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By Laurie McCabe
January 30, 2004
Our two new entrants to the Top 50 list this month are a testament to the growing contribution that Web services infrastructure plays in today’s online applications — and will play in the future. Both of them are entrants to the Top 30 Enablers list (the Top 20 Providers list is unchanged this month).
The Re-emergence of Novell
The first new entrant is a long-established company that is currently going through something of a rebirth as a Web services platform vendor. Novell made its name as the creator of NetWare, once the server operating system of choice for local area networking (LAN). Now that the Internet has supplanted the LAN as the core network platform, Novell has followed suit and is aiming to establish leadership in the vital role of securing identity on the Web.
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Its acquisition earlier this year of leading Web services specialist SilverStream also shows Novell has not lost its ambition as a platform vendor (see Novell’s Web Services Strategy: Faster, Less Expensive). Its determination in offering an innovative portfolio of tools and services for Web services deployments has earned its promotion into the Enablers listing.
In the Groove With Peer-to-Peer
The second new entrant is Groove Networks, whose peer-to-peer platform for group collaboration makes use of PCs, wide area networking (WAN) and distributed services in an innovative and powerful combination. Although still a startup, Groove has attracted significant venture funding and has backing from Microsoft. The company’s founder, Ray Ozzie, was a key pioneer of the concept of groupware in the 1980s, as the creator of Lotus Notes.
Groove displaces another pioneering startup from the Enablers listing. Xevo is a company whose leadership inspired many of the first generation of ASPs, and which continues to work with key players in the industry. But growth has not come at a sufficient pace to keep up with the progress currently being made by better-funded Web services vendors.
Cable & Wireless Makes Its Exodus
The second departure is Cable & Wireless. The international telecoms giant entered the listing after its acquisition of Exodus, and now leaves having closed down much of the Exodus operation. Although the Cable & Wireless still has a substantial infrastructure offering — including a content delivery network with Web services capabilities — it has become one of the telecoms industry’s walking wounded. The latest news of a credit downrating placing further demands on its cash reserves suggests that its troubles are not over yet.
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