Novell Pushes Deeper Into Collaboration Tech

Acquiring open source partner SiteScape could help scale up its own efforts with GroupWise and elsewhere.

Novell is moving farther into the collaboration market by acquiring SiteScape, an open source player in team workspaces -- and a partner in an existing joint offering.

As a result of the acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, Novell plans to integrate SiteScape's technology into its core collaboration wares, which compete against IBM's Lotus Notes and Microsoft's Exchange, among others.

"We looked at it and decided now is the time to demonstrate our commitment to this market, do this acquisition and invest back into our collaboration business," said Kent Erickson, general manager for Novell's Workspace Solutions, told

The purchase builds on an existing relationship between the two companies. SiteScape is best known as the vendor for the ICEcore open source collaboration project, a team workspace offering.

That product forms the crux of Novell's "Teaming + Conferencing" solution, which the two companies partnered to develop in 2007.

Erikson said he expects SiteScape's products will become a key part of Novell's workgroup portfolio, which also includes GroupWise.

As a result, the move may better position Novell GroupWise against rival offerings from the likes of Lotus and Microsoft.

As an open system, SiteScape's technology could also fit on top of other e-mail-based collaboration systems -- much like how the two companies' current Teaming + Conferencing solution integrates with both Notes and Exchange, ironically, in addition to GroupWise.

Novell also expects SiteScape to benefit its Open Enterprise Server (OES), which includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Erikson said running SiteScape on OES would provide a more complete workgroup solution.

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