Scottish software house Orbital launched Version 2.0 of its KnowledgeWare suite last week, as Novell CEO Eric Schmidt flew in to visit the firm.
Novell headed a syndicate which invested £5 million in the Edinburgh firm last year. This is Novell's only investment in a European software firm to date.
Schmidt praised Orbital'sKnow-ledgeWare 2.0 as "very, very innovative".
KnowledgeWare 2.0 is a knowledge management product that builds up a database of information on the particular expertise of every employee in the firm. This database can then be used to match queries to the firm's relevant expert.
KnowledgeWare provides LDAP support for Novell Directory Services.
Novell has been working with Orbital on the technology for more than a year, Schmidt said, adding that the product fits in with Novell's strategy of encouraging third parties to produce add-on applications to use NDS.
"Because of KnowledgeWare's ability to find the right people, once you know who they are, you can do business," said Schmidt.
Dave Gibb, director of marketing at Orbital, said the company hopes to release a further upgrade to the software by the end of the year.
This will, he said, include more of the items on the "user's shopping list", such as better customisation features. Gibb refused to detail the new features, or say whether the upgrade to Version 3.0 would be free to users of 2.0.
Orbital is running a 90-day pilot scheme for KnowledgeWare 2.0 that assesses a company's requirements and implements the conclusions. The pilot scheme costs $25,000 (£15,500), with a $100 (£61) user charge.
Novell has said it intends to acquire "small, technology-based companies", but Orbital co-founder Calum Smeaton said that the company has not received a takeover offer from Novell.
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