Attachmate CEO: Explaining an Acquisition

From the Road

The Attachmate Group bought network industry pioneer Novell in 2011, beginning the next phase of Attachmate’s evolution. I sat down with Attachmate Chairman and CEO Jeff Hawn shortly after the Novell deal was sealed to get his thoughts on positioning the acquisition for its new and old customers.

Say Why the Deal Makes Sense

Hawn said existing Attachmate and NetIQ units share many of the same customers (Attachmate offers terminal emulation, file transfer and anti-fraud products solutions. NetIQ offers security and application management). “We now have more to offer them,” he added. Meanwhile, Novell, with its “mix of very mature technologies and mature markets,” complements its SUSE Linux business (Novell’s products include numerous data center management technologies, while the SUSE Linux distribution is prominent within enterprises)

Describe What Won’t Change

Hawn said The Attachmate Group will maintain its corporate structure of separate business units. “Attachmate and Novell have been around since the ’80s. NetIQ and SUSE have been around since the ’90s. I really wanted to make sure that customers would see those brands in the most prominent way possible,” he said.

Reiterate Your Value

“Our point to customers is we’re focused on your needs, we’re pragmatic about what we’re working on,” Hawn said. As head of a private company, he doesn’t have the added complexity of having to craft a story for Wall Street about the company’s vision. “The types of things that are very important to customers are not always viewed in the same positive light by a Wall Street sell-side analyst who is trying to figure out where the penny per share of growth is going to come from.”

Read the complete interview with Jeff Hawn here.

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