A recent report by the 451 Group (Stack and Deliver) opines that the needs of enterprise users is changing from using a multitude of various parts to make a stack (a mutt, if you will) to needing integrated and supported stacks from vendors who have a plan and are executing on it.

From the abstract of the report:

“Until very recently, the stack provider (or ‘stack certifier’) space was made up of only a handful of players. But this space is changing rapidly, and the term ‘stack provider’ now encompasses a broader set of vendors that have overlapping product and service offerings. Within the stack provider space, there are a number of vendors in diverse categories competing for the same business. Stacks, and the support of stacks, can be provided by any number of vendors in any number of categories. Complicating matters, a vendor may have products and services in multiple categories, and the vendor may only be providing stacks and stack support as a secondary offering.”

I think we can agree that Novell is definitely one of the top-tier stack providers, and of the number of vendors out there, Novell is practically alone in having the ability to combine Open Source and Proprietary solutions appropriately.

Newsforge has a well-written digest of the actual report, recommended.