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Novell eyes acquisitions as Linux growth pursued

Posted by inet - 2006-04-16

U.S.-based software company Novell Inc. will look at acquisition opportunities as it expands its business distributing and supporting Linux-based open-source software, the company's chief operating officer said.

"I believe there are going to be some things that we are going to build which will be very important and I also believe we will be acquisitive in the market place," Novell President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Hovsepian told Reuters. "Everything is on the table." Hovsepian said the active level of merger and acquisition activity within the software sector was likely to continue, and wider adoption of open-source software was likely to fuel corporate activity.

"I think the overall open-source movement is going to fundamentally change what role a number of software players have in the industry over the next five to 10 years, therefore you are going to have to redefine yourself," he said.

Open-source software can be copied and modified freely, unlike proprietary software such as Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system. Novell's competitors include Red Hat Inc.

Hovsepian was in Wellington as Novell promotes its latest platform, SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, aiming to increase business take-up of the software it supports.

Novell said open-source software provided increased reliability, and the company was moving to ensure it continued to offer increased security as it became more widely used.

Hovsepian said Asia-Pacific provided a little over 10 percent of revenues currently, and while that had been mainly driven in the past by Australia and New Zealand, future growth would be in Asia.

"We see the Chinese market, the Indian market and the Japanese market as critical success points for us," he said.

"The Chinese and Indian markets are so committed to engineering and so committed to skill development that we see those markets as great growth opportunities and training grounds for what the open-source movement is about."

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