In this competitive world of email systems the one that owns the ecosystem owns the users. Obviously moving to Exchange/O365 (or Google systems for that matter) makes sense if you are a Microsoft Office dependant company as of course Outlook is an integrated part of that system. As the GroupWise client is not only visually but also from an integrations standpoint lacking in such ecosystem, moving to Exchange means moving off from any MF solution. In closed systems there is near no room left for competitors, nor for choise.
As there are a lot of (hosted/onprem) email solutions to choose from, how can GroupWise stay relevant? GroupWise would need an Office-like ecosystem around in which an end user feels comfortable. LibreOffice can provide such and could brings a rich MS Office/Google like expirience once settled.
Once we get over the idea to leave the current GroupWise Windows client for what it is and start over based on a framework of a well established (Libre)Office suite I believe this brings what it takes to get GroupWise back as an alternative for current competitors. Sure others could and would provit too from such developments, but having something to choose from does also benfit GroupWise and the Enterprise Messaging Suite (EMS) it's part of. It's obvious LibreOffice is and open source project, so there has to be worked with that community to get this done. The Office part is the most important piece missing in GroupWise and the EMS, but as we already started integrating LibreOffice Online by adding the Secure Content Editor Appliance (which is provided by Collabora Online(COOL)) to TeamWorks and Filr so the first pieces are already there. As LibreOffice is running on Mac/Win/Lin that would secure a cross platform client solution for the long term and honoring the higest voted requests for non-Windows support;
Tough on short term it would take quite some time to develop, I would expect long term that get's less as with LibreOffice more developing partners will maintain the new code at least making sure that what is there is stable and well tested by a huge community. This stable base should be good enough to create enterprise supported clients from for Micro Focus to distribute as part of their GroupWise and EMS solution. As mentioned the COOL solution is already a partnership currently, so could the new client be a part in their long term supported Collabora Office for governments and companies. In the EMS this would complement working off- and online, on any device and leveraging open standards. This collaboration eco-system can be managed by ZENworks and secured by NetIQ solutions which gives MF a way to provide a full ecosystem again.
So, how would this work:
* Start with a new module in LibreOffice called "Contact", complementing Writer/Calc/Impress/etc. Contact-management is the centerpiece of a solution (opinion), this allows accessing, syncing and managing contact information which then can be used in any module for sharing, communication/interacting and as a part of document merges. In the LO Online version the Contact-API allows you to access your contacts from within any module so you can do document merges easily in Online-mode too.
* The Contact module has multiple tab's allowing access to email, calendar, tasks, notes, message(r)s, etc. This is the part that is not much different from what we are used to in the GroupWise Client today. This is the part that is all open source and for that could be used to add multiple tab's of each to be able to access multiple systems at the same time, which could be multiple GroupWise mailboxes or any POP/IMAP or online accounts a user has, well depending on modules privides by Micro Focus and other developing partners and/or the community. Depending how the plugin-infra is setup MF could obviously choose to create closed plugin's and leave other (IMAP, NNTP etc) plugin's up to the community, but my idea is to have a more open and common infra for email, calendar, task which supports the end-users common expirience that will offer. Tough open source plugins could still offer a calendar for like GroupWise which has multi user options embedded and a more simple calendar plug for other purposes. Having a more open infra allows for expermiments by the community.
* The Contact module's core should have a plugin that carries the hart of access to GroupWise (GroupWise client protocol) and should run on any platform. Depending on how it's developed it could be either open or closed source, think we prefer to open it up so it can be build as part of the solution, or only as part of the MF provided binaries. Maybe something with on- and offine mode needs to be part of this in case we want offine mode to be a part of the GroupWise access plugin. From a cross platform perspective I would suggest to leverage the default LO Database, but that could also be GroupWise's (wasn't that use dby eDirectory today and open sourced a while back? It at least runs on all targetted platforms).
* We need a plugin infra for 3th parties so they can ty into the solution, but this could also be leveraged for Micro Focus provided solutions like Vibe/Filr/Retain/SMG etc plugin's. There's a host of 3th parties providing language correction solutions, access to CRM's, etc.
This may not be all, but at least the centerpiece of the idea.