Novell Technical Support Wins Industry, Customer Praise

Novell technical support has recently been recognized by both customers and leading industry groups for its quality, scope, and timeliness. The Association of Support Professionals has just named Novell as a "Best Web Support" winner for 2007, while the Help Desk Institute has honored Novell with its "Team Excellence Award for External Support." In addition, an independent customer study indicates that Novell support for Linux bests Red Hat and Oracle in overall quality, timeliness, and addressing the needs of mixed-source IT environments. As a result, Novell customers know they can deploy Novell solutions with the confidence they are backed by one of the leading support organizations in the industry.

"Support is an increasingly important competitive differentiator as the software industry moves to an open source and services-based model," said Colleen O'Keefe, senior vice president of services for Novell. "Industry validation like these awards for our web and call center support give us the confidence that we're delivering best-in-class service to our customers. Even more significant, customers, our most important audience, rank us tops in the Linux support business, so we're succeeding where it it really matters the most."

The customer study, conducted by independent research firm Lighthouse Research, surveyed existing Novell, Red Hat and Oracle Linux customers to understand their most important support concerns and assess their satisfaction with the Linux technical support they receive. The study looked at a range of support issues, including Linux expertise, timeliness of phone support, how pro-active vendors are on patches and alerts, and the effectiveness of web and self-support options. The survey also gauged customer opinion on each vendor's ability to support and maintain a Linux distribution over the long-term, as well as their effectiveness in addressing mixed-platform support challenges. Novell gained top ratings for overall support, and significantly outpaced the other two vendors on both timeliness of phone support and support of mixed platforms, open source and proprietary software. Novell largely matched or exceeded Red Hat and Oracle across all the other issues surveyed. The full report, with methodology and detailed results, is available at http://www.novell.com/linux/support-survey.html .

On the awards front, on May 2, the Help Desk Institute (HDI), the world's largest membership association for IT service and support professionals and the premier certification body for the industry, honored Novell with its Team Excellence Award for External Support. This award recognizes a support team that has most enhanced the image of the service and support profession by setting and achieving the highest standards of excellence in IT service and support. The selection of the HDI Team Excellence Award winner is based on specific criteria that evaluates the applicants’ ability to demonstrate excellence in three categories: people, process and technology. Ron Muns, founder and CEO of HDI, commented, "This award is a tribute to the standards of excellence that Novell maintains in its day-to-day operations to provide quality customer support. Novell is an exemplary organization."

On the web side, on May 3, the Association of Service Professionals named Novell one of the top 10 companies for best web support in 2007. Novell joined other leading vendors, including Adobe, Cisco Systems, Dell, and IBM, who were recognized for excellence in online support. Winners were selected base on 25 separate performance criteria covering usability, design and navigation, knowledgebase and search implementation, interactive features and overall customer experience. "During the ten-year span of this awards competition, Web support has become dramatically more polished," says ASP executive director Jeffrey Tarter. "It's not surprising that bigger companies are investing heavily in self-service technology, because the return on investment is so compelling. What makes a site great is good navigation, good writing, and relentless attention to what customers want."

More information on the Help Desk Institute's Team Excellence awards can be found at http://www.thinkhdi.com/membership/awards/teamExcellence/ . More information about the Association of Support Professionals "Best Web Support" awards is available at http://www.asponline.com/07awardsPR.html . Information on Novell's support offerings are at http://www.novell.com/support.

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