Thursday, May 25, 2006

Savvy Investing

Just over five years ago, Novell acquired Cambridge Technology Partners for around $266 million.

Yesterday, they sold the renamed consulting branch - Celerant - for about $77 million.

Now, call me silly, but I thought the idea was to buy low and sell high.

Looks like Novell basically paid close to $40 million a year just to get rid of Eric Schmidt, and replace him with an even more misguided and incapable buffoon (aka Jack Messman). Good work if you can get it.

I've said it a million times - Novell has an absolutely wretched history of execution against a strategy...I continue to believe more and more firmly that this is due to Novell's complete misunderstanding of the corporate landscape. If you've no clue what the problems are and where the markets are, you're going to have a hard time developing a meaningful strategy.

Never one to complain without providing suggestions, here then are mine for Novell.

1) Sack Jack Messman.
2) Remind all of the new CxO's that there's NOTHING about which they can be complacent.
3) Start giving away professional services to get your products in the door, or reimburse the channel to do it for you.
4) Stop with the idiotic advertisements. Nobody understands what you're talking about. Don't print this garbage just for the sake of shutting people up who complain that you don't advertise.

What the hell does "Software for the Open Enterprise" mean??? Why would an executive at any firm want his 'enterprise' to be "open"? Does anyone have a significant problem with their enterprise being "closed", or do they have problems improving efficiencies and delivering value? Messages that are this muddy are a complete and total waste of time and money. Take a cue from IBM or Apple for the love of God, I'm sure they'll share their marketing people.

Here's the text, verbatim, of Novell's ad in Computerworld from 5/22/06:


In my Open Enterprise, I can add applications, platforms and users without adding costs, problems and barriers.

Multiple operating systems. Distributed servers. Proprietary hardware. Without a data center solution capable of integrating and managing them all, you're losing time, money and productivity. Data Center solutions from Novell cost-effectively consolidate, manage and support all of your disparate systems on the most mature, scalable and secure Linux OS available. So you can centralize system management. Run leading business applications with the power of LInux and open standards. Lower costs. Improve service levels. And turn your data center into a profit center.

Data Center solutions from Novell.
This is the way to build your Open Enterprise."

I'm a Novell customer with just about every product under license, and I have no idea what this ad is selling. Worst of all, above the vacant gaze of some stuffed shirt, is a brain map with more meaningless jargon like "open", "build", "speed", "high performance", "immediate", "leverage legacy systems", "blatant". Who in the #^&*@ approved this idiocy???? It's sickening. Stop it.

Those are my suggestions. Print them out and use them to start your next fire if you will. I for one hope SOMEBODY in Utah starts to get it.

No comments: