Novell will buy US$100 million of Whittman-Hart stock, investing in the provider of e-business and technology solutions for mid-sized companies. The stock purchase represents about 6 per cent of Whittman-Hart's worth, Novell said.
The money is designed to help Whittman-Hart speed up its deployment of Novell Directory Services (NDS) in e-business products, and particularly to allow the company to offer mid-sized business e-business applications.
The investment and strategic alliance will be the first in a number of future partnerships with consulting and systems-integration companies, Novell said.
Novell already has partnerships with large tech companies like Compaq, America Online, IBM and Dell Computer and is now looking to move into smaller markets and reach companies with growth potential.
The agreement to invest in Whittman-Hart also includes provisions for the two companies to co-develop customised directory services that will meet the needs of Whittman-Hart's client base.
Novell has also been broadening the functions of its directory services. Novell announced this week it is using the directory service as the base for a free Web-based e-mail service.