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Novell Launches SMB-Friendly Linux Bundles

Novell launches a Linux bundle tailored to its small-businss and midmarket customers, including software, online training and telephone/online support, all provided at a significant discount.

Novell Monday launched a Linux bundle aimed at small and mid-market customers and partners.

Novell, Waltham, Mass., is bundling SUSE Enterprise Linux 9 with technical support and online training in one packaged offering at a discount price. The offering includes the Linux software, an online training module and technical support.

Ladd Timpson, worldwide director, channel and alliance marketing at Novell, said it's a good offering for midmarket customers that don't sign enterprise licensing agreements but want one vendor for their support needs.

"This provides the full package of service an SMB customer wants that is easy to procure and easy for partners to sell," Timpson said. The bundle is targeted at customers with more than 100 users, typically those with between 250 and 1,000 users.

Novell will continue to target its Linux Small Business Suite at small business customers with fewer than 100 users.

Channel partners will be able to offer customers two options -- standard support or priority support.

Standard support consists of 12-hr, 5-day telephone support with guaranteed four-hour response time and 24-hr by-7-day online technical support with guaranteed four hour response time.

Priority support offers a more aggressive response time for customers and partners. With that, Novell promises 24-hour by 7-day telephone support for all issues related to product -- not just installation support -- with a guaranteed one hour response time, along with 24-hour by 7-day online support with four hour response time.

One Novell partner that has moved some Netware customers to Linux said the offering will address key concerns customers have when migrating from one legacy platform to SUSE Linux.

And he said the support cost is less expensive in the bundle than if customers bought support separately.

"It addresses people's fears," said Allan Hurst, a partner in KIS, a systems integrator and consulting firm in Fremont, Calif. "Bundling training and 7-by-24 or 5-by-12 support is everything a customer needs. And it's a comparatively large discount if you look at the whole package because of the support you're getting. Novell support can be very expensive if you don't have a support contract."

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