Mad as Hell? Are You Going to Take It?

Last week, Novell sent an email to its partners that has suddenly become a HUGE source of traffic on Novell’s Community Chat forum, as well as various mailing lists such as the NGWList, TTP, etc.  The text of this email is available here.

Essentially, the policy states that patches for most products (other than security patches) and access to the KnowledgeBase for current Novell products will require the purchase of maintenance on your Novell products.  Colleen O’Keefe, a Senior VP at Novell, has tried to justify this in her post on the matter by suggesting that the “burden” of paying for services like support packs should not be borne solely by current maintenance customers.  To that we whole-heartedly say “hear, hear”!  Services like SUPPORT PACKS should be included in the price of the software, not by paying maintenance.  Customers expect that the software they purchase works, and if it does not, the idea that the customer should PAY to get a fix for the bugs is outrageous.

If you are indeed “mad as hell” like we are, and you haven’t decided to just throw in the towel, let Novell know you’re not going to take it!  While posting in the public forums is a good “visible” way to get your opinions counted, please also consider sending some email.  Some folks who would probably be interested are:

John.Dragoon; Colleen.Okeefe; Jeff.Jaffe

Of course, all of those above are portions of email addresses at novell dot com (I’m being a good Internet citizen here and avoiding putting their actual email addresses in the post for the bots to read – I don’t want them having to wade through a lot of spam to get to the important email messages you WILL be sending them!).

If you are a concerned customer, consultant, employee or supporter of Novell in any way, please take the time to let Novell know that this is a really bad idea!




Mad as Hell? Are You Going to Take It? — 6 Comments

  1. Great, had my head down working on several projects and missed this gem of an announcement. This added on top of the general sense I get that Novell is continuing to look for the next WalMart to sell to while dismissing it death throes elsewhere (mid/med market) to poor partner performance…and now what seems like a drift back to its direct days, tells me this is a company that is worse off than any of us thought.

  2. 1st reply-

    As a result of your feedback and further analysis on our part, I’d like to let you know that we have decided NOT to move forward with the knowledgebase portion of the plan. To be clear, ALL knowledgebase content, including Technical Information Documents, for all Novell products will continue to be freely available to all Novell customers and partners—regardless of maintenance or subscription status.

    Your comments reminded us that our knowledgebase is a critical self-support mechanism for Novell products and that Novell support forums are greatly enriched by the direct and valuable contributions of a community, including many of you. Accordingly, continuing access to these resources on an unrestricted basis is the right choice.

    We do intend to proceed with our planned policy changes requiring current maintenance to access patches and support packs. We recognize, however, that a longer notification period would allow customers to properly plan and budget for this change. As a result, we will be announcing a new date when this policy will go into effect.

    We fundamentally believe in the value of our maintenance program and the quality and functional enhancements we deliver through our patch and service pack updates.

    We appreciate the quick and candid feedback this community provided. We believe these changes balance the concerns you’ve raised and our ability to deliver innovation and support over the long run.

    Thank you again for your passion and support of Novell.
    Colleen O’Keefe
    Novell Services

  3. Pingback: Danita’s Desk » Blog Archive » Thanks for listening Novell!

  4. I just left a comment on the Novell site and voiced my concern. Lets be real here.
    When I buy a product from Novell, Microsoft, Ibm, HP, Dell, I want it to work. Does that always happen? Hell know. I have patched Winxp about 10 time to keep it working and safe. I have patched Novell products many times also just to keep it from blowing up and making me looking bad for recommending and installing the product. Have I had the same issues with windows box’s? Hell yes! I have to get patch’s all the time and guess what they are free I don’t have to pay for a MS problem.

    Thanks all

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