Novell Agrees to be Acquired by Attachmate Corporation is the latest and final news for Novell as independent entity.
The deal is not so clear and has some question marks. The first item that caught everyone’s attention is a weird statement that there is a sub-deal of $450 million in cash of intellectual property assets that were transfered to CPTN Holdings LLC, for those who never heard about this company (e.g. I didn’t know anything about them till today, CPTN is a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation. There are fears that the real intention is to buy some Linux and open source assets that can later be used by Microsoft as another barriers for customers. There is very little to say about this one, the source of the fear is from Microsoft historical approach to open source and particularly Linux.
The second concern is about the real intentions of Attachmate. The plan is to divide Novell assets to two brands Novell and SUSE. In other words, SUSE and the rest and all of that is separate from Attachmate other assets. One can view this move in several ways. One view is that Attachmate is keeping SUSE as a separate unit and brand to make it ready for the next round to bidding by the big platform vendors that currently do not have an OS, such as VMWare, HP or even SAP or Oracle.
The third question is who is Attachmate and how does the new acquisition is going to contribute to their corporate strategy. This one is perhaps the trickiest. Attachmate define themselves as “Attachmate enables IT organizations to extend mission critical services and assure they are managed, secure, and compliant“. In reality, they are a company that has bunch of stuff. Mainframe applications, Airlines applications, NetIQ, and other stuff. My guess is that they will try to slice the Novell assets and regroup them in such ways that enable their selling one by one. At the end what ever is left will be merged into “yet another unit”.
The good news is that Novell customer and partners (not so good news for them) will now have to reconsider their direction. We are talking about many organizations from different size and shape, including organizations such as Verizon business that just a year ago announced that Novell is their strategic partner for cloud security. The move will force all of these players to make decisions that will trigger another cycle of vendor activities and innovations. And for us as spectators this is always fun…