Thousands of New Partners Join Novell in Linux Push

May 21, 2004

Reflecting growing industry support of Novell's Linux strategy, new software developers, channel partners, and independent software and hardware vendors are partnering with Novell at a record pace.


  • Developers quick to embrace Novell as Linux platform for enterprise development
  • Novell channel partners strengthen Linux focus and expertise
  • Hardware and software vendors expand cooperative work with Novell around Linux

Reflecting growing industry support of Novell's Linux strategy, new software developers, channel partners, and independent software and hardware vendors are partnering with Novell at a record pace. More than 10,000 developers have joined Novell's developer program in the last six months, while registered users of Novell® Forge, the company's hosted site for open source projects, have expanded 60 percent since Novell's January 2004 acquisition of SUSE® LINUX.

Novell continues to expand its work with top-tier hardware vendors, including IBM and HP, conducting joint training and other customer-focused activities that complement existing technology bundling agreements. Novell's channel partners have also embraced Novell's Linux strategy at a rapid pace, increasing their Linux solutions business significantly over the last year. With this large and growing global partner ecosystem, Novell has unparalleled resources for delivering Linux solutions to customers worldwide.

"Partners will be critical to Novell's success in expanding into the Linux market," said Hal Bennett, vice president for business development at Novell. "With our deep enterprise expertise and installed base, our extensive identity management, resource management and web services technologies, and our global reach, Novell offers compelling advantages to partners that other Linux distributors simply can't match. More importantly, the rapid growth of our partner ecosystem around Linux gives our customers new options both in the breadth of Linux solutions they can deploy and how they're delivered."

Novell announced its Linux strategy in spring 2003, committing to developing its networking services for both NetWare® and Linux going forward. Novell deepened this commitment to Linux over the last year by acquiring leading Linux companies Ximian® and SUSE Linux. As a result of these moves, Novell has emerged as a leader in the commercial Linux space. Now Novell is extending that leadership through rapid growth in the range of partners supporting Novell's Linux initiatives, from individual developers to solution providers to large software and hardware vendors. This large and growing global partner ecosystem far exceeds that of any other Linux distributor. Key evidence of that growth include:

  • The addition of 10,184 new members to Novell's DeveloperNet® program in the last six months, bringing the number of active members to roughly 40,000.
  • 55 percent of Novell channel partners support Linux in their business, versus 15 percent in early 2003
  • The addition of more than 100 SUSE Linux-based products to Novell's Partner Product Guide, helping drive the numbers of online hits on the guide from 12,144 in January 2004 to nearly 22,000 in April.
  • New ISV and IHV partners, and expanded relationships with existing IHV partners like IBM and HP around training and go-to-market activities.
  • More than 5,000 registered users on Novell Forge, a site hosting Novell's open source projects, representing a 60 percent increase over the last three months.
  • 380 open source projects hosted on Novell Forge, including 50 new additions in the last three months.
  • Strong open source community endorsement of Novell's recent decision to open source key management, file storage, and collaboration technologies.

Customer interest in Novell's Linux offerings is driving developers to build on the Novell Linux platform. "Over the last year, an increasing number of customers have asked about running our applications on Linux," said Ben Loy, Sr. V.P. Industry Relations at, the leading provider of single source code-based retail pharmacy applications in North America. "We were leaning toward another and possibly better known enterprise version of Linux as our initial platform. However, at the request of our customers, we decided to meet with Novell. We were so impressed with the technology, product stability and support that Novell offered that we quickly and easily decided to make Novell SUSE Linux our standard Linux platform. We also foresee that Novell's extensive enterprise reach can provide new growth opportunities for us."

Large hardware vendors are also looking to Novell as a partner with strong growth potential. In March, Novell signed an agreement with IBM to provide SUSE Linux across their server portfolio and an agreement with HP to provide and standardize SUSE Linux across HP's client systems in addition to enterprise servers. Novell is expanding these relationships to provide additional benefits for customers. Novell and IBM have jointly provided basic Linux training to over 3,000 individuals over the last two months, with an eventual target of 10,000 trained, while Novell and HP recently completed a series of joint seminars promoting Linux across 33 cities in North America to nearly 4,000 attendees.

Novell's embrace of Linux has been equally validated by the solutions and service delivery component of Novell's partner universe - its solution provider partners in the channel. Novell has more than 3,500 active channel partners worldwide in its PartnerNet® program - with thousands more who sell Novell technologies - ensuring that customers can get qualified local sales and service support on Novell solutions. Echoing Novell's own Linux moves, Novell's channel has jumped aggressively into the Linux environment. In a survey conducted in the spring of 2003 the percentage of Novell solution providers doing business in Linux was just over 15 percent. Today, 55 percent of all channel partners profiled in Novell PartnerNet indicate they support Linux as a platform. Enthusiasm for the PartnerNet program itself is high: Novell's PartnerNet renewal's for 2004 have already reached 100 percent of the level for all of 2003.

"Lille Corp silently aligned itself with Novell several years ago when they began to address Linux in their management products" says Jordan Rosen, CEO of Lille Corp, a specialist in Linux solutions for healthcare. "They also distributed Apache, Tomcat and other open source products in their offerings, so were clearly embracing open source. So when Novell acquired SUSE, it was really a coming out party, and we joined in, too, as a Novell PartnerNet member. Security and system reliability are mandatory for us in healthcare, so Linux is a great fit. Novell Linux solutions on top of SUSE Linux are a powerful combo."

For more information on Novell's partner programs, please visit

About Novell
Novell, Inc. is a leading provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management (Novell® Nsure™), Web application development (Novell exteNd™) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise™), all supported by strategic consulting and professional services (Novell NgageSM). Active in the open source community with its Ximian and SUSE Linux brands, Novell is firmly committed to open source and offers comprehensive Linux products and services for the enterprise, from the desktop to the server. Novell's vision of one Net - a world without information boundaries - helps customers realize the value of their information securely and economically. For more information, call Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272) or visit Press should visit

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