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Attachmate merger with Micro Focus to be completed this week Featured

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The process for SUSE Linux to blend into the British mainframe computer group Micro Focus will be completed by Thursday, 20 November, according to SUSE president and general manager Nils Brauckmann.

In a one-on-one with iTWire on Monday in the run-up to the start of the third SUSE national conference, SUSECon, which officially kicks off in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, Brauckmann (pictured above) said as a result, he would be not releasing any projections of what the company was likely to achieve in its third year as a standalone business unit.

However, he said that the trend was upward – new bookings had grown by 27%, and revenue had gone up by 16%.

SUSE, once a part of Novell, has been operating as an independent business unit from Nuremberg, after Novell was acquired by the Attachmate Group in 2010. Attachmate itself was acquired by Micro Focus earlier this year.

SUSE's financial year has run from 1 April to 31 March after it came under the Attachmate umbrella. Under Micro Focus, the financial year will be from 1 May to 30 April. Given that, Brauckmann said he would need to have more discussions with the new parent company before any figures could be made public.

In its first year as an independent business unit, SUSE did around US$225 million in turnover of which 18% to 20% was profit. In its second year, the revenue figure went up to US$250 million, with the profit margin being in the same range as in the first year. Brauckmann has said in the past that as SUSE is an open source company, he is comfortable with that margin of profit.

Once SUSE is amalgamated into the British group, it will continue to operate as it has, Brauckmann said. The one change, and a major one, would be that SUSE would be listed on the London Stock Exchange under the Micro Focus group.

Asked about the negatives of being a public company, Brauckmann said while there were downsides, there were also upsides. He pointed to the ability to acquire other assets through share exchanges rather than through cash. The LSE requires reporting every six months, as opposed to the American market where figures are released every quarter.

With an increasing number of analysts likely to focus on SUSE from now on, Brauckmann said again which there could be downsides, it was up to him to sell the SUSE story and convince people. If he could do that, then no matter how many people focused on SUSE, it would not in any way be negative.

Germany has been one of the most aggressive countries when it comes to climate change initiatives such as switching to renewables. Asked about green initiatives at SUSE, Brauckmann said recycling was encouraged and practised at every level. "SUSE Linux can run on modern chipsets which consume less energy, something we do in partnership with other vendors," he added, citing another company endeavour that could be lumped in the green category.

Disclosure: the writer is attending SUSECon in Orlando as a guest of the company.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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