Novell Vibe arrives at a key time for Novell and its channel partners. Regulators continue to scrutinize Novell's proposed two-part sale -- with the software business going to Attachmate and some intellectual property going to a consortium of companies. In a March 23 SEC filing, Novell indicated that the regulatory review could continue until around April 12. Some customers and partners have delayed Novell-related projects until the company sale has been completed.
Still, Novell wisely continues to march forward with multiple R&D efforts -- including management tools for Red Hat and Novell SUSE Linux deployments and now the Novell Vibe Cloud launch.
Feature-wise, Novell Vibe Cloud looks to be a cloud-hosted version of the existing Vibe offering, which enables users to collaborate on documents, share files, and message each other. According to the press release, Novell Vibe Cloud integrates with most major mail clients, and all it takes is an e-mail to get customers, partners, or whoever else you might need onto the platform.
The Novell Vibe Cloud platform has had a free, basic version available since November 2010. But this just-launched, paid enterprise edition gives Vibe Cloud a much higher level of administrator control, single sign-on integrated with existing federated logins, unlimited user groups, enhanced storage (from 250MB a user in the basic version to 5GB/user), data ownership to fascinate compliance with regulatory standards, and access to Novell's support teams.
Right now, Novell's partners can offer the product, but the ability for a service provider to host Novell Vibe themselves is still down the roadmap, according to Wendy Steinle, marketing director for Novell Vibe Cloud. But Steinle also promotes the opportunity for integrators and providers to offer implementation, customization, and policy setup to their customers as a value-added service, even if they're not in full command of the customer relationship.
TalkinCloud has long believed that there's a place for social networking in the cloud provider's portfolio. Novell Vibe Cloud's success or failure will be the real test.
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Follow Talkin’ Cloud via RSS, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Talkin’ Cloud’s Weekly Newsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Read our editorial disclosures here.