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The Top 25 Newsmakers of 2006 – Number 21: Novell Canada Ross Chevalier

Major updates were rolled out this year, but the big gest events took place just as 2006 was coming to an end

In some ways two events close to the end of 2006 were the best for Ross Chevalier

Novell overhauled its PartnerNet program in November to encourage solution providers to specialize in Linux, security, workgroups and system and resource management.

“It really opens the doors up to partners to make great money selling Novell offerings,” he says, and expand the number of VARs.

He credited James Simzer, Novell’s director of Canadian partner business, for helping sculpt the new program.

Perhaps more importantly, the company agreed to work with Microsoft to develop ways that Novell Suse Linux and Windows can work together in virtualized environments, to support an open document format and to support each other’s customers.

The pact will go a long way to reassuring customers who already have or are pondering mixed environments and giving more push to open source.

“This is going to be a great opportunity for partners,” Chevalier said, many of whom are also Microsoft VARs.

It sets up the possibility that for Novell, 2007 will indeed be a very good year.