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200 to lose Novell jobs in Provo

About 200 Novell Inc. workers in Provo will lose their jobs this week as the company moves most of the positions to India.

The Massachusetts-based technology company will have 1,200 employees in Provo after the positions are moved.

The company has about 4,600 workers, and the Utah actions are part of 250 jobs being moved off-shore, according to Kevan Barney, a Novell spokesman in Provo. Most of the affected workers are involved in software development.

"All year, we've been talking about this restructuring and also talking this year about our focus on three primary areas to increase efficiency," he said. "One of those was product development, and a key element of product development is the balancing of on-shore and off-shore resources. And that's what this week is about as far as what's affecting Provo right now, that on-shore/off-shore balance."

The company also has development centers in Germany and other parts of Europe.

The Provo employees losing their jobs were notified Tuesday.

"This is not exclusively happening in Utah. There are other folks in the U.S., but because Provo has our largest development center in the United States, we're taking the brunt of it," Barney said.

Provo still will have software engineers and employees in marketing, human resources, legal, finance, product support and technical support, Barney added.

"It's still by far the largest single facility for Novell," he said.

No further job actions are expected. "We hope this is it," Barney said.

Novell is offering the employees outplacement services and a severance package.

"It's unfortunate," Barney said of the jobs being moved. "The tech economy and tech sector in Utah is doing very well right now, and there is demand for experienced, skilled software engineers, and we're very hopeful many of these folks can find replacement positions fairly quickly here in Utah."

The company is not eliminating jobs but instead moving them. Novell will have about 4,600 at the end of the fiscal year Oct. 31, about the same as a year ago.

"We announced at the beginning of the fiscal year that we would be taking a restructuring charge this year. We said it would be an estimated $35 million to $45 million restructuring expense for the year. We've been incurring that expense throughout the year. These things all have to do with increasing efficiencies across the company. It has to do with becoming more efficient and becoming more competitive," Barney said.

"It's more of a redistribution. Most successful companies in the technology sector have a mix of on-shore and off-shore engineering resources, and it's one of those approaches that are necessary to compete in the global markets that we compete in. That's the basis for this action."