GroupWise Migration: Ready, Set – Wait, it costs how much?

I have a guest blogger today. Kari Woolf, GroupWise Product Marketing Manager, discusses the cost of migration and provides you and your organization some great data so that your organization can make the wise choice - Upgrade to GroupWise 2012!

In 1971, the first ever email was sent. Just forty-one years later, email is the industry standard for corporate communication, with the average corporate user sending and receiving 112 emails per day. With this communication tool so critical to any business’s bottom line, the list of valid reasons to disrupt it are few and far between. Enterprises considering migrating from Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange should consider what it means in terms of costs and business disruption. It’s not just about the hardware and licensing, IT needs to consider the IT opportunity cost as well as overall user productivity.

Why tie up an IT department with a new email solution when there are many more business-critical projects they can focus on? After all, it can cost a 5,000-seat organization more than $40,000 to migrate – and that’s just for the IT labor to rebuild the email environment, replace third-party applications, test performance and re-configure a mobile email client. You’ll also need to train your staff on the new email product—and all related systems. And let’s talk about what migration really costs from a licensing perspective. You won’t just pay for licenses per user; you’ll also pay for resource licenses (conference rooms, projectors, etc.), third-party migration tool licenses and per-user Client Access Licenses (CALs) for both Exchange Server and Windows Server. Add in the costs to re-license or convert your add-on products such as anti-virus/anti-spam, backup, mobility and team collaboration tools, and you can easily more than double your licensing costs. What does it all mean? A potential $2 million licensing spend for a 5,000-user migration.

Hold on to your wallets – we haven’t even discussed the unavoidable hardware costs yet. Did you know that two Exchange servers are generally needed for every GroupWise server? Here are a few other hidden costs:

  • Exponential increase in storage resources to accommodate Exchange’s multi-copy message store

  • Exchange only runs on 64-bit hardware, so you can trash any 32-bit systems

  • Already have 64-bit hardware? Too bad, email retention regulations won’t let you repurpose them for Exchange

  • Redundant hardware so that Exchange and GroupWise can run simultaneously during the migration process

And once you’ve committed to all of these hardware, licensing, training and labor costs, be prepared to lose at least $250,000 in user productivity during the migration – even if it’s just a total of two hours.

What about the end-user?

Maybe you’ve considered all of this and are still not convinced. Try thinking about it from a personal experience perspective. Updates to simple things like Facebook can cause an uproar when users have to learn new functions and features. Imagine the frustration enterprise employees will feel as they have to learn to navigate an entire new email system—something they rely on to stay productive every minute of the day. And not everything is a simple matter of user retraining. GroupWise users are accustomed to capabilities like granular message tracking, recurring appointment flexibility, simple folder shares and advanced calendaring features. These tools drive organizational productivity every day, and they simply aren’t as robust (or, in some cases, even available) in Exchange.

Further impacting the user experience, unlike GroupWise, Exchange creates copies of messages for each and every recipient. Not only does this affect the IT staff that needs to store, manage back up and archive all those duplicate copies, but the end-user is impacted with constant storage messages. No one wants their day interrupted because they’ve exceeded maximum storage and need to delete messages before they can resume actual productivity.

Migration costs can vary from organization to organization, but a better idea is enhancing GroupWise at a fraction of that cost and putting migration funds to better use on more strategic IT projects. Check out what’s new with GroupWise 2012 and how it will meet your enterprise mobile and social needs, and be sure to look at what’s on the horizon too. For more information on migration costs, download our white paper on the costs and disruptions of migrating from GroupWise to Exchange.

Kari Woolf
GroupWise Product Marketing Manager


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Comment List
  • I am getting ready to migrate a school from Exchange 2003 to GroupWise 2012, but my problem is that in testing, the "current" migration tool did not function for GW 2012. I initially tested with GW 8 and it appeared to work correctly, but then GW 2012 was released and I installed it from scratch and prepared for the migration. However, the migration tool doesn't seem to like GW 2012 - it dies saying it can't find the post office. Migrating to GW 2012 to me makes sense, but without the toolset to do it, very few people will try. (others might purchase a third party tool, but why should they, it should come with the product in my opinion). NOTE: the "current" migration tool is for GroupWise 7 SP1, and you can only use a system with Outlook 2003 installed (2007 and 2010 are not supported and don't function).
  • Great to hear about this migration to GroupWise - we have been hearing them more and more with GroupWise 2012. We are looking at our toolset and seeing what we should be providing. Thanks for your comments.

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