Attachmate looks to grow after Novell buyout

 

Staff made redundant in company restructure.

Attachmate has flagged plans to boost its Asia-Pacific headcount by 15 to 18 percent after cutting jobs when it bought Novell in April.

About one in four Novell workers were made redundant in Australia – contributing to a reported total of 800 global redundancies – since the deal closed on 27 April.

The Attachmate Group now had approximately 125 Australian sales, support, customer training and back-office staff, of whom 60 percent were from Novell.

Vice president and Asia-Pacific general manager Boras Ivancic attributed the redundancies to a company-wide restructure that created four business units, focused on Attachmate, Novell, NetIQ and SUSE.

Integrating the two companies into today’s 3200-person, global organisation was a “really complex task”, he said, and job cuts were made on a role-centric – rather than people-centric – basis.

“Whenever you bring two organisations together, there’s going to be duplication of positions,” Ivancic said. “Redundancies flow from that.”

The group’s four new business units had separate headquarters: Novell in Provo, Utah; Attachmate in Seattle; NetIQ in Houston; and SUSE in Nuremberg, Germany.

All four were led by executives from the former Attachmate Group; however, technical product managers for Novell software were appointed from the subsidiary.

Meanwhile, global finance, human resources and IT support staff reported to a shared services organisation.

Ivancic said that prior to the acquisition, Novell products competed with each other for resources, leaving legacy applications like GroupWise and NetWare in the cold.

He expected the restructure to strengthen product roadmaps and better support customers of “products that [other] people think don’t have a future”.

“We are actually selling [systems management suite] ZENworks around the region; there is still a market out there,” he said.

“Our goal is to try to deliver more value out of those existing investments.”

In the next year, Ivancic planned to grow the group’s Asia-Pacific revenue and headcount by 15 to 18 percent – a “pretty aggressive” target, he said.

Cross-selling in Australia

On 1 October, Attachmate and Novell will move into a new, 60-person head office for the Asia Pacific region, located in Melbourne.

Although the Attachmate Group planned to operate as four separate business units globally, Australian channel partners and staff were expected to sit across all four units, selling and supporting all products.

Half its Australian engineers – and a quarter of those in the wider region – have undergone new training academies in attempts to cross-skill staff.

Ivancic hoped to leverage Attachmate’s history of long-term relationships with customers to cross-sell the group’s security, networking, enterprise software and operating systems.

Prior to the acquisition, Attachmate shared fewer than one in five of its top 200 Asia-Pacific customers with Novell, he said.

Meanwhile, he hoped that the customer and staff loyalty that Novell had previously enjoyed would spread to Attachmate.

“As a manager, my aim is to combine the good bits of each [company],” he said. “Our focus has been letting go of legacy.

“[Novell staff] see this acquisition now as a positive step forward.”

Since the acquisition, Attachmate’s Asia-Pacific operations were led by technical services director Philip Owens, who joined Attachmate in 2009 and finance director Greg Molyneux, who joined in 2008.

Marketing director Renata Nelipa joined the group from networking vendor Blue Coat this May, while human resources director Andrea Hayden joined from construction firm Norman Disney and Young this month.

Novell’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Alan Robinson and local SUSE Linux business unit executive Scott Kardash were among those who left the company post-acquisition.

Other notable departures were Novell’s global president and chief executive officer Ron Hovsepian, chief financial officer Dana Russell, chief marketing officer John Dragoon and Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions.

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