After a one-year hiatus, Novell plans to resume its BrainShare conference for customers and channel partners in 2010, according to Chief Marketing Officer and Channel Chief John Dragoon (pictured). Somewhere, SUSE Linux fans should be celebrating. Here's why.

Novell's decision to host BrainShare 2010 events in North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) provides several clues about the company's future commitment to partners.

First, a little background: Novell canceled BrainShare 2009 amid the recession and shrinking corporate travel budgets. At the time there was no guarantee Novell would bring BrainShare back for 2010. Meanwhile, partner events hosted by Cisco Systems, Microsoft and other companies saw lower turnout in 2010 vs. previous years.

Still, Novell took a second look at the BrainShare conference and the economy, and apparently liked the forecast. In a recent blog post, Novell's Dragoon discloses BrainShare 2010 will take place March 21 through March 25. And a BrainShare EMEA event will take place in May, 2010 with the exact dates and location to be finalized in the coming weeks, Dragoon adds.

Sure, Dragoon is a marketing guy. But he accurately describes BrainShare as a "Novell institution."

Still in the Game

BrainShare's return is significant for several reasons -- especially on the competitive front.

Novell's recent financial results showed SUSE Linux strength, but the rest of the company seems to be struggling to maintain sales.

Meanwhile, rival Red Hat has been marching forward with Red Hat Linux and JBoss open source middleware.
Sure, Novell has some momentum going with a new SUSE Linux Appliance Program. But Novell needed to find a way to get in front of even more partners and customers. Translation: Novell's decision to bring back BrainShare seems like a smart, timely move. It tells partners and customers that Novell has confidence in its finances and business strategy.

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