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June 3, 1997


Novell seeking India partners to sub-contract work

Novell Software Development Centre (India) Private Limited is seeking Indian software companies to sub-contract work on networking software.

Vikram Shah , managing director, Novell Software Development Centre, has said the company is in the process of talking to some software companies. "But due to issues relating to confidentiality and security we are not able to let out most of the work to these companies," he said.

"Before the Indian Development Center was set up, most of the development work was done through a contractual relationship with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Now the relationship with Wipro still continues," he said.

The Indian facility is the largest R&D Novell centre outside of the US. Though the IDC started off with just component-based software development for the parent company, now it does everything from idea invention to complete engineering. The IDC has so far released three products for the international market, Shah said.

One of the products, transitioned from Novell Inc includes groupwise gateways for MS Exchange, storage management services and x.25 protocol stacks. The IDC has also designed and delivered a product for cross-platforms services on UNIX.

Novell has around a 70 per cent share of the networking market worldwide and the same applies to the Indian market too. Onward Novell, the Bombay-based joint venture company, sells, markets and supports Novell products in the country.

The Gartner Group of the US predicts that the Novell share of the networking market will dwindle down the years and Microsoft's Windows NT will overtake Novell in the next two to three years.

However, Shah is unperturbed by these reports. "Windows NT has made inroads mainly into small business - we did that back in 1985. Intranet ware scores much higher compared to Windows NT in the art of enterprise computing, which is more critical. But connecting 2000 computers is not a kid's game. It is man's game."

Shah added that two to three years later, Novell would be looking at a different product and different technology altogether.

"We'll be talking of clustering technology in a few years' time. The marketing battle will be on a totally different turf - on the Internet market," he said.

The company has already invested $10 million in the centre and is looking at a similar amount for expanding its operations. But in terms of software development done here the investments amounted to $25 million, he said.

The 185-people strong IDC undertook around 14 per cent of the total R&D work of Novell Inc and this is expected to go up to 20 per cent in the next one or two years, he said.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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