Novell has regained control of Novonyx, its joint venture with Netscape.
The independent joint venture was set up amid great fanfare last year but is now being run as a research and development unit reporting to Novell, which is also providing all sales and marketing functions.
Novonyx was set up as a jointly owned independent unit to create new versions of Netscape?s Web server software, to run on Novell?s Netware operating system.
Although Novell said both companies will keep their involvement in the joint venture, it is understood that many of the Netscape engineers have left. The unit now reports to Chris Stone, Novell?s senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.
Novonyx? original chief executive, Robert Hicks, now heads up Novell?s new $50 million Internet development fund (see below), while two other senior Novell executives who moved over to Novonyx at its start have left Novell completely. They are Willy Donahoo, the joint venture's former vice president of marketing, and Ty Mattingly, vice president of sales.
A Novell spokesperson refused to comment on whether the two other senior Novell/Novonyx executives - Tomas Creighton, vice president of engineering, and Steven Bentley, chief financial officer - still remain.
?Novonyx was previously established as a joint venture, but while it remains under joint funding, the venture has now been pulled into Novell,? said the spokesperson, adding that Novell wanted ?tighter integration? in the development of Netware supported Netscape servers.
Analysts believe Novell became cautious about Netscape?s ability to contribute given its current financial difficulties. Said Clive Longbottom, analyst at the Meta Group: ?Netscape is running around defocused at the moment, so regaining control of Novonyx is good for Novell.?
He believes Novell should keep it as a separate entity to develop electronic commerce solutions. This would enable Novell to market products to this sector under a separate brand without the proprietary image of Novell.
Novell recently shipped the first fruits of the venture: Netscape Enterprise Server for Netware, Netscape Communicator Server for Netware and Netscape Fast Track Server for Netware. The goal is to port all Netscape?s server components to Netware by the end of this year.
* Novell has established a $50 million Internet fund to invest in companies developing Java based Internet applications for Netware. The fund is for second and third round investments to companies developing Java related software for Novell?s network servers.
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