Novell walking the walk of a true Linux company

A brand new kind of Linux company, huh? Apparently that is how some people are seeing Novell these days. With their dedication to the Linux cause being pretty much bullet proof at this point, Novell really seems to be on the fast track with their latest Linux endeavors.

I had an abbreviated schedule here on Day 4 as the main phase of Brainshare 2005 drew to a close. BrainShare will continue Thursday and Friday, but the press and the outside vendors will be gone. It’ll be quality time for Novell and its customers. So I’ll use the occasion to provide a wrap-up of the conference rather than another daily summary.

I struck up a conversation with yet another Novell customer at breakfast this morning. He was thrilled with the company’s move to Linux and commented: “I think Microsoft should really begin to worry about Linux with Novell behind it.” I told him about the truck I had seen towing the MS billboard around the Salt Palace earlier in the week, and he laughed, saying, “That truck driver better not get too close to this crowd.”

The keynote

This morning’s keynote featured a sales pitch by Utah governor Jon Huntsman, followed by demos of Identity Management and Novell Desktop Linux. The demos were much more interesting than the governor’s talk, unless you are considering a move to Utah and wanted to hear 50 times in 30 minutes that Utah is the greatest state in the nation.

The first Novell demo team went through the process of hiring a new employee and using Identity Management to allow him to provision himself with equipment and services. Since the new employee was coming to Novell from a “trusted source,” he was able to bring all of his personal demographics aboard Novell simply by clicking on his old employer and logging in. A few clicks and his provisioning request was done. His manager got the request immediately, and with one or two clicks of his own, authorized it. The new employee was then issued his laptop, cell phone, and so on.