Novell BrainShare, SUSE Linux: Why So Quiet?

Did anybody else notice Novell BrainShare 2013 occurred this week in Salt Lake City? It was a prime opportunity to promote Novell's progress under Attachmate's ownership. Plus, SUSE Linux (Novell's sister business) could have published some updated business milestones of its own. Did Novell and SUSE deliver? Here's the scorecard.

Alas, the annual Novell user and partner conference generated exactly one Novell press release, no SUSE press releases, one partner release from MessageSolutionone media story in the Salt Lake City Tribune and one on ZDnet.

Worth Noting

Among the key takeaways:
  • Novell has released 86 products and shifted 30 percent of its engineering resources to developing technologies since the last BrainShare, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
  • Novell President and GM Bob Flynn described how Novell ZENworks Mobile Management, GroupWise 2012 and Filr empower customers for the mobile enterprise.
  • Flynn also granted an interview to ZDNet ahead of the conference. Larry Dignan, one of the IT industry's top editors, offered this casual back-and-forth with Flynn.
At a time when news spreads instantly and socially, Novell was mostly silent. Even #BrainShare2013 on Twitter was mostly quiet.


Some Clues

Perhaps Flynn's interview with ZDnet reveals the answer. In it, he described how Novell -- acquired by Attachmate in 2011 -- has focused on its existing customers. By April 2013, Novell will start pitching new customers, Flynn told ZDnet.

Read between the lines: Instead of hyping Novell's attempted comeback, Flynn seems committed to quality products and responsible rollouts.

Still, Novell could have announced a whole lot more via news wires, blogs and social media. The VAR Guy bets most readers have never even heard of Novell Filr, a file access and sharing platform that seeks to compete with Box. BrainShare could have been a great stage to tell the media much more. Heck, Novell's own news blog has not been updated since January 18.

Meanwhile, SUSE has also been pretty quiet lately. But the Linux provider will have a chance to generate its own buzz much later this year at SUSECon 2013 (Nov. 12-15, Orlando, Fla.).

Crank Up the Volume

Start banging the media drum Novell and SUSE. Sure, The VAR Guy knows your NetWare, UnixWare, AppWare and WordPerfect legacy. But a new generation of bloggers has never heard of the company. Those up-and-comers could share Novell's story without getting into all the baggage of the 1990s. But it's up to Novell to engage that media.
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