NUI marks 10 LAN-tastic years

Auckland Novell users marked the 10th anniversary of their user group last week, saying that the local branch of Novell Users International (NUI) is in good heart.

Auckland Novell users marked the 10th anniversary of their user group last week, saying that the local branch of Novell Users International (NUI) is in good heart.

Past-president Craig Harrison says the group has a thriving Wellington chapter and a group of Waikato users will also be brought into the fold.

Alan Cobcroft, who passed the reins to incoming president Keith Craig from Dilworth School at Wednesday night’s AGM, is a founding member of the group.

“It started with two of us going to Australia 10 years ago to get the constitutional side of things under way.” Novell didn’t have a New Zealand office at the time.

“Novell was in its heyday. It came along after the era of large spending on proprietary systems and people were comfortable about it because it presented a cheaper option.”

In those early LAN days Novell profits were growing at more than 50% a year and revenue, while about a third of archrival Microsoft, was at least in the same ballpark. Microsoft has totally eclipsed Novell since, with annual revenue more than 20 times that of Novell.

But Novell’s last quarterly result was positive (a $US10 million profit), which NUI member Alister Leask, of Auckland University of Technology’s IT services department, says is good news.

“Financial performance is something we watch but the company can’t be compared to Microsoft,” Leask says.

As a comparatively new member of NUI — he joined about four years ago — Leask says belonging has benefits. “It gives you better access to Novell and a better idea of product roadmaps.”

AUT has about 25 Novell servers handling file and print and authentication functions for the institution’s 3000 desktop users.

Leask says AUT runs both Novell’s eDirectory and Microsoft’s Active Directory and, as the institution moves towards single sign-on authentication, Novell’s role at AUT is growing.

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