Novell to Continue to Ship Industry Standard Btrieve as Part of NetWare
PROVO, Utah -- January 26, 1994 -- Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL), the computer networking company, today announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Btrieve Technologies, Inc. to transfer its Btrieve database software product line to the newly formed Austin, Texas based company. The companies expect to reach a definitive agreement over the next eight weeks.
Under the memorandum announced today, Novell will continue to bundle and ship the industry standard Btrieve database software as part of NetWare and future Novell products. Btrieve Technologies is purchasing rights to Btrieve, NetWare SQL, XQL and Xtrieve products and will develop and market these and related products. The value of the pending transaction was not disclosed. Novell will retain a 15 percent ownership interest in the new company.
"Deciding how to support customer needs, maintaining our focus on Novell's core business and creating strong partnerships are the primary forces shaping growth at Novell," said Richard W. King executive vice president and general manager NetWare Systems Group. "This partnership will complement our other partnerships with leading computing industry database vendors. The Btrieve Technologies group has the vision, experience and specialized focus to support customers and industry partners who rely on the Btrieve standard."
Btrieve Technologies, Inc. was founded by former Novell employees and the original developers of Btrieve. The company develops and markets multi- platform database and information management products for industry standard computers. Initially, Btrieve was developed by Softcraft, Inc. a company Novell acquired in 1987.
Novell, Inc. is the leading computer networking company worldwide, an information system software company, developer of network services, specialized and general purpose operating system products, and application programming tools. Novell's NetWare, UnixWare and AppWare families of products provide matched software components for distributing information resources within local, wide area and internetworked information systems.
What has Novell announced regarding Btrieve?
Novell and Btrieve Technologies are announcing that Btrieve Technologies has purchased the license to Btrieve, NetWare SQL, Xtrieve and XQL. Btrieve Technologies will assume all development, support and marketing rights for the products. Novell will continue to incorporate the products above in the Novell product line and will provide support for all NetWare customers that are using the products. It is anticipated that the definitive agreement will be completed within 8 weeks to complete this transaction.
When will this happen?Novell and Btrieve Technologies will be working together into early spring to complete the transaction and to plan a smooth transition for our customers. During this period, Novell will continue to support the needs of our customers and will conduct business as usual.
Why would Novell spin off a key component of the NetWare OS to an outside company?
Novell has determined that a company focused on data management technology will provide the best solution to meet our customers needs. Novell and Btrieve Technologies will work together to assure the continued data management capability within NetWare are satisfied with state of the art products.
Novell is continuing to evaluate all components of the Novell product line to assess if the development could better meet our customers needs if provided by a source other than Novell.
Will Novell continue to use Btrieve as the data management software for the NetWare operating system? Will it continue to be a no charge component of all versions of NetWare?
Novell will continue to offer Btrieve as a component of NetWare. Several components of the NetWare operating system utilize the capabilities of Btrieve for internal data management within the operating system. Basic data management capabilities will continue to be offered to users of NetWare as part of the core product offering. It is not anticipated that there will be an extra charge for the Btrieve component.
Will Novell offer alternatives for data management within NetWare? Specifically, will we see an offering from Gupta, Oracle or Sybase?
Today, the companies mentioned, plus others, have product offerings that run with NetWare and UNIXWare. We expect that our customers appreciate having a choice of data management capabilities to best suit their individual application needs. Novell has a variety of sales and support offerings with Oracle and Gupta that address requests from our customers.
Will Novell continue to sell Btrieve independent of being bundled in Novell products?
No. All marketing and sales rights to Btrieve have been licensed to Btrieve Technologies.
Will Novell continue to support Btrieve?
Absolutely Yes. Btrieve, as a component of NetWare will continue to be supported by Novell. Novell will work closely with Btrieve Technologies to assure sufficient secondary support for Novell technicians to meet customer needs.
Will there be any price change to Btrieve products?
Since Btrieve Technologies is assuming all sales rights to Btrieve, Novell would refer you to Btrieve Technologies to answer this question. Btrieve, as a component of NetWare would not be impacted by this transition.
Will Btrieve still be available to Novell OEMs?
After the definitive agreement is completed, Btrieve will be available from Novell only as part of NetWare. It is anticipated that Btrieve Technologies will make Btrieve available for all OEMUs.
Will Btrieve information be available at BrainShare?
Yes, all Btrieve related sessions will be presented at BrainShare, either by Novell employees (before definitive agreement signing) or by Btrieve Technologies employees after the agreement has been signed.
How will Novell and BTI provide service to our customers during this transition?
Through March (approximately), customers will continue to call the 1-800 NETWARE number for service. During this period, Novell will utilize the current facility, operating systems, lab, tools, etc. to accommodate incoming calls.
What products and support will eventually be transferred to BTI?
All Btrieve, Xtrieve Plus, NetWare SQL and XQL developer products. Refer to the November 1993 Novell Bulletin, pages 19 & 20, for product and part number identification.
How will mutual customers receive support following the product transition?
1-800-NETWARE will continue for NetWare, UnixWare, & AppWare, SDKs, ALMs, and NLMs. Support for these products, including the Btrieve NLM, will be moved to Provo, UT. A separate 800 number will be provided for the database developer products.
How will Novell and Btreive Technologies address mutual service and product issues following the separations?
Novell and Btrieve Technologies will maintain a support alliance as part of a definitive agreement. This will provide customers with an escalation path through either support organization to the other to resolve mutual issues.
How will customers be assured that they will continue to receive quality support on those products transitioned to Novell Provo?
Novell Provo currently provides frontline support on utility issues on database products. Additionally, an extensive cross training program will be established as a part of the Novell / BTI agreement that will over the next four to six months equip Novell to provide that continuing support.
Will customer support continue to be free of charge?
Developer issues regarding both Novell and BTI products will continue to be free of charge through the transition period (approximately six months). Any charges to feebased support will be evaluated by the respective product vendor (Novell or BTI) at that time. In addition, developers taking part in the lease of NetWare products (i.e., 4.01, SAA, etc.) will continue to receive a free installation incident.
What differences, if any, will take place with regard to international support of developer issues?
Novell's European Support Center in Dsseldorf, Germany will front-end calls from developers during the transition period and will continue to provide support on the NetWare products following the separation. Novell Dsseldorf will escalate calls to Novell Provo and on to BTI as necessary. BTI will provide international support directly on the database products following the four to six month transition and training period.
Will customers continue to receive education on NetWare and database products?
Novell Authorized Education Centers continue to offer Btrieve, Xtrieve and NetWare programming courses. Course numbers 904, 905, 907, 930, 940, 941, and 945 relate to these products. Call 801-429-5508 for more course information and NAEC locations.
How will customers be notified regarding transition developments?
A letter will be sent to all developers once the definitive agreement is signed (estimated by late March). CompuServe / NetWire will also broadcast any customer related developments.
Who can customers call during this transition in regard to Service and Support administrative, logistical, or management concerns?
Customers who wish to express concerns or escalate Service management issues can contact Novell at 1-800-NETWARE.
For more information about on Btrieve Technologies call 1-800-933-2023.
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