Novell/SUSE Channel Exec Joins Open-Xchange

Petra Heinrich,

As Chief Sales Officer for Open-Xchange, with headquarters inTarrytown, N.Y. and development in Olpe, Germany, Heinrich will spend a lot of time in the air driving channel-oriented sales worldwide, she told CRN. Open-Xchange provides a Linux-based e-mail in both open-source and commercial versions.

Open-Xchange, formerly known as Netline , has a "stable client base mostly in Europe but needs more business in North America, she noted.

The company sees opportunity picking off Exchange Server customers who don't want to pay for the full Microsoft infrastructure necessary for the current Exchange Server 2003 release.

Some solution providers are bullish. "Petra is 100 percent channel driven. She listens to the partners. It's a good situation for [Open-Xchange] because she can organize the channels and will fashion them so they work the same way in the US and EMEA," said Frank Basanta, director of technology for Systems Solutions, a New York-based solution provider.

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Basanta characterized this as a loss for Novell. Open-Xchange used to be fully aligned with SUSE Linux, but last year said it was joining ranks with Red Hat as well. Novell bought SUSE two years ago. Since Novell, Waltham, Mass., had its own Groupwise e-mail "along with upcoming "Hula" messaging offering, it was unclear how much weight it would continue to put behind Open-Xchange. Since that time, Open-Xchange announced its alliance with Red Hat Linux.

Another Novell/SUSE veteran, Michael Herkens has also joined Open-Xchange as director of EMEA Channel Sales. Oliver Nachtrab, another former SUSEAN, has been with Open-Xchange since August as vice president of business development and marketing.