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Cisco Pulse vs. Novell Pulse: What's In a Name?

Alas, The VAR Guy is suffering from double vision. In one eye, he's reading about Cisco Pulse, a collaboration platform and enterprise content management system. In the other eye, The VAR Guy is reading about Novell Pulse, a real-time collaboration and social messaging platform for businesses. Hmmm... will both companies stick with the Pulse name?

The VAR Guy

May 5, 2010

2 Min Read
Cisco Pulse vs. Novell Pulse: What's In a Name?

novell pulse cisco pulse

Alas, The VAR Guy is suffering from double vision. In one eye, he’s reading about Cisco Pulse, a collaboration platform and enterprise content management system. In the other eye, The VAR Guy is reading about Novell Pulse, a real-time collaboration and social messaging platform for businesses. Hmmm… will both companies stick with the Pulse name?

Novell Pulse is under development and slated to ship in the second half of 2010, The VAR Guy believes. Novell is expected to position Pulse as a social media add-on to traditional email platforms like Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and GroupWise.

Still, Novell Pulse may be running a bit behind schedule. Novell in March 2010 promised BrainShare attendees Novell Pulse Preview accounts, but the effort is “taking us longer than we had hoped,” according to a Novell email sent to BrainShare attendees today. The preview should be available “in weeks — not months,” Novell’s email added.

Another Pulse Worth Tracking

Meanwhile, Cisco executives talked up Cisco Pulse during last week’s Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco. When asked about Novell Pulse, Cisco officials said they were not familiar with Novell’s effort and the Cisco representatives also didn’t express any concerns about the Pulse naming overlap.

According to Cisco’s Web site, Cisco Pulse is in “limited availability” right now. With Cisco Pulse, the networking giant says companies can:

  • Quickly find relevant people and valued information

  • See who is available and collaborate with colleagues in a single click

  • Dynamically navigate to the spoken word in business video and other forms of rich media

  • Make expertise-finding functionality widely available by embedding Cisco Pulse capabilities in existing applications.

Who’s Got Brand?

So, both Cisco Pulse and Novell Pulse have social media implications. The VAR Guy wonders: Does that mean we’re heading for a name showdown between the two companies?

No doubt, Cisco and Novell each have run into naming challenges over the years.

Back in 1994, Novell GroupWise was briefly called Symmetry — but Novell ultimately changed the name because of a dispute with another company. Also in 1994, Novell reached an undisclosed settlement with an Australian firm that had already trademarked PerfectOffice, the name given to Novell’s app suite before Novell sold off WordPerfect. Far more recently, Cisco and Apple in 2007 reached an agreement on an iPhone trademark dispute.

Perhaps there’s no story here, and the Cisco Pulse and Novell Pulse names will stick. But The VAR Guy is checking in with both companies to see if there’s any potential product overlap or naming concerns.

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