The top 25 newsmakers of 2007 – Number 18: Katie McAuliff

Published: December 21st, 2007

When she took the helm just 24 days into 2007 as president of Novell Canada, Katie McAuliff had three goals: increase the visibility of the brand, leverage its partner ecosystem and sharpen the subsidiary’s focus on pushing open source to financial services and identity management for healthcare.

Now, as the year draws to an end, while McAuliff’s task is ongoing, the past 12 months have certainly been busy. A priority for Novell has been broadening its ecosystem, drawing in all different kinds of partners, from VARs, SIs and distributors to software resellers, consultants, OEMs and manufacturers.

“We will not succeed without an excellent channel working on our behalf,” said McAuliff. “They are critical to us. I would say their importance to us and their relationship with us is only going to go up.”

On the OEM front Novell got a boost for its Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, with the decision by Lenovo to offer it preloaded on its ThinkPad notebooks as an alternative to the Windows OS.

Probably the biggest Linux news for Novell this year though was the decision in the vendor’s favour in its long-running legal battle with The SCO Group. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah Central District found that Novell is the owner of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights, dismissing SCO’s charges of breach of contract, also ruling SCO owes Novell for licensing revenue it received from vendors.

And speaking of Microsoft, while Novell’s partnership with the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant remained controversial amongst open source purists, it appears the market has spoken with Novell this fall reporting a 243 per cent spike for its Linux business since the partnership was signed.