associated with transitioning to a new Linux distribution, while paving the way for customers to enjoy the immediate benefits of our joint Microsoft-Novell interoperability solutions and Novell's world-class support.”

For more than three years, Microsoft and Novell have been working together to create technical solutions that support customers in addressing their unique challenges relative to advancing their technical and business objectives within a mixed-source operational environment.

Additional information about the Microsoft and Novell interoperability solutions, including copies of the Forrester TEI study and Oliver Wyman paper, is available online at


Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL), a leader in Intelligent Workload Management, helps organisations securely deliver and manage computing services across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. We help customers reduce the cost, complexity, and risk associated with their IT systems through our solutions for identity and security, systems management, collaboration and Linux-based operating platforms. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit


Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

* “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Solutions” is a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft and Novell in February 2010. The study evaluated the total economic impact and potential ROI that enterprises that choose to use Windows and Linux together in their data centres may realise by standardising on SUSE, as their Linux platform of choice to work with a Windows server environment. Based on interviews with early adopter customers, Forrester constructed a TEI framework for a composite organisation and the associated ROI analysis illustrating the financial impact areas.
** “A Perspective From Enterprise IT Executives: Understanding the Evolution of Linux Support Models” is a commissioned study conducted by Oliver Wyman on behalf of Novell in March 2010. The primary focus of this study was to understand the potential for changes to the traditional Linux business model and how new models of support, specifically Novell's ESS, affect IT organisations.

Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks of Novell in the US and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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