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Headquarters: 404 Wyman Street
Waltham, MA 02451
781 464 8000
Employees: 3,600
CEO: Ronald Hovsepian
Stock Symbol: NOVL


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Novell is a worldwide leading provider of enterprise software and services, combining open source and commercial technologies based on open standards. The company provides enterprise-wide operating systems based on Linux and open source and the security and systems management services required to operate mixed IT environments.

The company offers solutions in five main markets: data center, security and identity, resource management, workgroup, and desktop, to help customer's build, secure, manage, connect, and free their open enterprises in a way that makes sense for them and at a pace that works for them.

For fiscal 2009, Novell reported revenue of $862.1 million and net loss of $212.7 million.


Novell Data Systems began life in 1979 as a computer manufacturer and maker of disk operating systems. In January 1983, Jack Messman and Safeguard Scientifics, a venture capital firm, reincorporated NDSI as Novell, Inc., to design and market software and hardware used for data networks. In May 1983, Raymond J. Noorda, an experienced engineer and marketer, became president and CEO of the new company.

Under Noorda, Novell helped found the corporate network market with the introduction of the LAN. In 1983, Novell introduced NetWare, the first LAN software based on file-server technology. Novell developed a PC networking system that designated one machine to manage the network and control access to shared devices, such as disk drives and printers. Through the 1980s, corporate requirements for networks grew significantly, with LANs being increasingly replaced by wide area networks, which unified large corporate environments. By the early 1990s, Novell's NetWare operating system, updated to add key features for distributed enterprises, led this market with a nearly 70 percent share.

The company went public on January 17, 1985.

Eric Schmidt took over the reins at Novell in March 1997, accelerating efforts to leverage Novell's core networking strengths in the Internet arena. The following year both NetWare 5, the server operating system, and Novell Directory Services (NDS) began shipping with native support for IP, the Internet communications protocol.

With the increased heterogeneity in corporate networks and the need for interoperability across the Internet, in 1998, Novell began to promote NDS as a means to tie diverse platforms together. The company also began shipping products that used information stored in the directory to simplify the management of networks and better secure access based on the identities of users. In late 1999, Novell released eDirectory, a true cross-platform directory service that epitomized Novell's commitment to interoperability and open standards which are key Internet requirements.

In July 2001, Novell acquired consulting firm Cambridge Technology Partners to strengthen its ability to deliver both services and products to customers. The combination of Novell's industry-leading technology and Cambridge's business expertise gave Novell new strength to deliver networking solutions to help companies solve their business challenges. Jack Messman, the CEO of Cambridge, became president and CEO of Novell. This marked the return of Messman as CEO of Novell.

In July 2002, Novell took another significant step forward with its acquisition of SilverStream Software, a leader in Web services-oriented application development. The addition of SilverStream gave Novell a powerful, three-pronged Web services story: the expertise to convert business processes to Web services, a leading Web services application platform, and Novell's traditional secure, scalable, and reliable networking and identity management infrastructure on which to run Web services-based applications.

Novell's acquisition of Ximian in August 2003 added another key component to Novell's cross-platform story. With top Linux developers and leading solutions for Linux on the desktop, management of Linux desktops and servers, and collaboration between Linux and Windows environments, Ximian significantly enhanced the platform options Novell could offer customers. Ximian also brought strong Linux credibility to Novell in the form of two of the open source movement's leading visionaries, Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman. Ximian (now Novell) sponsorship of two top open source projects, GNOME for the desktop and Mono as an open source platform for running Microsoft .NET applications, gave Novell increased weight and visibility in the open source community.

In January 2004, Novell took another critical step in rounding out its Linux story when it completed its acquisition of SUSE Linux, Europe's leading Linux vendor and one of the top commercial distributions on the market. With SUSE Linux, Novell now offers the full range of Linux solutions, from the server to the desktop, with additional enterprise-grade networking services and technical support unmatched by any other Linux vendor. By combining its global technical support and channel distribution network with the Linux expertise of SUSE, Novell has created a compelling new option for enterprise customers interested in deploying Linux strategically. SUSE's strong technical leadership on Linux and its success in the marketplace further established Novell as a major influencer in the open source movement.


Novell offers competitive salaries and excellent company benefits such as medical, dental, life, liberal vacation benefits, tuition reimbursement, and a 401k company matching contribution.

Updated February 24, 2010


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