SUSE Linux top exec: Interoperability is key

Strategic partnerships, building clouds, and the economic downturn

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Since April, Nils Brauckmann has had the future of enterprise Linux in his hands. That's when the Attachmate Group completed its acquisition of Novell, Inc. and split the company into two operating units: Novell and Suse. As president and GM of Suse, long-time Attachmate executive Brauckmann is responsible for bringing Suse Linux Enterprise Server and other open source products to market. In this latest installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Brauckmann shared with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant his views on the future of open source, his strategy for competing against Red Hat, and Suse's plans for helping customers build private and hybrid clouds. He also outlined his philosophy for working successfully with the open source community, talked about the role desktop Linux will and won't play in the enterprise, and explained where Suse's partnership will Microsoft is headed.

John Gallant: You were with Attachmate for years. For our readers who are passionate about Linux and open source, talk about why you are the right person to lead Suse into the future, and share your personal philosophy about open source and Linux in the enterprise.

Nils Brauckmann: I've been leading the Suse business unit since May, and I have a history in the company for managing sales and marketing teams and being a general manager. What I bring to the table is a sales and marketing background and a strong general business background. I have been responsible for leading smaller development teams in Europe in the past as well as serving on support teams. Overall, I have a rounded background, and that's why we think I am the right choice. We need more focus on sales and marketing, and we need more focus on communication.

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