Novell says its established reseller infrastructure will be the key to success for Intranetware for Small Businesses, the central plank in its strategy to win favour with sites with under 25 users.
Announcing the official launch of the product, codenamed Kayak, in Provo, Utah on Wednesday, Willy Donnohoo, Novell's senior vice president for marketing, said the specific and specialist needs of small businesses were best addressed via the channel and this was where Novell scored over its rivals.
"We have 27,000 resellers worldwide," he said. "With that infrastructure and our technology we are the company best positioned to deliver for the needs of small customers. The 'one size fits all' business model does not work for small businesses."
The target audience for the new product - which Novell insists is not just Intranetware Lite - is small businesses with fewer than 25 users. The assumption is that such organistions typically do not have dedicated IT personnel and have an IT spend of less than $6,000 a year.
Intranetware for Small Businesses - still better known by its codename Kayak - includes an ease-of-use administration tool that allows installation of server software in less than half an hour, even for IT illiterate users. The company does not regard this 'anyone can do it' positioning as being in conflict with the reseller channel's service offerings.
Pricing is on a per-node basis. A server starter pack for five users will have a street price of $590 with a per-user additional licence cost of $43. Novell is also offering an upgrade pricing option: starting price of $325 to upgrade from any operating systems environment, including Dos and Windows.
But the company was reluctant to comment on the absence of email facilities from the package. For these, it seems customers will need to have Novell Groupwise as well, but Donnohoo was not willing to pre-empt announcements from that division's marketing department. "We took the decision to have Groupwise and Intranetware separate," he said, adding that announcements would be forthcoming.
Intranetware for Small Businesses - the company paid "thousands of dollars" to a third party company to come up with the name, according to product manager Jim Greene - is seen within Novell as a critical element in its attempt to catch up in the Internet and Intranet markets.
Donnohoo admitted that Novell had come late to the market and had ground to make up. A survey of the Novell customer base by Forrester Research last year confirmed this - 75 per cent of respondents did not plan to include the supplier in their Internet and Intranet roll-outs.
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