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Novell: job cuts won't harm users

Antony Adshead
Novell has moved to reassure UK users following its slashing of employee headcount by 19% - a total of 1,400 positions - but analysts have advised users to contact Novell account managers for clarification.

Novell regional director Steve Brown said, "The cuts will be across the board - sales, marketing, consulting and administration. The impact on the customer will be minimal. Levels of customer service will remain the same because of changes in the customer base."

Novell once led the server operating systems market with a 29% share but this had dropped to 19% by 1999.

The restructure is designed to focus Novell on solutions, following its acquisition of consulting group Cambridge Technology Partners in July, as well as restoring profitability in the face of poor market conditions.

It brings total headcount worldwide to about 6,000.

Neil Macehaiter, senior consultant with analyst firm Ovum, said, "I think the reaction among users will be one of nervousness. Rationalisation is a natural follow-on to the acquisition but that degree of lay-offs cannot fail to impact customer service.

"If I was a UK customer I would be getting in touch with my Novell account manager to find out how it affects me," Macehaiter added.

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