On 22 June 2006, Novell announced changes to its management team and board of directors.
During his tenure as CEO and chairman of Novell, Messman did an excellent job of keeping Novell in solid financial health and also masterminded its purchase of SUSE — one of the most significant acquisitions in Novell’s history. However, Messman was unable to maintain a consistent executive leadership team and had difficulty articulating the value proposition of Novell to the market. Most recently, Novell has failed to gain significant financial growth, and it has yet to capitalize on the acquisition of SUSE.
Hovsepian joined Novell in 2003 and led the transformation of the company’s global sales organization. Hovsepian's success led to his being named the president and COO of Novell in 2005. He has demonstrated vision regarding where he wants to take Novell and determination to achieve the company's goals. Gartner believes Hovsepian has the skills to move Novell forward and that he will make an excellent replacement for Messman.
Overseeing Novell's evolution will entail some challenges. Many of Novell's customers have difficulty in understanding how the company's wide range of legacy and modern products are interrelated and where its product road map is leading. Furthermore, Novell faces serious competition from Microsoft and Red Hat in the infrastructure product market segment; from Altiris, BMC Software, Symantec, LANdesk Software and others in the resource management market segment; and from Sun Microsystems, IBM, CA and other large vendors in the identity management product market segment. To succeed, Hovsepian must articulate Novell's vision and value proposition to its customers and prospects.
For Hovsepian's efforts to succeed, Novell must:
Continue to look to Novell as a viable supplier of Linux desktop and server operating systems, as well as of identity and resource management products. If you are a current or prospective customer of legacy Novell products (such as NetWare and Groupwise), ask Novell to clarify the road maps for those products to help determine whether migration is appropriate.
Analytical Sources: John Enck and Andrew Butler, Gartner
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